Expressions of Gaia’s Life Energy Across the Earth

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Spring has Sprung! When I saw this little flower, I just had to take a picture of it.  I think it is beautiful. white and red flower Here are a few other flowers that are expressing Gaia’s Life Energy. Yellow flower Purple flower Pink Flower Gaia’s Life Energy has brought many birds back to my neighborhood after a long winter.   I am finding that birds are great teachers.  Spending time listening and watching birds as I walk has open my eyes to their beauty and the beauty of the earth.

Robins are my favorite birds.  Sometimes if I’m not paying attention, I almost step on these birds.  They are always walking or hopping on the grass in the front yards of many homes. Robin4 Robin3 I also see these birds in the trees. Robin2 Ducks are another bird that I see quite a bit.  I see them by the water behind my complex. Ducks2 These ducks, especially the one with the green feathers, let me take a few pictures before they flew off. Duck5 Duck4As I was meditating by the water, this little bird came by and landed on a rock close to me.  I struggled to get my camera out of my pocket to take this picture. Birdonrock It amazes me that I live in an urban area but I am lucky enough to be near a small pocket of land where Gaia’s Life Energies can be expressed.  It is a place where I can connect with the Goddess and experience Her in all Her splendor.

An encounter with Geese

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The other morning I walked along the waterway by my house and I came upon two geese.  I wonder if these two birds are mates.  When I saw them out of the corner of my eye, I quickly started to walk towards the water’s edge.  As soon as I started my trek, the geese started screaming.  They were not happy with me trying to get a good picture of them.  I was determined.  I climb down a steep hill and through a thicket of bushes and trees.  The whole time I was moving towards them, they just screamed.  Before they flew off, I was able to snap some pictures.  I wonder if I will see these geese again and if I will see their offspring.  That would be nice.  Just as a side note I need to get a better camera with a bigger zoom lens.

Swimming away from me very quickly

Swimming away from me very quickly

Moving very quickly away from me.

Not very happy with me being so close

Both are screaming for me to go away

Both are screaming for me to go away

Birds That Share My Morning Walks

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As I walk around my neighborhood, these are some of the birds that join me in the early morning.  I am so honored to experience these birds as I walk.  And the songs they sing are beautiful and fill me with joy.

This was a cute little bird, just begging to have it’s picture taken.  Does anyone know what type of bird this is?

Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

There are so many robins in my neighborhood.  They are always walking around asking to have their picture taken.

Finally, Spring

Finally, Spring

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is below?  It is so beautiful and when it is in flight it is magnificent.  I see this bird quite a bit but only in the morning.  It must have a nest nearby.  Whenever I’m taking my morning walks I am hoping to see this bird.  I have become very attached to this large bird.  I hope it stays around so I can enjoy it’s beauty.

In order to get these pictures, I had to climb through bushes and trees branches praying that the bird would still be there for a picture.  It waited for me but it was nervous.

Walking down river

Walking down river

Checking out the neighborhood

Checking out the neighborhood

Looking down river

Looking down river

My Continuing Adventures with a Heron

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I had another interaction with the Heron that resides along the tributary or river that runs behind my home.

View of river

As I started to get ready for my morning walk, I looked out the window and saw that it was a dreary morning and decided not to bring my camera.  Mistake!  When I reached the path that leads to the river I came upon not one but TWO Herons!  I was shocked!  I wish someone could have taken a picture of my face when I saw the birds.  My mouth almost hit the ground with shock.

Of course, I startled one of the Heron and she quickly flew to the other.  She communicated something to her mate and then flew low over the river right past me.  Because she flew so close to me,  I got a better view of her and she got a better view of me.  I think she and her mate are Grey Heron.  Her mate flew up into the trees.  The same place were I took a picture of him the last time.  After a few minutes he flew away too.

Heron in the tree posing for a picture

Heron in the tree posing for a picture

I was sad that the pair flew away.  When I looked back towards the river I saw a group of ducks that didn’t fly off with the Herons.  I thought “Bummer” and started to kick myself for not having a camera.

I continued to walk along the path until I came to the opening that leads right down to the river’s edge.  I stayed there for a while and thought about the Goddess and her power.  With birds living along the river, I can assume that the water is clean and not polluted with chemicals.  However, there are empty plastic bottles, bags and wrappers from the kids that hang out along the river’s edge.  I even spotted a CD in the water, yuck!  This sadden me and I felt like picking up the garbage left by others.

As I stood thinking about the Goddess, I had a desire to put my hand into the water.  The water wasn’t that cold.  It was nice to touch the Goddess and feel her as the running water was pressing up against my hand.

It is very hard for me to leave the river because the sounds of water crashing against the rocks is so soothing.  I stood there with my feet rooted to the ground listening and thinking, I need to record these sounds and then turn on the recording every night when I go to sleep.

Water cashing against the rocks.

Water cashing against the rocks.

I finally unrooted myself from the ground and walked back home.  As I got to the end of the path, you will never guess what I saw?  A Heron!  She was standing on the water’s edge with the group of ducks floating around her.  Now I am really kicking myself for not having a camera! She must have stood maybe three to four feet in height. She was tall and majestic.  The colors of her feathers were a blue/grey.  She was beautiful.  She didn’t fly away as I walked slowly towards her.  But then I pushed it.  I got to close and she flew away.   As she flew off, I thought “Wow, what a beautiful bird.”  Being such a big bird, she flew so gracefully.

As I write this blog, I am thinking, “It is not a coincidence that I have interacted with the same Heron 3x in seven days.”  I wonder what the Heron is trying to communicate.  I am also wondering what connection does a Heron have with the Goddess.  I must confess that I am missing the Heron now.   I can only hope that I will continue to see the Heron on my morning walks.

As my adventures with the a Heron continues……..

Peace with yourself

Peace with the natural world

Peace with the Goddess and all things Divine

http://kieraworld.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/my-conversation-with-a-crane

A Walk Along A River

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The other day I left work a few hours early because I was sick with a lousy cold.  You know the feeling of a cold, you feel crappy but you still have energy to do stuff.  Well that is how I felt that afternoon.

It was a warm, sunny afternoon in January and the pull to be outdoors was hard to resist.  On the drive home I had a strong desire to be with the trees.  As soon as I drove into my complex I could hear the river behind my home calling me to come out and play.   Nature was calling me!  I felt like a child and wanted to go outside and play with my friends in the trees and along the river.

River behind home at sunset

River behind my home at sunset

The sun would be setting soon and I had a feeling that I would get some nice pictures.  This time I listened to my feelings and grabbed my camera.  In all my excitement, I forget that I had a cold.

 

The sun dancing between the trees

The sun dancing between the trees

It was a quiet late afternoon, no people or animals except for a few birds.  As I stood close to the river I could feel the Goddess and all things Divine.  This is a space that I will come back to day after day to connect with the Goddess.  It is amazing to think that I live in an urban environment and this space is literally 100 yards from my front door.

A Sacred Space to connect with the Goddess

A Sacred Space to connect with the Goddess

Every time I stand by the river I think of all the things that surrounds it.  There is a highway that runs along side it and another highway that run over it.  There is a car dealership behind the trees that can’t be seen in these pictures, but trust me, it is close.   There are homes everywhere you look.  Even with all the human activity surrounding this patch of land and water, the space is quiet.  It is a sanctuary in the mist of human activity.

A view of the river

A view of the river

There is a conversation in the world that human activity is destroying the planet, which I believe is true.  This space gives me hope for humanity.  We need to stop rushing and take a few moments a day and be in nature.  Nature is truly magically and it is working really hard to get our attention.  The question is, will we listen before it is too late.  Nature isn’t going to stand for our selfish activities very long.  She will leash out and hurt our species deeply.  The Goddess is very kind, but if one of Her children is bullying Her other children, She is going to slap the child who is doing the bullying.

Water colliding with the rocks

Water colliding with the rocks

As the sun was setting along the river in my backyard, I took these pictures.

The sun playing peek-a-boo

The sun playing peek-a-boo

Beathtaking

The sun dancing with the trees

The sun peeking thru the trees

The sun setting in between the trees

The sun in between the trees at sunset

Tree and the sun playing at sunset.

Sunsetting above the trees

Sun setting above the trees

Peace with yourself

Peace with the natural world

Peace with the Goddess and all things Divine.

 

 

My Conversation with a Crane

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It is a cool, crisp, sunny Saturday Morning in January.   Looking out my window, I decided to take a walk out in the January air.  I dressed in layers to ensure that I would be warm during my walk of 3 or 4 miles.  As I was dressing I thought to myself, “I should bring my camera.”  Of course I didn’t listen to myself and walked out the door without it.

I really enjoy my walk especially on cold winter mornings.  It is very quiet.  The insects are gone and there are very few birds around.  It is so quiet that you can almost hear the trees talking to each other.   I love listening to the trees conversing with one another.  To bad I don’t understand tree language.  Maybe some day a tree will teach me ;)

The river behind my complex.

The river behind my complex.

Part of my walk is a path along a river behind my complex.  As I started to walk up the path, I saw a big crane and ducks in the water.  I startled them, because the moment I saw them they took flight.  Then I said “Sh*t, I should have brought my camera!”  I was so angry with myself.  So I walked home cursing for not bringing my camera.  All day I wondered if I would see that crane again.  Then I said to myself, “Probably not.”

The next morning, Sunday, I decide to go for a walk and this time I took my camera.  I did argue with myself about taking it.  As I walked around my neighborhood, I thought, “I don’t know why I brought my camera, there really isn’t anything exciting to take a picture of.”

When I came upon the place along the river where I saw the crane, it was empty of birds.  Then all of a sudden, from behind me, I heard a bird scream and I turned around and what did I see… the Crane!  The Crane scared me this time!  It came up from behind me and landed in the tree.  I took this picture and then cursed because I didn’t have a bigger zoom lens.  You can see a big bird in the tree.

Crane in the tree posing for a picture

Crane in the tree posing for a picture

After a few minutes of posing and letting me take pictures of it, a group of people and their dogs walked up the path and the crane few off.   I was very annoyed with those people.  They had interrupted my conversation with this crane.

Now I’m wondering what the crane was trying to tell me.  Will I see this crane again?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that I saw this bird two days in a row at the same time and place.   It seem like the crane knew I wanted to see him/her again and that I would have my camera to take a picture of it.  Well the moral to my story is to always listen to yourself.   Do what your inner self asks of you because she/he knows.  I am going to work hard on not questioning or doubting my inner self.  She has a lot to teach me.

The river behind my home is a beautiful space.  It is a scared space where I can connect with nature and the Goddess.   Here are some more pictures of the natural world in my backyard.

Water crashing against the rocks in my backyard

Water crashing against the rocks in my backyard

Looking out through the trees along the river

Looking out through the trees along the river

Different view of the trees along the river in my backyard

Different view of the trees along the river in my backyard

Peace within yourself

Peace with the natural world

Peace with the Goddess and all thing divine

The Love, The Joy, The Magic, The Wonder of Christmas

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As I lay here resting this Christmas night, I am present to the magic, love, joy and wonder that has filled my heart and spirit. I could not have asked for a more beautiful Christmas. This Christmas, like every Christmas, I spent in the company of my family.

My sister-in-law had Christmas Eve dinner. I shared this meal with my niece, nephews, brother, sister-in-law and her dad. I just adore my niece and nephews. I shared some of my drawings with them and showed them new apps for art and games. Since my niece and nephews are teenagers, I felt it was ok to share a little bit more of myself with them. There was a couple of times after sharing with them, I would say “Don’t tell your Dad (my brother) what I just told you.” They assured me they wouldn’t. What was so cool about sharing with them was that they wanted to know me. I felt how much they love me and that they just wanted to know their Aunt. What was surprising to me was how much the boys showed me they cared. They are teenage boys and have a lot of things going on in their lives, but they let me know how important I am to them.

My sister, brother-in-law, and niece came over after dinner, as well as my sister-in-law’s sister, husband and son who flew in from Seattle. We all sat down and had desert. I simply adore my sister-in-law’s sister. She is so friendly and a great person. Over the years I have come to love her like a sister. We chatted at the table for a couple of hours when someone said, “It’s snowing”. With that, we all put on our coats and went outside to play in the snow. We made snow angels and had a snowball fight. My little niece, who is 7, was running around throw snowballs at everyone. She is just so cute and everyone let her throw snow at them. It was just a beautiful night with the snow falling and everyone playing, laughing and loving one another.

After the snowball fight, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and myself got in my sister’s car and drove to her home. As soon as we got home, we took a few pictures of my niece in the snow, put out the reindeer feed and then she went off to bed. My sister and I then got busy wrapping her gifts and setting up the iPad for my niece to open in the morning. Then my sister pushed me out the door to kick around the reindeer feed. I did my best to make it look like reindeer ate some of the feed. We finally got to sleep at around 2am. My niece was up at 7:30 to open gifts. Watching children opening gifts Christmas morning is the most precious gift of all.

After the morning gifts, we were off to church. Yes, once a year I walk into a church. I do this for my family since they are Christians. After church, it was back to my brother’s for another Christmas meal. Everyone who was there the night before came back Christmas Day. We took lots of pictures and sat down for lunch. We chatted again for a few more hours. Then someone said we have gifts to open. We all marched downstairs and opened more gifts. We took more pictures and talked some more.

Finally, it was time for me to return to my home and my life. As I said goodbye, I felt love fill my spirit. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to share this Christmas with awesome people. These Christmas memories will be held close to my heart for the rest of my life.

May the magic, joy, love, and wonder of the Christmas season be with you throughout the year.

Winter Solstice – Yule, New Beginnings

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Yule Tree and Yule Altar

Yule Tree and Yule Altar

Winter Solstice or Yule is a festival of fire that has been celebrated for many, many centuries.  Yule is Scandinavian in origin meaning wheel and solstice means that the sun is standing still.  Yule is a solar holiday, which gave birth to the Yule log tradition.  The Yule Log is burned to inspire the sun god to bring blessing and the warmth of the sun back.  It is the shortest day and the longest night in the northern hemisphere.  This is the night that the King of Oak and the King of Holly battle.  The King of Oak wins the battle and the sun begins the waxing cycle.  After this night the days will begin to get longer and the nights shorter.  A Yule Tree is brought into the home to encourage the growth of life and the return of warmth.  Yuletide begins on December 20 or 21 (Mother Night) and ends December 31 (Yule Night).  This period of time is also known as the 12 days of Christmas.

For me, this winter solstice marks one year as a practicing Pagan/Wiccan.  I have been practicing Wicca for an entire Wheel of the Year.  Granted I did not perform rituals on every Sabbat or Esbat.  Nor did I really dive into the festivals and the traditions associated with each Sabbat.  What I think is important is that I was aware of Sabbats and I would do a little reading on each Sabbat during the festivals.  I also became aware of the moon’s 29 day cycle.  I downloaded an app that gives all the information I could ever want about the moon.  This app tells me where the moon is in the universe every minute of everyday.   My altar is not complete either and I do need some additional standard magick tools.

What has and will inspire me to continue my Wicca practices is my patron Goddess.  She  has definitely been the Being that has been keeping me on track.  She doesn’t let me wander off the Wiccan path.  My patron Goddess is the Triple Goddess the Morrigan.  She is of the Celtic Pantheon.  She is known as a dark Goddess.  My experiences of her is both dark and light.  There are many aspects of her that I have seen this past year and I am looking forward to many years of working with her.  She has become my guide.  She is there in my time of need as well as when times are good.  She is the queen of the Faeries which opens doors into the faery realm.  Theses spirits have become my friends and I enjoy my experiences of them.

Looking back over this past year, I have to say that it was my best year yet.  Since I banished Christianity, my view of life has changed dramatically.  Living without sin and hell is a wonderful experience.   Now I live with Karma.  I am aware of my actions at all times because I don’t want negative Karma coming back to me.  The Wiccan Rede “an it harm none, do as I will” is what I live by.  I’ve also notice that different aspects of my life are better without me trying.  My family life, my work life, my finances and my health have improved without me putting much effort into it.   There is much less stress in my life.  No sin and no judgement day equals no stress.  Simple equation with many positive benefits.

The Yule season is a time of letting go and new beginnings.  During this season I have been letting go of things in my life that are no longer needed.   I’ve thrown away a lot of stuff and de-cluttered my home.  I’ve also release emotional heartaches.  For the Yule festival, I did call the quarters and the goddess the Morrigan in ritual.  During my ritual I wrote down a wish list for the coming year.  The highlights of my wish list are to continuing to see my skills as an visual artist improve, I have good fortune throughout the year, my family continues to be in good health and I pull loving positive people in to my life.  If I stay on the Wiccan path, I’m sure that my wish list items will become reality with some work.

Some celebrate Yule as the birth or rebirth of the God.  Yule is when the Goddess gives birth to the God bring hope and light to the world.  May your holiday season be filled with love, hope and light.

Many Yule Blessing to you and to yours.

The Night New Jersey Stood Still

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I survived SuperStorm Sandy!  This storm was the worst storm I have ever experienced.  I have experienced many nor’easter’s and hurricanes, but none can compare to Sandy.  She made Floyd and Irene look like spring showers.  I remember the blizzard of 96, that storm dumped three feet of snow.  And yet that storm was nothing compared to Sandy.  Most storms that hit NJ cause destruction that is concentrated in one or two area of the state.  Not Sandy, every community, town and city was impacted.

Before the storm, there was a lot of talk over the airways to be prepared for power outages that could last up to 10 days (They weren’t kidding).  So I prepared.  Made lots of ice in ziplock baggies, and got lots of can goods and produce that didn’t need to be refrigerated.  Filled many jugs with water to use for washing and flushing.  I filled my car with gas.  I also, picked up a flashlight that needs AAA batteries.  The only thing I couldn’t get was D batteries.  In a time of crisis D batteries are very hard to come by. Luckily, I had 4 D batteries at home.

The day of the storm was a waiting game.  Everyone in the state held their breathe and waited.  Sandy made her presence known by her wind.  I have never seen trees bend and sway like I did the night the lights went out in New Jersey.  Trees were bending to a 45 degree angle.  I stood in front of my sliders on the third floor of my apartment building and watched the trees.  As I watched, the force of Sandy’s winds made my sliders and windows shake.  I thought my windows were going to break.  I could feel the building move as Sandy’s winds pushed against it.  I will be honest, I was scared.  There was a point when I was hiding in the bathroom and the kitchen.  These rooms are the furthest from any window.  In the mist of all this, my power went out.  Before the power went out, I was looking out my sliders and saw lightening in the sky.  Then I saw a burst of orange light up on the hill.  After the burst of light, the power went out.  It must have been a transformer that burst into flames.  In the darkness, I could still see the trees bending and swaying.  As I watched I wondered if the trees in front of my sliders were going to fall into my apartment.  Then one of the trees snapped and was leaning into the tree next to it.  A few minutes later the tree snapped at it’s base and fell next to my building.  I called one of my neighbors and said “We’ve lost a tree”.  Fifteen minutes later I heard another tree snap and fall to the ground.  Luckily these trees missed the building.

So there I laid in the darkness listening to Sandy’s winds.  I couldn’t sleep until her winds died down.  It must have been close to 3:00 am before I fell asleep in the quiet.

I awoke at 6am.  It was still dark and my complex had no power.  I grabbed my flashlight and went outside to see if a tree fell on my car.  Luckily my car was not damage.  I could see that trees had fallen but I had to wait for daylight to see the extent of the damage.  When I went outside in the daylight, I could see the expanse of the destruction.  Last count was 20 trees were on the ground and some shingles were ripped off our buildings.  As I walked around my complex looking at all the damage, I chatted with my neighbors.  We shared our experiences and discussed how we will clean up the mess.  My complex was without power for three days.  During those three days I got to know my neighbors well.  One night, my neighbor and I hung out in her cold apartment drinking hot tea and talking by flashlight.

Even though I lost power I didn’t lose my phone service.  This was a blessing.  During and after the storm I was camped out by land line phone.  I was on the phone with different family members a few times a day checking in to make sure they were ok.  And my friends were simply wonderful.  I would talk to my friends out of state to find out what was going on in New Jersey.  My friends enduring this crisis with me were awesome.  We reached out to each other making sure we were all ok and accounted for.   We were in constant contact either by phone or Facebook.  I couldn’t have gotten through this crisis without them.

I went to the shoprite the day after the storm.  Somehow the shoprite had power and was open with empty shelves.  Shoprite had not received a shipment yet.  In fact, it took three days before trucks were allowed on the highways in New Jersey.  At least that is what it seem.  I can see a major highway from my window and there were no trucks on that road until the third day.   Speaking of trucks, most gas stations were closed because they didn’t have power.  The second day after the storm, some of the gas stations were pumping gas by generator.  So you can just imagine the gas lines.  It was 1979 all over again.  Boy, was I glad I filled up before the storm.

Gas lines after Superstorm Sandy

I had one or two bad experiences while walking around the neighborhood.  One really bothered me.  I was crossing a two lane road at an intersection by foot.  The light was green and as a pedestrian I had the right of way.  Well, the person making the right saw me and was waiting for me to cross.  The person making the left didn’t see me and thought the person making the right was letting him go.  That didn’t bother me.  But the woman behind him was going to make the left, when I yelled and gestured, “Hey, I’m here!”   I got her attention and she stopped and started cursing at me as I crossed the street.  She rolled down her window and was screaming “bitch”   I turned around and gave her the finger.  As I walked home I can feel the anger boiling.  It took me an hour or two before I cooled off.  Aside from this experience, I would say most New Jersey residents were helpful and caring during the crisis.

When I got power, I saw all the destruction on the Jersey Shore.  It made me cry.  I spent many summers down the Shore.  It was very hard seeing the shore line after Sandy.

Seaside Heights Roller coaster in the Atlantic ocean!

Homes along the Jersey shoreline destroyed by SuperStorm Sandy

My Aunt lives on a lagoon in Tuckerton, NJ and the waters flooded her home.  Her home saw four feet of water.  My  cousin lives in Manasquan, NJ.  Her apartment also flooded up to four feet.  They were both evacuated and lost everything.   Everyone else in my family lost power.  Except for my Aunt who lives in Toms River.  I don’t know how she didn’t lose power.    It mystifies me, since everything around her home was destroyed.  Some people I know lost power for about two weeks.  It is very hard living without power for 3 days never mind 10 or more days.  But most New Jersey residents took this crisis in stride and watched out for each other.  This crisis brought out the best in people with a few exceptions.  I must say after SuperStorm Sandy, I am very proud to be a Jersey Girl!

It was interesting living without power.  I was able to cook and take hot showers because the gas lines weren’t damaged.  But boy, is it quiet without power.  I had to find things to entertain myself that didn’t need power, so I did a lot of drawing.  My life had slowed down.  To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the quiet.  Now that my life is hectic again, I miss those quiet days.

A week after the storm, I walked around the neighborhood and took some pictures.  The pictures below can never truly express the intensity and magnitude of Sandy’s wrath.  These photos are just a glimpse of what New Jersey residents experienced the night 2.7 millions people lost power.

Siding was blown off this home

Tree snapped in half

Winds of SuperStorm Sandy uproot many trees

Tree uprooted and being held up by a house

Street with many fallen trees

Car crushed by tree

Utility pole, transformer and trees knocked down by Sandy’s winds

Now that the storms are over and the cleanup has begun, I want to give everyone hug.

Hugs for you

And my heart goes out to everyone who lost love ones, their homes, property and power.  I just want reach out and comfort you for a few minutes.

We survived

It has been a hard two weeks.  New Jersey residents dealt with Superstorm Sandy and a Nor’easter that dumped up to a foot of snow.   We came through these storms and we are stronger then ever.  We are Jersey Strong!  We are here for each other and we will rebuild!

Cleaning up the mess SuperStorm Sandy left behind

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