Lightning Goddess Perunika’s Daughter – Lepa Mara

Lepa Mara Slavic Goddess of Spring

Elder Mountain Dreaming

Lepa Mara means beautiful woman when she wakes up in March when the thunder god Perun, her father and the lightning goddess Perunika, her mother makes their first thunder and lightning together to open heaven’s gates in Spring for their daughter Mara. Mara and her Mother Perunika are symbols of feminine rebirth and resurrection of nature from its winter sleep into spring.

In the homes of the ancient Slavs there were small altars in the corner of the house with wax, amber or wooden figurines where girls and women used to offer sacrifices like flowers, ribbons, embroidered napkins, etc. A fire burns or candles here that could be put out only using your fingers, otherwise the peace of the house would be put out with it.

Mother and daughter also represent the feminine or female principle embodied of woman which are: The primal principles, the soul, the instinctual and intuitive…

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Ecoregional Druidry: Adapting and Localizing Symbolism

Elemental Wheel with Traditional Animal Symbols

The Druid's Garden

To follow up from two posts a month or so ago on ecoregional druidry and the wheel of the year  and celebrating rituals, observances, and activities, I want to continue thinking about how druids can adapt basic practices of druidry to their local ecosystems.  This is particularly important for those of us in diverse ecosystems around the world: part of nature spirituality is being with nature as she is in your region. Thus far in this series, we’ve explored a druid’s wheel of the year that is seasonally-focused on a local ecosystem as well as the different ways we might celebrate this wheel of the year with rituals, observances, and activities.  Also tied to these spiritual practices are symbolism associated with the elements and directions; framing symbolism that weaves its way into our practices in a variety of different contexts. And so, in this post, we’ll delve into thinking…

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Muses

secretsoftheserpent

Muses are inspirational Goddesses in Greek mythology. There is some confusion as to the true number of Muses. I have seen as little as three and as many as nine. The confusion comes from Alexander the Great and his generals making true wisdom nonsense, so the average person would not understand. Muse comes from the Greek ‘mousa’, which is a type of Goddess and literally means art or poetry. Solon says Muses were a “key to a good life”. Pindar says “to have a Muse is to excel in arts”. Muses became associated with temples, springs, fountains and caves, but later the sites were all redirected to the Apollo cult.

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Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Goldenseal

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Goldenseal – Hydrastis canadensis

Parts used: root

Traditional uses: Infusion used as wash for local inflammations and skin complaints. Generally alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, anti-diabetic and muscular stimulant.

“The action is tonic, laxative, alterative and detergent. It is a valuable remedy in the disordered conditions of the digestion and has a special action on the mucous membrane, making it of value as a local remedy in various forms of catarrh. In chronic inflammation of the colon and rectum, injections of Hydrastine are often of great service, and it has been used in haemorrhoids with excellent results, the alkaloid Hydrastine having an astringent action. The powder has proved useful as a snuff for nasal catarrh. It is employed in dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, loss of appetite and liver troubles. As a tonic, it is of extreme value in cases of habitual constipation, given as a powder, combined with…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – F – Frogs and Toads

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Tied around neck for asthma – “Otto Ernest Rayburn reports a case in which asthma was cured by tying a live frog on the patient’s throat. The frog ‘completely absorbed the disease’ and was left in position until it died.” ~Randolph OMF 135

“To get rid of asthma tie a live frog to a patient’s throat and frog will absorb disease and die.” ~Parler FBA II 1423

Toad killed and used to cure warts – “Or one may kill a toad, rub its intestines on the wart, then bury the entrails under a stone. All this must be kept secret, otherwise it won’t work. The boy who acquainted me with this method still had several large warts; when I asked why the toad’s guts hadn’t cured them, he explained that he had told his mother what he was doing, in order to escape punishment for killing the toad. The mother…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Ginseng

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius

Parts used: root

Traditional uses: Root used for headache, colic, colds, as an expectorant. Chewed for thrush. Decoction used for palsy and vertigo. Poultice applied to wounds and bleeding cuts. Decoction used as a febrifuge. General tonic.

“In China, both varieties are used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. A decoction of 1/2 oz. of the root, boiled in tea or soup and taken every morning, is commonly held a remedy for consumption and other diseases. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.” ~Grieve MH

*** Cautions: Plant is listed as “vulnerable” and may be illegal to gather in your area outside of a certain season. Ginseng gathering is legal in Arkansas, but the plant is hard to find and has almost been…

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Druid Tree Workings: Working with Trees in Urban Settings

The Oak Grove in the Morning Light

The Druid's Garden

Maples growing up through grate--been there for years! Maples growing up through grate–been there for years!

I walk down the sidewalk of a street in the small town that I call home.  As I journey, I see a crabapple friend with ripening fruit, her leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. I reach out to her, and tell her I look forward to harvesting some in the fall.  She is pleased, as her fruit is largely ignored, and delighted that I will return.  I see others along my walk: horse chestnuts, lindens, mulberries, serviceberries, balsam poplars–many trees that are different species from the forests where I often tread.  Finally, I walk across a grate and wave to the maples growing up from below, in the four foot space below the grate and the drainage channel and into someone’s driveway. These urban trees are often shaped by humans in ways forests are not: an odd growth habit becuase of pruning…

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Spirit of Spider {Animal Totems}

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Good Witches Homestead

Role: The Weaver

Lesson: Balance

Element: Earth

Wind: West The Quest Within

Medicine: Illusion

 Communication. Creativity. Divine Inspiration. Illusion. Balance. Nurturing Instinct. Mystery. Wisdom. Magic.

NAVAJO CREATION STORY

“In the beginning, there was the dark purple light at the dawn of being. Spider Woman spun a line to form the east, west, north, and south. Breath entered man at the time of the yellow light. At the time of the red light, man proudly faced his creator. Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow, white, and black, to create people. To each she attached a thread of her web which came from the doorway at the top of her head. This thread was the gift of creative wisdom. Three times she sent a great flood to destroy those who had forgotten the gift of her thread. Those who remembered floated to the new world and climbed to…

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The Mayans 2

secretsoftheserpent

I have been told Archeology has a three age system and these three ages are stone, bronze and iron. They categorize ancient civilizations by the tools they find. To keep it short, they have never found bronze or Iron tools in the Mayan empire, so they consider the Maya primitive. My response to them “The Maya had tools that were harder than Iron made of jadeite. As a matter of fact they had specialized tools for every job. Since the Maya were smart enough to use materials far more advanced than the “old world”, shouldn’t the Europeans be considered primitive when compared to the Maya?” The three age system they talk about was invented by the Danish government in 1812. Guidelines for a civilization should be based on intellectual and scientific achievements, societal advancement, technological accomplishments and division of labor. Archeology is the one in the stone age.

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Art and Spirit: The Bardic Arts as Self Development and Spiritual Practice

The Druid's Garden

“The way to see what looks good and understand the reasons it looks good, and to be at one with this goodness as the work proceeds, is to cultivate an inner quietness, a peace of mind so that goodness can shine through.”

–Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.

In the last two months, through various angles, we have explored ways of taking up the path of the bard, one of the three paths of the druid tradition. Topics have included the cultivation and flow of awen, cultural challenges surrounding taking up the path of the bard, and tips for how to cultivate the bardic arts. In my last post, we also explored some of what industralization had us lose in terms of the bardic arts–both to those who create them and those who use them and how we might…

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