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

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Last of the Blooms by Barbara Carvallo

The leaves have been falling for the better part of two weeks now - waxy yellow turning dry and brown quickly in the heat. The last of the blooms are out to show and lovely.

Good Sun's Day Morning Good People by Jackie B. Steele

Drawing Down the Moon, blessings ceremony has me kept me up when most are at rest.
a cloud base has the Moon light diffused, and aglow most of the night. 
Humid, spirit fog in the Between time, when the Wolves, Coyotes, fox & Owls, sing & fly, Crickets chirp. 
have to put out drip lines myself soon, & travel to town to fetch supplies for projects when town starts to stir. 
So i whisper good Sun's day Morning good people...
may as well sip coffee, too late to retire, i will siesta later.
Much Love

Thursday, August 27, 2015

BASKET MEDICINE by Verda Smedley

All of my ethnobotanical essays are about expanding our perception back to what it once was. Our greatest loss has been compartmentalized thinking, that bugaboo that has rendered us incapable of perceiving the spirit in seemingly mundane things. Our ancestors were holistic thinkers and viewed the world as unified, tangible spirit, a world so fractured now that it is no great surprise that the visible fragments left to us are thought to be nothing more than quaint folklore and superstition. My life’s work has been about gathering up the fragments, piecing them back together, and plugging the holes. In order to see the world holistically requires knowledge, tons and tons of knowledge. And not until that knowledge has been gathered into a complete collection can we take the leap into esoteric holism and its profoundly complex mystery.
All magic comes from the natural world. Let me repeat that. All magic comes from the natural world. And if you are not a walking, talking encyclopedia of that world, you are not a magician, let alone a master magician. Our ancestors were quintessential magic makers who could alter reality, travel across time, and handle spirits. Spirit is in everything, every plant, animal, stone, water drop, everything. Spirit pervades every layer of our planet. We can interact with it, entreat it for wisdom, solicit its help, or run it off if it’s making trouble. Spirit is an intrinsic part of our world, like the air that we breathe, and it speaks only the truth. Our ancestors heard every word, felt every nuance, and perceived its presence in all things, including baskets.
Basket Medicine is one of the most complex I came across. It wed the maker’s knowledge of the natural world to the sacredness of life. The maker knew precisely which plant yielded the best basket for whatever purpose could be imagined. Baskets were woven to gather, transport, prepare, and store food. The specific need determined the fiber, where it could be found, what season offered optimum harvest, and the pattern by which the basket should be woven. And often that need was medicine for ritual. Baskets, woven medicine bags, ceremonial hats, and mats were required in many rituals and spirit handlers knew that only someone with Basket Medicine could make them. And it should be mentioned that these spirit handlers didn’t dictate to the maker what fiber and configuration should be used. Basket making was saturated with profound, mystical, and often secret knowledge known only to the maker. A ritual basket was a masterpiece of spirit and magic, based not only on esotery but an astute knowledge of the natural world.
Basket making is a traditional women’s art form, but most anyone who works with their hands knows something of this medicine. Once a handwork technique is learned and the artist becomes proficient, the process becomes a form of meditation. Internal dialogue ceases and time no longer exists. When that state is achieved intent and purpose direct the flow. The article becomes saturated with the maker’s prayers, bringing that spirit and blessing to either her home or the ritual. Someone with Basket Medicine would select the appropriate plant, and know what configuration and prayers to make to suit the intent of that ritual. And with all handwork no matter what its destination the artist always took measures to free her own spirit from the article once it was completed. Some accomplished this with washes. There is another example found in traditional baskets and embroidery where the artist put in what appears to be a stray thread or fiber that runs from the final stitch to the outer edge of the article. You might have even seen this and wondered what the heck it was. These threads and fibers look suspiciously like mistakes.
With this essay I am going to introduce more than four dozen species indigenous to the UK that could be rendered into baskets and related woven articles. It includes fibers, dyes, and so forth. But trust me you are going to have homework. The spiritual and ritual properties of each species are found in The Compendium for Spirit Handling  and the entries are too lengthy to repeat. For you to truly understand the inherent spirit of a plant that comes to abide in a basket you are going to have to study the appropriate Compendium entry. Ninety-nine percent of the work has been done for you but it’s up to you to do the learning. This essay, like many others, is loosely organized by habitat. If you need to review how each of these habitats is defined please re-visit  The Delicate Dance of Balance. And note that there is a link to a full bibliography on my website menu.
I would also encourage to you visit several other sites. Burke Museum ( has tremendous illustrations of the many ways by which baskets, mats, and ceremonial hats are constructed. The site is so comprehensive it allows me to limit my essay just to species of plants. Another site, has really nice lessons for making coiled baskets. And provides excellent explanations and illustrations of imbrication in basket construction. Please visit these sources before reading about the plants included here.  For ease of understanding the rest of this essay please allow me to define several terms: the warp in a basket is the fixed frame or structure, while the weft (also called the woof) are the fibers carried back and forth or around and around, across the fixed warp or structure.
[Acidic Woods and Mountains]
Betula: bark for baskets and trays
Cornus: (process unknown)
Lonicera: (process unknown)
Luzula: (process unknown)
Pinus: young bark, roots, needles, sprouts for coiled baskets
Quercus: split wood for baskets; branches used to make rims for twined baskets; shoots split into strands and woven
Salix: stems used to rim Betula bark baskets, split for coiled baskets, used as weft in twined baskets; un-split stems used as warp in twined baskets;  young shoots, supple twigs (withes), roots woven into baskets; small green branches split, peeled, twisted, dried and used for sewing coiled baskets
Viscum: (process unknown)
[Acidic Moors and Bogs]
Typha: flower stalks split and dried for baskets; leaves for baskets
Corallorhiza: (process unknown)
Juncus: stems split for coiled baskets and split even further for finely woven baskets
Scirpus: stems for baskets, lids, handles, heavy hoop rim for conical baskets; split and twisted into weft and warp cords
Pteridium: root wood ponded to remove bark then split and used to make coiled black baskets; midrib of fronds for baskets
Scheuchzeria: (process unknown)
Sarothamus: bark removed from stems by soaking before being woven into basket
[Alkaline Woods and Mountains]
Acer: warp for baskets; shoots for open work baskets; inner bark and shoots for mats; wood for baby basket frames; sapling swings for babies
Alnus: roots and stems
Corylus: stems for warp in grass baskets and coiled baskets; switches for large burden baskets; slender twigs for sieve baskets; used to make baby carrying baskets
Fraxinus: logs beaten with mauls to separate growth layers, cut into strips, and woven; used as warp in other baskets; large twigs woven into baskets
Juniperus: bark for mats; large twigs for baskets; root fiber for twined baskets
Populus: young shoots peeled and split; roots; bark for storage containers
Prunus: bark used to imbricate Juniperus root baskets; split bark for bags
Taxus: roots woven into baskets; waft in twine baskets
Tilia: split into thread for sewing Betula bark baskets; woven into mats; bark of young trees peeled off, coiled, and boiled to weave baskets
Ulmus: bark boiled for baskets
Viburnum: stems used as rims for Betula bark baskets
[Alkaline Fens and Marshy Meadows]
Equisetum: roots to imbricate baskets; roots woven into bags
Petasites: leaves used to make conical baskets
Phalaris: used to make eating mats and mats for drying roots and berries
Phragmites: stems used for mats; stems to imbricate baskets
Urtica: fiber used to make baskets, slings, bags; twined into finely woven sacks for carrying acorns and seeds; outer rind twisted into two-ply cord and used for sewing Typha mats and baskets
[Alkaline Grasslands]
Anthoraxathum: for baskets
Avena: for mats
Carex: leaves and roots split for finer work; rubbed to soften for inner soles of moccasins; woven into spoons, baskets, mats, hats; roots for strong baskets and basket handles
Cynosurus: woven into baskets and mats; also used for thatch
Phyllospadix: sun-bleached leaves dried and split for baskets
Iris: leaves for baskets and mats
Rosa: stems for basket rims; heavy wood split for cradle hoops
Solidago: stems woven into coarse baskets
[The Acidic Range]
Quercus: acorn cups soaked in iron water for black; root bark boiled for red
Rumex: ponded dry root rendered into orange, red, gold, and brown; flowers boiled with rushes for yellow
[Alkaline Range]
Alnus: infusion of bark applied to darken Betula bark baskets; bark for red dye for Juniperus baskets; also rendered into red, orange, and brown for other baskets
Carex: roots for black
Iris: flower petals used to dye grass baskets
Juniperus: bark used to dye strips dark red for mats
Ranunculus: entire plant boiled with rushes or iris to dye them yellow
Sambucus: berry juice for black and purple; stems for red and yellow
Suaeda: plant boiled for black to dye mats
Agrimonia: infusion of roots and flowers
Epilobium: infusion of plant
Galium: cold infusion of roots
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: mashed berries rubbed inside coiled baskets
Pinus: resin applied to outside of woven willow jugs
Cornus: bark
Scirpus: root buried in mud and ash for black; root stock core
Erigeron: flowers
Prunus: flowers
Acer: leaves
Taxus: wood carved into needles and mat making needles

Monday, August 24, 2015


the depression always arrives in October--no specific date just in October---I startled myself--since this is only august--as I found myself turning into a familiar parking lot---the one with the hair salon and thrift store next to the fake pizza place near the health food store---no advertisement on the door---just the buzzer-- I buzzed---it opened---I walked in ---"you too peno?"

ok so it is not really depression--more like anxiety--but not like the panic attacks===-sort of--- it is---it is---it is above my pay scale---can you help?
talk to me peno

I used to be ok--alright I was never ok but I was ok----not so much anymore----I can no longer deal with all the negativity---it has become physical-when I am around all the negativity i feel as though I have no control-I cannot eat---barely drink---feel weak and......--i went to the doctor and he said -the blood work was ok told me to drink protein shakes---and get a job where I am not working with the public---then he laughed and said I need to keep up therapy and trust my instincts---he did not even mention my smoking
can you come back next week

i guess

I am having the same experiences and so are many others---I need to consult---and then maybe we can all help each other-----

somehow when I left I felt better----

we are not alone----we are not alone and because of that we are blessed

pop tarts and chocolate help................................

many blessings to all

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I am Very Grateful by Jackie B. Steele

Good Moon-Day, People of good intentions,
I hope you are well, content, peaceful & know that you ARE love, & loved.
Yes, the Hummingbirds must be migrating from the far north, i had dozens so far this morning, i thought of that line from "Jaws" "yer gonna need a bigger boat" when i saw the dozens waiting and chasing each other for a place on the perch. so from the feeder parts stash, i dug out & put together three more feeders. They empty 5-6 daily, and a few of them twice. 

Wild Rice harvest has also begun in MN, a little Early, Wild Rice is akin to water reed/grass seeds from our lakes. This is a wonderful rice, no gluten...woody taste, yummmm, an autumnal ceremony and winter food for all.

Apples & pears are ripening, as are Rose hips, melons, pumpkins, peppers, green beans, some squash.... oh blessings indeed. & we share many pounds of produce with the food shelf........miigwetch

A fresh Northwest wind, partnered with some rain graced the land & we are cooler by 20 degrees, We will get hot again towards the State Fair. But I am enjoying the respite & lower dew points. We went from 100 to 70's Fahrenheit. ( *"" America said fuck your metric system"** - Wanda Sykessmile emoticon we were too dummied down to change... 

A Nice breeze flows through. Chi - Miigwetch..

The Sumac is starting to turn Red, some, may be heat stress, but like our beautiful world & the song, the season is starting to turn, turn, turn...

Dancing around our Sun-star. "Circling around.... with my tail feathers flying..."

Virgil brought home from the Far North Shore of Lake Superior, where his family lives, fresh smoked Salmon, whitefish, and heirloom Garden Maize. i feel the blessings of the Sky, rains, & Earth, and i am very grateful.

This bounty will be snacks & dinner for a few days & nights. accompanied by Cucumber salad & garden fresh Cantaloupe for dessert from our yard.

Lucky, (my fat cat) & i sampled the smoked whitefish, almost as good as my families from Mille Lacs Lake. Thank you to the Fish, the waters, plant people, spirits, the Earth, those seen & unseen who gather, who prepare & Virgil.

I know these updates are simple, but i live there, & have been told to write what you know. - I Love you.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ancestral Airs by Verda Smedley

Our sister Verda has a book, which I know is as beautifully spiritual as she.  Here is the link.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

... Some of Us Are Her Midwifes by Jackie B. Steele

Good Morning People of good intentions,
Drought & Fires to the North, and West, Floods to the South, I have worried for I have Loved ones in both areas, & love the animals.
Lumping hoses around has me busy & sore, yet grateful for some rains, that have graced this place, and that our well is still good. 
Precious waters.... A sweet balance that has been changed, Our Mother will eventually cleanse and heal, some of us are her midwifes.
I am refilling Hummingbird feeders, many of them daily. I feel & can see migrating wildlife is adapting and leaving the smoke & fires of the far North early.
Opened the windows wide to listen in last night, Coyotes howl, some crickets sing, but far less. Toad & Frog songs, far less. The first to respond & suffer in ecosystems growing unhealthy.

Still singing songs of wellness and Balance,
Love where you are the land, even in the Cities, all is sacred.
The cicada's sing, Auntie would say 8 weeks till frost.
Apples and Pears and plums are ripening, Many Bear-ries, wink emoticon
i will try to preserve some, & tuck some apples away for the deer come winter. We over the years have donated many hundreds of pounds of produce to the food shelf, and people pray over that food. This and the animals are the reasons i still hobble out there to tend what i can.
Blessings on you, your hardships, & your ability to adapt & endure.

I love you