Sunday, July 26, 2015

You're not REALLY going to eat that.

Blessings Darlings!

Back in May I posted about eating weeds, and how bitter some of them are.  And WAY back, when I reviewed the Hunger Games books, I posted about how the author had clearly never eaten the dandelions she had her characters eat and enjoy.  And folks in Pagan groups online seem to post ALL THE TIME about edible wild plants - "And the seeds of plantain and etc can be ground into flour and cooked and eaten!"

Well, yeah, they can be.  But the odds are you aren't going to enjoy eating them.  That we know that they can be eaten is not a celebration of edible weeds so much as a commentary on how desperate folks have been in the past, by folks who are NOT desperate, and have never eaten them, today.

Yes, for us preppers and, probably, for us pagans it's important to know options that you have.  But that has to be coupled by having actually DONE the things you are telling others can be done.  Armchair knowledge without experience is 99% useless. 

I LIKE bitter foods, and can't eat most wild greens without 1 - only harvesting the youngest leaves; 2 - soaking them in several changes of CLEAN water before cooking 3 - cooking them; 4 - mixing the with other foods to help hide the bitterness.  My husband does NOT like bitter foods - if I was to assume that, in time of Great Need, I could feed him them, and I'd find out right quick that he'd ot be able to choke them down.  And a friend HAS gathered and ground seeds from plantain, cooked it, and found it pretty much inedible. 

"Intellectually knowing" that something can be done, "Intellectually knowing' how to do something, is not at all the same as having done it. This is both a prepper and an occult fact. 

Put down the book. Turn off the internet. Go out there and DO SOMETHING.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tea Time

Blessings Darlings!

I'm at my desk with a hot cup of tea, preparing to do a bit of divination by reading tea leaves.  This is NOT something I'm good at, instead, it's a skill I'm still learning.

And I bumped up against a limitation of this as a form of divination.

See, I'm checking out the not-visible results of doing a bit of a hex.  Normally, using Tarot cards, I could pull a card each for effectiveness, how doing it would effect me, how doing it would effect those around my target.  Mix, pull, interpret.  Pretty straight forward.

That's not how it works with tea leaves, at least for the readings I'm practicing now.  I'm just doing, for this divination, a 'how will this work out over the next month' reading, not a 'let's look at every house of the zodiac' reading.  (I DO plan to learn that later, but I really don't speak astrology).  So I would have to have one cup of tea for each and every one of those questions. 

That's a lot of tea to have, especially on a hot day.  My bladder just looked up at me and said "Really?  REALLY?"

So ... I'm just asking how it would effect ME. Because I'm that way today.

Now, what the heck does that elephant mean?

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Egregores

Blessings Darlings!

Every group that lasts long enough has it's own egregore. To be clear, I'm not talking about Facebook groups here (tho some certainly do have one), I'm talking about groups out in the real, not digital, world. They are sentient psychic entities. They are created by the group mind, and then once created have a strong influence on the group mind.

We're all in multiple egregores, of course. A family usually has one - you might have one for your nuclear family, one for your mother's side of the family, and one for your father's side. Your workplace, if you have one, has one. Political parties have them. Hobby groups have them. Schools have them. A founding group of like minded folks get together to work on some goal, the psychic energy and will coalesce over time, and - rather like cosmic dust building enough mass and gravity that fusion starts and a star is formed - a sentient entity forms.

Every occult and/or spiritual study group, if it's around long enough, develops an egregore. Every coven. Every tradition. A coven IN a tradition is, obviously, part of at least two egregores.
Gerald Gardner, IMNHO, with his rather extensive occult experience, consciously set up the egregore for Wicca (just as he consciously set up the religion). He set up ways to become a part of the egregore, because that is what occultists DO.

We can call the entity the egregore of Lineaged or Traditional Wicca.

Decades later ... came Eclectic Wicca. It seems to me that it's based on Outer Court/not initiated/not part of the Lineaged Traditional Wiccan Egregore information about Wicca. Does it have an egregore? Sure. Does it have the same Egregore that Lineaged Traditional Wicca has? No, because to be come part of that egregore, Gardner set up a specific way to join THAT egregore - initiation, done in a specific way, and by an person who meets specific qualifications.

Is Eclectic Wicca a 'valid spiritual path'? Yes.
Is Eclectic Wicca the same thing that Traditional Lineaged Wicca is? No.

Now, I'm willing to bet that there are folks who agree with this.

And I'm willing to bet that there are folks who disagree with this.

So, let's discuss.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Anti-Racism Magic

Blessings Darlings!

I assume that everyone reading has heard of the attack earlier this week on the people - black people - at the Emmanuel AME church in South Carolina.  I'm going to provide a simple magic aimed at reducing racism.

BUT - before I get to that - I'm going to write about what racism is and what to do in the mundane about it. 

First I'm going to point out that the dictionary definition of racism is totally inadequate.  The dictionary (written by ... whom? think on that) defines racism as the same as 'prejudice'.  As an individual issue.  That's not correct, in my never humble view. In my view, racism is a societal power issue - you can be prejudiced against folks you don't have power over, but racism has IMPACT on daily lives of others. Racism requires power over the 'others'.  That can only happen when privilege is a basic part of society.  BTW - you might want to research why/how the AME church was created.

It can be hard to see privilege if you have it.  I guess that's kind of like not seeing air if you're a land animal, or not seeing water if you're a fish.  If you're not sure what privilege looks like, you can google things like 'how to recognize white privilege'. 

Actually ending racism is going to end white privilege. That's going to be a side effect. If you do the magic right, and it starts working at least in your local area ... if you're white, you may see changes in your life that you might not like. Police and courts might treat you the same way they treat blacks.  Because privilege is built into the legal and enforcement systems.  And the system is going to fight ending privilege.

In the Mundane - move out of your comfort level. 

To work on ending racism in every day life, you're going to have to speak up when you see/hear racism and prejudice.  Speak up when folks make 'jokes' putting down other races.  The terrorist in Charleston made lots of them.  His friends laughed.  

Have those discussions about race, prejudice, racism that might be scary for you to have.  If you're white, you fear of words is nothing compared to the fear of being attacked for your race by the agents of the state.

And, FFS (BTW, on MY blog, FFS means "For Fern's Sake"), listen to people of color when they describe their experiences.  Don't try to rush them to 'forgiveness' when the perps haven't asked for it, and when the attacks are ongoing. 

The Magic

This is real simple magic.  Go weed your garden. Charge the weeds with being 'racism', and root those weeds up. Let them dry to nothing in the light of the sun.  

That's it.  Really. Most magic is simple.

Frondly, Fern

Monday, June 8, 2015

Defrosting The Freezer

Blessings Darlings!

Being the busy little home maker I am, I'm defrosting the freezer as I type this.  We have an OLD upright freezer, 14.7 cubic feet, not at all frost-free.  We got it in January 1979, so it predates our 1980 marriage and LONG predates our 1987 Spawn. 

Every now and then (really, more NOW), it needs to be defrosted.  It's one of the easiest household tasks, if you manage things right.  And the one thing that is most critical, to me, in 'managing things right' is to use big cardboard boxes - the type to hold hanging files in - in your freezer to  hold things as a matter of course. 

Our freezer has 4 of those in use.  Two for meats, one for bones for broth and prepared broth, and one for fruits.  I also use the cardboard 'bases' from cases of catfood in two places.

The boxes do two things.  First, they prevent ice buildup on the TOP of the shelves.  This the cardboard bases to, too.  But on top of that, to empty the freezer before defrosting, and to re-fill after defrosting, all I have to do is move the box out or in.  No trying to find things to store that food in.  Easy peasy. 

Once everything is out of the freezer, I just put big pots of boiling water in, close the door, and wait. Thermodynamics FTW! Of course, I have layers of towels on the floor, but since the freezer is in the garage, mostly I just sweep the puddles out after I'm done.

Once defrosted, the old darling runs like a top. 

And while it defrosts, I get to multitask online.

Frondly, Fern


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Unemployment!

Blessings, Darlings!

This last Sunday, May 17, at 3 pm, Corporate locked the doors at the restaurant Spawn and I worked at, closing the store.  No official advance warning, just a notice of a mandatory meeting about 'food safety issues'.  Oh, okay - for those who Googled the company, there was this announcement last month that they would be closing a bunch of restaurants. 

So Spawn is out of his only job, and I'm out of my #2 job.  He will qualify for unemployment.  I won't.  We will be able to see the severance package this weekend. Word is that we'll be offered two weeks pay (I worked there 19 months, he worked there 3 1/2 years), but what we'll have to sign away to get that isn't clear.  We MAY be offered jobs at other restaurants in the chain, but that's not guaranteed - nor if the Spawn gets hired is it at ALL guaranteed that he'll get his current pay.  He's gotten a LOT of raises while he was there, because he's that good.

Now, an $850 hit in our monthly budget is, of course, PAINFUL (that's what I was paid plus what the Spawn pays in rent). But we're applying for new jobs, and y'all KNOW that I can do the Cheap Bitch thing really well. Yes, veggies are going into the space I had meant to put a flower bed in. Yes, I spend this morning washing out 'lightly used' zip-lock bags for re-use.  Yes, I have bones and skin from chickens past browning in the oven now, for chicken stock later today.

You and I know the drill.  We've been around this block before. 

It's a real shame, tho', for many of our coworkers, who relied on this as their only job.  They really need good thoughts from all y'all for getting new jobs.

Frondly, Fern




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eating on the Wild Side

Blessings, Darlings!

So, as some of y'all already know that my husband neglected to read some of his e-mail ... so didn't send in something that our health insurance needed ... so auto payment of health insurance emptied our checking account of not just our expected $245 payment but an additional almost $2000. The $2000 for rent, utilities, food, etc.

We scrambled to cover the bills this weekend, and we will EVENTUALLY get the $ back, but it will take 2 to 4 months. So we are in financial pain just when we thought things would be calmer.

So ... let's talk about eating weeds again. It's something that *I* can do, but my husband can't. Wild greens have more flavor, or as my husband puts it "are too bitter". My husband is a super taster.

Now, he's right that most of the current round of wild greens available ARE bitter. The weather is getting hot, which contributes. The younger wild mustards and shepherd purses were tame. Early (pre-blooming) dandelions weren't TOO bad. But wild green things now are flavored to repel leaf munching insects, and apparently the plants see humans as bigger insects.

Therefore, in keeping score so far this week - Narrow Leaf Plantain: bitter, but added to soup and hot sauce added was fine. Miner's Lettuce: bitterness lessened by soaking in a few changes of water, was fine added to a tomato based spaghetti sauce to top pasta.

Today's adventure will be bind weed. Which apparently I'll have to mix with some other greens because "too much can have a laxative effect'.

Tomorrow I'll be finding out if thistle leaves, lightly steamed, really do taste like asparagus.

Frondly, Fern