Note to Self

Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of the gods.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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The Bounty of Lughnasadh

The beginning of August marks the first of three harvest times in the year’s cycle.  Farmer’s markets and fruit stands are bursting with produce, and picnic tables everywhere are groaning under the weight of tomatoes, berries, and melons.

There is a wonderful article on the website of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/druid-festivals/lughnasadh/deeper-lughnasadh) about Lughnasadh (also called Lammas), if you’d like to read more about the history of the festival.

For me, the thing to pay attention to at Lughnasadh is the bounty of the fruits AND the ripening of the grain.  In other words, one harvest is maturing and one is yet to come.

Is there work from the winter that you’ve done that is paying off now?  What did you sow and what do you now reap?

What work is still to be done before you can enjoy the next harvest?

tomatoes

First Tomatoes

Friday Fun by the Letter

On this day in 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress established the US Postal System, with Ben Franklin as Postmaster General.  For today’s Friday Fun creative writing prompt, imagine that you’ve accidentally received your neighbor’s mail.  Curiosity overcomes better judgment, and you open the letter.

In no more than two paragraphs, write a story describing what  you discover in the letter and how you react.

Happy Friday!

Looking Back on the Recent Planetary Aspects

In the past few weeks, we’ve had a Mercury in Cancer Retrograde and a Grand Trine in Water signs.  Saturn is still in Scorpio and Neptune is still in Pisces.  I don’t know about you, but I think all that emotionally-charged  Water stuff can feel pretty overwhelming sometimes.  Even if you yourself aren’t emotional, having to work or live with others who are can be a challenge.

I’m finding that the Neptune in Pisces aspect is hardest for me.  Neptune is the ruler of Pisces, so therefore they have similar meanings: spirituality, emotions, enlightenment, mysticism, compassion.  Those things sound good, but Neptune and Pisces also represent delusion, addiction, escapism, and ever-expanding boundaries.

It’s that capacity for illusion that frustrates me so much.  My Virgo Rising/Grand Trine in Earth self can’t abide such ungroundedness.  Trying to communicate or interact with someone who isn’t clear on everyone else’s reality gives me a headache.  (Let me clarify:   I’m all for allowing every bit of wildness and creativity and free-spiritedness to roam unfettered. . . . inside your own head.  When you are at work or in a group, you gotta be able to dial it back when you have to, and you gotta be able to hear input from others, even if you might not agree.  That’s all I’m saying.)

Now, during a Mercury Retrograde, we are meant to review and reflect.  We get four weeks to mull things over and contemplate how to go forward in a better way.

So what have I learned from my own month of ruminating?  Boundaries are a good thing.

In Defense of Discourse

Today, a co-worker and I had an earnest and intelligent discussion about food philosophies.  She espouses a certain food lifestyle that I wished to know more about.  I had read opposing views and seen conflicting statistics and wondered what the “real” story was.  To be perfectly honest, I leaned a little bit against her views, but sincerely wished to understand the other side better.  We had a wonderful and serious debate, where she allowed me to present the views which clashed with hers.  She listened to me.  I listened to her.  And then we went back to work.

Does it ever seem to you as if this situation RARELY happens?  Why does it sometimes feel as if you CAN’T express a contrary opinion, even if you are just searching for answers?  Why can’t we talk about our various beliefs and inquire about the why’s and wherefore’s of someone else’s views without it becoming a heated argument?

Now, perhaps someone’s dietary choices are not a sufficiently inflammatory topic, and so of course our conversation was civil.  Maybe if we had talked religion or politics, the outcome might have been very different.  (I really don’t think so, however, knowing what a sweetheart my co-worker is.)

Does the topic matter?  Do the personalities of the conversationalists matter?  I think “yes” on both those counts.

But wouldn’t it be a relief if we could all temper our egos a bit, let the other side to be heard, and allow for the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the thoughts that rumble around in our heads might be incomplete, or even wrong?

Sinister Friday Fun

For today’s Friday Fun writing prompt, imagine that you are walking along the sidewalk in your lovely suburban neighborhood, when you come upon the scene below:

Phone Pics 3 003

As you are still contemplating the broken tool before you, you hear a shriek from very close by.  In 25 words or less, start your story from these prompts!

Happy writing and Happy Friday!

Tagged!

My dear blogger friend at peacelovegreatcountrymusic.com has tagged me in her post.  Tagging is a great way to learn about other blogs.  The idea is to say a little bit about yourself and then list some blogs that you read.  By sharing the love, you can introduce readers to new blogs that they might not otherwise find.  Following PLGCM’s lead, then, here are my five facts about what I like to do when I have “me time” and the five blogs I am tagging:

1.  WRITE.  Having recently finished writing The Travels of Pacha Riley:  Legend of the Inkas, I am now in the process of searching for an agent and trying to get published.  I’m also getting my thoughts together for the sequel to my story.  (If you’d like to read the story, I’d be super grateful if you wandered over to authonomy.com.  You can read my story here, and if you like it, you can add it to your Bookshelf, which increases my rating.  Thanks!)

2.  EXERCISE.  I’ve been involved in sports in one way or another since I was 12 years old.  I’ve competed, coached, written articles, been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor, and taught workshops.  I haven’t gotten to train or compete much personally in the past few years, but I live vicariously and am super proud of the athletes I coach, some of whom have made it onto national teams.

3.  STUDY GROOVY THINGS.  I love to read about all sorts of holistic, alternative, metaphysical, and otherwise spiritual things.  My bookshelf is filled with texts on Feng Shui, astrology, mythology, Druids, and herbalism.

4.  TRY NEW THINGS WITH MY LITTLE MAN.  Motherhood has been a wild ride, to say the least.  But one of the coolest parts has been thinking of new things we can learn about and do together.  We’ve started a garden, painted the bathroom, tried new recipes, and done countless arts-n-crafts.

5.  DAYDREAM & PLAN.

And here are some blogs about writing that you might like to read (in no particular order):

writersrumpus.com

subitclub.wordpress.com

jilllondon.wordpress.com

blog.scribd.com

katebrauning.com

Thanks again, PLGCM!  You rock!

Ye Olde Friday Fun

On this date in 1389, Geoffrey Chaucer was named chief clerk for King Richard II.

In college, we English majors had to memorize the first 20 lines of the Canterbury Tales.  I can still recall it to this day:  Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote the droughte of Marche hath perced to the roote . . . .   Sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, always entertaining, Chaucer’s tale of a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury showed a cross section of the social classes:  nobles, peasants, clergy.

For today’s writing prompt,   write the opening paragraph of your pilgrimage tale.  Introduce some of your characters and describe their destination.  Set the tone for an epic road trip!

Happy Writing!

Traditional Herbs for Digestion

There are several wonderful herbs for mild cases of indigestion, tummy ache, or even agita.  (For those of you who are not Italian-American, agita is loosely translated as “nervous stomach.”  In other words, someone got you all riled up and now you have a stomachache.)  Here is a brief selection:

  • Anise  (hence the Italian after-dinner liqueur Sambuca)
  • Catnip
  • Dandelion
  • Fennel
  • Peppermint

Of course, as with any kind of remedy, you need to check with a practitioner first.  Some herbs will be better for you than others, especially if you are already taking prescriptions medications.  And dosage will vary too.  Remember, I’m not a doctor.

If you are interested in herbal remedies, check out Herbalist & Alchemist, Herb Pharm, New Chapter, Oregon’s Wild Harvest, and Gaia Herbs, just to name a few good companies.

Be well!