Lyreleafs & Cloud Readings

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: ©Mark Hutchinson for http://www.fnps.org]

Bone in Black & White

Bone in Black & White

 

I gave the skull to my friend the other day. Of course it was imperfect for me, but she assured me she absolutely loved it. I have to admit, even though it was a little too shaky, parts crooked, it came out relatively well. These shots were taken as soon as the paint was dry. The next day I coated it in lacquer… just to be sure it would survive a while longer.

 

 

 

Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood

The weather has been utterly beautiful these last few days. I’ve been lingering outside longer and longer, and I have even migrated my craftings out to the patio because I just can’t resist the pull of the Season’s magic. We’ve all been restless in my household and the Goddess and spirits that are so prevalent among the plants have urged us outdoors for play and meditation.

Spring cleaning has thus far only been physical, but May Eve/Bealtaine will be greeted with fire and smoke to drive out the last remaining energies of the past year. Mother will be welcomed in, alongside passion and inspiration and positive flowing action.

The maypole, a summer broom, flowers, the fresh breeze and ribbon decorations have replaced stale air, old pictures, and useless “buildup” around the home & hearth.

The season is for Love and Light, letting these earthly vessels we call bodies free, and rebirthing the Sun. Spirit is lusty and full of heat, rendering jovial play within my artwork and craftings.

And not only that, but my little girl will be 3 on Bealtaine. This little fireling has given me life and joy, passion to learn, and the strength of flame to overcome. She has been such an inspiration and I will not only celebrate the Sun and Earth’s rebirth, but my own personal rebirth that has come from my Daughter’s birth.

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So fill your baskets with wildflowers, craft a floral wreath, eat fruits of the Earth and drink sweet honey mead, for this is a season for Light and Life, rebirth and new beginnings. Sweat in the heat and feel the passion of the gods as they mate to bring all into the light half of the year.

The Feminine Divine

The Feminine Divine

She walks softly on sacred ground. She respects all Earthly beingsbirds and beasts and the insects that give the tell-tale signs of the health of the Forest. She smells of wet soil, ferns, and oils of her own crafting…dark and musky, and totally, completely female.

She bends low to gather a feather–by its markings a red-tailed hawk–and adds it to the others decorating her long and mussed hair. She remembers the spaces between, she sees that which others cannot perceive with untrained eyes.

She’s a collector of bones and stones, odd things left by the Earth Mother for those willing to see–to learn and evolve. She is a practitioner of an ancient Craft, she keeps the Old Ways and the Light as well as the Dark. She reads the signs present in all Earthly thingsshe can see in shadow–and she decorates her face with the Blood of her Sacrifice to the Gods…warm and willing, a regretful yet necessary thing to feed hunger and the change in Seasons.

The plants speak to her like lovers whispering secrets; she uses all for purpose–medicines, sustenance, and deep magic bleeding from the Earth and the depths of the Sacred Land. She finds mysterious mushrooms and ghost flowers to aid in her Craft, as well as Blessed Thistle and White Sage to aid in her Healing Arts. She is hedge ryder, a keeper of the Old Ways and faith…a Shamanone who sees when darkness falls, one who can divine with the Forest.