Archive for October, 2015

Happy Halloween!

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Sacred Tree Profile: Hawthorn (Lore, medicine, magic, and mystery)

Thank you and wishes for a faery magical day with their most sacred tree. Oak, ash and thorn … see all three and you know the Fae are near!

The Druid's Garden

Hawthorn branches and leaves Hawthorn branches and leaves

In honor of Samhuinn, a festival of beginnings and endings, today we’ll explore the most sacred of trees–the hawthorn. This is the 6th post in my “Sacred Trees in the Americas” series where I examine abundant trees in the Eastern and Midwestern parts of the USA, exploring their many qualities: physical, magical, herbal, mythological, and so on.  Previous posts have include Eastern Hemlock, American Beech, Sugar Maple, Eastern White Cedar, and Hickory.  Each of these posts takes 20-30 hours to research and write, not to mention the countless hours I spend with the trees to understand them and share their stories as best I can.  And now friends, let’s enter the forest and visit the hawthorn.

There are few trees quite so enigmatic in either western herbalism practice or contemporary druidry as the sacred hawthorn—and this is the first of the…

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A Walk in the Woods

Someone, somewhere insisted I take today off and walk in the woods. Although I had sessions scheduled, every single one rescheduled itself, and the cold, rainy weather cleared. After stopping early at some friends’ garage sale, I found myself not wanting to go indoors, and so I heeded the call of the woods where I found so many purple flowers and pink leaves that if I hadn’t also seen the oranges, reds and yellows, I might have thought for a moment it was spring.

The crisp fall air with its hint of mist got me totally in the mood for tomorrow’s Samhain celebration. In fact, the rare fall sunshine peeking out at noon insisted I whip up a gluten-free vegan Devil’s Food Cake in the Sun Oven to go with the homegrown sweet potato chili, grill-roasted root veggies, and mulled cider. Since I can’t share the yummies with you, I thought I’d share some photos:

delicate purple flowers in autumn

delicate purple flowers in autumn

This “T” reminds me of the Book of Kells

no mistaking autumn here

no mistaking autumn here

more pink!

more pink!

The Oak King's getting ready to stake his claim at Yule.

The Oak King’s getting ready to stake his claim at Yule.

Is this the road not taken, or the path of secrets?

Is this the road not taken, or the path of secrets?

winter forage for woodland creatures

winter forage for woodland creatures

The Guardian ~ A chef’s manifesto: let’s tackle food waste with good fare

David sent me this great article from The Guardian, in part, because I’ve been making delicious veggie broths before tossing scraps into the compost bin. Why spend $4.50 on a prepackaged, non-recyclable organic veggie broth or use perfectly new veggies to make broth when we’ve got all sorts of garden fresh scraps each week? I make broth now, but in the past, I’ve also used juice pulp to make dehydrated veggie crackers or salad toppings.

Our friends in Elkhart go even further — dumpster diving for anything they can’t grow in their garden. I’m personally not ready to do that, but this Guardian piece shows what’s happening at even the highest levels of elite eaters, including at the recent NYC UN meal. I’m heartened that at least someone at that top down sustainability conference looked towards waste streams rather than SMART technology, toxic fluorescent lights, and carbon taxes. As chef Dan Barber said, “[I]f you think not leaving your plate full of food is the way to deal with this issue, you’re letting yourself off too easy. … We can transform the food system and get to a place where we need to be for the future, before the future’s going to force us to do it.”

Here’s the link to an article that really makes you think — especially if you’re an American.

Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up

Thank you for gathering all of this information in one place, and thanks to Nancy for forwarding me the link. I’ve known of the connection; however, I did not know that so much research existed (and for so long) to support that connection. This is a well-documented article for anyone wondering about the etiology of MS and how it relates to untreated Lyme disease.

UPDATE: Just a reminder that connection does not always equal causation. I’m just passing this information along since I know many readers have or know someone who has Lyme Disease and/or MS. I’m not diagnosing, prescribing, or anything else! 🙂

Marianne Williamson on women and religion

Yep, loved it! Thanks, Karen. 🙂

Autumn Rituals: leaves, pumpkins, candy apples, scary (true) stories

Happy Halloween, Ann and GANG Garden podmates! We’ll be doing our leafy, festive Samhain celebrations here in Goshen, too. InDiana’s getting some big love and community, isn’t She?!