Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

Today we have a powerful figure from the Wildwood deck, and though she is serious I shall take her as a good omen.

Today is the last day I will post a card for a while. Tomorrow I have an early doctor’s appointment in Kansas City and the few days following it are days I’m taking for myself and my family as I prepare for major surgery next week with a hospital stay of at least 3-4 days followed by a 6-8 week recovery.

Though surgery of this magnitude is a bit scary, it is possible because the three rounds of chemotherapy I had for the Stage 4 Ovarian cancer did its job: shrinking the mass and the spread of the cancer enough that surgery is possible. This could have taken 6 or 9 treatments – or treatments might not have worked at all. Given I have had no complications and just a few side effects from treatment, I feel blessed and as though the Universe has my back.

It’s not just the universe. The family, spiritual family, and friends who have risen up and supported me far beyond what I ever imagined has surprised me and warmed my heart. So many cards, care packages, and messages of support and comfort! My sister created a “Team Peej” shirt (my nickname is PJ and becomes Peej to many) for family and friends who wanted to wear their support literally, and the $10 per shirt that she charged was sent to me to help pay bills. My coworkers and the library where I work were amazing, with a kick-cancer’s-butt bag, covering shifts I couldn’t work after chemo treatments, and keeping a positive attitude in the forefront.

My boyfriend and his daughter, our Kiddo, have followed my lead with the positive, I’m-beating-this attitude that I needed through this journey. They are my heart and a huge part of what I’m fighting for; we have too many adventures and hiking trips to do yet. Allen also created my own personal Ovarian cancer mascot (teal is the color for that, just FYI): A heartfelt Bigfoot!

Art by Allen Childers at ChildersArt Studios

I have heard from many of YOU, the blog readers, as well – messages of hope and support when I shared my cancer journey a couple months ago. So no matter how much negativity you see and hear on the news and social media, do not be fooled – there is so much love and help out there just waiting to be acknowledged.

Now, here is your card of the day:

THE GREEN WOMAN

READING POINTS: Appearing at a time of rich nurturing and protection, of learning and initiation, when loving and fertile relationships, both human and universal, abound, the Green Woman mediates the sacred sovereignty of the Earth’s soul and can show the path to understanding and communion with nature. But with this blessing comes responsibility. Remember that this glorious, magnanimous and generous spirit can live through you, radiated by the sacred breath of life and given to others who need guidance and healing. Learn from the abundant and joyous spirit of the Earth and be at one with the world and your true self.

DESCRIPTION: The Green Woman, disgorger of nature, crowned with ferns and wild roses, breaths the divine word of life. Her calm, serene expression is steady and full of graceful sovereignty. Around her neck is the golden Celtic gorget representing the sun throughout the year. The golden amber cup before her has within it the milk of love and nurturing and the sheela-na-gig on its side represents the life force of all women. The Green Woman symbolizes the forest at midsummer. Here, amide the luxuriant foliage, small animals and birds of the Wildwood live and build their homes, creating a whole ecosystem within the branches and a safe haven for the innocent and vulnerable beneath its roots.

MEANING: The Green Woman encompasses the female archetype of wildness and green energy. Her presence balances that of the wild man and represents the earthly manifestation of female solar energy and the rich bounty of the Great Mother. She also represents the goddess of the land, sometimes expressed as Sovereignty, who challenges all comers to brave her tests and to offer those who succeed the gifts of inner kingship and love and a deepening bond to the riches of the Earth. From her pours the glorious light of the midsummer sun, blessing everything it touches with life and boundless energy.

This figure is complex and subtle but highly dynamic in her interaction with anyone who seeks to understand the nature of the Wildwood mythos. She mediates the sacred blessing of earthly fertility, and the beasts that inhabit it, and forms a deep bond with the seeker who wishes to attune to the rhythm of the Wheel of the Year.

In the Arthurian tradition, she validates the kingship of Arthur by bringing him the sacred sword and establishes him as a guardian of the Hallows of Britain, sometimes appearing as the Lady of the Lake, who fosters both Arthur himself as well as the young hero Lancelot. In other stories she manifests as the Flower Bride, sought after by more than one of Arthur’s great knights and offering the deep bonds of matrimony and joy to those with whom she shares her bounty. At its heart, her sacred role is the initiator of the human individual into the realm of the Wildwood.

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

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Well, we’ve been back from New Orleans and Texas for a few days, but it took a bit of recuperation to get back to my normally scheduled posts.

This card has funny timing for me – we were doing this during our trip. I love many of the traditional dishes of the New Orleans area – notably jambalaya and red beans & rice with smoked sausage. This time, I discovered the break pudding with brandy sauce at Mother’s Restaurant and thought I’d gone to Avalon. 😉 Someone has posted a recipe for it, so I’m going to attempt to recreate it this summer. My two cohorts in travel had never been to the city and seemed to enjoy it a bit, even though we were only there two days.

As always when we travel, we found a good bookstore and bought more things to crowd the bookshelves.

I’ve also started reading a preview copy of Moon Book’s Poppets and Magical Dolls by Lucya Starza, so look for a review of that soon!


Nourish the Soul
Drink in life. Use your senses to explore your world – to see, touch, taste, smell, here, and experience all that is within you and around you. Your journey through life is meant to be a sensory experience. Your life is meant to be a rainbow of color, full of motion and sound. It is not meant to be a bland, tasteless existence of simply black-and-white. Be sensual. Explore yourself and your world every day and nourish your soul with every moment.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

 

 

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It was sad to see reported in The Wild Hunt a couple days ago about the passing of author and Pagan leader Kathryn Hinds. Readers may also know of her husband, musician Arthur Hinds.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn at Pagan Spirit Gathering almost 10 years ago. It was clear that she was kind hearted and enjoyed sharing her knowledge. Though our meeting was brief, I picked up a book she co-authored, Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses, which I have recommended in the past as a good primer on Celtic deities.

Blessed be her journey, and I hope her loved ones are comforted by her memory. Blessings.

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An interesting story came up today, so I thought write a quick post about it.

For more than eight centuries, legend has suggested that Glastonbury, England was the burial place of Arthur (and thus Avalon). The suggestion that Glastonbury’s monks created the myth to save their abbey has been around for quite some time. Now, literary archeologist Damian Bullen is claiming that evidence in an area known as the Scottish Borders – near the town of Selkirk specifically – helps to prove this point.

Reported in Deadline News in the UK, Bullen’s theory is that the Yarrow Stone, discovered four centuries ago in Scotland, is actually the grave marker for the legendary king. To see his argument, go here:

http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2012/01/05/scottish-stone-holds-key-to-holy-grail-of-arthurian-legend-claims-historian/

I’m afraid my Latin and knowledge of ancient and medieval British history is not strong enough to add commentary regarding the veracity of Bullen’s theory. But I do find it interesting that, once again, the legend of Arthur encourages people to look upon their history anew and to never settle for the pat answer.

Of course, Selkirk is one more addition to a list of locations that are purported to be the legendary Isle of Avalon, so it won’t get lonely anytime soon.

Bright blessings!

Thistle

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Due to a trip for work (and preparing for it), there probably won’t be any posts this week. I might be able to on Friday or Sunday, but no promises. If not, I’ll be back next week with a couple posts focused on the Avalonian tradition as a path of healing.

Bright blessings!

Thistle

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Autumn Equinox blessings to everyone! May you all enjoy the Feast of Avalon (or Mabon, Harvest Home, Cornucopia, or whatever you call it). I so enjoy this time of year with the colorful leaves and cool weather that seems to require a good pot of tea.

OK, now we can get down to business.

Some of you might remember the vandalism suffered by the Holy Thorn tree in Glastonbury England last December. The thorn, which legend says sprouted from a staff stuck in the ground by Joseph of Arimathea, is sacred to many Christians as well as Avalonians who hold with the theory that Avalon was located in Glastonbury*.

This spring, Glastonbury locals watched to see if the tree would recover by putting up sprouts that could regrow the tree. It did indeed sprout, but now Glastonbury Mayor John Cole says that the trinkets that people are leaving as offerings to the tree are actually hampering its recovery. He also mentions that the many, many ribbons tied to the fence around the thorn are so plentiful as to be blocking sunlight from the sprouts.

To read more about this, see the full story at the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-15019937

* Yes, I plan on tackling the many suggested locations of Avalon in a series of posts sometime next year.

Catching Up On Posts:

Sorry to have neglected this little project the last couple of weeks. I plan to get us back on track next week with Part 4 of the “Avalon and the Otherworld” series with a post focused on the Welsh Annwn.

Everyone have a splendid Autumn Equinox weekend!

Thistle

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The Winchester Round Table (photo courtesy of David Spender via Flickr)

For those of you who missed it, The Telegraph in the UK reported last Friday that archeologists in Scotland might be close to discovering King Arthur’s legendary Round Table.

The King’s Knot, an earthen feature by Stirling Castle in Scotland, has long been subject to myths regarding its origin. Part of it was created in the 17th century, but the center mound is of unknown origin – and centuries of writers have linked it to King Arthur.

Archeologists from Glasgow University and two organizations endeavored to learn more about it by using “remote-sensing geophysics” this spring. They did determine that the center predates other parts of the earthwork.

Read more about their findings here: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8724183/King-Arthurs-round-table-may-have-been-found-by-archaeologists-in-Scotland.html

Of course, anyone who has read much about Arthur’s table already know this isn’t the first time someone has claimed to have discovered the table (which, it should be pointed out, the archeologists in Scotland are not saying – only that they seek to uncover the origin of the feature). There’s the Winchester Round Table, which was really built in the 13th century and painted as it is in the 16th century for King Henry VIII. Such tables were in vogue in the middle ages, often complete with knights taking on the roles of Arthur’s knights. (The original LARPers, who knew?)

Other places have tried to lay claim to Round Table fame, including towns in Cumberland, Monmouthshire, Anglesey, and more. Though this latest development might be one more sensationalized story about the Round Table, I look forward to what the archeologists find in September when they conduct a ground-penetrating radar survey.

Upcoming Otherworld Post
I promise I haven’t forgotten about discussing Tir Na Nog and Hy-Brasil – just running a bit behind.

Sources

The Telegraph – www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8724183/King-Arthurs-round-table-may-have-been-found-by-archaeologists-in-Scotland.html

Britannia – www.britannia.com/history/arthur/rtable.html

Hampshire County Council – www3.hants.gov.uk/greathall/roundtable.htm

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