Friday, January 30, 2015

Planting them seeds at Imbolc.

Blessings Darlings!

The interwebs are full of Imbolc rituals full of seed plantings.  Regardless of local conditions, regardless of local climate zones.  Regardless of the fact that, in most of Europe/North America, the only seeds you'd plant now are onions (and that's not necessarily the occult correspondence most folks are after just now, ya know.)  Regardless of what's actually going on in their local land base. Yeah, the seeds represent changes in your life - but working outside of nature isn't all that Pagan/Witchy.

Doesn't work for me, but okay, if that floats their boat (that was said in my best Bawltimore accent, not a Boston accent, hon), let's go into what has to be kept in mind when doing seed work.

Planting seeds, and having them come up soon, can be a great psychological boost.  So, while parsley is a seed that can be started now - don't use it.  It takes forever to sprout, even if soaked before planting.  One of the parsley seeds I planted outside last spring ... didn't sprout until fall.

How are you with houseplants?  If you tend to kill them all - this type of ritual isn't the type for you.  What you plant isn't likely to grow any better, and if you are relying on a magical bond between the plants you are starting and your outcome - you may well have a problem.

Does what your planting actually grow in your area, and if not, does it grow well indoors?  Will the plant last as long as it takes you to make a real change?

Nothing grows well unless you've prepared the soil beforehand.  Ideally, you'd have been doing that since Yule.  Gathering materials, clearing away known obstacles, clearing room, carefully identifying goals and steps along the way, etc.  

Have you taken care of this step?

Planting - the official starting - of the process is great.  But there's a long time and a lot of work between planting and harvesting.  What are you plans for dealing with early frosts?  With weeds? With insects and disease?  Spiritual goals have these things, too.  And just doing the planting isn't really enough to get past the vice of Malkut (inertia).

How long can you go without getting the harvest you expect?  We all know the meme "Oh, Lord, grant me patience, and give it to me NOW".  

Are the seeds in tune with your spiritual goal?  Lavender sprouts well, but may not be the best to plant if you're after physical fitness, or business success.

Will you need help with harvest?  Okay, most of you aren't planting acres of wheat, but still ...

This isn't an exhaustive list, obviously. Just stuff to keep in mind.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fern's Failure - Drill Press Edition

Blessings Darlings!

Today in being frugal, I figured I'd make a sprinkling can out of a used one-gallon milk jug.  Should be easy, right?  Just drill a bunch of small holes in the screw-on top to the jug.

So, I washed out the jug and headed down to the lab with the lid.  Couldn't find the chuck for the drill press, but chucks are pretty much universal so the chuck for the hand drill tightened the drill bit in place.   Find an extension cord, plug it in, and ... just an electrical hum.  No movement.

Opened the drill press up and found that the belt, sometime in the rather long while since we last used it, had ... disintegrated.  There was goo that used to be plastic, and there were some strands of whatever they had used to reinforce the plastic. 

Instead of being creative, I just got the metal wires or whatever out of the goo, and will use goo-gne or such on it, outside, sometime when the weather is nicer.  And we'll have to find the manual, find out what brand it is, and order a new belt.

So, I'll wait.  It's 33 degrees out, anyway, so I don't need a sprinkling can for outside plants immediately, anyway.

OTOH, I had HOPED to use this inside, to rinse hand-washed dishes using less water.  THAT I could have used starting right now.


Frondly, Fern

Monday, January 26, 2015

Think Globally - Do Magic Locally

Blessings Darlings!

The other day I commented on a post on Facebook, recommending igneous rocks for a working.  Thinking further about that, tho', I realized that was a holdover from growing up in the Midwest, and not what I'd do myself, now that I live in the Appalachians.

The bulk of Illinois land is sand loam - six or more feet deep of it.  There are occassional streaks of sand or clay, and occassional stones (usually granite, scraped up by the glaciers when they dug out the Great Lakes in the last Ice Age. As a result of growing up there, and starting my practice there, my 'mother tongue' of land magic is based on that.

But I'm no longer in Illinois.  I'm not even in the stoney silt/clay mix of the piedmont of Maryland anymore.  I'm in the Appalachians, with a Duffield Clay variety of soil.  I've posted before on how my local soil, when worked by hand for gardens, rewards hard workers with nice chunks of quartz.

The local clay also, I've discovered, can make fine talismans, amulets, other magical objects, if dug up and purified.  And THAT is what I'd now use in place of chunks of igneous rocks in the same workings.

What's your land base like?

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Crows Spoke Again.

Blessings Darlings!

I don't know if crows act as messengers from the Goddess who has me collared, but there are these times when ... well, they can certainly be omens.  So far, always omens about crap going down at work.  It happened again yesterday.

I was just driving in to the job.  The Chubby Hubby and Spawn, who had been out in the car earlier, had left me an almost empty gas tank, so I went to fill it before work rather than after.  Snow was predicted, after all. 

All along the drive there were crows, in abnormal numbers, in abnormal places.  I figured it was just due to the oncoming snow - just crows being crows, and confirming the weather report.  In fact I felt a bit smug, as I reviewed that I was filling the gas tank, had pretty new tires, my radiator was finally fixed, I'd replaced a burnt out turn signal bulb myself, etc.


Thirty minutes after I got to work, or no reason, the damn 'fire suppressant system' goes off.  Green chemical pours down on the grills and my stove (where I had a large batch of vegetable soup started), mist from it goes EVERYWHERE. 

The rest of my time there was spent cleaning up toxic chemicals.  Oh joy, oh rapture.

Maybe I should have warned the managers when I got in. 

Frondly, Fern

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Obligatory Mercury Retrograde Post

Blessings Darlings!

About 3 times a year, the planet Mercury is said to go 'retrograde' - that is, from the viewpoint of someone watching it from Earth, it goes 'backwards' from it's usual course.  This regularly-scheduled event leads to a crapload of posts full of strum und drung among the neoPagan community.  "Don't sign any legal agreement!" "Expect all your electronics to break!" Etc.


Mercury Retrogrades, like Saturn Returns,  CAN be plenty uncomfortable.  But they are, as I mentioned above, a regularly-scheduled part of life.  They are part of the necessary 'clearing out so you can build anew'.  You know, the cycles of nature that most Pagans like to claim that they are in sync with. 

So, get with the program. 

Build up that financial reserve/emergency fund.  You are going to need it - if not this retro, maybe this year.  If not this year, maybe next year.  Cars break down.  Bikes need replacing.  Teeth go bad.  Having that reserve fund will help you handle that.

Get the car's oil changed, and have other preventive maintenance done.  If you can, get your teeth cleaned/checked.  Eat well.  Get some exercise.  Say what you mean, clearly, so you will be understood.  After  meeting, repeat all that you/they have agreed to in an e-mail to keep a paper trail. 

Don't count on privilege - of any sort - to have your back.  You might have to own everything that you do/don't do.

Which is, of course, how we really should be living every day.  But most of us don't. 

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Spirits Laughed.

Blessings Darlings!

Today is just a typical day at Chez Fern, with the Big Cooking Project making bone broth (don't worry, it wasn't anyone you knew).  So I add the baked bones to the water, throw in a little vinegar, and add some peppercorns, and I notice that the pepper mill is kind of low on peppercorns.

No problem.  I trot upstairs to the pantry to grab the big bottle of peppercorns.  Ooops - knocked the basil plant, that I had clipped at the soil line and hung up to dry, off of it's support.  Many, many dried basil leaves on the floor.

"Oh, gosh", says I, "What can I store those up?"

Every freaking spirit in the house laughs.  Because that pantry is where about half of my canning jars are.  Apparently the spirits found the rhetorical question amusing.

Insolent Spirits!

Frondly, Fern