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]

Through the Garden Gate

Through the Garden Gate

Memories seduce me as I tread upon the moist ground that weaves through these Florida flowers. Music is on my mind, a melody upon my lips, entrancing and requiring an emotion I’m not quite sure of.

The feeling plays over me like a wave, shimmering tears from the corners of my eyes. My Grandmother is gone. One can never be quite prepared, no matter how many years pass. She was ninety-eight. Passed through Death’s door during the Solar eclipse, at a time between the changing to full spring.

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Bittersweet is the only word to describe it. I’d already begun to miss her, as if who she was had already died under the onslaught of dementia several years ago. That time was the time I had already begun to let go.

This final end to biological life is the last puzzle piece. Of course I miss her, but I have missed her, and of course I grieve, but I have grieved.

But I also celebrate.

We are so fleeting, so infinitesimal. Our lives are but fine silk threads that can be snapped, cut off, in a split moment. Even though Death is merely another part of the journey, the conscious life we are given is such a fragile thing. Memories are reminders of this very fact.

The flowers greet me in happy colors, yellows and blues and purples, nodding soft petals and bright foliage in my direction as I step through some of the overgrowth of the trees and shrub of the butterfly garden. Insects of dreamy hues flit from blossom to blossom, reminding me to still myself.

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Meditation beneath the grapefruit tree, surrounded by healing plants, listening to my breath, the breeze, the life. Memories.

We are conduits to our Ancestors. We are conduits to our descendants. But we only have moments. Only moments to live and love and die.

So I still myself. I plop right down and let everything else fade into the distance as I listen to my self, my life force, my mortality. I close my eyes and just be.

And I emerge refreshed, renewed, awakened and ready for my tasks and responsibilities. In the clean air and morning light, when the dew sparkles as brightly upon the fresh growth of ideas as it does on the Florida primrose at my feet, goals are clearer. Purpose is crystal.

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I have my Grandmother to thank for such discipline. To use what she taught me about my sense of self to seek inward reflection and assessment. To look at each beautiful thing and to be thankful to be alive and breathing.

And to always use our fleeting time wisely, in all things pursuing a way to better myself and those around me.

A Chance Meeting

A Chance Meeting

The feel of the world that surrounds me is ever oppressive in its summer heat… the slow drowning of sticky, humid air. I can still feel what’s left of the pleasantness in the slow, soft breeze–balmy, lingering within the leaves as they’re rustled by its whisper.

I think of poetry, of prose, of a narrative told in an ancient tongue. I don’t quite know the story, but the visceral feel of emotions and the scant pictures painted within my mind are ever present, needing in some way to release themselves.

There are stories I have, stories to tell. I watch and observe all I see around me and I am not without modes of inspiration. I come upon magic in all there is in the world, some vehement and sour, while other experiences promise hope, joy, and love.

A chance meeting is something a writer can always hope for; with a pleasant stranger discussing the weather, with an animal along a wooded trail, and with the Spirits in the land. Inspiration is divine, and divinity is all around us. Learn to see from within, and watch the secret places of the earth.

Keep a look out for these chance meetings because even the smallest bit of knowledge can be gained, giving the proper inspiration for a story to unfold.

A little bit of Summertime Magic

A little bit of Summertime Magic

The weather has been absolutely heavenly, and things are growing and thriving in the garden and around the yard. DSCN2872.a1_markedMy dandelions have been plentiful, perfect for making cosmetics and tea. These babies pack a punch of all sorts of vitamins and minerals, and are a very rich source of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Some of the other vitamins and minerals found in dandelions include Vitamin B-complexes, Vitamin C & small amounts of Vitamin D, fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Dandelions are also a great source to get trace minerals and organic sodium (table salt is baaaaad news!) A bitter plant they can be, but these babies can be mixed with sweeter greens and fruits for a wonderful salad. Minus the ants! So clean before eating & using.

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I don’t believe this particular species of milkweed is native to FL, but it sure as hell helps nurture, support, and harbor my monarchs! I got to watch the monarch’s life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly with my little girl, and it never fails to amaze me!

(This is a great page, easy to read information about FL’s native milkweeds and monarch facts.)DSCN2847.a_marked

Here she is emerged from her chrysalis, posing for a picture. Nature is amazing, the Earth Mother always gifting us with moments to share love and joy with every living being. With moments like these, magic truly does exist.

Summer Blessings Xo

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.