I woke up this morning to the dulcet beep beep beep of something large and ungainly backing up… over and over. My first thought was that they were paving the last gravel alley in town and I thought nothing of it. But the sound got louder and louder until it was practically under my window. Hot diggity! They are finally smoothing out the mess they made last year. They’re flattening The Scar.
I can already tell that they’re not going to make the heaped up dirt level with the rest of the yard. And they’ve managed to tear out a couple more roots of the cherry tree- as if it can really spare any. The cherry tree has been sickly for going on 4 years now and I think these constriction people are planning its demise. Eloric wants to start another tree to put in its place, which is a good idea but I just can’t give up on the cherry tree. Perhaps we’ll have an arborist out next spring to cut it and see if we can’t nurse it back to health.
But you know what this means- I can go ahead and order the Blackthorn trees I found and have been saving the rest of my dog-sitting money for. I shall have them! Rar! Also, unfortunately, we shall have to replace several lilacs, one variegated, the whitebud, the redbud, at least one blue spruce, and probably a maple and perhaps the copper beech- although I should go out and check on him to see how he is. He was coming back the last time I looked, though he ought to be put in the ground as soon as possible for him to have any chance at all. I wish we could submit a bill to the county for all the damage they caused. If they hadn’t been cheap and tried replacing a ceramic tile with a sad plastic one, if they hadn’t used some fly-by-night company, we’d still have our trees. But I guess this means I get to look up some replacements… if we have the money for them. I dislike being able to see our neighbors’ houses and that dog kennel.
Speaking of trees- Eloric went a-pruning a couple of days ago. I suppose this wasn’t the best time to prune but prune he did. Half of the almond tree had died, so he took that off. The weeping willow is a vigorous soul, so in order to have some back yard to ourselves, he gave her a manicure. I have my eye on the leavings of that manicure- some day it will be time to work with Willow and the branchlets he took off are of a nice diameter. I wonder where he put the Fiskars…
I finally gave up and set aside a blog for my spiritual work. This way my muddled first blog isn’t clouded further by my attempts at making up for about 4 years of near-atheism. It’s my goal to post possibly useful stuff twice a week. I just figure since hardly anyone reads this blog anyway, I could make another blog hardly anyone would read but the blog would be more focused.
I’ll keep this one -obviously- and use it for the usual complaining, crying about food, detailing guild drama that I can no longer bear to keep secret, recipes, and other bits of shiny things I pick up along the way. NaNoWriMo will still be obsessed about here and bad poetry may make a comeback.
Why Do Blogging
Blogging seems like all the rage these days and it’s been that way since it rose in popularity in the mid-2000s. These days, it blogs have even become viable sources of income with people actually making money with their blogs. As such, this is a great reason to start a blog yourself. If not for that, then perhaps you can start a blog for the simple reason that it's great for your mental and physical health.
The modern world has a lot of stressors that can really put the body through its paces, and if you continue to let it build, you might end up in a really unpleasant situation. Blogging can help get rid of stress, stimulate ideas and make you happy. You can blog about anything too such as top 10 reviews about anything. It's up to you.
As someone who talks to trees, I tend to doubt some of what I hear now and again. It’s always nice to have outside confirmation on your inner knowings. For a while now I’ve been working now and again with Sycamore tree and its assertion that it is a tree of the Ancestors. Being curious to a fault, I decided to do a little internet searching to see if the good ole Intertubes could come up with some justification for this. While I do believe that people can use whatever correspondences they feel are best for them regarding trees and other objects used in workings, I felt the irresistible urge to be nosy.
Imagine my nerdly glee when I found this (though it refers to the Sycamore Fig, Ficus sycomorus and not the American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis):
“In the early historical period, however, there is considerable evidence that trees held a special significance in the cultures of the ancient world. In Ancient Egypt, several types of trees appear in Egyptian mythology and art, although the hieroglyph written to signify tree appears to represent the sycamore (nehet) in particular. The sycamore carried special mythical significance. According to the Book of Dead, twin sycamores stood at the eastern gate of heaven from which the sun god Re emerged each morning. The sycamore was also regarded as a manifestation of the goddesses Nut, Isis, and especially of Hathor, who was given the epithet Lady of the Sycamore. Sycamores were often planted near tombs, and burial in coffins made of sycamore wood returned the dead person to the womb of the mother tree goddess.”
“The sycamore, also, was sacred. Peasants gather around them in rituals. In the Land of the Dead there was a sycamore in whose branches the goddess Hathor lived; she leaned out of it giving sustenance and water to deceased souls. In Memphis, Hathor’s epithet was Lady of the Sycamore.”
- Larry Gates, Egyptian Nature Mysticism
It could be that all Sycamores share some affinity with the spirits of the departed. There are six types of trees called Sycamore- 3 types of Platanus in North America (called Plane Trees in Europe), Acer pseudoplatanus, a type of Maple tree (also called Plane Tree, to make it more confusing), and Ficus sycomorus. I’ve only had the chance to work with one of these. It would be something to eventually work out the connection that they seem to have, if only to satiate my own curiosity.
The weather around here has gotten might pleasant lately. We’re not parched or fried by the sun, the humidity is not equal to a full sponge, and there’s a nice breeze. We’ve had about 2 1/2 inches of rain in the past week and everything is greening up nicely. Except for several Ash trees. We have Emerald Ash Borer here and it sucks. I only know of two healthy Ash trees in the area, three if you count the one I have my eye on up at the river. One of the local ashes is a mighty thing that took a lightning strike years ago when I was just a young thing. Fitting that he ought to be healthy.
Two weeks ago Eloric and I took another one of our river walks and came back with quite a haul. We found an antique cobalt blue bottle, a green spun-formed bottle from 1935 (it has the date right on the bottom), and an oblongish bottle that has to be quite old. We found a set of mussel shells that have gorgeous pink insides in the trickle that was the river. Eloric found a very interestingly gnarled Sycamore branch piece that looks very like a femur, so we ended up calling it “The Bone” and another very long piece with some of the same gnarling. I made some offerings and we brought both home. The Bone is currently on my Ancestor altar and is one of the things They haven’t kicked off the shelf. Apparently my ancestors are very particular about what goes on the altar. They’ll allow me to put sage wood up there but no, no, no, drying elm leaves for their incense is NOT allowed.
Still thinking about the other blog. Right now I’ll probably do it but giving it a couple of days to see if I change my mind.
I’m currently entertaining making a separate blog to deal with my spirituality and spiritual life. This blog is very cluttered and serves an entirely separate purpose- that of recording daily life and working through it. It branches off 4 other blogs I’ve had dating back to 2002. I’m beginning to feel that I’d like to work through my spiritual pursuits in a different space where the area is not so cluttered, where the focus can be more pointed.
It took me a long, long time after Dad’s death to get to where I am now. I quite lost myself for over 4 years. I lost my path, my spiritual focus, and quite a lot of my identity. Only this June did I return to my path following a very strong experience. I feel renewed and as if I’ve been set back upon the path after the bridge had washed out before me. That missing bridge is behind me now and I’d like to work more and talk more about working. I just don’t think this is the space in which to do it.
I’m unsure now as to whether I want to create this new space on this domain or whether I want to use WordPress.com as a platform instead. Over the coming days, I’ll think some on it and see where the thoughts take me. Of course, as is normal with me, it may be that I don’t do anything at all. Again, we’ll see where I arrive.
I’ve been hiding and peeping out around the Internet lately. I’ve been reading The Poetic Edda to help with my rune-work and I’ve been working with Blackthorn. After The Poetic Edda, I plan to read the Prose Edda. Thank goodness both are free to read via the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
I can’t believe I just applied for another Deli job. Even though I still have some unresolved health issues, we could use the money, so I put in an online application. My first application via the Internet. I kinda feel sick contemplating it. I don’t like working with the public. Actually, I don’t like working in groups in public or not.
If I get it, I sure hope working with milk products doesn’t make me sick or this could be a very short employment opportunity.
It has rained for the past two days- not the entire time, mind, but enough to get about 1.75 or so inches. I am so entirely happy that the sky finally gave in and decided to drop some moisture on us instead of being a wooly, muggy cap of horror and intense humidity. We were over at our friend Gorfleck’s sitting around a nice camp fire when we saw the first storm begin to roll in. The lightning! It leapt from cloud to cloud, struck the ground again and again. We were thinking that the storm would barely miss us but we were in luck. Eloric and I sped home to make sure the cats would be ok and perhaps 10 minutes after we returned, the rain started to fall. The cracks in the earth have mended somewhat but I think it will take at least another half inch of rain to see them banished.
We took one of our walks today, nosing around town to see if there was anything good to get into. We went past the post office, which used to be a restaurant and bank back in the day and further up the road, thanks to last week’s crispiness, we could see the outline of the telegraph office near the building town-dwellers like to call our town hall. The outline is tiny, perhaps twice the size of a very modest bathroom. It usually only appears when it’s been very hot out and the grass dies or sometimes in winter when the grass over the buried remains of the foundation is a wee bit greener than the surrounding lawn. We went on up the street to the park of what appear to be Scotch Pine trees. Those trees give the most fragrant resin and we collected some- I left a small offering when Eloric’s back was turned. It’s not nice to take things without leaving something in return. On our way up the street we passed the enormous Maple tree that has some “bread fungus”, we call it, growing in a fork between two roots. It really does look like a flat loaf of bread, golden brown on top and white beneath. It’s very hard too, like bread left out too long. The Internets tells me it may be a young form of This. I’ll take a picture sometime since it’s pretty nifty-looking.
Further up where the street changes names and runs past the pasture of our family friend we found what appears to be Carolina Horse Nettle, a nightshade. I’m sort of morbidly fascinated by that plant as I know it’s very toxic. We found two colors of Morning Glory- Magenta and Purple and also some Field Bindweed popping up like mad in another yard. I have it in mind to collect some and dry it for later.
I found several pieces of Chert yesterday. My crystals like to take rainwater baths where the water slops off the garage and as I was gathering it up and not so successfully avoiding the poison ivy (soap, lots of soap and I’m fine), I found a very neat piece of dark grey chert. Then, in a chert-hunting frenzy, I searched the dirt pile of the Scar and found two pieces of white chert, two very neat pieces of fossilized coral, and the most translucent piece of quartz I’ve ever found in the area. I was then chased off by an enormous bumble bee… twice. Maybe I took too much. Maybe he wanted to drink from the swath of blue chicory flowers in peace. I cleaned my haul in some rainwater that had collected in one of my buckets and brought it into the cottage.
Tomorrow we’re hoping to get back up to the river. The recent parching weather should have lowered it to the point where we can walk along the water instead of having to cut across fields. The natural springs near the pedestrian bridge should be visible, if not flowing. It will hopefully be a good time for rock collecting, mussel shell hunting, and we might even find another arrow head.
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