Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Today is for the birds.

Blessings Darlings!

Yesterday I did the "Juno Rite for Finances" from Jason Miller.  Things clicked really well while doing it - no candles blew out, the chanting came naturally, and within minutes of finishing rain started.  As I mentioned yesterday, we're on the Edge of Drought here.

After that rite, I cleaned the part of the patio that is protected by an overlay of roof.  I was given 'word' to put up a second altar out there, but I don't know why yet.  The area needed sweeping anyway, tho.  Today the back is full of swallows flying around, so I cleaned the bird poop (softened by the storm) from under the swallows nest there.  The babies are now living in the air just like grown birds.  The wasp nest is still in heavy use there, of course.  I'll knock that down around December.

While doing the preparation for yesterday's ritual, I realized that the wine in the kitchen had been open, but not used, since March.  Which means it was vinegar at best, and I don't need yet more wine vinegar in the house.  It was painful dumping it, but ... that's life.  I meant to use it for daily offerings, but have been using whiskey instead due to Reasons.  Obviously I've not been doing much cooking with wine for the last 5 months, and instead of wine I've used dry Sherry.

Today is being a Day With No Energy.  Did dishes, worked with the drying herbs, had conversations with Spawn and Chubby Hubby, cut up a lot of fruit, took lots of stuff to the compost bin, watched the swallows, listened to the wrens.  Will do more in the kitchen after dinner.  But not doing a whole lot of stuff today. 

Frondly, Fern

Monday, August 3, 2020

Lughnasadh, Pandemic, economy, garden - SSDD

Blessings Darlings!

Now, back to life during Coronavirus.  And now a rapidly weakening hurricane.  And protests continuing.  And the President talking about delaying elections.  

This is the Irish holiday of Lughnasadh.  Depending on your POV, it could be about the harvest.  I see it as the funeral games honoring Tailtiu, Lugh's foster mother.  She died from overwork, clearing the land for agriculture.  So for me - it's ALL ABOUT THE FARMWORKERS.  Of course, the farm workers are not being protected from Covid 19.  http://www.ncfh.org/msaws-and-covid-19.html

Speaking of Covid 19, since the US fucked up the last 6+ months, and didn't put any organized efforts into control, we're hitting new highs in cases and deaths daily.  According to Dr. Birx (the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force since February 2020) it's too late to talk about 'hotspots', it's now widespread - it's everywhere.  There is no sign of when it will end.  It might well take years before it's under control.  And ... darn few of us are going to trust vaccines that are rushed on to market, especially since the govt is going to release them even if they are only 50% effective, and there haven't been long term studies on side effects. 

The 'Covid stimulus' money that had been given to those of us on unemployment - an extra $600 per week - has now ended.  Our congresscritters are at a stalemate on replacing it with anything, especially anything that helps people instead of corporations.

Agriculturally - my area is between 'abnormally dry' and 'moderate drought'.  This is likely to change tonight and tomorrow, as we're getting rain from the remains of hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression Isaias.  We have flood warnings for tomorrow, then a day off, then more rain from it.

My first planting of green beans is almost played out.  The second planting was totally eaten, probably by returning voles.  Swiss Chard is doing well, I have beets, and today I picked the first two tomatoes.  The yellow squash plant is on a break, which is nice so we MIGHT catch up on eating the harvested ones.  I harvested the first of the potatoes today, too.  

That's the 'quick' summary.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Witchy Wellness part LAST. Finally.

Blessings Darlings!

Here we are, at #25, Devotionals.  Welp, around there HERE parts - as I keep saying - Witchcraft isn't a religion.  It's a skill set.  Just . like . knitting .   You don't have any devotionals to do to be great at knitting.  You don't have to do any devotionals to be great at witchcraft.

And they ain't part of 'wellness', either.

#25 Skincare.  Look, bathing regularly IS a wellness issue.  Common sense says to wash what is dirty, and moisturize what is dry.  As pointed out a few days ago - ashiness is not 'spiritual'.  But FFS, you can witch just fine with dry skin or zits or whatever.  Being moisturized or not has no impact on your witchcraft.  Zero, zip, nada. 

We're skipping line items that we hit earlier, lumped in with other ones.  So ...

#28 - Trust intuition.   How about DEVELOPING your intuition before trusting it?  Like learning to drive before trusting your ability to drive?  And while this IS witchy - it's not Wellness.

#30 is Meditation,  which I did mention before.  But I want to give it a bit more time, especially since this is the last thing we're going to cover (the last list item I covered DAYS ago).  Focused mind meditation is wellness, and is witchy.  So focus on that candle, or your walking, or that mantra, or follow that sound, whatever.  Don't confuse this with guided journeys, or pathworkings, or 'meditating to stop abuse' or whatthefuckever. 

Whew.  Finally.  Done with this crap. 

Let's summarize my points:  Wellness has a definition.  Witchcraft ... has a lot of definitions, but most of them are at least in the same ballpark.  "Witchy Wellness" is a stupid concept.  Especially when you set too many goals for too short a time.

2 to 4 goals a month, some of them to add things, some to drop things, is a good monthly 'goal total'.  And quantify those goals, make them measurable, so you can tell how you are actually fucking doing.

That's it, my dears.

Frondly, Fern

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Witchy Wellness, Part 8. The bullshit goes on and on.

Blessings Darlings!

Yes, this does feel like it's going on for ever.  The meme had you doing things every day for a 31 day month.  If you think that my commenting on it is overwhelming - holy fuck, what must it be like trying to DO this?  I'll tell you - it would be overwhelming and impossible, it is set up for failure.  Even with days thrown in to 'soak'.  Now - back to analysis!

#21 Connect with nature.  Oh, I'm sure that she means hang out with plants outside.  Maybe with a stream or river.  Barefoot, if possible.  And, yes, being out in open green spaces is related to actual wellness.  It could be argued that such acts are witchy.

Statements like this have some level of implication that you aren't already surrounded by nature.  Humans are totally a part of nature, after all, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't mean throw a pot luck party (in times of pandemic safety) and connect with other humans.

This isn't 'realize your role in nature', either, tho.  It seems unlikely that she's asking you to check your impact on the environment.  To stop eating as much meat (I live in a cattle grazing area, on a beef cattle farm. Ground too full of boulders to plow.  If the focus is to farm (and this is permanently protected farm land) beef is it's best use.   To use less electricity, AC, heat, buy less things, etc.   I could go on about this for days. Probably for a full book, mostly filled with how I fall short on this.

Back to 'connect with nature' ... if you're not doing it by joining Sierra Club and working to actually protect the land, and 'just' going for a walk somewhere green that you didn't have to drive TOO far to get to ... I'm going to suggest that you Give an Offering first, before you expect Nature to connect with you.  Humans are an animal that leave garbage everywhere, so bring a couple of garbage bags and pick up trash, THEN work on connecting.  Carry the trash out when you leave. 

Next up is Crystal healing.  Crystals are lovely, and can be witchy useful.  Alas, the vast majority of them are unethically and taken from the earth, rather in violation with the previous point.  Also - not only are you not going to learn about crystals in one day, or understand how to use them for healing in one day, you're unlikely to be able to buy them all in one day.  We're got yet another task that will take a whole bunch of time, added to a list of other tasks doing the same thing.

Seriously check if any crystals you buy are ethically sourced - no slave labor, no strip mines, etc. 

I'm certainly not saying that I have zero crystals.  Heck I have a gallon bucket filled with quartzites, from chips to ones bigger than my fist.  All 'gifts' for working my garden with hand tools - I dig, they are in the ground.  It's a quirk of this neighborhood.  But I'm not out buying crystals of unknown origin. 

Next us Love your body.  Okay.  Again, an ongoing challenge that might take oodles of time.  It's another thing that shouldn't be on a 'monthly challenge' to a internet full of folks in varying states of health and different stages of their lives.  Some of us are going to have to start with 'stop talking negatively about your body' or 'tolerate your body'.  Then go on to 'accept your body'.  And this shit is going to take lots of time for most folks. 

That's it for today.  There are only 3 or 4 items left (I'm not sure if I'm going to do Meditation again, since I touched on it in another post earlier).  I might get to finish this tomorrow!  Yay!

Frondly, Fern

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ashiness is not spiritual: Witchy wellness, part 7.

Blessings Darlings!

Side note - we finally got some rain this morning.  Might get more tomorrow.  Today was very hot and nasty humid.  Tomorrow might be cooler.  One hopes.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant!

#15 and #16 - Herbalism and sound healing.  Nice things to work with.  Regular Herbalism isn't witchy, of course.  But neither regular nor magical herbalism is going to be learned and thus used quickly.  FFS, actual herbalism will require deep knowledge of astrology, the Greek humours, etc, which are anathema to the person who came up with this.  Sound healing ... is very relaxing.  But appropriated and used incorrectly, which the person says she's against. 

How odd.

#17 Soak.  I don't know if this is about epsom salt or spiritual baths.  Really, just soaking in water tends to feel good, but that doesn't mean that it actually has a health value OTHER than feeling good.  No evidence that the magnesium from epsom salts enter your body to relax muscles.   So it ain't 'wellness'.

Spiritual baths are great.  But you will need to know how to wake the ingredients.  And some training in ingredients for different conditions, and how often to use them for best results.  Training.  Not reading some .... unseasoned flatbread author's book or web site.  I don't have this training.

It doesn't mean that I don't soak in a tub with brewed herbs and flowers in it.  But I don't pretend that I'm doing conjure or Hoodoo when doing it, or that it's going to have that level of effect.  It's going to smell nice and relax me, for sure.  That said, knowing that I'm going to have to really scrub the tub before and after (the Spawn is formally in charge of keeping the tub clean, but  he ... doesn't put in the appropriate elbow grease.  I love him.  He's GREAT.  He usually does a perfectly adequate job on cleaning bathrooms, but he is not good about cleaning the tub.

BTW, for your cleaning ease, if you're adding herbs, BREW THEM FIRST, STRAIN THE LIQUID, AND ONLY ADD THE LIQUID.  Removing the 'tea' leaf detritus from the tub if you don't do that first is a total drag.  Flowers and flower petals aren't depressing to clean up.  The herb crap IS.  Or at least put them in a cloth bag and put that in the tub.  You'll thank me later.

Oh, moisturize after your spiritual bath.  Ashiness is not spiritual.

#18 Sexual Wellness.  Accepting and making decisions about your sexual expression is totally a wellness issue.  Alas, virtually everything out there on this ... discredits asexuals and those who choose celibacy.  It's all about accepting and expressing.  And of course, because all her points are on a meme, we again have no idea what she is aiming for here.  I'm guessing that she isn't talking about 'sex magic' or 'this spell requires celibacy for a month before doing it' since she's calling it wellness, not power.

Yes, sex magic can be a part of witchcraft.  Celibacy can be a part of witchcraft.  Neither is necessarily a part of witchcraft. 

That's it for today.  More tomorrow.  Probably.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Witchy Wellness, more BS More ... typing.

Blessings Darlings!

We're at least half way done with the meme, let's keep going on kicking it to the curb!

Massage:  I adore massages.  I don't see them as witchy, or critical for wellness.  And they cost serious money.  Wellness should never be something that only the well-off can get.

Mindfulness:  Having focus is a good thing.  Depending on what you're focusing on.  It's not really much different than her later item, meditation.  

Aromatherapy:  Yes, scents trigger all sorts of things.  Some of them trigger the asthma of my husband and son.   Using them in witchcraft can be great.  Being aware (back to mindfulness) of their impact on your is a good thing.  Personally, I'm more into open windows than adding chemicals to what I breath.  Everyone's mileage varies.

Oh, dear.  #13 is self care.  Baby doll - everything about Wellness is Self Care.  Why the fuck is there a line item for it?  I mean, duh.  Not a damn thing witchy here.

And now to lump a whole lot of things together.  Recharge, Reflection, mental health day, retreat - all different words for pretty much the exact same thing.  You want to pretend that they are witchy and not human?  Whatever.

Enough for today.  Probably more tomorrow.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

General catching up

Blessings Darlings!

On top of the attention that I've been giving that latest 'list', life has been busy around here.  A lot of extra money came IN for a change, instead of going OUT, which is always nice.    I've been spending lots of time dealing with the garden - I'm being buried in yellow crookneck squash, and the beans are coming in from the first planting.  The second planting is being eaten, probably by voles, so I'm going to have to vole-treat the garden again.  Bacterial wilt has hit the grey zucchini and the volunteer spaghetti squash.  The potatoes are about ready to be harvested.  The Swiss  Chard is now at the point where it can handle all our sandwich 'lettuce' needs, and maybe an occasional salad as well.  Tomatoes are still all green, tho, and I fear that they are all determinant and will all ripen at virtually the same time. 

I need to plant the fall crops of beets, radishes, turnips, and rutabagas.  But it's really hard clearing nasty weeds when it's so hot and humid, and too much of my useful time is spent watering the other veggies. 

At dusk and near midnight (after the nightly offerings) I sit outside as much as I can, discussing things with the various Spirits/Gods/ancestors/etc.  Great stuff, but the pollen I'm exposed to then along with the pollen from the garden work has been killing my eyes.  I might be driven to allergy eye drops, but washing my eyes every few hours seems to at least make it less bad.

I'm seeing odd stuff in the skies.  One was probably just a satellite reflecting sunlight.  The more unusual was a 'fleet' ... well, 6 ... planes, not in formation, but 'in a row' over a few minutes around 11:30 pm, all flying west or west/southwest.  That's not normal, especially now with less air traffic.  It's not like I'm living on a flight path in and out of O'Hare any more.  It's not a normal thing here - and as I said, I'm out there every night watching the skies now. 

Why am I watching the sky?  Because we're in the summer meteor time.  Not peak Perseids yet, but it's time to start watching for them.

Life  in these unusual times keeps going on.  Statistics on cases and deaths from covid 19 are no longer being published by the CDC, and no one trusts where the data is now going to.  States are admitting to new highs in cases and deaths, but HHS (does it stand for the dept of Health and Human Services or Happy Horse Shit?) claims that both are not increasing.  Okay, Boomer.

Most jobs lost due to Coronavirus shut downs are not coming back.  This is the last week when unemployment is being supplemented with Coronavirus stimulus money of $600 a week.  That's been making a huge difference in my financial life, since I only get $170 a week from unemployment.  Since the Chubby Hubby is over 70, he's getting social security retirement money, but that doesn't pay all our bills.  With the 'regular' unemployment, there will be a gap between income and what we have to spend each month.  We have the savings to cover that for rather a while at this time, fortunately.  I really do NOT want to work again until it's actually safe to do so.  That isn't going to happen for ... quite a while, I fear.  I'm sure we don't have that much money saved.

There are still protests daily over the police killings.  The police have responded by calls for them to stop being abusive by increasing their abuse of citizens.  And teaming up with Federal hired hands to dole out even more toxic gasses and 'non lethal' weaponry.  It's a shit show.  Mayors who aren't reforming their police force complaining that the Feds are attacking protesters ... when the feds are doing exactly the same things that their own police have been doing. 

While all this is going on, and I'm writing e-mails and calling congresscritters, I'm still sitting in my back yard, watching the skies.  It's totally surreal.  Wars and rumors of wars, but not where I am.  Mind you, the next city over, Martinsburg WV, has had monthly protests for YEARS now, over the police shooting of a schizophrenic black man there.  So it's not FAR away from me.  Links to the story below - the courts have finally done a little (the ending of qualified immunity is BIG).  But it took over 7 years of protests to get this far.



I wish I felt that things would improve soon.  That a safe and effective immunization would be found fast for the pandemic.  That institutionalized racism would be dealt with.  That the police would be reformed and get the KKK out of their ranks.  That we'd get a sane and honorable president.  That people would get science savvy and not be dickheads.  I just don't see an end to this shit show.

Welp. that's it for now.

Frondly, Fern