Clearing yourself and your environment of clutter is often the way forward, but sometimes it’s not easy to tackle (especially the environment if you are overwhelmed). Focus on just one or two things you can do to clear your mind or home and start there. Sometimes you just need a little opening for things to change.

Blessings and have a wonderful weekend!

Thistle

SMUDGING CEREMONY

MEANING: Let go of the past. Purify. Detox. Release whatever doesn’t serve or support you in your life. Cleanse your body and environment by doing space clearing and clutter clearing. Let go of the old, discarded, and unused to make way for the new energy and new beginnings. Eat lightly, drink lots of fresh water, and consume food with strong life force.

NATIVE SPIRIT WISDOM: Smudging is a native tradition that involves using the smoke of burning herbs to symbolically “wash” a space in a ceremonial manner. Sometimes your energy field or the energy field of your environment becomes so cluttered and dingy that you can’t see the world clearly and you have trouble hearing the messages from your soul. When you take the time to purify yourself and your environment, not only do you feel lighter and brighter but also you’re a clearer channel for the light. The brilliance that pours through you can heal and help many people – but first the path has to be clear.

THE JOURNEY: Using the smoke of incense or sage, cup your hands into the smoke and “wash” over the top of your head, saying, “That I think clearly.” Then cup the smoke to your eyes, saying, “That I may see the truth.” Next bring the smoke to your throat area, saying, “That I may speak the truth.” Finally, waft the smoke to your heart area, saying, “That my heart be open.”

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

Flying high above the ground, the Air Dragon brings perspective when we need it. Take some time today to get a different perspective and possibly some needed clarity.

Blessings,

Thistle

Air Dragon (Draig-athar) – Inspiration, Insight, Vitality

The card shows one of the dragons of Beli flying high over the magical city of Dinas Affaraon in Snowdonia. In the distance, a bolt of lightning reminds us that Draig-athar (Air Dragon) is one of the servants of the Sky God.

MEANING: Coming into contact with the air dragon can be as a bolt of lightning to the psyche and intellect – and as such must be treated with care and considerable respect. Sometimes manifesting as sudden flashes of illumination, Draig-athar brings insight and clarity to your thought and imagination. As conveyer of numinous power, the air dragon can be seen as a symbol of visitation – for he is a messenger of the Sky God.

This card may also indicate that you are in danger of becoming the servant of an idea, dogma, or belief system. Contact with spiritual concepts and energies can sometimes stimulate the intellect in a way that produces inflation and delusion. To avoid this, constand reality-testing in the everyday world of relationships and practicalities is essential.

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

The busyness of the holidays is often followed by the concept of New Year’s resolutions or goals that take up energy and time – perhaps a good goal for right now is to relax, breath, and restore your energy for spring.

Blessings!

Thistle

Ten of Fire – Comfrey

There can be too much of a good thing; Stop, step away, sooth yourself; cut it down and it roars back to life

Piles of Comfrey fill basket on a crafting table. Leaves hang above the stove to dry. The counter scattered with jars and beeswax. Oil drips onto the wooden surface. The building apothecary spills over with medicine and has little room for anything more.

Meaning: Peace follows being overwhelmed. You may be overextended. The shelves in this room are full, yet the crafting continues. Rest and replenish so your experiences can take root. Refresh your love of creating by releasing some self-imposed responsibilities. Comfrey quickly becomes burdensome and difficult to manage, but it will regenerate after harsh cutting. Even a small amount can quickly flourish into a new plant. Commit to just a few tasks and set the rest aside. Pushing too hard will lead waste and exhaustion. Do not be afraid to give away some of your creative ideas. When you harvest too much, let what you cannot use feed the sailor next season’s growth.

Crafting with Ten of Fire

• Write down what you need to release, roll it tightly in a comfrey leaf, and burn the leaf when it is dry.

• Make comfrey salve for burns, bruises, and injuries. Each time you use the salve, let it be an invitation to rest and soothe your overworked spirit.

 • Use comfrey in magical practice, on an altar or in spells, to inspire you to come back to life.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by author Latisha Guthrie and artists Joanna Powell Colbert

In lieu of a card today, I’m posting a recipe we eat frequently when the rich, heavy fare of the holidays and winter in general are starting to get a bit much. It was whipped up out of necessity. Our little family has come to enjoy some of the things I throw together when I forgot to thaw something or need to go shopping – just throwing open the cupboards and freezer and brewing an idea for something to eat is a form of kitchen witchery that is practical as well as a bit magical. Creating recipes – from my unusual Sunshine & Roses jelly to this simple soup – has also become a fun and nurturing outlet for my creativity. Perfect for this Taurus.

There’s no particular reason this soup has this name other than I’m a cottage witch, and I conjured it up because I wanted a warm but light dinner. It’s often what I reach for when we’ve been eating too heavy and still want something cozy and satisfying. This recipe uses some of my pantry staples, and I like serving it with either garlic bread or a green salad. 

If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy!

Blessings,

Thistle

Thistle’s Cottage Witch Soup

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
½ medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pound of ground turkey
5 cups chicken stock or broth (you could use bouillon powder or cubes)
1-2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning
1 can of cannellini beans or great white northern beans, drained
6 ounces of frozen spinach (if using fresh spinach, I would go with 1 to 1-1/2 cups packed leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste
Can of Italian-style diced tomatoes (optional*)
Eye of newt (optional)

Place olive garlic, onion, and olive oil in a three-quart or larger sauce pan. Sauté on medium heat for a couple minutes and then add the ground turkey. Cook together until meat is cooked through and onion and garlic is tender. 

Add the stock/broth, Italian Seasoning, and beans and heat until everything is simmering. Add in the spinach and tomatoes (if using) and simmer until everything is cooked through and hot. Add salt and pepper, if desired.

*I often add the tomatoes with the leftovers of this soup to counter how strong the spinach gets with sitting overnight. 

While last week’s cards pointed toward laying low, healing, and being creative, today we kick off the week with the Stag Spirit, which says it is time to step up and lead. Do not fear this responsibility, as the tools and knowledge are there – you simply have to reach for them.

Blessings!

Thistle

Stag Spirit – Take the Lead

Message: Whether or not you have set your intention to lead, you may have found yourself suddenly called to step up to the forefront of your life. Stag Spirit is a reminder that now is a time to heed the call to be sure, strong, and compassionate. Others will look to you, and you have it within you to see through the eyes of Stag Spirit and walk with confidence as you take on responsibilities that are yours now and to model integrity in all that you do and in all your relationships. Be willing to see the best in others so that your compassionate heart keeps you on the right path.

Stag Spirit wants you to know that your responsibilities now are to yourself too, for you are learning and developing new skills. The best in you is coming into view as you step forward with strength, knowing that Spirit supports you as you compassionately take the lead. You are a model for transformation now, sharing your experience, strength, and hope with others so they may grow and discover their best selves too. What a gift you are. Stay humble and authentic, and walk your talk, for this how a wise leader leads.

Protection Message: Others may not be as far along as you are on your journey. When Stag Spirit appears in the protection position, you are called to be compassionate and patient as you find yourself leading the way. When others struggle to follow you, they may be unsure that you can be trusted, challenging you to be kind and strong, challenging your value and questioning your worth. Know that Spirit has put you in this place at this time for a purpose and will not abandon you when you need help with your new responsibilities. 

Or perhaps you are actually uncomfortable leading, maybe temporarily trapped by your small self and therefore promoting yourself too strongly, afraid that others might see weakness or imperfection in you. Let go of your fears, and let Stag Spirit remind you that you have what it takes to lead wisely and ethically if you practice self-honestly and listen to others who wish to support you.

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

Living in the very materialistic and production-oriented society that we do, it can be hard to give or to receive. But when we have enough that we can be generous with others who need it, we are saying to the Universe that we trust it will provide and that we don’t have to hoard resources. And accepting the generosity of others can help us reach a place where we can be generous ourselves. Notice how in the card, the energy flows to the individual as well as away.

Also, don’t forget that there are different kinds of generosity – some of us don’t have money to give but have time, encouragement, and wisdom. Blessings come in many forms.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thistle

NINE OF VESSELS – Generosity

MEANING: Nature’s open-hearted, spiritual cauldron has a welcome for those who approach the waters of knowledge with compassion. They are blessed by regeneration.

DESCRIPTION: A cross-legged figure sits with his arms as if in blessing. Energy flows from him in all directions: downwards into three vessels below him; upwards into three vessels above him; outward into two vessels on either side of him. The ninth vessel sits in the hollow formed by his legs. It glows with light and energy rising from the base chakra.

READING POINTS: It can be easy to forget, when we reach the pinnacle of our prowess, power, and security, that life is cyclical and what we enjoy during the times of plenty are the products of previous toil and effort. Just like the wise farmer, we must manage good fortune by planting seeds for the future and by helping those facing hard times. This generosity will always come back to you a thousandfold if it is gifted with selfless good will and a common humanity. To recognize and acknowledge that you are merely a conduit for this abundant enriching blessing, and to let it flow through you and into others’ lives, allows your good fortune to circulate and your positive momentum to carry others with you. By freely giving of your time, support, and energy, the blessing of the divine surrounds you. In this cynical and material world, such things may seem to have little value, but those who have experienced the process in their own lives understand that, in the words of Theodore Rubin: “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”

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

One of the most beautiful cards in this deck, Mistletoe is a powerful plant in Pagan and especially Druid traditions. While it can mean that we need to learn to accept the dark and be independent, it can also indicate a fresh new cycle.

Blessings!

Thistle

Mistletoe (Druidh-lus) – Healing, Fertility, Inspiration (or Sterility, Lack of Guidance, Distilling Wisdom)

Meaning: In the Druid ceremony of Alban Arthan, the Winter Solstice, all lights are extinguished at the heart of the rite, to symbolize the time of the longest night. Then a candle is lit and all participants light their own candles from this one flame. This symbolizes the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the Mabon – the divine child that lives in each of us. Mistletoe is then distributed to all, since mistle berries symbolize the power of this moment. Drawing this card may indicate that a period of difficulties over, as a new cycle dawns. Just as a newborn baby should be nurtured in warmth and safety, so too should the beginnings of new projects and phases in your life be nourished close to your heart. Like Awen – the three drops of inspiration in Ceridwen’s brew – Mistletoe brings guidance, inspiration, and fertility, which augurs well for any creative endeavor. Since Mistletoe was known as All-heal, finding this card in a reading may well indicate that, indeed, all is being healed.

On the flip side, this card might indicate that sometimes we need to learn to walk in the dark. However such we seek guidance and advice, it eludes us as if the Universe is telling us that we must stand on our own two feet and make our choices without any help. While this can be lonely and painful, it forces us to draw on our inner qualities and instincts and, in the end, this can serve our deeper purpose. In this way, lack of guidance becomes a meaningful part of our soul-journey.

Choosing this card may also indicate that you are experiencing a time of sterility or lack of inspiration. Remember that the sun is only reborn at the time of the longest night, and that the Bright Knowledge of Awen emerges out of a “baleful” brew that is poisonous. Out of difficulties we can distilled wisdom.

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

Sorry, everyone – I ran short of time to post a card today and tomorrow I’ll be up at KU very early. Hope you all have a good couple days and keep the light within yourself.

Thistle

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com

Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to a 2023 that brings us what we need and what the Earth needs too. At the very least, some of us won’t endure political ads this year.

As I’ve stated before, thyme is a wonderful herb: perfect in many savory dishes, in a steam to help clear congestion, and I’ve put it in apple cider jelly. Thyme here is aligned with the Madre of Fire, who inspires us to be creative in our own ways. So let’s start this new year by putting our own visions out into the world through art, dance, music, gardening, cooking, or whatever.

Blessings,

Thistle

Madre of Fire – Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Turn up the heat on your creative passions; a warm heart and a spicy kitchen welcome others to your table; stoke the creative fire that burns in your belly

A woman stands in a warm kitchen. The table is covered in bottles, books, and a large, fresh harvest of thyme. A kettle whistles on the stove. Yellow and orange herbs dangle from the rafters. She is dressed in garden clothes, and her worn hands calmly grind herbs in a large molcajete.

Meaning: The Madre of Fire inspires others by living an artistic life. She teaches from her actions. She encourages collaboration, inviting everyone to play in her busy apothecary. She is upbeat and accepts life’s paradoxes. She knows thyme is a both a popular kitchen herb and a superb medicine plant. She is driven by a rich imagination and finds magic in everything. Creativity is second nature to her, and her days are filled with inspired activities. Just like remedies made with thyme, she is warm and wholehearted. She attracts people into her home. She radiates vitality and love. Embrace your inner glow; it warms the hearts of others.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artist Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

Thank you all for your patience with my inconsistency this week – nothing bad happened, just some weird scheduling that I didn’t adapt to quickly.

This morning I realized that Mercury Retrograde started yesterday (happy new year to us), so I went with a gentle deck. As many of the retrograde experts will say, this is not a time to start a big endeavor, communication might be wonky, and don’t make a big commitment. Researching and learning, decluttering and cleaning, and relaxing and reflecting are great alternatives. Spider is here to say we do have to the work to make our dreams real and that Spirit/Universe will gladly meet us. Even though big commitments might not be in order for a couple weeks, we can take small steps toward our dreams.

This is also a good time to be creative, which is a great way to work through a retrograde. Take some time for yourself and let your creative juices flow in whatever way works for you: painting, writing, planning a garden, culinary, or whatever.

Have a lovely weekend and safe and happy New Years!

Thistle

Spider Spirit – Make your dreams real

Message: Weaving your dreams into the fabric of life begins with a single thread of intention, and then spirit joins you as your co-weaving partner. Take but a single step to make your dream a reality, and Spirit will take ten toward you, for the universe is designed to support your dream-weaving.

Spirit Spirit arrives when you need reminding of the awesome power of co-creation with Spirit. Ideas and resources will begin to appear as if by magic as you begin to bring your dreams from the realm of intention into the world of the senses where they take form. The action you need to take is to be clear about your intentions, and then act as if you have become the one that lives the life you desire. The web of creation has an uncanny way of coming together to weave the beautiful pattern you set in motion.

Another message of Spider Spirit is about any creative project you may be considering: Writing, painting, music, journaling, gardening, etc. Now is the time when inspiration wants to be channeled through you at something creative, even artistic and tangible. Creative projects are successful now, if you are so inclined. Let yourself be open to abundance.

Protection Message: Are you expecting your dreams to weave themselves into reality? Are you stuck in the sticky web of weaving dreams, but never following through? The thread of Intention isn’t enough to make dreams a frailty unless you do your part in the weaving. Spider want you to know that your plans will remain ephemeral unless you commit to being productive and industrious, for Spirit will not do it all for you. Magic needs to be instigated, so begin to make your dream a reality by taking action today.

What are you willing to do? What are you willing to sacrifice? Can you release your limiting beliefs? Your dream is worthy of weaving. Today is a day to choose one small step toward your dream. Remember, Spirit is your weaving partner; you just have to be the first one to bring the thread to the loom, then continue to do your part.

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

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