Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wiccan Rites--Observing Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh. What is it, how do you say it, and who the heck was Lugh? Wiccan sabbats are based on customs of our Ancient Ones, the ones who lived in times when survival meant depending on the Earth for food and shelter. Agriculture was the prime occupation. Marking the seasonal changes, celebrating planting and harvesting, and preparing for winter involved the whole community. These were the true pagans, when the word "pagan" meant "of the country" or "rural dwellers". The religious observances therefore were primarily to pray for bountiful crops, good stock and sustainable living conditions. Feasts and festivals abound at these times. Music, laughter, celebration.

Today's modern Wiccans observe sabbats to recognize and affirm the power and blessings of the Earth, not so much in agricultural ways, but in the spiritual sense. Symbolism and traditions are important parts of these sabbats. We celebrate the Turning of the Wheel of the Year to mark seasonal changes, and the changes in our own spiritual growth. There is nothing static in our Path. We trust in our Gods and Goddesses to guide, help, bless, protect. It is a cooperative relationship.Honoring the Earth is essential. The Path evolves as we learn, create and live. It is a joyous way to live.

August 1st is the traditional date of Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-nah-saw). This first harvest festival of the Year was named after a Celtic God of Light and Fire named Lugh the Long-Handed. You can find out more about this god in any number of books on the subject. Celebrating Lughnasadh is as simple as taking a trip to a Farmer's Market and buying all kinds of fresh-picked, locally grown produce then enjoying a wonderful meal with family and friends. How about visiting a Renaissance Festival, hosting a barbecue with beautiful corn on the cob as a special part of the dinner? Bake cobblers and pies and tarts from the fruits of the season. Bake a special loaf of bread to be shared in ritual with your loved ones.

This is also a little bit of a bittersweet time. We have already noticed the days are getting a little shorter. The knowledge that Autumn and Winter are approaching means winding down the projects and goals we had set for ourselves in Spring. Preparation for New Seasons begin. Emotionally, spiritually and physically preparing for the dying of the Summer Light as we wait for darker days.

Still, it is only First Harvest. Plenty of time to enjoy summer days and nights. Rituals and Spell Work are wonderful times for outdoors practice. Be happy in the Now. The Wheel is turning and that is a good thing. Blessed Lughnasadh to you and yours.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Back log. Out of the loop. Behind the times. I have a lot of catching up to do. While I was keeping my eye still and quiet, you all were still writing blogs! That's a lot of reading. And half my eyesight is still blurry. But I am bound and determined to visit all my dear blogger friends and find out what you all have been doing and saying. A fun task, albeit a slow one!

The day I plunged my thumbnail into my eye, I had planned on going to my favorite book store to purchase the newly released George R.R. Martin book,  A Dance With Dragons. This is the fifth book in his series.  The purchase never happened and reading of any kind was banned. My son, Nicarus made the book store trip a couple of days later and secured the audio version of this book instead. Do you like audio books? I personally have never really enjoyed them. Some readers are fine, others not so much. I like to read at my own pace, developing my own ideas of characters' speech, etc. The reader of this audio version is an older man. When he changes his voice to read the young female characters, it is painful for me. One young character sounds like an old Irish woman. I can't get past that. But I am listening as diligently as I can; on Disc 4 right now. It is a 39-disc series. Gods be good!

I was able to read almost all the newspaper this morning. Took a while. Amazing, the small daily pleasures!

Hey! Lughnasadh  (pronounced "lew-nah-saw") is just around the corner! Also known as First Harvest. It is a sabbat to celebrate summer and its bounty. It is also the beginning of the end, so to speak. The delightful summer time will be drawing to a close soon and we must begin preparing for the Turning of the Wheel. It is a time for barbecues, eating corn on the cob, family time. More on this tomorrow.

Have a great Friday!   Blessings from Robin.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hello Everybody!

Welcome Back! Where have you all been?  Oh, wait, I'm the one who's been gone! Even though I am still a bit blurry, I have to post today, I can't stand being away another minute. To say I have missed you all is quite an understatement. Thank you for being so supportive and for leaving such comforting and loving messages. I would also like to thank my son Nicarus for stepping in for me. He is a delight, isn't he? And you all welcomed him with such enthusiasm.

What a strange time I have had. Living in darkness is disorienting and scary. Fortunately this was temporary and my opthamologist says the eye is healing very well. The worst was not being able to read. Having to keep the good eye as still as possible so the injured eye wouldn't move (whilst being bandaged so tightly). Freaky accident that it was, I hope to never experience this again. My family deserves medals and kudos for all their help. It can't have been easy for them either.

Yikes! The wedding is just two weeks away. The wedding garden is thriving, so many beautiful colors of bachelor buttons and zinnias. We will pick them on the morning of the wedding, and bundle them into little bouquets to be placed around the reception hall. The two big planters and the two smaller planters are lush with color as well. The dusty miller is growing quite tall. I had already trimmed back the petunias a bit, before my eye accident. I think I had better do a little trim of the dusty miller, too. The four hanging cones have had a rough time in the heat we have had. Drying out much faster than the other containers. I will need to address that issue by replacing some plants. More on that later.

The sweet bride sitting in the wedding garden

My two beautiful kids, raethan and nicarus
The camera is suffering from some kind of "Gray Line Disease". Have to address that before the wedding!!

Take care everyone, and brightest blessings!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Son of a Witch: #2 Through the Aether

First of all, I apologize for the lack of updates the past couple of days,  but this weekend was quite hectic. Much was accomplished though. Raethan and I were able to assemble all of the wedding favors, construct the center pieces, begin working on the placement cards and purchase all of the odds and ends that had previously slipped through the cracks of our attention. It was very nice seeing Raethan and none of us wanted her to leave, but alas, her job would not allow a longer stay.

All of your comments were touching, heartfelt, sincere, and caring. Robin is so extremely grateful for your support through this trying period. But thankfully, all of your wishes, thoughts, prayers, vibes and spells have found their way through the aether to Robin. We both truly believe that the healing energy from all of you had a profound effect on her expedient recovery. Her eye is almost completely healed and at the doctors office this afternoon, the optometrist said she could start actually looking at things. This allows her to move around my services as a seeing-eye-son are no longer needed. She is still, unfortunately unable to read as of yet, but I foresee withing the next day or two she will be able to write her own posts and read your comments herself.

And now its time for something completely different...

What would you consider to be an omen? Or phrased differently, how does one distinguish an omen from merely a peculiar occurrence? I only ask this because I feel that about a week ago I witnessed an omen myself.

It was early (for me), about 8:30 in the morning last Sunday or Monday.  I am almost never outside during this time of the morning. I went out to the back porch with a cup of coffee and noticed a bird barely visible behind the thin but numerous branches of a tree in our backyard. Something was strange, though. This bird was upside down, but not voluntarily. It was a young bird, presumably, because it had white speckles on its otherwise completely gray body. It was larger than a sparrow and had a black beak. Not being an ornithologist, that is the extent of the description I can give. But anyway...our fence posts are about two inches wide, with just enough room between the planks for thin bird legs to fit perfectly. The birds feet were facing my next door neighbors house while its body was upside down facing my backyard.

So to recap, there is a young bird trapped upside down on a structure used for separation and division.

Don't worry! I set it free from what seemed like a medieval torture device, but for birds. I was able to slip my hand behind its body, with it frantically flapping its wings and producing a sound that was both pitiable and horrifying, and simply lifted it up and out of its wooden shackles.

Is this just a random occurrence? A simple coincidence? Or was I meant to see and help that bird?

I am not expecting some Shakespearean soothsayer explanation for what happened, but what would you guys make of that situation had it happened to you?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Son of a Witch: #1 When Thumb Meets Eye

Why hello there. You may know me as nicarus, but for those of you who do not, I am Robin's extremely handsome and fantastic son. We have been planning on...or at least talking about having me as a guest blogger every once in a while for quite some time now. We will entitle this guest series "Son of a Witch." Although today was not penciled into our schedules as the first time I would write a post, a distressing and afflictive turn of events necessitated my involvement with Wiccan Writes.

Now...what, you ask, is this particular turn of events?

It is my unfortunate duty to notify you of the current situation regarding Robin and her left cornea. Apparently, upon waking yesterday (Wed, July 20th), after petting the female canines, Robin viciously poked herself in the eye with her thumb. She is uncertain whether she was in the process of tying her hair back or some other activity involving the close proximity of her hand to her eye, but she scratched her cornea like nobody's business.

She is temporarily blind in her left eye for now, but considerable progress has already been made with healing and her vision (well, at least being able to read a giant projected E is progress) . The doctor said that if the scratch was the size of a half-dollar yesterday, it is now the size of a quarter to a silver dollar...A comparison that would be lost to anyone born in the 90s. It is a painful time for her especially because she isn't able to read, write, or follow her blogs. But fear not! For nicarus is here! I will read aloud as many blogs as my vocal chords will allow and likewise, Robin will dictate to me the thoughts and feelings she has regarding her magickal, albeit stressful and painful (for now) life, and I will in turn type them for her. Oh yes, because my friend Chris, whose photos have been featured in previous posts, is out of town, I will also try my hand at being a photographer.

It is uncertain at this moment how long she will be in pain or when her left eye vision will return. She is in high spirits, though, and never misses an opportunity to laugh.

She fears this will put a damper on this coming weekend with her daughter Raethan, chiefly because this is Raethan's last weekend home as an unmarried woman. The crafty and flowery things she had planned to accomplish this weekend for the wedding will now be carried out by myself and Raethan under the not-so-watchful eye of Robin.

So concludes the first installment of Son of a Witch.

As Above, So Below

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Tuesday

Strawberry shortcake with extra plump red strawberries.

Red flip flops, flapping around the house.

Climbing roses, a vivid crimson, tumbling up and over the fence.

Red sky at morning, sailor take warning
Red sky at night, sailor's delight

The burst of red on the wing of a blackbird.

Tomatoes at the farmstand.

Red canoes on the lake.

The cold, sweet slices of watermelon.

Wildflowers in a red handmade vase.

Seeing red in the summertime, that's all right with me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Price was Right

Once in a while a bit of serendipity comes my way. I have to thank my brother for this one. During his daily bike ride, he took a shortcut through some nearby apartments and spotted something. The apartments have garage-type buildings with big openings that house dumpsters for the residents. He pedaled home in a hurry and told me he found something I might like. He described it to me. Hmmm, let's go take a look, I thought to myself. Hopping into Beatrix, my wonderful little car, I zoomed (carefully) to the apartments and smiled. Look what has found a home with us.

A curio cabinet in excellent condition. Made of solid wood, it has four glass shelves, a mirrored back, and a light that actually works. Why would someone toss this?
 It fits beautifully into the space next to my desk (and please, do not observe the mess there).
It has no scratches, dings, scrapes or chips. The shelves are in perfect condition, the mirrored back is fine. It was barely dusty. Just gave it a quick windex-ing, burned some sage and sweet grass inside and said  a spell to banish any negative energies. Placed some of my treasures inside.
Here it is with the light on.  I am really pleased about this wonderful curio cabinet. And it was free. Amazing what people will throw away. I am looking forward to decorating it for the various seasons and holidays.

Have you found a great treasure?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Song

In Summer, the song sings itself
~~William Carlos Williams


Friday, July 15, 2011

Wiccan Rites--Portable Altar

A few months ago I had found a little treasure at the thrift store. A marvelous hand-crafted wooden tray just the perfect size for....something, I wasn't sure what. Now that I have an outdoor altar, I had need of a way to carry my sacred tools outside and back inside. This Wiccan witch can be pretty smart sometimes! Voila:

My little cauldron, perfect for burning incense and herbs. I have a little notepad and pen for writing spells or anything else, a tiny broom for ritual cleansing, two little bowls, one for sea salt, one for water. Another tiny bowl to hold incense. Also, a small plate for offerings. A votive holder and candle and a quartz crystal complete the tray altar. I think I have included the essentials. I just love this. Simple but powerful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Happy Bastille Day to our friends in France!

Here is another reason to celebrate July 14th: A wedding anniversary. They fell in love in one of  the most romantic places in the world, Oahu, Hawaii. A year later they married at Waimea Falls Park on Oahu's North Shore. They lived on the island for four years, during which time a baby girl was born to them. Then it was on to California and the birth of a little boy. Ten years of earthquakes, mudslides, brush fires and trips to Disneyland.  The next move was across the United States to the East Coast. The children grew up, went to college and no longer live with their parents. The love story continues, though. The happy Hawaiian-wed couple still carry that spark of  tropical romance and love that have seen them through 27 years of marriage and all the ups and downs that accompany time lived together.

Happy Anniversary to my darling, adorable husband.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blue Tuesday

Robins are eating the blueberries on our bushes

Blue bachelor buttons blooming in the garden

Pale patches of blue sky peeking through wispy clouds

Huffy blue jays perched in the maple tree, complaining about their day

A blue pitcher of lemonade sweetly sour and cold

Old-timey blues songs playing in the background

A blue-covered book filled with wonderful words

True blue friends to talk to

Feeling blue, but it's alright with me

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Medley--Another Blogger-rific Weekend

Firstly...terrible weekend with Blogger! How about you? Could not access the dashboard; or if I could click on dashboard settings, I received error messages. Makes you want to throw your hands up in disgust. I am hoping this post will publish!  Okay, enuff about that!!
Image credit

My husband and son startled the heck out of me yesterday with their screaming!! Why? They were watching the Soccer quarter finals. Congrats to Team USA for the phenomenal win against Brazil!  You go, girls!!
Image Credit

Latest "plague" of the day: Black flies. Yes, they have landed...and circled and flitted and buzzed. Sitting on the porch glider became impossible yesterday afternoon thanks to the little devils. Humid, hot conditions certainly didn't help. Gotta love the summer bugs.

I am eating up Book 3 of the George R.R. Martin "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. This book, A Storm of Swords has really been a page turner, and there are a lot of pages, over a thousand. My husband and daughter got me reading the series. HBO has made the first book, Game of Thrones, into a tv series. As always, the books are better. Here's the author's web site for more info

Happy Monday!! Wishing everyone a great week. And smooth Blogging.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Be Thoughtless

Yikes, what are you saying, Robin Larkspur!?! Be thoughtless! How callous and rude. How very un-Wiccan! Hold, no. I am not talking about being a thoughtless, callous and rude person. Pu-leeeze, you know me better than that!!

This is what I speak of:  Being thoughtless means to take some time, a few minutes perhaps, longer if possible, and just Be. You know, just be still and quiet, alone, with no thoughts. Specifically, I am describing a time to be with the God and Goddess. Here is one example of how I do it.

I take a chair and place it on the deck outside, facing the morning sun. This is the time of being with the God for me. If it is early enough, with the sun just rising near the treetops, it won't be too hot in the backyard. I take a moment to quiet myself, get comfortable, close my eyes, and turn my face up towards the sun. Feel the warmth of the sun...the light graces my whole Self. Breathe it in, enjoy the sensations of sunshine.

Now, stop thinking. This is the part that can be a little difficult, but if you persist you can do it. The reason for this time is simply to be with the God. It is not a time for requests, complaints, questions, decision-making. It is a silent time to feel the God's presence, to let him enter your mind and spirit. To feel the love, the strength, the energy that is of the God embrace and surround you. Do not think. Just be. Still. Quiet. Thoughtless.

Afterwards, there is a peacefulness, a renewal, a Divine strength. It is beautiful and enchanting. This feeling stays with me all day and I feel wiser and happier. Truth be told, there are times this is easier said than done. A human tendency to allow problems or grief overwhelm the stillness inside. That does not mean you fail and can never try again. Never give up connecting with Divinity.

It is fantastic to be thoughtless.

image credit

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding Garden Update--Ageratum, Lobelia, Hydrangeas

click on photo to see closer view
Dusty Miller, doing fine! Petunias, doing fine! Angelonia, doing fine! Ageratum.....failing. Lobelia.....failing. The pale purple and white lobelia have died actually. Obviously they prefer a shadier spot, though the lilac-colored lobelia is thriving in the containers. As for the ageratum, I really cannot say what the problem is. I have had ageratum in containers before and it has done fine. Possibly I got a bad batch? Not to worry though. Everything else in the containers are doing great, and I have picked up some replacement plants, vines actually to trail over the edge.

Wedding garden: larkspur and bachelor buttons

Wedding garden: Zinnias
 The wedding garden growing in the raised bed is about to burst into bloom. In a few more days it should be a colorful sight!!

24 silk hydrangeas
Yesterday I was finally able to pick up the silk hydrangeas from the craft store. It took a while for them to get them to me. But now I have them, and they are a beautiful sight. These are going to be used for the centerpieces for the tables at the reception. Aren't they beautiful?

Five weeks until the wedding!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wiccan Rites--Outdoor Sacred Space

There is a cozy little spot in my backyard that is perfect for outdoor ritual.  We had torn down the old shed that was in this spot a couple of years ago, and dug up the footers that were used as support for the shed (my dear brother did the monstrous task of digging). I had the idea that these footers would be the perfect base for an altar, and having a large, flat stone from an old pond, one thing led to another and here we are:

The footers rest on a base of cinder blocks

Weighing about 150 pounds each

This flat stone is perfect!

Next step, I will be planting ivy to grow around and up the footers. All other plantings to follow will be white flowers. I call this space the Moon Garden now. White plants glow at night. How magickal it will be!!

The other part of my outdoor space is the Fire Pit. My husband and son did the hard work, helped by my brother.

Digging the hole, and then placing small rocks in the bottom
Placing the "bowl" of our old outdoor fireplace

Setting river rocks around the pit

The finished fire pit
I consecrated the fire pit the other night, burning sage and sweet grass and said a short but meaningful spell. The fire burned brightly and I expect to use this often, until the snows cover it. Mosquitoes tried to spoil our fun, but we soldiered through!!

I have not consecrated the altar yet, but will be doing that on the Full Moon. This will be an absolutely wonderful addition to my Wiccan rites. I thank my family so much for all their efforts for me. Everything we used for these projects were re-purposed items. And nobody hurt their back!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

M.I.A. due to D.M.V.

Dreaded Motor Vampires ooops, I mean, the Division of Motor Vehicles had me in their grips for what seemed like hours today. Their benches are very very hard. But I am once again legal to drive so all is well. I have a bunch of stuff to tell you about, but that will have to wait till tomorrow, due to brain drain from the whole experience. I have an outdoor altar and new firepit to show you, a new book to review, and a wedding garden update.

So til the ' safely!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011

An All-American Holiday, celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776. Happy Fourth of July!!! Enjoy the grilled food, watermelon, corn on the cob, blueberries, and of course, the Fireworks!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Symphony

Will you stop and listen for a minute? Nature has something to tell you. Tune out the human sounds of t.v. and c.d. players, traffic noise, humming air conditioners, dogs barking, kids playing, neighbors mowing the lawns. It takes a little patience. But you can do it. What do you hear?

This is what I hear. The birds are singing. They are talking to each other. Sparrows enjoy group chats, goldfinches bounce through the sky singing a joyful oratory. Crows caw off in the distance, robins talk of nests and bugs. Bluejays call to each other loudly, or sometimes sound like a rusty gate opening. Cardinals compose love songs, chickadees talk quickly and often.

Bumblebees have no time for chit chat. There is much to do, humming as they work. Even though butterflies are silent, their flight weaves a path through the garden that would inspire a song. Dragonflies careen past with the softest of sounds, flicking by abruptly. Cicadas buzz and whine with almost electric noise.

The great trees are rarely silent, their leaves and branches moving gently in a breeze, or with a great wind they sway and wave. They rustle or creak, sometimes there is a soft swooshing sound, or a louder bristling. A most beautiful sound is the wind moving through the tall pines. Have you heard it? It truly is amazing.

At night, as you watch the fireflies flashing off and on their tiny lanterns, the sounds are less identifiable. So many night creatures buzzing, clicking, ticking, croaking, chirping, peeping. What are they? Who are they? In early summer it is not quite as loud. Soon enough though the night chorus will offer loud and long performances.

These are all free concerts. Nature is talking and singing and celebrating.

Will you listen?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Announcing Summer Giveaway Winners

Summertime......what is on the grill?
A closer look will show that the Cauldron is cooking up all the entries in the Summer Giveaway!!
A little stir with the Wand
Alice, Beanie Robin and Sterling the Guardian Dragon
are all watching and waiting to see!! The five winners are chosen.

The winner of Book # 1, Herb Magic is: Jessie

The winner of Book #2, A Witch's Notebook is: Aine

The winner of Book #3, Panty Hose, Hot Peppers, Tea Bags for the Garden is: The Traveler

The winner of Book #4, Garden Rooms is: Jeanne

The winner of Book #5, Fa la la la Felt is: Sharlene T.

CONGRATS to all the Winners!!

Truly, I wish I could give a gift to everyone who entered. Thanks a bunch for following and helping me celebrate my 1st Blog Anniversary!!!

Now you winners know what to do, right? I need your snail mail address so I can get these books to you!!

Happy Canada Day to all my friends and relatives "up North"

Oh, guess what? Today is also my birthday!! eeek!!!