Herbs and Salves

One of the reasons I love working with herbs is their accessibility. Yes, I can make an herbal product for you, but with the right know-how, you can also make the same product. When you grow or harvest that herb yourself, that makes that self care product your own. You begin to step into the role of your own healer.

That’s why I enjoy teaching herbal workshops. I feel like I’m empowering folk in both self care and connection to the plants growing around them. I have a workshop on salve making coming up and I wanted to share a little information about some of the herbs that I will be using in that workshop. These three herbs are easily grown up here in northern Vermont and more than likely can be grown or wildharvested where you live.



Calendula

Calendula officinalis

 This photo is from Fedco seeds. This is their Resina Calendula, a great medicinal variety

This photo is from Fedco seeds. This is their Resina Calendula, a great medicinal variety

This lovely yellow-orange flower is an attractive annual that is pretty easy to grow. It’s even been known to reseed itself in my garden to unexpectedly surprise me the next spring. Happy to live in a flower bed looking for a touch of gold, this beauty is also well known for its medicinal qualities. One of the first things that you will notice after harvesting a few of these flowers is the sticky resin. That’s the medicinal magic of this herb.

This herb is known for its skin healing properties, as well for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory abilities. It is gentle enough for the skin of a baby, but the first herb that comes to my mind in speeding the healing process for bruises. It’s also used internally for complaints like diarrhea and lymph issues (as well as a lovely edible garnish for salads), but for today I want to focus on how it’s one of my go to herbs for salves. There are a lot of beautiful varieties of calendula out there, but for the purpose of medicine the most resinous tend to be the yellow-orange varieties. Usually the seed catalogue that I order them from mentions the most resinous (and therefore the most medicinal) variety out of all that they offer to make it easy. If you are just buying the flowers harvested and dried, then I’m sure the variety that the company is offering for medicinal use is appropriate.



Comfrey

Symphytum officinale

Comfrey

When I acquired my first comfrey plant over a decade ago, I was sure that I had found the perfect spot for this vigorous perennial. I distinctly remember my friend Annie dubiously watching me with the plant, warning me that I should choose the spot carefully. Once it was in there, I wasn’t getting it out. I don’t think I properly believed her warning. Now, years later, my planned comfrey patches are nowhere near that original plot, as that spot is part of my larger garden. The comfrey doesn’t care. I weed it intensively every year. Every year, it returns.

Comfrey is an amazing herb. It also seems to be borderline invasive if you don’t give it a spot with clear borders (like a mown lawn). It has a long history of medicinal use that is revealed through its older common names like knitbone and boneset. The plant contains high levels of allantoin, a constituent that promotes cell growth. This is why it’s amazing in salves. It can speed the healing process of cuts and wounds.

While the debate about certain constituents known to be harmful to the liver in high amounts that comfrey contains still continues, it is generally considered safe for topical use. The research often cited involves incredibly high levels of said constituents (specifically pyrrolizidine alkaloids, if you’re feeling sciency) tested on rats. While I don’t know of any examples involving people taking normal dosage, it is still usually skipped in medicines that are taken internally. When it comes to using comfrey in salve, I believe we do far worse things to our livers on a day to day basis than apply comfrey salve to a wound.



St. John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum

St Johns Wort

This plant can be found in fields and roadsides across Vermont. The Latin name perforatum comes from the fact that when one holds a leaf of St John’s Wort up to the light, little pin pricks can be seen. These holes are actually oil glands. This plant is another one with a long history in both medicine and magic. I happen to use it for both. Focusing on the medicinal side of this amazing plant, it is the flower and the flower bud that is used for salve. You know the flowers are ready when you squeeze a flower bud and it “bleeds” a dark purple sap. When extracting the flowers into an oil for use in a salve, the finished oil takes on a rich red color.

This herb has been used topically as an antiseptic and a ally for nerve healing for centuries. I recall a story (though I can’t remember where I read this) a story of soldiers on the way to one of the Crusades packing a sack of oil with these flowers before they left. The sun would beat down on the oil sacks and extract the properties of the flowers as they traveled. By the time they reached Jerusalem, the now red oil was ready to help heal any wounds that would be inflicted on the soldiers. This herb actually has a lot of interesting Christian lore attached to it (which is unsurprising considering its name and solar energy). If you’re interested in reading one a story that connects it to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, click here.



To use these herbs in a salve, you have to infuse them into an oil. To learn that art and how to turn those oils into salves, there are a lot of places to find information and recipes to try out. Or, you could sign up for my workshop on the 18th at 6pm by emailing me at greenmountainmaeg@gmail.com . If you live close by, I’d love to have you at the workshop.



The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I’m taking a moment to breathe after a full day. Wednesdays start earlier than normal for me. They’re the day I get up to bring a local weekly newspaper to stores in NH and VT. It’s a fantastic side job, where I get to listen to my music as I cruise around the scenic beauty that I live in. It’s a bit of a long day, though. Today that job was followed up with a house clearing and various errands. Now, here I am at home, taking a moment to listen. The wind builds around us, threatening a storm later tonight. The sound of the wind in the trees remind me of the ocean lapping the shore. The air is warm and heavy with the oncoming storm. I love it.

As I stare out at the swaying trees, it reminds me of a younger me walking through those woods. I was almost an adult, and I was listening to the wind in the trees that day as well. I was trying to find common ground between the energies that I felt. I remember recognizing the presence of the Divine in the way that I experienced in church. I could also feel the wild power of the forest around me. At that point, they seemed so dissimilar. I felt that I had to choose between one or the other and I hated it.

I think that I struggled with that for a while as I tried to find my path. I tried to walk both worlds, or tried to find common ground. It took me a bit to realize that the common ground was within my reach the entire time… The common ground was me.

Not just me, of course. All of us. Each of us has the ability to be the alchemical vessel where the Earth meets the Heavens to create something entirely new. Our bodies and our minds are in between spots. They are where spirit meets matter, the point where consciousnesses can interact.

Earlier this week, I met with a client and tried to do some work where he connected to above and below. I had him lean against a tree to find the energetic pattern. This is something that you, too, can do. I’ve seen different versions of this exercise, one being from the Druid Revival tradition that I was practicing. It goes something like this.

If you’re looking for a little help in this practice, find an older tree that you like. Check with it and see how it feels to you. If it feels good and friendly, put your back to the tree trunk. If there isn’t a tree handy, no problem. The tree is just a suggestion that could act as an energetic map. Do a standing meditation for a few minutes, taking deep, long breaths with pauses in between. Once you are feeling calm, clear, and centered, visualize a light at your center. Breathe into that light. Be present with it. When you are ready, imagine it unfurling like a seed. A shoot of light goes up your center as a root of light goes down. With each breath, let this inner light tree grow. Take the time you need. As the tree grows, it’s branches leaf out and extend above you. The roots spread out from your feet, reaching deep into the earth. Feel (or imagine) nature about you. Feel the sunlight and wind in your branches. Feel the soil beneath you. Feel the heartbeat of the planet.

As you breathe in, imagine the golden sunlight trickling down your leaves all through you to your roots. As you breathe out, imagine the soil and nutrients coming up from the Earth in the form of a silvery light. At each pause, see the lights mingling inside of you, mixing together to strengthen that white light at your center. Feel yourself as a bridge between Heaven and Earth, surrounded by the elements of nature. Once you feel that the exercise has been enough, release the image and bring your awareness back the beautiful world around you.

Play around with this exercise. If you try it, let me know how it went for you.

On a side note, I hope that you all had a beautiful Autumnal Equinox. Mine was celebrated with a small group at my friend Maya’s stone circle. We sat about a fire as we held a small ceremony about release and balance. We also ate some delicious food. Maybe a simple way to celebrate, but it was perfect. I look forward to continuing the work of creating tradition to accompany the wheel of the year.


Wishing you all a happy Fall


  • The Green Mountain Mage

Stillness and Connection

I have a confession to make. I have not been taking the proper time to connect to the land this summer. I can use the busy nature of being a co-owner of two businesses as an excuse, but it’s not a really good one. It’s not that I have dropped my practice. I meditate every day, and I try to get in rattling everyday. I greet the morning with prayer and gratitude. I do my best to cultivate awareness about what is happening inside of me as well as outside. I just haven’t made proper time to listen to the conversation that’s happening outside between the land and the living things every day… and that is one of my jobs as a budding shaman.

I can try and use the death of my burden tree as another excuse. My burden tree was an old maple that was around 150 to 200 years old. She has been missing half her trunk for my entire life. She was my point of contact with nature, as well as a way to find balance. I would go out and hang out with her as often as I could. I even made a rattle that I often use from a branch that she had lost. It was about a year ago that I noticed that she would put out a stressed vibe before a good wind storm blew over our hill. She even had some weird, apocalyptic messages about having only so much time that she would give me.

So, when my husband called me as I enjoyed a hike with some college friends to tell me that a wind storm had come through and toppled my tree, I wasn’t surprised. I remember the weird emptiness of the spot where she once stood as I first returned home. It was as if the landscape was somehow a little… less. That was my last major hike of the season, and, without my burden tree to get me outside to check in on everything, my practice slipped.

In the end, though, my excuses fall apart. The responsibility falls square on my shoulders. That’s one of those interesting side effects of magical work. You lose some room to complain about what’s happening to you. It begins to present you with the work to change your life. It becomes your choice to use those tools or not.

These are the thoughts that swirled around in my head this morning as I was stranded in the Walmart parking lot. For those of you who don’t know, I work for a local newspaper once a week. Every Wednesday, I deliver stacks of papers to stores. Walmart is one of those stores. As I returned to my car, filling in the numbers of papers left over from the week before, I noticed something wrong. Specifically, my car didn’t start. The vehicle no longer recognized the signal that my key makes. As Josh was in the middle of a project, he wouldn’t be able to get me for a little while.

There I was, sitting in the parking lot, wondering what I should do with my newfound time. My phone’s battery was running low, so I couldn’t do any computer work. Any of the other stores I had to deliver to were certainly not within walking distance. There was just me, Walmart, and it’s vast sea of vehicles.

That wasn’t entirely true, though. To my left was a wetland. To my right was a river hiding behind a strip of trees. I walked up to the wetlands, and breathed in. I don’t know what it is about certain wetlands, but some have this intoxicating smell that I can’t put a finger on. Cattails, perhaps? For all I know, I could be in love with the smell of a certain swamp slime, but there is a smell that I wish I could replicate with an oil mix.

As happy as the smell made me, it still was an untraversable wetland. So, all I had left was the river. I found a hint of a trail through the weeds and trees that eventually led to the winding river that flows next to the Walmart. I sat down, and began my meditation practice to slow my brain down. As I felt my brain reach that sweet spot where everything slows down, I opened my eyes. I could feel the way that the river carried its energy with it. A kingfisher flew over me as he landed behind a rock on the island across from me. The sounds of the parking lot behind me began to fade as I listened and watched the interactions of the plants, the water, and the birds. I looked to the riverbank and saw wild mint growing at my feet. As I saw the tell-tale square stems reach out from their sprawling root system, they brought my thoughts back to what brought me to the river… connection.

Sometimes, it takes a car malfunction to sit us down and pay attention to the world around us. Sometimes, it takes a little disturbance in our life to make us listen to the conversation happening around us. Sometimes, we get caught up in our own world and forget to connect the rest of the world. Sometimes, I need the universe to sit me down and tell me to be silent. Sometimes, I need that reminder to shut up and listen.

I invite you to take some time and connect with the natural world. It’s amazing what a little quiet time and connection to the larger living world around us can do for you.

Talking about listening, if you want to listen to my friend Kassie interview me on what I do, look up The Bitter And Sweet Podcast on Google Play, iTunes, or whatever other way you get your podcasts. We had a fun conversation and I look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. Her website is https://www.bitterandsweetpod.com/ , but it doesn’t look like she’s uploaded the podcast there yet. I look forward to seeing where her podcast goes from here.

Until next time

-The Green Mountain Mage


Creating Space To Do The Work

It’s been crunch week. Working at the local fair for a week leading into the last week to move into our new studio space has been quite the rush. There has been a lot to do with not a lot of time to do it. It can be so easy to let one’s spiritual practice slip in times like these. Once one’s schedule is off, meditation can be an easy thing to sacrifice.

It is in these times, though, when we are reminded the importance of our practice. It is in chaotic times when we need the calm that can be found in practice. Quiet focus and connection can be the saving grace that we need to get through the day, even when it seems like extra work that you don’t necessarily need. I know this is true for me, especially in the role I’ve taken on as a reiki practitioner and shamanic worker. When I have a client, that person needs me to have done the work beforehand. I have to be able to leave my shit behind so I can be fully present with what my client is dealing with.

There’s a sort of dissociation with my outside world that seems to happen when I work with someone. It’s like I need to disconnect from anything that would get in the way of the work and that includes my own bundle of trauma, grief, or general discontent. I have to make room for where my client is at, where we’re working to get them, and a connection to helping spirits and Spirit. For the session, it’s not about me. That’s why I need to make space at other times for it to be about me. If I don’t deal with my own problems, they get more insistent that they get some attention. They will get in the way of healing work.

I’ve had clients come in, expecting to find immediate healing in a session or two. They expect the work to be done within the confines of the session and to leave feeling like they are on the path to living a “true spiritual life.” They leave dissatisfied. Besides missing the truth that a spiritual life is often found in the mundane, they miss one of the biggest, annoying truths in this path.

We call it the work because it’s work.

Remember when I tried defining magic early on in this blog? I wanted to separate the reader’s idea of magic from the magic portrayed in movies. Magic isn’t something created with the wave of a wand or the right words (though that can be part of it, if that’s what you’re into). It’s the result of work. It’s the result of practice. Without those elements, you won’t find solid results.

I think that’s why a lot of the New Age movement seems to fall on its face. There’s a lot of wishful thinking and half truths that pervade that movement, fueled by the wish for something for nothing. They often fall under the wisdom that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Real magic and deep healing requires work and sacrifice.

While there is work, it’s often not more than we can handle. The simple act of creating space to have your own meditation practice can be amazingly useful in our work of connection to something bigger than us. Meditation isn’t just sitting cross legged, trying not to think. There are so many different practices out there, there’s something that will work with you and your beliefs. As long as there is focus in the practice, there is growth to be found.

If you’re a Christian, you can take time to focus on a Bible verse. Read it over a few times. Try to understand the meaning. Be open to Divine nudging. Try to explore its deeper truths. You can apply that practice to other sacred texts as well, depending on how you roll. It doesn’t even have to be sacred! It just needs to be meaningful. Exploring themes like this using a sort of internal monologue is called discursive meditation.

You can also use sound. I would call using my rattle or drum as a sonic driver to dreamtime a sort of meditation. Perhaps you just want to focus on the feeling of a place sacred to you, such as a church, or a forest. The main thing to find is finding focus and internal silence. Make room for root issues inside yourself to arise. That kind of goes back to what I was talking about when problems interrupt to get attention. If you give them space to speak they don’t have to yell.

That’s when those internal issues become problematic, isn't it? When they “yell”. It’s like we’re all on the path to some purpose, but sometimes we become sidelined because of an unhealthy coping mechanism or some sort of pain. Sometimes, we can ignore these problems, but they don’t like to be ignored. They just get louder. So, we try to work around them or drown them out with something external. It’s all bandaids, though. They eventually find a way to get beyond our attempts to silence them and demand to be faced.

I’m certainly not perfect (and I won’t be). I stumble in my practice like anyone else. I have my own shit. I make bad decisions in how I react to the world about me. I don’t always deal with my pain and grief in a healthy way. I’m actively working on it,  though, and I will be for the rest of my life. It doesn’t always bear the expected fruit, but it always produces something useful and amazing.

I invite you to explore the work of healing and connection, however you see that path. Do the work. It will be worth it.

 

On a side note, we will be fully in our new space and ready for our By Donation Reiki Clinic on September 1st. We will be located under POP-M Cafe at 97 Main Street in Littleton, NH. Stop by and check it out sometime. It’s looking pretty cool.

 

Be well. Do good work.

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Salt and Blessings

We returned yesterday from a long weekend of camping at Acadia Park in Maine. Josh did a lot of Rune magic throughout the island (you’ll be able to hear that story when he publishes his blog next week) and we both enjoyed connecting to both the spirits of the island and the ocean.

I was, of course, ecstatic to be by the sea. I submerged myself in those cold northern Atlantic waters as much as I could, connecting to the ocean’s primal power and cleansing myself of any psychic muck I may have picked up. As we drove home, I was deep in thought about the cleansing power of ocean water and methods of energetic cleansing that I use at home. It comes down to something that most every house has, something that we use every day.

Salt.

Salt has a lot of interesting history in many different cultures. Salt has been used by humanity as far back as 6050 BC in trade, food, preservation, and religion. Imagine eating your food without a little bit of salt. There aren’t many out there that enjoy bland food. So, this ocean derived commodity was a big deal (and an important source of dietary minerals).

As I mentioned, people had also noticed applications in spiritual practices. Even the ancient Egyptians used it in their spiritual practices, including mummification. They were far from the last culture to use it in spiritual practice, though. The first modern example that comes to mind is the Catholic Church. Salt is mixed in their holy water, after both the water and salt are blessed. It is then used in baptism and blessing. While the blessing is an important aspect in the usefulness of the holy water, it is the mix of the water and salt that hold the first step towards its power.

I’m sure you’ve heard of fairy tales, myths, or TV shows that involve the magic of salt. Many times it shows up in a protective circle of salt around a magician or a horror movie protagonist. That myth comes from actual use in folk magic as well as Catholicism. It even continues in modern day “tradition” in the practice of tossing salt over your shoulder when you spill salt.

According to John Michael Greer’s “Encyclopedia of Natural Magic” salt’s astrological correspondences are Saturn in Aquarius. Energetically, it absorbs and purifies. These qualities make it a great choice for protection and banishment work. It also makes it great for clearing out psychic gunk that might be attached to you or something that you own. I even make a protection salt that incorporates herbs of blessing and protection that one can use to block out negative energies.

I often use salt in my own energetic clearing. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve begun an exploration into a very intriguing magical system called Quareia. I’m still in the beginning stages of the course, so I can’t really give too much of an opinion of the magical system. One of the first things that you learn in the course is how to make a sort of holy water. The idea is to make cleansing baths once a week for a few weeks to learn how it feels to be clear of the psychic grime that we accumulate throughout our travels in life. It can also be used in clearing a room of unwanted energies, as well as helping to remove simple energetic parasites from someone.

Here’s an example of its use. Josh and I attended a sound healing event. The space it was held in was full of people, so there wasn’t a lot of room to work with. As I laid down, I set the intention that the session was for me and that I wouldn’t connect to those around me as the session went on. I wanted to focus on my energetic stuff, and I didn’t want to get sucked into doing healing work for others while I ignored why I was there. I set up strong boundaries and let the sound wash over me.

Josh had a very different approach. He opened up to feel what was going on in the room. He interacted with spirits of the place and the energies of the people in the room. He didn’t feel anything too out of the ordinary until we arrived home. I noticed that he was edgy and something was off. As we tried to go to sleep, he was wide awake with the feeling that something was off. He had picked up some small parasitic energy from the session, most likely dislodged from someone else during the sound healing session. Josh was an open target! So, I rolled out of bed, grabbed some salt, poured some water, and got to blessing. After dousing him in the salty water mix, he began to feel like his normal self. The salt water had worked!

It may seem like a little thing, but the usefulness of this is pretty fantastic. You can find the blessings I used in this PDF (starting on page 8). I’m still playing around the uses, but it’s shown some promise. It makes me wonder how much of it is the blessing, and how much of it is in the natural properties of the salt and water.

An interesting note in the use of salt, holy water, and cleansing herbs. My teacher Adhi has a theory about the uses of these items in Catholic baptism that may help shut down people’s third eye. She theorizes that the mix of symbolism, salt, water, and herbal oils (all of which, by themselves are useful tools for healing and clearing work) were formulated to help shut down the intuition of the common people about a millennia or two ago. While it may seem a little like a conspiracy theory, the methods that she taught me that employ sacred geometry and dowsing to counteract this “psychic scarring” have a powerful effect. There is certainly something to it! I bring it up to look at all the sides natural magic, and how too much of a good thing can be counterproductive.

Well, that’s all I have for tonight. Thank you for exploring the mechanics of a little natural magic with me.

 

Be well and do good work

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Old Holidays in the Modern Age

Today is Lughnasadh (phonetically loo-nah-sah), an old Irish festival said to be started by the god Lugh as both an athletic competition and a memorial feast for his mother Tailtiu, who died clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. It is part of the eightfold wheel of the year that so many European inspired nature religion’s use. This is a modern mix of four different Gaelic holidays with the two Solstices and two Equinoxes. I don’t believe people really used these eight together as a sacred holiday cycle until Gerald Gardner, father of Wicca, stitched them together. Since then, many other nature orientated spiritual groups have taken up this cycle in their practice. It is an earth cycle honoring set up which I like, so I try to follow it.

Lughnasadh itself has a really interesting, varied history. It’s been Christianized as Catholicism took root in Ireland, as well as secularized. People have celebrated it with bilberry harvest, athletic competitions, cultural celebrations, dramatized re-enactments of mythology of Lugh stealing grain for mankind, or later on the mythology of St. Patrick converting pagan chiefs. Holy wells would be visited. Pilgrimages would be made. Goats are still crowned king for the day. Trial marriages were created for a year and a day. Feasts were and are eaten. It’s an interesting mix that has changed with its times.

This brings us to modern day practice. I love the set up of the eight holidays. They are spaced rather evenly, so it makes it a little more sane to celebrate. A few of them even line up with holidays that most of the United States celebrate (such as Halloween and Christmas). They are mostly focused on our interactions with the life around us, connecting me to the seasons. Those of you who have read my post about the wheel of life (if you haven’t, here’s the link) know how these points in time play into my spiritual practice. I see each of these points in time as energetic qualities to connect to in my work.

I find a few issues with practice. It can be a bit odd to try and focus on holidays that a majority of the population do not acknowledge. There’s a certain cultural push towards celebrating certain holidays. When that’s not there, and that recognition of its sacred nature isn’t culturally acknowledged, it can feel a little lonely. We often expect to have religious holidays like Easter off from work, but it’s hard to have the conversation with your employer that you’d rather switch Easter for the Spring Equinox.

The biggest obstacle for me, though, is creating my own way of celebrating. When it comes to any Irish traditions concerning the Gaelic four festivals, some transfer to the hills of Northern Vermont well. Others, not so much. Many spiritual groups have their own ways to celebrate, but they are either tradition specific, apply to the seasonal cycles of Celtic lands, or apply to the seasonal cycles of where the spiritual group is. My part of Vermont certainly keeps its own time and seasons. An example is Imbolc, which was traditionally the time in Ireland when the ewes started to lamb. Not up here, it isn’t! It’s too damn cold at the beginning of February! Spring in Vermont is still a long ways away at that point, so that tradition does not transfer.

So, here I am, trying to figure out how I can celebrate Lughnasadh in my own way, while being area appropriate. If I’m not seasonally appropriate for where I live, I’m missing the point of celebrating holidays to explore the energy of the seasons of where I live. Besides having a ceremony to thank the land for the produce in my garden, I will try to embrace some of the competitive nature of some of the older traditions. I will make sure that my husband and I break out the boffer swords we own and practice. I also have karate class later on, so that’s pretty appropriate. The mentions of bilberry harvest makes me think of blueberries, which are in season as we speak. Sounds like a perfect way to connect to the cycles.

Ceremony, competition, garden harvest, and blueberries. Sounds like a good start to me. The importance is that I make space to explore how this time of the year feels, and try to take what I know about the traditions of this holiday into context. Every year, I create a stronger connection to it and maybe, just maybe, get others to join me in connecting to this moment in the cycle of the year. We talk often about the spirit of Christmas. Today, I feed and experience the spirit of Lughnasadh in both what that means to me and what that means to the life about me in this point in time.

How will you feed the spirit of Lughnasadh?

 

Until next time

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Spirits of my Past

Today is my 34th birthday. Anyone close to me knows that I am really into celebrating my birthday. I can take a day to celebrate another year of exploration of life and the world I live in. It can also be a great time for reflection.

In my reflection, I’ve been going back to my childhood and the form that spirituality took then. I was raised by fiercely religious folks whose belief system was still rocked by the 80s satanist scare. Magic and other forms of spirituality were sure paths to hell.

My childhood was my first magical training, though. My mother and grandmother would probably be horrified to hear that, but it’s very true. I learned a way to interface with Divinity in those years. I learned how to feel energy. I felt the difference between praise songs, how they felt different, how the people singing these songs with me affected the feel of praise, and how the right mix could lead to a mystical experience. I remember learning that many of the kids in the churches I would attend didn’t feel the same, weren’t looking for the same spiritual experience as I was. While I was looking for connection to the Divine and Divine Love, many of the other kids were there because they had to be. I felt the same for many of the parents. It was a social thing that was expected of them.

To be fair, hypocrisy is a human thing that is not just the domain of any one religion. I saw it in the one I was raised in, though, and that was part of what drove me away. From what I saw when I was young, it seemed that other traditions had more developed ways to explore magic. Now that I am older and have waded through a bit of magic theory and traditions, I’ve learned that I was very, very wrong.

You’d might be surprised to find that most paths of power on this continent have Christian roots. Renaissance magical study abounded in Christian symbolism, and the Church hasn’t always been so antagonistic to its practice. It is heavily present in a lot of folk magic like Root Work (Hoodoo) or Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-wow. Even the famous Golden Dawn magical system uses a mix of Christian and Ancient Egyptian symbolism in their work.

When I began to actively research magic outside of my religious experience, I was pretty sure that I had finished my path with Christianity. I thought that I would be jumping into a world of pre-Christian European deities, and that would be that. That turned out to be yet another thing that I would be wrong about.

I’ve mentioned the Sphere of Protection ritual that I practice in other blog entries. In case you’ve missed them, the Sphere of Protection ritual is a practice created by the Ancient Order of Druids in America, a Druid Revival Order of which I am a member. The purpose of this ritual is to align myself with the archetypal energies of the elements, as well as the planet and the cosmos, while creating balance within myself and banishing unbalanced energetics within and about me. Part of this ritual involves intoning divine names. The original example is written using the names of old Welsh deities. They’ve never called to me, so I tried out names from other Celtic deities. I have a connection to Mannanan Mac Llyr after all, so that pantheon group should make sense to use in my daily ritual. Something wasn’t right, though.

Fast forward to a session of shamanic journeying with a teacher of mine. We were meant to go and meet guides who represented the four directions. We started in the East, the direction traditionally attributed to the element of Air. My teacher started drumming, and I began to journey East in my mind’s eye. I was heading into this with an expectation. I work with Hawk, as I’ve mentioned before. He is often attributed to the East and to the element of Air, so I expected to bump into him. Instead, I found the archangel Raphael.

I didn’t expect my meditation to go this route. Raphael is the archangel traditionally attributed to Air and the East. I started to talk to him, but I told him that I thought I had made a mistake. A wrong turn in the corners of my subconscious, if you will. So, I left to find Hawk. As I did, Hawk laughed and told me to go back to Raphael and talk to him. Confused, I went back to Raphael, archangel of Air, archangel of healing. Apparently, I was not finished with Christianity... or, at least, its archetypes.

This was my first hint that I should be working with angelic energies (not my last). This is now a little bit of a weird concept to me, but I think it’s a way of the universe reconnecting me to a spiritual part of my youth. I now invoke the elements of the Sphere of Protection ritual with the names of the archangels traditionally attached to the directions: Raphael for the East, Michael for the South, Gabriel for the West, Uriel for the North, Sandalphon for Below, and Metatron for Above. It seems to work well for me, so I’m running with it. It gives me a good excuse to delve into old angel lore, at least. Who knows where it will take me from there?

Well, it’s late. May your explorations produce good information, and may your roots help you, not hinder you.

 

Until next time

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Planets and Constellations

We are embarking on an experiment in magic today. In fact, this experiment is the reason why I’m posting on Wednesdays. It goes back to the idea of working with the energetic currents that naturally happen around us every day.

Magic and astronomy have gone together hand in hand for a very long time. The idea that different sorts of energetic currents moved around our planet (and us) at different times is an old one that more than one tradition has tried to develop a language for. One of the ways that people could tell where our planet was in it’s cyclical currents was watching what stars we are facing from where we are standing on this big hunk of space rock that we are travelling around the sun on. A common language that people use now a days for these currents is the language of astrology.

Before we continue much further, I’d like to make something known. I am not an astrology expert. I wouldn’t even go as far to say that I know it all that well. I do know enough to experiment with it in my magical practice, though. It is this knowledge that I am sharing.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you will already have noticed that I use astrological terms when talking about the esoteric uses of plants. Lemon balm’s correspondences are Jupiter in Cancer. Plantain’s correspondences are Mars in Capricorn. You may have wondered what planets and constellations have to do with plants. When I speak of these celestial bodies in reference to energetic properties, I’m referring to the energetic currents associated with these planets and constellations. Each of the planets known to Babylonian and Greek astrologers millenia ago and the twelve constellations of the zodiac represent a certain energy. If you don’t know these correspondences, here are some charts that I stole from the internet.

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That’s actually what a lot of astrology is all about, as I understand it. The popular pigeonholing of someone due to their sun sign is talking about the yearly energetic current that someone was born into. The constellations that we use to describe this was where the sun was approximately hanging out in the sky about 2,200 years ago. While the sun no longer is in the constellations due to the wobble of the planet, we still use the constellation’s names in describing the energetic currents that happen at that point of the year. Presently, we are in the astrological sign of Cancer. Though the sun nowadays is actually hanging out in Gemini, the current of the year remains the same. We’ve called it the Sun in Cancer 2,200 years ago, and we’re sticking to it.

When getting into astrological birth charts, they are a lot more complicated than one’s sun sign. They cover where the moon was, where the planets were, and other astronomical events at the point of your birth. While fascinating, that’s not what I’m covering today. Instead, I’m talking about charting these energetic currents and trying to ride these currents to be more successful at whatever you are trying to do.

Magically, a good way to do this is to pay attention to where the moon is hanging out in the sky. As I write this, the moon is in between Pisces and Aries at a point that astrologers refer to as “Void Of Course.” Not the most auspicious time, this should have a bad effect on intuition. It’s not a good time to do something magical. It would be better to wait for the moon to go into Aries tomorrow. Not to say that one can’t do something magical, just that it would not be as easy as it would be to wait for a better time.

The other planets in the sky also move through these different points of the sky, and mark movement of energetic currents. The theory is that they are reflecting solar currents flavored by the planet, subtly coloring the energetic movements on our planet. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded “Mercury Retrograde.” That’s when, due to planetary movement and perspective, Mercury moves across the sky in the opposite direction as everything else. While it might be sending vibes of botched communication, it certainly is not the game changer that a lot of people try to make it. When it comes to planetary astrology, though, I usually don’t pay too much attention. They’re pretty far away, so I imagine that their effect is pretty subtle indeed. The moon and the sun, on the other hand, affects us in so many ways, astrology aside. I find the idea that their position in relation to us defining subtle energy shifts intriguing.

This brings us back to the beginning of this blog entry. Why Wednesdays? Well, someone noticed a long time ago that there are seven planets in traditional astrology (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) and there are seven days in our week. It was only a matter of time until someone assigned a planet to a day. Wednesday happens to be the day assigned to Mercury. While the week seems to be an arbitrary human construct that divides the solar year pretty well, who am I to argue with tradition? Let’s try this experiment out. Will blogging on Wednesday be better at communicating than a Friday (the day of Venus) or Saturday (the day of Saturn, which is not the best choice for communication)? Let’s find out.

Talking about using astrology as a way to follow energetic currents, I will be expanding on that theory and how to use it during my upcoming Amulet Making Workshop. It will be on Sunday (can you guess that day’s planet, and what kind of amulets will be made then?) July 15th from 1 pm to 4 pm. If you’re interested, email me at greenmountainmage@gmail.com and I can tell you more.

Finally, have a fun (and relatively safe) Independence Day (for those of us who live in the United States). Don’t let the void of course moon mess with your intuition too badly.

 

Until next time

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

A Tale Of Hawks

I remember my first time trying out the art of shamanic journeying. I was a senior in high school, hanging out with friends after school. My friend Robin had been learning about different shamanic practices, and was sharing her experiences with me. We headed to a back storage room in our friend’s house, I laid a bunch of blankets to lay down on as she sat close by with her drum. She began drumming, and I tried to relax into the sound. I remember how hard it was. It didn’t help that our friend’s younger brother busted into the room a few times for some reason or another.

Something did happen that afternoon, though. I clearly saw the underside of a bird flying over me. We looked up what I saw in a bird book and I decided that the Broad Wing Hawk was the most likely candidate.

I don’t know how many years passed until I decided to research this hawk a little more. I did eventually look up the Broad Wing Hawk on a bird song website, and what I found gave me shivers.

For a little background, I live on old family land. My grandfather bought the farmhouse I live in sometime in the 60s. He lived on the Connecticut coast, but wanted a place to go to disappear in the woods for a bit to hunt. He found this run down farmhouse built in the 1850s on a dirt road that closed in the winter. It made the perfect hunting cabin. Eventually, my parents moved in, having a proper basement replace the cellar hole and arranging for power lines to be run down so we would have electricity. I was about twelve when we moved in. I was never really good at identifying birds when I was younger, but there were certain bird calls that strangely wormed themselves into my memory of home.

The Broad Wing Hawk was one of them.

I cannot remember a time that there wasn’t a pair of Broad Wing Hawks that lived in the forests surrounding my house. They’ve always been these strange guardians in my life that I never really knew were there.

Hawks are the messenger of the day. They have keen eyesight, which is ironic to me that I have them as an animal spirit in my life, as I have glasses. The connection to hawk isn’t about physical sight, though. It’s more about seeing the bigger picture. They are strong guardians. They travel south for winter. That travel lust, that longing for adventure is what I most strongly connect with when it comes to them.

I love my home. I always return home, as hawks always return to their summer nesting grounds. But, I love a good adventure. That’s part of my love of hiking. It’s an adventure to the top, a pilgrimage to the skies for those of us not blessed with hawk wings. Once you get to the top, it’s all wind, mountain spirits, and a better view of the world. For me, it usually coincides with a better view of life. The hike up is processing time, matched with time to connect to the land. At the top, the clear view of the land matches a clearer view of the situation.

I know. I wax poetic about the mountains often (when I’m not doing it about the ocean). It ties back into it, though, doesn’t it? Hawk and his fondness for a clearer view of life situations. This is why I love journeying. You can discover something as simplistic as the underside of a bird that you can’t identify, and, through exploration, meditation, and spirit-led discovery, you can still be talking about it years later.

It amazes me how this sort of work ties into everyday life. When I was exploring the shores of Assateague, in the midst of this mystical experience miles away from home, I noticed a feather sticking out of the mud on the bay side of the island. I walked over, picked it up, and gave it a good look.

Oh yes. It was the wing feather of a Broad Wing Hawk. Even miles away from home, hawk was still with me.

 

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You may have noticed the website has been reborn as Deep Earth Arts. It’s been an amazing (and amazingly busy) few weeks, but we’ve settled into the new space. It’s pretty awesome. We’d love for you to visit it! We’re having an Open House this Saturday. Live music. Prizes. All the things a good Open House should have.

You may have also noticed that the blog has been released on Wednesday. This isn’t an accident, or a product of procrastination. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog. Which brings me to another point…

Josh wants to get in on the blog writing. So, he and I will be alternating weeks. Next Wednesday, he will be publishing his first blog entry. He’s a great writer, so you should check it out. I know I’m looking forward to seeing what he cooks up.

Finally, check out the calendar section on the website if you get a chance. I have an Herb Walk and an Amulet Making Workshop scheduled in July. If you’re around and you’re looking for something fun and maybe a little educational, sign up. I will also be doing a Reiki Clinic (with Josh) and a Shamanic Journeying group. Both are monthly and both are by donation. If you show up and have some money to put towards it, great. If you show up and don’t pay a cent, great. Just show up. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a journeying experience that you’ll talk about years down the road…

 

Until the next time

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

My Mesa

In my shamanic work, I have a few tools of the trade. While my rattle and drum are two of the most important, there are others that are just as helpful and powerful. Today, I want to talk about one of my tools that I use everyday… my mesa.

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One of the first tools that my teacher had me work on was my mesa. The mesa is a sort of sacred bundle. I carry spiritual objects in it that relate to my power, or objects that I use in my work. I bring it with me when I work with clients. It’s like portable sacred space. As I set up, I open my mesa, set out the items in a sort of mandala, and light a candle. The only part that can be bought is the cloth itself, which is where one starts in making their mesa.

There are certain fabrics that aren’t conducive to this work. Most synthetics don’t hold a healthy charge at all. So, cotton, silk, or wool are best. I found my big mesa cloth at a fabric store. I hemmed the edges with embroidery floss, working in my energy into each stitch. The red cloth is actually from my first mesa, the one that I made on my Assateague adventure with my teacher, Adhi. She had found the material at the Goodwill in Burlington, VT.

My connection to my mesa began with the cloth. I was told to sleep with the cloth under my pillow. The idea was to connect it to my dreaming self, and to see if I had any interesting dreams that could relate to the mesa I was building. While I didn’t have any dreams worth noting, it was an interesting start to connecting to the future mesa.

One of my first big items in my mesa I found on the Autumn Equinox a few years ago. I wanted to find some sort of power object for my mesa before winter came, and the Equinox seemed as good a day as any to search for one. I put it out to the universe that I only had a half an hour to find one, so if it wanted me to have something, I needed it to guide me to something in that half an hour. I made an offering to the land, and tried to to listen to Spirit as to what direction to head in. It was difficult to find the focus to hear, but about 20 minutes in I had a pretty clear sense of the direction I needed to head. I ended up in a swampy area that I must have been through a hundred times before.

I was getting a little worried and skeptical.

Then, I felt my gaze directed past a mossy log. There, hidden in moss and ferns, was a deer skull and a few vertebrae. It just so happens that deer is one of the animal spirits I work with. Specifically stag. And here, hidden for years, was a skull of a buck.

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He was in a little bit of a rough state, so I rubbed him down with cedar oil and beeswax, then wired him together. He is now part of my mesa, a connection point to spirit for me.

Talking about deer and my mesa, it was that autumn that I did not harvest any of my apples. I let them fall from the trees and lay about on the ground. The deer were frequent visitors throughout the winter, digging them up from the snow and snacking on them. The spring of next year, an antler lay next to one of my apples, as if it was a gift in return for the apples that I had left for the deer. That also made it to my mesa. It’s a powerful tool for removing things from client’s energetic body, as well as a tool to help things move in the correct flow.

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There are quite a few other items in my mesa that connect me to other animals and places that assist me in my work. I have a dried seahorse, feathers from birds that I work with, a rock from my favorite mountain, seashells to keep me connected to the ocean, and more. It’s personal and ever changing. I feed it with offerings and prayers so that it can continue in assisting me in healing and connection to Spirit.

On a side note, Josh and I have officially began fully using our studio. We’re still figuring out hours, and the what and when of our workshops and events, but that will have been all hammered out by this upcoming weekend. One detail that has been decided is that Deep Earth Arts Studio’s website will merge with mine. That means some of the old blog links won’t be usable in a week. All my old blog entries, as well as my future ones, will be found there. I’ll post when the merge happens both on my Facebook and the Deep Earth Arts Facebook. All the pieces are coming together, and I have to say that I am excited.

 

See you all on the other side….

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Lessons in Weeding

It’s been a little crazy over here in my corner of the world. I love Spring, yet the season moves at its own pace. Sometimes it feels like it’s taking forever. When everything starts going, though, it can be quite the adventure trying to keep up. The plants are on their own time and they plan on doing their thing with or without me. The race between the plants and I is on.

Along with that race, my husband and I are in the midst of putting together the plan for our studio space, its set up, and what we are doing in it. Reiki, runes, shamanic work, tea, and more… it’s quite the fiasco! The date of our Open House closes in, and there is still so much to be done.

I know that this is the craziness of late Spring. Summer creeps upon us to envelope the sweet unfurling from the Winter months to greet us with a verdant world wrapped up in hot weather, plants everywhere, and adventures to be had.

It’s overwhelming and glorious.

In this craziness, I have to remind myself to take moments to enjoy it all and listen. This is a big part of my shamanic practice: taking time to stop and listen. My teacher Adhi has her apprentices taking time everyday this month to find something that the Earth offers and eat it. Whether it’s burdock, dandelion, or sorrel, we are to take time to taste and commune. If there’s a plant type that we continue to hit up, take some time to sit with it. Maybe make offerings or rattle to it. See what happens.

I’ve been turning my weeding regimen into a chance to explore this practice. Goutweed has found a home in a few of my garden beds and if I am not careful in eradicating it, it will happily (and aggressively) take over any space it can get. It’s also a medicinal and edible plant. It was used primarily for arthritis and (did you guess?) gout. While I am not aware of any magical history with goutweed, it is an interesting plant that is very intent on covering open spots.

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So, I am exploring my relationship with this weed. It’s tenacity is surely part of its magic. Its taste is a little unusual for the more modern palate, so I understand why it’s not a popular food in our cuisine. I have yet to really sit with it and listen. When I do, though, this is my plan. I can start with giving a plant an offering of tobacco. Say hi. Introduce myself. Then, I sit and listen. I don’t just listen with my ears. I use my entire body. I am in stillness, receptive to anything that the plant might throw at me. I can also try rattling to get my brain in a more receptive state, as well as another method of honoring the plant.

Take some time this week. Sit with a plant that you can identify. Taste it if its edible. Sit with it in silent meditation. What does it look like? What does it make you think of? Why? See if you can get any impressions from it. Plants and trees have surprised me many times with the insight that they have offered.  Don’t expect a voice (though, if your brain is wired to receive information that way, it’s possible). It can be a gut feeling. It might be connected to a thought. You can even try sleeping with a piece of the plant under your pillow to see if you can get something in dreams.

I’m still in the beginning stages of my relationship with this plant that I am trying to keep in check. I’m sure that there’s something to be learned even in the antagonistic nature of this plant. I just have to dig and find it.

In other news, I had mentioned in a blog a while ago about a project that I wanted to do with planting amulets under trees and seeing how it affected the surrounding area. For those of you who are interested in participating, please reach out to me. I’ll supply the amulet. All you have to do is get a tree and plant the amulet beneath it. Worse case scenario, you have a beautiful new tree in your yard.

I hope it has been as beautiful where you are as it is up here. Stay tuned to hear more about the new studio space and all the things that we will be offering there.

 

Until next week

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Ancestral Homes

I was visiting my friend Sandy this week, talking about life, adventures, and magic. I don’t quite remember how it came up, but we began talking about the ocean. She mentioned how she appreciated the ocean, but it didn’t do anything for her that the mountains and rivers up here couldn’t do. This blew my mind. I love the ocean. I love the power that it emanates. I’ve even wrote about it. I always figured that most people in this work felt the same way.

I knew that some people had an adverse reaction to it. My husband is happy to live miles away from the ocean. All the reasons that I wax poetic about it are the reasons that he wants to keep distance between the ocean and him. When I visit the rocky New England coasts nearest to us, I feel the primordial power of the massive body of water that life crawled out of billions of years ago. This ancient nursery of life is this old power that is so much bigger than us, and a force of equal measures creation and destruction. It draws me to it, while Josh recognizes the power and stays the hell away from it.

He likes to say that he comes from river people. His family has deep roots in the area. My dad’s family comes from the shores of southern New England. I’ve recently been researching ancestry, following my dad’s family tree. I can follow my patrilineal line pretty far back to when we first came to America. After my 8th great grandfather bought land in Rhode Island, he returned to France, loaded his wife and son on a boat, and moved his family to America. While he died on the road over due to being on the losing side of a duel, his family took root in the coastal town that they considered their new home. Looking through the movements of my ancestors, we’ve always lived next the ocean. My brothers and I are the first in 9 generations (not counting my French ancestor that died en route) not to live on the coast.

While I stand by my belief that the ocean is a powerhouse that has a certain healing power, I wonder if part of this is genetic. Is there something that my ancestors passed to me that influence the way I think about and experience the ocean? I recently read a quick article about research in genetic memory, and a quick Google search reveals more research. It’s an interesting confirmation of certain branches of shamanic work, specifically breaking unhelpful generational patterns. While there can be unhelpful patterns that are passed genetically, can there also be connections to place (connections that can be formed in only a handful of generations)?

It’s been an interesting exploration for me, especially as one that hadn’t felt a strong call to ancestral work to begin with. It’s even more interesting to explore the idea that parts of my spiritual practice are colored by where my ancestors lived, even when I didn’t necessarily think of it as an ancestral connection until recently.

Just a few thoughts as I explore my roots and my past. A quick post on ancestors and the sea, the primordial womb of Mother Earth, seemed appropriate for Mother’s Day. So, I ask you: how has your family tree influenced your spiritual practice? How much does your family history shape your view of the world?

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Medicinal Weeds

Spring is unfolding up here in northern Vermont. The red trillium is up (though not flowering yet). I’ve seen pictures of people getting ramps, but I haven’t checked my ramps patch yet. If fiddleheads aren’t up yet, they will be. Trees are budding, and the gardens are in need of attention.

Capitalizing on the beautiful weather, I went out to clear, weed, and collect. It’s amazing to me that the weeds that I am fighting are also medicinal allies. By trying to take up space in my gardens, they force me to harvest them in a timely manner. As a procrastinator, I can appreciate this.

In the bigger picture, these “weeds” are all part of mother nature’s plan to claim and cover soil, prevent erosion, and begin the process to grow a forest. Garden’s aren’t exactly natural, however eco-conscious and organic your methods are. A garden is an attempt to keep the waves of nature’s growth cycles static and in favor of one species… namely, us. Ecosystems create systems that rely on change and diverse interactions. In gardens, we are intervening to create something that works for us in production and aesthetics.

Weeds can be advantageous to us, though. As I said, a lot of these tenacious plants that invade our garden are really medicinal plants that are growing where we don’t want them. Some of these plants, I’m giving in and letting them take over some space. Why weed them and search for them in the wild when I need them when I can have them in my garden?

The first weed that I had to tackle was the ever present burdock (Arctium lappa). If you live around here, I’m sure you’ve ran into this plant before. This biennial looks a little like rhubarb when it’s young. When it gets into its second year of life, it grows tall and makes the burrs it’s famous for. My dogs have a knack for getting these stuck in their fur after a few minutes of running around outside. The sticky burrs of burdock were the inspiration for velcro, with the hooked ends of their seed pods easily latching onto hair or clothing.

It’s astrology is Venus in Leo, and it has been used in protective work. Medicinally, the root is used in medicines for the liver and skin. It’s deep taproot is full of nutrients that the plant has mined from the earth. It should be harvested in the spring before the second year of its life. If it’s the first year, at this time of year it’s small. The second year, the root has had a year to grow. The taproot can grow up to 6 feet long, so it’s unlikely you’d be able to get all of it. I mean, look at that root!

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Now is the perfect time to get it. The sugars that it stored to make it through the winter are still present, so it’s not as bitter as it will be once those sugars are used to produce the plant. You can actually eat it now. It’s a bit like a carrot, but that bitterness is a little present already so it may not be suitable for everyone’s palate.

After I harvested a bucketfull of burdock root, I noticed this little patch of green in a nearby garden bed. This is one of my favorites, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica).

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I could harvest these young plants if I wanted to, but I’m going to transplant them elsewhere. This also gives it time to get a little bigger. At this young age, the hairs full of formic acid that give nettles their sting have yet to form well. While these hairs aren’t a problem once nettles are dried or cooked, they are not a pleasant experience when carelessly handling the older plant. The rash they give last for about a day and is more annoying than painful. I don’t necessarily suggest going out of your way to experience it, though (unless the idea of urtification appeals to you).

The astrology of nettles is Mars in Aries, and is used in matters of handling crisis, strength of will, and anything that would be considered martial. Medicinally, it’s used for arthritis, prostate support, the urinary system, and more! It can also be eaten, as long as it’s steamed or cooked. If you’re interested in getting some dried nettle to try out in magic or tea, you can buy some from me here.

As I continue through the garden, a third invader keeps popping up. The lowly dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)! This lawn invader originally came from Europe, but has happily naturalized, annoying both lawn purists and gardeners alike.

Dandelion is a Jupiter in Libra sort of plant used in protection, vision, and success. It is a great diuretic that also has high levels of potassium, a mineral that is often depleted by other diuretics. It’s also good for your liver, your skin, and a bitter. Many of us who grew up in rural areas have memories of eating dandelion greens in a spring salad. At this point of the year, it’s time to go for the roots. They will have some of that winter sugar, like the burdocks. Getting them now is also easier then fighting with them later in the year.

Together, these three can make a great spring tonic to do some body spring cleaning. They are all relatively easy to identify, and are incredibly safe. They are also probably growing in your garden where they shouldn’t be, so harvesting is made easy. You can weed and collect at the same time.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful weather as of late. I know that I have. In fact, I think that I will go out and enjoy it some more. Invasive medicinals, watch out!

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Thoughts on Reiki

Today, my husband asked me to teach him how I do Reiki. He recently completed his Reiki Level 2 class, and is playing around with what he had learned. I think that most people start developing their own way of going about their Reiki practice if they do it long enough, and I’m no exception. His question made me stop and think.

How do I describe what I do?

After a little thinking, and paying attention to what I do when I am doing Reiki, I think that I can give it a little explanation here.

First of all, for those of you who are not familiar with what Reiki is, allow me to offer a quick crash course. Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, was born in 1865 in Japan. His life story and how he came up with Reiki is a convoluted story mixed with myth and Christianization to appeal to western audiences. It is believed that in the early 1920s, after a 21 day session of fasting and prayer on Mount Hiei, he developed (or was given) the practice of Reiki.

It’s hard to say how it has changed from Usui’s day to what we are taught in the US today. Hawayo Takata, a student of a student of Usui, is the one credited to bringing it to the US. She is also credited to giving Reiki’s story a more Christian flavor so it would be received more favorably in the West. She may have changed some of the information as she taught it, which may account for a few of the different schools of Reiki. Adding to that, different people taught it differently as it spread. Some would add stories of it originating in Atlantis because they “channelled” it (or it made for a great story that those in the New Age movement would eat up). Some would add extra symbols.

So, here we are in the early 21st century with quite a few different schools. I’ve learned primarily from two Reiki teachers, and both taught the system differently. What remains the same is the basic idea of what Reiki is. Reiki is a way to channel energy through the practitioner into the client to balance the clients energetic field, balancing the emotional, spiritual, and physical. This is taught to the practitioner through three classes (sometimes there is a sort of 2.5 level, but I believe that to be just a way for the teacher to make an extra buck) and three attunements. The attunements are the most important part, as it teaches you what to connect to. In the second level, you are taught symbols that are used both in healing, strengthening your Reiki practice, and (eventually) attunement of others.

When you are first taught Reiki, after your attunement you are taught to pull the energy out of the sky. That’s how I did it for the longest time. Then, I began to learn about the rituals in the revivalist Druidry of the AODA. One of the main tenets of the work in the AODA is that there are three sources of power in magical work: the cosmos, the planet, and you (fed by your own mix of the cosmos and the planet). It’s interesting to look at other magical and spiritual practices through this lense. It also suggests that there is better balance when using all of these.

I decided to try and mix this practice into my Reiki. I still myself, get myself out of the way, and let the flow of power travel down my center line, from the sky to the earth, from the earth to the sky. They meet in me, mixing in me, flowing through my hands into the Reiki power symbol that I am visualizing over my client. I usually also work in a silent prayer to the Creator, as well as my guides and the client’s guides.

I find that the more that I let go, the better the practice. Sometimes, I can feel my guides move my hands somewhere on the client. I try to pay attention to what I’m doing, sometimes reaching in and asking the client’s body what it needs. My goal is to smooth out anything that feels out of balance, as well as clear any blockages in the central channel. While a practitioner is taught specific hand positions in Level 1, I have never really used them. I focus on specific chakra points, and feel where my hand is needed.

I have found that one of the interesting things that changed in my Reiki practice when I added a terrestrial flow was a lot of heat. Sometimes, it heats up my body so much that I sweat. That’s why I have to rock a bandana in summertime sessions. I imagine getting hit by your practitioner’s sweat would ruin a perfectly good Reiki session.

Another thing that I do differently than many other Reiki practitioners is I place a rock at the client’s feet. I had a teacher suggest this to help ground. I like the feel of it, and I enjoy working a little bit of nature into the practice. I also use a rattle and drum. My drum can assist in breaking up blockages, and my rattle can assist in sealing in the session, as well as acting as a sort of energetic cleanse.

There is more to Reiki, such as cutting energetic cords, or removing anything that shouldn’t be in a client’s energetic field. This goes more into shamanic work, though. This is why I like to refer to my practice as more than Reiki. I work in all of the other modalities that I have learned on this path.

If you have any questions about Reiki, or how I go about it, ask in the comments on my website or on Green Mountain Mage’s Facebook page. I’m always happy to talk shop.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

The Rune Goon

I write this a few nights before this entry will actually be published. We are winding down from packing and getting ready for a trip to New York City with our kid. As I talk to Josh about what I should write about, he mentions that I haven’t written a blog about him, and I suppose that’s true. I haven’t really mentioned how he stepped into his ability as a Rune reader.

For quite a while, he stayed away from anything seriously esoteric as well as he could. He would sometimes participate in my home seasonal ceremonies, and I would tell him that he was a powerful person. It’s not an empty platitude. He’s like a big battery. He would also pick up on ransom threads of fate, like telling me randomly that I would get a job offer a half a year later at a local candle factory. He would sometimes pick up on information that he shouldn’t necessarily know about people. He had a knack for being psychic.

It wasn’t until he made a personal pact with the Universe at a local Abenaki healing springs (seriously… look up Brunswick Springs) that things began to really unfold for him. He learned Rune divination and magic from a psychic friend (Sali Crow, medium extraordinaire and witchy author), while connecting to his ancestors buried in nearby cemeteries. Looking back on it, it was all kind of like a bizarre movie. Connecting to his Pequot Great Great Grandmother as a spirit guide, finding that the Runes and Norse mythology really resonated with him, and being open about his experience and gifts made life a little bit of a rollercoaster. Everything happened all at once last summer, and he really stepped into his power.

I don’t really remember when he decided to start doing Rune readings publicly. I do remember his “I’m So Witty” grin when he figured out the perfect name for his Rune reading persona: The Rune Goon. I don’t think many could pull off a moniker like that, but he does.

As he explored his gift, we began to realize how our work complemented each other. His readings uncover a lot, and expose people to life truths that they may or may not want to face. That’s when it’s best to send them off to me to do some work in assimilating information, calming, and centering. That’s why we often offer dual sessions. See Josh. Get a good cry in. See me. Leave feeling good.

I guess there isn’t much else to say, besides to encourage you to go and check out his Facebook page. He posts the Rune that he pulls everyday. If you’re interested in learning more about Runes, or getting a reading, he’s the guy you’re looking for.

I should stop now and get some rest. Tomorrow is a long train ride to NYC with my family. I’ll be on the lookout for something interesting to share while I’m down there. Who knows what I’ll find.

 

Until next week

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Clearing Space With Herbs

Using the smoke of cleansing herbs has long been in my practice. Physically, the smell helps bring me into the mental space I need to be to do spiritual work. Smell has strong links to memory, as the information from smells go from the thalamus to the hippocampus and amygdala, key brain regions involved in learning and memory. It’s certainly a fascinating, underappreciated sense! The herbs also interact with the vibes of the area. Most plants used in clearing work have a fiery nature.

I was recently reading the work of author Josephine McCarthy who suggested that there is a connection with these cleansing herbs and the area that they grow. She mentions that she doesn’t have a lot of luck with white sage (Salvia apiana), an herb commonly used in energetic clearing, because she lives in England. White sage is endemic to the warmer, drier areas of the states and has a long history being used by various Native tribes in ceremony. She prefers using frankincense, which does not grow on the British Isles, but has a long history there via the Church.

I’ve read articles about people calling out the overuse of white sage in cleansing as disrespectful and culturally appropriative. I believe it to be situational. It would be cultural appropriation if used in a quasi Native American ceremonial way without correct context, cultural connection, and cultural permission. Used as an herbal agent that works in a certain way seems to me to be working with the land. As a white man in an area that white sage does not grow, you can take my thoughts on that as you’d like.

In my practice, I’m fond of Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens). It’s wood from a tree that grows in South America. The name means “holy stick” and I am sadly unaware of its history beyond that. It’s commonly used in energetic clearing, and has a pleasant smell. It does the work, and does not offend the noses of those who dislike the smell of white sage.

Following the idea that plants that have a connection (historical or ecological) to the area you are cleansing are more effective, I wanted to mention some plants that I’ve used in this work that you can grow or harvest in northern Vermont. I will be using some of these in my work in the future, but not all the time. As they carry some of the skunkier notes that make people dislike white sage, they may not be for everyone.

Cedar

 A twig of the cedar tree up the road from me

A twig of the cedar tree up the road from me

The type of cedar that grows around here is white cedar (Thuja occidentalis). It has a very fiery nature, its astrology being Jupiter in Sagittarius. They are commonly found in graveyards due to a symbolism of eternal life. Interestingly, cedars seem to have a history in different cultures in dealing with death and purification. It might have something to the compound called thujone in it, which acts as an insect repellent, a wormer, and a mild neurotoxin (not one to repeatedly take internally in large doses, especially in essential oil form). That also protects the wood from rotting quickly. Our bodies deal with it just fine in small amounts, which is why it’s perfect for a cleansing smoke. It smells great, and has been used in conjunction with white sage for a very long time.

Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina)

 Taken from Wikipedia

Taken from Wikipedia

This was a plant introduced to me last year. While it does have a sweet scent, it is not an actual fern. It is a deciduous bush that has history of being used as a medicinal plant. I have yet to personally explore that aspect of the plant, but the claims range from an expectorant, to treating ringworm, to covering a host of other ailments. What I do know about it is that a teacher suggested using it to clear space. She felt that it worked better than white sage. I don’t know if part of it is its connection to the land, but that is part of my theory. There is one drawback… when burnt, it really smells like pot. If you’re using it in a situation where that doesn’t matter, it’s great. It’s probably not appropriate for a lot of client situations, though. Depends on the space and the client, I guess. That being said, it works very well. I use it in a mix when I’m doing ceremony for myself.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

 Also taken from Wikipedia

Also taken from Wikipedia

This herb can be found growing beside roads pretty much everywhere up here. It also has a rich and varied history in the magic and medicine of China, Japan, Korea, medieval Europe, and beyond. Plants in the Artemisia family seem to have that in general. Its astrology is Venus in Cancer, and it is another fiery plant. It is used medicinally for menstrual and digestive issues. Magically, it has a history of use in works of protection and awakening psychic powers. I like to make a tea out of it with lemon balm before I work with clients to help me with compassionate insight. As a tea, it is also used to encourage dreaming. Chinese medicine has long used burning mugwort in a process called moxibustion, where a stick of mugwort is burnt over certain pressure points to restore proper flow. Burnt in a ceremonial sense, it can clear a space and open your third eye a little. My husband uses it to clear his space for readings. This one also has a pot-like smell, but not as strong as sweet fern.

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis)

 It's still dead out there. I have to keep using pictures from Wikipedia.

It's still dead out there. I have to keep using pictures from Wikipedia.

Yes! You can totally use culinary sage! I had a teacher who said that it worked way better for her than white sage (again, that possible connection between the plant and where you use it). It has a lot of history in medicine and food. Yet another fiery herb, its astrology is Jupiter in Taurus. I have yet to try out home grown sage in this work. I live right at the edge of where you can grow sage, so I haven’t tried until last year. I’m still waiting to see if the plant made it through the winter. If not, I have to try and create a better microclimate for it. I will get it, someday.

So, there you have it. Four herbs to try out in cleansing space that you can forage or grow up here. Feel free to comment here on the website, or on the Facebook page as to whether you’ve worked with any of these. I’d love to hear about your experience.

Until next week

-The Green Mountain Mage

Adventures in Medical Dowsing

A few months ago I started a medical dowsing class with my teacher, Adhi. It’s fascinating stuff, looking at dowsing rather differently than the traditional dowsing that I was aware of previously. I’m still going through the information and perfecting my practice, but I can share some of the details with you.

The idea of this certain method of dowsing is to figure out how to calibrate the pendulum to specific frequencies for different sorts of work. The frequency that we normally use is one that is supposed to be the same wavelength of healthy chi.

Using the person’s energy field, or something with a link to the person (such as a picture, or even a hair), the dowser uses that specific frequency to test what is operating in a healthy range. You can test body parts or parts of the energetic body (such as the chakras) to see if they are operating in that healthy “sweet spot.” Much like kinesiology, the dowser can also test how certain products, food, or herbs will interact with the patient.

The applications go further than that. The dowser can also use that frequency to see if there are any unhealthy energy spots on the property that might be affecting the client. There are other frequencies to test for any energetic attachments, as well as the client’s connection to their higher selves.

I go into a lot of dowsing work with skepticism. While I recognize that dowsing started because it was an effective way to find water, it seems that there are some branches that have gone deep into crazy country. Once you get into realms that can’t be really confirmed one way or another, that gives room for some eccentricities to really bloom.

I know of dowsers that get very accurate results, though, so I don’t throw it all out. My teacher is one of these dowsers. She’s shown me a few of the tests that she runs on her own to confirm some of her dowsing work. An example is dowsing out plant interaction with the planet’s magnetic field. She had worked out a dowsing protocol in plant positioning. The group that had been positioned via the protocol had about 25% more growth than those that hadn’t. It was the same group of seeds, in the same windowsill, planted in the same planting medium, and watered at the same time. The only difference was the dowsing protocol.

So, when I saw that she was offering the class, I was happy to jump on. Now it comes to personal practice and experimentation. I’ve been able to work out information that I didn’t know previously about the health of willing participants. I’m still getting a feel for it and I still have a lot to learn and experiment with. As I get a little more experience under my belt, along with sufficient practical results, I’ll be looking for test subjects. You know, for those of you who are local and adventurous.

Dowsing itself is supposed to hook into our subconscious selves, enabling us to collect information that we innately know. It’s an interesting field that seems to lack reason for working, yet still works. That’s a part of this work that I love. We have a hard time explaining some of this scientifically, yet it still works. I’m looking forward to diving into this more and seeing what results I find.

And on that note, I’m off to try and figure out a few mysteries of dowsing. Wish me luck.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Spring Fever

Spring is here in the northern woods of Vermont, and I’m excited to be finding some of my springtime favorites growing in the woods around me in about a month. I thought that I would share a few of them with you.

The first is fiddleheads.

 Taken from Wikipedia

Taken from Wikipedia

These little guys are a northern delicacy that have an amazing nutty flavor. They’re actually fern fronds that have yet to unfurl. I only pick Cinnamon Ferns (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), but I hear that Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) can also be used. They are sources of fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and iron. As for the more esoteric sides of ferns, I only know that they have a traditional connection to weather magic. The spiral is a symbol of cosmic forces and the cycles of nature, so that could potentially part of its symbolism.

The next edible that comes to mind would be ramps (Allium tricoccum).

 Also taken from Wikipedia

Also taken from Wikipedia

This relative of onions, leeks, and garlic sprouts from the ground pretty early in the season. If they find a spot that they like, I’ve seen them claim the side of a hill. They are picky about their spots, though. A friend had bought a bundle of ramps from a farmers’ market that was harvested roots and all. I tried planting some of them in a few different locations that I thought might work for them. Only one spot survived, and they aren’t big fans of where I put them either. This pickiness, along with heavy harvesting, makes them a little scarce. I have yet to harvest mine, in hopes that they will spread a little more. As with most alliums (the garlic and onion family), I imagine that they would be classified as a fiery energy. They could be used for banishment work. They also have some of the similar medicinal qualities, due to their shared sulphuric compounds.

One of my favorite wildflowers happen to be an early spring popup around here. It had a few names: Red Trillium, Trillium erectum, or, my personal favorite, Stinkin’ Benjamin.

 Another from Wikipedia. I need to get out and take some spring photos this year.

Another from Wikipedia. I need to get out and take some spring photos this year.

The beautiful red flowers are striking in the shady spots that you can find them. As you may have suspected from the third name, the Stinkin’ Benjamin has a… “unique” odor. The best way I can describe it is as if a fish was left in the sun for a few hours. Because of how early it comes up, it’s pollinator of choice is another early comer, the fly. Its roots do have medicinal uses, though. The root, along with the root of other trilliums, has been used for menopausal issues, women’s hormonal issues, and coughs. Even though the red trillium seems to be one of the few trilliums not endangered, I still leave the wild ones alone. Symbolically, their three red petals could be a metaphor for the Trinity of your choice. There might be some symbolism to the offensive smell. I have never read about trilliums in any books on magical properties, to I’m left to potential metaphor and intuition on that front.

The final springtime favorite that I will mention is maple syrup.

 Another from Wikipedia.

Another from Wikipedia.

I work with maple trees often in my energetic work, so I couldn’t skip this one. Vermont and its surrounding states are all in the middle of what we call “Sugaring Season.” The taps that maple producers put in their Sugar Maple trees (Acer saccharum) months ago are flowing with sap, and will be until the trees begin to bud. While the days up here have been in the 40s Fahrenheit, the night temps are still dipping below freezing. As the weather warms, the trees will stop producing clear sap. It takes about 40 gallons of this clear tree sap to be boiled down to one gallon of sweet, sweet maple syrup. While maple has its place in indigenous mythology concerning how humans learned how to make maple syrup, most of the information on energetics and correlations of plants that is used in present day comes from Europe. With its lack of presence in these tomes, I take it that there aren’t really any maples that way. So, we are again left with metaphor and intuition. I know that the sweet nature of its sap lend it to works of love, and giving. That jives pretty well with the juju I feel from the maples I work with, so I’ll roll with that. Maple syrup is also a great gift to ancestors and nature spirits. I mean, who doesn’t love good maple syrup?

So, you all know of some of the things that I will be on the lookout for as this month unfolds, and everything begins to warm up. This spring weather is getting me ready for days of working in the gardens. Now, if only all this snow would finish melting.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Offerings

I had a request to talk about offerings to spirits! So, let’s tackle that.

When one does work with other beings, it’s always a good idea to have some sort of exchange, or an offering of good will. When I hike, I like to make three offerings. One at the base of the trail, asking for a safe hike, one at the top of the mountain as a way to honor how majestic it is, and one at the end to thank the mountain for the safe trip. It’s certainly not a necessity. Most people just hike and they’re just fine. I think it’s more polite to offer to the mountain or trail, as well as it sets the mood for the hike. I’m not there just for a walk that I can do anywhere. It’s a pilgrimage, and the mountains are living beings to me.

When doing ceremony, offerings are an important part. Ceremony is usually to honor, or to ask help in something. If you go into that expecting that you deserve help for nothing, or just your presence is honoring enough, is a little short sighted. Offerings give us perspective in our place of things, that we are not the top dog that the universe bows down to. Instead, it creates a give and take.

In short, it begins a relationship.

I believe it’s an important part in communicating with things that aren’t necessarily considered as communicative… or, such as in the case of the mountain, alive. When I began to work with the drum, I was reminded to make an offering to the drum, to warm the drum to me. In the work that I do, everything is assumed to have some sort of spark of consciousness. How we interact with that spark of consciousness can change the way we act in the physical world.

When it comes to what you offer, I find that intuition can play a large part in it, as well as tradition. I usually stick to herbal offerings, but some people use coins, hair, or whatever their specific tradition calls for. We all know about the idea of animal sacrifice, something that has played a role in a lot of cultures. While definitely not something that is considered in our continent, it still does have a place in other parts of the world, where the animal is ritually done in, then eaten usually by the community. If you are a meat eater, and this idea rubs you the wrong way, you might want to take a moment and reflect on the non-sacred killing of animals that happen so that you may have a burger. There’s a lot of weight on that subject, though, and further discussion would take a blog or two on it’s own. I’ll say that I don’t have any animals I’m raising for meat right now, and blood seems to me to be a little too dark to offer to spirits I work with.

The offering I do often use is tobacco. It runs on the idea that tobacco has had its place as a sacred herb to indigenous folk, and the land recognizes it as something that is a sacred gift. People use cornmeal and sage for similar reasons. The intuition comes in when you add herbs to the mix. I had a surplus of Sweet Annie Herb a year back, and it felt right to add that to my offering mix. It had a pleasant smell, and it was something that I grew.

Another offering that I like is one of music, or spoken word. Even singing to a mountain, as silly as it might sound, can be a magical experience. It adds extra vulnerability, and one that I love to mix with an herbal offering.

There is also specific offerings to the spirits, plants, or land formations that you are working with. I was taught that it is traditionally proper to offer white flowers to water spirits. There are great cleansing herbs, like cedar, that are appropriate to offer to a fire. If I’m headed to a specific place to make an offering, I keep what I’m working with in mind, and try to feel out what that space would like. That can begin the conversation, and I like to think that the land appreciates that extra effort.

And that’s all I really have to say about offerings. I’m going to head out an enjoy the beautiful sun that’s poking through the clouds outside, maybe make a little offering to the spring that supplies our house’s water.

Cultivating gratitude for the sun and running water

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Oghams

I know I’ve mentioned Runes often enough in this blog, but I believe I’ve only mentioned Oghams as a sort of “Celtic Rune” that is connected to the Wheel of Life pathworking symbol I use. I don’t know if they’ve ever had a full blog post, though. So, I thought that it would be appropriate to delve into an old Irish alphabet on St. Patrick’s Day.

Let’s start with what the Oghams (which are, as I understand it, pronounced oh-ams… the g makes an almost sigh like h sound) look like. They’re essentially tick marks on a line. Either shown a vertical or horizontal line, they are usually read down to up. To give you a little hint as to the direction you are to read them, there can be a sort of arrow to show you where the line is starting. The picture below shows the word “Ogham”, starting at the bottom above the arrow showing the direction it is written.

IMG_20180317_150914.jpg

The history of the Oghams are a bit murky to me, and seem to be rather murky to historians who know far more than I. Some historians say that the earliest record of the Ogham is from the 4th century AD, but it has been argued that it is as old as the 1st century AD, or perhaps older. Inscriptions of Oghams are found mainly in Ireland, but have also been found in Wales, England, and Scotland.

It is an odd alphabet, as according to medieval information on the Oghams, some of the letters stand for sounds not present in the Irish language. Some suggest it was patterned after Latin, or from a pre-Celtic Irish language from megalithic times.

There were originally 20 letters, with five extra letters added on to the alphabet in later years. The original fews (as the letters are called) were separated into four groups of five, as each group ranged from one to five tick marks in their group (each of these groups of five called feadha).

IMG_20180317_223323.jpg

The last, newer five are called the forfedha. They have a different style, certainly not as easy to carve into wood or stone as the original ones were.

IMG_20180317_160837.jpg

Each letter has an association with a tree, as well as other associations tacked onto them throughout the years. This is where their use in divination comes in. Each Ogham can be used for divinatory or magical purposes. Whether they were used originally for such purposes, I don’t know. I swear I read about a story of an ancient Druid who used them in divination, but, for the life of me, I can’t seem to find where I read that. So, we’ll have to stick with the fact that whether they were used in that capacity in ancient times or not, they are used as such now.

An example is the first few, Beith (the first one in the picture of the first feadha above). This few represents the birch tree. In divination, it would represent beginnings, renewal, rebirth, and purification. Generally, a pretty good few to pull in a reading, unless you were looking for the continuation of a stable situation, as renewal and rebirth requires change.

Oghams have a few interesting historical points. The poet Robert Graves discovered a book that had an incomplete listing of the Oghams (the first thirteen, specifically). Thinking that he had figured out an ancient Celtic lunar calendar that corresponded with Oghams and trees, he put a system together. I’ve read a little about it, and it seems interesting and, though not historically accurate, magically useful if it aligns to your cosmology.

There’s also the matter of the order of the Oghams. I originally learned them from “The Druidry Handbook” by John Michael Greer (one of the sources that I have used for this blog entry). In that book, JMG mentions that there are two ways people order the first feadha. He uses the order BLNVS (Beith Luis Nuin Fearn Saille), as that was the way that it was taught to him. He also noted that the letters almost form the name of a Celtic solar deity, Belenos, and the other order may have been a sort of Christianization of the Oghams. It seems, though, that most of the rest of the people that work with Oghams in magical practice, as well as most of the scholars that I’ve come across in literature, say that the first Oghams are represented in the order of BLVSN. The mix up can make understanding what the last three fews of the first feadha mean if someone is writing with Oghams. Because I first learned them via JMG, I read them as he taught them, though it is most likely not historically accurate. That is the interesting thing about divination, though. As long as you settle on a meaning between you and the powers that be in the universe, the message can still be carried through.

If you are looking for information on the Oghams, you can find them in “The Druidry Handbook” by John Michael Greer, or in a lot of places all over the internet. I know there are a lot of books out there, but I don’t really know too many that I can personally vouch for. So, if you find this set of symbols intriguing, do a little research. See what you can find.

On a completely different note, I’d like to announce that Josh (my husband) and I have a new space we will be renting out for readings, Reiki, rattling, workshops, and more very soon. You’ll be able to find us below the Juicy Girls Juice Bar in Littleton, NH by appointment. You’ll be hearing more about that as it unfolds. We will be having an open house on the solstice, having set up fully by June. I’ll keep you all posted.

 

Stay warm. Though the Equinox is this week, it’s still rather wintery up here in northern Vermont.

 

Until next week

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage