Monday, December 7, 2015

Counting down to Yule

he Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  Scientifically, this is fascinating, as every day after this gets longer!  In many Earth based cultures, this important event represents the rebirth of the Sun, and the coming life that will follow in its wake.  Who wouldn't want to celebrate this wonderful event?

In our home, we honor this magical day by counting down the days until Yule, starting December 1st.  On each one of those days, we do one of the activities listed below, and on Yule, we listen to the story of the Yule Fairies.  We are happy to share our activities with you and hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!

Learn some new Holiday songs or sing some old favorites
Write a letter to the Oak King telling him your hope and dreams
Bring some extra non perishable goods to a local Food pantry
Donate gifts to a child in need
Make Yule suns
Go bird watching
Make small gift boxes out of recycled holiday cards
Watch a holiday movie
Start an indoor herb garden
Make a set of Runes
Meditate out in the forest
Bake cookies together
Make beeswax candles
Make some special treats for the birds
Cook your favorite family meal together
Go ice skating
Play a family game
Unwrap new pajamas
Go see the sunrise

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Bit of Magic

 Cross your middle fingers
Stand upon your toes.
That's a bit of magic,
Not everybody knows.

If you see a fairy,
Do not make a noise;
Fairies are suspicious,
Of little girls and boys.

Look! the magic's working!
Hiding in the grass,
Can't you see a Fairy?
Did you see her pass?

All among the bushes
Blackberries are ripe-
Looking another fairy,
Playing on a pipe!

Here's a little goblin
 Lying fast asleep;
Blackberries he's gathered-
Left them in a heap.

See the tiny fairies
Stealing from his pile?
Won't there be some trouble 
In a little while.

There's a little fairy
Whisp'ring in the trees,
Fairies in the hedges,
Fairies in the trees.

They are all around us,
but we couldn't see,
Till we tried the magic
made by you and me. 

written by Margaret Tarrant

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friendship Fridays!

Hello, to all my Friends... I would like to personally thank you all for all the support you have given me over the past few months. I would like to introduce Friendship Fridays to keep the inspiration going for everyone.

On Friendship Fridays, I ask you to share with us your blog or site so all of my readers including myself can be more inspired by what we all do. A lot of my readers have some amazing blogs, so come on and share the link love with everyone.

 Blessings in wholeness and wellness Lillith

Happiest Beltane wishes!

"Spring, the most welcome of seasons, comes yet very slowly. The spell of winter is hard to shake off. Catkins seem in no hurry to lengthen, a new shoot passes through a clod of earth but lingers, reluctant to rise in the cold air. As the days grow longer and the breeze softens, we patiently wait and hope. The stony ground realizes, the ditches gurgle with the spring rains, and juicy buds swell on the twig. Suddenly comes the surprise of a warm day, and with it the urgent activity of growth. Beneath our feet the ground turns lush, the hedges fatten in a haze of green, and a hungry bee flies past. Nature springs effortlessly into creative action; the birds sing praise in concert."

From the wonderful book: All Year Round

Crocus / Krokus / Spring by Blende8.

May Day (May 1st) is celebrated in many places around the world. The traditions and stories surrounding May Day vary from place to place. There is, however, one thing that is similar in most celebrations - the use of Flowers!
One of the most popularly known May Day traditions is to hang a basket full of spring flowers and/or other small gifts on a neighbor's doorknob. The trick is you don't want the neighbor to see you! If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss.
A popular activity on May Day is to decorate a pole with brightly colored ribbon or paper streamers. Some also add flowers and balloons. The pole is usually carried in a parade and then placed in the ground at a designated area. People then dance around the May pole, holding the ends of the streamers or ribbon in their hands.


Miniature Maypoles for May Day

small glass or clay gardening pots (large if making a centerpiece)

gold or brown sprayed florist's picks

three shades of narrow ribbon

glue gun & stick

potpourri or potting soil if using potting soil, moss
small flower or rosebud to affix to top

Make the poles by getting out all of your items. Wrap the florist's pick (pole) with the three shades of ribbon, weaving through in the traditional "around the Maypole" fashion. Tie the ribbon into a bow at the top and affix the rosebud or other small flower on top of that with the glue gun. Place the pole into the center of the pot (easier if you place a drop of the glue onto the bottom of the pole before placing it in). Then surround the pole with the potting soil and moss or the potpourri. Tie a color-coordinated ribbon around the pot and use as decoration at your nature table, dinner table or as a craft activity for the children and friends. Depending on the size of the pots and poles, we have used these as small favors at our May Fairy parties, as grand centerpieces at picnic tables and as Maypoles in our garden, inviting the fairy folk to participate in the fun. Enjoy!

The Celtic year is divided into the dark and the light. Samhain begins the dark half; its counterpart, Beltane, is the beginning of the light half. Beltane and Samhain therefore divide the year into the two primary seasons, Winter and Summer. Beltane went by many names: Beltaine in Ireland, Bealtuinn in Scotland, Shenn do Boaldyn on the Isle of Man and Galan Mai in Wales. It is also referred to as Cetsamhain which means "opposite Samhain."

By Celtic reckoning, the actual Beltane celebration begins on sundown of the preceding day, April 30, because the Celts figured their days from sundown to sundown. The word "Beltane" literally means "bright" or "brilliant fire," and refers to the bonfires lit to celebrate this festival. Sundown was the time when the great Bel-fires would be kindled on the tops of the nearest beacon hill (such as Tara Hill, Co. Meath, in Ireland). Cattle and sheep which had been kept inside or close to the farmsteads during the long winter months could now be turned out into the fields or led away to their summer pastures. The tribal herds were ritually driven between the bonfires, to purify and protect them in the upcoming year. Healing herbs were burnt in the fires, producing smoke which would help destroy parasites and help prevent illness among cattle, sheep and other livestock. Another popular custom was to leap over the Beltane bonfire. Young people jumped the fire for luck in finding a spouse, and pregnant women jumped the fire to assure an easy delivery.

Domestic fires, which were kept alight all through the year, were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then rekindled from the great Bel-fires with torches the next morning. Even these small household fires were sacred, and Celtic Christians developed trinitarian rituals associated with tending the household fires. When fires were smothered for the night, for example, the peat blocks were divided into three equal sections and prayed for in the name of the God of Life, the God of Peace and the God of Grace. Then the whole fire was covered in ashes in the name of the Three of Light, with the following prayer: "The sacred Three to save, to shield, to surround, the hearth, the house, the household, this eve, this night, O this eve, this night, and every night, each single night. Amen."

Beltane is a holiday of fires, flowers, fertility, and frivolity—celebrating the reawakening of the earth and the return of life to the world. Handfastings—binding couples together for a year and a day, were traditionally performed on this day. It was customary for young lovers to spend the night in the woods. The best known tradition associated with the day is to dance around a tree while weaving greenery around it. This dance around the May Pole, using cloths or ribbons, is still performed in many parts of the world, and is the primary Beltane ceremony that has survived to the modern era.

May-Baskets by Evaleen Stein

Let us take our baskets early
   To the meadows green,
While the wild-flowers still are pearly
   With the dewdrops' sheen. 

Fill them full of blossoms rosy,
   Violets and gay
Cowslips, every pretty posy
   Welcoming the May. 

Then our lovely loads we'll carry
   Down the village street,
On each door, with laughter merry,
   Hang a basket sweet. 

Hey-a-day-day! It is spring now,
   Lazy folks, awake!
See the pretty things we bring now
   For the May-day's sake!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sending love

If something in your life isn't honoring you, then it simple doesn't deserve a seat at your table. It is healthy to let go. Sherrie Campbell

So what exactly is "honor." How is honor shown? How do others honor us and how do we honor ourselves? I just had to ask myself these questions. We all need to know that we should and can be honored. Heck I personally know there are millions of people out there just waiting to honor someone , worship them and love them.

What does honor mean?

Honor: High respect, esteem. A privilege. To regard someone with great respect. To fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement.

Honoring yourself is the place you must start. If you want to be honored by others in this life, it all starts with you honoring yourself first. Maybe you were never taught how to honor yourself . Don't think that you aren't worthy.

Sometimes when we are in relationships with others, whether personally or professionally, we do not fully honor ourselves when we are trying to gain their attention, respect or in personal relationships; love. We seem to go into a mode of people pleasing, sacrificing and accommodating others needs and wants. Often times, in the process, we are not honoring ourselves.

How to Honor Yourself First:

**Determine what fairness, respect, honesty & integrity mean to you (not others versions, your very own)
**When you are hoping to gain someones interest, whether personally or professionally, determine how you can do so while still honoring yourself
**If you start to feel as though you are not honoring yourself. Look deep inside and investigate.
**When someone is not accepting of you, ask yourself what matters most – you honoring yourself or you doing/saying things that are not honoring you to get them to accept/like/love you
**Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice for something or someone (is the sacrifice in alignment with honoring yourself?)

I have realized that when I have been in that place in relationships (personal & professional), I ultimately end up feeling as if I have sold myself out. At some point I see that whether someone likes me, my work or has feelings for me on a personal level, it is not really about the ‘real’ me, rather it is about the me that has accommodated the other persons needs and wants. All simply to be accepted, wanted, liked or loved.

I want others to accept me, want me, love me, like me etc. but not without respecting me. I have concluded that not everyone will want to be in a personal or professional relationship with me. And that is okay. And I do not have to be someone I am not or do things that are not honoring of me to entice others.

I recognize that others can respect me and yet not like me! That is okay too. It is a personal choice about how each of us go about our personal and professional relationships. I choose to honor myself first and foremost.


Free range child- Film sneak peak

Over Grow the System &  Films For Action present Free Range Child: A documentary and media project that examines the connection between a child’s development and her or his connection to the natural world and to food production.  It celebrates the lives of families and their support networks, both rural and urban, who are engaged in linking children with nature, and savours the bounty of precious moments of discovery, magic and growth that spring forth from these connections.
Partnering with children, parents, farmers, and professionals, we seek to better understand the contemporary circumstances that create alienation between children and the natural environment and the effects of this disconnect on their development.   We’ll examine the issues surrounding raising our children with access and engagement to natural and agricultural environments and how technology interacts or interferes with these connections.   Most significantly we’ll spend time with kids and learn what children themselves  can teach us about the natural world and their place in it.
“Our Children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water come from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.” -Wendell Berry
Syd Woodward is a west-coast based artist, specializing in media production and curation. He is also a photographer, filmmaker, and blogger and the founder of Over Grow the System, an online nexus for sustainability activism . His work is committed to deepening our relationships with and roles in building a greener future.  Free Range Child is inspired by the wild and young people he picks blueberries with, and by those small ones he wanders through the trees with.  As part of an on-going exploration of contemporary agricultural and remote communities, the time spent with children in these places fuels and renews Syd’s hope for the future and it is his goal to galvanize that hopeful spirit in the rest of us.
With Over Grow They System as his platform, Syd will dive into this topic through film, photography and text, with the aim of producing a feature film by 2016

Loving Mother Earth

Our Mother Earth is the source of all life, whether it be the plants, the two-legged, four-legged, winged ones or human beings. The Mother Earth is the greatest teacher, if we listen, observe and respect her. When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she will recycle the things we consume and make them available to our children and to their children. I must teach my children how to care for the Earth so it is there for the future generations. So from now on:

I realize the Earth is our mother. I will treat her with honor and respect.

I will honor the interconnectedness of all things and all forms of life. I will realize the Earth does not belong to us, but we belong to the Earth.

The natural law is the ultimate authority upon the lands and water. I will learn the knowledge and wisdom of the natural laws. I will pass this knowledge in to my children.

The mother Earth is a living entity that maintains life. I will speak out in a good way whenever I see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would protect my own mother, so will I protect the Earth. I will ensure that the land, water, and air will be intact for my children and my children's children - unborn.

The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing. This is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
- Chief Luther Standing Bear - Teton Sioux, Born 1868

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
-Ancient Indian Proverb

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. ~ Cree Prophecy

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
Chief Seattle

"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.
Chief Seattle

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us. We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water. We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases. We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone. We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye. Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
 ~ Iroquois ~

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear ~

Vermont Autism Task force

The VT Autism Task Force is currently advocating to make special education more accessible for Vermonters who are in need of special education services.
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