Weather Prognostication and the Wooly Bear Caterpillar

The Druid's Garden

In the last week, I’ve seen almost 50 wooly bear caterpillars. These caterpillars are also known as “wooly caterpillar”, “bear caterpillar” and “wooly worms” (latin: phyrrhartica isabella). These fuzzy, brown and black caterpillars come out just as the weather grows cold. I often find hidding in woodpiles or garden mulch getting ready to hibernate till the spring. The cold seems to summon them forth–you see nothing of them all summer, and then, a few weeks before Samhain they are everywhere. And, dear readers, they are here with a message.

These caterpillars, not unlike other famous wildlife in the area, have long been known to predict the harshness of winter. If a wooly bear caterpillar has more brown than black, that means the winter is mild. But, if the caterpillar has more black than brown, the winter will be tough. Here’s a graphic I made to share this wooly bear caterpillar…

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Acorn Folklore

Elder Mountain Dreaming @ gmail

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – This Autumn we have had an abundant of Acorns in the Pacific Northwest and in folklore, it means that we are going to have a mighty winter. The Sacred Oak Trees all grow from these little tiny acorns, which the squirrel is the one who graciously plants them in the ground everywhere. I gathered some Autumn articles of Acorns myths and mystery. Enjoy!

Acorn Folk Legends
The Celts, Romans, Greeks and Teutonic tribes all had legends connected to the mighty oak tree. Typically, the oak was related to deities that had control over thunder, lightning, and storms. In Norse legend, Thor found shelter from a storm by sitting under a mighty oak tree.

Today, people in some Nordic countries believe that Acorns on the windowsills will protect a house from being hit by lightning. In parts of Great Britain, young ladies followed a custom of…

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What can Druidry offer in dark times?

The Druid's Garden

Things seem broken right now. These last two weeks have been a very hard week for many people. The national conversation here in the USA grows more difficult by the day, and it seems nearly every nation is facing many kinds of serious issues. These challenges are happening concurrently at many levels—internationally, but also in communities we care about, in our families, in our homes. Things are tough. They seem tougher for many of us today than they were yesterday. Many of us fear that they will likely be even tougher tomorrow. This is the reality of industrial decline, the reality of the climate crisis before us.

The questions that I’ve had for myself, and my fellow druids is a simple one: what can druidry offer us in these dark times?

I’ve been thinking about the role of druidry in all of this, this question a lot, not only over…

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Sacred Tree Profile: Apple’s Medicine, Magic, Mythology, and Meanings

The Druid's Garden

“Nothing gives more yet asks for less in return, than a tree: particularly, the apple” –Johnny Appleseed

“As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my loved one among the sons. I took my rest under his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” – The Song of Solomon

Spirit of the Apple - from the Plant Spirit Oracle (www.plantspiritoracle.com) Spirit of the Apple – from the Plant Spirit Oracle (www.plantspiritoracle.com)

All summer long, we have had so much rain and thunderstorms.  Penn Run, a small creek behind my home, once again overflowed, raising several feet for a time.  When the waters had subsided, I was delighted to find delicious wild apples lining the banks–the river had carried them to me as a blessing for this wonderful Fall Equinox!  It reminded me that I have been wanting to write of the apple–of her magic, of her folklore, and of her abundance=. And so…

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Say NO to Witch School

There were many times in my youth I thought about ‘witch school’ with people who were supposedly reputable, but something always stopped me. Sometime later it would come out that they weren’t so reputable after all. Maferefun to my ancestors for their protection.

The Witch & Walnut

say no! to witch schoolI hope you all have had a wonderful long weekend Holiday.

I recently received an email from someone asking if they should attend Witch classes. I do hope you see this post, I attempted to email you a response but continued to get a failure message regarding the email address.

So here I am answering your question as it is a rather common question. My standard response to this is No.

I urge you to ask yourself a few questions before depositing your money and time into a Witch class.

  1. Why do you want to take the class/program/course/whatever?
  2. Do you think it will make you a Witch?
  3. What can they teach you, that you cannot learn for yourself?
  4. What are your expectations of this course?
  5. What do you want to achieve from this course?
  6. What qualifies this person/people to teach this course?

There is sooooo much information out there and…

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Witch Rules

The Witch & Walnut

witch rulesLeave it alone she said, you don’t need another you’ve had enough. I stared back at my grandmother and said “but I am hungry, I want more.” You want it, you don’t need it and you are not hungry. You’ve had more than enough, think about how you are going to feel once you stuff yourself full to the top of your head. She gestured with her hand over her head. If you are going to be a pig, at least be a truffle pig. (this sounds sooooo harsh translating it, it really wasn’t)

What I was eating doesn’t matter, but the lesson did…. There were many lessons that summer and for many many summers. This one was about teaching me to create a lifestyle without excessive indulgence, gluttony. Not just about food….. To honor my body, so that it stays strong physically, mentally and for my spirit.

There are…

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The Word II

The Word …

secretsoftheserpent

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post titled The Word. In this post I stated that the written word was the reason we are a species with amnesia.  Let’s just say it wasn’t welcomed readily by the patriarch left brain mind of this world.  I’m not saying that we need to get rid of the written word, but I am saying that we need to let the children learn with their right brain too.  Ever wonder why very intelligent people have to write everything down so they don’t forget it?  They are in the masculine mind-set, whether they know it or not.  I have come across an ancient text that backs my theory up.  As a matter a fact, a very ancient god agrees with me.  

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Walking Meditation Garden with Hugelkultur Beds

By Druid’s Garden

The Druid's Garden

As a practitioner of permaculture and as a druid, I am always looking for ways to work with the land to create sacred and ecologically healthy spaces.  That is, to create self-sustaining ecosystems that produce a varitey of yields: create habitat, offer nectar and pollen, systems that retain water and nutrients, offer medicine and food, create beauty and magic.  But conventional gardens, even sheet mulched gardens, can falter in water scarce conditions.  So building gardens long-term for resiliency and with a variety of climate challenges in mind is key.  At the same time, I am also looking to create sacred gardens, that is, not just places to grow food (which is simple enough) but to develop sacred relationships and deepen my connection with the living earth. Given all of this, I developed a design for a butterfly-shaped garden that would use hugelkultur raised beds and allow for a space…

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Legend of the Miskhorskaya Mermaid

By Elder Mountain Dreaming

Elder Mountain Dreaming @ gmail

In the Crimea there is a legend about this mermaid, in the vicinity of the Village of Miskhor. In one of the small houses there lived a young maiden of Arz. For many years she was in love with the shepherd Abiy-aka, who was also in love with her. Sometimes they met at the spring, while a jug of water was being collected. And in one of these meetings Abi-aka, he said that in the evening he and his parents would come to an agreement about a wedding at her house.

She was very happy to see Arzha, she could not sit still in the same place all evening, everything was bustling, everything was falling from her hands, but she was already dreaming of loving him and raising children with her beloved, setting up a home, thinking of whom to call for, dreaming of how to tell her friends.

And…

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Self-care Sisterhood: Folk Medicine Making for Women of Color

By Ancestral Apothecary