grow it local

To be a Local Witch

Throughout history and our legends, Witches and Wizards were the crazy men and women that lived on the outskirts of the village. Their craft was wild and strange to those that lived in the village, but, nonetheless, people would seek after their wisdom of the land, the plants, the local spirits, and for wisdom or guidance in their path. These men and women, often bachelors, would know the ins and outs of the region and often went walking alone. 

Today, our villages are less rustic and more like local towns, and suburbs. But one can still be a Local Witch, and develop special connections with the land you call home. 



Become a Local Witch: 

  1. Learn Local Lore
    Folktales, legends, and even tall tales develop the culture of a town or area. Learn these. Retell them over summer campfires, and over drinks with friends. People will start to LOVE your stories. 
  2. Start Frequenting locally owned shops and stores
    Develop connections and relationships with the owners and those that work there every day. Learn their names, and introduce yourself after visiting more often. Supporting locally owned shops helps small business owners and provides nourishment to your community. This is putting down roots, and develops your connection with the people that shape your town.
  3. Find a Local Bookstore
    This is an extension of 1 and 2. Locally owned bookstores always have a Local Writers, Local Plants, and Local History sections. Ask inside where these sections are, and start devouring these books. Not only will you be supporting a local shop, but you have a direct source of helpful information. Oftentimes, employees and owners also know a lot of Lore. Talk to them about what you’re interested in learning. They probably have some hidden gems of information. 
  4. Learn about your Indigenous Plants
    Start researching and learning about the flora that grows locally, learn their lore, their uses, and magical or folklore associations. If Natives from your area used these plants, find out how. Learn where these plants grow and research local foraging. If you’ve never foraged, see if you can find a local group that can serve as helpful guides to stay safe. Never ingest anything unless you are SURE. 
  5. Start a local Plant Grimoire
    Keep dried presses of flowers and plants in it, draw and diagram to help you remember what they look like. 
  6. Learn about the indigenous animals
    Research their folklore and mythology. Start finding out what they eat, and what their habitats are. (Safely) Do your part to help foster their growth and health. This could be making insect houses to help local endangered pollinators, or leaving out special birdseed for endangered bird species in the area. (Safely) Start interacting with the non-aggressive species and leave them treats. This is great for birds, deer, rabbits, moles, chipmunks, hedgehogs, etc 
  7. Join local Conservation Projects 
    Getting directly involved in wildlife conservation strengthens our spiritual and natural ties to the land we call our home. Taking personal responsibility and interest in it’s stewardship is honoring the spirits of the land, and the Gods. 
  8. Use Google Maps while exploring parks, or protected open spaces to drop pins and places where you find animal habitats or useful plants for foraging. 

That’s all for now. More will come later I’m sure. Now go be the best local Witch or Druid you can be! 

Working with Plants

1. Start your own Herbal. There are some great books out there, but recording your own experiences/uses/collected lore for herbs is invaluable. Draw, press or take photos of the plants you include. 

2. Learn about plants by seeing them with your own eyes. Visit botanical gardens, nurseries, garden centres and parks to see the plants in situ and (hopefully) correctly labelled. The human brain has an amazing memory for plants, it is a survival skill to be able to identify them. When you walk through a park or garden, notice the plants and identify those you know to re-establish this memory.

3. Grow things. Be as ambitious as your space, money and time allow. Collect plants that are hard to find, appeal to you and suit your climate. Go beyond culinary herbs. Be aware of where you plant things in the garden, both directionally and symbolically. Plants you have grown are constantly receiving offerings of your time, energy and resources and are therefore more likely to be willing to assist you.

4. Plants will die. Even the most experienced gardener will lose plants. Accept it. Don’t just buy a few seedlings and then decide you lack a green thumb because they all died. Some herbs are annuals, that means they only live for a season, some plants are deciduous, some will simply not be suited to your climate or area and fail to thrive. Be patient and persistent and become a student of gardening as well has herbcraft.

5. Work in depth with a particular herb or tree to discover its secrets. Read everything you can about it, research folklore and planetary correspondences, consume it raw, dried, as a tea and a tincture. Prepare a spagyric essence from it. Burn it as incense. Infuse oil with it. Grow it, talk to it, dream about it. Watch how it changes through the seasons, collect its seeds, smell its flowers. Do this until you know it inside out, and then begin again with another. 

6. Substituting herbs is tricky business. No, you can not replace all flowers with lavender or all herbs with rosemary. That is lazy nonsense. Put some actual effort into getting the herbs you need for a spell, and if you genuinely can’t acquire them find something botanically related, energetically similar or at very least ruled by the same planet.

7. Treat herbs and trees as spirits, with respect and humility. Ask before your take, leave offerings, communicate, bond with them and you will be rewarded with gifts and wisdom and powerful ingredients for your spells.

8. Poisonous herbs and strong entheogens are for advanced practitioners. Don’t just start growing or using them because you want to be taken seriously. Some of these plants are tricksters, they can be very seductive. They are quite capable of controlling you. Be wary.

9. When harvesting for magical use, think not only what the plant is but where it is growing. A tree on a university campus will have different properties to the same kind found in a graveyard. A herb growing at the crossroads is different to one found by a stream. 

10. Expand your learning and awareness beyond trees and herbs. Learn the lore of mosses, lichens, fungi and seaweeds. Parasitic and carnivorous plants. Get to know the plants that grow locally, even if they are far removed from those found in your books.

11. Check your sources when it comes to lore. If a book tells you lavender is good for love spells, question it. Try to discover where the information came from, look up the older herbals, read books of plant folklore, investigate planetary and elemental correspondences based on the nature and virtues of the plant, not just what Cunningham says. 

12. Develop relationships not only with individual trees and herbs, but with particular species. Plants can be spirit guides in the way that animals can. There is an oak tree, and then there is Oak. They can teach, guide and protect. Having a handful of plant allies you know intimately and fashioning your tools from their wood, planting them around your house and visiting them in the wild will make your connection to those spirits all the stronger.

Spirit of place - who do you share your space with?

According to a common definition, animism is the belief that ‘everything has spirit’. You hear people talk about 'the spirit of the tree’ or 'the spirit of the river’.

This might make it sound as though animists believe that there is a spirit entity attached to, say, a tree, that is somehow separate. An inhabitant of the spirit world that looks after the tree.

That’s not how I see it. The spirit of a tree is the deepest reality of the tree itself. It reveals itself in the shape of its branches, in its flowers and fruits. It is the tree in all its aliveness, connected to the soil that holds it and the air that feeds it.

The spirit of the tree is also part of the spirit of the place where it grows. Each locality is filled with spirit, which is made up of the life and presence of everything there.

If the tree is old, if it has shared in the life of that place for a long time, it may have become a guardian. Its spirit will be very noticeable as part of the spirit of place, like a repeating melody in a piece of music, or a dominant colour in a painting.

But everything there, from the tiniest pebble to the quality of the light, contributes to the spirit of the place. It all sings together of the magic of life as it expresses itself in that particular place.

The room you are in right now has its own spirit. If it is your room, your own spirit will have created much of it, choosing objects and furniture according to your taste and personality.

Each of those objects, the materials they are made of, the fabric of the building and its history also contribute to the spirit of your room.

I am writing this in the tiny flat we have made in our house while it is being renovated. Fire is burning in the wood stove. Some washing is drying next to it. The oven is cooking our dinner. My husband is doing something on his own laptop. This is the house he grew up in, and we are still living with some of the furnishings his parents left behind. The spirit of this room has many stories to tell.

What spirits are sharing your space right now? How do they combine to make up the spirit of the place? How can you acknowledge them?

(picture from pixabay.com)

[kahn] shinee rekindles and leads the korean wave in japan

translation: pyhforshinee

it’s known that boa, tvxq, and big bang are korean artists who began the road and maintained their status in (the) japanese market. they developed this new market, spread the korean wave, and created the genre: k-pop. following these artists, who can we count on to lead the next generation of k-pop? five member group, shinee, is in the lead. shinee, a part of sm entertainment, will restart interest in this year’s korean wave. the top singers with the most fan activities in japan, tvxq, are currently enlisted and even big bang is starting to enlist this year. so, everyone is gathering anticipation to see what presence shinee will have in this recently emptied k-pop space.

something worthy of showing this presence, objectively, is their appearance last year on japan’s representative end of the year music program, fuji tv’s fns music festival. this festival, together with nhk’s kohaku uta gassen, are japan’s most important end of the year programs. at the peak of the korean wave, up until 2012, there were many korean guests like tvxq, girls generation, and big bang on these end of the year programs, but then, for awhile, you could not see korean artists. last year’s program finally changed with boa and shinee as the only two korean artist guests on fns.

shinee has already began an arena tour which started last month. the arena’s seating scales are 15,000 - 20,000 seats per auditorium. their arena tour last year drew more than 400,000 fans. the tour this year, lasting until april, plans to go to tokyo, osaka, shizuoka, nagoya, kobe, and more. up to twenty arenas with five more potentially added on, this could increase to twenty five arenas. even though the schedule after may isn’t decided, following the current fervor of the public, there is a high possibility of adding 50,000 seat capacity domes to their tour. the past two years shinee have succeeded with both tokyo dome and osaka dome concerts.

though many korean artists advance into the japanese market and are active, shinee’s success has a different meaning. after boa and tvxq’s success the popularity of k-pop spiked and japanese fans would flock around as soon as they heard the word. like a dream, groups like super junior, girls generation and kara all successfully carried out tokyo dome concerts, and even groups that had only just debuted would have hundreds or thousands of fans show up at fan meetings and concerts. but, when political relations between the two nations deteriorated and an anti-korean sentiment grew around 2012, the interest in the korean wave weakened substantially. when shinee debuted in japan in 2011 the mood of society and the press had completely changed. as they met these difficulties from the start the method they chose to overcome it was to focus their attention on growing close local fans. instead of big events or advertising they held smaller concerts in small cities and districts to create bonds with locals. aside from tvxq, who had a clear path from the beginning, no other top korean artist had used this method to connect with japanese fans. in 2015, shinee finally had their first tokyo dome concert after four years of activities in japan. a marketer of universal music said: “their attitude for a famous singer from a large company yet consistently shown has opened japanese fans’ hearts, and it seems like their fandom has grown strong and distinguished.”

shinee has released a total of fourteen single albums and four full albums in japan, maintaining an emphasis on high quality local activities. after their september 2014 release of their third full album, i’m your boy, they reached first place on oricon’s weekly album chart, and last year’s fourth full album, d×d×d, naturally also rose to first place on the weekly chart. they plan to release their fifth full album, five, on the 22nd of this month. in this new album they will have a quite different concept and mood, especially in their title track, “get the treasure”, which will be darker and more powerful than their usual image.

popular music critic hwang sun eup says: “the thing that differentiates shinee from other idol groups is they’re always creating new results and consistently pursuing perfection in high quality work. by maintaining the balance of a long relationship with their fandom shinee will continue to occupy a larger role at sm entertainment.”

flowerpunk as a subset of solarpunk

- aesthetic wise, it focuses mainly on lighter, pastel colors. it may also take inspo from vintage fashions, but working them into something more modern. I’m personally fond of it being a sort of larme kei esque style, but I’m biased.

- flowers are, of course, used widely. they can ofc be incorporated into fashion, but I also see flowerpunks as making use of flowers for anything they can: as food, to help animals, decoration, whatever can be dreamed up

- focusing on growing local flora instead of invasive species

- flowers are grown everywhere, and while it can function as decor, it’s also great for bees, butterflies, and birds!

- restaurants where they have a huge garden out back and make use of the flowers and herbs there for meals

- the resurgence of flowers as a form of communication! people often send flowers with corresponding meanings when sending packages or stopping by someone’s house

- the traditional gift for people moving into a community is potted flowers, so they can add to the gardens on the grounds of their home or building

Orzula's "Hug In A Mug" Lavender Earl Grey Tea

Hello lovelies! 💕 Today I’ll be showing you what my s/o calls a “hug in a mug”. I love to make a cup of this after a long day, for a special treat, or even just because! 

I was originally inspired by Starbucks’ London Fog Lattes. But, tbh, I think these taste way better. 

  You will need: 

  •  1 bag of your preferred Earl Grey blend 
  • Culinary grade lavender buds (If you do not grow your own, your local grocery may have it. If not, try Amazon!)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk (The type is up to you, but for extra oomph, try vanilla almond milk!)

🌟 Our stove is not working properly at the moment, so I have been making mine in the microwave like a pleb. I also use a separate mug than the one I intend on drinking out of, for steeping.

🌟 Place your tea bag in the mug, along with one teaspoon of lavender buds. Add just enough water to cover the tea bag and stick it in the microwave for 40-50 seconds, depending on the strength/setting you have that sucker on.

🌟 While your tea is doing its thang, in the actual mug you intend to use, pour in your milk to taste. Because I’m a lunatic, I drink mine with a shit ton of the stuff. Go nuts. Just be sure you have enough room for the actual tea. Add one or two teaspoons of vanilla extract to your milk. Again, I am a crazy person, and use two. Give it a quick whirl with a spoon to mix it together.

🌟 By this point, the tea should be ready to come out of the microwave. Be careful, your mug might be hot to the touch. I usually use ceramic mugs, so they tend to feel like Satan made them. Set it aside and cover with a paper towel to give it time to steep.

🌟 While your tea is still taking its sweet time, pop the milk/vanilla blend in the microwave. Another 40-50 seconds, folks! Once that’s done, get that glorious goodness outta there. Next is the fun part.

🌟 CAREFULLY strain your tea into the mug with milk. I’ll use a paper towel as a strainer when my actual one is dirty (Dishes? What are those?). It should catch the buds and tea bag from falling in. At this point, you can either chuck the used tea bag and lavender into recycling, or put it aside to dry out and use in future workings.

🌟 Give your tea a healthy stir, and voila! You made a hug in a mug! This drink is already pretty sweet. However, if it is not quite to your liking, feel free to throw a pinch of sugar in there.

I really hope you enjoy this drink as much as I do! If you want to get fancy and foam your milk or, I dunno, make it on a stove or with a kettle - go for it! You do you, boo boo. I just love that it’s quick, easy, and downright delicious.

Originally posted by itadakimasu-letmeeat

3

a) i cannot believe best man nacho let luqui wear White Tennis Sneaks to his own reception
b) i cannot believe that marcelo is drunker than my lil mans daniel
c) i love our dumb forever wee canteranos so much it hurts my feelings

instagram

The extremely elusive Himalayan Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur) in the snow at an altitude of 15,000 feet in Nepal’s little-known Dorpatan Hunting Reserve. These animals are one of the main food sources for Snow Leopards. ~

Despite spending upwards of a week climbing, crawling, and slogging through waist-deep snow in pursuit of the sheep, we were unable to get much closer than these images reveal. ~

Founded to attract international trophy hunters and tourism revenue, Dorpatan is one of the highest hunting areas on the globe. In the mid-nineties, the park was a stronghold for the Maoist rebels who waged a guerrilla war against the Nepal Government for over a decade. During this time, poaching of blue sheep and other exotic species was rampant. ~

Now, a handful of elite hunters travel here each year bringing much-needed employment to the area. The sheep population is now healthy and growing, although local poachers still operate in the more remote reaches of the park using weapons and techniques left over from the ciivl war.

anonymous asked:

CP 14 Days of Love #8: Single and Bitter is Better Together (anti-valentine’s day, single awareness day)

Day 8 of @softkent‘s Valentine’s Day fic-a-thon

Ah, today was turning out to be a lovely day. The wind was blowing, the snow was falling in a wintry mix between actual snow and straight up sleet, all the red decorations were being soaked. Bitty sat in a cozy little coffee shop in downtown Providence, having taken up residence in an armchair by the window with a cup of rare out of season pumpkin spice coffee. It was the day before Valentine’s and Eric Bittle was not above admitting that he really very much abhorred the holiday. It’s hard to watch everyone else enjoy themselves and be in totally utterly grossly in love when you’re alone, and have been alone for years, all your years if you’re Bitty.

“Hey Bits! I’m so glad you were free to meet tonight!” Lardo dropped into the chair next to his with a happy smile. “I just got a call that I think will be right up your alley!  I know you were planning to have the night free tomorrow but I have an assignment for you!” The unholy glee in her eyes would be at the very least disquieting to other people but Bitty knew her too well.

“Well what have you got for me, I’ll at least give it a listen, though I can’t promise more than that.”

Bitty and Lardo worked for a local paper on the Providence area, mostly the small towns in the area, Lincoln, Cumberland, that sort of small, middle to upper class town.  Lardo was one of the editors that oversaw the larger sections, she was in charge of arts and leisure. Bitty was her food and restaurant consultant.

“I got a call this afternoon, you know that little French restaurant in Greenville? Pets de Soeurs, they called and they want us to review them!”

“Wait, wait. The one that was just  reviewed by The New Yorker and The Washington Post? Why would they want us to review them?”

“The owners are unhappy that so many of their customers are tourists.  One of the two owners is a small town native and he wants their restaurant to have that feel he was used to growing up. They want a local paper to give them look and hopefully the residents in the area will take notice.  And they only trust our paper to do it!  What do you say, I know you don’t have any plans.”

Bitty couldn’t possibly resist. It was a good opportunity for the paper, it was a good opportunity for the restaurant, and it was a good opportunity to actually sample a pretty high end restaurant in the area.

“What time are they expecting me?”


Jack had just sat down at his table.  He was really looking forward to the night, not because it was Valentine’s, that actually put a bit of a damper on the night in his opinion. No, he was looking forward to it because of what he had planned.  His Maman had called last week about an article she’d read in the Wall Street Journal.  Apparently, there was a French restaurant that specialized in French Canadian cuisine in a small town outside of Providence and it had been getting good reviews from papers across the country. Jack was very much looking forward to a familiar home cooked meal. He hadn’t had one in years.

Jack was perusing the menu when suddenly all the blood rushed from his head to his feet. The front door had opened and a familiar laugh had wafted through the air. Jack knew that laugh. Oh no, oh please, no no no. Not that. The last thing he wanted to deal with was getting caught alone at a restaurant on Valentine’s day by he well meaning and very happily engaged ex. He couldn’t allow that to happen. Kenny would start pitying him and worse, trying to set him up. That wasn’t happening in this lifetime, thanks.


Bitty was just asking the very nice waiter for water without lemon and asking what the most popular appetizer on the menu was when a very tall, very cute, young man slid into the seat across from him.  

“Wow, how are you, I know I said I couldn’t make it tonight but I managed to get away.  I hope you haven’t order yet!”

The very cute young man was looking at him as if to say just go with it, please. Bitty flashed a cocked eyebrow at him before committing.  

“Oh, I’m so pleased you could come! I must have missed your text, hun! I’ve only order a drink, did you want to try an appetizer?” Nodding at the waiter to indicate that everything was fine, he totally knew this stranger and could we get him something to drink before he explains himself entirely?

The waiter took the man’s drink order and hurried off.

Jack had gotten lucky. So lucky. Now he just had to explain himself.

“I am SO sorry. Please go with me on this. I know you don’t know me but I swear its for a good cause.” Jack deployed his puppy dog pleading eyes at full strength.

“And what cause might that be, Mr. Total Stranger that I’ve apparently made plans to have dinner with?”

“My ex.”

“Your ex.”

“He’s here. With his fiance. Who is also my coworker. They can’t find me eating alone on Valentines.”

“So this is just your pride talking?” Bitty was regretting this more and more by the minute. “Just because you don’t want to see your ex boyfriend with a gorgeous girl on his arm and let him win—”

Jack cut in, “That’s not my problem.”

“What?”

“That’s not my problem. And his gorgeous girl is about three inches taller than me and plays hockey with me so I’m not terribly concerned about how attractive his partner is. It’s worse than that. He’s going to start trying to set me up.  They’ve just gotten engaged and I’m very happy for them but they think, well he thinks that everyone should be as happy as he is and he started setting people up on dates…without telling them. I cannot get dragged into that. Do you have any idea how unpleasant blind dates set up by the least talented matchmaker on the PLANET are? Lemme tell you, they’re almost physically painful.”

Bitty couldn’t help it. He started to laugh. He tried to stifle it but there was no use, the giggles just bubbled out.  

Jack just looked at him, betrayed.

“Alright, that does sound fairly horrendous,” Bitty half shrugs, “I’m in.”

Jack sighed in relief.

“Well, what shall I call you then?”

Jack spent the rest of the night with Bitty, happily chatting over some pretty exceptional Quebecois cuisine, about who he was, a pro-hockey star, where he came from, Providence now, and why he hated Valentine’s, it’s hard to be a pro-athlete in the closet and then to come out without a partner. Bitty enjoyed every minute of it, sharing his own stories and dislike for the holiday. In fact they ended up closing the restaurant down that night, with a few quiet moments taken to speak to the married couple that owned the restaurant. As Jack and Bitty were walking out, Bitty was trying to work up the courage to ask for a second, or possibly first date. Jack had his hands stuffed into his pockets and was looking at his shoes as they walked towards the parking lot.

“Do you think, do you think I could have your number? I had a really good time tonight and I’d hate to lose contact because I wasn’t man enough to ask you for it.” Jack looked up at Bitty with a crooked, hopeful smile.


“And THAT is how Papa met Daddy by absolutely hating Valentine’s day!”

“And how you met Uncle Dex and Uncle Nursey and they catered the engagement party and the wedding and the baby showers!” Leena always remembered that part and piped in because Nursey had trained her to, he thought it was a very important part of their story.

“And Auntie Lardo was so happy that you found Papa that she paid to have a table dedicated to you every Valentines!” Jason was wiggling around under Daddy’s chair but obviously still listening.

“And Uncles Tater and Kenny STILL won’t let it go and claim that it’s their fault we’re together!” Jack called out, still aggrieved after all these years, from the baby’s room down the hall where he was taking his turn on diaper duty.

Bitty leaned back in his arm chair, with an unseasonable cup of pumpkin spice in a permanent to go cup, safe from his children, and looked out the window at the blowing snow, and smiled to himself.

“And they lived happily ever after..”


*crash* “DAAAAADDDYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”

8

Today, 17 years ago…

“Although we have faced disaster of our own, and our window may have been shattered. We can achieve greater beauty by putting our window back together again. In unity, we must rebuild the Columbine window from which others may draw their inspiration.”

(Senior, Sara Martin)

“You have had an earth-shattering experience one month before your graduation. You have touched the heart of this nation with your strength and bravery. You all have grown from this experience and you will continue to grow.”

(Vince Chowdhury, a local school board member)

“As President Clinton stated, when Columbine Class of ‘99 graduates today, America will be cheering you, and you so deserve it.”

(Principle Frank DeAngelis)

Big Lessons From Finding Dory

So I saw Finding Dory tonight and let me just highlight a few things that are very important that were shown in the movie but may have gone over other’s heads (none of these are spoilers, really but im tagging them anyways):

1. Not all marine life institutions are like SeaWorld. This film demonstrates there are a lot of really helpful marine life institutions out there who are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals. It takes place in California and although they never directly call it the Monterey Bay Aquarium you can tell that is what it is based off of. Many aquariums like the one in Monterey and a local aquarium by me are completely dedicated to the rehabilitation of marine life/mammals and yes, they tag some animals, but it is just to track their migration patterns and conduct research. SeaWorld has given such a bad name to other marine life centers out there and to be honest, these centers are the kind of organizations we need to preserve our marine life. Most operate on a vast network of volunteers and they could really use your donations–especially when it is apparent that our government does not care about our waters to make any laws protecting it.

2. PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE FINAL SCENE. (The one where Dory says the view before her is “unforgettable”). If you’ve seen the movie, you might have noticed something….well missing. In fact, a lot was missing. Much of the coral reef in this scene as they pan out has become discolored and is dead. Pixar clearly wanted to draw your eye to this scene. Our coral reefs are dramatically dying and if we don’t stop to care for them now, they can be gone easily in a lifetime–as little as 15 years. Those beautiful views will become forgettable if we do not do something about them now. Back when Finding Nemo came out 12 years ago, scientists were just starting to notice the dramatic changes in iur coral reefs. Now if you see recent pictures of the Sydney Harbor, the same one featured in FN, most of those beautiful colorful corl reefs are dead and gone. Although Finding Dory is supposed to take place one year after Finding Nemo, Pixar was really trying to bring that important message out.

So please, keep in mind as you spend money towards a movie ticket, maybe next time use that money and donate to ocean conservation funds. We really do only get one world, and she takes care of us so we should take care of her.

anonymous asked:

your child is the beautiful manifestation of flame and warmth and will grow to be astounding - we believe in them

i’m so glad u like them!! they need ur support,,,,ashya grows to be your local cryptid, That Weird Fiery Hermit In The Woods, who of course primarily uses their good good toasty abilities to roast fantasy marshmallows to perfection,