Intrusive Emissary

November 18, 2022

I encounter deer on the road with disturbing frequency. It’s hard to predict when and where they’ll appear.

A week ago, a deer ran in front of my car on a busy road in town next to the hardware store and the pharmacy. It wasn’t a place where I would have expected to see a deer, though it wasn’t exactly odd either.

What was unusual is that my car’s electronic eyesight, which is often oversensitive, didn’t react. What was downright bizarre is that I slammed on the brakes without seeing the deer. I looked around afterward to see why I had stopped the car.

Deer are embassidors from the spirit realm. They are fairy creatures. In this case, the deer was telling me that my psychic senses were more active than I realized.

One of the best ways to hone psychic skills is to make space for “down time.” Daydreaming is important to intuition and creativity. I struggle with a world where constant work and productivity are valorized and even coerced. Sometimes I envy people who can work long hours and who need little sleep, but I realize I would not be the person I am if I had those talents.

First Snow Moon

November 11, 2022

Did you see the eclipse Tuesday morning? I’m just far enough north that I could see the climax. A beautiful morning.

This eclipse has been stressful. Look for things to ease up in about a week. The new moon on November 23-24 is a good time to resume doing magic. Obstacles cleared away.

My Latest Thinking About Eclipse

November 5, 2022

My take on eclipses is not very popular.

I’m not going to tell you to light a black candle and manifest your hidden desire. And I’ve stepped away from advocating the specific use of that time for cleansing and banishing. We cleanse with light, not darkness. The ancients were rightfully wary of the eclipse, and the word has its ancillary definitions of blocking, overwhelming, or coming-between for a reason.

Remember the beautiful Blood Moon last year?

I stop spellcasting in the week leading up to a solar eclipse and do not recommence until a week after the lunar. (Or vice versa if the lunar precedes the solar.) The only magic I recommend during this time is protective magic.

In a lunar eclipse, the earth is coming between the sun and the moon, blocking significant light from reaching the moon. The moon’s energy is lessened at a time when we are trained to feel its fullest effects. The light that does reach the moon is reflected from our atmosphere, causing that beautiful red glow. The moon is still there as a gravitational force and tides are not affected in a noticeable way.

Light is one of the ways we perceive the world, and eclipses are associated with ignorance, unpredictability, and poor judgment. Frustrations run high before, during, and after an eclipse. Tempers explode, purposeful action is stymied. This is a time when your enemies can find themselves thwarted and their initiatives rebuffed, so there’s that welcome aspect.

What you can “do” during an eclipse (if you must do something) is observe yourself and others. You can learn a lot during this time. Remember the fourth dictate of the magician’s path: to keep silent. Wait out the time.

Samhain Blessings

October 28, 2022

To you and yours.

What you lose at Samhain always comes back to you.

Batting a Thousand

October 22, 2022

The playoffs are happening, and the World Series is around the corner, but the bats I’m writing about, celebrated this coming international Bat Week, October 24th through the 31st, are the fluttery Halloween kind.

We have at least nine species of bats in the Adirondacks, making field identification difficult or impossible during nighttime encounters. The only thing to go on is size (and sometimes numbers). I was speeding down the Blue Ridge Road before dawn this week when a huge bat flew across my windshield. Well, comparatively huge, since the most common bat I encounter is the Little Brown Bat.

With echolocation and flight agility, there is little danger of a healthy bat becoming roadkill. I’ve found they are very curious creatures, so this encounter may not have been entirely coincidental. They zero in on anything that piques their interest.

The encounter made me curious about White Nose Syndrome, the fungus that has devastated North American colonizing bats. It’s still around, though you don’t hear as much about it. Biologists are hopeful a vaccine can be developed, but right now the only solution is disinfecting the mine shafts where colonies hibernate. That sounds like a losing battle to me in the long run, since some bats will inevitably reintroduce the fungus.

I see a lot of bats, especially in the spring when they emerge from hibernation and hunt during daylight hours. It’s not because the disease hasn’t spread here yet. The Adirondacks were one of the first places where White Nose Syndrome was documented, probably having much to do with the number of biologists studying wildlife here. The American bat population, overall, has declined 90%. I think what will happen is that some bats will develop resistance to the disease and populations will then recover overall, although we will likely lose some species entirely.

In my book Invoking Animal Magic, I have an entire chapter on bats. From the book:

The term “blind as a bat” is not strictly correct, since bats do have limited vision, but obviously they are not dependent on sight to navigate a dim cave. Blindness is associated with internal vision, and it was once believed that bats used psychic powers to fly at night. Even knowing they use echolocation to get a sense of their surroundings does not make their perception less mysterious. What would it feel like to map the environment with your ears?

The bat I encountered could have been a Big Brown Bat, since this is late October and these bats are late hibernators. Photo: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
I might also have seen a Hoary Bat, since I was driving through a conifer forest and the Hoary has an atypical flight pattern. I thought for a split second this bat was a bird. Photo: Dan Clark/USFWS

Continuing Apace

October 15, 2022

My days are filled with preparations for cold (really cold) weather. I have plastic over most of the windows on the porch and will finish today, hopefully with time left for a bike ride.

A friend of mine said, Well you’re only working part time. Why is it taking so long for you to get settled? I think it has to do with moving to a smaller space, figuring out what I need to hang onto, what goes in storage, what is given away. I had to take what was available, not what was convenient, since I was being asked to move. It makes a difference.

I met a birder on the trail yesterday. (Yeah, I’m still going hiking occasionally; not that busy.) She told me there’s a lot of birding activities in the Adirondacks, and I may be participating once I get a breather. Just so I don’t have to check off lists and sit in clumps of bushes with binoculars.

The autumn foliage video is still in the works. I think my Aries process-centered approach to creative projects has taken over. But the leaves are mostly down, so it’s almost time to put the camera away.

Out and About

October 7, 2022

I’ve been hiking around the Adirondacks, and taking detours on my way to work, getting a spectacular set of photos together for a spread. Still not there yet: a few more shots I want to get.

I was saddened this week by the death of Loretta Lynn. I enjoyed her memoirs as much as her music, and like most people I found her life story intriguing before and after Nashville.

My language teacher, Karen Mosko, died in September, and everyone who knew her has been broken up over that. No one can fill this woman’s moccasin’s. Yet we struggle along without her and continue to learn.

Stay Tuned

October 2, 2022

This fall foliage spread is coming. I haven’t had time to put it together, and the leaves are peaking late anyway. But I’ve been to some fantastic places. It will be good.