Why the Trees Lose Their Leaves

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Why the Trees Lose Their Leaves

A Tale from the Cherokee Nation as told by Cat

In the beginning, and just as it is today, all creatures including the trees spoke to one another. They shared many things amongst themselves and with their neighbors, just as we two-leggeds do. But during the winter all the birds would fly south. It was warm there, and where the birds would stay until spring when they would return home with their families.

That year as winter approached, Sparrow was hurt. He wasn’t well and he knew that he was not strong enough to make the yearly journey with his family to the south. So Sparrow told them to go to the warm place without him. At first, they refused to leave him but Sparrow insisted and finally they left.

Because of his injuries, Sparrow knew that he would not survive the winter without shelter. So he decided that he would ask the trees to help him. He went first to Oak and said ” Friend Oak, as you can see I am hurt and cannot fly well. Winter is almost here and without shelter, I will die. Will you help me by sheltering me within your beautiful leaves so that I can heal and greet my family when they return in the spring?”

But Oak was an old tree who had little patience for guests particularly during the winter when he liked to sleep.

“Go away Sparrow, I will not spend the winter listening to your chattering. Find somewhere else to make your shelter!”

Sparrow was greatly saddened by Oak’s words, they hurt deep in his tiny spirit.

He then went to see Maple. ” Friend Maple, as you can see I am hurt and cannot fly well. Winter is almost here and without shelter, I will die. Will you help me by sheltering me within your thick, beautiful leaves so that I can heal and greet my family when they return in the spring?” asked Sparrow. But Maple didn’t want a guest for the winter either and said: ” No Sparrow you cannot spend the winter with me…go now and ask another!”

Again, Sparrow’s tiny spirit deeply hurt and turned away to look elsewhere for shelter.

And so it went, each of the trees from whom Sparrow asked for help turned him away. Until Pine was the only tree left. With a heavy heart and little hope, Sparrow went to Pine.

“Friend Pine, as you can see I am hurt and cannot fly well. winter is almost here and without shelter, I will die. Will you help me by sheltering me within your leaves during the winter……?”

Pine was silent for a moment. He was thinking to himself “What is there that I can do? I am the least of all the trees”. But Pines =pirit heard the tiny birds plea and he said: “Friend Sparrow, my leaves are not much, in fact, they are like needles and my branches are different than the other trees…..but you are welcome to share what I have.”

Thank you Pine cried Sparrow and his heart was filled with renewed hope. They spent the long winter together and when spring returned it brought with it Sparrows family. Sparrow flew out to greet them and there was much rejoicing. “Thank you Pine!” cried the happy sparrow family.

Now the Creator had been silently watching all this time. He had heard everything that had transpired between the Trees and Sparrow and he was angry. He called a council meeting of the trees and said ” You trees have been given so much. Yet you would not share even the smallest bit of what you had with Sparrow in his time of need. This hurt my spirit just as it hurt Sparrows! Because of this and from this day forward when winter comes to the land your leaves, your crowning glory will wither, die and blow away.”

Then the Creator spoke to Pine. “Pine you have touched my spirit and given me a great gift through your gift to Sparrow! You had the least to offer yet you gave freely to one in need. When winter comes you alone will keep your leaves and they shall stay green in all seasons. This is my gift to you!”

That is why, to this day, when winter comes Pine stays green while the other trees are bare.

Photo: Hidden Sparrow-Serkan GUL/ freeimages.com

The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/

October’s Full “Hunter’s” Moon 10-13-19


Oct Full Moon sm

October’s Full Hunter’s Moon

Date: October 13, 2019

Time: 2:07 pm PST/ 3:07 pm MST/ 5:07 pm  EDT
The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls October’s moon the Hunter’s Moon, where pagan almanacs call it the Blood Moon, both are correct. The reference of the Hunter’s Moon is very similar to the Harvest Moon as work or in this case hunting could be done into the evening hours due to the brightness of the moon itself. However, the name Blood Moon has nothing to do with hunting. Like Septembers Harvest Moon the debris in the earth’s atmosphere (like dust, smoke, etc.) cause the rising moon to appear reddish, thus the name Blood Moon. Other names for this moon are the Shedding Moon, Falling Leaf Moon, Hunter’s Moon, White Moon (china), Harvest Moon (Cherokee & Celtic), Blackberry Moon (Choctaw), Moon When Quilling & Beading Is Done (Dakota).

From the beginning of October until Samhain the veil between our world and the spirit world becomes thinner. The Blood Moon is the perfect time to begin decorating your altar for the upcoming Sabbat or creating an Ancestor Altar. Use autumn flowers and seed pods, Indian corn, pumpkins and gourds, pictures of departed loved ones, acorns and nuts, bones or apples and pomegranates to help set the tone. Divination is also at it’s best from now until Samhain as is contacting departed loved ones. Dreams are another thing to pay close attention to at this time. The information may become clearer and stronger than it does at other times of the year. This is also a time of spiritual growth. It is time to finish harvesting and take stock of our labors from the past year. Discard what no longer serves you to make room for the new ideas and thought forms that will begin germinating in the coming dark season.

To help bring the magic of this full moon into your day try wearing dark colors, blue, purple or black and ornamenting yourself with sacred stones like amethyst, obsidian or even tourmaline. The Hunter’s Moon is a powerful and magical time so use it wisely and enjoy the benefits.

Full Moon Blessings!



The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/

Cat’s Treasure Trove …. an eclectic collection of jewelry & gifts! https://thedesertpath.com
Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)

Celtic Month of Ivy  Sept 30- Oct 27 (Gort/ Gwinwydden )


Celtic Month of Ivy  Sept 30- Oct 27 (Gort/ Gwinwydden )

“Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.”

Charles Dickens: The Ivy Green

IVY LORE The ancient celts and in particular the Druids held ivy in high regard. In Wales ivy was related to the goddess Arianrhod, and was used in her ritual of opening a portal into the Otherworld also known as the dark side of the moon and the Realm of Faery. This realm is symbolized by the butterfly and gives ivy a mysterious and mystical aspect. Persephone is also associated with this month, this begins the time when she departs for the underworld for the dark half of the year. This month is a time of settlement and reconciliation as it relates to karma. This month also corresponds to the Hunters Moon which is this month’s full moon. It relates to female hunting animals wolf (Brigid), boar (Garbh Ogh), Lioness (Sekhmet) This plant is associated with the Goddess because it grows in a spiral This plant is sacred to the God Dionysus and during the Bacchanal people would run around waving the thyrsus which was actually fir branches that were wrapped with ivy. And the ancient Greeks would give a wreath of ivy to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. PLANT INFORMATION  This “super vine” has great strength because of its ability to force its way into solid rock and it was powerful enough to kill a full grown oak tree. Ivy is another Celtic tree that is not a tree, and it depends upon a real tree to give it support. It is a member of the Ginseng family although it is considered an evergreen and it represents the ever blooming aspect of the human psyche. It develops yellowish flowers in October and then black berries. Ivy is a POISONOUS plant and while it is said to have been used for medicinal purposes (like curing hangovers and cleansing wounds) I would highly recommend AGAINST it, as all parts of this plant are poisonous. IVY IN MAGIC In its magical role, it protects against evil spirit’s negativity and disaster. and is a symbol of loyalty, healing rituals, and longtime friendships. It can be used in love charms to promote fidelity. As a magical name, Ivy denotes strength and to give someone ivy as a gift states “attachment” and be mine forever.


People born in this month are balanced by Reed people. In their own right, Ivy people have great stamina and talents that can bring them great public honors. Ivies also tend to radiate success even when they are not so fortunate. They are colorful and unique individuals who can be manipulative and use their power ruthlessly to get what they want. The key for Ivy people is not to abuse this power.

Deities: Dionysus, Artemis, Ariadne, Bacchus, Osiris, Arianrhod, Danu, Hel, Persephone, Rhea, Frey, Ogma, Cerrunos

Sacred Stones: Opal, Chrysoberyl, Alexandrite

Colors: Blue and light brown/tan

Animals: Butterfly, swallow, mute swan, lark

written by CatSister 2010 with the following sources:
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes

Ivy Leaves photo by Sven Bauer/ freeimages.com

Mabon Lore & Correspondences



Autumn Equinox / Mabon / Harvest Home: On or around September 21st. MAY-bon, MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon or MAH-bawn, – Lesser Sabbat

This year Mabon is on Monday, September 23

Other Names:  Second Harvest Festival, Witches’ Thanksgiving, Harvest Home (Anglo-Celtic), Feast of Avalon, Wine Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Cornucopia, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Chung Chiu (China), Night of the Hunter, Alban Elfed “The Light of the Water”(Caledonii/ Druidic-celebrates Lord of the Mysteries), Winter Finding (Teutonic, from Equinox ’til Winter Night or Nordic New Year, Oct 15th.)

Mabon is the second harvest festival and like the Vernal Equinox night and day are once again equal. It is the Pagan day of Thanksgiving and is a time to honor the changing season and to give thanks for the bounty and abundance in our lives. It celebrates the wine/grape harvest and when our ancestors began the final preparations for the coming winter. The essence and energy is mellow and filled with gratitude and feelings of security. Mabon also honors aging deities and the spirit world. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hustle-bustle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits are filled to overflowing!


Symbols and Decorations: Fall leaves, apples, gourds, vines, flowers, acorns grapes, berries, Indian corn, and grains.

Colors: Wine/Maroon/Scarlet/Red, Rust, Brown, Autumn Orange, Dark Green and Gold

Goddesses: Modron (Welsh), Bona Dea, Land Mother, Aging & Harvest Deities: the Triple Goddess-Mother aspect, Persephone, Demeter/Ceres, Morgan (Welsh- Cornish), Snake Woman (aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Pamona (roman), the Muses (greek)

Gods: Mabon ap Modron (Welsh), Sky Father, The Green Man, Wine Gods, Aging Gods, John Barley Corn, the Wicker-Man, the Corn Man, Thoth (Egyptian), Hermes, Hotei (Japanese), Thor, Dionysus (Roman), Bacchus (Greek) & all wine Deities

Herbs/Flowers/Plants: Marigold, Milkweed, Fern, Benzoin, Honeysuckle, Passionflower, Rose Sage, Solomon’s Seal, Thistle (A Druid’s Herbal) Acorn and Oak leaves, Aster,  Cedar, Ferns, Grains, Hazel, Honeysuckle, Hops, Ivy, Marigold, Milkweed, Chrysanthemums, Myrrh, Pine, Tobacco,  and vegetables.

Incense & Oils of Mabon: Pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage, wood aloes, black pepper, patchouli, cinnamon, clove, oakmoss, sage and sweetgrass.

Trees: Maple, Magnolia, Locust, Hickory, Hackberry, Aspen. (Whispers from the Woods)

Sacred Stones: Green Aventurine, Dendritic Agate, Chrysoprase for goal setting and planning /Sunstone, Moonstone for balance. (Hibiscus Moon)  Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli, Yellow Agates, Carnelian, Yellow Topaz, & Amethyst.

Symbols: Wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, grapes, Indian corn, apples, pomegranates and all red fruits, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty, wheat stalks and gourds.

Foods of Mabon: Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, cornbread, wheat products, grains, berries, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (ie onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops, sassafras, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale, & cider.

Activities: Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds, and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

Spellwork and Rituals: Protection, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance. Celtic Festival of the Vine, prosperity rituals, introspection, rituals which enact the elderly aspects of both Goddess & God, past life recall.

Animals/Mythical Beings: Dogs, wolves, stag, blackbird, owl, eagle, birds of prey, salmon & goat, Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops, Andamans, and Gulons.

Autumn blessings to you and yours! ~Cat

Sources include: Flower and Tree Magic by Richard Webster / A Druids Herbal by Ellen Evert Hopman / Grimoire For The Green Witch by Ann Moura / Whispers From The Woods by Sandra Kynes and various internet resources.

I invite you to check out my websites!

The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/

Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)

A Little Bit of Besom Lore

A Little Bit of Besom Lore

1) Never give away a used broom. It brings bad luck to you and the person you gave it to.

2) You should never sweep your house at night. The faeries and spirits that live in and around your home find it an insult.

3) To keep ghosts out of your home, you should lean your broom against the door jamb.

4) If you drop a broom on the floor, you will have company.

5) If you unmarried and step over a broom that is on the floor, you will never marry.

6) The first items brought into a new home should be a new broom and a loaf of bread. It will bring good luck.

7) Never sweep dust out of the front door with your broom. All the good luck will be swept out with the dust!

8) Taking a broom across the water brings bad luck.

9) You should never lean a broom against a bed or the person who sleeps on that side will die.

10) Never hit someone with a broom, it will make them lazy.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Compiled from various internet resources.

September Full ” Harvest” Moon 9-13-19

Sept Moon

September Full ” Harvest” Moon

Friday, September 13/ Saturday, September 14,, 2019

9:32 pm PST / 10:32 pm MST /12:32 am EST

The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls this moon the Full Corn Moon however in the Pagan Traditions it is called the Harvest Moon.

Many of the Native American tribes’ staple foods, such as corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and rice, were ready for harvesting during this month. The strong light of the Harvest Moon allowed European farmers to work late into the night to harvest their crops which is where the name came from. This moon does not always occur in September and traditionally, the name goes to the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, the Harvest Moon sometimes happens in September and sometimes in October.

Other names for this moon are Chrysanthemum Moon (china), Nut Moon (Cherokee), Mulberry Moon (Choctaw), Singing Moon (Celtic), and Barley Moon (medieval English).

As Mother Earth begins her journey into the dark part of the year, the sun pulls away and we get that welcome autumn chill. September is a time of hearth and home as well as a time to acknowledge the things that we have accomplished since spring.

Now is also a great time to unclutter our homes and selves as we prepare to enter the season of introspection and if you are a  Kitchen Witch it’s a good time to reestablish your Hearth / Kitchen altar!

To get in the autumn mood and celebrate this month’s element of earth try wearing browns, greens, and other earthy colors.

Sacred Stones: Citrine, Peridot, Bloodstone

Sacred Herbs: Grains, Valerian, Witch Hazel

Deities: Hearth Goddesses, Demeter, Brighid, Vesta, Freya

Full moon blessings!



I invite you to check out my websites!

The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/

Cat’s Treasure Trove …. an eclectic collection of jewelry & gifts! https://thedesertpath.com
Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)

Celtic Tree Month of Vine: Sept. 2 – Sept. 29


The Celtic Tree Month of Vine or Muin runs from September 2nd to September 29th.

I dreamed this mortal part of mine
Was metamorphosed to a vine,
Which, crawling one and every way…
from Robert Herrick’s “The Vine”



The month of Vine is the bridge between the Autumn Equinox and the dark time of the year that begins at Samhain. Muin is an Ogham word that means highest of beauty and strongest of effort and the Irish word Muine means thicket.

Vine symbolizes emotion and sensuality and represents the clinging aspirations of artists and poets. Vine refers specifically to the Grape Vines. In mythology, the grapevine is personified in the god Dionysus or Bacchus, who brought the art of winemaking to mankind. Carvings of this god show him with an ivy wreath upon his head and his body covered with grapes and leaves. As such he resembles the GreenMan of the Celtic traditions. In Pagan/Wiccan traditions the five pointed leaves are sacred to the Goddess as is the spiral growing pattern of the vines themselves.



This is not a tree but more like a shrub and is probably the oldest cultivated plant in the world. It is a long lived plant and scientists have found fossilized grape leaves that date back 40 million years! These vines have large lobed leaves and produce small whitish flowers, that in turn produce grapes. Vine can grow up to 115 feet in length and live to a recorded life span of 600 years. The stem of very old grapevines has been known to produce “planks” 15 inches wide when cut. This vine has no uses other than winemaking.

In healing, Vine is known for it’s restorative and regenerative powers. It can help with fever, the leaves and seeds were used to stop hemorrhaging, bleeding and inflammation. Grapes are rich in iron, and vitamins and provide an excellent source of instant energy. They are also a laxative and a diuretic. Blackberries were used by the ancient Greeks to treat gout. In England, the leaves were used to treat burns while berries were used to treat bug bites, loose teeth, and sore throats. The bark and roots are known for their astringent properties and are still used today.



Vine is female and is ruled by the moon. It can be used to promote prosperity, fertility, mental powers and can be used in garden magick. Ritual uses include celebrations, grounding, and faery magick. Use the leaves of this plant to enhance your own goals and ambitions. Vine is also one of the nine sacred woods burned at Beltane as a symbol of joy.

Vines properties are as follows:

Thistle: Protection, strength, exorcism, hex breaking
Blueberry: Spirituality, protection, and dream magick
Grape: Garden magick fertility, prosperity/money, and binding
Blackberry: Protection, healing, and prosperity

To dream of grapes/blackberries is a sign of abundance, if the leaves are green then success is coming your way and if you are harvesting the berries your income will be a good one. To dream of walking through a vineyard foretells of prosperity.

Here is a recipe for Vine Moon Tea (good for use in Earth magic, sex magic, overcoming difficulties):
1 part blackberry
1 part dandelion
splash of currant wine or Grape juice
pinch of hibiscus


Vine people have high personal standards and tend to be natural socializers and well organized. They also have well developed instincts and an eye for detail however this can become an issue as they can be highly self critical. They are also secretly romantic and sensitive. Vine people have a dual personality and can be happy one minute and down the next. It is important for Vine people to learn the importance of balance between giving and receiving.

To choose Vine as a magickal name can indicate that you are a climber and have great potential. You are willing to work hard to achieve what you want.


Deities: Dionysus, Osirus, Branwen, Brigid, Danu, Freya, Hathor, Bacchus, Dagda, Etain.
Animals: White swan, eagle, lizard, hound
Sacred Stones: Blue beryl and emerald

written by CatSister 2010
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes

Photo courtesy of freeimages.com/ John Evans