Thursday Evening Potpourri

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* One of the most spectacular things, for me, about being a Witch is the gifts that other Witches give. I bring chilled soup, sit with my sisters for an hour or two, and come away rich beyond measure.

The brilliant Judith Laura, knowing my love for poetry, made a gift to me of Susan Hawthorne‘s new book of poetry: Lupa and Lamb.

Ms. Hawthorne writes:

Friendship among women

It is said
that Salome gave great gifts
of land to Livia
that wealth creates more wealth
and power the same
It was in friendship that these gifts
were given
what we hear is only the nastiness
of Livia
and Salome’s naked dance.

at the party Cleopatra
bearded Hatshepsut
and the marvelous Queen of Sheba
who in Rome
has a church called San Saba
her names
are numerous and varied
Balquis Nakuti Malkeda
Oloye Bilikisu Sungbo say the Yourba

Dido is singing her way through
the latest
operatic version her disastrous
love
Boudicca charges
in on her horse apologising for
being late
it’s a long way from the Apple Isle
she chides.

though they be mere mortals
these women
are equal in character to gods
they led peoples
had the faults of humans
they changed
history they challenged the order
of things.

* Landscape Guy has been off on his yearly sojourn through The South. He always comes back inspired, strong, ready to work. One of the things we’ll do in the next few weeks is eat dinner out on the screen porch, drink the last of the Summer wine, and do our “Autumn Walk.” This has become a part of my liturgical calendar, although it may not be until late November, when even the toad lilies and the Autumn camellias are done, that he and his crew come over and put my Bit of Earth to bed. Eleven years have passed since I moved to this tiny cottage and I am grateful every day for my relationship with this landbase, with the the powers, and spirits, and beings of this place.

The fairies know my G/Son and the earth yields up more vegetables and herbs than I can eat.

May it be so for you.

* You may have already seen this on social media, but I think that it’s valuable enough that I’m going to repeat it here. Leanne Brown has written a cookbook, free on the web, full of good recipes designed to:

fit the budgets of people living on SNAP, the
US program that used to be called food stamps. If you’re on SNAP, you already know that the benefit formulas are complicated, but the rule of thumb is that you end up with $4 per person, per day to spend on food. This book isn’t challenging you to live on so little; it’s a resource in case that’s your reality. In May 2014, there were 46 million Americans on food stamps. Untold millions more — in particular, retirees and students — live under similar constraints.

Today, many modern Pagans are dealing with financial constraints. You may or may not be receiving SNAP benefits, buy you may well be trying to eat well on a tight budget. Ms. Brown’s free book can help, even if you only decide to use her recipes on, say, Tuesday and Thursday, and to bank the savings, use the savings to pay off credit card debt, donate some money to a charity or kickstarter. If you can add even one large pot full of good dirt to your apartment balcony where you can grow some lettuce, or some parsley, or some mint, you can do even better. And no carbon will have been killed getting the lettuce to your family’s plate.

We’re all doing what we can. But we can all do a little bit more.

* We’re just a few weeks away from the Fall Equinox. I’m thinking a lot about balance. More, later.

Picture found here.

Wordless Wednesday

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Photo of toad lilies by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Monday at the Movies

You can watch the movie online. And you should.

Sunday Ballet Blogging

Saturday Night Slow Dancing on the Porch Blogging

And Round and Round

And, so it is (pace Winston) the middle of the end of Summer.

I wake up when it is still dark and it turns dark when I am still sitting out on the porch, knitting, or writing, or reading for work. I know that I have only a few more weeks of being able to eat breakfast out there (even adding my bathrobe) and then only a very few weeks beyond that for dinner.

Acorns have begun to drop from onto my roof, making the sound that only acorns make. Whenever I hear them, I remember my first year in this little cottage. I moved here at the beginning of October and the four surrounding oak trees (two of them are gone now) dropped acorns every few minutes onto the roof. The sound scared my sweet cat, Miss Thing — she was always skittish and high-strung; if she’d been a girl, a pea several mattresses below would have bruised her. And so I’d pet her, and she’d calm down, and then another acorn would hit the roof. I love the sound, although it means that I have to step carefully on my way each morning to the car; stepping on an acorn is like stepping on a marble. The squirrels love the large, flat stones that Landscape Guy laid down for my walkway; they think those stones are custom made for cracking acorns and, indeed, they are. But every now and then the busy squirrels forget one and I don’t want to step on a rolly-polly, hard, round acorn — and fall.

The Queen Anne’s Lace has gone to seed weeks ago and even the Black-Eyed Susans are through with their blooming, although the goldfinches are still pulling seeds from them and from the daisies that I should have deadheaded two weeks ago. My cottage gardens are down to obedient plant. In a week or two, the toad lilies will bloom and then (hopefully, given last Winter’s chill) the Autumn camellias. After that, it’s a long wait until the first little crocus blooms in the southern bed off of my deck, generally in early March.

There are still tomatoes, and peaches, and plums, and fat ears of corn at the farmers’ market, and the doughnut lady asks every weekend after G/Son, but I can see the shift to apples, and acorn squash, and brussels sprouts. Oysters and cider, Virginia ham and sweet potatoes, mustard and kale.

This weekend, I’m going to pull out all of the squash plants, pick the last of the peppers, cut off all of the cardoons, and put in Winter crops: chard, spinach, carrots, fast lettuces, beets. For me, it’s the work of a priestess, a part of being in relationship with my landbase. In a few more weeks, I’ll plant garlic. I’ll keep picking basil and making small batches of pesto until we get a really hard freeze. If I can find time, I’ll freeze some tarragon butter and some thyme butter. Maybe make some shortbreads with rosemary, tarragon, thyme.

All this Winter, I’ll be making soup from the vegetables and herbs that I’ve frozen.

A Witch’s job is to turn the Wheel, and round and round the Wheel must turn.

May your shoulder nudge the Wheel. May the Wheel shift under your shoulder.

Thursday Night Poetry Blogging

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Applications of Spirituality as a Political Force

~ June Jordan

I will no longer lightly walk behind
a one of you who fear me:
Be afraid.
I plan to give your reasons for your jumpy fits
and facial tics
I will not walk politely on the pavements anymore
and this is dedicated in particular
to those who hear my footsteps
or the insubstantial rattling of my grocery
cart
then turn around
see me
and hurry on
away from this impressive terror I must be:
I plan to blossom bloody on an afternoon
surrounded by my comrades singing
terrible revenge in merciless
accelerating
rhythms . . .

I must become the action of my fate.

Published in The Politics of Women’s Spirituality: Essays on the Rise of Spiritual Power Within the Feminist Movement ed. by Charlene Spretnak

Picture found here