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How often do we consider our ancestors of blood, spirit, and place? Better connection with the human past can only help us understand how to live a live of harmony rather than one of destruction and abuse of our fellow humans and of our resources. The ancient ones can show us what is important if we listen.

Blessings and peace.

Hear the Ancient Ones

The indigenous people of thew world are those who have lived in harmony with the land for countless generations. Among them are the elders whose knowledge and wisdom can teach us of our relationships with nature, of living a life of empathetic awareness, and to better understand our role as caretakers of the earth. They can teach us the wisdom of taking only what we need, of wasting little, and of honoring all sacrifices made so that you may live and grow. Hear the wisdom of the Ancient Ones; learn from their knowledge, lore, and traditions.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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For those of us who follow a Welsh-influenced spiritual tradition, this plant is meaningful. Who remembers which goddess figure from the Mabinogion is made of three blooms, including that of Meadowsweet (plus Oak and Broom)? Blodeuwedd, AKA Flower Face. Her tale may seem grim and unflattering, but look deeper. Is she betraying Lleu? Or is she honoring herself and her own sovereignty?

Also note that Meadowsweet was used to help create aspirin by the Bayer company and that it has been used as an anti-inflammatory, for upset stomachs, colds, and heartburn. It was also the popular strewing herb at weddings as well as in homes.

Blessings!

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Meadowsweet – Transition, Blessing, Celebration (also Transience, The Familiar, Routine)

Meaning: Traces of Meadowsweet, Heather, and Royal Fern have been found on Neolithic drinking vessels in Scotland – leading archeologists to speculate that these plants were used to brew ale. Later, Meadowsweet was used marriage celebrations. This card may indicate that a time of celebration or transition is due. Meadowsweet’s creamy flowers and summery smell are a reminder that change is one of the greatest features of being alive in this world, and the best way to accept change is to celebrate it. Whether you are leaving job, relationship, or familiar surroundings or are joining forces with colleagues or a partner, this is a time to truly celebrate the change that is occurring – offering flowers to the God or Goddess and accepting the transformations this transition will bring.

The card may also be urging you to formally mark and celebrate a transition or major event in your life, or that of your family, that you’ve been tempted to ignore, such as moving or leaving home, reaching puberty, succeeding in a creative project, achieving a significant age, separating, or divorcing.

This card could also refer to the need to slow down and acknowledge change. In the old times, change was considered significant and was often celebrated or marked ritually. Today we are so used to change that we barely give it a thought – we change cars and computers, houses, partners and jobs – with a speed that would have amazed our ancestors. Although our potential for learning and freedom has expanded, we have suffered as a result. Hurtling furiously toward the future, we have forgotten how to live in the moment and how to enjoy both change and the stability that comes from the familiar.

Choosing this card may indicate that it is time to celebrate the familiar and to take time to enjoy the contstants in your life that don’t often change. Routine and sameness can be stultifying, but they can also provide the ground through which you can deepen your character and soul.

The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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Now, many groups are created online (or members find each other there), but just because we can find each other easier via the Internet doesn’t mean we’re any better at staying together.”

An excerpt from another throwback blog post. Read more about the ups and downs of building Pagan community today.

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It’s been more than a month since Imbolc, so this seems a good time to reshare this post from last year. Enjoy!

Source: • Keeping Brigid after Imbolc

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Good day! Quick question: Do you enjoy the daily oracle card?

If you follow Parting the Mists on Facebook or Twitter, you know that an oracle card is pulled every day. It started as a Samhain season thing, so I picked my beloved Halloween Oracle deck for this. Followers seem to resonate with this deck, but lately I have felt that a change up was needed.

And yes, I had only planned to do the daily card from September through November, but I’ve enjoyed posting the card and would like to continue.

Anyway, here are three decks that feel like good options:

Druid Animal Oracle

Authors Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm with artists Will Worthington

This was my very first deck when, as a solitary Pagan, I was brave enough to go into a New Age/Witchy shop and buy a deck! Being drawn to Druidry at the time (and that’s never gone away though I went in another direction as a tradition) and having a lifelong love of animals, this was the perfect choice for me.

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Though I don’t consider this a “wintry” deck, I tend to think of it as an all-around good deck, particularly for those with strong animal associations.

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Wildwood Tarot

Authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews with artist Will Worthington

You might notice a trend here – I also love decks with artwork by Will Worthington (I have a third and gave a fourth to a friend). However, this is a tarot deck that’s not like traditional tarot, so I think it would still work well for a daily drawing. It draws much on Celtic myths and achetypes.

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Oracle of Oddities, 2nd edition

Author and designer Claire Goodchild of Black and the Moon

OK, this is brave of me to offer because this deck is pretty new to me (I just won it during the Great October Book Giveaway over at Rue & Hyssop – thanks, Jen!). On top of that, it is quite a unique deck and doesn’t have a book. If there was a short write up with the daily card, I would be the one writing it. This would be new for me, but I also think it would be a good push for my intuition.

Take a gander at these dark and lovely cards. Also stay tuned for a review of this deck soon.

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So which is it? Druid Animal Oracle, Wildwood Tarot, or Oracle of Oddities? Or, do you really want to say with The Halloween Oracle? Please let me know in comments!

Blessings,

Thistle

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Well, it’s long past time that I should have posted something new here – having the WordPress holiday snow over a headline about Lugnassadh is pretty shameful on my part.

OK, moving on.

A location of great interest to most Avalonians – Glastonbury, England – has some news. As mentioned here before, Glastonbury Abbey is raising money for preservation work at the Abbey. While they have held some fundraising events already, the Friends of Glastonbury Abbey is increasing the cost of a season ticket by £1, making an adult season pass £25. They will also be offering lifetime memberships for £300. Click here to read more details.

While I and many of my readers cannot take advantage of these offers, I do hope their efforts to raise money is successful. After all, I know several people – myself included – who would someday like to visit this sacred site. And they need £500,000 to do the preservation work for the Lady Chapel, the North Wall, and the Abbot’s Kitchen.

ADDITION: A friend pointed out that some might wish to contribute to the conservation efforts. If so, check out the Rescue Our Ruins web site.

Coming Soon!

Next week, I’ll kick off with a more serious post about a lesson learned this Samhain season. Then, we’ll switch gears and look at some of my favorite things – just in time for the season of Yule and gift giving.

Bright blessings to you all!

Thistle

 

© 2012 PJ Graham

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Wishing everyone out there a blessed Lughnasadh! This first harvest celebration stems from the festival created by the Irish god Lugh to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu, who died from exhaustion after clearing a forest so the land could be used for agriculture.

When we live in a way that connects us to our food source, this myth works as solid metaphor for the hard work of putting up summer’s bounty to help get through the winter. Growing up, my family depended on our half-acre garden, apple tree, and blackberry brambles to provide us with much of our food supply. And as we spent most of July and early August canning and freezing vegetables and making jelly and applesauce, I can honestly say we were exhausted at this time of year.

But there is also a joy and sense of pride that comes from this work, much like the pride Lugh had in his foster mother. I remember looking at the rows of canned goods in the well house and feeling happy – and secure. Even though I no longer have to work long hours in a garden and kitchen to stay fed through winter, I still enjoy creating things from the harvest.

Homemade preserves are one way to stay connected with the harvest cycle.

So far this year, I’ve put up several batches of black raspberry jelly (courtesy of a juice from a friend), blackberry jelly (including a sage variety), grape jelly, strawberry margarita jam, and “Farmer’s Market Salsa” featuring fresh sweet corn cut from the cob. Not only do these homemade preserves taste much better than the store-bought variety, but making and sharing them helps me feel connected to my recent roots as well as to my ancestors who lived off the land.

So is there something you or your family always did (or still do) to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies of the harvest? Do you continue these traditions and, if so, how does it make you feel?

‘Parting the Mists’ Turns One-Year Old!

This post also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog! While I didn’t meet my goals of posting twice a week and haven’t posted much in recent months, I look forward to reinvigorating this site.

On the horizon, I see a belated post for the Pagan Values project (which should have been posted in June, oh my) as well as posts digging into the following topics:

  • Examining the history and myths of places believed to be Avalon
  • Energy work, especially as related to healing
  • Creatures of Celtic myth and legend (think faery hounds, unicorns, etc.)
  • Books related to the tradition
  • How the Avalonian, Grail, and Arthurian trads are – or aren’t – connected

Speaking of future posts, is there anything special you’d like to see covered here?

Until next time, bright summer blessings!

Thistle

(Photos courtesy of Morguefile.com)

© 2012 PJ Graham

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