Happy Imbolc! In celebration, I’m sharing this recipe for Whiskey Milk Punch from the Gather Victoria ECookery book (for Gather Patrons) which is called Scailtin in Ireland. It can be dated back to the 1700s where it was commonly served in a punchbowl and drunk warm in a mug – but I’m serving it over…
Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor
No matter how many years I plant seeds and watch them grow into mature plants, I am still awed. I feel an utter child-like excitement when I see the first green signs of a sprouting seed poking up through the soil. Germinating seeds are a universal symbol of hope and renewal, ushering in the joy and promise of spring. In a world growing more complicated and technological by the day, it is a comforting pleasure to witness the simple, yet miraculous, processes of plant life.
As an herbalist, I strive to cultivate direct relationships with the living medicinal plants I use in my practice—either by growing them in my garden or wildcrafting them in a sustainable fashion. I came into this craft through my fascination with plants, along with their myriad offerings; growing medicinal herbs is one of the greatest joys in my life.
I have been growing plants for the last two decades and, like every gardener, I have learned as much from my mistakes as my successes. Growing up in the suburbs, I spent little time gardening; I didn’t catch the plant bug until I left home. My first vegetable garden was pretty much a flop, as I really had no clue what I was doing. But in my mind, I was now a gardener, and ready to try again the next spring. And luckily, many of my friends had green thumbs, or grew up on farms; they took me under their wings and taught me skills that are now instinctive.
View complete article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Growing Medicinal Herbs from Seed
For years I considered Imbolc, just another extra holy day to be observed. It didn’t hold a lot of personal resonance with me, and this can feel true for many individuals when it comes to the pagan holy days or witches’ Sabbats. Simply reading about the day’s history and traditional observances, learning the myth of an associated deity; or making Brigid’s cross every year because that’s just what you do, leaves some wanting for relevance and deeper meaning. Celebrations like Samhain and Beltane are outwardly witchy and their symbolic associations are self-evident. While every day can’t be Samhain, (unfortunately!) additional occult understanding of the Sabbats can be discerned by looking at them holistically. By looking not just at one Sabbat, but three; the Sabbat in question, its predecessor and the one following, we can gain additional insight into the story being played out by the stars. Think of…
View original post 983 more words
Over the past few years, I’ve received countless emails and messages with lots of great questions pertaining not only to plants, mushrooms, and trees… but also to my background, study habits, and thoughts on a particular subject.
As a way of making this information available to more people, I thought I’d film a video dedicated solely to answering your questions.
If you have a particular question that you’d like me to answer, simply reply to this email and let me know. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to answer every question, though I’ll do my best to address as many as I can!
Again — all you have to do is hit “reply” to this email to ask your question. The Q&A video will be filmed sometime in February.
Moving forward, let’s discuss a lesser-known subject within the discipline of invasion ecology.
When fungi are mentioned in the context of invasion ecology, we usually read about the effects of invasive plants and animals on native fungi.
But what about fungi as invaders? Are there such things as invasive mushrooms?
According to most ecologists, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Fungi certainly have the ability to leave their native dwellings and establish themselves in new ecosystems… oftentimes, and not surprisingly, with the help of humans.
One such fungus with the perceived ability to travel the world is the Asian Beauty. Native to Asia, this fungus was first documented in North America only 10 years ago.
Could this fungus be an invasive species? Or have we simply been overlooking its presence on the North American continent for centuries?
That’s the topic of this week’s brand new video, so if you’re interested in learning more about the wayfaring fungus known as the Asian Beauty — and about the broader topic of invasive mushrooms — check it out!
Winter is a great time to observe common plants wearing new outfits. Tall Thimbleweed is one such species whose winter plants scarcely resemble their summer counterparts, though many people would agree that Tall Thimbleweed is most attractive during the coldest months of the year. Have you seen Tall Thimbleweed lately? Check out this Instagram post to learn more!
Thanks for reading and watching, and if you have a question that you’d like me to answer on video, hit reply and let me know!
The fasces was the symbol of the Roman government. It symboled magisterial and priestly power. The fasces is a bundle of 12 rods and may or may not have an axe in the middle of it. This symbol is used so many countries today. It is everywhere if you look for it. What is the meaning of this symbol? If Italy used if for fascism style government, why is it on so many of the worlds other government and religious symbols? This symbol ultimately shows that government, secret societies and patriarch religions are intertwined. Time to enlighten.
View original post 450 more words
Preamble: Now that I’m the Grand Archdruid of AODA, starting in 2020, I will be doing one AODA Druidry-based post a month. A lot of my posts are already tied with AODA practices as it is my core spiritual practice, but I wasn’t always as explicit about it as I will be now! 🙂 All of these posts, while framed in the context of AODA druidry, will be applicable to many different kinds of nature-based spiritualities and druidries.
The Wheel of the Seasons offers us many lessons and one of the core principles in AODA is the principle of the Cycle and Season. In Western Pennsylvania, where I live, we have a growing season that runs from May to late October. That us, from Beltane to Samhain, during the light half of the year, we can grow vegetables, forage berries, and be…
View original post 2,026 more words
Happy Chinese New Year! Today [Saturday 25 January 2020] marks the start of the Chinese New Year.
Otherwise known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year always falls on the date of the New Moon closest to the beginning of spring, that being sometime between January 21-February 21, with celebrations lasting for 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival.
Year of the Rat*
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. This is the year of the Metal Rat in the Chinese calendar.
Recent Rat years are 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020.
The Rat represents the Earthly Branch Zi and the midnight hours (11pm–1am). Moreover, in terms of the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, a Rat is Yang.
In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness…
View original post 216 more words
Today, January 24th, we have a New Moon in Aquarius @ 1:42 pm PST (4:42 pm EST). This is our first New Moon of the Year and can help us to set the tone of our year, and even our new decade. Tomorrow, January 25th, we celebrate the Year of the Rat ~ the Rat is the first zodiac sign of the Chinese Calendar and so we have a lot of new beginnings this year of 2020. Rat is yang energy and represents the beginning of a new day. The Rat Year is a time to develop your abilities, to think out of the box and to be resourceful and creative. The metal element signals renewed ambition and a desire to fulfill unmet needs. And during a Rat Year, you are encouraged to take care of yourself and not worry about others.
Aquarius Moon energy is…
View original post 1,119 more words
This is the first official New Moon of the New Year and can bring about some intense emotions and dynamic mood swings.
This New Moon is square Uranus which can cause some big changes, unpredictable energy and intense moods.
This New Moon is in Aquarius and Capricorn depending on your location and time zone. Aquarius gives you an imaginative outlook and Capricorn can help you focus that into something tangible!
A new moon marks the end of the last 28 day cycle and the first day of the new one. This is a great time to set intentions for the cycle ahead. Each month using our Tune to the Moon Planners and Decks as our guide we put together the Moonthly Lunar Report to help us navigate the new moon cycle ahead.
Grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage and scroll down to see what this new moon cycle has in store for you!
Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Sage Moon Cycle Lunar Report
By Phoenix –Greetings Dreamers, Healers, Artists and Empaths… we have now completed Mid-Winter and begin our final moon of winter on Friday, January 24, 2020. It is also the time of the Chinese New Year, on Saturday, January 25th (for those who follow the Divination and the Wisdom of the Tao). And its the moon cycle of Valentine’s Day in the very independent and humanitarian lover of Aquarius, and the very personal love of the Full Moon of Leo February 9th. This month, remember that when our soul talks, it speaks loudest with chaos.
Those of us who follow the River of Life (not the Tree of Life), belong to the Flowing Golden River that rules our Soul. This is an older time, before God, before the Sun God into the primordial dusk and dawn of the Midnight Sun, called the Sun Goddess. In Slavic traditions she is shown…
View original post 2,062 more words