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Beyond the Essentials: A to Z Oils for Candle Enchantments Part III

Juniper Berry oil has a feminine energy and is sacred to earth deities. This essential oil has a sweet and woody aroma that makes it a great addition to aromatherapy and as an anointing application. It also has a strong clearing property for use before spellwork.

Lavender oil is my number one essential oil because it is so versatile. It is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, sedative, antidepressant, and topical treatment for scalds and burns, as well as a good detoxifier. Lavender promotes healing, and the lovely scent has a calming effect and is widely used in aromatherapy.

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Get to Know the Manx: A Mighty Hunter and Sweet Companion - Catster


"Isn't two years an awfully long time for a cat to be at a shelter without being 'adopted'?" I ask.

My question seems to nonplus the director.

"There's nothing wrong with her," she hastens to assure me, misreading my question.

I hadn't really thought that there was; actually, I was just curious.

It's been three years now since Squeak the Fearless died, in the autumn of the first covid year, and it's time: a house needs a cat.

Besides, witches love the anomalous. With my special affinity for Manx—the stubby-tailed ("stumpies") and tailless ("rumpies") cats of the Isle of Witches—Bunny would have to be a drooling psycho-kitty for me not to like her.

All is explained when we enter the cat room.

Immediately, I'm engulfed in a rising tide of cats: cats rubbing against my ankles, cats head-butting me; cats making nice.

Meanwhile, alone in the center of the room, identified by her eponymous gray stumpy tail, lies Miss Bunny: dignified, aloof. I think of aloof's original meaning: facing into the wind.

Well, there's all the explanation those two years will ever need. Ain't that just like life? The friendly (read: needy) ones always get 'adopted' first.

Ugh. Dogs trapped in the bodies of cats, I call them. Independence requires boundaries. Give me aloof any day of the lunar month.

I crouch and extend a finger. Bunny sniffs at it delicately, then permits me to stroke her fur and rub her ears. She does not get up. Not unfriendly: just a cat with a life very much her own.

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Beyond the Essentials: A to Z Oils for Candle Enchantments Part II

Dill, commonly found in Southwest Asia, gained popularity in eighth century France when Charlemagne ordered its mass cultivation due to its powerful healing properties. This fresh and bright oil calms the body as it quiets nervousness and anxiety.

Eucalyptus oil comes from the leaf of the eucalyptus tree, native to Australia. Fresh and minty, eucalyptus oil carries medicinal, antiseptic, and pharmaceutical benefits. These powerful properties are most often released by adding a few drops of this oil into water. In eucalyptus oil, we have an all- purpose therapeutic for coughs, colds, respiratory ailments, and insect bites. If you start to feel cold symptoms, use five drops of eucalyptus oil in a hot bath or in a bowl prepared with boiling water for a head steam.

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The Police and Tarot

Message in a Bottle, Roxanne, Don't Stand So Close to Me, Spirits in the Material World, King of Pain--if you grew up in the 1980s, you probably know these songs.

Fronted by Sting, the British post-punk/reggae/pop trio The Police produced many an earworm.

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“Now, there's something you don't see every day, Chauncey.”

My friend is alluding to a running gag from Jay Ward's brilliant 1960s series, Rocky and Bullwinkle, a show that we both grew up watching: two old guys, sitting on a park bench, commenting wryly on the weird ways of the world.

Catching her reference, I toss her back the feeder line: “What's that, Edgar?”

“A troupe of girls raising a cloud of dust as they dance the maypole,” she says.


Indeed. We're out at the Minnesota Renn Fest, watching the students of a local dance school go through their paces.

At Beltane, when these dances are usually performed, the grass would be green from the Spring Rains, but this is the ash-end of dry August. We won't be seeing the Autumn Rains for half a moon yet, and the girls weave and duck enhaloed in a golden sphere of dust.

Yesterday, I saw the year's first skein of geese fly low overheard, clearly a family group from a nearby lake: parents and their clutch of grown-up youngsters, taking a test flight for the Great Migration yet to come.

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Pop Tarot Podcast

Maybe because the Sun is in my 7th House of relationships (and collaboration), I thrive on co-creating with others. 

I've done this with other podcasts (co-hosting with various shows like Tarot Bitches), but they all felt like "work", to be honest.

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Not a Review of Matthew Lopez's Red, White, and Royal Blue


The son of the American President and the Prince of England—already in love—are coming out to one another.

“I'm bi,” says the American.

“I'm gay as a maypole,” says the Prince.


Back in the 70s, I can remember reading a profoundly essentialist article by a Jungian analyst contrasting the values of matriarchal and patriarchal societies.

The article consisted largely of three side-by-side columns:

Category      Patriarchy     Matriarchy

(That, according to the article itself, patriarchal thinking favors polarized dichotomies while matriarchies prefer to think holistically, was an irony that seems utterly to have escaped the author. Oh well, it was the 70s; I suppose a little self-awareness would be too much to expect.)

At this remove of time, I can remember only one other specific: under the category Major Sexual Taboo, Patriarchy's was listed as Homosexuality, Matriarchy's as Incest.

As a youth figuring out his own sexual identity at the time, it was pretty clear to me on which side of the hedge my ideological sympathies lay.


This is certainly the case in Lopez's new film (based on a novel, which I have yet to read) Red, White, and Royal Blue, set in the New Matriarchy of the fantasy near-future. The US President and the Prime Minister of the UK are both women; so are pretty much all of their functionaries—at least, the ones with any power.

Unsurprisingly, the only push-back against the prince and the president's son comes from the quote-unquote “wrinkled old men” of the Monarchy.

Ho hum. There are plenty of other creaking stereotypes to be found in RWRB as well. The gay guy bottoms, of course. The boorish—or maybe it's ignorant—American's response to the Prince's maypole comment is: “What's a maypole?” Seriously?

Still, it's a romp, if a corny and wholly over-the-top one. The boys are cute (actor Nicholas Galitzine sure looks a lot like Bonny Prince Billy did back in his glory days); the sex (though very delicately handled: the graphically realistic penetration scene is shot entirely facially) is hot, hot, hot.

(No way I am ever going to forgive them, though, for making Minnesota a Red state during the Election Eve scenes. Effing Hollywood: they think Midwest/Flyover Country = Rust Belt. Get a clue, folks; Minnesota is Bluer than California.)

Of course, there's a happy ending, shooting star and all.



Would matriarchy be any kinder to male-male love than patriarchy? With so little (if any) historical information to draw on, I can see little reason—essentialist presumptions aside (v. supra)—for thinking so.

Still, that's not the point here. None of the -archies (including an-) are going to solve the problems of human society. At the corner of thirteenth and last—now there's a sign-post for you—we're all in this together, men, women, and everyone else; working together is what we've got to figure out.

As for the film, this is rom-com: fantasy, folks.

Don't overthink, don't ask the larger questions.

Just laugh, and ride along.


My favorite part of the film remains the maypole comment, which (be warned) I henceforth intend to use at every possible opportunity.

Here too, though, I find myself not entirely sure of what's actually being said. What's so gay about a maypole?

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