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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thank-FULL Magnificence

November. The anniversary of my circle around the sun. The Gregorian calendar year is coming to a close. reflect on my life and refine my vision of days to come...

...following my heart, listening to my inner wisdom, honoring the Earth and all she provides, loving my family, connecting to Spirit, feeling Joy, offering gratitude...

...and a prayer that I might continue to see through the eyes of a child, in awe and wonder, marvel at the magnificence of the trees, the mountains, or a soaring eagle,

and experience the joy of loving myself so my cup overflows and uplifts others.

In the U.S.A., we are reminded each year to give thanks at this time. My query is consistent. Does anyone remember why we celebrate Thanksgiving? What are we giving thanks for? Who came before us that we are following? The traditional First Grader's story of course comes to mind, Native Indians and Pilgrims sitting around a long wooden table adorned with colorful corn  potatoes, and a roasted turkey (not). I am more inspired by the women who embarked on long journeys across oceans or Midwest plains with their families, providing food, shelter, and comfort while enduring what we consider now to be unimaginable living conditions and hardships. I am reminded that our current "freedoms" in this country did not come without the sacrifice of many native peoples and European settlers alike. 

This Thanksgiving, take the time to recognize all that you have in your life. Keep it simple. Consume only what you need. Be kind to yourself. Honor your body temple. Appreciate family and friends who gather around your table, without having to overindulge, compensate, or bargain. Consider eating lighter, juicing, or even fasting to balance these energies and to acknowledge our ancestors who surely did not have the “super-size” feast we have grown into. Bountiful does not mean “more than enough”. 

For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, the November Full Moon was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Native peoples revered beavers as a Great Spirit animal and they held big medicine. They were the builders of their own life. Something we all strive to be.

This is a time to prepare for the calm and quiet of the impending winter, to bring all things to a point of rest. Finish up on the projects of the summer and fall. This is the last moon of action for the year. Join the Thank-FULL Moon Celebration Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 6 pm EST.

A family favorite done to video by peoplepassion:
Words and Music by Raffi
© 1980 Homeland Publishing

Thanks a lot
Thanks for the sun in the sky
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the clouds so high
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the whispering wind
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the birds in spring
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the moonlit night
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the stars so bright
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the wonder in me
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the way I feel
Thanks for the animals, thanks for the land
Thanks for the people everywhere
Thanks a lot
Thanks for all I’ve got

Thanks for all I’ve got

Blessed Be, all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Primal Power

There is something primal, raw, and powerful about standing in the mouth of the 3rd largest navigable river on earth that puts “all that is” in perspective.
One small human in the broad riverscape, I felt diminutive, and found it difficult to comprehend this place where the Southern Indian Ocean tides feed the mouth of Millewa “Big Water”.

I stood on the salt-water soaked sand, realizing she had just been there lapping against the dunes. Looking out toward where she had retreated and marveling at her strength and beauty, I felt trepidation growing inside me. There was nothing between me and her spare a narrow sand bar with a pod of playful Australian sea lions and a sand-dredger. Though I knew the tide was out, I did not know for how long and the only exit behind me was the sluice of land that funneled her mighty, salty fluid into the river.

Taking all this in, I stood mesmerized, thrilled to explore the mix of sensations: danger, fear, awe, vastness, smallness. I was giddy with the sheer joy of being witness, no, being in the raw energy of untamed creation!

Surrounded by black swans, grey teal ducks, two Red-necked avocets, an Eastern reef egret, Australian white Ibis, a pair of Red-capped plovers, a sooty oystercatcher, Pacific black ducks, and silver gulls so at ease in their element, I took comfort in their lead.

 My camera clicked and buzzed, attempting to record the moment. I wanted to memorize her sound and the feel of her vibration in my limbs as she pounded against the shoreline.

My feet began to sink deeper into the sand, getting wetter with each step and I recognized it was time to bid farewell. I thanked her for allowing me to be part of her

…and for bestowing her gifts upon me.

Once home in the U.S., the intensity of my Millewa experience lingered and urged me to learn more about this sacred place. I quickly realized that some of what I was feeling was the energies of an ancient Aboriginal culture dating back 40,000 years! More than 3000 of the Ngarrindjeri people ("the people who belong to this land") had lived at the mouth of the river, gathering fish and working the land.

In the 1990’s, a huge controversy erupted over the building of the bridge from Goolwa to the island.
Hindmarsh Island, on which I stood, was regarded by the Ngarrindjeri as a fertility site, as its shape and that of the surrounding wetlands resembled female reproductive anatomy when viewed from the air. Their name for the island, Kumarangk, was similar to the word for pregnancy, or woman and was used for sacred rituals.
They also believed that the waters of the Goolwa channel required uninterrupted views of the sky, particularly the Seven Sisters constellation, which features in several aboriginal dreaming stories.

Wow! Yes, the red dot is where I stood!!! No wonder…

More on the bridge controversy

How the Murray River was Made- Dreamtime Bangarang story

Aboriginals and the river

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blue Skies, Blueberries, and Blue Moon Opportunities!

I love Summertime Blues! Fluffy white cumulus clouds dot a brilliant blue sky (or not), berries are ripening on the vines and shrubs as I patiently await their luscious sweetness.
To top it all off, this particular July of 2015 brings us a rare Blue Moon chance to focus on what we love about our lives
AND a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity for me to travel to Australia! 

So, from the top:
Ever wonder why nature provides dark blue fruit precisely at this time of year? The anthocyanins in blueberries, chokeberries, and elderberries contain specific properties for rebuilding the body’s tissues and restoring the immune system. Mmmm. It’s a lesson in sharing with our feathered friends who already are intuitively aware of the medicinal value of each berry! Refer to links for more information.

Chokeberry (Aronia):


...and blue eyes!


Full Blue Moon July 31, 2015
Precise times of full moon in Syracuse, NY: 6:42 AM; South Australia: 8:12 PM

This full moon in Aquarius presents an opportunity “for radical re-assessment of who we are as individuals and how we relate our talents back into the world.” Elizabeth Peru
There are SIX planets in “retrograde” to assist us in slowing down and becoming introspective, including Saturn, Pluto, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, and Venus. Each of them presents unique aspects of ourselves to be addressed and re-evaluated in the coming weeks and months.
”One of the most special aspects of this moon is that we won’t have another blue moon month until 2018. For many of us, we will be receiving our last bits of a long awaited wake-up call that actually began back in 2012, far before most of us were aware of the changes that were developing. We are being asked to notice where in our lives we have been neglecting the truth, or what situations we have been putting off.  This moon isn’t only encouraging it, it is making it a requirement.” Kate Rose
The Thunder Moon comes with a streak of fierce independence, combining Sun in Leo trine Pallas Athene in Sagittarius. Do something you promised yourself you’d do long ago and never did. Have an adventure. Strike out on your own. Do it your way. Use your intuition to tune into the needs of the tribe, then lead them to new ways. Don’t let the opinions of others stop you, but balance this with consideration of the group.” Jamie Kahl

Full Blue Moon Ritual July 31, 2015:
Do one yourself or join a virtually-led experience like this one, or this one.

The energy of the Blue Moon lends itself nicely for setting goals and intentions that are big, important and lofty. Choose the life area that seem the most significant. 
1. Love and Happiness: Gems - amethyst, jade, rose quartz;
Colors - pink, red;
Essential Oils - cardamom, rosemary, ylang-ylang 
2. Physical Health: Gems - agate, bloodstone, ruby;
Colors - red, orange, yellow;
Essential Oils -coriander, eucalyptus, lavender 
3. Prosperity: Gems - turquoise, chrysoprase, emerald, opal;
Colors - green, pink;
Essential Oils - lemon, patchouli, ginger 
4. Protection: Gems - turquoise, citrine, garnet;
Colors - white, gold, black; 
Essential Oils - black pepper, clove, patchouli 
5. Healing: Gems -beryl, jasper, smoky quartz;
Colors - white, pink, purple, gold;
Essential Oils -coriander, eucalyptus, pine

Gather the chosen "tools", write down the goals or intentions and find a quiet spot, preferably out in nature under the light of the full moon. By sitting quietly, meditating and thinking about the goals, energy is drawn down from the Blue Moon and into the desired goals. The paper with the written-down goals can be either burned, shredded, or even kept until they are manifested.

First, mentally cast a bubble around you and the space you're in. This is a protective bubble that will keep only good energy moving in and out. Say that - that the bubble is a protective one. Light a candle.

Secondly, ask that your guides/angels/animal spirits/you-fill-in-the-blank be with you. Thank them for joining you, for protecting you, and for adding their energy.

Thirdly, ask the Universe/God/Goddess/You-fill-in-the-blank to hear you and to take your words and desires and manifest them physically. Describe in detail your desires.

Lastly, thank the Universe/God and your guide/angel for hearing you. Offer a token of thanks and blow out your candle, thus closing the circle and ending the ritual.

Once-in-a-Blue-Moon-lifetime opportunity:
Part of this beautiful Blue Moon energy is about traveling to new places, and my stars and planets have aligned at this time and space-place to provide me a flight to the land “down under”. Join me in celebrating the Thunder Blue Moon on July 31, 2015 via Facebook group!

P.S. I’ll be sure to photograph plenty of kangaroo adventures for next month’s post. Cheerio!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Fireworks!!

This first full moon of July, 2015 (yes there are two this month) will set the tone for the entire month, if not more!
Dubbed the Full “Buck” Moon in the Farmer’s Almanac, her light will illuminate those things that are interfering with our spiritual advancements. Once we become “enlightened”, the easier it is “to let go”. The full moon ritual is for releasing or purging the things in our lives that no longer serve us.
The Capricorn Full Moon occurs on July 1st at 7:19pm PDT/ 10:19pm EDT and on July 2nd at 2:19 am GMT.

What I find awesome is that on the eve of the full moon, select planetary dignitaries will join with our moon in celebration, and in strengthening our emotions as well as our power to design amazing intentions! Now is the time to dream BIG as Jupiter aligns with Venus to accompany the moon tonight!

So, don your magical cape and set some intentions! Here are some ideas to get you started: 


Once in a month when the moon is full, Some secret place shall ye gather…

Gather together around a campfire or candle. Have paper and pencil for each guest to write their intention. Feast on “round” foods, libations optional!
Some helpful symbols:
- use white or silver candles and altar cloths
- Lunar Goddesses: Isis, Artemis, Diana, Hecate, Kwan Yin
- Lunar Herbs: mugwort, camphor, sandalwood
-Lunar Metal: silver
- Lunar Stones: moonstone, selenite, pearl, mother of pearl, sapphire
- draw the symbol for the Moon on your candles

1. Invocation
“Moon, sister moon
Shining so high
Smile down upon me
Full face in the sky.

Moon, sister moon
With your silver glow
Whisper your secrets
Tell me what you know.

2. Purification: Pass basket and paper. Each participant can write something negative in their life they would like to rid themselves of (i.e. fear, bad habit, etc.). Collect, read, and throw into the fire.

3. Song: Heal the Mother

There’s a grief that’s deep within my soul
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go
A torrent of tears running into the sea
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go.

Heal the Mother, let is all out
Heal your Mother, let it all go.

There’s a rage that boils within my veins
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go
Volcano blows, and the lave flows
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go.

There’s a fear that trembles deep within
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go
Earthquakes moving everything around
I’m letting it out, I’m letting it go.

4. Healing: Send out healing energies - go around the circle.
Anoint each participant with “Moon Water”.

5. Libation: 
Hail Earth, Mother of All!
May your fields increase and flourish.
Your forests grow and spread,
And you waters run pure and free.
Accept this offering, O Earth Mother!
Bring forth that which is good and sustaining for every living thing.

Astrological Insights:

“Between the first full moon on July 1st and the second full moon on July 31st we are going to feel the pull of desire on our hearts in a breathless and very passionate way. We are going to be drawn to those that excite our soul and make us feel alive. We are going to crave only those relationships which honor our authentic truth, and we will find ourselves seeking out those opportunities that pull the strongest on our heart strings.
This moon is going to light the fire in our sacral chakra and move us towards passionate endeavors. Whether it’s investing time in a worthwhile project, or spending hot nights under the moon with our lover—we are going to be filled with passion for our lives.
The planetary alignments and this full moon are throwing kerosene on what has already been smoldering…” And it’s all about to finally explode and light up our life in a big way—now all we need to do is enjoy the show.”
Thank you Kate Rose!

Dipali Desai:

“During a Full Moon phase, it highlights the emotional level as well as any habits or tendencies which are overgrown and creating problems. Old emotions or emotional pain may surface for your awareness and so you create a better understanding.
The Sun in the sign of Cancer, which suggests the need for emotional bonding and the Moon in Capricorn suggests the need for attending to responsibilities and the professional world. You need to strike a balance between the two opposites so that there is greater harmony and flow.  Boundaries, rules, tradition (Capricorn) / receptivity, emotional security and nourishment (Cancer) are a part of the Capricorn/Cancer axis in astrology.
The Full Moon in Capricorn brings the message of:  patience, organic and Divine Timing to all things. Transforming impatience into lasting acceptance that life knows what to bring into your world. There is beautiful blueprint and organization. Trust the process. Your job is to nurture and support where you feel wobbly or doubtful. Being outdoors in Nature helps restore balance within. So spend some time in Nature when possible.”

Cathy Pagano The Cosmic Story Newletters
“This Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon is all about Home. It occurs in the signs that relate to Mother and Father, Home and Country, the emotional body and our outer purpose or dharma. So it is a very personal Full Moon, relating to who we are at our core and how we hold ourselves in the world because of that.
Cancer is the Archetypal Mother, the waters of Earth which gave rise to Life. There is a fertility and strength to Cancer, which not only births but feeds Life. But Cancer's waters are polluted and dying. How can we let this happen? Who will change things if not us? Earth and women need to take the lead now. We are the birthers, we are the nurturers. While men have these capacities, it is important for women to consciously connect with our ancient powers of life. We were given them for a reason, don't you think?
The Warrior planet Mars is close to the Cancer Sun, sparking us to grapple with these issues.
If we are people of integrity, we can create a governing structure of integrity.
The Moon is in Capricorn, the sign of the Archetypal Father and at its best, the sign of that integrity I am speaking of.
We need a feminine vision of life to take precedence if we want to 'birth' something new.
It is the Divine Feminine, very active once again in women, who can help us create a new world.
The Capricorn Moon is conjunct Pluto, telling us it's now or never.
Unless we remember the bigger cosmic story, our personal story will be missing some important insights.
Both the Sun and Mars in Cancer will be opposing Pluto in Capricorn this month. This is all about transforming our consciousness (Sun) and our desire nature (Mars). What good is a world if nobody you love is in it?
This is definitely not your ordinary July.”

Other astro links of interest here:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Riverside Dining

What is it about “nature” that intimidates people so? The responses from clients when asked “What do you like to do outside?” seem to be sadly typical of the general working populace: “There is no nature where I work/live/am.” “It’s too hot/cold/windy/rainy out there.” “I don’t have time to be just staring at some birds.” “My knee/hip/back/pain limits my activity.”

In my recent visit to Branson, Missouri, I encountered the typical navigational challenges while making my way down the too-narrow main street filled with vehicles jostling for position, their passengers looking and pointing at the myriad eateries and attractions, as tourists do.

I quickly realized that my heart was not in the tourist game, especially on a warm and humid day in June. I managed to go with the flow of traffic toward what seemed like the edge of the city only to find a shopping mall, a parking garage, a train station, and a Bass Pro Shop. My hands were gripping the steering wheel, my shoulders were tight, and I felt my blood pressure rising. Breathing deeply, I focused on the road beyond the crowded crosswalk. I saw water! Sure enough, nestled on the southeast side of the city was a parking lot right on the White River!

Rock cliffs rose up on the eastern side of the river, two bridges traversed the moderate expanse and a small RV park was underneath the one closest to my right. I sighed deeply as I relaxed into the surroundings, feeling much less tense. My car positioned at the water’s edge, I pulled out organic veggies and hummus from the cooler and settled in to enjoy a riverside repast.

Visitors came and went in the parking lot, a traveling family also came to dine, a tram tour made its turnaround, boaters cruised up and down the river, 

a duck boat tour squawked a narrative as it passed by and soon a fisherman waded into the water to my left, startling the blue heron that had been sentry near the shore. 

Swallows flitted and chased, pigeons sat on the overhead wires, and a father mallard was coaching his brood in the art (and science to be sure) of swimming.

Three times the sky darkened and light rain fell, causing a beautiful mist to rise off the water, swallowing the heron.

Canada geese glided by undeterred, and I marveled at the beauty of raindrops as they hit the water.

I gave silent thanks to the city, town, county, state, and national parks and the caretakers of the grounds, plants, and trees that adorn our waterways, village streets, and parking lots with nature attractants. They are not recognized enough for providing healing places for humans to be. All we have to do is expand our awareness to see and experience the calming influence of the natural world surrounding us.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Friends and Frenzy Pics

Wow! Have you looked out there lately? Nature has really let loose! Don't you wonder how she reinvents herself every year? Plants, animals, and trees adapt to the environment, the weather, human interference, pollution, and a score of other hurdles thrown at them. Yet, there they are, without complaint, happy to be alive. This delicate, 3-inch beauty's name is Goldthread.

Many thanks to the Karboski's for joining in our woodland "Fiddlehead Tour". We all learned a lot and made new friends in the process. Our first-ever Jack-in-the Pulpit was spotted by Judy!

Many other new friends have been sighted in these past two summer-like weeks of May. Bellwort, Starflower, and Indian Cucumber Root to name a few.

Wild Sarsaparilla is everywhere, the Pink Lady made a quick appearance, and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has returned to flit among the flowers.

For all who missed the amazing "Frenzy of the Fiddelheads" uncurling into their magnificence as full-grown ferns, albeit not very large in some cases, here are some photos of the phenomenon.

The grounds and trails are open at Holistic Horizons Fiddlehead Grove Retreat and Healing Center from Dawn to Dusk. No appointment needed. Come explore!