Lughnasadh for Solitary Practitioners

The Druid's Garden

In a typical year, at Lughnasadh, my grove would be gathering for our favorite celebration of the year.  This is typically a weekend of rituals, feasting, fire, and merriment, all hosted here at our homestead in Western PA. With the pandemic raging around us, this kind of gathering cannot happen at present. As much as I enjoy our yearly Lughnasadh gathering, I’m taking time this year to focus on my solitary practice and enjoy Lughnasadh in a different way.  Looking at the history and lore of Lughnasadh offers some wonderful solitary practices that honor the history of this holiday and have a fun time.  For a historical look at Lughnasadh (and where some of the inspiration for this post was drawn), you can see Máire MacNeill (1962) The festival of Lughnasa: a study of the survival of the Celtic festival of the beginning of harvest published by Oxford University Press…

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Sacred Tree Profile: Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina)

The Druid's Garden

A lovely stand of staghorn sumac in bloom! A lovely stand of staghorn sumac in bloom!

As we begin the march from summer into fall, the Staghorn Sumac are now in bloom.  With their flaming flower heads reaching into the sky, the Staghorn sumac are striking upon our landscape.  As fall comes, the Staghorn Sumac leaves turn fiery red before dropping and leaving their beautiful, antler-like, and hairy stems behind.  All through the winter months, the Staghorn Sumac stems stand like antlers reaching into the heavens, until they bud and spring returns again.  This post explores the medicine, magic, ecology, herbalism, craft, and bushcraft uses, and lore surrounding these amazing trees.

This post is a part of my Sacred Trees in the Americas series, which is my long-running series where I focus on trees that are dominant along the Eastern USA and Midwest USA, centering on Western PA, where I live.  Previous trees in this series have included:

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Lift Your Personal Power, Health, and Success with Herbs of the Sun | Guest Contributor

Herbs of the Sun: angelica, ash, bay, calendula, chamomile, celandine, eyebright, frankincense, juniper, mistletoe, rosemary, saffron, safflower, Saint-John’swort, sunflower, tormentilla, walnuts THEIR PROPERTIES: Colors: gold, orange Energies: self-confidence, success, vitality, courage, authority, dignity, fame, self-knowledge Number: 1 Metal: gold Stones/materials: diamond, citrine, yellow jasper, topaz Deities: Ra, Apollo, Helios, Lugh, Isis, Diana, Brigit In Astrology, … Continue reading Lift Your Personal Power, Health, and Success with Herbs of the Sun | Guest Contributor

44 Crystals and How to Use Them in Your Magical Work

HERE’S A QUICK GUIDE TO 44 GEMSTONES, ALONG WITH HOW YOU CAN USE THEM IN YOUR SPELLS, RITUALS, MEDITATIONS, CRYSTAL GRIDS, AND OTHER MAGICAL WORK. Here’s a quick guide to 44 gemstones, along with how you can use them in your spells, rituals, meditations, crystal grids, and other magical work. Amber Amber brings sweetness, happiness, … Continue reading 44 Crystals and How to Use Them in Your Magical Work

The Energies of July 2020

The beginning of July has brought with it some decidedly turbulent weather and an unseasonable end to the peaceful, warm summer weather that we had been enjoying during June. Watching the wind tear through the garden recently reminded us once again of how fragile our environment really is and how important it is not to … Continue reading The Energies of July 2020

Beyond Divination: Four Spiritual Uses for the Tarot

The Druid's Garden

The Fool from the Tarot of TreesWhen people think of the Tarot, they often think of its primary use as a divination tool.  Tarot is an incredibly versatile tool, and now you can get hundreds of decks on practically any theme, choose from dozens of books to help you learn, and access a wide variety of free online resources.  Learning to read them as a divination method is as straightforward as picking up a book, drawing cards, and reading entries–and yet mastering them can take a lifetime.

I wanted to share a few additional ways that I’ve used the Tarot over the years to enhance my spiritual practice.  The Tarot has many uses beyond divination, and learning some of these can deepen your work with the Tarot even further. These methods can be tied directly to divination uses, help you learn the Tarot in a new way, or be used on their own. All images are…

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Full Capricorn Moon

The Full Moon will be followed by a penumbral lunar eclipse ~ a time to set deep intentions. This Capricorn Full Moon is the first Full Moon of the summer and is also known as the Buck Moon by the Native Algonquin tribes. The Buck Moon signifies the time of the antler's growth and the … Continue reading Full Capricorn Moon

3 magical ways to nurture yourself during a retrograde & Eclipse Season — Spirit de la Lune

This is our final eclipse of this eclipse season and this one might actually be visible for many on the northern hemisphere! This is a penumbral lunar eclipse which happens when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned, but not perfectly. This means that the Earth blocks some of the sun’s light from reaching the … Continue reading 3 magical ways to nurture yourself during a retrograde & Eclipse Season — Spirit de la Lune