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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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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Juniper Infusion

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Beautiful and evergreen, she stands proudly guarding unwanted trespassers…she welcomes and feeds my visiting cardinals. She’s calm and provides shade, sustenance, and she exhibits an ever-giving spirit.

What a lovely way to spend the afternoon, harvesting her berries and greeting the birds.

There’s magic in Juniper. Healing and forest magic. Harvested and crushed right before infusing, this makes a wonderful face rinse. Just a bit on a cotton ball and use as a skin toner. Very effective to use with sensitive and acne-prone skin.

a must-have resource for anyone interested in Herbalism

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Herbal Medicine: Trends & Traditions by Charles W. Kane

I picked this book up from the library last fall, and behold! I found a really useful short ~n~ sweet basic encyclopedia on medicinal herbs and preparation methods/collection methods. I just love this book!

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Herbal Medicine has an easy to read format that includes the plant’s common name and family, genus, and species names, plus a description of the plant, distribution of the plant (habitat), chemistry, medicinal ueses, indications, collection, preparation and dosage, and any warnings or cautions about the plant.

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With 58 full-color photos of various plants mentioned in the text, Herbal Medicine offers readers a look at the physical characteristics of some important medicinal plants so they can get to know them and eventually be able to identify them.

of Wild Roses and Fading Dreams…

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Last night my dreams took me to an ancient and serene river, where I stood on the bank looking upstream to where the first bend curved to the North. It was warm and calm and I could smell the scents of the forest behind me.

I remained silently standing, frozen in time…watching. A shadow stirred in my left-hand peripheral vision, beckoning my attention. I think it was my sister that stood to my left; her presence was comforting…I returned my gaze to the river, and scanned everything, and I noticed a plastic Ziploc bag floating down the currents toward me…I remember being curious…

The bag flowed on the currents up to the river bank at my feet. I reached into the water to scoop it out and wonder at its contents. I opened the bag and pulled out what looked like old and forgotten papers…papers with my name on them…like I had signed for a package or insurance policy many years before…

…Then I saw the message. It was a message from an old friend. The words so clearly written in his handwriting asked are you content living the life of a soldier?I didn’t quite understand that question, because I’ve never been a soldier…

The dream shifted and I was riding passenger with my father in his old Jeep as we journeyed through primordial wooded wilds. The light was grey, as if this world would hold no color beyond the deep greens of the mysterious woods surrounding our dirt path. We drove for eternity and yet, only a second in time, and finally arrived at my friend’s house…I said something to my father, and then he was gone, leaving me standing alone before an unfamiliar place. Tall and ancient trees surrounded everything.

The dream hazed and turned again, and I was swimming in a pool with my friend. We swam, watching each others’ blue eyes, knowing this would not be the last time we met in dreams.

He said he was sorry, and I embraced him. He still felt the same…I breathed him in, and his scents still held familiarity inside my nose and throat.

…Then the rain fell and we ran inside. His home was unfamiliar to me…two stories with a balcony ringing the whole living room, looking down. It felt…I don’t know…ancient, in a way…The room upstairs held a computer atop an antique stout wood desk, and every piece of artwork I’ve ever created was displayed lovingly on the walls. He said he saved this spot for me because he know how much I loved to create things of beauty.

The dog came to me and he reminded me that she never really took to anyone but me since I went away. She sat down at my feet, smiling up at me.

Then we were in a garden of tangled herbs and flowers breathing in the scents of a place neither of us had been to before. He handed me some seeds that I couldn’t identify, and I planted them at our feet. Wild roses started creeping up out of the wet black soil, seducing us with their scents. He took my hand then, and said he was sorry once more. He told me your daughter is beautiful, just like you. You’re welcome to stay here…I can’t remember if I said anything back…

…I remember being choked with tears, looking into his blue eyes, and smiling sad smiles. We hugged tightly again…

When I woke up from the restless sleep of this dream, it was raining outside. It had been raining most of the night into the morning. I could tell because the steady rhythm was constant, and the scents were too wet to have been a short rain. I couldn’t get his face and voice out of my mind for a while that morning.

No, that rainy morning was meant for lighting candles and sweet incense, and sending sermons and prayers of remembering, of love, of younger days when things should have mattered more.

As we grow older and learn more, it becomes the smaller packages in life that we are most afraid to open and accept…and this small package of mineβ€”a faded dream of symbolic referencesβ€”I have been afraid to revisit for fear of the thoughts and visions it pulls back to mind.

But Spirit has subtle yet blindingly powerful lessons that adhere themselves to those little packages we are so afraid to accept. Whether this is a past dream, or one yet to come, dreams are mine, and this one does not lie.