This Blog has become a forum for a number of serious Pagan women to post and create. Our object is to provide a voice.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Praise the Lord ... When it is Convenient



The Religious Right's Pro-life-Brigade is on the streets teaching us all moral principles. Of course, the serial adulterer, sexual assaulter,  lair, bigot, white supremacists supporter they helped put in the White House doesn't bother them at all. It's about moral authority - forfeited in 2016. Piety begins at home.
I have no objection to people who hold Pro-life views conscientiously. One of my dearest and most beloved friends is Pro-life. What I object to is hypocrisy. What I object to is the idea that the theory of life that is held by one faith is incumbent upon those who don't follow that faith. To wit: as a Pagan woman, I do not believe that life begins at conception.  According to my religious world view the soul or spirit chooses its incarnation before birth, selecting and entering the vehicle of that incarnation at the time of birth. However, my religious views do not hold parity with the views of the people on the streets. Pagans are not to enjoy the same religious liberty as the "Christians" roaming the byways of our nation's capitol today.
I make no apology for the anger I feel this morning. It was just a few centuries ago that the ancestors of these Pro-lifers ran my grandmothers to ground; drowning, hanging and putting them to the stake. For faith, maybe; for power more like. The power to control other people's lives and destiny - not to mention property and wealth. The same drive for power sent these mighty-righteous hypocrites to the polls to vote for one of the most profane men to ever sit in the Oval Office.
Pardon my cynicism, but perhaps this joint circle jerk between the paunchy and the pious is really nothing more then a mutual power grab. After all, one can't help but wonder how many abortions "their" president paid for in his womanizing days when he was hiding between the sheets of super models from the War in Viet Nam? When exactly did this greedy, avaricious, son of Mammon find God?
To all those Lifers roaming the streets of D.C. today I say, get you ass home and see to your own moral values. You are not invited to shove your God down my throat while wallowing in the Devil's bed.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Rose by Barbara Carvallo

The Dark Lady

When planning a new rose garden or caring for an existing garden it is best to know what kind of rose you need or have in order to design or prune effectively. For example, when dealing with miniature roses there are some that grow to be moderately tall and wide while still retaining the small leaf and bloom that is characteristic of the miniature. This rose is probably not what you want for a border, but a stunning bed can be created from the larger varieties of miniature roses which tend to be very hardy and disease resistant.

Roses are identified like any other plant by leaf, stem, bloom, stature and structure. This article concerns itself with the most common varieties and a description of each.

To begin with all rose leaves are alternate, pinnately compound with serrated edges. Each rose leaf contains 3, 5 or 7 leaflets. The most common is 5 in the modern rose. The leaflets are sharp toothed and oval. Many leaflets have a prickly underside. The new leaf growth of some roses is purple, some crimson and some pale green. Stems are rounded and generally have thorns; although, there are roses that do not have thorns.

There is a variety of bloom types from the high-centered beauty associated with the hybrid tea to the large, peony-like English rose. The basic structure of the rose bloom is flat with a single layer of 5 petals. There is one rose that has 4 petals. 'Rosa sericea,' or the silky rose, is an old China rose that is native to Southwestern China. Other bloom types are: cupped – deep, shallow and open; quartered; globular; rosette and pompon.  An excellent pictorial essay of the various types can be found at the National Garden Association website at https://garden.org/ideas/view/Calif_Sue/1187/An-Explanation-of-Rose-Shapes-and-Types/.

Stature and Structure:

At the outset it is worth noting the exquisite artistry of the rose. Without fail if the leaf is small the blooms, stems and thorns are small as well. The balance and symmetry of the rose is impeccable.

Hybrid Tea – grows 3-5 feet in height, 2-3 feet wide and upright. A repeat bloomer it usually produces one bloom per stem. Occasionally one large bloom surrounded by two or more smaller blooms is seen. The bloom is around 5-5 ½ inches wide, high-center and unfolds in a symmetrical fashion. This rose is known for being high maintenance.

Floribunda – grows between 2-4 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Cultivars 5 feet tall have been developed. It is a very reliable repeat bloomer throughout the season with clusters of 5-8 blooms per stem. Rarely a stem will support a single bloom. Blooms are generally smaller than the hybrid tea 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches across. Bloom type varies.

Grandiflora – is a cross between the hybrid tea and the floribunda.  Blooms appear in clusters or individually atop stems that are longer than the floribunda but not as long as the hybrid tea. Grandiflora rose bushes are often taller than the hybrid tea, but not as wide as the floribunda. Roses can be very large and showy. Bloom type varies.

Both the floribunda and the grandiflora are lower maintenance then the hybrid tea and are often recommended to first time growers providing they have the space.

Miniature – is usually between 12 and 18 inches high, some are as tall as 36 inches and the climbing miniature can reach a height of over 4 feet. The smallest of these roses can be less than 6 inches. Blooms are often 1-2 inches or less across, and bloom types vary. They are available as hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora and climbers. Most are repeat bloomers. The newest of the miniatures roses is the Miniflora. Larger than the standard miniatures in bloom, foliage and bush size this rose has extremely vigorous growth habits.

Climber – does not climb, it has no tentacles with which to grasp. The climbing rose simply has incredibly robust growth habits allowing it to scale a wall, wonder through a trellis or flow over a patio. The rambling rose, one of many varieties of climbers, is a spreading rose with very flexible canes and small blooms held in sprays of up to 20 per stem. Ramblers will flower profusely once in the spring. Other climbers with larger blooms and more upright habits may show out lavishly during the spring and only intermittently the rest of the season. There are climbers known as Climbing Sports of the hybrid tea and floribunda roses. These are genetically altered forms of existing roses, for instance, the Climbing Peace Rose. Sports are not recommended in Colorado due to the fact that they bloom on year-old wood. Our winters may limit the survival of that wood. Climbers produce varying bloom types.

Shrub – range from compact bushes around 3 feet tall to plants that are over 8 feet high and very wide. There are also ground covering shrub varieties. Some bloom abundantly only in the spring; others are prolific all season. They are easy to care for and very hardy. Often their fall hips present with lush red, orange and bronze color, adding beauty to the garden throughout the winter. Some shrubs have large blooms and foliage, some are smaller. Bloom types vary. The shrub is a wonderful rose for a beginner, providing the rose is chosen with care and planted with an eye to space and light.

Austin/English – From England these beauties are hybridized by David Austin and do very well in our climate. The rose varieties range from wide and dense to lovely rounded bushes, and stately pillars. While Austin creates miniature roses, floribundas, grandifloras and hybrid teas, he is renowned for his large shrub roses two of which are ‘The Dark Lady’ and ‘Abraham Darby.’ While a great many of his roses display the peony-like English rose blooms that are very big and astonishing elegant, other bloom types are available.
In addition to the roses discussed in this article there are many others: the species and hybrid species; Moss; Portland; China; Old Garden; Buck; Bourbon; Alba; Damask; Centifolia (cabbage roses); Canadian; Hybrid Gallica and Polyantha. The discerning Rosarian tries to have as many varieties of roses in their garden as space and finances allow.
Featured here are:

‘The Dark Lady’ – Austin Shrub, English Rose bloom type
‘Neon Cowboy’ – Miniature Shrub, Flat bloom type
'Neptune' - Hybrid Tea, High Centered bloom type
‘Betty Boop’ – Floribunda, Flat, Semi-double bloom type
'Ispahan' - Antique Climber, Rosette bloom type



Neon Cowboy


Neptune

Betty Boop

Ispahan

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sweet Saffron by Barbara Carvallo

At the end of the gardening season the domesticated fall blooming crocus (Crocus sativus) comes out to show. They are believed to be descendant from the eastern Mediterranean Crocus cartwrightianus, also known as “wild saffron” and originating in Greece or Crete. Inside the lovely blooms three stigma or threads bear the rare spice Saffron.  At one point in antiquity Saffron was considered currency and was a valuable pigment used by artists.  Cleopatra put it in her bath as scent it is said.
Today one would need to plant approximately 80,000 flowers to obtain a pound of Saffron, commonly known as red gold, selling for between 500 and 5,000 US dollars per pound. 

If you have fall blooming crocus and are thinking of harvesting some Saffron make sure that you can identify true Crocus sativus.  Other fall crocuses like Colchicum Autumnal (Meadow Saffron) are not edible and indeed have toxic properties, particularly for dogs.  Also very beautiful the Colchicum blooms contain three clusters of stigma, yellow gold in color. 

Aesthetically, the type of crocus hardly matters when one sees the sweet blossoms laid out on autumn’s canvas in light and shadow. They are a delight for the eye as winter comes on.





Photos of Saffron Crocus courtesy of High Country Gardens







Photos of Meadow Saffron Crocus by Barbara Carvallo

Thursday, September 28, 2017

LZ by Peno Hardesty


come nina
close your eyes
the ocean is before you
there the beautiful fruit trees
hear the click clack on the cobblestone streets of old san juan
abuela cooks the rice
the dogs bark
the goat needs milking
music from the cafe
checkers
poems
stories
family
feel nina
feel the breeze as it tickles your nose
it is the island
you are of the island
the island is in you
in your blood
in your dna
breathe nina
breathe
breathe for those who struggle
you are
the future
the hope
you are the life
you are
the healer
old ma p loves you baby lz

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

After the Storm in the Rabbit Hole by Peno Hardesty


I WAS BIRTHED ON THE ROCKS OF THE GREAT SOUTHWEST
RAISED BY THE MIGHTY ATLANTIC OCEAN
I KNOW THE POWER OF THE NOR EASTER
I HAVE SEEN THE HOPE OF THE SUNRISE OVER THE MESA
THE SUNRISE OVER THE MESA
AND FELT THE EVERGLADES PULSE BEATS STRONG
I HAVE MADE LOVE TO THE GHOSTS IN NEW ORLEANS
AND CLIMBED TO THE CROWN OF OUR LADY OF THE HARBOUR
I KNOW THE POWER OF THE WAVES
AND THE THIRST OF THE DESERT SUN
WHAT I DON'T KNOW IS WHO I AM ANYMORE
THIS STORM HAS CHANGED ME
THIS STORM
NO ORDINARY STORM
THIS STORM HAS CHANGED ME
today i found a rock and a feather-----healing blessings------today i pray for the islands-----today i give thanks for life---today i remembered the storm-----like remembering a long ago tap routine ---did it really happen-----did i really remember all the steps-----or am i just the observer---the storyteller----or is it maria---and act two ----my god could there be a third act?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Bitter Harvest by Barbara Carvallo

On the Pagan calendar Mabon is the second great harvest at the end of the year.  Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first, and Samhain – Halloween to the uninitiated – is the last.  As Samhain is our New Year, Mabon is our celebration of the Fall Equinox.

The Equinox occurs this year on the 21st of September, and on that day light and dark will hold equal sway over the Earth. Accordingly, Mabon is a celebration of balance. Witches value balance in the practice of our Craft.  Just as Jung valued balance in the health of the psyche.  He spoke of the Mysterium Coniunctionis , the alchemy of opposites joining in a union of balance. We who stand at the Cauldron on Mabon will honor the Mysterium and the transformation its alchemy brings. We will bid farewell to the long days of light and welcome the restful darkness.  We will prepare the garden of our soul for a planting to be harvested next Mabon. First, we must harvest that which we planted last year.

The crop that I will harvest this year is bitter, full of rage and pain. The seeds I planted last year have yielded a crop of fury at those whom I oppose. I cannot bear to look at them, much less talk to them. This, dear Goddess, is my failing.

As I light the candles on my altar this Mabon I will ask Hecate with each flickering flame to help me select better seeds. Come spring I will plant them carefully in my heart, and water them with the blood of my faith in the hope of harvesting a crop of greater enlightenment next year. 

Regardless of the harvest there is always a immense lesson to learn, as it is the alchemy and the transformation that create my path to consciousness. To understand my path I must be good a gardener – diligently watching the light, the air, the Earth, the wind and the creatures Goddess sends to help me. So, I watched the butterflies today clustering in unusual numbers on my Agastache, dancing over my roses and sampling the herbs in my flowering pots. I realized that these lovely creatures are the Goddess’ symbol of transformation.  From egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to the Painted Lady waltzing in the sunlight just beyond the reach of my hose, the butterfly embodies the circle of transformation that is life. This, I believe, is the message Goddess sends me on the wings of the gentle butterfly – transform, adapt and be ready for the next thing because no nightmare lasts forever. We must all be ready.

May I wish you, my friends, an abundant and golden autumn, a warm and restful winter in which to select the seeds that you will plant in spring and nurture through the long days of light for harvest next Mabon. May you harvest joy, understanding, kindness and peace with every seed. Blessed Be.














Friday, September 8, 2017

ANGEL IN THE RABBIT HOLE by Peno Hardesty



i don't believe in angels or heaven or hell---i was getting something out of the car---
excuse me--do you have water?
yes---i can give you a gallon
he was older---riding a bicycle---pulling a homemade trailer
oh no no---do you need water? someone brought me six gallons i only need two so i thought i would see
if anyone needed some
after days of watching folk hoard water and batteries i started to cry--then i found myself sobbing
he pushed his to the gate
are you ok? are you scared?
no sir-----gracias kind sir
we hugged
he would not take a gallon of water from me but he left me these words that i share
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE PURE LOVE OF THE LONELY
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE PURE LOVE OF THE UNWANTED
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE PURE LOVE OF THE LOST
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT HUMANITY THAT IS BEAUTIFUL
he said he lived up the road although i have never seen him before--
there is something about........
blessings

With a hurricane roaring toward her home Peno finds love and shares her profound wisdom. She is a treasure to all who know her.