Saturday, October 26, 2013

Athena

And another, though not an Aztec.  I'd never quite liked the earlier version of Her, so I redid it with rather a different emphasis.  It's tricky to find female tricksters, after all, but Athena absolutely qualifies (if you don't believe me go read The Odyssey.)



I don't know if anyone's going to pick up on this but I hinted at Her more martial qualities with the bronze jewelry in the shape of spear points and shields (the pins on Her shoulders are specifically Spartan shield-shaped).

I quite like Her.

As usual, I've put up t-shirts and prints with this art on them, if you are interested.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Itzpapalotl

I guess I'm on an Aztec kick right now. Here's another new card, this time of the Aztec Goddess Itzpapalotl, Whose name means 'Obsidian Butterfly':


She's the Goddess of the sacrificial flint knife; She's got some skeletal aspects to Her and She is usually shown with claws. The face (and hand/arm) paint are directly from a depiction of Her in the Codex Borgia.

As usual, I've got prints here and t-shirts here with this design on them, if you're interested.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Xochiquetzal

Well, more art. (I'm not going to question it, thanks.) This time it's the Aztec Goddess of flowers, Xochiquetzal. Her mother was said to be Tlazolteotl, the Goddess of Filth (or Earth), and She had a variety of husbands, depending on the myth; in some She's said to be Tlaloc's wife.

I've shown Her here with (of course) many many flowers, all natives of Mexico; She's holding a bouquet of dahlias (the national flower of Mexico), has strings of fuchsia in Her hair, and is crowned with a garland of marigolds and petunias. The marigolds are somewhat after the garlands typically seen on Day of the Dead altars; She doesn't have anything to do with that holiday (that I know of), but it seemed appropriate. Of course just now I read that marigolds are especially sacred to Her; I didn't know that when I drew Her.

Her name is made up of two Nahuatl words, xochi meaning 'flower', and quetzal meaning 'precious feather', specifically of the bird which is also called the quetzal. She wears the green feathers of this bird as part of Her headdress.


I've put up some prints at my deviantArt gallery here; and some t-shirts over at Printfection here. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vanth

This is the other piece I did earlier, another of that deck I'm now calling the World Goddess Oracle. It's of Vanth, an Etruscan underworld Goddess Who was often depicted on tombs and sarcophagi carrying a torch to help guide the souls of the dead. Because that's what Her presence signified, that someone's death was near. She is, however, a neutral force. She does not bring death, I don't think, but is there to guide the spirit on its new journey.

Here she is:



I've depicted Her in a very typical pose from one of the Etruscan tombs, where She is shown on one side of a door.

Isaac

I suppose I should let everyone here know that Sir Isaac Mewton has died, since I mentioned it earlier. He died the Monday before last, in the early morning. He had been up and walking around as late as that Friday, but declined over the weekend.

He was a good, good, kitty.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Art

Funny enough with everything going on I've got a couple pieces of art done. I have no idea what's going on or what that means, but they are two more Goddesses for the World Goddess Oracle (née the Goddess Oracle Deck). Actually there are three now, but I haven't scanned in the third, because with the new (to me) computer and the issues it has with not recognizing the scanner it's this huge big deal of swapping cables and restarting to the old computer that will do Classic to scan something so I'll wait till I'm doing a couple at a time. Anyway.

I redid Chalchiuhtlicue, the Aztec Goddess of water; I was never really happy with the original, and like the new one much better.  Aztec Goddesses just kind of aren't the fluffy love and light kinds, you know?

She's still got hair after the way the Aztecs drew water in the codices, with seashells and water droplets; Her dress is after a pattern from a statue which I've colored in to look sort of like the mosaics the Aztecs made out of bits of turquoise, which was sacred to Her for its blue watery color.  Also the tassels are part of Her usual iconography, though they kind of ended up with seashells on top, though I'm not sure what they are originally supposed to be.  It works, though.

The second one (well, actually the one I did first) is Yhi, an Australian sun Goddess Who was said to have created all the living creatures.   As she's Australian I always figured She was a bit of a quirky sort Who loves pockets; after all She created all those marsupials as well as the platypus.  Here She is, Her hair sunbleached, rising over the Outback, with white lines painted on Her body like sun-rays:

Both of them are available as prints over at my deviantArt gallery, here for Chalchiuhtlicue and here for Yhi.  Enjoy!

Things

Wow, it's been almost a year since I've posted here. I'm not sure what to say.

It hasn't been busy, so much, at least not on a mundane level; on the level of processing things though I suppose it has been very busy.

And recently, in the past couple of weeks, some things have happened.

The first is that my father has died. He was ninety and had been failing for a long time; he had been in a nursing home since 2006, after a stroke that took away most of his mind. As it was he had had some dementia prior. It was not a surprise, really, his death. Also, before the stroke and the dementia he was an abusive bastard, a hoarder and a control freak who did his very very best to make sure the people around him were as miserable as possible. That sounds harsh I'm sure, but it's true. And I will speak the truth about this.

So I'm not in mourning, not for him. I am in fact quite relieved, and the day after his death I recognized that what I was feeling was in fact freedom, for one of the first times in my life.

But then there's the other thing that has happened, and it is agonizing to watch and to deal with.

One of the cats (there are eight here these days) was looking a bit under the weather a couple weeks ago. For some reason, even though he didn't look that bad it felt urgent, so I brought him to the emergency vet, because they were the only ones open on the Fourth of July.

Turns out Sir Isaac Mewton has a very large mass or tumor in his abdomen.

The local ultrasound person who makes the rounds with the vets here was out of town, on vacation at the time; but the emergency vet (and a couple days later my usual vet) said it's not good. They took x-rays, and even though that doesn't tell as much as an ultrasound would, like for example what it is or what it's growing from, like the stomach, liver, or pancreas, still they could tell it's not good. Even with an ultrasound and knowing what it is, chances aren't good it's something surgery could fix.

So my choices are to track down an ultrasound and based on that decide on surgery, which means subjecting him to another vet ride and procedure and then just possibly surgery. But probably not. Odds are an ultrasound wouldn't tell me anything any better. And he's an oldish cat, twelve years old now. Not very old, but old enough that putting him through major surgery, especially given that he's been sick a while and so weaker than usual, would be a big deal. But most likely surgery wouldn't help.

Or basically let him die, while making him as comfortable as I can, and when the time comes and his suffering is too much, have him put down.

I have sort of opted for the latter. I have no idea if this is the right decision. I especially can't tell if I'm just being lazy or in denial; it's certainly easier to do nothing than something. Though the thought of putting him through a bunch more tests, which he will hate, keeps coming up. I don't want to do that to him. The money, oddly enough, is there; but if I opted for surgery it would still be something like several thousand dollars spent on something that's not likely to work.

If he were a human, then yes, you take what chance you can; also if he were a human he'd probably be the one deciding this, not me. So it's hard.

I'll also have to figure out, probably sometime soon, where that line of too much suffering is. I have no idea where that is. Right now, though he has more or less stopped eating, he is still fairly perky and alert, and can still follow me downstairs to the kitchen to lick at a little baby food. He's still reacting happily to catnip. It's so hard to tell; cats in particular don't show it when they're in pain. When Ratty had a broken hip, such that the head of his femur was out of the socket, when the vet tried to listen to his heartbeat she couldn't, because he was purring too loudly. (Ratty may not be the brightest bulb, but still, he's a happy guy just by default, pain or no pain.) So I don't know.

I really don't know.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Prints Available

This is one of the other things I've been working on: prints available through Deviant Art. Click here for my prints gallery.

I've got a few more than thirty of them up now, in various sizes; all the Gods, and starting in on the Goddess Oracle cards. I'm working on getting them all up (with a couple of exceptions, namely Melaina, which is just too dark, and the Sheila na Gig, which contravenes their policy, which is, yes, stupid, as it is a sincere religious work of art); but if you have a specific request just drop me a line (my first name at my first name my last name dot com) and I'll move it to the front of the line.

Also if you're interested in something larger (the biggest I've got them is like ten by fifteen inches I think) let me know. I'll have to make up more art at a higher resolution, but it's not a problem at all.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Query

Anyone interested in hedgewitchery, drop me a line. My address: my first name at my first name my last name dot com, all lowercase.

Friday, May 11, 2012

J Is For Jasasara

Never heard of the Goddess Jasasara, you say? Oh, you have, trust me. You just didn't know that was Her name.

All right. I suppose I should state right up front that I am not any sort of academic; I am, as ever, an interested amateur. Nor, especially, am I a linguist, so I have to take other people's words for it.

So this is going to take a little bit of explaining. The scholarship is based on that most enigmatic of languages, whatever the language was: the one written down in so-called Linear A.

Yep. We're talking Minoan, here.

There were several scripts, properly syllabaries, in Minoan (and Mycenaean) Crete; a syllabary meaning a script in which the symbols stood for combinations of letters, usually two, though vowels on their own are included. Linear B, the later of the two, was famously translated by Michael Ventris in 1952; he realized it was an archaic form of Greek. Linear B is of course called B because it derives from Linear A; the language, however, of Linear A is not Greek, and has proved difficult to translate, in large part because there just aren't a lot of examples of it, but also because it doesn't seem to be related to much else, meaning, there are a lot of pet theories out there.

However, Linear B did come out of Linear A; and the symbols in Linear B have reliably assigned sounds. What that means is that more than a few Linear A symbols have been presumed to have sounds similar to their Linear B counterparts.

Now. A lot of what we do have for examples of Linear A is the so-called Libation Formula, a set series of words inscribed on various offerings, generally found dedicated at peak sanctuaries in Crete. They seem to say 'so-and-so of such-and-such a place dedicates this to Jasasara' and then three more (untranslated) words; the word 'Jasasara' is consistent, and is taken to be the name of a Goddess.

The name may simply be a title meaning 'Lady', much like the later Potnia of the Greeks. It has parallels to the Hittite Goddess name Esha-sara or Ishassara, which also simply means 'Lady', as well as to Asherah of the Canaanites.

Now, fair enough, as a title, Jasasara may refer to more than just one Goddess, as the later Greek term Potnia certainly did; I'm inclined to think, though, given that the offerings dedicated to Her are found primarily at peak sanctuaries, that we are talking about one Goddess. Of course, whether or not the Minoans worshipped one Goddess with several aspects, or quite different and separate Goddesses is still being debated, and I imagine we won't ever really know barring a time machine. But this is a name for Her, or one of Her, that is not Greek. And it is an important name, too, and so I imagine, an important Goddess, given the number of times Her name appears.

Again, I am not an academic, but I thought this was interesting. It's a name I hadn't heard until recently, though it seems to be pretty solidly accepted; and I thought it deserved to be more well known that the name of an important (perhaps the?) Minoan Goddess is Jasasara.

Sources:

Aegean Art and Architecture, by Donald Preziosi and Louise A. Hitchcock.

The Cambridge Companion to the Bronze Age, edited by Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, chapter seven, "Minoan Culture: Religion, Burial Customs, and Administration," by John G. Younger and Paul Rehak.

The Language of the Minoans, by Virginia Hicks in the Anistoriton Journal of History, Archaeology, Art History: Viewpoints

Also by Virginia Hicks at the same site is a very interesting article in which she connects Jasasara to a very old form of Athena. I'm not sure I'm sold on the Sun Goddess idea, but it is quite a fascinating read.

Friday, April 6, 2012

G Is For Goddesses of Finland

(This one took a while to write up, which is why I'm behind with these Pagan Blog Project entries. Not that I'm surprised or anything.)

Well, okay, you didn't think I was going to let G pass without somehow talking about Goddesses, did you? This is me, after all. Among other things, as part of that year-and-a-day course I'm taking (in Christopher Penczak's book The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft) I am supposed to research a particular culture's mythology.

Yeah, I know; what a drag.

So I chose Finnish mythology, because it is so heavily steeped in both magic and shamanism, so it seemed appropriate. It's also one I don't know a whole lot about, although part of that is because there isn't too much information out there, or there isn't at least as far as I've been able to find (in English). I have acquired a copy of the Kalevala, the so-called national epic of Finland; it's pieced together from traditional folk songs collected in the early 19th century by one Elias Lönnrot and so is a little problematic as far as a source goes, since to make it into some kind of coherent narrative Lönnrot had to mix it up a bit. Still, the tales, or songs, called runot (which means, yes, 'runes') are pretty clearly speaking about the Gods.

Or, as is ever my focus, the Goddesses.

There is of course generally more information out there about Gods than there is about Goddesses, and the mythology of Finland is no exception. So often, researching Goddesses is about piecing together the tiniest scraps of information. But I'll try.

These are, necessarily, going to be brief entries, just a taste; I suspect that this will form the germ of the Finnish series over at the Obscure Goddess Online Directory, my crazy project I started because I just get obsessive about researching Goddesses.

I'll start with the creation Goddess Ilmatar.

Her name means 'Female Spirit of the Air', from ilma, 'air', and the suffix -tar, meaning 'female spirit', though in other names the latter looks to be translated as 'daughter', so Her name could I suppose also mean 'Daughter of the Air'. She is also called Luonnatar, though that is technically a title rather than a proper name, and means 'Female Spirit of Creation' or 'Daughter of Nature.'

She is quite certainly a primeval creation Goddess of great power. Her story, related right at the beginning of the Kalevala, is that She grew bored with living in the air, so let Herself fall into the Sea, the only other thing (besides light) that was in existence in those earliest of days. By the Sea She floated in She became pregnant, but as there was no dry land yet, She could not give birth. One day a bird, depending on the version an eagle or a scaup (a type of duck), landed on Her upraised knee, and made her nest (in Larousse, the author, one F. Guirand, of course consistently calls the duck 'he', even though 'he' lays an egg, reverting to male-as-default even when it makes no sense.) In time, though, Ilmatar moves, and the egg rolls off into the Sea, where it breaks open. From the egg, then, which is of course a symbol of infinite potential and the beginnings of life and matter, Ilmatar creates the rest of the cosmos. From the yolk She makes the Sun, from the whites the Moon; from one half of the shell the Earth, and the other the dome of the Heavens.

She then shapes the land, hollowing out bays, smoothing out shores, arranging islands; she also sets up 'the sky's pillars.'

Finally, after more than seven hundred years, She gives birth to a rather impatient Väinamoinen, one of the heroes of the Kalevala.

Now, one of the other major heroes of the Kalevala is one Lemminkäinen, rather a rakish and impulsive sort; on one adventure He descends to Tuonela, the Underworld, where He is bitten by a poisonous serpent, drowned in a whirlpool, and then cut in pieces. His mother (Whom He didn't listen to, of course), searches for Him far and wide, taking many shapes:

The mother sought the one gone
astray, for the lost she longs:
she ran great swamps as a wolf
trod the wilds as a bruin
waters as an otter roamed
lands she walked as a pismire
as a wasp headland edges
as a hare lakeshores;
rocks she shoved aside
and stumps she tilted
moved dead boughs to the roadside
kicked dead trunks to form causeways.


('Pismire', in case you're wondering, is an old word for an ant.)

Finally the Sun tells her what He has seen; She Herself then descends to the Underworld and fishes the parts of his body from the river with a rake. She then reassembles Him, and brings Him back to life, and, yes, Lemminkäinen is rather a shamanic figure, as His death (threefold, incidentally) and dismemberment very much resemble a shamanic initiation.

But here's the thing. His mother goes unnamed, though She is clearly a very powerful figure, at the very least a powerful magician, probably a Goddess. But She is only ever called in the Kalevala 'Lemminkäinen's mother.'

But then there's this: Crawford, in the Preface to his 1888 translation, says that the Finns thought Väinamoinen, Ilmarinen, and Lemminkäinen to be descendants of Ilmatar, which is usually taken to mean they are Her sons. So Ilmatar, the Creation Goddess, the one Who formed the Earth, is Lemminkäinen's mother, and She has a name.

Another major Goddess is Louhi, the Mistress of Pohja, norther Finland or Lapland. She is roundly portrayed as an evil figure, Who thwarts Lemminkäinen, has the ability to lock the Sun and Moon in a dark cave, and let loose disease upon the land of Kalevala. She also demands that Väinamoinen forge the magical sampo as bride-price for Her daughter. She may well be the same as the Goddess Loviatar, the blind daughter of Tuonetar (the queen of the Underworld, Tuonela) and Tuoni (the king there and God of death). Like Ilmatar, She was also a virgin mother, in Her case made pregnant by the wind, and bearing nine sons Who personified various diseases.

Tuonetar Herself is infamous for Her hospitality: in the Kalevala She offers Väinamoinen a two-handled flagon of beer swimming with frogs and worms, then tells Him to drink up, to which He says He's not interested in getting drunk. She then tells Him he'll never see His home again.

Her daughters, like Louhi's sons, are Deities of diseases, the first being Loviatar (probably Louhi), as mentioned above, considered the origin of all evil. Other Goddesses of illness are Kipu-Tytto, Kivutar, and Vammatar.

Mielikki is the Goddess of the forest, invoked, with Her husband (or father-in-law) Tapio and daughter Tuulikki, for success in the hunt; She also protects domestic animals, like cattle, and heals wounded animals. Her name comes from the word for luck, mielu.

Vellamo is the Goddess of the Sea, said to be the wife of Ahti, the Sea God, a name often applied to Lemminkainen in the Kalevala, though in that epic His wife is Kylikki. Vellamo and Ahti live in a place called Ahtola, located under the waves by a cliff.

And I'll end this with Mader-Akka, a Goddess of the Lapps in the north. Her name simply means 'Woman'; her husband is Ukko, the God of thunder and the sky. Between the two of Them They created humanity; She making the bodies, and He the souls. Mader-Akka, or just Akka, granted fertility to women, and successful harvests; She corresponds more or less to Mother Earth. Her Estonian name is Maan-Eno; She was also called Rauni, after the rowan tree, which are sacred to Her.

Mader-Akka and Mader-Atcha (another name for Ukko, I assume) had three daughters, Sar-Akka, Uks-Akka, and Juks-Akka. If the child to be born was a girl, Sar-Akka placed the soul into the body to be born; if a boy, Uks-Akka did so.


Sources:

New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, section on Finno-Ugric Mythology, by F. Guirand.

Wikipedia (I know).

John Martin Crawford's 1888 English translation of the Kalevala, accessed through sacred-texts.com.

Keith Bosley's translation of the Kalevala, from 1989.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Greater Celandine

After all that the next thing I write happens to be a G entry, ha! Isn't that just the way it goes.

This particular plant has been a familiar one since I was a kid. So familiar, yet I never knew its name until recently. It was just that weed that was everywhere and had that weird bright yellow sap. We used to break off stems and use them to write with as kids. But here's a picture of it, taken in my yard today:



And here's one from Wikipedia, showing its very familiar flowers (since it's not in bloom here yet):



Its Latin name is Chelidonium majus; it is not particularly related to lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), which is a member of the buttercup family, greater celandine being a member of the poppy family (as evidenced by its four petals). The name comes from the Greek word for swallow, khelidon (χελιδων), as its bloom period coincided with the return of the swallows. It's the only plant in its genus, but still called majus, which means 'great' in Latin; I assume because of the common name. And kids, don't mix your Latin and Greek like that. It hurts.

It's not native to the 'new' world, having been brought over by the early European colonists for its medicinal value. From there it escaped, and spread, and spread, until now it is considered invasive in some states (though not in mine).

These days it's considered poisonous, toxic in moderate doses, so, though historically it was taken internally, personally I think I'll steer clear of that for right now.

It has a long association with the eyes: Pliny (the Elder, who died in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79CE) in his Natural History says the juice, boiled with honey, is good against 'films on the eyes' (cataracts, maybe?); Culpeper, who was quite a character, let me tell you (bit of a socialist before his time whose mission was to bring healing to the poor through the use of freely available herbs; he was at one point accused of witchcraft, natch), in his 1653 Herbal also says it is good for sore eyes. He connects the plant with Leo and the Sun, I assume because of its yellow flowers and yellow sap; as the Sun is long associated with the eye, perhaps that is part of where that comes from. He also says it is good for the liver and curing jaundice; again I suspect the yellow color has something to do with that. He recommends it against 'the tetters', what we call ringworm today, though it's not a worm but a fungal infection; one of greater celandine's common names was thus tetterwort. He also says 'It is good in all old filthy corroding creeping ulcers wheresoever' and man, I just gotta say Nicholas Culpeper is a real hoot sometimes. And then he goes on to grouse about how lesser celandine is misnamed, as any idiot can tell it's nothing like greater celandine and obviously unrelated (I paraphrase, but not by much, honestly; seriously, go read the Wikipedia article on him—his sarcastic use of all caps is genius).

But then he says something really interesting. He says that 'alchymists' use greater celandine to make a substance (after a lot of work, as usual with alchemy) that is 'sufficient for the cure of all diseases'. I'm not an alchymist myself, but that does sound rather close to the famed Philosopher's Stone, doesn't it?

The juice of the plant can irritate the skin (though I've been yanking it out of my gardens for years and have never noticed anything), and was used to treat various skin diseases, including warts, which the fresh juice is said to dissolve, giving it the really quite wonderful name of wartwort. It was also called swallowwort (from the Greek I assume), felonwart (a 'felon' being an inflammation of the fingernail), and kenningwort ('kenning' being related to sight, I think in this case pretty literally, given the connection with the physical eyes).

Those are all its traditional uses. Now to the magical ones, as they say. A.J. Drew in his Wiccan Formulary and Herbal says it transforms bondage into love; and Cunningham, in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs says it 'aids in escaping unwanted imprisonment and entrapments of every kind'. Both say to effect these changes one should make a sachet with the leaves, and carry it on the person.

As to my own experience with this plant, I suppose I should first say that I don't really have much experience with any plants, at least magically speaking; these articles are going to be, of necessity, more about book-learning than my impressions, or unverified personal gnosis if you prefer; but I will say this about greater celandine.

I was out on a walk the other day, through the old, historic part of town, and, since I've been thinking about herbs and plants a lot recently, I was paying quite a bit of attention to the plants at the side of the road. I saw no greater celandine, though it is all over my own yard.

Until, that is, I came to a house, one that is in serious disrepair, though it is still lived in. It is literally shuttered, and where there are no shutters the blinds are lowered; and the yard itself is all overgrown. I suspect, because I just have a sense for these things, that the person who lives there is a hoarder. And her yard was full of the stuff, like mine, like this hoarded yard my sister and I have been cleaning for several years now. Escape from imprisonment and entrapments, says Cunningham. There is a reason, I think, that it has caught my attention just now.



Sources:

Nicolas Culpeper article at Wikipedia.

Chelidonium article also at Wikipedia.

The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Natural History, Pliny the Elder

A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal, by A.J. Drew

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Note

Apparently Blogger is being stupid about comments; I'd noticed it myself trying to leave comments on other blogs, but figured it was just me with my ancient (Mac) browser. I'm not sure what I can do about it, as it doesn't appear to be on my end; and I don't suppose if you're experiencing problems you can leave a comment letting me know, ha. So I don't know what to say except to let you know. Sorry.

Friday, March 30, 2012

G Is For Green and Growing Things

Okay, so I'm a bit late, again; I was having a block on the letter G. Alphabetical groupings don't necessarily make real sense; they aren't after all proper categories, just grouped together by more or less luck. So I've been finding I want to write about lots of things, but was having a hard time fitting it into the rules of the Pagan Blog Project.

Not that I'm giving up on it; I like that it is getting me to write here on this blog in a more consistent fashion. So I'm keeping it for now.

I've been working my way through Christopher Penczak's The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft: Shadows, Spirits, and the Healing Journey. And though it's not one of the 'official' assignments in it, I'm finding I really want to learn more about herbs and plants. This is a big gap in my knowledge, one that really ought to be remedied if I am to call myself a Witch.

Now I've done plenty of gardening, and so I do know a few things about plants here and there; but this is a little different. This is about the history, the symbolism, the old connections and correspondences, not just the planting zone and does it want sun or shade. This is a more Witchy approach.

But it's a huge subject. And so I haven't known where to start.

But then it came to me: start where I am. I mean, that's where any of us have to start, anyway. And where I am is living on this little patch of land in New England, this yard. So I'll start there, with the plants that I've been looking at all my life, and then, maybe, branch out to the exotic stuff like mandrake (which I think is a couple planting zones out of my range, as I'm pretty sure it's native to the Mediterranean). So I'll start here, with my own yard.

To that end, then, this G is for Green and Growing Things is not going to be one article, but a series, as I find writing proper articles, for an audience, to be a very good way for me to make sense of information; in presenting it to others I have to make it make sense to myself, first. I'll give them all their own tag, too ("Herb Series"); I may even give them a listing of their own on the sidebar, just to make it easier for folks to find.

So I'm going to start with one of the most familiar plants in my yard, a plant that's always been there yet whose name I only figured out recently: greater celandine. Off to write!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

F Is For Feline Meditation

Funny, I had originally started posting this just as a bit of fun while I tried to think of the second F post for the Pagan Blog Project, as I had a bit of a block on it. But when I finished it I realized it was, after all, an entry for F. Well okay then.

This meditation requires a couple of willing participants. It will very much depend on the second of the two. The first being you, and the second being a happy cat who purrs loudly. You can see that this will depend on the cat. As it should.

But the next time you find yourself in close proximity to a happy cat give this a try. It works best if said happy cat is on your lap, but next to you within range of being touched is really all you need.

First, get that cat good and revved up and purring loud as a lawnmower. Then put your hand on the cat so that you can both feel and hear the purring. (You may need to keep patting the cat so it keeps up the loud purr).

Next, close your eyes and listen to that purr. Listen, really listen, to it. At the same time feel that purr. Feel it through your hand or wherever the cat is touching you, probably your lap.

Then, open yourself up and accept that purr into yourself. Let it fill your brain and your heart with joy.

Mind you, this is simply passively receiving what is freely offered to the air. You are most emphatically NOT pulling anything out of or from the cat; for one thing that would be rude, and for another this is a cat; seriously, don't be stupid: they will always out-witch you.

It works wonders as a mood lifter (well obviously) both in the moment and I think with more lasting effects, but it also works as practice in being in the here and now, in your body and grounded.

Give it a try!