Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Walking with the Sunflowers

It's not exactly a new children's book, but Walking the World in Wonder, A Children's Herbal by Ellen Evert Hopman has to be one of the most beautiful and informative introductions to the natural world of herbs for kids that I've come across in a long time.  The book begins by introducing us to The Wheel of the Year, and explains how different holidays and festivals that mark the changes in the sacred earth year.  It describes different plants and flowers according to the seasons and also includes activities kids can engage in for each of the flowers and plants featured.

 This excerpt from Hopman's book describes the magic and majesty of sunflowers perfectly.

 "I am the mighty sunflower.  I have BIG flowers that bloom from summer to fall--a round brown center with golden petals that remind you of the sun.  I can grow up to 12 feet tall!  My leaves are rough and my stems are hairy.  You can find me in fields and prairies and sunny gardens.  I am a native plant to Mexico and Peru where I was once considered sacred by the Aztecs and worshiped by the Incas.  Priestesses would carry my flowers in the temples of the sun and wear crowns of them in their hair.  I was honored so highly that sculptures of my flowers were made out of pure gold and paced in Aztec Shrines.
Have you seen me?"

 After a long summer my sunflowers are finally in full bloom, boldly towering over everything else in the front yard.  It's nice to watch the smiles on people's faces as they walk by.

 Walking in the World of Wonder, A Children's Herbal is available through Amazon

I found the book however, in the wonderful metaphysical shop Crystal Essence and Wellness Center which is located in Great Barrington in The Berkshires.  Hopman periodically lectures at the store.  I hope to catch one of her talks sometime in the future!

Enjoy your day!

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

And The Tower Shakes

With all the tragic events unfolding over the last few weeks...hurricanes, flooding, fires, earthquakes...
I don't think that anyone who either reads cards, or is familiar with Tarot imagery, has not 
had this particular image come into their head.

  The Tower...
"Facing the Unexpected"
"Out of the Blue"
"Shocking Events"
The reason I'm writing this post, however, is to remind everyone what 
comes next during The Fool's journey.  
The card 'after' The Tower.

The Star...
"Faith and Hope"
New life through new possibilities and hope.

When we have been shaken loose from our roots and it all seems to be hopeless, 
we look within and then start anew. 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017


"Allow your creativity to explode in a burst of illumination in the world.  Follow the muse that fills your heart with passion.  Listen to music that inspires your highest consciousness.  Get out of the cities and into nature.  You are not a sinner who must be penitent; you are a child, a part of the cosmos.  Abstain from foods and drinks that suppress your creative force.  Change your life; seek out new adventures.  Practice compassion to all living beings, and live a gentle life.  Let the beauty of your spirit be your endowment to the world.  Become a conscious and transformative element in the conception of the world."

The Accidental Shaman

If are are interested in healing wisdom, 
indigenous cultures or Shamanism, I'd definitely
recommend this book. 

artwork by Adam Fergurson 
 is available through his website

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Gluten Free Oat Flour Muffins

When I pulled a batch of gluten free oat flour muffins out of the oven over the weekend and saw that they were an immediate delicious hit - meaning my husband ate 3 - I decided that I should share the recipe.  To this particular batch of muffins I added 2 chopped apricots and 4 chopped dates which I happen to have had on hand. 

The recipe for the oat flour muffins is a variation on the basic gluten free blueberry muffins that I posted on this blog several years ago.
In that recipe I used buckwheat flour instead of oat flour.  I've found that buckwheat is a good gluten free substitution for recipes that require whole wheat flour. 
Although both muffin variations are quite tasty, using buckwheat will definitely give you a denser baked good.

Oat flour?  It's pretty simple to make your own.
I usually buy Bobs Red Mill Oats in bulk from Amazon. (gluten free variety)
I put pour a bag full in the food processed and grind it up.  It's then stored in an air tight glass canister with a screw on lid.  The oat flour will last a month or more.
You can use quick cooking oats, or rolled oats.  Rolled oats are denser and require a long cooking time when you prepare them for oatmeal.  They also make a denser oat flour.
Oat flour is a nutritious, delicious alternative for gluten free baked goods. White rice flour in gluten free baked goods lack texture and usually tastes rather bland, although gluten free baking in general has improved greatly over the last few years.

The texture of this oat flour muffin can be a bit crumbly sometimes, but there are ways around that.  If you bake the muffins using foil lined muffin papers it helps quite a bit.  Also don't forget to spray the muffin liners with cooking spray before you fill them.  And finally, allow them to cool down a bit before you try to eat one.  I know, it's hard when they come right out of the oven.


1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup Yellow Corn Meal
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (I use sea salt)
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease muffin tins.
Mix together all ingredients.  Batter will be thin so let the batter sit for a few minutes so it will thicken up.  Then stir in your add ons.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full - the muffins will rise.
Bake aprox 15 minutes.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Energy Follows Thought

"Whatever manifests in your outer world is first
created in your inner world.
The energy that follows thought, and that you are
constantly experiencing in your life, is the result of whatever
resonates within the vibration you set in motion 
with your thoughts.
The world around you is mirroring the world within
    you via your subconscious mind."

Just as these seeds are about to blow away, scattering
to the are the thoughts and vibrations
you are currently creating. 
We all need to keep that in mind ~

Enjoy your day

The quote was taken from the book 

photo by Diane Fergurson

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Friday, February 3, 2017


There were so many great blog posts I read this year written about Imbolic, I decided to forgo my plan to publish one on our blog.  Instead I thought I'd showcase a wonderful book I picked up last year on Brigid, the goddess of spring in Celtic mythology, the goddess whose festival is Imbolic.
The book Brigid, by Courtney Weber, was published in 2015 by Weiser Books, and it really is a wonderful historical exploration of not only the goddess herself, but the Celtic mythology, religion, meditations and practices which surround her.  
This book is very intelligently written and well researched.  
It was honestly a joy to read...and I learned quite a bit.
Anyone with serious interest in Brigid and Celtic history should consider
adding it to their library.
Brigid is available on Amazon.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 Year of the Fire Rooster

Chinese astrology is considered to be one of the world's oldest forms of Astrology.  Unlike the other Moon-school traditions; Tibetan, Vedic and Judaic, which are couched in religion, Chinese astrology is purely secular, a direction shared by Sun-school astrologies (Western and Arabian).

Ming Shu (Circle of Animals), is just one form of Chinese astrology, but it seems to be the one that is most commonly recognized by westerners.  This system is what Sun signs are to Western astrology, meaning, you only have to know the year of your birth to create a general personality profile.  Like all of the world's major astrological traditions however, a person's time, date and place of birth are essential to create an accurate, true birth chart.

2017 is the year of the fire Rooster (chi'), and people born between January 31, 1957 and February 17, 1958 are members of the Fire Rooster Zodiac Sign.

Although there are general behavioral patterns associated with the Rooster (chi') sign, the delineation is further augmented according to which element (earth, metal, fire, water, wood) happens to be in control the year that you are born.  For example, the personality of a fire Rooster is different from that of a wood Rooster etc.  So, just because you are a Rooster (chi') in Chinese astrology does not mean that this is your year.

In general, the Rooster (chi') is very intelligent and honest.  They also possess an excellent memory.
He or she can be quite a showman with much vanity, and possesses remarkable candor.  This person can also place too much emphasis on the trees, instead of the forest so to speak.

The fire Rooster is a highly motivated, single minded person.  They can become almost fanatical when it comes to investigation and details.  This can cause problems with coworkers who do not have the same work ethic or are not very conscientious about their work and work habits.

Although in 2017 fire Roosters will have to work hard and be patient to achieve their goals, they will also experience a surge of productive energy in order to do so.  Expect a lot of mental activity.

2017 is Yin year and will be ruled by the fire element.  The fire element is a boiling, hot force that rises upward.  Although a fire element person is enlightened and possesses much wisdom, they can also have an emotional state that is volatile.  A fire element person possesses natural leadership qualities.  they are also highly motivated and optimistic. 

The color for 2017 is red, although it is not advised to wear things that are red.  Instead, concentrate on colors that complement red or calm red.

*Information for this post was taken from Miller and Brown's "The Complete Astrological Handbook for the Twenty-first Century"; Understanding and Combining the Wisdom of Chinese, Tibetan, Vedic, Arabian, Judaic, and Western Astrology.  Also, Qi Journal.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Be A Bright Light

 The soul chooses where and went to incarnate.  
To learn lessons and 
work through challenging situations so it can evolve.
  It's important to keep that in mind during the upcoming years. chose to be here AND it's for a reason.
Do your best.
Be kind, learn from your mistakes, and keep going forward.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

The Candle Sculpture

I decided to resurrect my candle sculpture today.  I was putting Christmas decorations away,
went to move the sculpture, and decided that it not
only deserved to be lit up on a more regular basis, but needed 
a little TLC as well.

The candle sculpture has to be at least 15 years old, if not older.
I was in a coffee bar long ago and saw the coolest
candle sculpture perched on the side of the bar.
Wax had dripped down everywhere.  Down the books, down the
side of the bar and on to the floor.  It was totally inspiring!

Over the years when people have seen the candle sculpture in our home,
their responses vary and are often pretty amusing.
The creative/art people will simply say its really cool and 
look at the sculpture as a sculpture...taking mental notes
on how it was structured and balanced.
The more spiritually inclined usually comment 
that it would make a fabulous alter piece...which it definitely would.
 The less creative, more literal crowd always do the same thing.
They say it's pretty cool, then squat down low to
try and read what book titles are.
That kind of diminishes the magic and point of the
piece, in my opinion, but whatever.
I guess that's how some people process art.
It you're going to make a candle sculpture...a few tips.
You will want to build in something metal to use as a
base for the candles so the books don't catch on fire.
Also, the type of candles you use really does matter. 
I found that the cheap package of IKEA tapers
 work the best.  The wax isn't great quality,
so the candles burn faster and the wax runs farther then
the more expensive tapers.
Since I'm planning a burn-a-thon to refresh and
replenish some of the dripped wax on the piece,
I also set it on top of a big piece of wood so the wax
won't run all over my table. 

You should definitely try to make one of your own!
The sculpture will take time, finesse and patience but
the results are well worth it.
The magic and enchantment it generates will
definitely warm your heart, expand your
imagination,  lift your spirits during the
log cold winter months!

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Artist,Writer, Jewelry Design