Feb 28, 2010

Serenity Sunday


~ 13 drops of sandalwood essential oil

~ 9 drops of vanilla essential oil

~ 3 drops of jasmine essential oil

~1 drop of rose essential oil

* Mix prior to a full moon.  Charge in a clear container or vial in the light of the full moon. Use to anoint candles or yourself for full moon rituals or just when you feel like you need the moons energy.

My List:

1.) My kids

2.) New tarot decks

3.) Cream cheese

4.) Supportive comments

5.) Great friends

6.) Umbrellas

7.) Snuggly pets

8.) Broccoli

9.) Bifocals....sort of

10.) Clear fingernail polish

Feb 27, 2010

Mooning Over The Moon

Tomorrow will be a full moon and I did a little searching on full moon names and found out that there are just as many names for the full moon as there are peoples that have named them. The following is a bit explaining just how they were named and where the name came from....

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names  but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.

~ Colonial American- Trapper's Moon 

~ American Indian (Choctaw)- Little Famine Moon

~ Chinese- Budding Moon                           

~ Celtic- Moon of Ice

~ American Indian (Dakotah Sioux)-  Moon of the Raccoon, Moon When Trees Pop          

~ English Medieval- Storm Moon

~ American Indian (Cherokee)- Bony Moon     

 ~ Neo Pagan-   Snow Moon

This is a time when the Moon is at its most powerful, and the magic most potent. Performing any positive spell at this time will achieve good results. Since the full moon only truly occurs for one night out of the entire lunar cycle, it can be hard to fit it into your schedule. You can harness the energy of the full moon for about 2 days before or after the night the moon is truly full.

Spells: Artistic projects, love, romance, fertility, psychic abilities or making decisions. Also healing, guidance, and completion spells.

Feb 26, 2010

Pineapple Mint

Pineapple Mint is a variegated hybrid of Apple Mint. The botanical name is Mentha suaveolens "Variegata." It has green and white variegated leaves which make it a pretty herb to grow in the garden and use in the kitchen. It's a perennial plant that produces long spikes of pale white or cream flowers and has a very sweet Pineapple scent.

True Pineapple Mint cannot be grown from seed and is hard to find because all the Mints cross readily.  It is best to plant them in the spring, even though it will take several weeks before they'll get noticeably larger. It is important to keep any rogue green stems cut off. If left to grow these green leaved stems will outgrow the variegated ones and you will loose the variegation. The result will still be tasty but it will be Apple Mint instead of Pineapple Mint.

Pineapple Mint is grown and harvested the same way as Apple Mint. As its name suggests, it has a pleasant pineapple flavor and the leaves are ideal to add to fruit cups and punches. Pineapple Mint is best used fresh. Pineapple Mint is good for garnishes because the thick leaves are slow to wilt. It is great used in iced tea.

Pineapple mint leaves make a good addition to potpourri's, particularly those with a fruity scent, such as a mix of lemon verbena, apple mint and other herbs with similar scents.

Pineapple Mint likes full sun in all but the hottest areas. It will grow to a height of 8-12 in and prefers partial shade and a moist, rich soil. Like all mints, it is an invasive plant which can take over a whole garden if it is not kept strictly under control. It is therefore a good herb for container growing. Pineapple Mint flower spikes are great for attracting bees and butterflies.

Pineapple-Mint Vinaigrette
~ 3 tablespoons  pineapple juice

~ 1 1/2 tablespoons water
~ 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
~ 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
~ 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
~ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
~ 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk pineapple juice, water, vinegar, mint, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in oil.

Feb 25, 2010

Internet Trolls And Tarot Deck Confessions

I had a post all prepared for today... dealing with Internet Trolls. You know...those who like to creep in and leave deluded, self justifying and hurtful comments on your blog or webpage...and always "anonymously" of course but I scrapped that post because I'm just not going to give this spelling challenged, ignorant minded person their fifteen minutes of fame on my blog! Anyway...on to my confession....

Hi, my name is Liz and I'm a tarot deck addict....

Now that I've got that out of the way, I want to tell everyone about the new deck I just got...The Deviant Moon Tarot  by Patrick Valenza. I'm so excited, it's a 2008 standard deck, first printing, with a hand signed cover card and wrapped in a hand drawn design that's one of a kind. I was very careful when removing the tape that held the hand drawn wrapping around the box and quickly stuck it away where it wouldn't get ruined. The cards were even more fantastic than I had seen in all of the photographs...deep, rich color and animated characters stared back at me as I thumbed through the deck.  The images are stunning and instantly, interpretations began leaping into my head as I perused his original artwork.
On his website, Patrick explains just how this deck came to be....


"Tarot of the Deviant Moon was created using various forms of photographic manipulation. Each card starts with a complete drawing. The work is scanned into the computer where I apply various photographic textures. Nineteenth century tombstones provide most of the clothes worn by the citizens of the Deviant Moon. I bent, twisted, and reformed my photos to become capes, boots, hats and trim. One of the best parts of creating the deck was “hunting” for specific textures as I respectfully tiptoed around the graveyards of eastern Long Island, N.Y. Background buildings were created with photographs I took from a local abandoned insane asylum. Rotted doors, windows and walls became castles, factories and cities.

My character stylization was influenced by ancient Greek art, yet I gave them a slightly abstracted twist. I chose to draw them in a flat, playing card style, rendering them with heavy light and shadows. The figures were then placed in a shallow background.

As I worked, different styles emerged, and before long the characters evolved into the moon-faced beings seen in the cards.

Symbolism for the deck comes from childhood dreams and imagination that carried itself into my adult world. I have always seen the melancholy side of life and have sought to express my visions through the characters I create. The moon has always been a psychic friend to me. As the sentinel of the night, it feeds my dreams and casts a strange glow on the way I see the colors of reality.

Nothing has had a greater influence over my art then the tarot itself. I first discovered the tarot at the age of nine. I was captivated by the unique characters I saw on each card and studied the artwork intensely. My favorites were the old 19th century and medieval decks. While my classmates where drawing what children normally do, I was busy making my own little pictures of the fool or the magician. Over the years I have made many attempts to create my own deck, but never completed more then a few cards each time. I held the ideas of my early random creations and revitalized them here in the Deviant Moon.

Physically, this deck has taken over three years to complete, although it is at least thirty years in the making. It is not only a testament to my art, but a record of my life."

I've heard others say that it is a little too dark for comfort but I think these images put forth a deeper set of meanings than most of the standard decks do. Life can be a bit dark and melancholy at times and tarot does represent life situations and experiences after all....

Feb 24, 2010

"What Is...?" Wednesday


Wildcrafting is a term for the age-old practice of collecting plant materials in their natural habitat for food, medicine, and craft. Originally such activity was the only grocery store, medicine chest, and hardware store, available to man. But eventually the “found materials” became a source of income to buy what could not be “gleaned” from nature.

Opportunities for wildcrafting are not just found in the countryside. There are “wild” places in cities and in one’s own backyard. Many landscaping plants and trees have fruit that goes to waste every year. Crabapple and quince are just two examples. In your own yard or in your neighborhood may be native persimmons, walnuts, blackberries, dandelions and wild roses. In wildcrafting we are harvesting the bounty of the earth and should always approach collecting with respect and thankfulness.

Herbs are commonly collected by wildcrafters, who may sell them fresh, dry them, or distill them into essential oils. Some wildcrafters are also herbalists, offering a variety of herbal treatments to their clients including tisanes and infusions, and they may create specialized herb blends as needed. Many of these herbs are rare and they do not do well in gardens, so wildcrafters are needed to harvest these wild plants.

Your emotional state will greatly affect your plant and habitat locating abilities. Concerns, fears, and a constant replay of yesterday's traumas will cloud your awareness of the signs around you. When you're upset, you are more likely to miss obvious animal clues, get lost in thick shrubs of the ever spiny Devil's Club, Oplopanax horridum, or even fall off a cliff. Many places of power are inaccessible without a proper emotional state. No rock climber in their right mind would attempt a difficult ascent without a centered consciousness. The same applies to plant hunters. One must approach the earth with openness and respect if you expect to learn anything from it.

Guidlines For Wildcrafting:

~ Do you have the permission or the permits for collecting at the site?

~ Do you have a positive identification?

~ Are there better stands nearby? Is the stand big enough?

~ Are you at the proper elevation?

~ Is the stand away from roads and trails?

~ Is the stand healthy?

~ Is there any chemical contamination?

~ Is there any natural contamination?

~ Are you in a fragile environment?

~ Are there rare, threatened, endangered, or sensitive plants growing nearby at any time of the year?

~ Is wildlife foraging the stand?

~ Is the stand growing, shrinking, or staying the same size?

~ Is the plant an annual or a perennial?

~ Is tending necessary and what kind?

~ How much to pick?

~ Time of day? Time of year?

~ What effect will your harvest have on the stand?

~ Do you have the proper emotional state?

~ Move around during harvesting.

~ Look around after harvesting. Any holes or cleanup needed?

~ Are you picking herbs in the proper order for a long trip?

~ Are you cleaning herbs in the field? Do you have the proper equipment for in-field processing?

An excellent educational resource for both adults and children is a board game called Wildcraft made by LearningHerbs.com. I recently purchased this game and my kids absolutely LOVE it!

Feb 23, 2010

Clearing The Air

I wanted to clarify my post on Lilo, she is not a stray, she lives with my ex room mate who is taking care of her. If for any reason she cannot afford the food for Lilo, I would be the first to step forward and help her out. I couldn't control the circumstances that found me without my kitties, by the choice of one individual who brought in a level 2 sex offender into the home where my children and I were living, I made the decision to remove myself from the situation. I gave my kitties to someone that promised me he would care for them and he let us all down.

I am sadder and wiser now. I'm sorry there were those of you who may have thought I just let them go without a care but it tore my heart out to the point that I'm not sure if I will be able to have another cat in my life for quite some time. When they are lost or pass away or even given up, it takes a part of your soul and it hurts like no other pain that you can imagine. I won't be posting about my cats anymore, it is too painful.

Tarot Tuesday

When you want to make things happen, look to the Magician. He knows how to use all the tools at his disposal... to come up with innovative plans no one else would think of. He is a  strong-willed individual that can rise to face any challenge. The Magician, are cards of intellect and mental abilities... a healthy mind is likely far more important to this person than a healthy body.

The Magician tells us that we have the ability to take the power of the Universe and manifest our desires. Those desires may be spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental. Another interpretation of why his hands are in that position is that he's taking the power of the Universe, channelling it through his own body and directing it to the physical plane.

Skill and initiative can be applied to accomplish all goals. Happiness and optimism will indicate a new beginning. Decisions that are made will have positive results. Want to begin something new, to "do, act, or go forward" and are hoping for a miracle in your life or affairs. A situation has been (or soon will be) presented that has all the inherent components to the manifestation of your desires. Take the best from it or move on it, because it is through this that a new potential will emerge.

He can manipulate others for good or bad but if he chooses to do so for ill, he will eventually reap what he has sown. The wise magician will use his skills and talents carefully. This card represents the magic within the soul, the ability of everyone to find the resources within themselves to deal with everyday life. When it turns up in a spread it suggests there is creativity, intelligence, experience or the know-how to cope with whatever lies ahead. This is symbolised on the card by all the tools of the tarot lying on the table in front of the Magician: the Cups, Swords, Wands and Pentacles

Feb 22, 2010

Where Was My Mind...

I am so sorry for the missing "Serenity Sunday" post...I didn't realize it didn't post but instead went to drafts. If I miss a regular post please feel free to email and say "Ahem....where's the post"

Feb 21, 2010

Serenity Sunday

I had a visitor yesterday, one of my beloved cats Lilo, it turns out now is living back at the house where I used to live. I was so happy to be able to see her and hug her, I dampened her fur with my tears. She recognized me right away after all these months. I had thought my ex had taken all of my kitties to the pound but apparently kept Lilo but couldn't care for her anymore and although I can't have her here with me, I'm sure we will visit daily!

My List:

1.) My kids

2.) Lilo

3.) Great friends

4.) 60 degree days

5.) Bulbs poking their heads up

6.) Laughter

7.) Herbal tea

8.) Memories

9.) Orange juice

10.) Hot baths with bubbles

Feb 17, 2010

"What Is...?" Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, originally called dies cinerum (day of ashes) is mentioned in the earliest copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the 8th Century. One of the earliest descriptions of Ash Wednesday is found in the writings of the Anglo-Saxon abbot Aelfric (955-1020). In his Lives of the Saints, he writes, "We read in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast." 

Aelfric then proceeds to tell the tale of a man who refused to go to church for the ashes and was accidentally killed several days later in a boar hunt... This quotation confirms what is said in many other sources, that throughout the Middle Ages ashes were sprinkled on the head, rather than anointed on the forehead as it is common practice today.

In the typical Ash Wednesday observance, Christians are invited to the altar to receive the imposition of ashes, prior to receiving the holy Supper. The Pastor applies ashes in the shape of the cross on the forehead of each, while speaking the words, "For dust you are and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). This is of course what God spoke to Adam and Eve after they eaten of the forbidden fruit and "fallen into sin."  This was then interpreted as Adam and Eve experienced the fruit of their sin, namely death. 

Today, this  Christian practice reminds parishioners of their sinfulness and mortality and their need to repent and get right with God before it is too late. Ash Wednesday is the day after Fat Tuesday (in Christian circles) or  as we all know it...Mardi Gras.

Feb 16, 2010

Tarot Tuesday

The Ace of Pentacles, like the Aces of the other suits, is representative of new beginnings, fresh energy, and inspiration. In this case, the pentacles represent the element of earth and therefore symbolize the material world and things associated with matter and the body. Pentacles also represent money and the financial concerns. 

The appearance of this card is usually the sign of a turn for the better in terms of fortune and wealth, and sometimes it can even indicate gifts of money, or inheritance from unexpected sources (the coin appearing from "thin air"). This gift does not necessarily mean money though... any kind of gift that has value to both the giver and the receiver can be indicated by this card.

 In relationship readings, the Ace of Pentacles may refer to wedding rings and proposals of marriage, which may seem out of place in the Pentacles suit until you realize that such proposals are the solid foundation upon which the castles of love must be built.

The Ace  can also represents the fertile soil in which ideas can be planted to grow and mature. This will be a slow growth, as the Pentacles never move at a fast pace but the success of the harvest is practically assured. The only caveat is that the Pentacles suit demands a realistic outlook. If you want to succeed... start now, hard work is the only thing that is going to produce results with the Ace of Pentacles. 

Keep your feet firmly planted in the Earth and let your common sense (and your intuition) guide you to success.

And speaking of material matters....

I've ordered two wonderful new decks this last weekend, the greatly anticipated "Shadowscapes Tarot" by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law which will be sent out the beginning of May and a signed, first edition deck of the Deviant Moon Tarot  by Patrick Valenza, which will be getting mailed to me after he returns from a trip this coming Friday. I'm SO excited! The Deviant Moon is a well spoken of deck and just unique enough to catch my attention...and the "Shadowscapes Tarot"  has been in the making for several years and Stephanie's artwork is simply stunning!

Feb 14, 2010

Serenity Sunday

While the history of Valentine's Day is sometimes debated, it most often is said to have links back to a Catholic saint named St. Valentine. The problem is there are actually three St. Valentine's-- one a priest, one a bishop, and little is known about the third. All were martyrs.In 469 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14th a day to honor St. Valentine, one of these three men.

One legend says that a Roman emperor banned soldiers from marrying in the third century, but St. Valentine took issue with this. He became an advocate for soldiers and was executed as a result of his outspokenness. Another legend says St. Valentine was executed for his beliefs in Christianity and just before he died, he left a farewell note for a loved one and signed it "From Your Valentine."

A conventional and widely accepted belief about the holiday itself is that Valentine's Day grew out of a Middle Ages tradition of celebrating Feb. 14th as the day "the birds began to pair." History.com notes that February has long been associated with being a month of love, and Feb. 15th was celebrated in ancient times as a fertility festival.

My List:

1.) My kids

2.) Great friends

3.) Chocolate

4.) Silly ringtones

5.) Bare root roses

6.) Insight

7.) Constructive criticism 

8.) Electric pencil sharpeners

9.) Rainbows

10.) Pina Colada scented lip balm

Feb 10, 2010

"What Is...?" Wednesday


The Legend of the Mothman centers around events that culminated in a horrific catastrophe at Point Pleasant West Virginia. During the late Autumn evening of December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed, spilling dozens of vehicles into the Ohio River, resulting in the deaths of forty-six people.

Many believe that the mysterious creature known as the Mothman was involved either directly or indirectly with that disaster. For thirteen months before the bridge collapse, there were several sightings of a man sized bird-like creature in the region of Point Pleasant. After the fateful night of the collapse, the sightings of the Mothman trickled to a complete halt a couple of months later.

Throughout world history there have been reports of mythical creatures and mysterious beings that share our planet. Most reports have never been supplied with ample proof nor have they been dismissed due to lack of proof and the same goes for the Mothman.

In 2002, a movie was made about this legend, starring Richard Gere.  All in all, it's sometimes fun the entertain the thought..."What if...?"

Feb 9, 2010

Tarot Tuesday

The Seven of Swords  usually refers to deception and betrayal. We can see the thief seems to be sneaking off with some swords but the soldiers in the distance may be well aware of his actions. He may be caught simply because he was not careful enough. As we all know, it's often very difficult to "get away with something." When we do something in secret and think we are safe and undiscovered, something goes awry and our secret is revealed to our embarrassment. 

The card urges caution when attempting to use cunning to gain an advantage, because it could very well backfire upon us. The Seven of Swords also may refer to the need to act shrewdly and the long run, deception does not produce the reward we desired and may in fact cause much damage to our relationships and reputation 

In a reading, it is an indication that caution and wisdom are necessary in the face of a temptation to achieve gain by dubious means. Sometimes the Seven of Swords means that you are running from something - commitment, responsibility, hard work, love. You may be letting problems slip because you don't want to deal with them but  we  have to face what has to be faced and the Seven of Swords lets you know when you might be making things worse by running away.

Feb 7, 2010

Serenity Sunday

Things are finally coming together for me in regards to getting my tea business up and going. The next three weeks or so it's going to be really hectic for me, so until things calm down a bit, I'm only going to post Serenity Sunday's, Tarot Tuesdays and "What Is...?" Wednesday's....and my (semi-regular) From Comfortably Numb blog. I'm only going focus on two types of loose leaf teas to start but hope to add more as I go. The first tea I'll be offering is called "Sunset Spice"  which will be a blend of  Organic Rooibos, Hibiscus  Blackberry leaves and others herbs and spices and the second will be called "Quiet Evening" which will include Organic Chamomile, St. John's Wort, Lavender and other soothing herbs.

My List:

1.) My kids

2.) Warmer temperatures

3.) Great friends

4.) Optimism

5.) Hummingbirds

6.) Feather mattresses 

7.) Hugs

8.) Sappy movies

9.) Crocus'

10.) Lazy weekends