Bring Harmony Home with Feng Shui


©2012 Cheryl Baker

 

Bring Harmony Home
With Feng Shui
by Leslie Ann Budewitz, artwork Cheryl Baker 

I owe my marriage to feng shui. No, really.

I first heard of feng shui (fung SHWAY) when I attended a dinner party with the acupuncturist I was dating. When we walked up to the front door of his friends’ home, I immediately felt welcome, though I’d never met the homeowners. The lights glowed softly and his friends were congenial, but it was more than that. The place just felt right.

That evening, I discovered the ancient Chinese Art of Placement, a way of harmonizing the natural vital energy — known as qi 1 — of a space to maximize its flow, increasing comfort, prosperity, and other beneficial aspects. Fresh from training at the Western School of Feng Shui,2 our friend, Karen McMullen, pointed out how the placement of furniture and objects in the home allowed energy to meander freely. She’d positioned other items to enhance specific aspects of life, such as creativity, health, or helpful people. Then she winked at my companion. “Don can tell you how feng shui works,” she said.

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Animal Omens

Animal Omens
by Victoria Hunt
Llewellyn, 2008

 

 

Have you ever seen an animal and felt there was something more to the sighting than just a critter going about its daily (or nightly) business? Did you learn a lesson from an interaction with an animal? That’s the premise of Animal Omens. While most of our encounters are everyday occurrences, occasionally one stands out as something special. This book is a guide to interpreting these occurrences.

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Skullduggery

INSIGHT

Skullduggery
by Rev. Judith Laxer; artwork by Mark Roland

The contract Wanda and I had was quite magickal in every way. But it wasn’t until I placed her in her grave that the impact of what I would have to do actually hit me: I’d have to dig up my dead cat!

I made a pact with my cat Wanda. When she was about three or four years old, during one of our love-each-other times, Wanda rested her beautiful head in the palm of my left hand. I petted her from the tip of her cold, wet nose to the back of her ruff, over and over, bliss on her face, and probably mine, too. My landscaping friend Michael had recently given me a cat skull he had unearthed. He knew I would appreciate such a thing, and as I ran my hand over Wanda’s head again and again, I mentally asked her, “Can I have your skull when you die?”

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A Guide to Pagan Camping

A Guide to Pagan Camping:
Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings
Lori Drake, Rotco Media, 2011
3.5/5 Broomsticks

When festival time rolls around, this new Guide makes a great addition to your hoard. Though rough in spots, and occasionally in need of an editor, Ms. Drake’s compendium of practical advice provides a welcome addition to your festival fun.

Longtime vets of the festival circuit, Lori and her husband manage the indie music label Rotting Corpse Records. After seven years of blogging about their experiences, she realized that it was her posts about camping and festivals that attracted the most attention. Compiling and refining her observations into book form, Drake released A Guide to Pagan Camping just in time for festival season. Her effort is our gain.

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Greening the Future with Starhawk

Greening the Future with Starhawk

 

By the earth that is her body,
And by the waters of her living womb.......

By the fire of her bright spirit,
And by the air that is her breath......

May the peace of the Star Goddess go into your hearts…

Originally by Victor Anderson,
edited & adapted version from Starhawk’s The Earth Path

 

Starhawk is a Witch, peace activist, ecofeminist, author, and teacher in Earth Activist Training. She best known as a co-founder of the Reclaiming Collective and as the author of the contemporary Pagan classic The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, which has been continuously in print for thirty years. Starhawk’s early Craft teachers were Victor and Cora Anderson of the legendary Feri Tradition. Early in her career as a Craft teacher she started using the name “Starhawk” after she had a dream of a hawk flying across the starlit sky. One of Starhawk’s latest books, The Earth Path, traces her work in combining Earth-based spirituality, permaculture, organizing, and activism. She spoke to me in January, 2010 from her home near Cazadero, California.

Michael Night Sky How did your interest in Witchcraft and Paganism begin?

Star Although I was raised Jewish, I always had my deepest moments of connection in nature. So when I encountered people who were practicing the Goddess religion, I just found that whole idea of the Goddess to be so empowering, and the idea of a religion that said “the natural world is sacred,” for me just was like, “Yes! This is it!”

Michael Night Sky Do you connect more with the name “Witch” or “Pagan.” Do you see a big difference?

Star I’m definitely both. To me, “Pagan” sort of includes “Witch,” kind of like “Christian” includes “Southern Baptist.” In my practice, being a Witch is about having made a specific commitment to the Goddess. We used to say Witches were all clergy and we had no congregations, but now I think that is shifting. As the tradition grows we have some people who really do want to be clergy. We also now see people who come out for big rituals, and believe in the Goddess, but they’re busy with other things, and don’t practice ritual or magic on a regular basis.

Read more: Greening the Future with Starhawk

Earth Her Body

Annual onions are shaded from the intense Texas afternoon heat by the shade of a large loquat tree.


 

Earth Her Body —
The Path of Pagan Permaculture

Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. — Graham Bell, The Permaculture Way

Permaculture has been permeating our Pagan culture for many years. From Austin to Montreal, Witches and activists practicing earth-based spirituality are using the systems taught in permaculture design courses to organize everything from their farms to their finances.

Starhawk has been a prime mover of this movement, with her Earth Activist Training melding Pagan spirituality with permaculture design. (See our interview with her directly in the magazine.)

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