is not to mourn for the past,
nor to worry about the future,
but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
– The Buddha
Recently I have been thinking a lot about “women’s circles”. While I have never been really interested in them before, they have suddenly become important. I have never had a close circle of friends, usually it’s just 1 or 2 but I guess that’s normal for most introverts. There is also the fact that I rarely feel a bond with other women and generally feel that I have very little in common with them. About 8 years ago I started belly dancing, not only did it put me in touch with other women it has also put me more in touch with my goddess side. Hey…. this is a BIG deal for someone who doesn’t like “putting themselves out there” and who has spent a lifetime perfecting Greta Garbo’s “I want to be alone”.
When I turned 50 last year a part of me changed. Allowing my self to become involved in petty conflicts with others became a waste of my time, likewise the petty conflicts of friends with others. Now I do my best to get along , let things go and find at least one good thing in everyone. This is turn has made me see the women around me differently. They are no longer rivals, or people to avoid and I find myself reaching for the connection and enjoying the encounters more. For example, one of dance sisters and I had Jury Duty together and when neither one of were selected she invited me to lunch. We had a good time! Although I still have trouble initiating contact and it still surprises me when someone shows interest in me personally. Maybe I’m just weird……………….
So back to the women’s circles. I’ve been wondering what’s it’s like to actually be a part of one outside of the one for dance. Would it create some amazing friendships and a support network or would it be the same backbiting, Frenemy relationships that have kept me on the fringes in the past? I know what you’re going to say.. “You don’t know if you don’t try”, and you would be right. But the fact is that I’m not one to force myself on others nor has anyone really extended a hand and said “hey come join us”. This most likely has to do with the fact that I don’t get out much. I’m a caregiver to my mother, she’s 84 and my best friend. People don’t realize how much time is involved in caregiving. As a result I have been told that “you’re only interesting if you work outside the home, go to the gym or you involved in some community project.” Actually, I disagreed with this statement but as one of the “uninteresting” people who am I to say anything…..
I don’t really know where I am going with this women’s circle thing. But it’s been on my mind alot lately. It’s something I feel I need to experience not watch from the sidelines. Let’s call it a Bucket List item. After all…. isn’t that where we put the things that we have yet to try yet are important enough to consider?
The month of Alder or Ffearn (FAIR-n) runs from March 18th to April 14th.
This tree is a member of the Birch family and is native to the British Isles, Europe and North America. Alders require a great quantity of water and can reach 65 feet or more if left to grow undisturbed. The tree itself grows in a rough cone shape with branches that are evenly spaced down its long trunk, The leaves are roundish and finely toothed and in the spring it produces flowers and catkins. The wood from this sacred tree comes in a number of colors. When an alder is cut down the wood changes from white to reddish-yellow that bears a remarkable resemblance to blood. This caused our ancestors to believe that the tree bled when cut and it was considered unlucky to cut one down. The wood is oily and water resistant and in past times was used for shields, the foundations for houses and is still used today in cabinetry and door making.
In healing alder has been used as a substitute for quinine. It has also been used to treat parasites, inflammation coughs, poison ivy, toothache, sprains and strains. On an interesting side note the inner bark is a great natural pesticide.
In Myth & Magick
The time surrounding the Vernal Equinox is and was important in the wheel of the Celtic year. The alder represents free will and liberty. In some places today it is still a crime to cut down this sacred tree. The person who is dumb enough to cut one down is seen as the cause of any trouble that happens in his neighborhood. The alder tree is also associated with courage and the evolution of spirit. This tree spirit can be called upon for help during disputes, where you need to see clearly to make the right decision or when you simply need to draw and bring forward you own inner strength.
Alder is associated with all four elements ( earth, air, water, fire) and is great for elemental magick. Flutes can be made from the wood and whistles from young alder shoots can be made to summon air elementals.
Alder is a fairy tree and as such is good for fairy magick. The leaves and twigs can be used in charms and talismans for protection. Dyes can be made from the bark, flowers and twigs to dye ritual robes. Red: Bark/ Green: Flowers/ Brown: twigs.
People born in the month of Alder make excellent oracles, they can tell you like it is and manage to do it gently. However, alder people must remember not to abuse their power, and just like the tree itself they tend to mature slowly. Alders are powerful and make steadfast allies, they are trailblazers who set the pace for others to follow. If you are an alder person, just remember to slow down once in awhile and take a good look around you.
As a magickal name Alder works well for people who tend to be secretive and changeable or for those with fire signs. Choosing this name can bring out sensitivity in people who have trouble letting it show.
Names: Tree of Fire
Flower and Tree Magic, Richard Webster
Whispers from the Woods, Sandra Kynes
Sacred Spirals (a place for all paths to meet)
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Old tree photo from FreeImages.com
Full Moon for March
The Storm Moon
March 12, 2017 at 10:54 am EST
If March comes in like a lion, it will go out
like a lamb.
If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out
like a lion.
-old weather saying
|Nature Spirits:||Air & Water Spirits; Mer-people|
|Herbs:||Broom; High John Root; Irish Moss; Wood Vetony & Yellow Dock|
|Colours:||Pale Green and Red-Violet|
|Flowers:||Daffodil; Jonquil & Violet|
|Scents:||Apple Blossom & Honeysuckle|
|Stones:||Aquamarine & Bloodstone|
|Trees:||Alder & Dogwood|
|Animals:||Boar; Cougar & Hedgehog|
|Birds:||Sea Crow & Sea Eagle|
|Deities:||Artemis; Astarte; Athene; Black Isis; Hecate; Luna; Minerva and Morrigan (The)|
Balance of Light and Dark; Breaking Illusions; Exploring; Growing; New Beginnings and Prospering
(Moon Magick, DJ Conway)
This months moon is called the Storm Moon (medieval england), probably due to the fact that March is known to have some major storms caused by earth changes brought about as spring approaches. The weather saying above is an old one and you have probably heard someone use at one time or another. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac ” Some skywatchers believe that there’s a heavenly connection. The constellation Leo, the lion, is rising in the east at the beginning of March, hence the “comes in like a lion,” while Aries, the ram, sets in the west at the end of March, and so “will go out like a lamb.” Other names for this moon are Fish Moon (colonial america), Sleepy Moon (china), Windy Moon (cherokee), Big Famine Moon (choctaw), When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow Moon (dakota), Moon of Winds (celtic), Palolo Worm Moon (new guinnea), Full Sap Moon ( for tapping the maple trees), Full Crow Moon (the northern indian tribes said that the cawing of the crows meant winter was ending), and the old settlers called it the Lenten Moon and considered it the last full moon of winter.
The Storm Moon of March is the herald of Ostara, Spring and new beginnings. Winters snow will soon give way to spring rain. The first of the seasons new growth is already showing, the days are longer and the Sun is climbing higher in the sky. So too are we experiencing new beginnings and growth. The time has come to clean and prune away the old debris that keeps us from moving forward. This much needed inner spring cleaning provides us with a new outlook and helps us to bloom, even during difficult times. Magical workings, meditations and healing should focus on personal growth and rebirth during this moon.
To enhance your endeavors wear the colors of spring, greens, yellows or lavender and adorn yourself with aquamarine, bloodstone, quartz crystal or jade. Use the scents of honeysuckle and apple blossom to create springs essence of hope and vibrancy to your altar, home or workspace.
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