Archive for January, 2021

Balance and justice happens whether we appreciate it or not. Now is the time to consider whether you need to make a change or realignment to make your world work better. Or perhaps something has changed and you need to play catchup. Take some time and consider these possibilities today.

Blessings!

The Stag

READING POINTS: On a personal level, some kind of adjustment or interaction has taken place. The keyword here is responsibility. We must, as individuals, constantly observe the rules and regulations of society, and these can fluctuate as the views and knowledge of civilization change. Whether on a political or moral level, we subconsciously know when a realignment of our perceptions is due. This is a time to welcome the justice that has arrived with the coming spring and the fire of creation. Face the coming season with honesty and integrity and trust to right and appropriate action.

MEANING: The concepts of forgiveness and reward are not appropriate here. They are human ideas which have no reality in natural lore. One reaps what one has sown. Just as right or generous action brings fulfillment and peace, green and vengeful desire bring bitter loneliness and disillusion. Balance will be maintained by the planet’s ecosystem. The justice it dispenses is long lasting, and it is both merciful and irrevocable in its final conclusions.

We are guests of the Earth, not its masters. And, like ill-mannered children at a banquet offered freely by a generous and forgiving host, we have behaved badly and are in danger of spoiling the gathering for everyone else. Our thoughtless greed and selfishness have seriously disturbed the ecosystem. The fine balance and interdependent connection between nature and humans is pivotal; if the balance is disturbed by any inappropriate or thoughtless action there will surely be a natural reaction and the balance will have to be reset.

On an individual level, this may involve haunting guilt over a wrong action or subconscious feeling of bitterness because of an unfair situation. It signifies the karmic wheel of justice that rules our basic concepts of right and wrong, and the inescapable faith that justice will always be done.

On a global level, it may mean that the thoughtless rape of the rainforest will one day severely affect the weather patterns, and the polluted seas will one day produce poisoned fish that will be inedible. One day, in the not too distant future, our host, the Earth, may have no option but to give notice that the pendulum of justice has swung away from us and we will no longer be welcome at the banquet.

DESCRIPTION: The Stag, forest kin and guardian, half human and half animal and verdant with greenery, looks out from the card with a steady and calm gaze. He holds a polished hafted axe and shield. His horns reach into the sky and are mirrored in the branches of the tree, before which he stands as a reminder of our cosmic connection to the universe and its manifestation in all organic life on the planet. The polished axe head is a manifestation of the human will to change the environment – and not always for the better, so a weighing up of action and responsibility is necessary. The shield, which bears the image of the symbolic Major Oak, reminds us that we must preserve and protect our natural resources.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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Humans need both light and dark. We need to both sleep and be active, accept our shadow as well as our joyous and happy side. Sometimes, it’s easy to over-embrace one side or the other – but balance is key. Today, we are reminded with this beautiful creature to take some time in the light and to share that part of ourselves.

Blessings!

Lolo – Stand in the Light

You are unique. You are a divine and beautiful being. You stand apart from the crowd. Sometimes, this evokes jealousy or desire in others who want to posses your light and beauty as their own. You need never fear another or believe that they can harm you. Allow yourself to be true to who you are. Do not try to hide your inner light and beauty. You are meant to be seen. Your soul is nurtured and protected but your love for Great Spirit.

Meaning: Don’t avoid the spotlight or try to hide yourself nor dull your light and beauty that is meant to help others, and the only way that can occur is if you allow yourself to fully be and express it. Do not shrink away from your magnificence when you feel challenged. Instead, step it up to an entirely new level of boldness! You have a gentle nature, but you are strong. If you have become obsessed with the beauty or power of another, it’s time to come back to your own divine beauty, to unearth it, explore it, express it, and let is shine. Trying to blend in will drain the energy from you. Let those who are attracted to your light adapt to your level of divine expression. You are the benchmark, and they will evolve to reach you.

Guidance: In Malagasy, the language of Madagascar, lolo means “butterfly,” “moth,” and “soul.” The sunset moth of Madagascar is big, beautiful, and bright. While most moths are nocturnal, creatures that are active at night, the sunset moth is a creature of the day. With iridescent wings creating a kaleidoscopic effect as they refract light, they are considered by some to be the most beautiful insect on earth. Yet, in subdued light, their wings can appear less remarkable. Without light, their true beauty cannot be recognized. You, like this creature are a being that needs light -– light to nourish your life force, and light to reveal your true and remarkable divine beauty. You are meant to shine your divinity in the world in the daylight, not to keep it hidden under the cloak of night, for fear of how others may react.

Spirit Warriors Oracle by author Alana Fairchild and artist Isabel Brynne

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Sometimes we need to get busy in a different way to receive the blessings we seek. Are you busy doing the same unsuccessful things over and over? Do you not work well with others? Do you not value yourself enough and allow others to walk over you? Carefully look at where you want to be and what rewards in life you seek, then look closely at how you are trying to achieve that. Sometimes even a little tweak can make a big difference, and self-awareness is key.

Have a great week!

Bee Spirit – Sweet results await

Message: The Bee Spirit’s message is that sweet rewards are on their way if you are willing to get your ego out of the way and immerse yourself in the connected energy of all things. Bee Spirit knows not to let a sense of being a separate self get in the way of a good thing. Spirit is always producing honey; miracles and magic are everywhere. When you connect with the Great Hive, you are vibrating and buzzing in exquisite harmony with all. Bee asks that you focus on connectivity.

Your body, heart, soul, and psyche experience total interconnectedness and a true integration when you “self-forget”: when you remember that you are part of a greater unified consciousness.

Moving from separation into connection, from self-centered limitation to Spirit-centered infinite possibility and potential, you become busy as a bee, enjoying the gifts of Bee Spirit. Fully in alignment with your highest expression of yourself, your heart opens and creativity rushes through you seemingly without effort as you experience that nothing feels like work. Industriousness is driven by enthusiasm and inner motivation, and time seems to fly by quickly as the hive supports you in the making of honey. Do you feel the presence of your helpers in the hidden realms adding their energy to your creations?

Magical results are taking form and will be sweeter than you expect. Bee Spirit wants you to remember that your part in the divine partnership with the Conscious Universe is being rewarded even if you can’t see that yet, and asks that you share your good fortune as there is plenty of honey for all. Be a part of the larger whole, the force that brings forth all that is sweet and delightful.

Protection Message: When Bee Spirit comes as your protector, she asks you to be very honest with yourself. Do you want to taste the sweet honey others have been making but you believe is unattainable for you? Do you wonder how others ended up with so much magical honey when you seem to have none? Have you bought into the illusion of separation and become convinced that you can’t have what others in the hive enjoy? Do you separate from the hive to do it all on your own or to hoard what honey you have, unwilling to trust that there is plenty of support and plenty of sweetness to go around?

If you have been overworking and overdoing and have not given yourself any time to enjoy the sweetness of your life, Bee Spirit is telling you to stop and recharge. Perhaps you’re afraid that if you don’t get something done, it just won’t get done. However, even busy bees need to take a break, and when you do, the honey still gets made. So remind yourself that sweetness is everywhere and available to you always when you need it.

Spirit Animal Oracle by author Colette Baron-Reid and artist Jena DellaGrottaglia

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OK, so we have our Imbolc winners!

After a very complex selection process (meaning that I wrote the names on pieces of paper, folded them, put them in a bowl, and drew three of them without looking), we have the three folks who will be receiving one of the books and a package of new stick incense from Dryad Incense:

Joe SNW – Pagan Portals Brigid & Brigid incense

Shaina ­­– Bell, Book, and Candlemas & Brigid incense

SCPeoples – The Magick of Food & Brigid incense

Congratulations! I will be contacting everyone for shipping information soon (in the case that I cannot reach one of these three winners, I will select another person). I’m hoping to do this again next year, but we shall see what we can find. Many thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

Wishing you all blessings of Avalon and the Imbolc season,

Thistle & Dryad

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Dogs have always been a huge part of my life – one is even one of my spirit guides. Note in the card description below all the connections between dogs and healers. Aside from the loyal and protective nature of canines, there is something quite healing about these animals that close-up examples of living in the present as well as being accepting of us, regardless of flaws.

The other strong card today was Bee, which represents Community, Celebration, and Organization. Taken together, this sends out a very strong message. Consider it, and have a great weekend!

DOG – Guidance, Protection, Loyalty

THE CARD: Shows a deer-hound similar to the hound portrayed in the bronze figure found at the third-century shrine of the healer-god Nodens at Lydney, Gloustershire. Another healing sanctuary at Nettleton Shrub in Wiltshire was dedicated to Apollo Cunomaglus – the Celtic “Hound-lord” – showing that the dog was strongly associated with healing. It is a bright summer’s day, with the dog-rose, dog-daisy, dog-violet, and dog-periwinkle all in flower. These hot days of July and August are called the Dog-days because at this period the Dog star Sirius rises and sets with the sun. We see a pool beside the dog, for there is a deep symbolic connection between the dog and water.

MEANING: The Dog, or Cu in Gaelic, brings guidance and protection, acting as a loyal companion and friend on your journey in both this life and the next. In the Druid tradition, the dog is seen as the Guardian of the Mysteries. As such, he can be fierce, but if our intentions are good, then Cu will lead us over the threshold through the darkness and the waters of the Unconscious toward the simmering realm of the Goddess.

The time may come when you need to act with the spirit of Cu – to defend your values or protect that which you hold sacred. Faithfulness, trust, and the loyalty are vital ingredients of close relationships, and the time may have come for you to focus on these qualities – to develop them gradually in yourself and to appreciate them in others.

This card may also indicate that you need to examine the degree to which you or those around you may be lacking in faithfulness or loyalty. Ask yourself to what extent you value these qualities in your friends and lovers, and to what extent you and they express these values. If you find it difficult to keep friendships, Cu as your ally will help you to develop the qualities of selflessness and trust that will nurture close relationships. But remember that sometimes loyalty and faithfulness can be inappropriate – a dog is often submissive and anxious to please even a cruel owner.

The Druid Animal Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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The world has seemed crazy the last couple weeks, but hopefully things will settle down soon and we can all focus on doing a little work looking within and enjoying the season of Brigid, known as Imbolc or Candlemas to us magical folks. 

Because I wanted to do something nice for the blog followers during a traditionally dark season, I decided to do a little giveaway. The Rekindle the Hearth Giveaway started on Jan. 12, but everyone still has three days to enter! 

We have three books that connect to Brigid and her season in one way or another. I’ll be giving each new book – along with a pack of the amazing new Brigid incense made by my friend at Dryad Incense – to a lucky reader. And if you love quality, handmade incense, I do encourage you to check out Dryad’s Etsy shop where she has many amazing blends (my favorites are Frankincense & Myrrh, Kore, and Vanilla Patchouli).

Ok, so on to the books.

First up, we have Pagan Portals Brigid: Meeting the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Forge, and Healing Well. The Pagan Portals series by Moon Books is great for beginning to understand a deity or subject. This 112-page book by Morgan Daimler proves an excellent introduction to Brigid, covering her history and many names, symbol and animal connections, prayers and charms, and more. 

Another great connection to Brigid and the Hearth is food. So it’s no surprise that one of the giveaway books focuses on it. The Magick of Food: Rituals, Offerings & Why We Eat Together by Gwion is a feast for the food lover’s soul as it not only offers recipes but also a history of food and ritual, how food is used in magic, and rituals and spells to try. A treat for any magical hearthkeeper!

Finally, we have a cozy mystery, because sometimes the best way to get through a difficult time is to cuddle under a throw with your favorite hot beverage and a little bit of paper escapism. Bell, Book & Candlemas is the second book in the Wiccan Wheel mystery series by Jennifer David Hesse. It features lawyer Keli Milanni trying to solve the mystery of who vandalized the local New Age gift shop – without giving away her Wiccan faith that she has kept in the broom closet.

Now that you know what’s for grabs, how do you enter? 

Dryad and I would love for folks to follow the Parting the Mists blog and liked Dryad Incense’s Etsy shop, but we decided to keep it simple. Just comment on this blog post as your entry (the actual blog post – not the Facebook or Twitter post). Be sure in the comment that you provide a way to contact you. Let us know which book you’d like the most, and we will do our best to send winners the one they want, but some may want the same book so no promises. You have until Sunday, January 24, at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time to enter. We will draw three winners and announce them the next day and send the prizes on their way!

We hope you all enjoy this little giveaway. Blessings of Avalon!

– Thistle & Dryad

Some legalese for you: 

  • No purchase is necessary to enter.
  • This giveaway is open to United States residents who are 18 years of age or older. 
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law – please know your local laws. 
  • This giveaway is sponsored by Parting the Mists and Dryad Incense and is not affiliated with WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter, nor can they be held liable.
  • By commenting with the intention of entering the drawing, you are knowingly agreeing to these rules. 
  • The giveaway prizes were chosen by the blogger and Dryad Incense. We were not paid to advertise these books, nor were the books endorsed or paid for by anyone other than the contest sponsors. 

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OK, this has been a challenging week emotionally and schedule-wise. Monday, we had to let our sweet old Border collie Kaitlyn go. Her arthritis and joint deterioration was to the point of painful even with pain killers and she wouldn’t regain mobility. It broke our hearts to let her go.

She was an unexpected joy. Her owner who lived near us fell on hard times and was going to take her, then 16 years old, to the humane society. We knew she’d never be adopted at her age and in her condition (horrible double ear infections and arthritic), and I adore Border collies. So, we took her in, fully realizing we may only be giving her a good last year or so. Well, Kaitlyn Strongheart (as we liked to call her) fooled everyone by living almost to 19. We didn’t want to see her suffer, but the house feels so empty without her despite the six other animals here.

On a brighter note, we have the perfect card for today: Rebirth. I did a double take when I drew it! Many of us are feeling relieved and blessed by a rebirth in government today, but don’t forget to remember to see today’s card in a personal light as well.

Blessings and have a lovely Wednesday,

Thistle

EIGHT OF VESSELS – REBIRTH

MEANING: By looking at the past, acknowledging our mistakes and learning from them, we grow and attain new wisdom. The future waits to be unfolded by our positive action as we become “The Eighth Vessel” and receive powerful rejuvenating energies of rebirth.

DESCRIPTION: From the middle of a fast-flowing stream, we see an ancient cauldron hanging form a great chain. In the trees above it are three smaller cauldrons. Water and energy flow from them, filling the great cauldron, which in turn overflows and fills four more, which sit on the rocks below and overflow into the stream.

READING POINTS: Rejoice! A time of renewal and potential is here. The cycle of rebirth and healing brings inner peace and confidence. Once you accept that all the blessings and gifts of life can be yours or, indeed, already belong to you, the fear of asking is gone. It is time to shed the skin of the past and accept and utilize the overflowing potential of the present that is freely available to you. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not be afraid to ask, “Why not me?” See potential where others only see barriers. See challenge as others see impossible odds. Apply all that you have learned through experience and toil to any problem and you will not fail. You have striven to survive and absorb insight; you have endured loss to retain your integrity. All of these trials have made you stronger, wiser, and more effective. Drink of this new fountain of opportunity and renew your life objectives. You have endured the past ¬– its gifts were hard won; now the challenge of the future unfolds. Grasp it and shape it in your hands as you would have it manifest in your life.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington.

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Thank you for being patient with the card this morning – I pulled the card but went for a walk before remembering I hadn’t actually posted it. Oops.

Anyhow, this is an interesting card indicating that many of us need to take the step through a threshold state of life. Don’t let fear hold you back. Blessings!

Beech – What lies beyond the threshold?

Meaning: Crossing thresholds is a way of moving from one state of bing to another, but they can be frightening places, confronting us with uncertainty and change. Being creature of habit, it is easier fo us to stay with the known and familiar, yet if we refuse to confront what lies beyond the threshold, we can remain in a stagnant condition. What is on the other side of the threshold may be actively enticing you into a new experience, a lesson that will develop your skills. Beech can signify the death or end of something but also stands for the changes that arise through realization.

Since its gift is the revelation of experience, Beech in a reading suggests you should cross the threshold that is challenging you, gain experience from the unknown, seek revelation and increase your knowledge.

Beech Lore: The beauty and femininity of the beech is obvious – traditionally, it is called the “Queen of the Woods,” sharing place of honor with the kingly oak. Local British traditions associate it with the serpents, probably because of its serpentine root systems, which are revealed by soil erosion when they are planted on hills or slopes. Behind this again lurks the notion of the wise serpent going knowledge to those who ask for it. Several altars to the beech have been discovered in the French Pyrénées, suggesting its importance to the Celtic tribes who lived there. It is said that no harm would ever befall a traveler shelling beneath its branches, while prayers uttered in its shade were bound to be answered, just as any curse spoken there was said to be more effective. Slivers of beech wood and leaves were once carried as talismans to bring good luck and increase creative energy. Wishes were carved on beech wands, which were subsequently buried in the earth, were said to be particularly effective and, as the wood rotted away in the earth, the wish was related to bear fruit in the outer world.

Preservers of lore: Thin leaves of beechwood are said to have been bound together to form the first book, which is certainly in line with its central association with writing and the transmission of lore. The Anglo-Saxon word for beech was bok (which became book); in German, buche is beech and buch is book, while the Swedish word bok means both book and beech. These associations have led to the tree being associated with gods of learning. In the Egyptian pantheon, Thoth is the inventor of writing, the preserver of lore. Hermes is his Greek equivalent, while Ogma in the Celtic tradition and Odin in the Norse are both responsible for the discovery of letters from which the Ogam and Runic alphabets descend. Dried beech leaves were used to stuff mattresses in France until recently as the nineteenth century; indeed, the soft whispering noise produced when these were lain upon prompted them to be dubbed lits de parlement (speaking beds). Sleeping on one of these, and asking a question before falling asleep, meant that one received a wise answer in the night.

Spirit of Nature Oracle by author John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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This is such a deeply beautiful card that would be easy to neglect the meaning. Yes, there is much beauty in this Earth, but we can also work with the Earth to ground ourselves and evaluate where we are and where we truly wish to be. Pausing before action isn’t always fear – sometimes we just need a break to rediscover ourselves and learn what we truly want from life.

Blessings and have a lovely Thursday!

Parting

Grandmother Earth

MEANING: Stop and take measure of your life. Assess who you are and where you are. Get grounded. Make plans for the future, but don’t act on those plans until you are ready and feel secure in stepping forward. There is a profound source of strength and power within you, and it is expanding now. Put your roots down. This is the time of preparation and going deeper.

NATIVE SPIRIT WISDOM: Grandmother Earth provides the trees, plants, flowers, rivers, streams, oceans, mountains, and valleys, and supports us all with her bounty. She’s stable and strong in her devotion to us. You are supported and loved, even if you’re not always sure of it. Strength is growing within you. Don’t rush. Slow down. The seeds that you plant now will bring abundance in the future, but only if you take the time to nurture those new beginnings. Take time to plan your future carefully. Don’t rush into anything. Security and protection surround you. You are safe. If you’re thinking of making secure financial investments and receive this card, it’s telling you that this is a good time to do so; it’s not a time to take risks.

THE JOURNEY: To deepen your connection to Grandmother Earth and bring security in all forms into your life, walk barefoot on the earth, place your hands in the earth, or make investments. Imagine the strengthening, grounding energy of the earth filling you and your life. 

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

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It’s easy to be too serious and down, especially now as the news of the world is often a bit dark. Remember as we head to Imbolc, it is a good time to look within and to also find what lights our path. Sometimes, that might be as simple as turning on some music and dancing in the kitchen or living room. Maybe playing with your dog or other pet or going for a drive wild the trick – whatever brings you a little joy and gets you out of your rut. Take a tip from Otter (one of my spirit animals) and go with the flow a bit.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Rekindle the Hearth Giveaway by myself and Dryad Incense! The deadline is Jan. 24. 🙂

Otter (Dobhran)- Joy, play, and helpfulness

Meaning: Otter invites us to play, to go with the flow of life and experience – to become a child again. Allow yourself the freedom and pleasure of relaxing and letting go of all your daily concerns. Otter could be prompting you to take a day or a weekend out of your usual routine to do something purely for fun. Your practical side may tell you that you cannot afford the time, but deep down you know that you need to care for yourself to be a real value to others.

Someone may even be coming into your life who will show you how to play again – something you may have forgotten as you excepted the responsibilities of growing up. Otter shows us that being playful can lead us to catch the salmon – the fish prized by the druids as the totem of wisdom. Drawing this card also confirms to us the sense that we are truly protected.

This card can also suggest that you may be “pushing the river” – going against the natural course of events, perhaps out of fear or stubbornness. Try letting go, relaxing, and trusting in life. Although Otter urges us to be playful, we must be aware of becoming the play boy or girl who uses play as an escape from the demands and responsibilities of adulthood.

Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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