Tag Archive: nature


Yule

If you consider yourself a green witch, Yule most likely holds some significance personally for you.

One beautiful thing about “being” a green witch is that you can freely adapt your spiritual practice to what best suits you.  Each of us have lifetimes of influences that help us determine what brings us closer to Spirit.  How we do this comes from our intuitive nature and is not dictated by anyone other than ourselves.  If a person can step aside of all the rigamarole surrounding this Holy Day, you’ll see that Yule belongs to no religious group, it is there for everyone. It has been observed by many cultures for thousands of years, predating modern religion.

Personally, I believe being attuned to the earth’s natural forces is of great importance. Especially now as we see our natural environment being used, abused and destroyed on a global scale.  Are we not the caretakers of the Earth, our Mother?

The pivotal points of the year are the solstices and equinoxes in the yearly rotation of the earth. If you look at the plant-life around you, you’ll see they change according to the seasonal cycle.

Seeds drop to fertile soil and some – such as lilac – set their buds during Yuletide for next spring.  Why wouldn’t these seasonal events also be important for us too?  We are a vital component of nature – even if we do nothing more than observe and enjoy it’s beauty.

Ann Murphy-Hiscock in her book The Way of the Green Witch says it best: “By commemorating the seasonal shifts, we can take the time to mark the changes in the energy of our environment and to formally reconnect ourselves  with nature’s energy, which helps us recharge our spiritual batteries.”

Is it any wonder that many of us are tidying up the old year in preparation for Yule, the perfect starting point in the new seasonal cycle.  We too need to harvest the seeds of our thoughts and be ready  to plant them in the inner fertile soil of our hopes and dreams. The perfect time to celebrate the sun’s yearly death (or rest) and re-birth.   The perfect time to let go of those things which are no longer needed and prepare for the things we’ll need as the new cycle gets under way.

Letting your imagination run wild thinking about the possibilities for the new cycle can be a most joyful occasion, even if you’re only a party of one.  I begin my celebration by taking out my favorite collection of ornaments and decorations – many hold pleasant memories of Yuletides past with my children.

Some of the items include natural earth items.  Plants, gemstones and minerals, things that represent the elements of earth, air, water and fire can all generate positive vibratory energy.

Dried herbs, flowers and plants from my garden and around my home have been kept all year specifically to adorn the Yule log fire.  The first flowers are almost always dried and kept for this time of year.  Finding a suitable Yule log and decorating it with seasonal greenery and choice dried flowers, acorns. pine cones and other nuts and seeds is one of my favorite things to do this time of year.

For me, it really isn’t about the giving and receiving of gifts so much as it is a time of reflection and expressing gratitude for all the many gifts already received. Gifts that come from nature and from the many spontaneous blessings the Universe delivers every day throughout the year. Not the kind of gifts typically found in department stores or shopping malls that obscure the real meaning of this time of year for me.

That does not mean that in my joyful spirit I do not like to share with others from the abundance I have. As an agricultural holiday Yule is a natural time, just after an abundant harvest to cook up something  to share with family and friends.  Right now, I have this big ole pumpkin sitting on my counter that I’ve decided to make some pumpkin butter to share.  Maybe with a little rum and maple syrup .  Hmmmmm.

There is something truly magical about Yule.  The day the earth and the sun stands still to allow us a brief respite from the past year as we rest, make merry and look forward to the blessings to come in the New Year.

May your Yule hold much magic, with many wonderful blessings for the New Year.

Wishing you peace, joy, love and happiness, the true gifts of Yule this holiday season.

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes I miss them.

But tonight was the perfect night for lighting my little outdoor fire pit, and think about my future.  As I’m finishing packing for my move back home to North Carolina, tonight turned out to be a lovely opportunity to get inspired thinking of all the possibilities I have available for my new beginning.

As fate would have it, I was unable to photograph the event due to my camera lens locking up . . . a problem I did eventually find a solution for.  Not wanting to spoil the mood of my Gate of Inspiration meditation, my instincts told me to just enjoy the fire and think . . . and make a wish or two for the future.  Being able to talk with God . . . the Universe’s Life Force . . . can be a wondrous thing . . .

Along the way on my spiritual journey, I learned of a special time of  year  when the universe gives us a little window of time . . . an opening . . . a gate on which to meditate on what inspires us.  Found on Steve Nelson’s website Gaia Astrology ,  I’ve come to enjoy reading his moon magic section.  On the topic of the Gate of Inspiration . . . he has this to say:

Gate of Inspiration, Oct 12-13 (6:40 pm – 6:40 pm) – Dance and Be Free

“A Muse Gate opens every 40 days, 9 each year. The witch queen Cerridwen stirs her caldron for a year and day to brew the “greal” of  Inspiration. Nine maidens alternate their breaths to keep the magic fire burning, each maiden is a Muse. Whatever is blocking energy flow comes before the Gate to be let go. This is a time to release body tensions that hold old ways of thinking and feeling. Breathe deeply and move freely (dance!) to shed the old and open to the special magic of this new time.”

Also being the time of a wishing moon, it felt like the most perfect time to think of and wish for what’s possible ahead of me while asking for help in letting go of the many fears and self-doubts I have.

As I connect more and more to the energies of mother earth . . . the more strengthened I am . . . even though my once lovely garden is now overgrown with weeds . . . it welcomed me on this, one of my final evenings here at my home of the past 14 years.   The frogs . . . who have been silent now for many weeks . . . began croaking again . . . earlier, before sunset . . . several birds had gathered on the wire overlooking the garden . . . a lovely amber-colored butterfly  flew out of the flowers while some of the birds sang . . . yes, this would be a perfect night for expressing my appreciation for teaching me so much during the past three years while encouraging me to continue, at my new home.

Preparing my fire pit for an evening’s festivity is one of my favorite things to do.  I still have some small branches from last year’s Yule tree . . . I savor them during my fires at special times throughout the year. Many other dried herbs and flowers that I’ve saved go into it as special offerings of thanks for the beauty they brought into my life as well as to draw more positive or release negative energies of one variety or another.   I have an old stool without a seat, that I use to set the pit on while I load it with these garden treasures . . . and it is quite beautiful to me, even unlit.

It always amazes me how the wind responds to me in the garden.  I’ve had times when I thought surely it would be too windy for a fire . . . and then, the moment I step into  the circle . . . and light the fire, it calms.  Even more wondrous is when, after asking a question . . . a short gust will blow, as if answering my request.

Magical moments.  Spiritual moments.

While there is not much I will miss here in Florida . . . losing my garden is my greatest sorrow.  I’ve spent many magical moments there . . . and I want to carry those lovely memories with me to my next.

Having many very long branches from trees I pruned early in the spring, now dry enough to burn . . . I placed them around the pit . . . letting the tips burn . . . then pushing it into the fire to keep it going.  Just before coming in for the night . . . I took them out and let the tips cool. I’ll use them again tomorrow and will bring the ends with me for the fire I’ll prepare to dedicate the space for the new garden I will soon be working on . . .

Inspired by the hope of a brighter tomorrow . . . the fire blazed strong and clear.  A good sign.

Leaving behind the troubles of the past . . . and heading toward a new uncharted future is both exciting and terrifying.  On this night, however . . . I am comforted in knowing that this end, while not how I imagined it would be . . . was an answer to my many prayers.

I am grateful.

How fortunate.

I thought there would be of thunderstorms. As it turns out . . . the chance, according to TWC on the web, only 10% chance of rain.

I so enjoy my fire-side chats with Spirit  under a full moon.

Tonight it seems as if I’m playing peek-a-boo with Mother Moon, with all the cloud cover and gentle wind.

Tonight, the first night waning after yesterdays full moon . . . the first full moon of the new zodiacal year . . the time to certainly thank our Creative Source for the bounty we have in our lives.

Tonight, however, is a night for letting go. By the fire I sit. Thinking.

Thinking of the things I need to release, let go . . . all those things which hinder me.

Into your hands Great Spirit.

May Your sunrise bring peace, love and freedom to all mankind.

Namaste.

 

I don’t write in this blog often . . . but when I do, I have something to say that will hopefully carry me onto the next leg of the journey.

Here we are, the 1st of April still feeling the charge of Aries pushing us into a new yearly cycle.  I’m sitting in my garden, with new things sprouting up all around me and enjoying the fruits of my labor of the past three months.

Last year I didn’t spend much time in it. I kept busy making mushroom ornaments and garlands. Besides, last year, here in Florida we went from extreme cold to extreme hot overnight. There were no mornings of cool to get a lot of work done.

This year, however, was perfect. Cold in January and February, but not so cold that a good bit of hard work wouldn’t warm you up comfortably. March too, though toward the end it was beginning to show signs of summer. Even now, at 8:47 pm, it’s almost too hot to have a fire, but the temp is starting to drop and a I’m starting to feel cozy.

I love my little make-shift fire-pit . . . made from the lid of an old kettle type bar-b-que grill. It’s perfect for those new and full moons when the weather is cool and dry.

My garden is my sanctuary. It’s my place of refuge, my safe-haven. This year, I have a new lap-top thanks to my husband, and a very long extension cord. No longer tethered to my desktop,  its a glorious place to sit and ponder life in this universe.

This year Spirit, working through two friends, has encouraged me to broaden my horizons a bit. I do admit that I am a happy hermit . . . happy to be alone with my own thoughts about my spiritual path. While I do enjoy the company of others, I often find that the beat of my drum is a lot different that other folks. So I’m content beating my drum as I please.

Metaphorically speaking that is.

I live in a suburban environment where my prayers are not said aloud in my garden . . . there are ears all around. And my prayers are between me and Spirit. The last 2 times I’ve tried to play music aloud in my garden was met with the neighbors behind me bringing out their music system and blasting me away.  With music that wouldn’t soothe a savage beast.

So, the ipod it is. Though I must admit, it would be nice to have a background of music when my friends come over.

Would love to start a drum circle, but I don’t think that would go over so well.

Anyway . . . back to broadening my horizons.

My friends, who are interested in all the same things as me, have encouraged me to share some of the things I know about.  Based on some of the classes they’ve taken at a local metaphysical shop, they feel that I know so much more.

I hesitate as I do not consider myself an authority on anything. Everything I do, or know, is really just reading and researching and applying adaptations of different approaches to my own personal spiritual practice.  Doing what feels right for me.

Last night, I happened across this question and instruction in a lunar report from one of my favorite astrology websites:

“Do you have a short written statement about the chief purpose of your life? It is time to read your statement. Write it, read it, and put it inside your wallet. Stay focused on what’s important to you.”

Being in a waxing moon period, and thinking about creating a series of classes I could possibly instruct, I thought that it was a good time to stop and think about this. To clarify my intention of purpose.

I’ve done many things in my life, but at my age, starting anew in any one of them has proved to be contrary to what the universe wants me to do – apparently!  We won’t go there . . . we’ll just move forward to what I’m supposed to do now. . .

So, here it is:

My Brief Written Statement about the chief purpose of my life:

“I am here to share that which I’ve learned about how to have a practical, magical, spiritual life and how to connect in an individual way to the bountiful energy of the Creator of all-that-is.”

I still can’t believe I said that! It is just as powerful for me today as when I wrote it last night. My greatest fear is that I am somewhat lacking in what I know . . . I know only what’s right for me. Can I somehow convey this to others in a broad enough scope?

I know that while I’ve come far on this journey . . . others are just beginning, or are  just as befuddled as I was in the beginning.  There are just so many different spiritual paths and practices within the metaphysical realm that it is sometimes overwhelming to find what feels right.

It would be nice however,  to share what I have learned with the hope that it may help others feel closer to Spirit.

In many ways, it does feel right.

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