Intensive Study Hall with the Planetary Retrogrades

I know that some people are looking forward to the end of Mercury Retrograde, and also feeling a bit apprehensive about the other planetary retrogrades we have going on right now.


Jupiter went retrograde on Feb 6th and will go direct again on June 9th.
Mercury went retrograde April 9th and goes direct on May 3.
Saturn joined went retrograde on April 16th and will go direct again on August 25th.
And Pluto joined the Retrograde party on April 20th and will stay that way until September 28th.

This can all seem like a great cosmic traffic jam at times, but don’t panic!

“Sorry About The Inconvenience” – Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Retrogrades provide us with an excellent time to slow down and dig a little deeper into our lives, rooting out the sources of problems, fears, or setbacks.  Each planet has lessons for us, and the Retrograde brings a magnifying glass to each planet’s lesson while simultaneously slowing down the progress within that lesson.  If life is a school and the planets are our teachers, a retrograde may be like getting an extra hour of study hall with that teacher (planet) to really help us zero in on our failings or issues within that class.  If we pay attention and make the most of that extra time, we should be able to improve our understanding of that class, bring up our grade, and develop a better relationship with that teacher.  So right now we’ve got FOUR different teachers pulling us into study hall for some extra work.  Retrogrades are also a time we can focus on Shadow Work – going within and examining the parts of ourselves that we repress, fear, and hide away.

Study Hall With Mercury

LEAN ON ME, Karen Malina White, Morgan Freeman, 1989, (c)Warner Bros.

Mercury is the most famous, as this planet goes retrograde three times a year.  The Inner planets (closer to the sun) have more affect on our day to day lives so the energy of a Mercury retrograde is strongly noticed.  As the planet of communication, day to day travel, and information, this retrograde has a bad rap for retrogrades resulting in computer problems, car or transportation problems, or missing important details.  As a teacher, Mercury’s lessons are about finding our voice, self expression, communicating clearly, planning efficiently for our travels and tasks, and activating our Throat chakra.  Professor Mercury may be bringing you in for extra lessons during this time to help you with one or all of these important life skills.  It’s a one on one class where you are being asked to do some shadow work and look at why you are struggling in these areas.  Why are you afraid of speaking your truth?  Why are you consistently late to events?  Why do you feel you are not a good public speaker or teacher to others?  Why are you always putting off following up with your clients, procrastinating with your paperwork, and generally lacking organization skills? Mercury wants to know why you don’t have your shit together, and will point out the ways you are self-sabotaging your own life. (these are just some examples of what Professor Mercury might be asking you in Study Hall, and he wants a thoughtful and honest answer.

Study Hall with Jupiter

Robin Williams in the movie “Dead Poets Society”

Jupiter is the planet of Luck, Expansion, and Growth, dealing with our biggest ambitions and goals. Always pushing the boundaries, Jupiter is like the Teacher that has some fun in the classroom, or takes the class out of the classroom to learn in a different environment.  They don’t always stick to the lesson plan, but encourage students to think big, express individuality, and challenge the norms of society.  Your Study Hall with Professor Jupiter is a time when they are asking you why you aren’t successful in your projects right now?  When you started this project it seemed great, you were inspired and motivated, so what happened?  Something obviously isn’t working because you used to love this class but now you dread it.  So with Jupiter Study Hall we’re gonna look at what isn’t working anymore, and see if there is a totally new and different way we can go about achieving our goal.  This might not mean scrapping the whole project and starting over, but you need to look at it again with fresh eyes and a new perspective.  Jupiter is one of those teachers that might ask you to stand on your desk, stand on your head, or take a jog around campus to get your creative juices flowing.  They’re gonna try to mix things up a bit to get your attention and get you engaged again.  This might not always be fun, and sometimes it will be messy, but the Shadow work with Jupiter Retrograde should leave you more focused and more excited about your dreams and life goals.

Study Hall With Saturn

Allen Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter

Yeah, Saturn is already known as “The Great Teacher”, and also “The Great Tester” and the Lord of Karma.  Study hall with Saturn can feel a bit more like detention at times.  Saturn’s lesson’s are about taking responsibility for the choices we have made, and learning life’s deepest lessons that we are here to learn.  There is some real important shadow work to be done here in terms of taking a close look at what we naturally avoid and the lessons held within.  With Saturn in retrograde, we may feel like we have already learned this lesson before.  “I did this already.  I turned it in last month”, you say.  “DO IT AGAIN” is Saturn’s stern reply.  Why are we facing the same road blocks, doubts, or fears again?  Why does it seem like this particular problem keeps coming up in our relationships, our job, or our psyche?  Because we haven’t truly finished with the lesson yet.  We may have solved the circumstances surrounding the problem in the past, but we didn’t finish doing the deeper work.  This is the work that actually shifts how we see ourselves and the world – and how we interact with the world changes once that shift is made.  Only then are we truly free of this repeating pattern of obstacles.  Saturn in Retrograde is urging this shadow work to happen now.  As frustrated and resistant as you may feel – keep in mind the Professor Saturn really has our best interest in mind as he pushes us through the dark corridor.

Study Hall With Pluto

Master Yoda – Star Wars

Ahh, yes, the very old, very diminutive teacher that is Pluto.  Speaking in riddles of the great mysteries of the intangible and spiritual realm, Pluto must be the Professor of Occult Mysteries and Ancient Spiritual teachings.  The far outer planets tend to teach us at a global level rather than a personal level, and Pluto’s movements through the cosmos will very much affect global attitudes and trends.  Pluto in retrograde causes some deep subconscious shifts that can transform us to new levels of power.  I chose the photograph of Yoda for this concept because as Luke finds himself in a murky underground bog learning the ways of The Force from Master Yoda this is a perfect metaphor for a Study Hall session with Pluto.  The skills and changes we learn here transform us, and we must face some fears along the way.  Meanwhile, the Empire seems to be getting more evil and more oppressive every day, and we may wonder what we are doing stuck here in this swamp with our meditation teacher when we should be out there doing something.  Pluto in Retrograde will give us all an opportunity to unlearn something we have learned – to let go of a belief or idea that is simply a construct which has held us back.  Once we complete this process, we can transcend the fears that society has taught us, and go back out into the world – now better able to be the teacher, guide, healer, light worker, or warrior that we are meant to be.

So are you ready to do some Shadow work with the teachers Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto?  I recommend A LOT of journaling, meditation, yoga, and self care over the next few months!  Write it out, dance it out, and follow up with bubble baths and tea.  Get out in nature as often as you can, with a pen and notebook.  Reiki can help greatly during this time, to help clear the energy meridians and chakras to make sure that you are really able to absorb and process the lessons of the great Cosmic Teachers.  Click here to learn more about the Reiki Healing sessions I offer (locally or distance sessions).  A Tarot or Oracle Card reading could also help you identify some of these lessons and how they are manifesting in your life, or some specific advice to help you make the most of your Study Hall!

Red Winged Blackbird – Magick, Community and Activism

I have been thinking for a week about writing this blog post.  What to say, what not to say, how to say it, etc. I had a profound and beautiful experience last week and I wanted to share it, but maybe some background is necessary.
Where to begin? I’m a GenX white woman, skirting back and forth between lower class and middle class in terms of finances.  I relate to Millenials, and politically identify as a liberal Independent.  I’m a pagan (Eclectic Pantheist), a mother, a wife, and I have chronic pain and chronic illnesses.

I participated in The Woman’s March in my city on January 21.  I marched for many of my own personal reasons, and also to join in Solidarity with my sisters around the country and the world. (Is it sad that as I type this I am thinking of ways to defend my participation in this march?  There was a lot of criticism on the march, but I don’t want to spend time defending something that was actually quite beautiful and powerful.)  That march, with 10,000 people on the streets in my city was so humbling and beautiful.  People of every race, gender identity, religion, and age marched together peacefully.  It gave me so much hope, but I also knew that just marching on one day wouldn’t be enough.  We will need more marches, more follow up actions to keep this movement and other movements going.
A day or two after the Women’s March, some friends and I began talking about planning a Witches’ March.  Something in which local Pagans and Witches can come together on one day to show support for religious freedom, and protection of our Water and the Earth.  It is slowly taking form with some amazing women taking the lead on organizing details.  I was sitting with so many feelings that day. We had all heard the news that the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline would be continued rather than stopped.  One part of me was still full of hopefulness after seeing such peaceful and beautiful marches all around the world.  The other part of me was feeling hopeless and pessimistic about whether we can really make a difference or not.  Will the leaders of the world and country listen to us?  Is this all too little, too late?  Not just in cases of women’s rights, but also in terms of our economy, our planet, religious freedom, and so much more.  As I sat in my home watching the events unfold politically, and also watching members of my Pagan community come together and start planning something amazing – my emotions were a bit of a rollercoaster.  I sat there in my kitchen with my fears and worries, alongside my hopefulness and optimism, and just sat with all these feelings.  Not trying to push them away but just feeling them all. It was not comfortable, but I didn’t know what else to do with these feelings except sit with them.
Eventually, I decided to ground and center my energy.  I remember thinking, “Mother Earth, I give you this energy from these feelings.  Help me turn this energy into something better.  Show me what to do”. as I released this all down into the earth. Suddenly, in that moment, I heard a very loud noise – the sound of hundreds of song birds singing outside. I looked up and saw that a large flock of birds had just descended onto my property.  There were hundreds of birds in the trees, on the grass, and on my porch.  I imagine they were on the roof of my house as well.  Looking out a different window I confirmed that they were pretty much surrounding the house.  Singing so loudly and beautifully.

I just stood at my window watching them in awe for a few minutes.  Mostly black birds.  But, yes there were other birds mixed in to the crowd.  Robins.  Starlings,  Woodpeckers even!  But the majority were those black birds and as I observed them I realized they were Red Winged Blackbirds.

I immediately went to find my copy of “Feathered Omens” by Ted Andrews, but unfortunatley Red Winged Blackbirds were not listed in that book.  So I did a quick Google Search for “Spiritual Meaning of Red Winged Blackbird” (the flock of birds still chirping away loudly in my yard and the trees surrounding the property) I found this page, and as I read it I started crying.

http://www.auntyflo.com/magic/red-winged-blackbird

Some quotes from the article that hit home with exactly the type of feelings I had been sitting with;

“These red-winged blackbirds are protective of their young ones. They also protect their mates and other birds by chasing away even larger predators. They do not fear. They only know how to showcase their courage and unified effort to protect their kin.”

“As you imbibe its strong trait, you will not fear being put in the middle of a crowd. You will show confidence and exhibit courage. Stand out even in the midst of crowd by showing your gifted talents and abilities”

“This can be interpreted that having this totem will enable you to do something that can be positively associated without you. It is like creating a legacy. To be known of something that is highly reputable and significantly recognized in the realm of this world. This can only happen if you will make yourself known to others. Someone who takes a stand on something that you strongly believe in. Never defy the essence of your existence. Speak out your idea or your positions. “

“This also teaches us the value of unity and strength in number. Unified efforts can undoubtedly lead towards the achievement of a goal. Be a team player. Let others know that you are dependable.  Learn to make ways on how are you going to protect each other against any harm especially those who are close to you – your family. Be firm but kind-hearted. Know that you can make others feel that they are loved, cared for and they are being protected. The sense of belongingness for a person is very important. “

“This creature teaches you to be live with confidence and love. This is a matter of communicating well. Learning to communicate what you think, what you feel, what you desire. Send that positive feelings to others and bring goodness to the community where you belong.”

” Red Winged Blackbird shows up as a spirit guide when…

  • You need the strength  of many.
  • You need to be a leader.
  • You need unity.
  • You are needing confidence.
  • You are forced to be part of a team.
  • You need to express your inner beauty …”

As I read and re-read these words, with tears in my eyes, the flock of birds slowly left the yard.  Not all at once, but gradually in the same way that my tears turned to resolve.  I was crying because the moment was so beautiful and I felt it was a direct response to what I had asked for when I sent that energy down into Mother Earth and asked Her for help and guidance.

So I will continue to connect with my community in every way I can.  I will continue to speak up, stand up, and speak out.  I will March.  I will sometimes yell.  Sometimes I will cry.  Sometimes I will share cute animal pictures.  I will try to balance my voice so that I am informative and helpful but also inspiring and sharing positivity when and where I can.

Last night I joined with The Ever Green Hearth in a ritual for Imbolc.  There, we all added water from our homes symbolically to Brigid’s well, joining together our energies, strengths, hopes and ideas as a community.  Then we took our wishes and dreams and threw them into the purifying fire. Brigid, hear our prayers!  Brigid thank you for your blessings!  Red Winged Blackbird, thank you for your message – to me and to others who might read this!  I will call on Red Winged Blackbird when I need some courage and need help finding my place within my community!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Moon In Capricorn and our New Year’s Resolutions

New Moon Blessings!  The moon entered it’s New phase around 1:00 am Thursday morning, in the sign of Capricorn.  I made this graphic to show some highlights of the Moon Cycle we just entered.

Time for dreaming and planning! Dream Big! This New Moon is a good one for your dreams & intentions for the whole year. Especially with things regarding your personal growth and pushing yourself to be your very best. You know that feeling of being motivated to change or better yourself that happens around New Year every year? It is largely from the Capricorn new Moon that happens right around our calendar new year.

Capricorn energy is all about self improvement – pushing yourself to do better, achieve more, and improve your status in life.  Go ahead and dream big and set those lofty goals for the New Year!  Capricorn lets you see your ultimate potential.  However, it is good the remember the Capricorn method of achievement is not one of instant gratification.  “Slow and steady wins the race” seems like a very Capricornian phrase.  Build on your goals and habits slowly.  Perhaps think in terms of what small changes you can make, and then work on adding one small change or habit every couple of weeks.  Give yourself time to solidify one habit before jumping into the next. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and is known as the great tester or the lord of Karma, so don’t expect these goals to go unchallenged!  Capricorn’s lesson is often about flexibility and adaptability.  If one method isn’t working, ditch it and try a new approach.  If one habit isn’t sticking, change that up too.

January is named after the Roman God Janus, who is guardian of doorways. He has two faces – one looking back to the past, and one looking forward to the future. As we pass thru the door from one year to the next, we look back with a degree of honesty about what didn’t work. And look forward and see potential within ourselves and want to push ourselves to be our very best. (a very Capricorn mode of thinking)

But to use the adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” it is good to remember as we set goals that positive changes that stick are made slowly and gradually with great care.
Mercury is still retrograde, but will go direct again a few days before the full moon. That will be the perfect time to begin making changes or starting new things that relate to your goals.  From now until the January 9th, focus on pinning down exactly what your goals are.  Create some positive affirmations or a sankalpa to repeat daily to help you feel good about your goal.  You may even want to create a Vision Board or Dream Board… it’s up to you.

Write down your goals and then write down a list of the small changes you can make to acheive this goal.  Don’t try to jump in fully and make all these changes at once!  Just pick a starting point and be ready for it once Mercury goes direct!  Meanwhile your positive thinking and dreaming is planting the seeds during the new moon.

I found this great graphic at Energy Muse showing how to follow your intention and goal setting process through the moon phase… starting at the new moon and ending at the dark moon (and then repeating again.

Best Wishes for a lovely Moon Cylce and a Happy New Year!

Monday Musings – Astrology and Reiki

Students​ ​of​ ​my​ ​Usui​ ​Reiki​ ​online​ ​courses​ ​will​ ​notice​ ​that​ ​I​ ​share​ ​astrology​ ​articles​ ​frequently,​ ​as well​ ​as​ ​creating​ ​events​ ​that​ ​remind​ ​everyone​ ​of​ ​upcoming​ ​moon​ ​phases​ ​(Full​ ​Moon,​ ​New​ ​Moon, Eclipses,​ ​etc.)​ ​I​ ​will​ ​also​ ​share​ ​info​ ​on​ ​the​ ​solstices​ ​and​ ​equinoxes​ ​as​ ​those​ ​come​ ​up.

People​ ​who​ ​know​ ​me​ ​personally​ ​won’t​ ​find​ ​this​ ​odd​ ​and​ ​probably​ ​just​ ​assume​ ​that​ ​I​ ​am​ ​sharing​ ​a secondary​ ​passion​ ​in​ ​my​ ​Reiki​ ​Class.​ ​​ ​Actually,​ ​though​ ​-​ ​since​ ​practicing​ ​energy​ ​work​ ​and​ ​reiki healing,​ ​my​ ​understanding​ ​of​ ​the​ ​energies​ ​of​ ​these​ ​natural​ ​cycles​ ​has​ ​deepened​ ​and​ ​expanded.
“Reiki”​ ​means​ ​“Life​ ​Force​ ​Energy”​ ​or​ ​“Universal​ ​Life​ ​Force​ ​Energy”​ ​(from​ ​Rei,​ ​meaning​ ​ALL​ ​and Ki​ ​meaning​ ​ENERGY)​ ​​ ​and​ ​as​ ​we​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​this​ ​energy​ ​we​ ​begin​ ​a​ ​journey​ ​of​ ​connecting with​ ​all​ ​of​ ​life.​ ​​ ​As​ ​the​ ​Reiki​ ​practitioner​ ​begins​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​All​ ​of​ ​Life​ ​on​ ​a​ ​daily​ ​basis,​ ​of course​ ​these​ ​energies​ ​of​ ​seasonal​ ​changes,​ ​moon​ ​phases,​ ​and​ ​planetary​ ​alignments​ ​become more​ ​relevant!
Paying​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​the​ ​astrological​ ​happenings​ ​and​ ​moon​ ​phases​ ​can​ ​help​ ​you​ ​on​ ​your​ ​Reiki journey​ ​in​ ​many​ ​ways.​ ​​ ​You’ll​ ​have​ ​a​ ​deeper​ ​understanding​ ​of​ ​what​ ​kinds​ ​of​ ​energies​ ​are​ ​moving through​ ​the​ ​universe​ ​-​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​your​ ​own​ ​body​ ​and​ ​the​ ​bodies​ ​of​ ​your​ ​clients​ ​or​ ​friends. The​ ​Moon​ ​is​ ​in​ ​Aries?​ ​​ ​That​ ​can​ ​explain​ ​the​ ​vibrant,​ ​fiery​ ​and​ ​combative​ ​energy​ ​you​ ​find exploding​ ​like​ ​a​ ​bomb​ ​from​ ​your​ ​client’s​ ​Solar​ ​Plexus!​ ​​ ​Move​ ​that​ ​energy​ ​upward​ ​into​ ​the​ ​Heart and​ ​Upper​ ​chakras​ ​so​ ​it​ ​can​ ​be​ ​expressed,​ ​or​ ​move​ ​it​ ​down​ ​into​ ​the​ ​lower​ ​chakras​ ​for​ ​some grounding​ ​and​ ​cooling​ ​off.​ ​​ ​Venus​ ​is​ ​retrograde?​ ​​ ​No​ ​wonder​ ​you​ ​keep​ ​coming​ ​across​ ​blockages in​ ​client’s​ ​heart​ ​chakras​ ​and​ ​complaints​ ​of​ ​feeling​ ​that​ ​their​ ​relationships​ ​are​ ​all​ ​going​ ​bad!​ ​​ ​Send some​ ​extra​ ​healing​ ​to​ ​the​ ​heart​ ​chakra,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​sending​ ​some​ ​loving​ ​healing​ ​to​ ​the​ ​other chakras​ ​to​ ​help​ ​them​ ​feel​ ​more​ ​at​ ​ease​ ​and​ ​refocus​ ​away​ ​from​ ​relationships​ ​into​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​life that​ ​can​ ​be​ ​more​ ​fulfilling​ ​at​ ​this​ ​time.
Even​ ​in​ ​work​ ​on​ ​yourself​ ​you​ ​will​ ​notice​ ​your​ ​body,​ ​mind,​ ​and​ ​spirit​ ​going​ ​through​ ​some​ ​cycles and​ ​patterns​ ​that​ ​relate​ ​to​ ​moon​ ​phases,​ ​seasons,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​astrological​ ​occurrences.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was easily​ ​meditating​ ​for​ ​40​ ​to​ ​60​ ​minutes​ ​a​ ​day….​ ​20​ ​or​ ​more​ ​minutes​ ​every​ ​morning​ ​and​ ​evening​ ​- plus​ ​other​ ​random​ ​intervals.​ ​​ ​Then,​ ​Mercury​ ​went​ ​retrograde​ ​while​ ​the​ ​moon​ ​was​ ​also​ ​entering the​ ​waning​ ​phase.​ ​​ ​Suddenly,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​struggling​ ​to​ ​meditate​ ​even​ ​10​ ​minutes​ ​a​ ​day!​ ​​ ​Since​ ​I​ ​was paying​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​astrology​ ​and​ ​the​ ​moon​ ​phases,​ ​this​ ​didn’t​ ​surprise​ ​me​ ​-​ ​therefore​ ​I​ ​wasn’t hard​ ​on​ ​myself​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​​ ​Instead​ ​of​ ​feeling​ ​frustrated​ ​with​ ​my​ ​sudden​ ​change​ ​in​ ​how​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​during meditation,​ ​I​ ​just​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​allowing​ ​my​ ​thoughts​ ​to​ ​take​ ​me​ ​where​ ​they​ ​would.​ ​​ ​In​ ​this​ ​way,​ ​as​ ​I followed​ ​the​ ​thoughts​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​see​ ​exactly​ ​what​ ​the​ ​retrograde​ ​was​ ​urging​ ​me​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​in myself​ ​and​ ​my​ ​outer​ ​life.​ ​​ ​I​ ​also​ ​saw​ ​in​ ​my​ ​thoughts​ ​the​ ​things​ ​I​ ​need​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​releasing​ ​and letting​ ​go​ ​of,​ ​simply​ ​by​ ​sitting​ ​on​ ​my​ ​meditation​ ​cushion​ ​and​ ​not​ ​forcing​ ​a​ ​meditation​ ​but​ ​just following​ ​my​ ​thoughts​ ​and​ ​feelings.​ ​​ ​Sure,​ ​my​ ​time​ ​on​ ​the​ ​cushion​ ​is​ ​shorter​ ​and​ ​feels​ ​less rewarding​ ​right​ ​now,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​have​ ​learned​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​and​ ​refocused​ ​my​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​other​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​my life​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​worrying​ ​that​ ​I​ ​was​ ​“failing”​ ​after​ ​I​ ​had​ ​been​ ​doing​ ​so​ ​well.
Whatever​ ​your​ ​path​ ​or​ ​spiritual​ ​beliefs,​ ​and​ ​whatever​ ​form​ ​of​ ​energy​ ​work​ ​or​ ​healing​ ​you practice,​ ​we​ ​can​ ​all​ ​learn​ ​from​ ​the​ ​cycles,​ ​patterns,​ ​and​ ​shifts​ ​in​ ​energy​ ​that​ ​occur​ ​on​ ​astroogical levels​ ​and​ ​with​ ​the​ ​phases​ ​and​ ​signs​ ​of​ ​the​ ​moon.​ ​​ ​​ ​After​ ​all,​ ​we’re​ ​all​ ​one​ ​-​ ​residing​ ​on​ ​this​ ​same rock​ ​hurtling​ ​through​ ​the​ ​cosmos​ ​together.​ ​​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​studying​ ​Reiki​ ​and​ ​come​ ​across​ ​an​ ​article on​ ​the​ ​upcoming​ ​New​ ​Moon,​ ​or​ ​“Astrology​ ​This​ ​Week”,​ ​why​ ​not​ ​check​ ​it​ ​out?​ ​​ ​Reiki​ ​and​ ​astrology go​ ​hand​ ​in​ ​hand.​ ​​ ​And​ ​this​ ​can​ ​work​ ​the​ ​other​ ​way​ ​around​ ​too!​ ​​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​a​ ​student​ ​of​ ​astrology or​ ​a​ ​person​ ​who​ ​follows​ ​the​ ​phases​ ​of​ ​the​ ​moon​ ​and​ ​the​ ​seasons​ ​-​ ​why​ ​not​ ​check​ ​out​ ​Reiki? Energy​ ​healing​ ​can​ ​help​ ​you​ ​get​ ​through​ ​some​ ​of​ ​those​ ​rougher​ ​transitions,​ ​compliment​ ​the opening​ ​and​ ​expansion​ ​that​ ​occurs​ ​during​ ​positive​ ​aspects,​ ​and​ ​help​ ​you​ ​connect​ ​more​ ​fully​ ​with yourself​ ​as​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​this​ ​Divine​ ​Universe.
www.hestiasmuse.com ©​ ​Hestia’s​ ​Muse​ ​12/26/2016

Beltane & The Fairy Folk

For the Northern Hemisphere, the Wheel of the year turns now to Beltane – the first celebration of Summer.  (April 30 – May 1)  In the Southern Hemisphere they will be celebrating Samhain and their Beltane celebration occurs on October 31 – November 1. 

Beltane, or May Day is a joyous celebration of life, fertility and growth.  The crops planted in spring are beginning to bud, flowers are blooming, livestock is mating – it’s all about the creation of life in it’s many forms.  It’s no wonder that this special celebration has close ties to the Fairy kingdom and Elementals – as the workings of the guardians of earth, animals, and plant life are so abundantly clear to us at this time.

Beltane is the celebration of the Union of the broadest aspects of nature – the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.  Mythology and Archetypical Fairytales tell of the Union between The Maiden Goddess and The Horned One – as the Goddess (Earth) is impregnated by the fertile seed of the God.  Thus, the overwhelming theme of this celebration is Sex, Romance, Fertility, and Union.

With fires lit across the land, a couple leaps whilst hand in hand, to mark their union and this rite, for they know tonight’s the night! As they run into the darkened wood, and find a grassy glade they should, remember well of who’s around, for bands of faeries all surround, the couple as they consummate, the faeries cheer and seal the fate, of plants and flowers, shrubs and trees, whilst the God’s upon his knees, impregnating the mother to be, from sowing deep his natural seed. And so in time the Goddess will birth, the magic that’s nature, on this Earth.’
 
Quote from Way of The Faerie Shaman by Flavia Kate Peters
 
 
Embracing the powerful flow of the Creative nature of the universe is possible at this time, and in allowing ourselves to truly connect with the Turning of the Wheel we must simply look around at all the new growth happening in nature around us; and then recognize that our own spirit is reflecting that fertile creative landscape.  Ask yourself – what Union within my life am I celebrating?  What growth is happening within me – and what can I do to further help that growth?
 
Connecting with the Faerie Realm can help us re-connect with this part of the Natural Cycle.  It’s easy in today’s society to feel disconnected from Nature.  Get outside, tend to your garden, yard, or potted plants, and express joy and fascination with the miracle of life happening all around you.  It is said that at Beltane, the veil between the worlds is thin, allowing us to more clearly see and hear the Faery Folk.  Spells and Magick or rituals involving honoring the Fae, calling them, seeing them, and working in harmony with nature – all are perfect for Beltane!  Make sure as part of your ritual, or before your ritual, you spend time in nature tending the plants or picking up litter; or even joyfully singing and dancing!
 
 
Beltane Eve Fairy Spell
Perform this ritual at Dusk on Beltane Eve (April 30)
 
“Gather together violets, clover, and St. John’s Wort.*  Violets are a fairy favorite, clover is for prosperity and luck, and the St. John’s Wort will protect you from falling under a fairy enchantment (or being Fairy-led).  Gather these plants together and tie them with a green ribbon.  Take the bouquet to the garden or a place in nature.  Blow the Fairies and kiss, and leave the plants as a gift.  Sit for awhile in the garden or place in nature, and meditate.  Breathe in the air.  Notice the scents.  The different plants around you.  The temperature, the breeze.  When you feel you are fully connected with the nature around you, say:
 
Fairies from far and wide,
I offer you a gift.
tied up in green for luck,
and sealed with a kiss.
 
I can sense you,
if I’m pure of heart.
Bless me with luck and Fairy-Sight
to boost my Healing Art.”
 
Blow them another kiss, relax and wait to see if they reveal themselves to you.  Don’t fret if you don’t see them this night – try again in the morning and evening of Beltane.  Listen to any messages the fairies may have for you – sometimes they have a special mission or task for you to complete before they will reward you with a visit!”
 
(Adapted from an article by Ellen Dugan)
*If you can’t find or access the specific plants mentioned here  – substitute something different!  Trust your intuition to guide you to certain plants that you think the Fairies would like – and add any protective plant you can find for good measure!
 
Celtic Legend of Beltane and the Fey
“This was the Celtic beginning of summer, and also marked an important transition for the people of Faerie, for this was the time when the Milesian Celts landed on the shores of south-west Ireland.  With this, the last of the magical peoples (the Tuatha de Danaan) receded from the world of humans into the Hollow Hills and became the people of the Sidhe.  However, they and the other Fairy folk have not gone very far.”  (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)  Legend holds that the veil between the land of the Sidhe and the Human world is thin twice a year – at Beltane and again at Samhain – and these are times when it is easy to see and communicate with the realm of Spirit and Elementals.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
Welsh Legend of Beltane and Rhiannon the Fairy Queen
“Welsh legend tells how the hero Pwll saw the Lady Rhiannon riding past him at Beltane and, after pursuing her, he eventually won her.  Rhiannon is one aspect of the Fairy Queen, riding on her white horse between the worlds.  As you sit quietly outside on a bank in the late spring dusk, listen for the sound of her horse’s hooves and open your eyes to the shimmer of her sea-blue cloack.  When Rhiannon touches your hear, she will fill it with love and inspiration.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
 

Autumn Equinox – a poem

Autumn Equinox

I have survived the fiery kiln of summer
baked and purified under life-giving Sun
– that light so bright and strong
I craved it all winter,
yet somehow found it stifling and harsh
during those strong summer days.

Now I find
crisp cold mornings
balanced by hot cider and warm evening blankets.
Busy active days
balanced by quiet stillness of night.

I am finding balance again at the equinox
as I stand here on tip-toe at the precipice
between life and death, equal day and night will find me –

dancing

between consciousness and dream.

Looking behind, I gather my harvest.
Looking ahead, I gather my harvest.
It all somehow feels simultaneously
too small, and too
BIG.

I take this hardened shape of my spirit
purified in the fires of summer
and I paint it all the gold and red and orange shades of fall.
I glaze it with the cool rains of autumn.
Dying leaves fall from trees,
and old fears fall from my hair like dandruff;

I brush it all aside
and prepare a bed for myself
to welcome the coming dark nights of dreaming.
I dig down deep into the sleeping clay
of next year’s creation.

W.J.M “Hestia’s Muse” September 19, 2015

Tuesday’s Oracle; Fresh Air

The kids have gone to school, I have had my coffee, and I decide to start my day with meditation. At my altar, I choose The Daily Guidance From Your Angels oracle card deck by Doreen Virtue. Settling onto my cushion I shuffle the cards and pray; “Angels, what advice do you have for me today?”

I read the card and smile. I had planned on doing some housework today, but perhaps I should do some yard work instead? Or at least open the house windows and doors. It’s cool out today, morning fog is lifting. Maybe it will rain.
I turn to the window next to my altar and open it. As I open it I see my neighbor’s dog, Sonny, running down my driveway. I step outside and I’m greeted by 100 pounds of happy slobbering fur. In the distance I can hear my neighbor calling his name. Sonny hears it too, but ignores the calls as he runs in playful circles around my front yard. I think about getting my phone and calling the neighbor to let her know her dog is here. But I remember the angel card I had just drawn, so I grab my jacket and slip on my shoes, “Come on Sonny! Let’s walk!”
Sonny and I walk down the driveway to the road. Well, I walk while he runs in circles ahead of me.  The crisp morning air fills my lungs and bites at my ears. The road is littered with orange and brown Maple leaves that have fallen over night. . . crunch, crunch, crunch.
I am smiling as we reach the neighbor’s house. She scolds Sonny for running away, but we laugh about how he just wanted to play. She informs me that she was just on her way to my house to help clean the deck. (This neighbor is also my landlady) Once again I remember the card encouraging me to get fresh air! Well, it looks like I will be working outside today, clearing and washing the deck to prepare it for a new waterproof coat of paint for the rainy winter days ahead.
I return home, opening more house windows. Yes, it is a bit chilly out, but the Fresh air feels so good! I sit at my altar next to my open window and meditate, focusing on just taking deep, cleansing breaths of fresh air.
I hope that you, my readers, can find a way to get some fresh air today too!
Namaste and Blessed Be!

Rainy Day and Apple Pie

I wake up to the smell of rain. A fog lays low over the trees. The rain has stopped, but it still sounds like it is raining because of the water droplets falling from the trees. I make my coffee, make the kids’ school lunches, send them off to the bus stop.  
The soundtrack of this day is the album “August, And Everything After” by Counting Crows. I sing along as I wash the dishes, drink my coffee, and do my morning yoga.
On the porch, a crate of apples is being washed in the rain.  A friend picked apples from a neighbor’s tree a couple days ago and brought them here to The Sanctuary. Noticing the apples, I feel inspired. Today is the day to make apple pie!
I find a recipe and head out in the rain to the grocery store for a few ingredients we don’t have.  Wait for the kids to get home from school because I know this is something they will want to help with.
Easy Apple Pie
Ingredients;
2 nine-inch pie crusts (one for bottom, one for top)
1/4 cup flour or flour substitute ( I am using Almond Meal)
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups thinly sliced apples
Preheat oven to 425°F
Place one pie crust in the pie pan.
Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the apple slices. Place apple mixture in pie crust. Dot with small segments of unmelted butter. (This will melt and mix in as it bakes.) Cover with top pie crust & pinch edges to seal. Cut a couple slits in top crust to vent steam.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Recipe found at www.momswhothink.com
(Not your store-bought apples!)

(Almond Meal instead of Flour)
I sprinkled some sugar & cinnamon on the top crust right after taking it out of the stove.
It’s cooling on the counter, and now the smell of apple pie mingles with the smell of rain.  Dinner tonite is tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches followed by some of this amazing pie! It doesn’t get much better than this! 

Welcome, Fall!

It’s the Fall Equinox! Day and Night temporarily balance back to Equals, and from here the days gradually grow shorter, nights lengthen, and colder weather begins to settle in. Here in the Pacific Northwest it has been unseasonably warm. . . summer stayed a little longer than usual! But today, right on cue, as if the area got the memo that says “Time For Fall”!, the weather has taken a turn toward cooler days.  Leaves are turning color and falling, and there is a brisk autumn bite in the air.
I’m from Arizona, where there aren’t really “proper seasons”, so I’m really excited to experience true Fall weather this year! Every weekend I drive from Olympia to Portland and back to pick up my husband from his job. The difference between last weekend and this one was breathtaking! Last weekend everything was still summertime green, and this week there are bursts of fall color all along the drive!  (A couple pictures I took today along the drive are included in this post.)
I’m excited for fall… I welcome it and embrace the change! Rain, cooler weather, harvest festivals, corn mazes, Halloween, warm cozy clothes, hot chocolate, apple cider! Today I welcome the Fall!