Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Wonderful Bealtaine to You All! :)

{royalty free photo}

May-day, season surpassing! Splendid is color then. Blackbirds sing a full lay, if there be a slender shaft of day.The dust-colored cuckoo calls aloud:

Welcome, splendid summer! The bitterness of bad weather is past, the boughs of the wood are a thicket.

Summer cuts the river down, the swift herd of horses seeks the pool, the long hair of the heather is outspread, the soft white bog-down grows.

Panic startles the heart of the deer, the smooth sea runs apace-season when ocean sinks asleep-blossom covers the world.

Bees with puny strength carry a goodly burden, the harvest of blossoms; up the mountain-side kine take with them mud, the ant makes a rich meal.

The harp of the forest sounds music, the sail gathers-perfect peace. Color has settled on every height, haze on the lake of full waters.

The corncrake, a strenuous bard, discourses; the lofty virgin waterfall sings a welcome to the warm pool; the talk of the rushes is come.

Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches round the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses.

The peat-bog is as the raven’s coat, the loud cuckoo bids welcome, the speckled fish leaps, strong is the bound of the swift warrior.

Man flourishes, the maiden buds in her fair strong pride; perfect each forest from top to ground, perfect each great stately plain.

Delightful is the season’s splendor, rough winter has gone, white is every fruitful wood, a joyous peace in summer.

A flock of birds settles in the midst of meadows; the green field rustles, wherein is a brawling white stream.

A wild longing is on you to race horses, the ranked host is ranged around:

A bright shaft has been shot into the land, so that the water-flag is gold beneath it.

A timorous tiny persistent little fellow sings at the top of his voice, the lark sings clear tidings: surpassing May-day of delicate colors!
~ The Boyish Exploits of Finn

We hope that you all have a splendid Bealtaine, May Day, Walpurgisnacht, Roodmas, or plain old Happy May! :)

Here is an adorable old maypole photo for you all to use in your crafts & some music to tap your feet to:


Aymi & Laurel

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Luverly of the Week: Marsh Marigold by Mark Robinson

If Bealtaine were a flower, it would probably be a Marsh Marigold. {A wortcunning post on this to come, eventually.;)}



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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Couple More Recipes.... help you use up last year's storage crops.

Potato Bannock
{from One Potato, Two Potato by Janet Reeves}

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt {I used sea salt}
2 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar {this stuff worked fine for me}
2 tbsp shortening or lard {I used butter}
3/4 cup mashed potato
1 cup cold potato water or cold water {I would go w/ the tatter water}

Preheat oven to 450 F. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course meal. Stir in potato. Add cold water and mix with a fork. Knead gently 8 or 10 times {I like 9 for "superstitious" reasons ;)} on a lightly floured board. Use extra flour if necessary. Pat into an oval shape about 3/4 of an inch thick. Score with a sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until bannock sounds hallow when tapped. Serve with butter, and jam or molasses. {It tastes pretty darn good plain served with the recipe below!}

Bay Borscht
{from Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt}

2 tbsp oil {I used butter}
3 large onions, chopped
3 beets, peeled and grated
2 beets, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium-sized head red cabbage, shredded
2 quarts vegetable broth or beef broth
2 cups chopped skinned fresh or canned tomatoes
1/2 tspn dill seeds, freshly ground
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tbsp soy flour {I used rye}
3 tbsp brewer's yeast
1 tspn sea salt
sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat oil in a large kettle and saute the onions, beets, carrot, potatoes, and cabbage, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Add broth, cover and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Combine tomatoes, dill seeds, bay leaves, flour, brewer's yeast, and salt and add to kettle. Cook for 10 minutes.
Serve topped with sour cream or plain yogurt. Yields 6 to 8 servings.



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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gaelic Pretties, Ribbon and All!

While on one of my thrift store adventures yesterday, I found three book wrapped in a ribbon. I couldn't help but feel someone had left me a present given what the books were about...

Songs of the Gael by Lachlan MacBean, Songs of the Gael by Patrick Watson, and The Poem-Book of the Gael by Eleanor Hull.

All for a big 3 bucks. But you can read them online for free by clicking the links.



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Monday, April 25, 2011

A Little Tardy...

...but Spring is actually showing her pretty face now! I have proof:




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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Luverly of the Week: Bob Marley

We had Bob Marley's luverly music playing 'round here for a good part of yesterday to try in bring in some sunshine, since it was snowing all damn day {grrrr}. It also turned out to be 4/20 too ;).

May the gods bless Bob.

Sit back, relax and enjoy some tunes! :)



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Canada Stops Playing With Food?

It's about time!

Food power to the people
by Jessica Leeder on April 17, 2011 for The Globe and Mail
The food movement has spoken.

Thirty years after a cross-country team of Canadian food advocates first convened in an effort to develop a national food strategy, a revamped and expanded version of that group will today issue a 27-page roadmap to food system change.

The People’s Food Policy Project, an umbrella group representing grassroots organizations and individuals from coast-to-coast, canvassed more than 3,500 Canadians over two years to come up with its findings. They are based on the concept of food sovereignty, the idea that people have a rightful say in d
etermining how their food is produced and where it comes from. Not only does food sovereignty need to be restored in Canada, the project argues, policies at all levels of government need to be overhauled to enable it.

One of four civil-society efforts currently under way to develop long-term food strategies, the PFPP is the most comprehensive attempt to develop a truly national strategy. Some experts say, however, it is also the least likely to have a direct policy effect. Instead, the value of the project is in its galvanization of thousands of Canadians who have become attuned to how the food system works and which parts could work better if tweaked and aligned with policies on health and the environment.

By creating a sense of democracy around food – the term for that is food citizenship – the project is giving people the sense that they deserve to have more say in the way the food system is set up.

“Policy is almost always an experts-only conversation,” said Kenton Lobe, a PFPP volunteer and a founding member of the Manitoba Food Charter, a position paper that has been used to build support for grassroots food systems change in that province. “Public participation is one of the key parts of how you transform people’s understanding of issues like sustainable development. It becomes a tool of awareness that can only strengthen our democratic process,” he said.

Adding credibility to the PFPP, which would at one time have been considered a fringe effort, is the warm reception it has received from competitors-turned-collaborators. That includes the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Representing agri-business interests, the CFA is developing its own national food strategy aimed at ensuring the sustainability of Canada’s food supply for domestic sales and international trade. The organization, however, keeps an open dialogue with the PFPP.

Both the federal Liberals and the NDP were involved in the PFPP process. Both parties have included food policies in their respective electoral platforms.

The commonalities between civil-society and partisan efforts lie in the desire to bolster Canadian agriculture and food systems by making changes that will enable farmers to sell a more diverse array of food not just outside of Canada but within it.
You can read the rest of the article here and find out more about The People's Food Policy Project here.



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Granny's Apple & Rhubarb Cake

Yesterday was my deceased Grandmother's birthday, so I decided to give one of her cake recipes a try. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as hers used to, but she always used to tell me "it is the thought that counts". It tasted good though.

Anyhoo, this is a great recipe to try if you have any storage apples left over in your larder {I used Novaspy}.

3 cups diced apples, peeled and cored
1 cup rhubarb, roughly chopped
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
2 medium eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Bake in a 8 x 8 cake pan at 350 for about an 1 hour and 10 minutes or until your toothpicks comes out clean.



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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Slight Change in Plans

Well, it may just be our last growing season on the property we are currently living at. My friend and landlord might decide to sell the place after the final harvest. Nothing has been decided yet, and we might still stay here if she decides to sell it as a duplex/rental property or if she decides to rent the house out instead of selling.

We are of course going to still go ahead with our 2011 gardening season, although I have made some changes.

I did want to expand on our witchy plants, which are mostly perrenials. I already have a whole bunch that will be dug up and brought with us if we are moving, so I don't want to add more to that list just yet. I am placing a rather large order to Richters with a group of local friends, but in lieu of getting the plants, I am going to be ordering seeds, which will be planted next year, where ever we find ourselves.

There are a couple that I will be planting this year, such as wild tobacco {which will be used mostly for making offerings to local land and nature spirits} and red clover {for our garden path experiment}.

This is what I am planning to order:

allheal, aconite, bergamot, calamus {sweet flag}, wild chicory, red clover, common comfrey, echinacea, elecampane, purple foxglove, black hollyhocks, joe pye weed, munstead lavender, marshmallow, milkweed, meadowsweet, motherwort, mugwort, scullcap, soapwort, wild tobacco, toloache {angel's trumpet}, wallflower, vervain, valerian, wormwood, and woad.

It's a good thing we have a chest freezer! ;)



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Friday, April 15, 2011

friday fail

Ok, I usually don't pay attention to mainstream "music" media and celeb culture crap. That said, I got this "song" in my email box from a friend as a happy Friday giggle. Someone please tell me that this is a joke!



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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Luverly of the Week: Dark Forest by Dove Dinell

Dove Dinell's Etsy shop Shine a Light has a slew of pretties, including both prints and original artwork. Here are a few more that I especially love. :)


Trees Touch the Sky:



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Monday, April 11, 2011

A Lonely, Winding Path

{royalty free photo}

The first Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans I ever met left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I got the impression that CR Pagans were a bunch of snooty armchair intellectuals. Initial encounters with practitioners of Traditional Witchcraft left a similar impression on me as well. In both cases the folks were nice enough to me to my face, but I had the feeling that soon as I left the patchouli and fluffy bunneh jokes would be flying 'round about me too.

This all happened in my late teens and early twenties. It took a few years of maturing on my part to realize that just because I met a handful of asshats, it doesn't mean that everyone in those two groups were like them.

I started to feel restless in my spirituality. I wanted something with more structure and substance. Something with more meat and bones. The restlessness was strong enough to coax me out of my prejudice to reach out and explore. That took a while though.

It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I started to really research historical magical practices and to apply them to my own. And it wasn't until just a few years ago that I embraced Gaelic Polytheism for my religious faith.

While reaching out and exploring I came across many awesome, patient folks {mostly online}, who thankfully changed my previous prejudice. I have come across some wankers too, but we all know that they are everywhere, in all groups. Because of these folks, I had an idea of where to look for research materials. I came into this process realizing that both CR Paganism and Traditional Witchcraft are not "evangelical" and that I would not be spoon-fed. I had to do my own leg work in both research and practice.

I was reminded of all of this because of a recent post that I read over at Erynn Laurie's blog, Searching for Imbas. In the post {Aisling, Ársaíocht, agus Agallamh: A Modern CR Triad} she talks about how there is a need for dialogue and respecting other view points to avoid repeating the same mistakes that are found in extremism in other religious movements. I couldn't agree with her more.

If CR Paganism is going to blossom to its full potential, then it needs to be accessible. I am not talking about going and standing on street corners to convert people. However, if it is to have a future, then we need to welcome new-comers and be respectful to each other.

There is a lot of historical misinformation and cultural misappropriation out there in the more "mainstream" Pagan and new age media. So chances are that this is the type of crap that most people are going to come across first. I understand that it is annoying when someone thinks that chakras have anything to do with Celtic spirituality. That said, one does certainly win more flies with honey.

One is probably more likely to spread more accurate information by a friendly correction and a point in the right direction {to more sound info sources}. Insults tend to just raise walls and the misinformation stays put. But we all know this.

Anyways, me thinking about all of this led me to thinking about where I am today in regards to my practice and faith.

I have been quite content practicing magic on my own, or with a select few people on occasion. In fact, I think I prefer this. When it comes to my religious faith though, I have been feeling a bit of a void that I can only name as loneliness.

CR Paganism {as I understand it at least} is tribal at its very core. Community, family, relationships and interactions are extremely important. This is something that drew me to it.

While I have come across some awesome folks online, I have yet to meet anyone in my region who shares a similar faith. It would be fantastic to be able to celebrate the cross quarter days with other folks and to be a part of group of Pagans that share a similar faith to myself.

So, I guess what I am saying is that I feel like I am missing out on a fundemental part of my religious faith. This probably sounds like I am holding a pity party for myself and perhaps I am.

Self-pity ain't a Gaelic virtue, now is it? Heh. ;)



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