--Rabbi Marcia Prager...
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My first batch of lavender wine made my lips go numb after a single sip. I shared it with other heathens and they found it quite strong also. So of course the next time I had a crop of lavender from my garden, I made lavender vodka.
In the summer and fall of 2016, I drew on Sigyn’s patience almost every day to get me through a particularly difficult time in caring for my mom. Often, when I went outside for some reason, even just to take out the garbage, I would see one of Sigyn’s butterflies, and I would relax. In the evening, in gratitude to her, I raised a toast with tonic water flavored with my lavender vodka....
Thanksgiving, as celebrated in the United States has a complicated history. We are inundated with bucolic images of blue-eyed, cherubic pilgrims in the buckled shoes, sharing a bountiful table with the ever so grateful and equally generous natives who are just so gosh darned pleased that the pilgrims could stop by for dinner. Then, of course, after dessert, the genocide.
The "real" story of Thanksgiving is particularly bloody, and not just for the turkey. The Pequot Nation lost over seven hundred men, women and children.The ensuing decades brought near total devastation for the First Nations peoples living all around what is now New England....
With grief levels running deep in the United States and the world due to various global events, that now includes the recent American presidential election, some balm for our souls is needed.The American Thanksgiving holiday is two days away, yet many of us have heavy hearts. The true Thanksgiving story is a bleak part of our history that, this year, I will not repeat in my blog. Instead, let's take each others' hands now and be quiet together as we turn our minds to our origins.
The place for healing is always the stories of our people, whoever our ancestors are. Here on Turtle Island the original Story Keepers are Indigenous, and their stories infuse the land, waters, trees, rocks, and whole of life. The European settlers brought their stories here; stories that, if you go back far enough, are also filled with love of land. Though the stories of Turtle Island belong to Native Americans, all Americans can respect, learn from, and take solace in them....
Well, that's it, then: the last of the sweetgrass braided.
Summer braiding for winter burning.
Sweetgrass, cedar, sage: here up North, our trinity of local incenses.
There's copal, of course: exotic resin of the fabled southern Lands of Ever-Summer.
But mostly, we burn local, just as we always have.
Back in the Old World, it was the same. Frankincense, myrrh: exotic imports from the resin-cultures to the South.
Up North, we mostly burned local.
There's no common Indo-European word for incense (the old Witch word was reckels, literally “little smokes”), but if the IE-speaking ancestors did indeed have an incense culture, one could perhaps make a case for juniper, still burned as a sacred smoke in the Gaelic-speaking Hebrides, in Germany on Weihnachtsabend, and among the Kalasha, the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush.
“We are daughters of our mothers
We are mothers of our daughters
We are sisters, we are lovers
We are friends and good grandmothers
We are women like a river
Flowing on and on forever…”
The question often comes up: "Where it is acceptable to find and purchase (adopt) quartz crystal?". I'm not talking about where it comes from in the Earth, but what are acceptable sources available for a person to gather their working collection/family of crystals.
If you live too far away to dig your own, there are plenty of great options available. Even if you are in a town that (gasp!) doesn't have a store with gemstones. Among the options are the obvious, such as; gemstone stores and shops, gem and mineral shows, spirit fairs and festivals. Other not-so-obvious places where I have found crystals are craft stores (often drilled, for beads), flea markets, antique stores, garage/tag/estate or yard sales, second-hand stores and roadside vendors....