Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eldon's Last Complaint

“Just look at him, primping all the time in the water bowl. You’d think he never saw his own reflection before.”

"Stop complaining, Eldon,” said Festus the donkey. “You know that turkeys get all the attention around this place. You’re a rooster. Get used to it.”

“It’s not fair! What’s so great about Otto? I do more things around here than he does.” 

Eldon continued to grumble as he strutted back to his perch on top of the fence post. He proceeded to cock-a-doodle, just to make sure Farmer didn't forget that he was on the job. Otto stuffed his beak, preened in the sun and slept away most of the day. It really wasn't right. Eldon was up every morning in the cold darkness. As the sun peeked around the hills and through the trees, Eldon crowed, telling everyone it was time to get up and start their chores. The animals, Farmer and his wife, and even Otto needed Eldon. So why did that dumb turkey get the best grain, the freshest berries and the first drink from the water bowl?

The more Eldon thought about the special attention Otto received, the madder he got. But none of the other animals wanted to listen to Eldon grouse. They were busy taking care of babies, or exercising wobbly legs, or working with Farmer. Even Francine the rat refused to discuss Otto. Everyone seemed happy to mind their own business. Eldon sulked.

Days passed. Summer blew away and Autumn snuck in with brisk weather and crisp apples--Eldon’s favorite treat. This year, though, Otto got most of the best apples. Eldon and the others, even Farmer’s favorite horse Spencer, had to wait until Otto had his fill.

By late October, Eldon was furious. He refused to talk to Otto, although these days, Otto was quite full of himself and didn't speak to anyone. That gigantic bird thought he was too good to chat with the working animals like Eldon or Kirby, the workhorse. Otto was king. He did no work, he did nothing but eat and grow. And grow. And GROW.

November arrived and the days snapped with coldness. Still, even in the dark before dawn, Eldon hopped up to his fence post, his feet freezing, to cock-a-doodle-do. He never missed a morning, but Farmer never said, ‘Thank you, Eldon,’ or, ‘You’re doing a great job, Eldon.’ Only Otto offered an opinion. He wanted Eldon to stop doodling so he could sleep late.

“Sleep late!” squawked Eldon. “You sleep half the day already! How much more can you sleep?”

“With my thick legs, plump chest and magnificent feathers, I get very tired strutting. I need my rest.”

“Some of us have to work, even if we would like to sleep in once in a while. Farmer and the animals depend on me to wake them. You’re a lazy turkey who doesn't do anything for anyone!”

Otto yawned noisily, then dozed off, leaning against Eldon’s fence post.

“COCK-A-DOODLE DOODLE DOO!” screeched Eldon as loudly as he could. 

Otto jumped, harrumphed at Eldon, and tottered off to find a quieter place in the barn. When Eldon started complaining about Otto again, the animals meandered away, shaking their heads. Only Calliope, the ancient farm cat, remained to listen. When he finished his long list of criticisms, Calliope simply shrugged.

“The grain is always better in someone else’s trough,” she purred.

“What do you mean by that?” asked Eldon crossly. He was in no mood for puzzles. And why wouldn't anyone sympathize with him? He couldn’t understand it. They were all getting cheated.

“All I’m saying is that sometimes it seems like someone else is getting more than their fair share. Wait and see if you think Otto has it so good.” 

“Wait for how long? Till Yule?” snapped Eldon. 

“Not that long,” was all the cat would say and she, too, went into the barn for a nap.

Eldon waited. The next day, Otto was still getting the best of everything. The day after was the same. Eldon shook his comb in disgust and went to work. He crowed until Farmer turned on his light, then waited for his breakfast.

One day, Otto was no where to be seen. He didn’t make a grand appearance for any of the meals or extra tidbits, not even for his daily parade around the yard. Eldon was too happy to care. With Otto gone, he could get the best food- especially since he was the first out of bed.

The days passed and Otto never reappeared. No one talked about him, so Eldon didn’t bother either. He was thrilled to be getting all the best grains and scraps. He was plump and sported grand feathers for a rooster. And since two youngsters were practicing their doodles, he didn't always have to get up early every day.

“So,” hissed Calliope, “the best grain is in your trough now. You’re getting nice and plump!”

“Yes!” piped Eldon disdainfully. “It’s my turn now.”

“So it seems. I hope it’s all you wished for.” She slunk off toward the root cellar where Hamilton the rat sometimes hid. At lunchtime, Farmer strolled by, throwing down some delectable apple chunks for Eldon.

“Coming to show his appreciation at last,” mumbled the rooster unkindly. In one lightning swoop, Farmer caught him, and holding him upside down, headed off to the woodshed. “Say hello to Otto for us!” snickered Francine.

After dinner, Calliope sat by the fire, scrubbing her face and paws most thoroughly. Eldon was a good friend, but he was a better dinner.

Moral: Wishes are powerful. Sometimes things that others have or do might look a lot better than what they really are. Be careful of what you wish for--you just might get it!

by Charlotte Bennardo

Friday, November 14, 2014

LapiDairy ~ Azurite!

Greetings, everyone! Bo Finn here... well, it's only been two weeks since we've moved from Goddess season to God season. To welcome in the New Year we filled a wicker man with produce from the fields (and jugs of milk, of course!), and set it ablaze beneath Samhain's azurite sky.

 What is azurite?

Well, it's the perfect stone for this most serious time of transition. Its name may come from the Persian word “lazard” or “blue.” It's been said that this gem was the special stone of ancient Egypt, one that focused the mind and strengthened perception. It cleanses and opens your third eye, brings knowledge, and overcomes fear and anxiety. This is very valuable on a night when anything from the “other realm” could be walking the darkness!

Azurite is excellent for learning. If you are a student in a classroom by day, or a student of magic by night, keep an azurite on your desk or with your magical texts. It will stimulate comprehension. When put in the room where someone is ill, Azurite, is said to absorb the negativity and unhealthy energy. It also aids the healing of bone and the nervous system--and reduces bouts of sadness, hysterics and hallucinations. (Samhain is NOT the night to start imagining monsters in the closet!)

For those of you who have family traditions or covens who use Samhain as a time for psychic work, there's nothing better than Azurite. In strengthening your astral body, it makes you resistant to psychic attacks. Meanwhile, it sharpens your intuition, your predictive ability, your inner vision and your remembrances. What better time to recall your past lives! Better still, azurite guards you from being misled, so you can see the true motives of others, and avoid any possible false memories.

This remarkable gem can plug any “holes” in your aura, shielding you from any negative, incoming energy while keeping positive energy from leaking away, causing fatigue. Finally, azurite is a dream stone. Place it under your pillow and have clear, prophetic images populate your slumbering mind. (Note: azutite is often found combined with malachite. When tumbled smooth into a sphere, it resembles a miniature planet earth! The two stones together create an extra powerful dream stone.)

by Katharine Clark
Art by Robin Ator

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Take a bite of the future...

Happy New Year! Wait a minute—it’s October. New Years isn't until... January, right?

Halloween used to be considered the end of the year, Samhain or "Summer's End". And just like us, folks in the past thought that the end of the year was a good time to have a look ahead. You can celebrate this part of Samhain and make a yummy Halloween treat with a batch of fortune-telling cakes. A little—but that comes later. 

Bake a batch of cupcakes or muffins. Be sure to use paper baking cups. Once they are baked and cooled you can decorate them too—just make sure that they all look similar—that's part of the magic!

Next, on a blank sheet of paper, draw circles that are the same size as the bottom of your baking cups (you can use one to trace the circles). 

Draw one of each of the following pictures in each circle and its one meaning underneath or around the image (feel free to add your own): 

heart ~ LOVE 
wheel ~ TRAVEL 
butterfly ~ CHANGE 
vine ~ GROWTH
lightning ~ AN "AHA!" MOMENT
scales ~ JUSTICE
handshake ~ FRIENDSHIP
horseshoe ~ LUCK

Cut out the circles and glue them to the bottom of the baking cups of the cooled cakes, then arrange them on a tray. Take a cake (no put-backs-ies--you get what you get!) to see what the future may hold for you. Trick or Treat!

by Katharine Clark and Natalie Zaman
Art from ClipartPanda

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where in the Ether is Willow the Seeker this time?

Greetings Fellow Seekers! Before I begin my adventure, I want to thank all the Junior Seekers who helped me with my last assignment (especially Skye and Pamela who gave excellent suggestions, and to Jenny who had the correct answer). Their answers were greatly appreciated and saved my grade! Woo! 

I'm standing on my new site and I find it hard to breathe. The air is a bit thin and it's taking me some time to adjust to this place. It's bad enough that I have to be out doing research so close to Samhain... Garry, my GPS and guide, has placed me on top of a mountain peak. There are other mountains around me but this appears to be the highest point. I definitely need a jacket or a parka because it's a bit chilly and there's a light dusting of snow. 

Maybe I should light a fire? Mist and fog surround me. I have to squint to see, and it doesn't help that I misplaced my glasses again. My goggles are only good for traveling while on Garry’s back. I can’t complete this assignment if I can’t see. Let me check my pockets... I have my Magical Ear De-waxer, my SAMD (Spaghetti and Meatball Detangler--I’ll save that for lunch). Funny but I’m craving bratwurst and sauerkraut ever since we got here. Wait, here's my Ethereal Telescope! It has two viewing modes: Real and Surreal. Let's try the Real mode first.

Oh, look at the magnificent forest! I see railroad tracks and puffs of smoke coming from a steam locomotive. It’s traveling up and down the mountain. There seems to be a large park. I see two signs near the entrance. It must be a park for cardiologists because I see a word that looks like it should be "heart" but it's spelled H-A-R-Z. And the other sign looks like they're trying to say that the garden is broken B-R-O-C-K-E-N-G-A-R-T-E-N). Now I see a tall metal tower next to a restaurant and what looks like a hotel. The tower looks like it's used for TV, or something like that. Hmmmm... Do you think the restaurant serves sauerbraten? Garry just whispered in my ear and told me to try the surreal mode on my Ethereal Telescope... 

Junior Seekers, you are not going to believe what I’m seeing. Everything's changed--there are flowers in the garden below and the air is so warm... AND THE VIEWFINDER IS SHOWING ME A SKY FILLED WITH FEMALE SEEKERS FLYING AROUND ON BROOMSTICKS! They're babbling about something called--hold on, let me see if I can catch it--"val-pur-gis-knockt." Huh? Maybe it's some kind of food--I could use some of that right about now!

On the ground are more women dancing around a huge bonfire near a large moss covered stone. I don’t think they're campfire girls; they look too old for that. When I shift the viewfinder to scan over the bonfire, I see a very awesome sight. A dark image appears to be rising up from the flames. It looks like it's... summoning something... Creatures are coming up from the ground! OMGosh, Seekers--something's coming towards me. It's a kind of... ghost. It moves when I move. I’m turning off the telescope; these visions are too surreal for me! 

My real view isn't any better than the surreal one. It’s getting dark and the mountain is cold again. Well, fellow seekers, I’ll have to look over my notes and try to figure out where we are. If you have any idea where we might be, please send your suggestions to me, Willow, at broomstixblog@gmail.com. You really helped me out with my last assignment. 

Until next time, explore the world--but don’t get lost!

by C. M. Alaimo
Willow and Garry by Robin Ator

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lucky Pumpkin Seeds

For this magic charm, you will need:

  • A pumpkin
  • Newspapers
  • A tool to carve the pumpkin
  • A large colander
  • A baking tray. 

Put the newspapers under the pumpkin to keep the table or counter clean before carving it. Remove the insides from the pumpkin and place them in the colander. Rinse the seeds with cold water and pull them from the stringy stuff. Place the seeds in a single layer on the baking tray, then put the baking tray in a warm dry place where it will not be disturbed--like the top of the refrigerator or a window sill. 

When the seeds are completely dry, put your hands over them and say: 

Magic pumpkin, magic seeds, 
Magic charm, fill my needs. 
Magic pumpkin, magic seeds, 
Magic power, do my deeds. 

Now the pumpkin seeds are ready to be used for magic. Whenever you want to use a seed, say the magic charm over it, and then ask for your wish. Then put the seed in a place where it will be safe. Sometimes magic takes a little time to work, so be patient, and good luck! 

By Conny Jasper