what to grow in spring

❄️️ Imbolc 🌷

(pronounced ee-molc, also called Candlemas)

What Is Imbolc? ❄️️➡️️🌷

Imbolc is celebrated roughly when winter begins to turn to spring. Traditionally it also marked the successful survival of the harsh winter months and the beginning of the agricultural season. The returning sun is welcomed and the Celtic goddess Brigid is honored.

Traditional Lore/Activities 🕯️

  • Each candle within a household should be lit, if only for a moment, to honor the sun’s return.
  • If there is still snow on the ground one should draw an image of the sun in it.

Foods Associated with Imbolc 🥐

  • Sour cream and other dairy dishes.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Spiced wine.
  • Raisins.
  • Foods containing peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, and chives.

Modern Activities 🎨

Cooking/Baking

Self Care

Imbolc Bath - from @magickmomma16

Crafts

  • Candle making.
  • Weave traditional Brigid’s Crosses.
  • Plan what herbs/flowers you want to grow during the upcoming spring and summer.
  • Burn your Yule greens to help winter on its way.

Colors and Altar Decor 🌸

  • White
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Amethyst
  • Bloodstone
  • Garnet
  • Ruby
  • Onyx
  • Turquoise
  • Green Candles
  • Brigid’s Crosses
  • Potted Bulbs
  • An Anvil or Hammer
  • Poetry

❣️

THE GIRLS ARE INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL ON SPRING GODDESS FESTIVAL OK!!

Allergy Season Explained

Happy First Day of Spring, Tumblr! 

What better way to celebrate than to **ACHOO!!**….wait, what were we saying?

Ah, spring! Grass growing, flowers blooming, trees growing new leaves, but if you get allergies, this explosion of new life probably inspires more dread than joy.  

Step outside, and within minutes, you’re sneezing and congested. Your nose is running, your eyes are swollen and watery, your throat is itchy. For you and millions of others, it’s seasonal allergy time. So what’s behind this onslaught of mucus?

The answer lies within you. It’s your immune system. Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, are a hypersensitive immune response to something that’s not actually harmful. Pollen from trees and grass, and mold spores from tiny fungi find their way into your mucous membranes and your body attacks these innocuous travelers the same way it would infectious bacteria. 

The immune system has a memory. When a foreign substance gets tagged as threatening, white blood cells produce customized antibodies that will recognize the offender the next time around. They then promptly recruit the body’s defense team. But sometimes, the immune system accidentally discriminates against harmless substances, like pollen. When it wafts in again, antibodies on the surface of white blood cells recognize it and latch on.

This triggers the cell to release inflammatory chemicals, like histamine, which stimulate nerve cells, and cause blood vessels in the mucous membranes to swell and leak fluid. In other words, itchiness, sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. 

Allergies usually, but not always, show up for the first time during childhood. But why do some people get allergies and others don’t? Allergies tend to run in families, so genetics may be one culprit. In fact, errors in a gene that helps regulate the immune system are associated with higher rates of allergies. The environment you grow up in matters, too. Being exposed to an allergen as a baby makes you less likely to actually develop an allergy to it. People who grow up on farms, in big families, and in the developing world also tend to have fewer allergies, although there are plenty of exceptions, partly thanks to genetics. One theory is that as children, they encounter more of the microbes and parasites that co-evolved with traditional hunter-gatherer societies.

Called the hygiene hypothesis, the idea is that when the immune system isn’t exposed to the familiar cast of microbes, it’ll keep itself busy mounting defenses against harmless substances, like pollen. Another theory is that an immune system toughened up by a barrage of pathogens is less likely to overreact to allergens. Pollen is a common offender, just because we encounter so much of it, but there’s a long list of substances: dust, animal dander, insect venom, medications, certain foods, that can send your immune system into overdrive. Some of these reactions can be scary. An allergy can develop into full-blown anaphylaxis, which typically brings on severe swelling, shortness of breath, and very low blood pressure. It can be deadly.

But as we who suffer from seasonal allergies know, even non-life threatening allergy symptoms can make you miserable. So what can you do about it? Medications can help reduce the symptoms. The most common ones keep histamines from binding to your cells. These antihistamines stop the inflammation response. Steroids can help dial down the immune system. Another more permanent option is immunotherapy. Deliberate, controlled exposure to gradually increasing amounts of an allergen can teach the immune system that it isn’t dangerous after all. 

Of course, you can always just wait your seasonal allergies out. The spring pollen onslaught dwindles by mid-summer…just in time for ragweed season!

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why do people have seasonal allergies? - Eleanor Nelsen 

Animation by TED-Ed

A continuation of Chapter 199 of The Girls We Wanna Kiss by @queercapwriting ​, in which Alex and Maggie discuss race and privilege. Adrian is their creation, but Maggie’s brother Eddy is referenced in my backstory fic Joyride. Tw for mentions of police brutality, racism, homophobia.

(Some more Maggie backstory for you @murdershegoat @sanvndsupercorp​  @all-the-gay-feels@blogquantumreality @agentalex @blakebat  @mcggiesawyr)

The only good thing about that night at the gay bar was that Maggie miraculously hadn’t run into a single ex - because even National City only feels huge until you start fucking people here.

No - the club had well and truly been full of strangers, and Maggie had felt their eyes on her just as sharply as the burn of overpriced vodka at the back of her throat, as thickly as the tacky pop music she couldn’t shake off. Because almost everyone in there was male, and absolutely everyone was white, and before she realised it she was drifting closer to James than Alex, shadowing him when he went to get drinks and she couldn’t fake the enthusiasm of her dancing any longer. Thankfully it was him who commented on the specificity of the crowd, what lengthy list of hip hop music they’d both rather be listening to, and it was these conversations away from Alex that had gotten her through the night. She hadn’t wanted her girlfriend – still in her shiny new world – to sense her discomfort, to pick up on the sideways looks she and James got hugging the wall together. But James had to mention it, and Maggie’s face had flushed as Alex rambled an apology, saying she didn’t realise, she didn’t know, but Maggie had been too exhausted to explain that that was part of the problem.

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Fire + Fields : A Beltane Tarot Spread

Beltane is a time of pleasure + joy!

At Beltane we have an opportunity to glimpse our slumbering selves dwelling deep below at Samhain (for these points on the wheel of the year mirror each other) as well as connect with our growing fires of desire, direction, and determination. The Fire + Fields spread explores the energy of the season focusing on the central fire of our soul’s desire.


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1. THE SLUMBERING SELF. What is your shadow that remains dreaming from Samhain and the dark part of the year?  The unconscious murmuring that guides our bright year adventures.
2. THE SEEDLING.  Nurtured since the Vernal Equinox, the seedlings have grown into young plants.  What has been growing and now is ready for summer after spring?
3. THE WOOD.  That which supports your fire – your ambitions, drive, work, relationships, and service to the world.
4 + 5. THE SPARKS.  How your work is perceived agains the night and the multitudes of works in the universe.  Your particular role in community, family, romantic relationships, workplace, circle + more.  Also the way you spark fires in others (and, if you have, especially romantically).
6 + 7. THE EMBER.  The fire we carry with us through the rest of the year until next Beltaine.  What should we seek to carry and preserve?  What path of desire are we to follow?
8. THE YEAR + A DAY VOW.  What is the vow we are making this Beltaine to keep for a year and a day?  What can we be brave enough to change for that period that will best strengthen us?

Blessed Beltane, clever ones!


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As I continue to reflect on our first year of marriage, something that has surprised me about it is how often things would spring up that I didn’t even know were within me. Things that I wished I could keep under control so they wouldn’t interfere with our relationship. But it isn’t that seamless and I was naive in this regard. I couldn’t just keep all my stuff to myself, even if I wanted to. Well—maybe I could, and for a while, I did. But I quickly felt the loneliness sink in, and realized how counterintuitive this was to my understanding of intimacy and my desire for it. Intimacy is not threatened by our shortcomings. Intimacy is found and cultivated when we welcome our unfinished and unrefined selves into the light of each other’s love. 

We are messy people. It is impractical and exhausting for two messy people to live without their messes overlapping. I didn’t want to scare him or overwhelm him, but in the fear that motivated me to withhold myself from him, I realized it wasn’t about him at all. He isn’t threatened by my mess–I am! I’m the one afraid of falling short as a wife. He doesn’t put that on me–I put that on myself. So, here’s what I learned from that. It isn’t that as my stuff spills over into his space that he becomes responsible for it, but the contrary. The closer we get, the more susceptible we are to encountering each other’s messes. And as this happens, we are forced to finally deal with it. Whether it’s been actively avoided, or undiscovered, once it’s out, it’s time to deal with it. I’m not trying to be vague, but it isn’t really anything specific. By ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ and ‘mess,’ I’m referring to anything that interferes with our ability to give or receive love. Some things interfere more than others, but I think that even the small stuff will snowball over time, and so everything is worthy of addressing. 

I think this happens at such a fast rate in the first years of marriage that we can feel out of control, fearing rejection, fearing that if we don’t maintain whatever perception of “togetherness” we portrayed, that we will no longer be deserving of the love that was present before things got this messy. This is not true, though. We said for better or worse. And you know, this isn’t even my worst. It sure isn’t my best, but I know that with only a year under our belts, there will be much lower, darker, harder days and seasons than the ones we’ve faced, and yet, the low points we’ve encountered aren’t to be scoffed at or belittled because they have given us so much. I remember hopeless moments when I found it hard to believe that we would return to the ease of loving each other without feeling threatened by the extent of my mess or his mess or the messes we made together. But then we would get there again. Love really does win. In moments of defeat, I can remember that love always won. We didn’t always come out of it unscathed, but we came out of it with a new strength, and a new confidence that even if we don’t know what we’re doing, we’re figuring it out.

We are preparing for a lifetime of imperfectly loving each other, and we’re more prepared a year later than we were on that first day. There has been victory in our defeat, because we learned how to get back up and try again. We learned a little more about giving each other the freedom to fail. We learned a little more about giving and receiving love when it counts most—not when it’s easy, but when it goes against everything in us that wants to resist being known. We learned a little more about letting each other in—not just in the good, but in the ugly. Especially the ugly. Because that’s where it counts. There have been blissful days, and there have been very hard days. And because the grace of God is present in them all, I’ve found hope in them both. One calls me to celebrate, and the other calls me to grow. 

I wonder what will spring up from within me this next year. I wonder what it will teach me about myself, about God, and about love. I imagine I’ll be less startled by it, but we’ll have to wait and see. I wonder what messes we’ll make this year that will pull us deeper into growth and intimacy. 

L, marriage // year two

Wheel of Change Spread

Card 1: Litha - The Summer Solstice. Everything is all bright and blooming. This card represents what in your life is at it’s peak, what is most prominent.

Card 2: Mabon - The Autumn Equinox. When light turns to dark, the celebration of harvest - what in your life are you letting go of? Are there any lessons you need to ‘harvest’ before moving on, or should this just be left behind?

Card 3: Yule. The Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year. What in your life lies dormant or ignored? Should it stay that way, or is now the time to bring more light into this area of your life?

Card 4: Ostara. The Spring Equinox. Light overcoming dark. What is growing in your life? Should you allow this to bloom, or perhaps weed it out?

Card 5: Surrounding energies and advice. The overall balance of your life. Look to what card this one seems to pair with, and perhaps put some extra thought into that.

Bonus step - As it is Mabon, after considering the spread as a whole, set card 2 aside. Shuffle the other cards back in, then shuffle the Mabon card back in separately and thoroughly, while concentrating on the energies surrounding it. Search the deck for the Mabon card, and pull it and the surrounding 2 cards out. The card before it represents what to harvest, what to hang on to. The card behind represents what you can let go of.

A cute lil’ barista!kurt besotted!blaine story inspired by this beautiful giftset.

It’s cold out. Blaine stuffs his blue-hued hands into his pockets as he shuffles through the thick New York snow at his feet, eyes peeking out from under a hat to scour his unfamiliar surroundings through a white wash of snow-filled air. Getting suddenly lost in a city so smothered in ice is easier than he first thought. His whole body is overcome with phantom warmth when Blaine catches sight of a coffee shop, windows glowing golden onto the white canvas of snow in front of it, and he jogs to it as best as he can on the slippery ground, numb fingers scrabbling with the door as he enters.

The glistening oak of the coffee shop is almost as inviting as its rich smell, and Blaine approaches the bar with a heavy relief, only to find it empty despite the shop teeming with humans hiding from the bitter cold. He spies a bell near his hand, and reaches forward to press it, but pauses when he sees a man in a barista uniform appear from the store room, swift and graceful and lithe and utterly, completely beautiful. Hair swooped into an almost comically tall quiff, with a smooth jaw and pearl-white skin and inquisitive, sea-washed eyes – that are staring right at him.

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When Jonathan Groff stopped by to talk about his new HBO show Looking, he also shared what it was like growing up with Lea Michele while they were working in Spring Awakening together. And how sometimes he really did want to hit her with that stick! He also talks about glee, throwing eggs at her and spending the weekend together this saturday

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Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Scorpio

The New Moon - a time for beginnings. We’ll be getting our New Moon in Scorpio on October 23 at 5:58 PM EST. This is a time for releasing the old, shedding our skin like the snake, one of Scorpio’s symbols. Rising from the ashes of our old self. The partial Solar Eclipse will strengthen the effects of the New Moon. During the New Moon period we plant seeds that we will see blossom over the next month. With the Solar Eclipse occurring, the effects will last for six months - what we birth this week will continue growing until next spring. We’ve already been looking inward with the Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio and this is a good time to keep doing so. Scorpio is the sign of rebirth, death, transformation, emotional intensity and intimacy, our shadow side, and fears. If things have been lagging for you recently, it may be time to wipe the whiteboard clean and make new plans for yourself. The Mercury Retrograde has our minds fuzzy and has forced us to turn our eyes and senses inward. It’s time to open our eyes and really see our inner self. Our unconscious drives, motives, dreams. And the unconscious patterns that have held us back for so long. If we want to move forward in our lives, we must be honest with our selves, find our true nature, and give up the rest.

The New Moon will be conjunct Venus in Scorpio. This is a good time to outline your values, the ones that really get at your core and that spell out how you want to live the rest of your time here on Earth. Love will be in the mix this New Moon, especially when it comes to the themes of vulnerability, intimacy, sharing, and trust. Be open to these things in your life, and ask if your current relationships have them. If you aren’t currently in a relationship, are you open to being vulnerable? Have old wounds blocked you from being intimate and trusting with others? We’ve all had our hearts broken but we lose out on life when we harbor old pains, nursing old wounds, rather than opening our hearts back up to love again. Take time out to connect deeply with yourself and with others. What’s inside your heart? What are you afraid of? How have you been prisoner to these fears and how have you blocked yourself from following your intuition? It’s time to face yourself. There’s no use in shrinking yourself, it’s time to grow. Shed those old, dingy layers and let your truth shine.

On the night of the New Moon, if you’re into rituals, make a list of the things that no longer serve you. We all have those parts of ourselves we cringe at, that we wish didn’t characterize us but we’ve been that way for so long, we figured there was no changing it. But if you ask the universe to assist you, you’ll be surprised at how things will slowly start shifting. Then, make a list of the things that you want in your life, the way you would like to be, the person you want to become. Let time dissolve the old and make room for the new. Remember back five years, and think about how different you once were. You probably had no idea how much you would change, but you did! Life is a continual process of death and rebirth. Allow your unconscious to guide you, it will lead you in the right direction, towards your blossoming. Clear your fears away, and know that you are held by the universe. There’s a grand purpose to all of this, and the beautiful energy of Neptune in Pisces, trine the New Moon, softens our boundaries and allows us to connect with the unconscious and our sense of unity with the All-that-is.

Happy shifting!

they like to poke at lions 
 
watch us flinch 
our muscles twitch 
pull our claws back in and bite back 
the incisors that threaten their lives 
 
they get a rush from what we could have done 
 
they like to poke at lions 
 
back me into a corner 
and see what unfolds there 
but i grow weary from uncoiling, 
from the spring that can’t be sprung 
and soon i’ll be undone 
 
i will mourn you even as my teeth 
tear through your neck 
your blood mixed with my sweat–
and tears 
 
they like to poke at lions 
 
and be reassured that they are safe 
but there will come a day 
 
God help me, 
keep me sane
—  9/6

I finally got some cute bottles to store my herbs and oils in!! The shop was almost out so I was only able to get enough for my jasmine, camomile, mandrake root, lavender/sage cleansing mix, and my lavender and sage oils…so I will definitely have to go back to find storage for the rest of my herbs as well as what I plan to grow and dry this spring/summer!

Learn the Rules and Then Stop Giving a Fuck

I’ve spilled digital ink lamenting the concept of “Learn the rules and then break them” in the past. It’s a stupid phrase and an even stupider ethos. I’ll let you read my initial post for clarification, but just know that it’s dumb and you’re dumb if you live by such an arrogant idea.

All that said, I’ve found myself getting further and further away from the “rules” that once dictated most of my thoughts about clothing. This mostly stems from a realization that style is inherently personal, which means that prescribing objective decrees is not only contradictory but also futile. However, it also stems from the realization that I really can’t be bothered to always mind my Ps and Qs.

What makes for a stylish person – someone who is noticed when walking into a room and remembered after they leave, even though you have no idea why you noticed them in the first place – is not that they abide by a Bible’s-worth of esoteric etiquette. (In fact, I’d argue that the most stylish people make a habit of not following anyone’s rules but their own, but I’ll save that for another time.) What makes for a stylish person is someone who is so insanely confident and comfortable in their own skin that you’re left asking what they know that you don’t.

And no one gets that way by blindly following other peoples’ rules.

However, just as it’s not about following the rules, it’s also not about intentionally breaking them. People who undertake these affectations are completely missing the point. Trying to highlight your smug superiority only exposes a lack of confidence in who you are and what you know. Purposely bucking the norm for sake of “identity” is something a hormonal teenage girl does on spring break. Grow the fuck up.

What I’m arguing is to stop caring so much. There are only two people who are going to notice minor imperfections in fit or misaligned details – you and assholes. And if you allow these things to dominate your thinking, either when you’re looking in the mirror or when you see some random dude walk past, then you’re proving why assholes are inherently anal.

There’s a lot to learn about clothes and there is a lot to think about when getting dressed. But keep your due diligence on the drawing board. Let the “rules” guide your purchases or inform your taste. Use the “rules” to think critically about why you wear things and how you wear them. But for God’s sake leave all that thinking at home.

Nothing ruins nice clothes like a stupid person.