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Archive for October, 2009

 
 
 
Spiritual Pathways~
 
 September, 2009
 
“Being a dog isn’t all easy, but as they sleep and dream I
always wonder what visions dance in their heads.”
                                                ~Mystiblu~
 
What We Learn From Dogs and Being Responsible Humans~
By Fran Hafey/Mystiblu
 
Are you a dog lover? I am. I love dogs and the way their so
different and have unconditional love for us. They lay around
most of the day and it always amazes me how much sleep
they get, so no wonder they’re perky and in good moods most
of the time. Yes, some dogs are just grumpy by nature, like so
many humans. I’ve learned to watch dogs as they play, eat,
sleep, interact with each other and humans too. They’ve taught
me a lot, but they can also be greedy at times, want to always
sit on your lap or just sit on you, lol, may have accidents, chew
on something they’re not supposed to or eat off your plate, but
for the most part, I wouldn’t mind being a dog.
 
I know there are so many dogs in the world that don’t have
good homes and we all need to do our part and be responsible
pet owners and have them spayed or neutered, but also we
need to pay attention to the pet population on our planet just
as we need to pay attention to the human population too. Planet
earth was made to hold only so many living beings, feed only
so many and as we grow, we all need to learn how to do our part
on the planet as responsible human beings by recycling, not
being wasteful, thinking of others, sharing and so forth.
 
You may love cats, reptiles, birds and the list goes on and on.
I love almost all animals, but have you ever really just observed
them and watched how intelligent they are. They listen and pay
attention to Mother Earth more than we do for the most part,
there is an order to what they do and how they do it. We could
take lessons from the animals around us because they’re in
tune with nature and their senses are keen to most everything
around them. There are always exceptions, but its that way
in the human world too. I’m speaking of the norm and our
average dogs and animals. Our pets bring us so much joy and
happiness into our lives and we do the same for them.
 
With dogs when their hungry they eat, when they have an itch,
they scratch, when they’re tired, they rest, if they’re sick to their
stomachs, they eat grass, which many grasses have ingredients
that are made just for that. When a dog wants love, they ask for
it, they show their emotions through their body language, like
wagging their tails, their eyes and facial emotions, jumping and
some even have a “barking language” that they and other dogs
understand and even some humans! These are just some of the
things dogs do natually that I’ve observed.
 
I love dogs, oh I know I said that, but as I sit here typing, I have
two or three in my office and a few outside enjoying the wonderful
warm sunlight, basking, dreaming, comfortable. Oh to be a dog
in a home like mine, where they’re loved and appreciated and well,
they seem to feel the same way about me too.
 
Affirmation: Today I will appreciate the dog or dogs in my life
or all my pets. They deserve good things in life just as we do and
today I will believe that all things are possible and life can be good
for me and our pets! We have everything we need! I will also be
a responsible human and choose to do the right things!
 
Peace, light, love, joy and blessings,~
    Mystiblu~Fran
 
*Note-Spirit/God/Source/Creator is what Mysti uses in her writings. Please replace with
your own Higher Power or whatever feels good to you. Thank you~
 
©Copyright: Fran Hafey- Mystickblue Network © 2009. All rights reserved.
http://Mystickblue.com
 
Your comments are always welcome.~Please sign the guestbook!!
 
Join Spiritual Pathways Yahoo Group to read all of Mysti’s LoveNotes, Articles,
stories and inspirations!
 
 
*Please share this with others and leave all credits-Thank you*
 
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 firemoon

Earth Magic and Druid Lore Part II~A Series for the Season~Hearth, Home and Samhain

 By Fran Hafey/Mystiblu at Mystickblue.com 

By the warmth of the hearth, we gather round, for inspiration and ceremony. It brings to us, a sense of spiritual kinship and values of home. Storyteller’s faces glow by the light of the fire blazing beneath the cauldron filled with spicy aromas. Music floats and soothes the soul and heals the heart. The turning of the wheel once again, reminds us of a New Year dawning. Our love and respect for the earth told in tales of the past and once again brought forth by Druids and kin alike. On Hallow’s eve, the jack-o-lanterns glow in the windows to ward off evil spirits. The moon shines brightly on those conversing with loved ones and our ancestors passed on. The veil is thin between worlds at this time, and sitting by the fire brings light to many things in our home and hearth.

October 31 is when many pagans, druids and most witches celebrate the greater Sabbat commonly called Halloween or Samhain, pronounced sowen or soween. Some other names for Samhain include Hallowe’en, Halloween, Hallowtide, Shadow Fest, Harvest Home, Day of the Dead, Feast of the Dead, Spirit Night, November Eve, Ancestor Night, Apple Fest, All Hallow’s Eve, Old Hallomas, Hallowmass, Martinmass, Shadowfest, and All Soul’s Day.

This was the time the Celtic people came to terms with death and pondered on their own destinies. This day is considered the highest holy days. Samhain (Summer’s End), is the most widely used Celtic name for this holiday. Rituals on this night include remembering and honoring our loved ones and our ancestors.

One tradition is called the “dumb supper.” This is a feast with all the wonderful foods from the last harvest. A place is set for our departed family members. You might set photos or other mementos upon the table and tell stories remembering times shared with those who have passed over.

During this time many will ask their ancestors’ spirits to assist in whichever form of divination they choose. Some common and oldest forms used are tarot, fire, the pendulum and mirror. You might also try a dark bowl or cauldron filled with liquid, crystals, runes, or reading tea leaves. Guided meditations or astral travel for the purpose of past life regression and/or for the purpose of knowing or learning something specific from one’s ancestors, are very successful on this night.

In many parts of England, it was believed that the ghosts of all persons who were destined to die in the coming year could be seen walking through the graveyards at midnight on Samhain. Many of the ghosts that people thought they saw were said to be evil. For protection, jack-o-lanterns with horrible candle-lit faces were carved out of pumpkins and carried as lanterns to scare away the evil spirits.

This is the time in the Celtic year the gods drew near to Earth. Many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers were lifted up and trinkets representing wishes and ills were thrown into the fires. At the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, the people felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

After the bonfires had burned out the ashes were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months and this also made the soil rich for the next years harvest to grow.

It is said that lighting a new orange candle at midnight on Samhain and allowing it to burn until sunrise will bring one good luck.

The apple is the Celtic tree of regeneration and eternal life also representing the sun, the source of all life, love, healing and immortality. Apple orchards were especially protected as sacred ground and apples were offered to the dead and buried at Samhain as food for those waiting to be reborn. Burning apple blossoms can be used for incense pleasing the spirits.

Brighid or Bridget is the Patroness of the Hearth and Goddess of the household fire. In the evening the woman of the household would “smoor” or  stoke the fire to keep it going for the night, by adding wood and covering it low to keep it just smoldering until morning. The fires should be kept going and prayers lifted, asking for the protection of Brighid on all who reside there. She is perhaps the most well known of all the Celtic goddesses. Her following was so strong that the Catholic church exalted her as St. Brigit, the foster-mother of Christ, and kept her festival as the feast of St. Brigit. Bridget is sometimes seen as a triple goddess, the maiden, mother and crone that symbolize the cycle of life. She is the goddess of the hearth, fertility, healing, herbalism, the arts, midwifery, agriculture, inspiration, poetry, divination, prophecy, smith craft, animal husbandry, love, and protection. Correspondences for Bridget include the direction north, blackberries, fire, wells, milk, the waxing moon, lambs, and the heart. Other names for Bridget are, “Bright Arrow,” “Bright One,” “Powerful One,” and “High One.” Bridget was a Sun Goddess, and the legend of her birth is that she was born at sunrise, and a tower of bright flame burst from her forehead that reached from Earth to the Otherworld. Her fire is so bright that she survived mass spiritual transformation and lives on today watching over her children all over the world. Imbolc, a festival in her honor is celebrated February first or second, the turning of winter, heralding the coming of spring. Fires are lit at sundown and feasts are shared with her bright presence.

Late October was the nut harvest for the ancient Celts, and also the time for slaughtering animals that would supply meat for the long winter. Druids tallied their livestock and mated their ewes for the coming spring. Fruits, vegetables, and grains were also put away for winter storage.

The Celts put all their fires out on Samhain so that the tribes could relight them from the Druidic fires that were kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach. In Ireland and Scotland, the custom of dousing the home fire and relighting it from the festival bonfire has been carried into modern times.

The Druids believed that the Lord of Death gathered all the spirits of the dead who had been made to enter the bodies of animals as punishment for their sins and redistributed them, on Hallowe ‘en, the last day of the Celtic year. It was also believed that the spirits of the dead came back to their old haunts at this time. Fires were lit to guide them home and to frighten away evil spirits. A farmer sometimes accompanied by his herds would circle the boundaries of each field to ensure prosperity for the New Year. This was a reversion to the calendar of the Druids who considered that Samhain was the first day of the New Year.

On Samhain, an old custom was to light a fire on the household hearth which would burn continuously until the first day of the following spring.

It is said that if you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next year.

Cerridwen is often portrayed as a hag stirring a cauldron, the typical image of Halloween. Cerridwen is one of the goddesses most associated with shape shifting. She is often seen as a sow, for her attribute of fertility and as the Moon and grain goddess who possesses the great cauldron of knowledge. Cerridwen is the goddess of death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, enchantment, divination, herbs, science, poetry, knowledge, and shapeshifting. Correspondences for Cerridwen include the direction west, pigs, hens, cauldrons, wolves, vervain, acorns, and the dark moon.

The cauldron holds the great brew of as yet to come wisdom, which is plainly available to anyone who thirsts after it. It also holds the nourishment of the soul and possesses the property of granting wisdom to any who drink from it. The cauldron remains important in all Celtic and Druidical workings.

The Hazel tree is the Bard or minstrel poets, tree of wisdom, promoting fertility, poetry, and knowledge. It’s a favorite wood of diviners and dowsers. Druid wands are made from hazel wood, planted in nines around sacred wells. The nuts honor all knowledge to whoever eats them and are eaten before using divination. Rain is invoked by beating the earth with hazel branches. The hazel is the most typical Celtic tree because of its legendary position at the heart of the Otherworld, which is where the nine magic hazelnut trees hang over the Well of Wisdom and drop their purple nuts into the water where the Salmon of Knowledge and Inspiration eats them. Irish tales say poets and seers “gain nuts of Wisdom,” a metaphor for a heightened state of consciousness, when they drink a brew made from the hazelnuts that have been said to cause hallucinations. There’s numerous reference in Irish literature to drinking “hazel mead.” Scottish Druids ate the nuts for prophetic power.

Legends say, the hazel, apple, and hawthorn trees are often found at the border of worlds where magic has been said to happen.

Young lovers roasted hazelnuts over the fire at Samhain, called “Nut Crack Night.” If the nut held together, their relationship would stay steady, but if it burst apart, then the love may not last or it could be a “heated” relationship. This connection between hazelnuts and love is very ancient. Country folklore has always linked hazelnuts with fertility. New brides were given the nuts much like the wives tale of rice being thrown after the wedding, to indicate fertility.

There are many tales and stories of old and wise, these are just a few. Remember to cherish your loved ones and those who have passed from this life into another. Reflect on the New Year and count your many blessings.

Copyright: © October, 2002 All rights reserved. Revised Oct.2009 and 2011.

About the Author

Fran Hafey is a Healer, Author, Writer, Spiritual Counselor, teacher, human, earth and animal activist. She provides guidance and inspiration via her Website, groups and blogs on the Internet. To read more of her articles visit the Author’s Website:  Mystickblue.com
She’s currently working on publishing even more books about love, inspiration, magic, twinflames, color healing and nature stories for Children of all ages. Find out more about her first book, “A Season of Love,” and find how you can get your copy or ebook!

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herbs

Earth Magic and Druid Lore~A Series for the Seasons~Herbs

By Fran Hafey/Mystiblu of Mystickblue.com

 

This time of year, my thoughts turn to the changing seasons and the magic in the air. Mother earth is evolving as the leaves fall and the earth once again begins to rest. I love the colors and the nip in the air as the wind blows the last stalks of corn to the ground as frost paints them crystal white.

Now is not too soon, to think of what magical herbs we will plant next year. We can even plant them indoors in late winter to give them a good head start. I’m learning about good things to put in a Druid Herb Garden.

Every culture has its magical lore and a garden can be our altar or sacred space outside amid Mother Nature herself. For my Druid Herb Garden, I will be planting Queen of the meadow (Spiraea ulmaria), Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Vervain (Verbena Officinalis) and Water mint, Mentha Aquatica. These special herbs are among the Druids most cherished plants.

Queen of the Meadow, or Meadsweet, Bridewort or Lady of the Meadow, has an oddity that the scent of the leaves is quite different from that of
the flowers. The leaves possess an almond like fragrance. It’s one of the fragrant herbs used to strew the floors of chambers. In the fourteenth century being called Medwort or Meadwort, i.e. the mead or honey-wine herb. The flowers were often put into wine and beer. It’s still used  in many herb beers.

Primrose is abundant in woods, hedgerows, pastures and is in full flower during April and May. In sheltered spots in mild winters it’s often found in blossom during the opening days of the year. In the early days of medicine, the Primrose was considered an important remedy in muscular rheumatism, paralysis and gout. The whole plant is sedative and in modern days a tincture of the fresh plant in bloom, strong strength and in alcohol, has been used with success in extreme sensitiveness, restlessness and insomnia. From the leaves of Primrose is made a fine salve to heal wounds. In ancient cookery the flowers were the chief ingredient in “Primrose Pottage.” Primrose pottage was made by boiling pounded flowers, honey, almond milk, saffron, rice flour and powdered ginger. It was served garnished with flowers. The Primrose leaves are edible, fresh or cooked, made into tea or wine.

Vervain is known as the Enchanter’s Herb, believed to be the plants most fond and protective of humans. Vervain loves to grow near people. There is a legend that this herb sprang from the tears of Isis. Vervain bears the gifts of romance and protection.

* The Greeks and Romans tied it into bundles and used it to sweep their holy altars and sacred spaces.
* Vervain is an aphrodisiac, used to entice a lover. It’s used in love spells all over the world.
* Bathing in Vervain-infused or even rubbing any part of the plant on your body, is said to grant prophetic power, cause your deepest wishes to be fulfilled, make your worst enemies become powerless,  help protect friends against disease and malicous enchantment.

It’s a perennial bearing many small, pale-lilac flowers. The plant has no perfume, and is slightly bitter and astringent in taste. The name Vervain is derived from the Celtic ferfaen, from fer (to drive away) and faen (a stone), as the plant was much used for afflictions of the bladder. Because of the aphrodisiac qualities attributed to it by the Ancients, Priests used it for sacrifices and hence the name Herba Sacra. The name Verbena was the classical Roman name for ‘altar-plants’ in general, and for this species in particular. The druids included it in their lustral water and magicians and sorcerers employed it largely as used in various rites and incantations and by ambassadors in making leagues or organizations. Bruised, it was worn round the neck as a charm against headaches and also against snake and other venomous bites as well as for general good luck. It was thought to be good for the sight. Its virtues in all these directions may be due to the legend of its discovery on the Mount of Calvary, where it grows loyaly for the wounds of the crucified Savior. Hence, it is crossed and blessed with a commemorative verse when it is gathered. It must be picked before flowering and dried promptly.

Water mint has a perfume like that of the bergamot orange. It loves boggy areas and thrives in wet climate or around a water pond. If you’re in a drier climate, you may want to plant one of the many other mints in its place. Pretty purple lilac flowers all summer. Leaves  are soft, slightly downy and mid-green in color. The scent can vary from mint to strong peppermint. It should be planted in water or very wet marshy soil. It can be found growing wild around ponds and streams. Both peppermint and orange mint are derived from this species.

This is just one of the many gardens I’ll plant to create and keep magic around me and my home. I will sit under the moon and feel the fae as they come to visit and play in my gardens.

Copyright: © October, 2002 All rights reserved. Revised Oct.2009.

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October Is Here

AutumnmagicTree 

 

Rustling leaves swirling by
North winds caressing in the night
Pumpkins, gourds and drying corn
Comforting scents on an Autumn morn.
        ~Fran Hafey/Mysti~

 

October is Here!
by Fran Hafey

In the eastern part of the United States, the days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling under the weight of the October rain. Leaves swirl in the cool breeze as they accumulate along the country byways.

The nights are nippy and the frosty dew is noticeable on the pumpkins in the patch that has taken over our garden. I notice the nuthatch is back for the winter, as they hop up and down the bark of the large oak tree. The scent of autumn is strong and people talk about the weather and how cool it’s beginning to feel. School is becoming routine, and life settles down after the hot, dry summer.

 I see more blankets out on the clotheslines as the gentle fall winds blow their heavenly scent through them. That smell we love, like bringing a bit of nature in doors for us to enjoy. I rummage through closets to find my favorite old jacket that makes me feel so comfortable. Gold and red apples show up at the farmers market, with plenty of pumpkins to choose from.

Old men and young boys fish before the mornings are too bitter, one last time. Soon, the billows of smoke will be seen from the chimneys of country homes, carrying that rich flavor that takes us back to our childhoods, of cold snowy mornings, eating oatmeal before running out to play in the snow. The moon cycles call to me to remember the years gone by.

Children and adults alike, plan tricks or treats and what character they will be this year. What a magical time of change. A time when Mother Nature is yawning, preparing for a long awaited nap. The earth holds so many secrets within her deep brown soil, to rest until it’s warm enough to recycle once more. Life seems to slow down a bit, when October comes.

I’ve already bought the hot chocolate and I know the apple cider will be tempting me soon. It’s wonderful how we keep traditions and ideas close to our hearts. Sharing them with our children and their children. I pray they have the chance to remember the nostalgia and have their own stories to tell. Just this evening on the telephone, my oldest daughter shared with me how great it was when she rose this morning, went to her front door and took in a deep cleansing breath of autumn. She had missed it more than she remembered after living in the west for a few years.

I feel good that she will share this feeling with her children too. Yes, I would say, I am a bit partial to my four seasons and with autumn here, there is no denying why.

Copyright: Mystickblue © 2002  All rights reserved-Updated 2009

 

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