CURRENT MOON

The Fool

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

In the Tuatha, we have a tradition of pulling a Tarot card every Samhain which signifies the life lesson we will be working on for the year. I personally like to park my Tarot card on my altar and make a point of connecting to it whenever I can. Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to work with the first card in the Tarot deck, The Fool.

As the first card in the deck, the Fool is often immediately associated with opening stages. While the Fool does signify a fresh start with all the newness and freedom of beginnings, the Fool is more than that. If we follow the natural course of the Major Arcana as seen through the eyes of the Fool, we follow a symbolic story of personal transformation and spiritual development representing us as the hero in our own story, We remember that the Wiccan Path is about cycles, circles that have no ending and no beginning. The Fool is very much part of that philosophy. As the first card of the deck, he has just left the end of the Major Arcana with the World card which signifies completion. But the end of one thing is the beginning of another as the old chant goes, and the Fool is just a continuation of the cycle. Remaining in the realm of completion and perfect balance of the World would ultimately lead to stagnation and entropy of Spirit. The Fool must willingly walk away from the safety of the mountains behind him (the World as he knows it) and set off into the great unknown. Indeed, he is stepping from Earth straight into Air.

Upon walking away from the safety of the World, we notice the Fool is about to step off a cliff. He is not looking at where he is going at all. In some decks, there is a small dog nipping at the Fool’s heels – whether to warn him away from danger or to goad him forward is often unclear. The Fool has the potential to step off into disaster, and the fear is jumping headlong into something without forethought and “looking the fool.” However, I take this symbolism a tad differently. I envision it as a leap of faith. I am reminded of the third Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade. Towards the end, Indie must step off a ledge in faith. He can only see the bottomless depths below him, not the narrow bridge hidden from him by the cave’s optical illusion. He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and steps off, only to find he is completely supported and perfectly safe.

This taking of a leap of faith is a difficult thing to do, especially if one has control issues. Closing your eyes and just trusting things will work out to their best possible end is a terrifying endeavor. What if you close your eyes, take that deep breath, and encounter something awful? What if the thing you can’t step off into is the truth? This brings me back to the dog we see on so many decks, or in the case of the card at the top, the bird. Spirit is often depicted as a bird, or as some sort of animal. For me the imagery of the bird or dog in the card of the Fool reminds us that as we journey on our life Paths, Spirit is there to guide us. Spirit may coax us along, driving us towards something that we can use to expand ourselves or stop us by denying something we want that isn’t so good for us. Even when we can’t know the best possible outcome (or maybe despite our belief that we do), Spirit keeps a good sharp eye on us.

Beginning something is often a daunting task, but our Fool looks happy and carefree. He is excited about change, excited to try and achieve. The Fool teaches us a very important lesson – how to abandon fear. The fear of the unknown is a deep one, and not something to be taken lightly. But for a rich adventure to begin, we must take the deep breath, and step off into that which is mysterious, or risk the atrophy of a stagnant spirit.

Witchapalooza Logo

The date has now been confirmed and Witchapalooza will be making it’s welcome return on Saturday, October 17 2015 at W J Green Lodge. More information will be announced as the time draws near.

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

elderberry 

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information then is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

Also known as Sambucus spp (Nigra for berries and Canadensis for flowers) American Elder, Common Elder, Black Elder, Bour Tree, and European Black Elder, European elder is a plant native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western and Central Asia. Do not confuse this Elder with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder, those are different.  The Elder we are talking about has a long history of use in traditional European medicine, but Elder berries have also been used for making preserves, wines, winter cordials, and for adding flavor to other things.  Of all the parts of the Elder, the flowers or berries are the most commonly used. Dried fruits are less bitter than fresh. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

This is the second part of a two-part article about caring for the dying person.  In the first article, I covered some emotions the dying may feel, some quick references to herbs, oils and stones you may want to try, and a basic reminder that really all you have to do is be there to be helpful.  There are, after all, no magick words or “right” things to say or do – there is just being in the present human experience, often silently.  For this article, we move forward into the actual physical look of death, what you may see the dying person’s body doing, and some small suggestions to help. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

Probably the hardest thing in the world to deal with is the death of someone we love.  When it is an accident, it is over so quickly, and there isn’t time to react, let alone to prepare.  When it happens slowly, as in the case of old age or terminal illness, it is a different sort of pain, the pain of watching as someone lingers on.  This is the death I want to focus on, and how you can help someone who is going through the dying process.  This article is in two parts, with this first article focusing on the psychological aspects of dying, and how to talk to someone about their death.  The second article will be about the physical aspects of dying. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

thyme

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information then is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

An aromatic herb in the mint family, thymus vulgaris is a perennial that grows to a height of fifteen inches, with numerous branched woody stems.  These terminate in tiny rounded leaves that are greenish-grey in color with pink flowers that last from May to August. Today thymus vulgaris is common throughout North America, but it originated in the southern Mediterranean. Thyme thrives best with lots of room to spread in. It is easy to grow, and doesn’t mind dry stony soil.  It doesn’t care for too much moisture and heavy beds tend to affect the fragrance negatively, so make sure the soil doesn’t cake around the roots.  In the winter, though, thyme appreciates having soil banked around it to protect from frost.  Thyme leeches the nutrients from the soil, so if you move your plants you will have to trench the area deeper than the roots were able to reach and compost it well. Thyme can repel insects and moths and is said to aid the growth of eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes when planted nearby in the garden. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

This is a phrase called out from the mouths of witches all over.  It is found at the end of spells, at the end of prayers, at the end of declarations.  Most witches say it because that is what is written in all the “witchy” books and sites, and we all started our magickal education that way.  Plus, witches aren’t real comfortable using the word “amen” as it belongs to practitioners of other faiths.  But it is an archaic phrase, and we naturally wonder where it came from and why witches have adopted it and continue to use it today. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

So a Tier 3 sex offender moved in down the street.  It is something of a shock to get that notice in the mail – a flyer in from the Sheriff’s Dept giving me his name, address, age, the crimes he was accused of, his mug shot, and identifying marks.  I stared at that man’s face, and I hardly knew what to think.  On the other side of the flyer I got helpful tips about how to live with a sex offender as a new neighbor such as making sure your kids know he is there and to stay away from him, not using your kids names where he can hear or see it, and (my personal favorite) making sure you have recent fingerprints and photos of your kids.  This was some pretty awesome advice to help me sleep at night.  And of course, as I read and contemplated all this, all I wanted was to get him gone. Read the rest of this entry »

By Celestia DragonBee 2014

June, the month of Summer arrives. Long days filled with light and laughter permeate our lives as the kids finish with school and barbeques and friends fill our backyards. June has always been a genuine happy month as Summer truly begins. Let’s see what we have in store.

Our first major activity this month is Mercury doing the moonwalk on the 7th. Yes, Mercury moves Retrograde once again, this time in Cancer. Sensitivity is the name of the game. You very well may find yourself reading into conversations and getting your feelings hurt. Be aware that while body language and tone do have their place in our everyday human contact, at this time your sensitivity may be putting the wrong spin on things. Mercury will be moving back into Gemini in a couple weeks. Try not to get your feelings hurt in the meantime. Read the rest of this entry »

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

cat 

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information, then, is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

Also known as Nepeta cataria, Catmint, Catnep, Catswort, Field Balm, Menta De Gato, Catnip is native to Southern Europe but is widely naturalized all over Europe and North America. The root is perennial and has branched stems that reach 2 to 3 feet high which are very leafy and covered with a soft down. The heart shaped, toothed leaves are also covered with a soft down, especially on the under sides.  It blooms from July to September with tiny white or pale pink blooms, and if you are harvesting the flowering tops you should get them in August.   It is a member of the mint family, and looks very much like a mint plant.  It also behaves like mint and once it gets loose it can take over a garden patch. Read the rest of this entry »