Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Green Smoothie Nation

There has been a bit of banter in the past couple months between a few of us tarot artists, authors and friends about the benefits of the Green Smoothie. Yes I am now an addict. Big Grin! It started with Joanna Powell Colbert and it has become a wild fire changing everyone who has tried it. 60% fruit 40% green leafy vegetable blended with cold water and consumed in the morning for an amazing blast of energy that will last for the whole day. Who would have thought eating whole foods could feel this good?
Of course this makes sense when you really think about it. But we come from a generation that has been programed to believe what we are told by the advertisers bent on selling us "great"things. Now as we baby boomers are beginning to age it starts to come to our attention that maybe all that 'cool' food isn't really that good for us.
Here's an article from http://www.hemuz.org/Health/Very-interesting-facts-on-MSG
on MSG that is both startling and informative.
As a mother who has a child who is allergic to dyes like red 40 in his food it has made me a label reader for a long time now. MSG and high fructose corn syrup is also on my "poison" food list. This article on MSG is so good I thought I would pass it on.

MSG Hides Behind 25+ Names, Such As 'Natural Flavoring.'

MSG Is Also In Your Favorite Coffee Shops And Drive-Ups (9-12-5 ).

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb.

He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and spent years working for the government.

He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called "The Slow Poisoning of America ".

In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of rat or mice are naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates; causing rats (and humans?) to become obese. They even have a title for the fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats".

I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge. MSG was in everything: The Campbell's soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the 'healthy low fat' ones.

The items that didn't have MSG marked on the product label had something called ''Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein'', which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate.

It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who carefully read the ingredient list, so they don't catch on. (Other names for MSG: 'Accent', 'Aginomoto', 'Natural Meat Tenderizer', etc) But it didn't stop there. When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG.

Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn't use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere:

Burger King McDonalds Wendy's Taco Bell

And every restaurant like: TIFF, Chili's, Applebee's and Denny's use MSG in abundance.

Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in EVERY chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG.

So, why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat?

Is it a preservative or a vitamin?? Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called "The Slow Poisoning of America " he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. http://www.spofamerica.com

Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG at: http://www.msgfactscom/facts/msgfact12.html explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people EAT MORE OF THEIR PRODUCTS.

A study of the elderly showed that people eat more of the foods when MSG is added. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us? 'Betcha can't eat just one', takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight?

The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn't added.

Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance! Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday. The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it's safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these?

'The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity'. GobattoCA, Mello MA, Souza CT , Ribeiro IA.Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002.

'Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats'. Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori C, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug.

'Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors'. Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, IchikawaK, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar.

'Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity'. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K, Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct.

Yes, that last study was not a typo, it WAS written in 1978. Both the "medical research community" and "food manufacturers" have known about MSG's side effects for decades! Many more studies mentioned in John Erb's book link MSG to Diabetes, Migraines and headaches, Autism, ADHD and even Alzheimer's. But what can we do to stop the food manufactures from dumping fattening and addictive MSG into our food supply and causing the obesity epidemic we now see?

Even as you read this, G. W. Bush and his corporate supporters are pushing a Bill through Congress called the "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" also known as the "Cheeseburger Bill", this sweeping law bans anyone from suing food manufacturers, sellers and distributors. Even if it comes out that they purposely added an addictive chemical to their foods. Read about it for yourself at: http://www.yahoo.com. The Bill has already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and is due for the same rubber stamp at Senate level. It is important that Bush and his corporate supporters get it through before the media lets everyone know about 'MSG, the intentional Nicotine for food'.

Several months ago, John Erb took his book and his concerns to one of the highest government health officials in Canada. While sitting in the Government office, the official told him "Sure, I know how bad MSG is, I wouldn't touch the stuff." But this top-level government official refused to tell the public what he knew.

The big media doesn't want to tell the public either, fearing legal issues with their advertisers. It seems that the fallout on fast food industry may hurt their profit margin. The food producers and restaurants have been addicting us to their products for years, and now we are paying the price for it. Our children should not be cursed with obesity caused by an addictive food additive. But what can I do about it? I'm just one voice.

What can I do to stop the poisoning of our children, while our governments are insuring financial protection for the industry that is poisoning us.

This e-mail is going out to everyone I know in an attempt to tell you the truth that the corporate owned politicians and media won't tell you. The best way you can help to save yourself and your children from this drug-induced epidemic, is to forward this email to everyone. With any luck, it will circle the globe before politicians can pass the legislation protecting those who are poisoning us. The food industry learned a lot from the tobacco industry. Imagine if big tobacco had a bill like this in place before someone blew the whistle on Nicotine?

If you are one of the few who can still believe that MSG is good for us, and you don't believe what John Erb has to say, see for yourself. Go to the National Library of Medicine, at http://www.pubmed.com. Type in the words "MSG Obese" and read a few of the 115 medical studies that appear.

We the public, do not want to be rats in one giant experiment and we do not approve of food that makes us into a nation of obese, lethargic, addicted sheep, feeding the food industry's bottom line, while waiting for the heart transplant, diabetic induced amputation, blindness or other obesity induced, life threatening disorders. With your help we can put an end to this poison. Do your part in sending this message out by word of mouth, e-mail or by distribution of this print out to all your friends all over the world and stop this 'Slow Poisoning of Mankind' by the packaged food industry.

Blowing the whistle on MSG is our responsibility, get the word out.

Now that it has become vogue again to eat organic and eat locally maybe we will see a shift in our health as a nation. This could also shift our priorities and get us all back in the mode of making and even growing our own food. I feel personally there is nothing chic and glamorous about not knowing how to cook. This is not only basic to human survival it fulfills something primal in our psyche.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Soggy but not damaged!!

Thanks to all the people who phoned or emailed to see if
we were okay here in Watertown. These shots show that we are just fine. The river is high the ground is soggy, the basement is wet, but we have suffered no damage here at all. The folks in Wisconsin closer to the Mississippi River in La Crosse and Vernon counties and to Lake Michigan in Kenosha county are not fairing as well.

Julie & Peter

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First Harvest Recipes

We have now entered the time of the year when the summer garden is coming in strong.
Around here it can even be a bit overwhelming. Here are some fast and easy ways to save the harvest and you won't have to spend hours in a hot kitchen boiling jars.
Quick and easy no boil tomatoes.
Here is the best way I have found to save my garden tomatoes. When it's 90+° the last thing a person feels like doing is making tomato sauce. So here is my solution. Things you will need;
gallon freezer bags,
sharp knife.
Simply cut the green core out of your fresh tomatoes toss them into the freezer bags and suck the air out of the bag and freeze. You don't have to blanch tomatoes to take the skin off the skins will fall off all by themselves when they thaw out. Add to your favorite recipes all winter. I can process a large bushel of tomatoes in about 30 minutes.
Fast and easy Refrigerator Pickle Recipe

This recipe is great for cucumbers, hot peppers, green beans, asparagus and brussel sprouts.

Pack your clean quart jars with 6 heads of fresh dill and 6 or more cloves of fresh garlic cut in half pack your clean produce tightly into mason jars.

Bring to a boil in a non reactive pot( glass, enamel or stainless steel-non aluminum)
12c. water
4c. vinegar
1c. kosher( or canning) salt

After this mixture comes to a rolling boil remove from heat and add 1t.(teaspoon) Alum. Stir
Pour hot liquid into your filled jars until it covers all your vegetables and comes up to 1/2 inch from the top. Seal and let cool. After the jars are cooled
place into the fridge after 3 days your pickles are ready. Your pickles will last until they are eaten.

Garden Fresh Salsa
3 to 4 good sized tomatoes
1 onion
1 green pepper
1-2 jalapeno peppers (depending on the heat you want)
juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
fresh cilantro (to taste)
1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic
(a little organic sugar if you want a sweeter taste)

Eat immediately with your favorite corn chips or save in freezer containers
Fresh Pesto
2c.packed fresh basil leaves
1/4c. pine nuts(or walnuts or macadamia nuts)
1/4c. parmesan cheese
1/4 -1/2c. virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic

Place all ingredients one by one into a blender or food processor(better choice) until it forms a paste place in a mason jar and freeze or use right away. Great on bread, pasta and pizza as a sauce substitute.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Class of '77

I was lucky enough to have gone to my 30-year class reunion this past weekend and had the best time. Funny how 30 years can melt away when you get together with people you grew up with. Looking back I remember how pretentious we all were at the 10 year looking to see who had become "successful". Everyone boasting of homes, careers, spouses, children being proud they were not still "townies". (people who never moved away from our small Midwest town) However even at the 10 year I had my first sense of the reality of time. Thinking 10 years ago I was in high school and 10 years from now I could be a grandmother. Suddenly and for the first time life seemed short because high school didn't seem like such a very long time ago.

I didn't go to the 15 year it was 4 weeks after my daughter had been born and felt like a cow at 33 my body just wasn't springing back like I thought it should and I didn't want to go back looking like I was 5 months pregnant. My ego and vanity kept me from going that year.

By the 20-year we were all just very happy to see each other and we noticed that some classmates had really changed really aged it was shocking. We were all a lot more relaxed about our successes although some just couldn't resist flashing the cash. At the 20 we did have one or two grandmothers in the bunch. Mostly the ones who had started motherhood early and some who had step grandchildren from new husbands.

I think the 30-year reunion was our best reunion ever. My spouse did not want to come with me and this year I didn't mind, I think I would have been horrified to go without him 10, 15 or even 20 years ago, but this year it was just what I needed. Many of my old friends were there by themselves as well. Now it is my opinion that no spouse should ever be dragged to a class reunion unless they are also from that class. How often do we get a chance to step back in time and be a teenager again? I was surprised by emotional response to the gathering of these friends and how much love still existed between our core group of classmates. How we were able to just pick up where we left off and joke and kid around as if no time had passed. And even sing karaoke you can not have any ego to get up and do that. We stayed up too late and we got up too early making the 2-day event into a 3-day marathon of fun. I don't think we really knew how much we missed each other.

When you grow up in a small town like I did you have the same small class in grade school. 33 kids in a classroom everyday for 6 years can get pretty close maybe even closer than siblings, the junior high just added more kids to that core group and the bonds just expanded. High School was the same thing one junior high one high school the same kids every year. I don't think we realized what we had then but I think we do now.

I don't think everyone gets this especially today when families tend to move every 3 years on average. Making what my class had even more profoundly special. It seems sad now when I think about how abruptly life just dispersed us into the world and we all leapt out of the safety of the group into the world, striving and gaining never looking back. Last weekend I think we discovered how important friendships are especially the earliest ones. Who knows you better than the people who shared your secrets when you were 12? We need no ID checks on these folks. Here’s to the graduating class of ’77 at WHS.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mummy of Hatshepsut Found!

Mummy Of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut Found!

Science – It's being called the most important discovery in the Valley of the Kings since King Tutankhamun. Today Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt,announced the Identification of Hatshepsut's mummy.

How synchronistic and cool is that?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

On Beltane...

By Heather Shaw

Spring is here! For many of us, this means a relief from the cold, dark days and snows of winter. As the days lengthen and get warmer, we are greeted by the rebirth of the earth itself: bulbs come up and bloom, filling the air with their heady, tempting fragrance; birds chirp and sing as they return from their winter migrations to build their nests; cats yowl out their urgent readiness for motherhood. All around us are symbols of fertility, growth, warmth and light. It is the perfect time to throw a May Day party or Beltane Festival, to celebrate the end of winter hibernation and to reconnect with your friends and loved ones.

Historic Beltane

Beltane is an old Celtic Fire Ritual which celebrates, at the most fundamental level, the end of winter and the beginning of the warmer, lighter half of the year. It is the counterpart to Samhain, which marks the Pagan New Year and celebrates ancestors and the death of the crops (harvest). Beltane celebrates life. For the Celts, it was a festival that insured fertility and growth.

Beltane is one of the four major Sabbats in the Celtic tradition, the other three being Lammas, Samhain and Imbolc. Beltane's traditional date, May 1st, was chosen as the midway point between the vernal equinox and summer solstice (two of the four minor Sabbats). Due to the change in the earth's axis of rotation over time, this point is now closer to May 5th, and some pagans observe May 5th as "Old Beltane," but the traditional date is still favored.

Beltane, much like Samhain, has changed over the years. Some traditions existed only in a single village, while others were found throughout the culture. It is believed that Beltane is a Celtic reinvention of an even older Roman festival, Floralia, which celebrated the goddess Flora and the flowering of spring. Most major religions have a holiday that marks the coming of spring. The Christian religion celebrates rebirth (or resurrection) on Easter; Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, chicks, and lilies are all pagan symbols of fertility associated with spring, adapted to the Christian tradition. The Hindu religion celebrates Holi, a carnival-like spring festival, dedicated to Krishna or Kama, the God of Pleasure. This festival resembles Beltane, with bonfires being a main focus of the holiday.

A maiden gathers wood
for the Beltane fire.

Traditionally, Beltane festivities began days before May 1st or "May Day," when villagers traveled into the woods to gather the nine sacred woods needed to build the Beltane bonfires. The tradition of "May Boughing" or "May Birching" involved young men fastening garlands of greens and flowers on the windows and doors of their prospective ladyloves before the fires are lit Beltane night. As with many Celtic customs, the type of flowers or branches used carried symbolic meaning, and much negotiating and courting could be worked out ahead of time.

Many communities elected a virgin as their "May Queen" to lead marches or songs. To the Celts, she represented the virgin goddess on the eve of her transition from Maiden to Mother. Depending on the time and place, the consort might be named "Jack-in-the-Green" or "Green Man," "May Groom" or "May King." The union of the Queen and her consort symbolized the fertility and rebirth of the world.

The tradition of choosing a symbolic goddess and god as official participants in the Beltane ritual captured Marion Zimmer Bradley's imagination in her novel The Mists of Avalon. In Bradley's retelling of the King Arthur legend, the Beltane celebration is a sacred ritual involving a high-ranking male and female virgin to represent the God and Goddess. The god in this case is called the "King Stag"; he must run through the woods with a pack of deer, followed by his own huntsmen, and only after he has successfully locked antlers with and killed a stag that he can return to the festival and claim his right as consort to the Goddess. Other couples also celebrate in this way, but it is only these two who become the God and Goddess incarnate.

Because the Celtic day started and ended at sundown, the Beltane celebration would begin at sundown on April 30th. After extinguishing all hearth fires in the village, two Beltane fires were lit on hilltops. The villagers would drive their livestock between the fires three times, to cleanse them and insure their fertility in the coming summer, and then put them to summer pasture. Then the human part of the fertility ritual would begin.

As dancing around the bonfires continued through the night, customary standards of social behavior were relaxed. It was expected that young couples would sneak off into a ditch, the woods or, better yet, a recently plowed field for a little testing of the fertility waters. Even after hand-fasting was replaced by the Christian tradition of monogamous marriage, the Beltane ritual continued with a new tradition: all marriage vows were temporarily suspended for the festival of Beltane. Many a priest would lament the number of virgins despoiled on this one night, but the tradition persevered. Babies born from a Beltane union were thought to be blessed by the Goddess herself.

Another use of the Beltane fires was for a purification ritual using a scapegoat or Fool. Special cakes made out of egg, milk and oatmeal, called bannocks, were passed around in a bonnet. One piece of bannock was charred, and whoever chose this piece was the Fool for that year's Beltane; it was believed that any misfortune would fall on the Fool, sparing the rest of the people. It is now generally believed to be a myth that the Fool was ever burned as a human sacrifice; this seems to have stemmed from Christian priests and their attempts to condemn Beltane festivities. Later customs called for the Fool to leap three times through the Beltane fire, and according to earlier customs the Fool was banned from all Beltane activity.

Beltane, like Samhain, is a time when the veil between the worlds is thought to be thin, a time when magic is possible. Whereas Samhain revelers must look out for wandering souls of the dead, Beltane merrymakers must watch for Fairies. Beltane is the night when the queen of the fairies will ride out on her white steed to entice humans away to Faeryland. If you hear the bells of the Fairy Queen's horse, you are advised to look away, so she will pass you by; look at the Queen and your sense alone will not hold you back! Bannocks were also sometimes left for the Fairies, in hopes of winning their favor on this night.

The maypole, which was either a permanent feature or cut in a ceremony during the gathering of the nine sacred woods, was a symbolic union of the God and Goddess. The maypole itself represented the male, a phallus thrust into mother earth, while the ribbons that were wound around it represent the enveloping nature of the woman and her womb. The maypole was usually danced after sunrise, when disheveled men and women would stagger back into town carrying flowers they picked in the forests or fields. The area around the maypole was decorated with the flowers, and then the winding of the ribbons would begin. Sometimes the flowers were put into baskets and left on the doorsteps of people who were too ill or old to attend the Beltane celebrations. In this way, the entire town could participate in the joys of the coming spring.

Beltane Today

Neopagans already are well familiar with Beltane and its accompanying rituals. Some pagan groups have land on which they can host huge Beltane fires, with all-night dancing and frolicking outdoors. A quick look at the current events on Witches Voice around April or May will show many Beltane celebrations throughout the country. Among the offerings this year are Beltaine 2001: A Pagan Odyssey in Oxford, CT; the Mid-Atlantic Beltane Festival in Stanardsville, VA; Edinburgh Beltane in Edinburgh, Scotland; and FPG -- The Rites Of Spring (St. Petersburg, FL). All of these festivals includes a bonfire and a maypole. Most of them are multi-day events, with camping and workshops and general merriment and fun. The outdoor setting of these events makes nature and her flowering in springtime a more central focus to the May Day celebration.

Beltane Morn: Heather and
Holly Shaw in Thunder Dome at
Lothlorien in Needmore, Indiana

One such festival I attended several years ago at Lothlorien in Southern Indiana began with the rattle of chainsaws several days in advance, as the fire-tender prepared his surprises. Many of us were annoyed by this disruption in the lovely woods that covered the land on which we were camped. It was too modern, too technological for our tastes.

When we saw the reason for the chainsaws, most of us forgave the noise. The festival began with the usual smudging at the door of the dome (where each participant is circled by a burning sage stick to cleanse them before they enter the ritual space). On one side of the fire pit was a wide log with a yoni cut out of its middle; the other side held a delicately carved phallus. The fire was struck from flint, and once the kindling had caught more yoni-shaped logs were brought in. We danced around the fire as yoni was stacked upon yoni. Soon a long, narrow piece of wood was brought in, and when it was thrust into the stack of yonis, our dancing reached a fevered pitch. The night went on like this, stack and thrust, and the fire became huge, with towers and castles created out of burning embers. Some chemicals were thrown on the fire, and different colors would streak up from the flames, hovering near the top of the dome. We danced (with some sneaking off to use their own yonis and phalluses) until dawn. As the sun came up, the fire tender picked up the finely carved phallus and lit the spinning firework on the tip. The fire tender held the phallus to his hips as sparks flew off of it and the drums pounded out an irresistible rhythm. As the sparks died down he thrust the carving into the yoni on the fire. Daylight broke over the dome, and the dancers collapsed in spent heaps around the dome, cuddling together for warmth in the morning dew.

Speaking of morning dew, it is traditional to wash your face in the dew of Beltane morning. It is thought that it brings health and luck, and, in the case of young women, guarantees against fading beauty.

Celebrating Beltane

Maypole dancing at
Mary Anne Mohanraj's house
in Oakland, California.

You don't have to be a Neopagan or have large acres of land to frolic in to celebrate Beltane. In fact, you may have already been a part of a Beltane celebration if you've ever attended a May Day party. Throwing your own Beltane or May Day party is a great way to celebrate the coming spring. These days, a celebration of fertility does not necessarily mean your goals are human reproduction. Perhaps you have a garden that you would like to grow well this season; if you have a private enough yard (and a lover), making love in the garden is a way of honoring and insuring the fertility of the seeds you have planted. Make a wreath of flowers or fragrant herbs -- rosemary is a nice smelling one that tends to grow in abundance -- and weave a wreath for someone you'd like to know better. Or maybe there are projects you'd like to complete, goals you need to reach for, dreams you'd like to see realized. All of these things can benefit from the Beltane celebration of growth and fertility.

Any Beltane party should have as many flowers as you can afford. If you have a garden, or a deck or porch with container gardens, you should include this as part of the party space and make sure you've planted your spring flowers in time for May 1st. Six-packs of spring flowers at your local garden store should run you no more than several dollars (and often less than two), and can add color and life to your Beltane atmosphere. You can even freeze flowers in the ice cubes for your punch. Edible flowers can add a fairy-like feel to your food table at a Beltane party. This site not only lists the types and tastes of edible flowers, but includes a delicious-sounding recipe for a Day-Lily Sorbet.

Any fruit is appropriate for a Beltane spread, especially cherries, figs, mangos, peaches, pomegranates, and apricots, which have all been long associated with sensuality and/or fertility. Spring greens are another healthy way to imply fertility and celebrate springtime. Chocolate and other sweets are always a good means of tempting your guests at any Beltane party.

Temple of Nine Wells-ATC's Maypole
at Derby Wharf, Salem Massachusetts
Dancing a maypole is the most traditional way of celebrating May Day. Go to your local hardware store and buy a 20-foot wood pole (more rural folk can cut it themselves, but be sure to take a moment to honor the tree that gives the sacrifice). Ask your guests to bring their own ribbons, 20 feet in length and about two inches wide, in any color (and be sure to have several extras on hand anyway). At the party, tie all the ribbons to the top of the pole (you may want to buy an eye hook to make this easier) and plant the other end of the pole several feet into the ground. Have everyone form a circle, and count off in twos; have the "ones" face clockwise and the "twos" face counterclockwise. Have everyone grasp their partner's right hand, then pass them by on the right. Now, grasp left hands and pass by on the left. Then right, then left, and so on. Once you've made it once around the circle, pick up your ribbons and begin again, this time weaving your ribbons as you go.

You'll want to have music once you start the actual weaving of the maypole. If you have talented friends who don't mind sitting out the maypole dancing itself (and certainly that's an option, especially if you're superstitious about pregnancy at this time of year), live music is the nicest way to go. This website has some songs that might be appropriate. Singing is good, too; if you choose to sing, you might want to consider sending out lyrics with the invitations, and sing the tune to your friends over the phone. This might be a good way to find out how much you can count on singing to carry the music 'round the maypole, too.

Even if you don't have live music, the technological age makes sure nobody has to sing or miss out in order to have some music. A CD or tape of any Celtic music will do, but I also suggest searching out bands with specific May songs. You can sing along, or just listen and enjoy as you skip around the maypole. "Welcome in the May," by Annwn, is a fun, bouncy song that would be appropriate. It describes a typical old Beltane night:

We were there last night when the dark drew down:
we set the bonfires leaping.
Then we vanished in the heather
and we couldn't be found until the dawn came creeping.

Seduction in the meadows;
"The Hireling Shepherd" by William Holman Hunt.
If you have the space and the zoning, have a Beltane fire after sundown. It should be lit from flint or friction, but matches can count as friction too. Again, drumming or singing around the Beltane fire is a traditional way to celebrate Beltane. Go around and talk about things in your life that you want to have grow in the following season. It might be your life's dream of becoming a painter, or your physical activity, or your relationship with a loved one. It might even be a baby you're trying to have; there's no better time than Beltane to ask the gods for fertility!

Later, if people sneak off, make sure that the fire is not left unattended. If this is likely to happen at your party, you may think about researching different ways to handle that kind of party. Or, perhaps, you can wait until after the party, when you can frolic naked with your loved one(s) in private. This is certainly my favorite, and probably the most appropriate, way to end Beltane. And you may find, with the leaping fire and the well-wrapped maypole urging you on, it is inevitable; as the Annwn chorus goes:

Did it get a little warm around the fire last night?
Were the flames a little higher than they had the right?
Was your breath a little heavy and your dress a little tight
and the moon too bright for sleeping?

Heather Shaw is the Bookstore Manager for Strange Horizons.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bashing 'The SECRET'

Maintaining my blog has been a difficult task. I write about my cards on Aeclectic Tarot and Meet-up but when it comes to my blog I run out of commentary. So I decided I would think about what I admire about other people's blogs. The ones I find interesting like Corrine Kenner's blog. What I like about Corrine's blog though it has a theme of tarot current events it also has unexpected commentary that I find useful. I noticed she will write how she feels about things that come up with humor and candor.

In light of topics for blog commentary I have heard much discussion on the new best selling book The Secret. Having just returned from the Reader's Studio in New York where I noticed The Secret coming up in conversation through out the weekend. When you go to events like tarot conferences you will hear discussion on issues of metaphysics and spirituality. Tarot is part of the trapping of the New Age movement, which I feel represents the movement toward embracing our spiritual selves, acknowledgment of our Oneness with the Universe and each other. Though I find there is a "dark side" to all the LOVE and LIGHT to the point where it gets impractical and unrealistic.

To me The Secret has that over the edge hollow vibe. I saw What the Bleep when it first came out and now there is a sequel The Secret. I enjoyed the connections What the Bleep made in regard to physics and metaphysics even though it had such shallow examples of the idea. I guess I have always had trouble with anyone channeling "named entities from other planets" who can make my life instantly better just because of some awareness or wisdom they can impart. And then there is the white middle class "creating their reality" folks I have trouble with that reality as well. I get into heated debates with these people all the time on this subject. Due to the fact that most people who adhere to this mentality are people who can afford to create their reality. I don't like it when I hear them equate worldly success with their own spiritual evolution. As if by virtue of their own spiritual success they have created their wealth and good fortune. In other words if you life sucks and you are suffering it is simply your own fault. Born poor? it's was you choice. Sorry but I don't think it is that simple. In my opinion some folks are just standing in the path of other people folks "creating their reality "and then they end up having a life that sucks.

Though I feel we all have free will and can make our own choices sometimes the randomness of the cards life hands us can be pretty big and overwhelming at times. I find The Secret to be the over simplification of the old idea that Words are Magic. As if words and thoughts can make things manifest the old "God said let there be light and there was Light mindset". If thoughts and words were as The Secret would have us believe then Iraq would be at peace and Global Warming would be well on its way to being resolved. Words and thoughts can get the ball rolling but actions carried out in toil and sweat are what make the real changes. It is the opposable thumb that made us not our index finger or spontanious generation.

The thing that triggered this blog entry was a review I read in the May issue of The Progressive by Barbara Ehrenriech. In her review she writes: "...check out the credentials of the "teachers" enlisted in The Secret. Most are well-known motivational speakers who claim to instruct such business heavy weights as financial advisers, developers, and a "master marketeer." One of The Secrets' teachers Denis Waitley, includes on his website testimonials from Merrill Lynch, WorldCom, 3M, Dell, and IBM, among others.... When the leaders of a major economy lapse into mysticism and come to believe they can accomplish things through their mental vibrations, without lifting a finger, then it is time to start thinking about going into subsistence farming on a remote compound in Idaho."

Perhaps this kind of thinking is why Louisiana is still in the state it is in?

This also makes me think about what Michael Moore said about big corporations wanting us to believe if we all work really hard we can all get rich. This mind set created the American Dream work ethic of the 20th century. The truth is the system is set up in a way that All of us can never get rich no matter how hard we work. Today in our modern two income house holds where everyone is spread too thin most of us work many more hours than our parents did. Yet our parents and grandparent who worked 40 hours a week and lived on one income factory jobs were able to pay off homes while their children were still children. Is The Secret just the same old guilt in a new guise backed by the same old karma chameleons who need to control the masses to keep their power?

I don't know I'm just asking...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Full moon Cycle of Libra (March 21-April 19)

The full moon cycle of Libra is the first full moon cycle after the Vernal Equinox. The full moon signals the week of Passover for Jews and the first Sunday after this full moon is Easter for the Christians.

For Wiccans and pagans, Ostara/Eostar- the Vernal Equinox signals the rebirth of the earth just as the Winter Solstice signals the rebirth of the sun. During this the time of earth rebirth when the increasing sunlight has awakened the earth, trees begin to show buds, flowers begin to emerge from the dormant ground of winter. The name for the Christian holy day known as Easter has its roots in the pagan holiday Eostar. Eostar the spring equinox was named after the Germanic goddess Ostara, Eostre or Eostar. Eostar's sacred animal is the hare. The hare is associated with fertility and magic. The goddess Eostar whose name means the dawn is also similar to the goddess Ishtar, Babylonian goddess of morning and evening star.

Even today the modern Easter bunny that hides eggs shows the lingering remnants of the goddess Eostar. The egg and the rabbit or hare symbolize the mystery of life that returns from a seemingly dead earth.

The tomb, which becomes the womb, is symbolized by archeological evidence of tombs found throughout ancient Europe in the shape of goddesses. See Habitations of the Great Goddess by Cristina Briaggi published by Knowledge Ideas and Trends Inc. Manchester CT.1994. The idea of shaping a tomb like a woman gives rise to the ancient idea of Earth as mother and the dead being reborn like plant life that reemerges from the dead winter ground in the spring. Life rising from death. Like the egg with emerging chick that symbolizes life rising from a small rock like object.

The symbol of the scales in the zodiac sign of Libra is found in the ancient Egyptian stories of the judgment of souls. In these stories it is Maat the Goddess of Truth and Justice who weighs men's souls against a feather before they can pass on into the next world.

The great hall where the Judgment takes place is called The Hall of the Two Truths. At one end of the hall sits green skinned Osiris, behind him are his wife Isis to his right and Nepthyus to his left with their arms around his shoulders. Before him perched on a lotus stand the four sons of Horus; Mesta (guardian of the liver), Hapy (guardian of the lungs), Tuamutef (guardian of the stomach), and Qebehsenuf (guardian of the intestines).(the 4 elements sit respectively Along the sides of the wall each on separate thrones, are; sun-god Ra/Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut lady of the sky, Horus, Hathor lady of the West, Hu and Saa.

A great Balance stands in the center of the hall, surmounted by Thoth, lord of wisdom, karma and magic, inventor of hieroglyphic writing and Anubis guardian of the tomb and guide of souls. The deceased was given a barrage of questions to judge his innocence. With each question his heart would be weighed against Maat's Feather of Truth and Justice. If the heart weighed equal with TRUTH then, all was well, but if his heart were to weigh heavy it would betray him and he would meet his doom. This fate was to be devoured by Ammut, a monster, her body part hippopotamus, and part lion with the face of a crocodile.

This threat would certainly keep one true to one's heart. In spite of this impressive display of divine Justice, the deceased was found innocent in every case and admitted to the Afterlife without issue.

The Libra moon represents a time for balance between winter and summer. It is the time when Light overtakes Darkness and the winter surrenders to springs warm days. The Libra moon has the attributes of life awakening from death and the weak and oppressed finding liberty and justice from the forces that oppress them. This theme is reflected in the story of Passover, when Hebrew slaves were released from bondage and set free by the pharaoh god-king of Egypt.

As a small child going to Catholic school and attending Catholic mass every morning the words of the Apostles creed and consecration of bread and wine into body and blood were etched into my mind. As an adult woman who has studied ancient Egyptian religious practices I see the world though different eyes. The words "descended into hell and ascended into heaven" * of the apostle's creed pop out at me because of their similarity to the secret initiation rites of ancient Egyptian priests. The Egyptian priests descended into hell and ascended into heaven as well. During their descent into hell the initiate priests faced the horrors known to the goddess Isis who reassembled her dismembered husband Osiris. If the initiate could handle the initiation he was anointed as a priest of Isis with all of its rank and privilege. There is very little known about these initiations as they were veiled in secrecy.

*I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Although Christian legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ's ascension into heaven, this is not the case. The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. This particular verse is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.

My personal view of the passion of the Christ is that the Jews had become so oppressed by the Romans that they waged a rebellion. The public death and resurrection was necessary to gain political support of the masses during this age of 'god-kings'.

In the Old Testament God was hidden after a veil, and the man was behind the veil... but that "veil" was torn the day of the crucifixion, in Mat.27: 51, and now we can enter into the presence of God at any time, because Christ has laid the way to us. It is Final Judgment (Rom.2:5-11, Mat.25:31-46, Rev.20:11-15).

It seems apparent to me that the timing of a rebellion was critical to the Jews for reasons of sympathetic magic established for them by their history. Although a favorable outcome could not be guaranteed this was the optimum time based on past success commemorated by the Passover holiday to stage such an act. Any rebellion that may have occurred against Rome did not make it into the historical record, however. This rebellion may have been squelched by the Romans as there is not much evidence handed down to the 21st century to prove there even was a rebellion. Only trace evidence like the crucifixion itself, a political act, sending the public a form of warning against political rebellion. There is evidence of a rebellion waged approximately 30 years later that speaks of the continued unrest. The new religion 'of women and slaves' born of this cause was not so easily squelched. This religion became so powerful that the only way for Rome to control it was to adopt it as the state religion some three centuries later. This is when Rome was able to gain back full control over the hearts and minds of the Christian people. As the state religion of Rome, Christianity was given the attributes of the previous state religion Mithraism. 'Jesus the Savior', rebel against Rome, has been put to death every year and will be for as long as the religion exists. One of the most telling and peculiar attributes of the Christian religion is its need for conversion and constant and vigilant quest for members. I feel this behavior is a remnant of the recruitment for the cause and the need for large numbers of rebels to wage a rebellion against Rome.

As a pagan woman I can not help but see the similarity between the ancient scene of Osiris judging souls before the scales of Justice and the Judeo/Christian father god who also judges the dead and to whose right hand Jesus ascended to after he spoke to Mary Magdalene in the garden. Jesus did not let Mary touch him. Is there a connection between the celibacy rules for initiates of ancient rites and the current practice of the priesthood? At this point we can only guess.

Other names: Maat; Mayet; Truth

Attributes: time for initiations; Puberty rites; Tests of Soul and self; Rites of passage; Death and resurrection ceremonies; Divine comedy; harmony; balance; the Law is Love; honesty; light heartedness

Symbols: scales; ostrich feather; hearts; wombs and tombs; life and death; eggs; rabbits; hares

Full Moon in Libra key phrase: "I balance"

Saturday, March 17, 2007

MAAT Tarot card of the week New Moon in Pisces

MAAT Tarot card of the week
New Moon in Pisces
"I believe"

“The new moon phase symbolizes always being at the beginning and end, seeing life as an ever opening bud. The intuition rather than logic rules here, the projection of self on other's motivations. Very powerful for beginnings and endings ."
4 of Wands
Planetary ruler Neptune
The image for the four of wands is a late winter garden patch; the snow has begun to melt exposing the brown mud beneath. Remnants of last year’s garden markers protrude through the shrinking ice reminding us it is time to start planning for the growing season. Winter and summer merge in the gardener’s fertile imagination, as he plots out his summer garden. Sunny window ledges begin to fill with small soil filled containers and seeds from last year's harvest. Seeds planted at the new moon use the extra bonus of waxing energy from the moon and sun to grow. This is the last new moon of winter and there is a sense of life awakening, the air itself seems energized.
This is the very best moon for starting spring garden plants indoors at least here at 44° latitude. So for all of you gardeners this is it! Get those seed trays out and get started.

Traditional tarot meaning: a celebration, coming of age, the harvest

In a Reading: This is a card that represents planning for an event. The timing is right to initiate the drafting of a plan for some important future activity or construction.

On Sunday the new moon in Pisces is eclipsed.

Other Pisces Moon cards
first quarter moon in Pisces (Nov.21-Dec.20)Dreams become the connection with the Other World. Prophetic dreams, spirit contact and things that go bump in the night.

Now is the time when the creative power of the waxing moon is visiting the realms the deepest subconscious. The dark month before the winter solstice is the month when we tap into the collective subconscious. Our days are filled with memories of holidays gone by...cultural traditions as well as old family traditions and the memories of loved ones who have passed away fill our minds. We prepare gatherings to celebrate life and the power and mercy of the mysteries of the universe. The power of the sun continues to wane until the winter solstice all the while the moon's light remains the same and as the nights grow longer sleeping and dreaming become paramount. Become aware of your dreams if you keep a dream diary this will help you to record your dreams. Take note of long lost relations that pop into your head as well as your dreams as you prepare for the celebrations ahead. Listen for the wisdom of familiar voices as you continue the traditions they began... they are all gathered around you... the ones you know who have passed and the ones who you will know who are coming into being ...embrace the mystery.

full moon in Pisces (Aug 23-Sept 21)

The Princess of coins has come to represent for me the peri-menopausal and menopausal woman. She still feels young and yet she is getting all the signs that the change is coming and that she needs to adjust to her changing self. She is at the peak of her life many of her hard fought dreams are manifested all around her. She is a metaphor for the time of the year that is the full moon in Pisces. Fulfillment also means completion and then it is time to move on. The garden now full will need to be harvested its beauty cut down and stored away. It is sad to say good-bye to the summer's sweet fertility but there is joy in the activity of the harvest. Then when the work is done and there is time to rest again and remember firm in the knowledge that spring will be indeed be coming again.

She also personifies the goddess Hecate woman at the cross-roads‚'she who works her will‚' or‚'with the bright headband' was said to have witnessed the abduction of Persephone. She is the patron of all those who stand at the border of life and death; especially the midwives, witches and healers. She rules dark intuitive wisdom.

Traditional tarot meaning: a child with dark hair and eyes, and the element earth

In a Reading: This card represents the mature woman who has reached many of her goals she is apprehensive about what growing older will bring and yet she realizes she is the happiest and she has more freedom than ever before. She knows who she is.


last quarter moon in Pisces (May 21-June 20)

Building a healthy emotional life together understanding and dealing with the ups and downs of love relationships. Realizing discourse is a natural part of partnership. This couple is successful because they have learned to weather any storm. The rainbow in the sky symbolizes the ability to let the sun shine through the rain. A reflection of the rainbow in the sky is seen in the puddle on the sidewalk reminding us that the people of earth are expected to complete the circle of that rainbow.

Traditional tarot meaning: the happy family, success, a new house.

In a Reading: This card represents the successful family. Both partners have worked hard to create a happy home. They have learned live in peace with each other to trust each other. They do not keep score on each other's behavior nor do they feel the need to teach the other a lesson for momentary bad behavior. They have learned to live with each other's little annoying characteristics and have become each other's sunshine through the rain. Love and loyalty through thick and thin.


Full Moon Cycle of Pisces-TEMPERANCE(Aug 23- Sept 21)

The magical alchemical connection between the opposites. Reconsiling and recognizing the connection between the opposites. The legends of the dark goddesses Isis and Lilith, of Isis and Ra in which Isis tricks her father Ra into telling her his secret name. And of Lilith the first wife of Adam who calls out the secret name of YHVH and flies away after refusing to be Adam's subordinate. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are also found within the Temperance image to rivers that start out coming from opposite directions and then merge as one in to the Gulf sea. The Tigris and Euphrates River valley is also an ancient flood plane like the Nile as well as another cradle of early civilization. The Full moon cycle of Pisces is the last month of Summer. The month before The Autumnal Equinox.

The legend of Ra and Isis-MAAT Tarot book page 246-247

Have a great week,


Friday, March 02, 2007

MAAT Card of the Week

MAAT Card of the Week
Full Moon in Virgo
"I analyze"

The Princess of Wands

Planetary Ruler Neptune

The image for the Princess of Wands is a pre-contact Native American girl who stands unabashedly naked next to a dormant oak tree. She is a metaphor for the Virgin Earth of late winter, a time when the snow begins to melt yet it is still too early for any real plant growth.
She represents a person, place or thing that is full of potential which is as of yet a hidden or untouched, resource. Within that potential resides hope, endless possibilities and dreams still fully intact, unrealized. The future seems endless and yet there is awareness of the future and getting ready for something important. She is also symbolic of the mystery and importance of the feminine. She is the unleashed hidden talents and dreams that connect with greater realities, the sleeping seeds in the ground waiting to be stimulated by the Sun's warmth. She is all dormant power. She is like a knock at the door and the anticipation and musing that occurs just before the door is opened.

The Virgo moons seem to be able to get us to look at basic issues. To bring us back to singular moments just before everything shifts, before we lost our innocence. I received this card during a Samhain ritual last fall and realized I had been given back my "voice". I was brought back to the moment when I had stopped singing with others in public. The moment when I was about eight years old at morning mass with other classmates, there was a girl near me who was trying to out sing me. I noticed myself trying to sing louder to hear my own voice and also so I couldn't hear her. As I sang louder she would sing louder to drown me out again. My inner voice said "This is not praying" and it was at that moment that I decided I would never sing in church again and I didn't. I would sing when I was alone or with my babies but never with other people.

That moment had changed me forever until this year while blind folded at a Samhain ritual I sang out loud with the others for the first time in 40 years, it was difficult at first and then it was fine it felt good. Later I was given this card and at first I didn't get it. The suddenly I looked into her face and saw my own angry little face. The one who had decided based on one incident that I do not sing in public. What a stubborn little Scorpio child!

Traditional tarot meaning: a blond child, and the element fire

In a Reading: This card represents the discovery of hidden talents. It also signifies the joy of trying something new without the ego's fear of failure. This is a powerful card for sticking to your own plans and doing something you have always wanted to do without any guilt holding you back from unbridled selfish fun. When seeking information about timing this card would represent the beginning or just before.

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Other Virgo Moon Cards...

new moon in Virgo (Aug.23-Sept.21)
The miser. The farmer and his wife at harvest time save for the lean months of winter

first quarter moon in Virgo (May 19-June 20)

The wish card. The power and responsibility that comes with the potential of dreams.

last quarter moon in Virgo (Nov. 22-Dec.20)

Betrayal and backstabbing as the result of creating reality for others.

The High Priestess

Full Moon Cycle of Virgo

(Feb. 21-March 20)

The earth of late winter lies sleeping and dreaming waiting for a warm kiss from the sun. which will awaken her potential.

This year the shadow of the Earth falls on the full Virgo moon and she is eclipsed. This means the Earth will align perfectly between the Sun and the Moon causing the Earth to cast a shadow on the Moon. For some people this means things will flow just right for a change for others it is "fruit basket upset".

Hope you have a great week,

Monday, February 26, 2007

Week of the First Quarter Moon in Gemini

"The first quarter moon phase symbolizes the power of reconstruction. After foundations are destroyed rethinking and reconstruction of a situation is brought to the forefront."
3 of Wands
Planetary ruler Neptune

The image for three of wands is 18th century students and scholars taking notes on a model of the heliocentric solar system. This card suggests the use of tools and materials to grasp a progressive knowledge of the universe. Passing knowledge from one generation to the next by use of the written word, mathematics, art, music and oral instruction. The card symbolizes greater awareness through education and innovation. This card also reflects the student who learns from his teacher, the teacher who learns from his student. Expanding on what you know through experimentation that leads to a profound discovery. Being at the edge of discovery use of the microcosm to understand the macrocosm. Inspiration and understanding comes from the use of scale models, math formulas, blue prints, preliminary sketches, and the rough draft, a few notes jotted on paper.

I think the most important thing about this card is the sense of discovery. Once you have learned the 'information' indicated by this card it is one of those "eureka" moments that you are forever changed by. Much like when people first realized the planets were orbiting the sun and not spinning around the earth. Or that the earth was round and not flat. This card is all about explaining new information that you can build on... note in the Gemini moon cards below the phases show how the differing phases impact the idea of learning new information. Looking to the opposite moon phases is also interesting. The first quarter moon in Sagittarius is the 3 of coins it is all about manifesting new ideas as opposed to just explaining.

Traditional tarot meaning: turning away from the past with hope for the future

In a reading: This card represents the understanding of complex systems by the use of scale models. Technology used in the process of teaching.

Other Gemini moon cards...

new moon in Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Embarking on a journey or quest, with the lesson learned a relationship ends.

full moon in Gemini (Nov.22-Dec.20)

The Widow
last quarter moon in Gemini(Aug 23-Sept 22)

Deja' vu

This is the time of the year when the sun crosses back over its path and begins its journey toward shorter and shorter days.

Full Moon Cycle of Gemini

(Nov22-Dec 20)

The Ancient Egyptian myth of Shu and Tefnut twin lions.

Have a great week,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

5 of Wands

MAAT Card of the Week
Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio
Planetary ruler Uranus

An old man and a boy play chess on a small table by a window. It is one of those gloomy spring days. The buds on the trees let us know that it has been warm enough recently to make us think spring had arrived, but the snow and clouds are moving in and it would seem that winter is still in play.

While I was out in California last September for LATS Dr. Art Rosengarten sat down with me while I was showing some folks the new MAAT Tarot cards. He asked me which card of this new deck was my least favorite. I had not really thought about that but had an answer right away. It was the 5 of Wands.
He went on to ask me why I didn't like this card. I really had to think to pin point why I didn't like it.
I admitted that it could be because I don't enjoy playing board games in general.
So we went through the details of the card. I liked the window, I liked the boy and the board, I loved the gloomy overcast lighting. I guessed it was really just the old man that I didn't like. Dr. Art encouraged me to go deeper into the card. "Who is winning?" he asked me. And I didn't really know. I knew the boy who represented spring would eventually win out over the old man who represented winter. Art said, "Now if we had a chess master here they would know just by looking at the chess pieces who was going to win this game." Now I hadn't even thought of that. This is one of the best things about hearing what other people see in a card there is so much more in it than I know about. I looked at Art and confessed, "Art you are making me like this card!" And now I think of that conversation everytime I see it.

Seeing this card here today also made me think of something my best friend and I were laughing about a couple days ago about unconscious competitions like who has the longest hair or who can be the skinniest. Real adolescent stuff we still do to ourselves without realizing. We both had cut our hair pretty drastically quite out of character. When she mentioned how liberating it felt not to be in the who as the "longest hair contest" anymore. I just started laughing because she was right.

For deeper understanding of the Scorpio moon check out the meanings of the other Scorpio moon phase cards:

New- 5 of Swords- (Oct.22-Nov.21)This card puts you on notice that mischief is afoot. There is some kind of deception taking place. Something is not what it seems to be. When seeking information about timing this card would represent just when you think something is over it is not or just when you think you have just begun something you will find you are done with it.

First Quarter- 6 of Coins-(July 23-Aug 22)This card represents a gift. It represents giving a gift or receiving a gift. There are many kinds of gifts. The little girl is the gift of a child but she also is the gift of future fertility.What is it about a gift that is so pleasurable or not? Is it the mystery of the unknown, the unexpected abundance or the knowledge that you are focus of someone else?Äôs affection. Some may find a gift an uncomfortable prospect some may suspect strings are attached to gifts and not be able to enjoy them. Which are you? And why?

Full Moon- Queen of Cups (April 20-May 20)She is the newly pregnant wife. She is idealistic and dreamy about her new baby and hasn't got a clue what she has gotten herself into. She can be a bit of an emotional drama queen due to hormonal changes. This is can be the warm and fuzzy period of pregnancy. This pregnancy of course in most readings is meant to be symbolic, it represents something that we are emotionally committed to manifesting. It is the excitement and infatuation we have with the idea of what it is we are about to embark on, without any of the hardships of reality creeping in.

Full Moon Cycle of Scorpio: The Empress(April 20-May 20)
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To see all of the cards for this month's Full Moon Cycle of Leo(January 19-February 18)visit:

Have a great week !

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oimelc-February 2nd

The full moon in Leo falls on the Cross-Quarter Day Oimelc this year. Oimelc or Candlemas is
the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Oimelc means ewe's milk. Few urban
dwellers today would know or even care that it is lambing season, the time of the year that lambs are born.
But to our ancestors the birth of lambs would be the first signs of spring approaching and the abundance of life
returning. The lambs meant there would be meat, milk and wool and that autonomy could be maintained.

Most Christians will say "Lions lay down with lambs". Yet no where in Scripture is that ever mentioned.
It is the wolf that lays down with the lamb, not the lion. The New Testament always contrasts lamb with
wolves, not lions. This interesting phrase came from somewhere... perhaps it came from some old folk
knowledge that Ewe's lay down to lamb when in the month the moon is full in Leo. The constellation of the Lion
is clear and prominent in the late January and February sky. The whole point of Isaiah 11:6 is to foretell a time
of peace.

The weather in the north can be brutally cold and yet on a snowy day even the sound of cars going by
is softly muffled. There is a peace that we feel while watching the snow fall covering the landscape with white softness.
The freshly fallen snow reminds us of when we were children playing in the snow.

For deeper understanding of the Leo moon check out the meanings of the other Leo moon phase cards:

New-7 of Coins-(July 23-Aug 22) Represents the Native American concept of the 7 sacred directions, east, south,west, north, above, below and as important within. The self as a part of the divine. As the centered being we recognize our role in the great whole we learn patience and hard work before rewards. It is symbolized by peasants toiling in a field but could just as well be someone at the gym working out for better health. Simply it is the benefits received from working hard.

First Quarter- 6 of Cups-(April 20-May 20)The influence of childhood on personality and relationships with others, feelings of nostalgia. A sense of "here we go again" for positive or negative

Full-King of Wands- (Jan.20-Feb.19) The poet, the wordsmith, the politician, the writer, the lodge member. The genius of the common man.

Last Quarter- 7 of Swords-(Oct.22-Nov.21) The thief- being aware and protecting yourself when others use your energy and time without compensation. Death and time as the only real thief.

Major Cards of the Month:
Moon Cycle of Leo: The Chariot

Cross-Quarter Day-February 2- Oimelc: The Wheel of Fortune

Have a great week,

Thursday, January 25, 2007

First quarter moon in Taurus

MAAT Tarot card of the week
First Quarter Moon in Taurus

6 of Wands
Planetary ruler Uranus
This snow white owl is perfectly camouflaged against the stark white winter landscape. This camouflage helps him/her to hunt nearly undetected by its prey. The owl has been a symbol of wisdom in some cultures while it has meant death in others.

In the Medicine cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson the owl's key word is deception. This is because if you have owl power you will NOT be deceived.

The owl is able to hear the nearly inaudible sounds of mice beneath the snow. The owl can see perfectly in darkness. To have the skills of an owl is to have great abilities to detect and capture that which we seek. In the MAAT Tarot this owl also represents a healthy immune system in the body it could also represent other systems that protect and detect trouble.

Traditionally this card represents victory in war. For MAAT it is a victory over dis-ease of all types. The waxing moon symbolizes the creative power of death(Taurus). When you receive this card it should let you know that due to close attention the healing of a situation is close at hand.

Taurus key phrase-
"I have"

Immortality and transformation of self is the main feature in all Taurus cards.

Other Taurus cards to think about...

-5 of Cups-
new moon in Taurus (April 20-May20)
Death in the midst of life. We will never find happiness if we focus only on the negative.

-Princess of Swords-
full moon in Taurus (Oct.23-Nov 21)
The Huntress.

-5 of Coins-
last quarter moon in Taurus (July 23-Aug 22)
The suppression of death, healing from the holy springs, fresh food and warm sunshine.

Full moon cycle of Taurus
Death and immortality the rhythm of silence and sound. The time of the year when the the veil between the worlds is thin.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Moon in Capricorn on Thursday January 18th

Other Capricorn cards to think about...

First Quarter- 3 of Swords

Full-The Queen of Coins(June 21-July 22)

Last Quarter- 4 of Cups (March 21-April 19)

Full Moon Cycle of Capricorn-The Hermit(June 21-July 22)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MAAT Tarot card of the Week- Last Quarter Moon in Libra

MAAT Card of the Week

The 8 of Wands

Planetary Ruler Saturn
The 8 of Wands represents messages of all types. The best way to let others know what is on our minds and our hearts is to communicate. Today this comes in many forms so pick your medium! The waning moon signals that communication will bring some kind of resolution to a situation which will open the way for a new beginning.

For deeper understanding of the Libra moon check out the meanings of the other Libra moon phase cards:
New-( Sept 21-Oct 22) 2 of Swords- the balance of live and death, traditionally a truce or stalemate

First Quarter- 9 of Coins-(June 21-July 22) The 3 fates/ Mother, Maid and Crone- The celebration of the turning of the wheel, the love between women, women working together on a cherished project.

Full - Princess of Cups-(March.21-April.22) The Bride. Virginal but committed she is on her way to unity with her hearts desire.

Justice- Full Moon Cycle of Libra-(March.21-April.22) Laws of all types, man-made as well as natural laws.
The greatest of all natural law is LOVE. This full moon cycle always contains the holidays of Easter and Passover. as well as Eostar (the Vernal Equinox). This is the month when the increasing light overtakes darkness.

Have a great week,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Full moon in Cancer -The Queen of Wands

MAAT Card of the Week

The Queen of Wands

Planetary Ruler Saturn
The Queen of Wands represents the beginning of the sun's return, the return of hope and inspiration. The sun which had stopped death in the sky of disappeared completely for a number of days is visibly on the move again. It would appear as if a universe which had stopped spinning had begun to spin again.

The MAAT Tarot Queen of Wands is a spinner like the tradition of spinners that came before her she is a skilled visionary and artisan. She has a wealth of knowledge that will keep her family alive and well.

In the background of this card resting on her fireplace mantle is an image of the ancient bird goddess. The bird goddess stands with arms raised up in a gesture of prayer which also looks a lot like a posture of a spinning woman. The art of spinning and weaving, predated by felt making was key to the survival of humans.

This card of the week should remind us to begin slowly and take care of the details of life as the details of life make up the greater portions of life. The whole is only as great as the sum of its parts. Making sure all those little parts have integrity insures integrity in the greater project or goal. These are the slower days of January
when weather can force us indoors this is the perfect time to spin a yarn or two. There is no better time to focus on that long term project.

For deeper understanding of the Cancer moon check out the meanings of the other Cancer moon phase cards:
New-( June 21-July 22) 10 of Coins- Inheritance

First Quarter- 3 of Cups-(March 21-April 22) The 3 fates/ Mother, Maid and Crone- The celebration of the turning of the wheel, the love between women, women working together on a cherished project.

Last Quarter- 4 of Swords-(Sept.21-Oct.22) The Ice man. Knowledge discovered through forensic science, anthropology, and history. The connection of one generation to another. Learning from the past.

Have a great week,