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I think I might participate in the Pagan Blog Project this year… If you aren’t familiar with that particular endeavor, its a year long blog project that goes thru the alphabet as a prompt for Pagan topics, as a way to facilitate “dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing your spiritual and magickal path” (from the site).  I figure this is a way to focus back on the Pagan stuff a bit more, here at the blog.  If I were to compare my path to something tangible, its a bit like a spider web, and sometimes I get so tangled up exploring the edges and the tendrils and where they go that I forget to return to the center now and again.

The goal is to “use your posts to share your views on a topic, to talk about your own personal experiences, or to act as a catalyst to research a subject that you may not know much about and then share what you learn and how you feel about that. ” I think I can handle that!  The official participation guidelines call for two weeks and two posts for each letter, (ideally?) completed/posted on Fridays…but I think I’m going to devote one week for me and the other for the kids–PBP Jr., lol!

What’s Brewing: Peppermint with ginger and a wee bit of orange peel–my tummy had too much Thanksgiving yesterday 😦

3 AM craft project of the year: Chickadee had a favorite pair of shoes that she’s worn almost to pieces, and last night we went about trying to resurrect them with the amazing magical powers of duct tape!  We picked up two sheets of leopard spotted duct tape and covered nearly all of the shoe; hopefully it will extend the shoe’s life a bit because they are her FAVORITE shoes…but if not, at least they look cool until they go. The 3 AM part came from children that woke up then, and by the time I got them back to sleep, I was awake.

Now that its 9 AM, she’s had them on for the past two hours…

So…I’m NOT, for the ever-loving good of my sanity and by the grace of the gods, going shopping today.  Unless its to go to the grocery store, since I think we are out of butter and rice and a few other things.  I am however, waiting for it to warm up a tad, because we are going outside to play for as long as possible–snacks and all.  The kids are getting antsy  they need their outdoor time, and neither school (for Chickadee) or preschool (for Sharkbait) seems to send children outdoors anymore once it gets just a wee bit cold (I asked about it at both places, and it seems its a matter fairness, since not all parents send their kids in appropriate clothing and outerwear).

a fabulous piece of artwork from neshad @ deviantart

Tarot Card of the Week: The Empress

Considering that yesterday (at least for peeps from the USofA) is the last.harvest.festival of the year–and one that even mainstream folks celebrate with gusto, how could it be anyone else?

The Empress is the Creatrix, the spark of life and love, or new ventures.  She is the cauldron where new things grow until they are ready to emerge into the world….which is why most decks choose to show her as pregnant.  The Empress reminds us of Demeter–lush fields and ripe orchards, but also that these gifts can be taken away in the cold and deep of winter.  Without patience, diligence, and a bit of TLC, what is growing in the womb, in the cauldron, can wither and die.

In a reading, The Empress acts as a mother–perhaps that one is taking the role of a mother to a project, or that one is in a mother-child like relationship with someone.  And like a mothering relationship, it can be a representative of a positive relationship (support, nurturing, etc) or a negative one (smothering or overprotective).

28 Days til Yule: Right now at out house, its fruit slicing and drying time! We are also working on our paper chains, and some origami ornaments…but we are holding off on the tree (and our Thanksgiving dinner) til Daddy-Man gets home next week.  If you are in the zone, trying to figure out some DIY tree trimmings, check out my post from last year!

Moment of Zen: Breathe In…

Take a moment to focus on your breath each day.

I could type a bunch of stuff here to explain the why or the how of it, but really…there are a zillion sites that have gone to the trouble for me (and I’ve linked you two good ones already)!  And, if you are interested in some practical advice and practice to incorporate into one’s magical practices, check out this lovely little book (by a lovely woman, with a kick-ass accent…I recommend her podcast, just to hear her voice!).

Oh, carp!  I forgot….you can breathe out now!

Afterschooling and the long weekend… Chickadee has made it to long vowel sounds!  Its all about the quiet ‘e’ that makes its vowel friend say its name, at least for the next week or so.  We are also focusing on printing, particularly lower-case letters, and when capitol letters are actually appropriate. For math, we’ve been working on even and odd numbers (and counting them to 100, or 101) and place value.  This week’s recitation and copywork (and speaking of copywork, I *love* this idea, once we’ve mastered penmanship) is a poem by Emily Dickinson:

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.

With Sharkbait, we are still working on letter sounds and rhyming, as well as counting and number recognition for numbers 11-20.  We’ve also been working on mazes, connect the dots…but mostly, we’ve been working on manners and behavior.  For both kids, we’ve been keeping a nature journal and field guide–collecting leaves and identifying trees, drawing pictures of what we see, etc.

Parting thought: (a bit more Emily Dickinson)

A dew sufficed itself
And satisfied a leaf,
And felt, “how vast a destiny!
How trivial is life!”

The sun went out to work, 5
The day went out to play,
But not again that dew was seen
By physiognomy.

Whether by day abducted,
Or emptied by the sun 10
Into the sea, in passing,
Eternally unknown.