Hearth and Home Vol. 22: Go and Help Your Brother

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have been editing my second book, Star Child, all week so I have stars and Zodiac signs on the brain. This Hearth and Home is brought to you by the sign of Virgo, the sign most devoted to being of good help, and the sign that the New Moon occurs today.

“Go and help your brother.”

These are words I utter every day, usually several times, to my oldest son. Sometimes the help is given gladly. Sometimes the heavy sound of sneakers trudging across the wooden floorboards follows my request and I can tell he is a little annoyed. And almost always there is a response and the needed help is given.

You can’t really read the news anymore, you can just doom scroll your way through it and it makes me wonder about help and the stories of help and where they are. For it is exactly in times such as these, in crisis times and fear-ridden times, that we most need to look for the helpers, as Fred Rogers reminds us. Earlier this year when I returned to social media, I was able to highlight the helper stories and share them far and wide, but the stream has slowed to a trickle, the waters are drying up.

“Go and help your brother.” It has become a mantra of sorts, the theme of 2020 is not a word or an image, at least not for me, it is this: Go. And. Help. Your. Brother.

I thought I was uttering it as a suggestion, sometimes a snapped command, to my oldest child but it turns out I have been saying it to my own soul this entire time. What is needed right now? What medicine can begin to heal the wounds and the hurt places? Offering Help. To our brothers, our sisters, our loved ones, to men, women, those in between, and creatures of all kinds. Go and help. It is not a request or a suggestion, it is an inner imperative of the heart. Something we must all do in all of the ways, in all of the times, that we can.

More than that, these are the stories that need to be told, stories of helpers, everyday people, showing up with care and kindness. Their names and their roles are often obfuscated by the bigger events that are happening so I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of them, helpers I have had immediate and direct contact with over this year.

Doctors
Artists
Nurses
Grocery store clerks
Postal Workers
Lab techs
Teachers
Epidemiologists
Ministers
Truck Drivers
Scientists working on vaccines and therapeutics
Priests
Storytellers
Workers in warehouses, slaughterhouses, and fields
First Responders
Witches
Farmers
Professors
Writers
Police
Tarot Readers
Protestors
Grandparents
Shamans
Ranchers
Astrologers
Educators
School Administrators
Stockists
Therapists
Rootworkers
Parents
Children

I see this list as a litany. I say the names and the titles, many of which bring individual beloveds to my mind and I bless them for the ways they show up, the ways they try, for going to help their brothers, for helping me, my family, my friends, my clients, and students, my loved ones.

Being of good help is a theme we find in every major spiritual tradition as well as in the Sacred Arts. The four Tarot cards pictured above, all the Knights in the tarot, are often interpreted as helper figures showing up in our lives in different ways and with different qualities. So it is for us as well, we can show up to help in different ways and with different abilities and qualities at our disposal.

It is easy to think, in these latter days of Dharma as the Mahabharata calls them, that you can’t help. If you don’t know how to start an IV line or hold a line for justice or calm of a line of angry and frightened shoppers then really, what do you have to offer? Bit if there is one thing that 2020 has taught me it is this: That there is always a way to go and help your brother. I am grateful for the lesson.

I want to thank Jacquelyn Tierney/House of Divine Style Stock Photography for making this image available to me. I actually worked with it as a writing prompt which was so much fun!

And now for news from the home front:

Our September has gotten off to a busy start! The highlights include: editing Star Child, planning for the Story Threads class that begins in a few weeks, doing a guest teaching on blessing ways and prayer for a dear friend (I’ll be sharing more about this later), and keeping up with the school schedules of our body.

THE Most Frequently Asked Question of 2020 is: Did you remember to put an extra mask in your backpack?

Mars Retrograde is giving me all kinds of fantastic ideas and so I am doing my best to write them down and take as many notes as possible. We are all spending more time outside because the Gods smiled on us and we are actually having a lovely, cool, September…so far!

We work in the garden, planting seeds, feeding the wild birds and chickens, and leaving offerings for the faeries. We are headed into our favorite time of year and so, we are already talking about the Feast Day of Archangel Michael and how we might arrange the Ancestor altar this time around, and of course, the most important question: WHAT IS HAPPENING FOR HALLOWEEN?

Answer: I don’t know, honestly but we will make it magical, and that is what matters.

As always, from our family to yours, we wish you a beautiful and magical month full of goodness!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Claiming Our Power ~ How to Work with Pluto Retrograde

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very year for at least half the year and sometimes more, the planet Pluto goes retrograde. Astrologers in the classical world interpreted a planet’s retrograde motion as a descent into the Underworld, but of course, this was long before the planet Pluto was discovered and we have an interesting quandary unique to Pluto’s retrograde which is this: what does it mean for the King of the Underworld to descend into the Underworld…or is something different happening when Pluto goes retrograde?

As a Pluto-sensitive person, I have paid close attention to how this planet’s retrograde periods show up in my life and in the lives of my clients and students. Contrary to the ways that many of the other retrogrades work, I do not find that Pluto retrograde makes us more introspective or interested in navigating our shadow sides (that’s what Pluto direct does). Rather, I find that Pluto retrograde places great emphasis on the areas of our life that need to be attended to in order for us to stand fully in our sovereignty and power…not only in the obvious and visible ways but also in the less visible and hidden realms as well.

Do’s

– Consider your lineage and what aspects of it currently support you and what aspects need to be re-evaluated or worked through
– Pay attention to any “mission critical areas” that get especially intense as the retrograde begins
– Identify the areas you need extra help or support in and then find that support/ask for help
– Work with your ancestors
– Learn about the place that you live and what underground resources are native to your area
– Avoid giving power to those who would try to manipulate you
– Make solid investments
– Get clear on when you feel most sovereign and what is happening that allows you to feel that way
– Make sure you have the proper support for financial health
– Determine what support you need for physical health and get that
– Release/banish anything that needs to be released or banished
– Amp up your banishing magic

Dont’s

– Engage in power plays or attempts and dominating those weaker than you
– Be passive aggressive or emotionally manipulative
– Ignore your needs
– Neglect taking care of the areas of your life that are crying out for attention
– Forget about your ancestors
– Refuse to look at your lineage and address any areas that need to be taken care of
– Lie
– Spill secrets
– Try to hold onto something that is on its way out
– Be afraid of death
– Overlook the places you are already empowered and sovereign

Pluto is the planet of creation and destruction, the God Pluto is the ruler of the Underworld, the sovereign of the realm of the Dead. All of this points to Pluto’s fundamental relationship to Necessity, and when Pluto goes retrograde we are also encouraged to see what is needed and necessary right now.

If you are Pluto-sensitive and concerned about the effects of the retrograde you may engage in the following acts of honoring and propitiating this intense powerhouse of a planet:

– Add the color black, bowls of honey, black earth, minerals or jewels, and water to your altar
– Burn black storax on Saturdays
– Donate to an organization protecting lands from unethical mining practices
– Clean a gravesite and dedicate the merits of your work to Pluto
– Donate money for people who do not have the means for proper burial
– Create an ancestor altar and begin working with your Ancestors
– Ensure your will and last testament are up to date
– Ask your elders for stories about your family history

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.