Just another December day in FL

So much for hoping for a chilly winter. We’ve had some days here and there, but here in Florida we usually don’t see our coldest temperatures until January and February. And even then…

It’s not always that I hope for a cold Florida winter; lately though I’ve been craving seasons. I want more of those fall colors, more of the chill misty mornings that northerners know so well. I crave damp cool air where my breath leaves my body in little white puffs.

But hey it’s Florida and I should at least be thankful that I don’t have to deal with snow.

So what does a Florida girl do when it’s warm out merely 2 days after Christmas?

Garden work!

I went out and bought myself some new herbs and flowers, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t use the lovely warm weather to clean up and reconstruct what used to be my herb spiral.

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It is a medicine wheel now. πŸ™‚ I cleaned and prepped the bed and soil about a week beforehand, and my new little herb corner should do lovely!

That’s how Florida natives roll. We’re either decorating palm trees for Christmas or working in our gardens in December!

 

Happy Holidays!

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Lughnasadh Blessings

Florida fall is officially here…for me, anyway. It’s an uncharacteristically cool August, bringing fall breezes that offer relief from the heat of the sun. The cycle is ever turning, ever calling us to stand still and absorb all that is going on.

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Lughnasadh had us baking bread and mixing fruit salads, harvesting mint and lemonbalm and thyme, and making sun tea. We played and crafted seashell windchimes, homemade paints and chalks, and faery dwellings in the gardens. It’s truly been a beautiful, albeit quickly passing, summer. My little one starts kindergarten in a week; we’re excited and bittersweet about this next journey in our lives. But she’ll do great.

 

 

I wandered St. Pete over the weekend and stumbled upon an unlikely plant nursery; I’ve found a friend and fellow naturalist who makes his food from what he harvests from his garden. A beekeeper and yogi, he’s become my go-to for honey, herbs, and fruiting plants. I’ve brought back honey and spinach, lemongrass and mints. I’ve even brought home a lovely little patchouli plant just for Spirit workings. When I visit again in September, I’ll be asking some more questions with hopes of writing a piece about him and his garden and apiary.

 

But with the cyclic changes and the ever-nearing dark half of the year, I’ve been standing as if I’m on the brink of change. A very specific and benevolent change. The wind brings smells of the promise of autumn, and I can’t help but be eager to see what this next season will bring.

As always, keep dreaming, keep creating, and always welcome life’s blessings. πŸ™‚

St. John’s River

There’s just something about Florida rivers. The lazy meandering of hidden currents, the tranquil relief the waters offer at the end of an extraordinarily hot day.

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The spirits of the rivers of Florida aren’t ordinarily sought out, but they’re no less potent than Ocean, Great Lake, or Sea; the soft drifting melody of the river’s voice is enough to cleanse and renew just as a wild tempest sea roaring ashore in crashing waves.

This I came to love about Florida’s rivers: that calm surface hiding worlds of knowledge just beneath, a surface smooth as glass, reflecting the earth and sky above it.

Response to the Daily Post Daily Prompt–Glass

 

Beauty and Self Care for Mid-Summer Celebrations

Midsummer is near!

WitchPetals

The summer season is a time of the year when things are in full swing.Β  The Earth is in full bloom and we celebrate the richness of abundance and fertility surrounding us.Β  Food and sunlight are in plenty and many of us spend the most time outdoors in clothing that reveals more of us than any other time of the year.Β  I enjoy the energy of this time. I always feel are particular rush of happiness and excitement as we edge closer to the Summer Solstice or Litha.Β  Tradition tells us the Goddess is fully pregnant and her round belly blesses us with the promise of more abundance to come.Β  We celebrate the sun and the warmth it provides, allowing for an ease of the life and green growth that the Winters cannot understand.Β  It is with these thoughts that I find it easiest to be indulgent with myself and…

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Lyreleafs & Cloud Readings

Spring has sprung here in Florida, and with temperatures ranging from the 70’s to the 80’s, it’s been perfect weather for cloud watching and wildcrafting with some of the beauties right here in my yard and garden.

With spring fever behind us and hot days ahead, I’ve grown more and more interested in weather lore and other folk lore isolated to Florida and the Southeast. I have checked out some books on Florida’s climate and general weather patterns, but I want the old folk’s lore of weather and cloud divination.

 

 

I want to learn about the clouds moving overhead, about what those movements mean for my home and garden, my place in the local Land, and about how to perceive outcomes of various garden-related happenings when divined.

I want the magical and mystical workings of rain and clouds and fog. I want to gain and use my knowledge and experience of the weather patterns and learn how to read them with the purpose of divining future energies of all things home and garden.

So what does one do when one is looking for some divine guidance in seeking out the appropriate information about a spiritual topic of interest?

Invite the Ancestors to tea, of course. And a little bit of Lyreleaf Sage goes a long way.

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This sage (Salvia lyrata; other common names include wild sage and cancerweed/cancer root) grows wild in yards, meadows, roadsides ditches, culverts…you pick a spot, and these babies will root there. They’re hardy little herbaceous perennials and readily self-seed and spread like crazy in ideal conditions.

Which is good for me, because hey, if I can use it as an edible and a healer, I sure as hell will! And this little plant is wonderful as a calming tea at 10 o’clock at night, curled up with a good book. The fresh young leaves and blossoms can be used in salads, and have a very light and pleasant minty flavor.

While the Lyreleaf’s medicinal properties don’t pack as much of a punch as other species of salvias, Lyreleaf can be used as a carminative/laxative (a mild tea made for kiddo’s gassy tummy or constipation…hey, it happens), and for relief during cold and flu season. Lyreleaf sage also makes a relieving salve for cuts, sores (warts and zits and boils, oh my!) and minor wounds.

On the spiritual and magical side, sage is also a plant linked with divination, purification, protection, and psychic learning. I’ve come to connect sage’s otherworldly attributes to, well, the other-world. Ancestors can be invited when sage is burned.

Now, traditionally White sage, or Sacred sage (Salvia apiana), is the sage of choice for burning and smudging, but I’ve found that the edible sages work well for these purposes, too. So I decided to harvest and dry my Florida Lyreleaf for tea, as well as a bundle for smudging/incense.

Then we’ll see what we see.

I haven’t used this particular sage in an infusion or for spiritual purposes yet, but am anxious to have it dry so I can get down to business.

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Until then, I’ll keep reading my library books on weather and atmospheric phenomenon, and offer these lovely tidbits on my new friend, Lyreleaf sage:

 

 

 

 

 

[Close-up of Lyreleaf blossom photo: Β©Mark Hutchinson for http://www.fnps.org]