Archive for July, 2010

A Solitaires’ View on Litha – T. C. Moonrider

July 20, 2010

I love the Sabbats, Sabbats are wonderful! It’s a time to assemble with other Wiccans and Pagans like me, to honor the loving mother Goddess.  At Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice or however you choose to call it, is a time of abundance from mother Earth and the Goddess herself. It is such a wonderful time to do spells and charms with Herbs, flowers, and plants. I enjoy working with white or fuchsia foxglove, yellow flower heads or rue, and many other types of plants according to the type of spell that is being done. Litha is also a great time for communicating with the fairies, feasting, dancing and most importantly to remember to give something in return to our Divine Mother as a thank you for life itself, as all acts of love are her rituals. Litha is generally celebrated around June 21st when the sun enters cancer in the Zodiac, it is also known as the longest day of the year. It is believe that the Oak king is overthrown and the Holly King takes over for the rest of the year as the days get shorter and the night gets longer. I wish all a great year as many great Sabbats lie ahead and may the Goddess bless all who read this Article!

Spring Cleaning!!! Herbs with Miss Jess

July 20, 2010

As May Day is upon us, many people are doing a bit of spring cleaning at home.  Let us remember to also do the same for our herb gardens.   Now is a great time to get out there and see what activity is taking place in the garden. It’s a great time to clean out any debris and withered leaves and twigs that may have fallen over the winter.  Trim back any herbs that are showing signs of good activity and growth.  A hard pruning in the spring ensures a vigorous more bountiful plant for the coming year.  Avoid cutting into the woody stock of perennial plants, as it can weaken them.  My father always painted the cut ends of any large branches with either wood glue or tar to seal the wound and prevent infection. It’s also the time to take stock of the survivors versus those herbs that have gone to their afterlife.  If you didn’t do so in the fall, clean out any annuals.  Take a look at the perennials, did they make it?  I lost a few things including my beloved blue lavender.  Shed your tears and dig up the dead plants.  Once you’ve done so feed the soil well and water it in so that any new plants will have the nutrients they need to thrive. Make a list and perhaps a diagram of what’s left.  Think about what holes in your collection need to be filled.  Consider this a great opportunity to try something new or a chance to revisit some old favorites.  With list in hand you’ll be ready to head to the nursery for any supplies and plants you need.  With the threat of frost still a possibility, be cautious of putting any new plants in too early. Some people say mother’s day, i say as soon as the nights are 
consistently above 55 degrees.  If you do put them out, think about covering them any night that it is chilly.  Use either newspaper or plastic for this purpose. I hope these tips get you ready for planting season.  May your gardens be green and vibrant in the coming months!

Oh Sidhe-it! – Chuck (Part 1)

July 20, 2010

It’s Beltane Eve. Many would think that the holy-day begins at midnight when May first officially starts. Well, yeah. I hearken to the ancient Celtic view of the day beginning at sundown the evening before. To them things began during the dark contemplative times and progressed to the light. Thus the year began with the dark half at what is now called Halloween, Samhain to us weirdo pagan types. The bright half begins at Beltane. Both times are considered potent with things both in balance and transition. The only real difference is Samhain has better PR going for it in the modern world.

I’m on a friend’s farm in the woods. There is a special tree there, an old tree. It is officially the oldest tree in the state, estimated at 600 years. It’s huge and twisted with a presence only something of that age and statue can attain. The first time I saw it I ran my hand along its bark and I was accused of “communing” with the old boy, sort of. The bark was extremely rough with deep fissures and cracks you could almost place your hand inside. One area is smooth which is strange. I never “felt” anything as I touched it, if there’s a spirit within, it didn’t make it’s presence known. Why should it? Though I’ve already lived longer than most people however when it was a seedling to it I am a baby by comparison, there’s no reason why it should concern itself with us brief and abrupt creatures.                   However, when I touched the smooth area, I found myself becoming emotional. I have no idea why. It made me decide that should the chance be there I would return and see if I could discern then why. Certainly there’s no better time than Beltane

The tree has huge roots that snake around like wooden pythons and any one of then would make a respectable trunk for a lesser tree of great age. As such, there are nitches set high enough for turning into “comfortable” seats. The cone I chose was near that smooth area on the bark as I settled in against the old Boy’s bulk and mass. The only thing I have with me is a lantern for helping me find my way in the dark later.  I just close my eyes and listen to the woods as the sun sinks below the horizon.  It can be amazing how distinct the sounds of the day and the sounds of the night can be. At times, like now, you hear both as one quiets and the other rises to take its place. They are equal but different. Day is active, night is more subdued and “contemplative”. With my eyes closed I can hear each more clearly as well as they transition.  If you’re not careful they can draw you away and you’ll lose yourself in them. Also the night noises, coming from unseen sources, make the mind want to fill in the blanks and the imagination can run wild. No wonder the modern religions, who gleaned the clergy from aristocratic city dwellers feared the dark woods. In doing so, they took the gods that governed then and turned them into various demons and devils. The “wicce”, wise women/mid-wives/etc. that dwelt intone with the land and its cycles became the modern “witches. For now though none of this matters as I just sit quietly and listening to the land at a time when even a city boy like me can feel its pulse. The root I am sitting on is becoming a bother and I open my eyes as I go to shift my position. That is when I see….Them.   To be continued in our next newsletter, our July–August issue.