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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in spring

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For the Love of Succulents

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve never had a green thumb. Not even a green pinky. Now I know that succulents have been quite trendy for a spell, but with good reason. They are incredibly self-sufficient and easy to care for. Their leaves don’t tend to shed or leave little leaflets all over your floor. In fact, their often full, pleasing, rubbery leaves are what retain all the water that you douse them with– often as little as one good soak in the sink a week. Another thing that makes them so fun is they come in a vast array of shapes and sizes: viny, cascading, or growing full and upward like a sturdy little tree. Some flower, aloe and cacti fall into the category, and all seem to have whimsical names.

Choosing and Caring for Your Plants

Most like some sunlight, so you should definitely take that into consideration when looking for the right location for your cheery indoor greenery. Two of my recently acquired succulent plants currently reside in my kitchen. The viny ones do especially well as hanging plants, so kitty can’t get at them to nibble something she shouldn’t. One of the longest lasting indoors succulent that I owned survived three moves over a five-year period was a rope Hoya plant. It almost looked fake, but upon closer inspection, you could feel that these twisty, plump, round leaves were definitely the real deal. I believe it would have even survived longer, had I not accidently toppled it after rewatering one day. My replanting attempts definitely need some work, but that’s a tale for another time. When I visited my neighborhood Stein’s Garden & Home in search of more succulents to brighten up my continued pandemic winter this year, alas they had no ropas. One of the saleswomen referred to it as a “grandma plant” that she hadn’t seen in a while.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs




see also - Elemental Spirits and Lore: The Thunderbird

 

 The first time the spirit of the Thunderbird visited me was, as described in the above article, in the spring of 2019. Again over the past week or so I’ve been having visitations and visions, in both waking and dreaming life, of hawks and eagles and I feel their powerful return.

Spring is the season of the Thunderbird. In the fall they take their storms away and in the bright, renewing springtime they soar in with their beating wings and bring the rains and thunder back.

The Thunderbird is one of the few ubiquitous characters across Native American lore. While they have some variations from one tradition to another, there are many attributes that remain consistent, one of the most significant being their dual and contrary natures. As they are essentially allegories of natural forces, i.e. rain and storms, this makes perfect sense. Rain brings life and cleansing to the land and all that grows, but storms can be incredibly destructive too.

We humans are a part of nature and a reflection of the dualities in nature. We are comprised of all the elements, just as the Thunderbirds are, and we are often in conflict with ourselves and with other people. Some tribes believe that there are benevolent and malevolent Thunderbirds that are constantly at war with each other. Other tribes believe that the Thunderbird may be, at different times, either “good”, happy and bestowing blessings and protection, or “bad”, angry and snatching up children and livestock to feed upon.

We have emerged from a very dark and challenging year, in which perhaps we may feel like Thunderbird has been angry and vicious, and sending only storms and destruction into our lives. Though it hurts and may be hard to see, sometimes that destruction is for our own good, as it makes room for better things to grow and it forces us to question the necessity or value of what was destroyed or changed to begin with. Sometimes though there is also unnecessary and wicked destruction. There have been and still are people who are in power and who have great influence, unfortunately for darkness, injustice and chaos, and that is not the purifying destruction enacted by nature.

The chaos has not yet passed, and we don’t know if times just as hard or even harder may still be ahead. Some cities and whole states are relaxing their safety measures against the pandemic prematurely and countless individuals all over the country are still not taking the care they need to. While some things undoubtedly seem much better now than they did for much of last year, on both national and personal scales, we simply aren’t out of the woods yet.

This spring is an important time to reevaluate, to take stock and slow down. Too many people have been over-reactive, impulsive and are much to quick to judge and try to control others and usually very hypocritically so. There is far too much that is out of our control and the wild, primeval nature and power of Thunderbird reminds us of this. We all have our place in the world but we cannot impose our personal beliefs or limited viewpoints on the rest of the world.

This is also a great time to ask ourselves just why we believe what we do, and if perhaps it is time to change or altogether release some of those beliefs. We have to dig up and throw away the old, the dated and decaying if we are to make room for new shoots to come in and new buds to bloom. This is a cleansing and renewing time.

Trance and shape-shifting are very powerful and appropriate rituals for this spring. If you are fortunate enough to have a drum, spend some time sitting either in nature or in a comfortable corner of your home and beating the drum (or simply play a shamanic drum track, many can be found on Youtube) as you imagine the beating wings of the Thunderbird. Fall into a trance state to calm, cleanse and renew yourself, and let the resonating vibrations crumble and shake away any beliefs, fears, thoughts or doubts that are holding you back. Imagine yourself shifting into a mighty hawk or eagle, or even an owl if you prefer, and soar high in the sky and look down on all the vast land below. Try to gain a new perspective and balance your own inner gentle rains and roaring storms.

If you try this, or even if you don’t, try to bring simple awareness to the energy of the Thunderbird, to constant change and to the dualities of nature and yourself. See if perhaps hawks and eagles start to appear more and heed their call to become your own medicine woman or man and seek to destroy that which needs to be destroyed, and heal that which needs to be healed.  

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One of my favorite books on the subject of my favorite element, water, is perfect reading for not only the upcoming new moon on the 13th, but for the whole long month of mystical Pisces which has just begun and lasts until April 20th. To clarify, in case any of you astrology enthusiasts are confused or getting geared up to tell me I’m mistaken, I follow sidereal astrology, not tropical. 

Sidereal astrology, unlike tropical, is based on the actual, physical constellations and accounts for the important precession of the equinoxes, which is continually shifting over time. The spring equinox has not actually occurred in the actual sign of Aries for quite a while, and now (as you may be noticing depending on where you live) occurs in Pisces. Each constellation is a different size, not an even 30º each as assigned in the dated tropical system. Pisces is one of the larger signs (more than twice the size of Aries) and therefore the sun is actually, literally in Pisces for much longer than tropical astrology has it. 

That being said, as you maybe seek to tune in to your intuition and deepen your spiritual practice with this watery new moon, I’d love to recommend the book “Sacred Water: The Spiritual Source of Life” by Nathaniel Altman.

This book approaches the element of water from a spiritual perspective and examines all the different traditions that have unanimously held water to be sacred. Altman gathers information from various sciences and sources including anthropology and astronomy, myths and legends and more to demonstrate the different roles and influences water has had in spirituality and lore throughout human history. 

Water becomes sacred when we recognize its powers: as a sustainer of humans, animals and plants; as a means of transportation, as a vehicle for cleansing, initiation or gaining wisdom; and as a source of inspiration and enchantment. Water is perhaps humanity’s oldest symbol of life, sustenance, abundance, fertility, movement, generosity, permanence and strength. Sacred water is all around us: from the tiny drops of morning dew on a spider’s web to the thundering cascade of a tropical waterfall, in the salty tears that we shed, and in the summer rain that we embrace." 
                                                                                       - excerpt from the introduction

 

In the chapter “Enchantment”, Mr. Altman writes about the beauty and connective and restorative powers of ritual baths and meditating with or near water. One can just as easily do a ritual shower though, and I personally find great comfort and communion in ritualizing my shower every day, it’s not something I only do occasionally. In fact my entire morning ritual focuses on a few steps, only one of which is my actual shower. 

Making a shower more of a ritual can be as simple as saying a short prayer or singing the same watery song each time, or as complicated as making moon water with specific intentions and pouring it over your head and/or body. You could also invite in more Pisces energy by placing relevant (and water-safe) crystals in your shower such as amethyst and moonstone, and use essential oils like rose absolute (my all-time favorite, roses being filled with spirituality, healing, health and enchantment), geranium (a good alternative to rose if you aren’t prepared to spend up to $50) and lavender. 

If you love water and work it into your spiritual and/or magical practice as much as I do, I can’t recommend “Sacred Water” enough, and I think you’ll refer back to it frequently and find lots of great inspiration and ideas to enhance your practice and your whole life which, after all, depends entirely on water! 


read more about the Pisces new moon here 


© 2021 Meredith Everwhite - All Rights Reserved

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Beauty of Spring

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

The Return of spring, time of holy equality. The landscape is still winter-rough and wind-blown. Walk outside and feel the raw possibility. The world is made of stories, and we need to change the narrative. 

Poised in the season's symmetry, ask: what does another world look like? 

The anxieties hover—climate change, nuclear holocaust, environmental devastation—but let us not stress only existential apocalyptic tales. How de we stop devouring the planet and instead energize stories of plenty and repair?

From the ballast of balance, begin to notice The Commons, that entire life support system that we hold in trust for future beings. Envision a healing parallel economy producing air, diversity, wilderness, asking only respect in return. Collect bits of wind-blown trash for a day. Gather in community, sharing the common wealth.

Remember that the root word for "religion" is "re-linking"; when we speak in the language of longing, we re-enter the mystery. 

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Expanding the Sisterhood Grid © Qutress 2017 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Find Your Elemental Tribe

Spring is, in my opinion, the best time of year to really connect with nature, the elements, and elementals. Everything is coming back to life and is fresh and new. 

Fire, the first element and initiating spark and spirit of all life makes its vibrant, solar return in spring and continues to gain strength and heat until the peak at midsummer. Fire burns, water flows and rains down, the fragrant air stirs and the earth bears new growth. All the elements have returned in all their glory. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Flower Carol

The famous anthology Piae Cantiones (“Pious Songs”) was published in 1582, but the songs and tunes that it contains are thoroughly medieval. Among the collection's Latin hymns are to be found a number of songs that are, shall we say, differently pious. Probably the best-known of these “secular” anthems is the famous Tempus Adest Floridum, (“It is the time of flowering”), which was to provide the tune for that most vapid of English carols, Good King Wenceslaus.

I've seen several singable English translations from the original Latin text, nearly all of them unbearably clunky. (“Herb and plant that, winter-long, slumbered at their leisure/Now reviving, green and strong, find in growth their pleasure.” Groan.) Here's mine, which is not so much a translation as, let us say, a fantasia on the original text. If I may say so myself, it captures the expansive spirit of the original much better than any of the more literal renderings.

The little Latin hymn to the Goddess of Love which concludes the song is not part of the original; it comes from that other famous anthology of medieval Latin verse Carmina Burana, on which “20th” century composer Carl Orff based his famous pagan oratorio of the same name. Joel Cohen attached it to the version of Tempus Adest Floridum in the Boston Camerata's recording of songs from the Carmina Burana (by the way, that's CAR-min-ah, not car-MEEN-ah) to their original tunes. I liked the addition so much that I've included it here. I've also chosen to leave it untranslated; it would be impossible (for me, anyway) to create an English text as profound in its beautiful simplicity as the original. I have, however, included a literal translation so that you can know what you're singing.

This one would be appropriate for either Ostara or Beltane, or any time in between!

 

The Flower Carol

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I cherish my copy of your Solstice songs - and I'll just add this along. Thank you!!

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