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Posts posted by PapaGheny

  1. Butcher's twine sounds like a good call Onyx. A good connection to livestock and the larder to.


    Aurelian thanks for the reminder on hurricane lanterns. Quite a while ago I use an alcohol lantern for candle work. It did a good job.

    If I'm remembering right some Powwowing names hurricane lanterns directly. Used in spiritwork and divination.


    I like that cross street, cross roads to. It is what it is, no matter what it looks like. Historic maps are often a good way to find an old crossroad that is now a city street as well.

  2. I like the way your thinking there Ravenshaw.


    Lilac – for will to thrive and passion for life.

    Bay laurel – for protection and connection to spirits.

    Pig bones or blood – to find nourishment and strength against the odds.

    Pine cone – for rebirth and virility in pollination. Could be a nice complement to eggshell.


    I enjoyed the coffee comment. Its hard to beat sharing a meal.



    I've used dawn and distilled vinegar. It worked but took a lot. I think it dissipates to quickly. I don't use weed killer much these days, but if I run into a need again I may try adding plant glycerin to stabilize and help it stick to the weed.

    Drive way or sidewalk cracks I'd soak a hand towel with it and ball it on it a few hours.


    My grandmother used tobacco tea. A tobacco vinegar decoction, with Dawn and/or glycerin should work well.

    • Upvote 1

  3. They sure do. Most of its from picking stales and reding up the barn. They just rake it up with everything else and dump it in the fertilizer pile. But, it also gets used to tie up anything and left where its used.

    It was popular with local witches to for its relationship to the barn and animal care. Problem is when our grand mothers where using it, it was mostly sisal or jute.

    Yesterday I fond a loop sticking up and pulled. It was a full peace still knotted from the bale. I wish I could say that was rare. After however many years in the ground I just rinsed it and used it to hang an ax and some rakes in the barn. Nasty stuff.


    Cotton is good call. I may look around for a ball.

  4. I'm not sure on the decay rate of bees wax. I wouldn't think thin wall would survive the winter above the frost line. Down in the clay it may stick around a bit longer. But, I'd think more of the point is that if its pure bees wax its decay will feed the ground instead of pollute it.


    I forgot about your wishbones you showed us Onyx. I bet your right, silver leaf would probably be really nice for that.


    I'm a bit bitter about what folks tie things up with at the moment. Around here people do try to reuse as much as possible. However, there hasn't been a horse on this property for four or five years and I'm still digging up binder twine. I'm not apposed to using it for general work, but it shouldn't go to ground.

    I've been using a lot of hemp cord the past two years. I'm not real big on it, but its not horrible and I got a spool cheap at a yard sale.

    However, I find a cheaper better solution is handmade cordage. I find making its a good skill. Mostly fiddle work and easy with just a little practice and experience. I'm always looking for new materials to work with. Right now I've been liking the leftovers from last years lilies and dead lemon grass. I'm fining them both strong and easy to work.

  5. Hello Dandelion thorn,


    In my experience long distance relationships particularly with more than to people can be demanding. Those demands seem to be trust, devotion, courage, and respect. As well as a strong connection and emotional interaction. Along with the understanding that a good portion of life is location. So in separation time should be balanced. All parties also need to feel these reflected to maintain a health relationship.

    Now, my experience may not be the same as yours. However, if you feel that statement holds for you I would first look to see if that's what your giving and getting. If not you may consider working on that first. There are workings to bypass a healthy relationship, but then I find your just gluing a it together with witchcraft. That can be harder in the end, often turning into something else quickly.


    We don't know each other well enough yet for me to know how you work. I also try not to put to much direct workings in guest areas. However, some of this might helpful.


    For someone not openly communicating. Rose quartz can be good if you work with crystals. I've found it good for stimulating emotional communication. All Heal(Prunella vulgaris) is my plant of choice for getting someone to open up or be more talkative. Without being to controlling. I don't know about where you are but here it will be free, growing as a weed in about a month or so. If you work with animals, crows are often the popular pick for communication work. I also wouldn't over look coyote for that kind of work. They are experts at long range communication and coordination.


    As for staying close at a distance sympathetic work seems the obvious choice. I find the biggest issue with long distance relationships is missing the subtle shifts in emotion and energy. All of those unspoken things there may not be words for. Multiple objects made one and kept in sight in respective bedrooms(where you sleep) can be as good as sitting next to someone. It can also build a well for focused energywork. Two shards of clear quartz(any in a pinch) can be worked into a nice energy bridge. Obsidian also has a way of being everywhere at once so is good for only one side putting the work in. Migrating birds particularly nesting water fowl also tend to be good for this kind of work.


    I hope that helped at all. I tried to focus on stone and energywork. Your post made it seem like that might be a strength for you.

  6. It sounds like you all are looking at good celebration of the holiday.

    HeidiGWOTR that sound enjoyable and appropriate for the season. I hope you have a good trip.


    I think this year is looking is leaning toward the less tangible(?) for me. This year it seems like I'm feeling the holidays less and the spirit of the season more.


    I have plans peppered in from here though the first week in May. Thing started yesterday when the forest provided a sacrificial meal. In the form of a turkey given to a young boy on his first spring hunt. Easter supper is today. A few close families get together yearly. I skipped the last year or two. This year I'll stop in to support my christian folk while they celebrate the season in their way. They have been going the extra mile to support everyone else's customs the past year.


    Then its make something, spring cleaning, learn or get handy at a skill, and a construction project to give new life to the home.

    I'll be doing my yearly rituals. One to give fertility to the mountains and forest. Giving life back, since it gave life to us through the winter. Then one to start enticing those wilderness spirits back to the gardens.

    I also have some workings planed to build more intimacy with those often shy deep wilderness spirits.


    And well if I know the locals there will be plenty of opportunity for sitting around the fire getting to know folks.

  7. Oh damn! I feel for you Mountain Witch. I might've considered moving.

    I had no idea it had caught on like that. I guess to each their own, but I never heard of such a thing. Sugar glitter sounds reasonable. I might need to pocket that for when the little ones get crafting.


    That's a good idea I'd bet Kudzu work real well. It hasn't taken a strong hold up in the northern Appalachians yet. I use yellow dock a lot its tough and I have a whole unused pasture of it I have to cut back constantly. Also herb wast. After hanging a batch of mint, then striping the leaves. I end up with a lot of left over stems. The stems can soaked and woven.


    Wood is another possibility for liquid. A chunk of fallen branch makes a good jar. It just needs hollowed with a knife or drill. It can also be corked.

  8. Mostly I'm commenting here because your mods and I can't click the +1 button. Ravenshaw I think this is a great topic. And you folk have some good ideas. Mountain Witch a wax box is a great idea.


    Before anything else I know I'm out of the main stream, but I don't know anyone using glitter. That sounds horrible to me! I've maintained a ban on glitter since the 90's just because its so hard to get out of the house. Maybe its just me but I find it scary stuff. Is it really that popular right now?


    A lot of my workings involve keeping things cleaned up as best I can. As well as being as self sufficient and economic as possible. So this hits home for me.


    Most things I put in the ground is with the intention of the ground digesting it. I think its a good idea to ask ourselves why it is being buried and if it should last.

    I think the worst thing or longest to break down is metal. Things like barn nails, railroad spikes, horse shoes, and carriage pins. These have been used for some years before I get to them so already rusting away. Mountain Witch wood ash sounds like a great way to speed the process.


    I do liquid in libations so its poured directly in the ground. Grease I bury if I use it for a fat offering for the land. Leaving it for critters can also be a good land offering just the long way round. Then I leave it where they can find it easily and a burdock leaf makes a good offering plate. I also think its best to stay away from putting processed oils in the ground. They can leave oily patches for months.


    I've noticed around here the use of woven baskets have fallen out. I find them real handy to contain thing for spell use before burial. They can also be made from nearly any plant if they only need to last a short time. If not into weaving they are often cheap at thrift stores just watch what they are made from or sprayed with.


    I'm always looking for things to do with clay dug out of the garden. Its rather quick and easy to shape a basic bowl and leave it in the sun to harden. Cut grass can also help hold things together. It can also be caked into the weave of a basket to seal the mesh. Coating it with wax or honey or sap then dried in the sun can hold liquid for a time. It can also be lined with a large leaf.


    You already said about animal skins. I just wanted to throw out there that they are often available for those willing to put in the work. I find the practice of tanning and pickling hides and skin has become unpopular. I don't mind to much because most skins are left near the woods. So it feeds the critters at a tough time of year. However its easiest to take a deer home and hang it to skin it. I find most hunters are more than willing to give them away. Instead of dragging them back out to dump of them. Also they often find the idea of tanning neat but to much work. So they don't think its weird someone would want them.

  9. We are seeing purple dead nettle and buds on all the trees and bushes. Frogs and wasps have been every where to. I'm hoping the dandelion bloom makes it this year. Last year a late hit sent them to seed in a day or two.


    I tend to think its often a good thing for a witch to interact with the community in some way. Going to the topic there are worse ways than weather prediction to start. I know around here every store has folk in line buying seed or thinking about their yard. Everyone's trying to decide what they think it will do and talking about it. I find that's a good way to throw forecasts out there without any pressure or going into were they came from. It can also draw feed back of how others in the area make their predictions.

    I also don't think it has to come into it that someone is a witch. Often how we go about things is best left to others assumptions. So its just a case of careful wording.

  10. I think that is a truly well put and very good defense of your method Nando. I'm glad no offense was taken.


    I think it seem to make things more clear to me. My difficulty here seems to be the difference our perspective and how we work. I figure that's a good place for it. If we all have the same perspective conversation would get old quick.


    As you've described it this would then work well for someone that knows themselves, but is having trouble with focus or staying on track? If that's the case it would be quite useful given that it can be hard to find good ways to advise them. If effective it could be proactive in my view curbing uncertainty before crises. I find that to be a vague area while most methods work best in extremes and absolutes.

    I also want to say I enjoy that you're using this as a tool for them to answer their own question. I agree its often best to be leading rather than lecturing when folk are on shaky ground. However I'm not sure that means answering directly so much as leading them to their own end conclusions.


    With the way that you put it I also think I'm getting why you grouped the virtues as you did. That does make a bit more sense to me now.


    I think were we start to differ in perspective is the of folk being self-defining given the setting. First on the level of someones nature I would be looking for them to describe rather than define. To me definition would happen as a response to the assessment going forward.


    I also find it can take a bit of courage for them to come for advice. This mean they often let things reach what they at least feel is a crises before knocking on my door. This means after getting them to stable ground, determining not only where they should be headed but what is stopping them. I think I see some potential for that here.


    I still have some issues with them answering these questions on their own or at least directly. I think this is just a difference in the way we work. I think I can see how it would work for someone else more clearly now. With me the folks that show up often don't want to know my methods. This mean readings are done in unassuming ways, before they show up, or if it is a good circumstance for it after they have left to be given the next day. So the session(for lack of a better word) starts with someone standing disheveled on my porch. Then they are sat down out by the gardens with water or tea and we have a talk. Reading are then put to use in the conversation. That's actually one thing I really like about this. If I could draw the answers and see how that fits it would be quite useful to me. But if I ask them to answer twenty-four direct questions or pull out a deck of cards on the spot that may spook them or put them off.


    Since you asked to see adaptions to it here is my first thought. I hope you don't mind me using yours. I don't want to risk making it fit by creating an example.


    I'm thinking the mid-virtues may illustrate difficulty or set backs in correlation to the midnight hours. Possibly by way of outward or maybe reverse perspective. Hopefully also pointing to guidance.


    For instance.


    00:00 Autonomy - 12:00 Trustworthiness/honesty/respect. If we see Autonomy as inward in nature or circumstance. Then the difficulty in reaching it may be feelings distrust or disrespect from others. As an out ward view. Say I need my independence to move forward but can't trust others without getting involved. However if the Autonomy seem outward in nature. Say expressed as avoidance. Then it may fallow that the hang up is distrusting, disrespecting, or not being honest with ones self. Something like, I can't grow without sticking to my own opinions but don't respect myself enough to keep it from being colored by popular ideas.


    And so on down the line. Its rough yet and could breakdown easily. But something to play with as a start point for me. As you said those mid-virtues are likely in flux. As they should life gets messy and confused. Your pools of three should fit better. Say 00:00, 01:00, 02:00, correlate to 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, as groups used in the same way. Seems it would paint a better picture that way than one hour at a time.

  11. Yeah Aurelian you've got to watch out for the tricky folk.


    Never can tell. Some folks just seem to have bad relationships with some materials.


    I've also known a very few with something like an allergy to some metals. It'd give them a rash or infection from skin contact. I don't know much about it I think its tagged as a “hypersensitivity” or something on those lines.


    Or maybe its just off putting. My sister even touches Styrofoam it hits her last nerve and makes her skin crawl. No end of fun growing up. A lot of folks can't deal with aluminum foil on their teeth or touching velvet. That's what I would think.

  12. I find the Böögg tradition your talking about very interesting Khundekling. Thank you for posting about it. Its not one I'm familiar with and I look forward to learning more.


    As for your speculations toward the end I'm with you there. Over the past several years I've found folklore and fairy tales from around Russia referring to snowmen or women rather as Baba Yagas. Even describing the coil eyes and teeth, as her iron teeth for eating children and cold dark eyes. Her pale skin, fat body and sticks for spindly arms. Even the carrot(or sometimes turnip or small gourd) as her pointy gnarled nose. The broom has been oddly absent. Maybe just didn't make it to the stories I've found.

    I've spent years looking for more trusted sources than stories filtered though other cultures but haven't found it mentioned. I should also say I haven't found a link to western cultures ether it may have been brought to them later or started independently.

    Over resent months I spent sometime with an old Russian-Slovak witch that without being ask talked about building snow Baba Yagas as a little girl. Then smashing them with rocks or snowballs for fun. I figure that was good enough for me, but obviously isn't proof. I would point out this may have just been good fun in her day, but I think likely did serve as a reminder or warding connected to the threat of cannibalism in a bad winter. Baba Yaga after all does teach the hard lessons.


    To throw my own speculation out there. I find the snow Baba Yaga less mentioned the newer the story. This makes me think it might have been the other way around. That is to say the East Orthodox Church may have tried to drive it out during the transition to Christianity. Sort of the same as their efforts to change the Gods to saints in the old stories. Just a thought. It could have also just faded out with time.


    edit for spelling errors

  13. Thank you for your kindness there Nature Mama.


    I'm glad to hear thing are coming along well for you.


    Personally I find those direct messages can be sort of refreshing. Its nice to interpret things with the confidence of personal relevance. Things can often feel cleaner and more clear to me in those terms. I figure these types things also more commonly come to us on a spiritual level than not. However our traditions have grown us to acknowledge it. Be it a chat with Great-grandma’s ghost or by the pricking of our thumbs.

    I don't know if the rest of you run into this, but when a prediction is personal I find it easy to forget it could effect others. So I find when we pull those threads or think of ourselves more universally or in a communal sense, we find they can be just as relevant to those around us. We might feel/know hard times are coming for us from the weather. Then it maybe a time to hint to a neighbor to put up some extra food. I tend to think its uncommon for the weather to effect me that way and not someone a quarter mile off.


    As for knowing change is coming in a broader sense. Even if I don't know where its going, I find these types of predictions strangely optimistic. Things are always changing in small or major ways. That's weather even if its not wind and rain. I figure if I know how to prepare for it than I'll know how to grow to live with it. The ways to prepare can also lend clues or impressions to anticipate whats to come. But I figure that's not always important. Just knowing a change is coming is reminding or warning me to allow myself to grow with the changing world and passing of time.


    Of course that's just how I've looked at things, I think where familiar to what you are talking about there. But I hope it might be useful to you.

  14. Its good to hear from you and how things are looking by the lake Nature Mama. Like you said lets hope I doesn't get to crazy while things coming around.


    We're still getting wintery nights here, but its melting off in the morning for bright sunny days. The crows have been flocking a week or more, and now robins and red winged black birds are joining them. Yesterday I noticed one or two daffodil trying for it to. They aren't looking so hot, but still have some green. I also noticed some tiny buds starting on the lilac. We don't really expect to see any of that for another month or so.


    I figure what we should see here if this is early spring is that after the next week or so the snow should be isolated events. Then hard frost should become less frequent for about two weeks. Then around the last week or two of April we should be left with thawed ground and just watching for a stray killing frost. Agriculturally speaking that would put us about a month early. Guess we will see.


    Something else I'm curiously looking for are significant spells of drought this summer. Last year as I said was terribly wet. Winter gave significant snow, but a rather shallow frost line and uncharacteristic surface ice. Seems to me that could add up to winter not providing as much ground water as we expect. While making a wet year in the foot hills. I figure it will be up to if the rain can make up the difference. I'll be interested in seeing if it does and maybe should take a look at my irrigation.


    Now those are some good thoughts and points to bring to light about the deer. First to the deer in your yard. Yep, I figure your little deer could be still small from last year, maybe a late birth. Also, could be an early birth if it was small enough. If early it was apparently viable. Meaning to say the doe was able to get the nourishment to grow and feed it. Meaning more vegetation through the winter, or more food stored from fall. I figure in your shoes I might be looking more at them grouping up. That's not strange on the face of it, but if you haven't seen it in your yard before than its new. To me new and odd behavior or events is a great place to be looking for significance, or at least to ask why now.


    That sort of leads into what you said about uncharacteristic breeding habits. I think you had great thoughts and perspective there. I really had to read it a few times and mill it around to respond in a way I hope is reasonable. So let me be clear that I'm trying to add a perspective to your statement not disparage it in and way.

    I find the perspective of your statement very scientific, in its assessment of cause and effect. In science at least for the most part we have to look at previous or seemingly current events as the guiding factor of behavior. That's one of the things that makes it so useful. So it tells us things like the weather patterns an animal is in or was in have determined how it is behaving now. I don't think we should find ourselves at odds with that as a rule. After all we are all operating in and looking at the same world.


    However, when we start adding witchcraft, mysticism, divination, and what have you, to this it starts to broaden things. We can start to look at say the energy in an area, spiritual activity, individual thoughts of an animal, or even the relationship between say the night sky as factors. While they must be absent from a scientific analysis. For instance we might say we have intimate knowledge of the way one dog thinks compared to another. Could be a more relevant example to say sometimes the deer are proactive because of what they know or think is going to happen. The scientific approach must ignore these things because they're not available to any given observer. It also means we can look closer at outliers and odd behavior. While science needs to stick to the typical and expected.


    With that in mind the question about the off season births in deer might be. Is it do to the stresses they have been under or preparation for whats to come? At the moment I would have to say one way or the other could be true, or even a mix. I hope through observation or gaining an intimate knowledge of the animal we may find out. Although that stays second for me to, what does it mean is going to happen? I figure they're entitled to their secrets. I'm more interested in what they are telling me.


    Okay rereading that I think I may have been over explaining myself. So, let me say I was just trying to be clear, not schooling anyone. If anything that was the other way round. I think my perspective may've been straying to far the there way. I appreciate you helping to level it a bit.

  15. Hello VedgeWitch


    I don't know if this is what your looking for, but it's what came to mind reading your post.


    I've found that some traditions warn against using specific tools of divination for reading ones self. I can speak best to my local tradition that includes most forms of card divination. They says it would be inaccurate or even dangerous. While on the other hand tools like pendulums say are commonly used for this.


    When I was growing up I figured it was just a taboo or superstition. One of those things to stop someone that knows just enough to hurt themselves. Particularly as it didn't seem to apply to those with enough experience with divination. That didn't stop difficulty or corruption of the work when experimenting with it. After learning from mentors from other traditions and studying divination in ancient civilizations I'm thinking it was more than taboo.


    Seems to me, at least around here it had more to do with fundamentals of the methods. Things like abundant use of cards in spells, the way we traditionally learn to use them, and the common interactions in spiritwork, seem to come into play.


    I suppose what I'm saying is that I find folks from two different traditions can sit down with there cards and get the same reading, or close enough. While fundamentally getting there by different methods.


    So it could be taking another look at your fundamental methods might help. That is determining your process and why it should or shouldn't work in a given case.


    I'm not sure it will be helpful to you, but it did help me get my head around things.

  16. Hello Nando


    I want to make it quite clear that my criticism here should be taken entirely as constructive thoughts, and not neigh saying. Also that this is a knee jerk reaction to the method having just read it and not yet given it the attention it deserves. Let me be the first to say, I could be dead wrong.


    My concern with this method is in over simplification mostly of the reality and effects of these “virtues” on the individual. I would think some form of bridging particularly in the effects of noon to 8pm on the sleeping hours may hold useful weight.


    I also see what may be over generalization in the categories of the “virtues”. As experiences seems to make these factors grow more complex. Things like the shifting focus of want, need, and respect, sharpen the categories. Till they seem like they spread. This isn't to say they don't keep to a strong relationship. However the relationship between things like Justice and fairness can start taking a longer rout. Say the kind that lead to those moment then things don't quite sit right but fair is fair.


    Thinking on these points. Along with the type of folk that come to me needing this kind of reading. That often don't know themselves well enough to answer effectively. Makes me think this might be greatly more useful in assessing others, than ones self. That is to say it seems tailoring the questions by way of impression or divination may hit closer to home.


    Again, I don't want you to think I'm at all putting you or your method down here. This is just some food for thought and conversation. I do wonder if this is your invention or one you've picked up somewhere? Not that it make any difference. You've obviously found something that keeps popping up in your work and a general tool to help handle it. I think there's quite a lot to be said for that. I also enjoy the cycle of the day application. I think it really dose help with perspective here and correlates well. When so much of the time those analogies come out arbitrary.

    I can also see how over time this tool has room to grow and sharpen to be quite versatile and effective in other types of readings. I like it when a tool leaves room to grow my skill with it. Rather than just peaking when I get the hang of it.


    Over all I'd say, well done.

    • Upvote 1

  17. Hello folks, I would have liked to get here sooner, but I'm afraid my attentions been elsewhere. I hope you all in the winter have been fairing well enough to enjoy it.


    I've just now realize something, in part from glancing over our past conversations. For me this winter's been the other side of the coin for weather prediction from the summer. By that I mean short rang prediction has been more difficulty than long. It seems like the coming month, spring even glimpses of summer are more clear than what will happen tonight. Although despite a sunny day, I'm guessing light snow and wind like the last two nights.


    Well anyway, it looks like Punxsutawney Phil(The groundhog) is tells us it will be an early spring. That's a bit hard to see at the moment as here, and in Punxy for that matter, there is still plenty of ice and snow on the ground. Also four days ago we had a rather nasty ice storm. It should also be said that the meteorologists I've checked disagree with him. Although I haven't seen their reasoning yet to know if that's their real forecast, or semantics and misunderstanding on their part. Could go ether way.


    All that said, I'm seeing that my divination work like others I've talked to in the area (a handful of farmers, witches, and such) are also seeing early spring. For me this was at first one of those times that my Spiritwork had to rely on blind faith. Mostly due to January being pretty mild and early February looking a lot like the worst weather we'd expect in January. Logic said we where a month behind and it might drag out.


    This lead me to looking back over my journal and take more note of the state of things. I did see that my journal had few small notes about signs of early spring from last spring and summer. I think most seemed related to balance. Such as plants blooming and dieing off quickly that could mean disaster for them to reestablish without an early spring or mild winter. This is not a great indicator around here. Its pretty common for a particular plant population to effectively disappear for a few years. Till birds, deer and coyote bring them back with them from their adventures. I also notice that by Autumn I didn't take notice of any more signs of early spring. At least not till resent weeks.


    Despite the weather the birds became more active. For a direct sign a flock of geese flew over the house headed north east toward Lake Erie. This however was accompanied by a barn owl taking great risk to hunt through the day. She was even trying to bully a small hawk for territory. Telling us the worst was not over. Or maybe something more like, “keep your wits about you for dangerous times ahead”. As it happens it could have been talking about winter not being done coming in waves, a late isolated frost, or directly about a vicious wind rain and ice storm a week or so later that took utilities and communications away for a few days.


    For a final thought here that gos back to learning new or forgotten signs to read. There was an observation made throughout last year and into this one. Although I don't have a lot of confidence yet reading it my self. This had to do with odd behavior from the deer. From observations in the area spotted fawns where seen with there mothers all year. It started around March nothing odd about that however it has persisted to this week. This seemed especially odd given the flood conditions damaging trees and vegetation through the year. Often in a swampy year birth rates are low. Now there are always some off season births, but to my knowledge never so consistent or abundant in my life time.

    By summer's end I had considered a growth problem. Figuring maybe the fawns had not matured. Although not definitive I've been convinced otherwise by finding a freshly dead fawn not more than a few week old last month. Well, that along with odd behavior in the bucks. They had the rut like normal, but before and after they passively followed the doe around. As if they thought the off chance might present its self. But not expecting it to or showing any sign of aggression, even to each other.

    At first I took this along with other signs to mean a winter that would come in waves from mild to hard. This held true, however now and in a stray journal entry in late summer, I figure it could point to early spring. More likely even both.


    Well I suppose. I'm out of time, but I hope to talk more on all this later. If anyone’s interested.

    If anyone would like to share how their weather predictions has been going I'd like to hear about it.

    Also, if anyone has thoughts, references, or insight about how uncharacteristic mating patters could come into play I for one could use more ideas about it.

  18. Most of my catnip needs are medicinal and for that I'm with Onyx with the hanging baskets. Like Mountain Witch and Aurelian said I've found it an easy starter from seed and in a spot it likes healthy plants and propagation has taken care of it's self when some gets to go to seed.


    I don't mind cats but I also don't intentionally keep them, and for the most part neither do the neighbors. The cats we encounter here are abandoned or more often several generation feral. This has lead me to planting catnip and cat grass as a deterrent. I keep some near the barn, the corn, and other places I'd like to keep down the rodent or bird population. I tend to take the approach of planting enough to share with the wild life and it seems to have been effective. It holds back infestation and pushes the often greedy rats to more sustainable food like the wild buckwheat.

    Attracting them away from where I don't want them also helps. It keeps the cats fed on rodents and snakes instead of chicken and pheasant. As well as keeping them away from plants and such I don't want them to get into. Besides its kind of enjoyable to watch them run about and talk to them while I'm over there working.


    Anyway don't know if any of that will be helpful to anyone, I just thought I'd throw my two cents out there and say hello to you folks.

  19. Onyx I'm always interested in our relationships with animals. Particularly in how they relate with us. Gift giving and the motives and meanings behind it being a big part of that. If you'd care to check it out, I seem to remember having a conversation about ways hummingbirds relate in divination in the Animal Divination topic in this area of the site.

  20. I think it safe calling it that way Onyx. Swallows have shown up carrying or delivering the spirits of the dead in what seems to be quite wide spread folklore. Also as messengers between the living and the dead.

    What's interesting me at the moment is how this seems to go along with house/ancestor spirits in local lore and folklore in parts of Europe. The swallow nesting on the house or in the barn is good luck. They're said to help protect the animals in the barn from spirits like the mare terrorizing them in the night. This is also behavior of a few common roles of house spirits. As I said above its also bad luck to kill or drive off swallow once they've nested. I imagine this in part gos to them carrying some of the dead to the afterlife. However it also has been said you may be unintentionally banishing an ancestor or spirit bring a message.

    So then if we hold with all this we could say they also have the nature of conduits or mediums of a sort as well. Enabling pathways from their nesting location to spirits connected to the same location. It may hold up or not, but I find them a pleasant critter so worthwhile to look into further.


    I also found this one just to throw it out there. When the swallow’s nest is high, the summer is very dry. When the swallow buildeth low, you can safely reap and sow.


    That sounds like a rather clever cat. The barn cat would chase around the hummingbirds but seldom got one. I am a little surprised its not eating them. Are they leaving them for you, or just letting them lie after they had there fun?


    You know I sure haven't found much yet with hummingbirds and the weather. The only thing to come to mind was some American tribal folk's belief they could advocate for them to end a drought.

  21. Well Onyx, off the top of my head. Goose feathers alone are good luck. Particularly for travel and weather. If you take a goose feather or part of a goose feather(The tip was popular) and dip it in a rain puddle reflecting the sun. Then tie it to your boot, put it in your shoe, or on your hat. It will provide good luck, protection, and good travels.


    It seem to me this is a folk charm from around the 1800's in the northern and middle Appalachians. I haven't seen it before that or any wider spread. I'm pretty sure it is a later version of a more involved weather charm from somewhere around 100 or so years before that. Maybe older or later version.

    You kind of got me moved to get my notes written up to something more readable. I'll see if there is anything handy in there or in further research, and make a note of it.


    My research it starting to move from general folklore to more obscure books. This hopefully means what I find will be deeper and more interesting, but its likely to be less abundant. So the bulk of my research is moving to tracking origins, philosophies, and deeper meanings of the signs I've found.

    One I'm enjoying is Onyx's Swallows acting as a conduit or messenger for the dead. This gives some focus to the idea of the Barn Swallow aiding house/ancestor spirits in protecting the barn. Particularly from enemy spirits that rile up the animals in the night. This makes it bad luck to kill one or drive them off. You might be banishing an ancestor that came to give you a hand. It also can give new direction to working with them, and through them our ancestor. This could give more insight to figuring out the weather.

  22. It was a real nice tradition Onyx. One I had almost forgotten. Till I stumbled onto it in a book not long ago and my sister and I got to reminiscing. When we were kids after thanksgiving or harvest diner everyone would be lay around. While Grandpa held the keel up to the lamp and told us about the winter ahead. It was almost as exiting as the wish bone.

    By that time snow was typically flying but it was still useful for the hunters and thinking about the next years planting. You know I think the only reason the tradition's slipping away is the popularity of turkey. I may need to start eating more goose.


    I've always found goose feathers and bones useful in weather related charms and spells as well.

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