Lemon trees ideally like between 50-80 degrees (f), so who in their right mind would try to grow one outdoors through winter? That’s what I thought too, but one of our neighbours is doing just that! The first winter I noticed their lemon tree it was about five feet tall, surrounded in repurposed old windows, a topper made of what, I don’t know (maybe wood?), and a warming light parked at its base. Their plant was busting out lemons in the darkest season of the year, like a Christmas tree with bright yellow ornaments! They weren’t small, weakly things either. Nope, they were large, happy lemons!
Last winter, due to my lack of plant-parenting, the baby lemon tree placed in the ground nearly froze to death. I had not built a proper “lemon house” for it in a timely fashion. By spring this year it was barely recognizable, just a little clump of dead looking twigs with thorns, and a tiny, barely green leaf. I didn’t know lemon trees grew thorns and worried it had turned into some revengeful Frankenstein plant looking for blood! Turns out they may grow thorns for a period of time to protect themselves. Understandable.
After a thoroughly sunny spring and summer, and lots of apologies and prayers from me, the baby lemon tree sprung back to life! Woohoo! The regeneration power of plants is absolutely astounding! I reassured the lemon tree that last year’s negligence would not be repeated, and immediately went to the local Rebuild Center to buy four, used windows. Unfortunately, only three of the same size were available. A small stone wall was built for the fourth side instead, using remnant bricks from a prior landscape project. This stone wall design is an attempt to apply the permaculture design of utilising stone to absorb the winter sun’s light which may further insulate the tree from cold. The stones are not perfectly fit, gaps exist between the stones and windows. Perhaps some rolled up bubble wrap wedged into the spaces will do the trick (one way to repurpose those bubble wrap mailings no one will recycle).
I’m hoping this will be successful because I don’t have enough south-facing windows to grow the tree indoors during winter, nor the desire to drag it in and out of the house each season. Mid-November temps in the pacific nw are currently around high 50 / low 35 degrees (f), but we often get a few degrees cooler due to the nearby river. I checked the outdoor thermometer at 5:15 pm and it was already 40 degrees outside. Within ten minutes of installing the thermometer inside the lemon house you can see the temp boosted to 50, even with air gaps in the house design!
With a little pre-planning, picking the ideal sunny location, gathering the parts from a recycling place (if possible), and making use of what’s on hand, it’s pretty easy to do. May this little project inspire you plant lovers who want to beat the odds and try growing lemon trees in winter. Would love to hear any other creative plant ideas you’ve come up with. Please share in the comment section below.
It is so easy, on a full moon night, when light is dark, the darkest light, to hide in the known, in the comfort of the home, hidden from the mysterious outside.
But where there is dark there is illumination and dreams, a place to feel safe, in the midst of moon’s scene, where you and the clouds become close friends again, where the din of the world falls to the silence within.
Time now to ponder your fears, your life, grieving that maybe it’s just a story of strife, yet stars do twinkle as the world goes to rest, and the head becomes heavy as you curl in your bednest.
“Let it go,” says Autumn in its cold and foggy mist, transform your dark thoughts into love and happiness, while you bathe in memories that beat your heart’s song, pray for the world, for souls who’ve come and gone.
Letting go of what was, what you thought life would be, letting go of the wrongs and humilities, letting go of the past and future expectations, you dance in the moon’s light, for your soul’s regeneration!
So it is, in these crazy world times, I have turned inward for answers the outer world seems to be lacking. Sleep is profoundly healing and rejuvenating but so is a new activity, called Automatic Writing. After listening to the insightful messages of many creative writers, artists, channelers, mystics and such, the one consistent message is “Get the story out of you and onto paper”, so I have. Lately the idea came that perhaps the messages flowing out of my higher mind’s consciousness would be helpful for others who are looking for uplifting and refreshing thoughts, ways of seeing things, and interpretations. With that in mind I decided why not post an automatic writing every new and full moon, with additional ones given on sacred holidays? There is a new moon, partial solar eclipse in Scorpio, occurring at 4am (pacific time) this coming Oct. 25th. The following is a message for all who are interested. I’d love your feedback! Is it helpful, relevant, thought-provoking?
Thank you for supporting my blog! 😘 And now, I bring to you: New Moon Inspiration for October 2022
Blessings! We are here on a mission to provide the ultimate survival and capacity for life on planet earth. We are you, you are us, all is Nature, all is One and Divine. In this time of the scorpion depths you seek to learn about your inner workings, your despairs and their sources. You are musing around the dark and disparaging words, actions and manifestations of those around you, but do not see your role. You do not see the connection. All in time.
We are here to say this is not going away or getting worse, it is all simply transforming into a beautiful new fresh start for all involved. There is time, there is ample availability to respond intelligently. Find your resources, be where you need to be. Listening to your intuition will be your best guiding light.
Time has come, however, for those who would not abide by the heart and well-being of their brothers and sisters to make amends and truthfully tell your deepest sorrows and despairs. You will not heal in hiding, nor will you evolve in a fashion worthy of this time and space allowed.
Given the structures and harvest at this time, there is more than ample providence for all who would need food, and time and support. Do not be taken in by the fear and worries of those who have the agendas. You need not despair. Breathe in the sunlight, the air, the night stars and become the dream you wished as a child. The mind of humans is far from being left behind in chaos and atrocity. The mind of the human is extensive and everlasting, but only when the the heart is its master.
Today’s a new day, a dawn of promises and adventures awaits all who would participate in this blessed gift called Life. You are worthy, welcomed, and supported in all manner of being. Do not take lightly your role at this time. Dig deep into your closets and reveal your darkest sorrows, burdens, unfulfilled dreams, and hardships you felt overwhelmed by, and overcome. This is your time to shine, your destiny rests in your hands, as it always has.
We are shining together when we are working as one beautiful animated being. If anyone is left out of the song, the song will be incomplete. We will not accept the notion that violinists are unwelcome or that the tuba player should bash the cellist! All people, all nations, all voices in this orchestra are required, just like the organs of a body. If you need to make amends with your neighbor, your soul, your Creator, then do it with love, a smile, a genuine heartfelt hug, and do it as if it matters.
You are all shining and and glorious in a future that awaits. Hit the refresh button in your mind, in your heart, in your body, and reinvent yourself anew. The time is nigh.
Providence [ prov-i-duhns ] noun – the foreseeing care and guidance of God or Nature over the creatures of the earth. God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence. a manifestation of divine care or direction.
(Regina here: I am not the author of this article or lovely artwork. This blog is being shared from friend whose work I greatly admire. I am sharing her blog here today as a wake-up call to artists and musicians. Thank you for reading, your comments are welcomed! Much love!)
A few weeks ago, I received a text message from one of my most tech-savvy friends. The message described how he was exploring Stable Diffusion, an AI art generator and found my work in the database as well as the fact that my artistic style was something that the AI could replicate. He sent me…
Recently I’ve heard young parents voicing dismay with the lack of enchantment in our modern, “mechanistic” world and wondering how to keep a joyful spark for life in their school-age children.
They acknowledge that reading to their kids is not high on the priority list, yet express concern how fairy tales and just being outdoors isn’t interesting to their kids unless it involves some handheld device. How just being happy to see animal shapes in the passing clouds is not as important to their kids as wanting to stay inside and veg on a video game. Who will teach the children about air sylphs, water spirits, how to talk with a flower, how to put the imagination to work when only a few items are on-hand? If the only education children receive is how to parrot the media on climate change, gun shootings, pronouns, and virus counts while their sense of a hopeful future is waning, where does that leave our society? Children are our future, so we have to ask: Just exactly what kind of future is being cultivated?
The world didn’t lose her magic, but humanity is running the risk of losing its soul to someone else’s plan. It is high time we came to realize we are swiftly being engulfed by programming and conditioning that serves someone else’s political and financial agendas. It’s nothing new, been happening this way for thousands of years, only the narrative changes.
I believe re-enchantment begins with one’s self. If you can make time to feel the soft, magical caress of a breeze, practice listening to clouds, walk gently enough to not scare away visiting birds, bring colored chalk to the beach and color the rocks, build a fort in your backyard and add fairy decor, then you are exactly what the world needs right now; ready to enchant peoples’ memories back to where they once belong.
Really, I do these things because I don’t want to lose my inner child. When my (now young adult) kids have time in their busy schedules to hang with me a spell, I make sure to decorate the home entry and certain rooms with the spirit of the season, leave out the Jenga game, or bright colored whimsical puzzles, and (if weather allows) stargaze at night with a little fire in the pit. For my own entertainment and education I joined a school of wizardy – who even knew such a thing exists?!
If we continually practice emanating an energy of the Divine and Sacred within ourselves it will rub off on others, and some will even stop and ask you what you do in your spare time? I give them an example, if they seem like open-minded adults, such as, “I decorated my Juniper tree out front with holiday decor and birdhouses and named it ‘Gerard Ent’”! 😆🌲 – My husband, surprised me by suggesting the last name“Ent” as he remembered it being the name of the tree people in Lord of the Rings. I was duly impressed! And “Gerard”? Well that’s just a really handsome name, I think.
Maybe you don’t want to go to such extremes and do fairy decor. Maybe you like a more scientific approach, such as learning to identify starry constellations, or how to rebuild soil that’s lost its nutrients, or maybe you want to start a volunteer group to clean up litter in your neighborhood. It’s all good! Whatever makes you feel in resonance with your heart. It’s the intention behind the act that sets the waves in motion. Others will hear about it, be inspired to collaborate or create their own ways to help.
My hearfelt wish: Don’t wait for the world to re-enchant itself. Instead, be the one who jars the memory for them. Do it for the Earth, her beloved Nature spirits, liminal spaces, and devic realms. They need our help now more than ever, and they miss sharing playtime with us.
I adore David Halpin’s posts on Irish Fairy Lore. Sadly, he has yet to create a book of all his amazing, informative stories and I feel concern they may be lost. With that, I will be interweavIng his posts into my blog page as “historical records” every now and again. Please take a moment to “Like” his FB page if you’re so inclined.
For now, sit back and learn about the Bean Sidhe, thinning of the veil during full moon, and why making very clear intentions, prayers of protection and honoring the deceased is so valuable at this time. Many blessings! 🌙 😘
The August Full Moon: Magic, Ancestors, and The Bean Sídhe.
Tonight brings the August full moon and it is worth remembering that all of the various moon names and seasonal lore were real reminders about the seasonal changes and how a person might acknowledge the yearly cycle.
Perhaps the most widespread spiritual aspect to the full moon is the association with ancestors and past family members. The full moon is said to create a thinning between the realms of life and death. Often it is the case that powerful and poignant dreams both remind us of those we have lost but also serve to help us remember to appreciate our own lives and those around us.
In Asia, in their pre-Buddhist, shamanic traditions, the August full moon signals a more liminal window through which the hungry ghosts might emerge. These are ancestral spirits who may be lost themselves or yearning for something in their past. They may be unable to forget a loved one or an event which still holds them back from progressing in their spiritual journey. Tradition says that we have a chance to help such ancestors at this time by making offerings and sending guiding intentions which can help these lost spirits find their way to their next incarnation.
You can notice some similarities to Irish and European Samhain traditions and beliefs in this. The fields are now full of mushrooms often forming ‘fairy rings’ and for many these are places one should only enter with caution. Perhaps there is a crossover here considering the ritualistic use of certain psilocybin-containing mushrooms? Some researchers suggest that ancient sweat-houses were used as places to consume these mushrooms where the seer would enter trance-states to contact ancestors and spirits. As nature offered the opportunity to contact the otherworld, the time of the year was similarly associated with corresponding rituals.
A piece of very obscure Irish folklore regarding a positive encounter with the Bean Sídhe records how she is deemed to heal the sick through moon bathing. This custom was called ‘All Heal.’ Considering how we are told in the folklore that it was “old people” who carried on the name ‘All Heal’, I think we can safely say that this is a long regarded tradition. The practice took place on the evening of six days following a full moon, which is in itself quite unusual. In this tradition, it seems that the sixth night following a full moon is regarded as particularly magically potent.
The ritual proceeds as follows. If a person was sick they were brought to the shore of a lake in order to bathe, but not in the water, and instead in the reflected light of the moon upon the lake’s surface. This moon-bathing for wellness is very interesting considering much more recent evidence regarding how different types of moonlight might affect us. Many people might be surprised to discover that it has such a long history in Ireland. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/7-ways-moon-affects-health-26747
This tradition also has parallels with some Bealtaine customs earlier in the year and the warding of malevolent forces. In that particular case it is moonlight in the morning dew which is said to both repel evil influence, as well as bestowing beauty and health upon those who wash their faces in the dew at dawn. Another curious factor is that Bealtaine is associated with fairy queens and, as we shall see, so is the night of All Heal.
The twist to ‘All Heal’, and its cure, though, was that if you did not get well after two or three nights you would then be visited by the bean sídhe. However, the aforementioned twist is that her song would be one of comfort for those about to die, as opposed to one which instils fear. In this case, the bean sídhe is identified as Áine who is sometimes considered both a fairy queen and, according to some, a potential Irish moon goddess. This latter point is often argued, it must be said, but it is very interesting to read of her being associated with the lunar cycle in this account as well.
Also associated with this moon bathing ritual is a red haired dwarf named Fer Fí, identified as Áine’s brother. His task was to accompany Áine’s song on his harp and comfort the person as they fell into ‘sleep’ by the moonlight. This ‘All Heal’ tradition is recorded as occurring at Lough Gur which has always been associated with an entrance-way into the Otherworld.
Here is the full piece as recorded in the archives at Duchas.ie. “On the 6th night of the full moon the people brought their sick close to the lakes so that the moonlight shone brightly on them near the waters of the lake. The old people called this night- “All-Heal” and if a sick person was not better by the 8th or 9th day of the moon he would then hear the “Ceol Sidhe” which “Áine” the bean-sidhe and spirit of Lough Gur would sing or play to comfort the dying. The sick person would fall asleep as the music “Suantraige:- which was said to be the whispering song of sleep which Aine’s brother Fer Fí played. Fer Fí was a kindly red haired dwarf and it was said to be a sign of good luck to hear him laughing. He played only 3 tunes – Wail, Sleep and Laughter – on his 3 Stringed harp.
So, as you can see, even though this account concerns a Bean Sídhe, it is not always the case that these beings behave in the ways that we expect. Perhaps this is why they have always been approached with such respect and care. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the full moon on Sunday.
Recently I encountered a lovely person and her very wobbly, little dog. Turned out her dog is suffering from heart and kidney disease. Though she didn’t ask for it I was compelled to write a prayer which later morphed into a song. After emailing her the video link it occurred to me that perhaps others may benefit from the prayer as well, so now I share it with you.
Thank you for watching and for your support of this blog page. Many blessings! 🌷🌸❤️
Wandering the local woods on the full moon I pondered, “What is art?” The following photos and thoughts are the results. Thank you to Nature for the inspiration!
What is art? The expression of powerful, balancing and chaotic energies, forces, and Spirit.
The Master artist? Nature, the dancer of yin/ yang. Effortless and yet pressured, like a diamond forged from coal, or a thunderstorm bursting out of the clouds.
Art is not without suffering, but suffering is subjective. Pressure is behind the term “suffering”. Like the chick who taps blindly in its eggshell for an opening, we are under constant pressure to break free of our daily-grind mind, to let in the Light! The need to create art heats us from within.
Nature does not create the art of a sunset, a butterfly’s wing, or song of a dove to gain our attention or approval. Nature creates because it can. Nature’s furies, chaos, serenity, and breathtaking beauty are elemental forces at play.
We choose to place value judgments and opinions on what is good or bad art, yet Nature does as it pleases, with no care for perfection or cleanliness. The joy of creation knows no limits and still remains in perfect balance.
Art does not need interpretation, planning, or credentials, it simply requires us to show up. The Universe invites us to join the dance. Let the creative play begin! ❤️
In January 2020 I began having deep, uncomfortable feelings in my chest / heart region. This started shortly after a family member’s emergency hospital visit so I wrote it off as stress. As February rolled around the discomfort was more consistent and really agitating my sleep. Thankfully, a wise and insightful friend, who also happens to be one of my sound healing teachers, suggested I begin taking Hawthorne Berry supplement, which I did. Worked like a charm! Everything calmed down, but – as we all know – 2020 was far from a calming year and the insane levels of stress and lack of grounding has flowed into every year thereafter. I was on a mission to find a peaceful place within.
Then this last weekend rolled around. A delightful gal, Sarah Lemos, gifted psychic-medium and featured guest “seer” of haunted locations (see Travel Channel’s “Ghosts of Morgan City”) was presenting at the RaSani Fair in Oregon, just south of here. Since I’d had an insightful reading with her by phone I wanted to meet her in person. This would also be my first trip to a psychic fair! Generally, I tend to avoid large crowds, a remnant PTSD issue since my band days when I was coerced into playing my saxophone amidst large crowds of drunk and clumsy dancers. But the weather was beautiful, and a voice within called me to be brave and follow through. So glad I did! Not only was a Sarah an inspiration to see and hear, but I also discovered a beautiful display of drums. Creator David Burling, owner of Dragon Reiki Drums, explained all the materials he used: skins, crystals, wood, and he kindly let me sample the sounds of each one. He said this event was his first time putting the drums on public display since 2019, so I felt very fortunate to have found his booth! After carefully playing each handmade creation a couple times the one that just sang to my soul is pictured below.
The deep resonant tone of the drum so echos what I feel the spirit of Buffalo to represent: grounding, present-moment, extension of the Earth, indomitable, perservering, ancient, primal, solid, and life-giving. The feel and energy of the elk handle brings to the drum a gracefulness; strong, resilient, yet able to adapt. The spirit of the Cedar tree in the mallot exudes strength, might, purification of spirit.
I sit in a darkened room, closing out the world, with little more than a small candle or incense burning while playing. With the drum positioned close to my chest I tap with the mallot gently in different sweet spots where its voice changes timber, tone and resonance. There’s no structure, no right or wrong way to play, no stress. Bathing in gratitude for the spirit company of buffalo, elk, and cedar tree we float together in a river of rhythm, and after a period of time my mind feels light, my body almost floaty… we could dance the entire night if it weren’t for the need to rest. Playing this drum right before sleep has resulted in some of the most peaceful sleep I’ve experienced in a long time!
Hoping you, too, will find your peaceful place in this wildly insane world we’re roller coastering through. Perhaps a drum is calling your name?