Archive for February, 2013


I REALLY enjoyed this! I personally believe that there are so many more aspects of the Goddess than the usual three found in Neo-Paganism and Wicca. “Clearly it is time for a change of paradigm. Which is as it should be. Change, is, after all, the greatest teaching of the cyclical Goddess.” ~ Mama Donna Henes

Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, Queen of my self, crones,

The Queen paradigm promotes a new understanding of what it might mean to be a middle-aged woman today who accepts complete responsibility for and to her self, and it celebrates the physical, emotional, and spiritual rewards of doing so.

Although I have been passionately devoted to the Many Splendored Goddess in Her complex multiplicity for more than thirty years now, I am not a believer in the Triple Goddess paradigm. It has never resonated with me because it belies what I believe to be the true nature of nature. The Triple Goddess in Her tripartite phases is widely understood to represent the complete cyclical wholeness of life. She who is Three is likened to the moon, the tides and the seasons, whose mutability She mirrors. And therein, lies the rub.

I am sorry, but forty years of researching, teaching, and writing about Celestially Auspicious Occasions — the cycles of the…

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Snow Moon – February

Take care this Full Moon! NOW is the time to cleanse and re-balance before the Full Moon in Virgo on February 25th. Going into a Mercury retrograde, communication can get screwy…be precise and focused about your intentions. We’re also in a Saturn retrograde (Feb. 18 – July 8). Saturn in retrograde slows down the normal rate of activity so that better methods and strategies can be developed. It also deals with Karma – we will be afforded the opportunity to and it is essential that we go back and assess and solidify commitments made, projects started and responsibilities undertaken in the past. Again – cleanse, rebalance, make right and be precise!!!

Please also see:
Full Moon in Virgo. Get Wet, Dance, and Embrace the Sacred Crazy.” by Aepril Schaile

Saturn Retrograde February 18th to July 8th 2013~” by Mystic Mamma 

Virgo Full Moon: Practical Magic” by April Elliott Kent 

 

Arianrhod is wonderful Goddess to consider working with at this Full Moon. “When Arianrhod speaks to you delve into your own soul; seek the knowledge of past lives; release the past; allow rebirth and renewal to occur. Be aware of the moon and the magic of her flowing changes. Open your heart to the infinite possibilities of the stars. Be in the open mind of the initiate who seeks truth of self and of others.” – Judith Shaw, “Arianrhod, Celtic Star Goddess“.

 

 

Journeying to the Goddess

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that February’s full moon is known as the Snow Moon amongst the Native AmericansSince the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult and the Storm Moon.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Chaste Moon in the magical world.  The antiquated word for pure reflects the custom of greeting the new year with a clear soul.

LightBody

FEBRUARY: Ice Moon (February) Also known as: Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Month), Big Winter Moon

Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants

Herbs: balm of…

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Happy Lupercalia!

Lupercalia1

This year, I’ve really kind of felt a pull away from Valentine’s Day and a draw to study Lupercalia.  Given that I have a lot of Sicilian ancestry, it only seems appropriate.  “Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February (Februarius) its name.

The name Lupercalia was believed in antiquity to evince some connection with the Ancient Greek festival of the Arcadian Lykaia and the worship of Lycaean Pan, assumed to be a Greek equivalent to Faunus, as instituted by Evander.

In Roman mythology, Lupercus is a god sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.  Lupercus is the god of shepherds. His festival, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple on February 15, was called the Lupercalia. His priests wore goatskins. The historian Justin mentions an image of “the Lycaean god, whom the Greeks call Pan and the Romans Lupercus,” nude save for the girdle of goatskin, which stood in the Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. There, on the Ides of February (in February the ides is the 13th), a goat and a dog were sacrificed, and salt mealcakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins were burnt.” [1]

"The Wolf With the Red Roses" by ~HeartRaped

“The Wolf With the Red Roses” by ~HeartRaped

The sacrifice of goats and dogs may be troubling for some (myself included) and may result in a knock on the door from your local police department and/or the ASPCA.  I would like to believe that as our consciousness has grown and evolved, so has that of the gods’.  I ran across a great piece entitled “Lupercalia – Adapting an Ancient Roman Festival for Modern Times“.  In it, it gives some great alternatives to blood sacrifice and making it more symbolic, yet keeping the Spirit alive.  Since the wolf is one of my favorite animals and is in one way or another a totem or guide for me, I really love and embrace the idea of doing something to help the wolf – whether donating money to a charitable organization that speaks up and tries to save the wolves and/or education and raising awareness about preserving the species.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE WOLVES.

As for personal workings, this really resonated with me: “Amulius deprived his nephews of their parents. The Gods stepped in and gave them wolf parents. Another aspect that could be reflected upon is the way in which the Gods provide alternatives when we suffer losses in our lives. Thanks might be offered to the benevolence of Providence, especially if those taking part have had just such experiences of the kindness of strangers.”

f4b62d049287e33cc38a375e350a7c4dAlso, from Patricia Telesco’s book, 365 Goddess:A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess, she states in her February 14th entry on Venus and Lupercalia: “During Lupercalia, an ancient predecessor of Valentine’s Day, single girls put their names in a box and unmarried men drew lots to see with whom they would be paired off for the coming year. To be more modern-minded, try pinning five bay leaves to your pillow instead to dream of future loves. If you’re married or otherwise involved, steep the bay leaves in water and drink the resulting tea to strengthen the love in your relationship.

To encourage balance in a relationship, bind together Venus’s symbols, a pine cone and a flower, and put them somewhere in your home. Or, to spice up a passionate moment, feed fresh berries to each other and drink a berry beverage from one cup (symbolizing united goals and destinies).

In Roman tradition, anywhere there’s a large stone adjacent to a tall tree, Venus is also there. Should you know of such a place, go there today and commune with Her warm, lusty energy.”

Of course, there is the whole fertility aspect of this holiday as well.  So, in the Spirit of the holiday, indulge in some strawberries, some chocolate, and other Foods of Love.  Have a glass or two of red wine and embrace Love; which includes loving yourself!  Have fun, keep it safe and get kinky wit’ it!

Divine advice from Stifyn Emrys

Divine advice from Stifyn Emrys

 

 

 

Sources:

Herne, Robin. Manygods.org.uk, “Lupercalia – Adapting an Ancient Roman Festival for Modern Times

Wikipedia, “Lupercalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links: 

About.com, “Lupercalia“.

Brinker, Wendy. Magickalwinds.com, “The True Origins of Saint Valentine’s Day“.

Ruickbie, Leo. Witchology.com, “St Valentine’s Day or Ancient Pagan Sex Rite?“.

Wow! What better time than now with all the neat astrological stuff going on, coming out of Imbolc & into Ostara next month and entering the Year of the Snake? I personally have been experiencing a lot of feminine health issues as of late. I’ve also been coming across a lot of sacred yoni and feminine healing images & messages as well. Well played Goddess, well played 🙂

Mommy Mystic

I’m very excited to offer a new self-paced DailyOm course to help you heal, empower, and awaken your feminine subtle body. This course represents the culmination of the women’s energetics practices and knowledge I have shared with  you here over the last few years. It includes work with feminine cycles and phases, energy lines, energetic boundaries, sexual energy, intuition, sacral healing, the divine feminine, and embodied enlightenment. The course consists of 8 weekly lessons that you can start at any time,  each of which should take you about an hour to complete, and each with video (of me talking to you from my living room!), print material, and guided audio meditations.

The details are all available over at DailyOm.com, so I won’t list them all here. But I will say that it was very important to me that this course not only offer you information, but convey a transmission…

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Invokation To The Crone At Samhain

No; not in the least as I found out last night…She doesn’t sugar-coat anything and is brutally honest, but I’ll get to that.  So, were to begin?  Well, I guess let’s start out with yesterday, shall we?  All day I had been feeling very much out of sorts – irritable, agitated, scatterbrained and anxious.  This actually really surprised me because I’d been rolling along all happy and feeling full of inspiration, riding the out the Imbolc high.  Yesterday started out weird, very much feeling Odin’s persistent tap on the shoulder just to let me know that he’s still here (yes, thanks for reminding me – as if I didn’t know that!)  Anywho, Odin seems to be making more and more frequent appearances as of late; showing up in a lot of books, articles and blogs I read, meeting people who have a strong connection with him and reading and listening to their experiences – some of which totally freaked me out, which probably led to a lot of my discontent yesterday.  I’m not going to lie – it scares me.  How the hell could I have attracted the attention of such a deity??  For some of you who know me personally, you know that I tend to be more on the Dianic side.  I’ve never felt a connection with any god…until Odin starting making an appearance here and there when I was living in Alaska several years ago.  I’m quite aware of the berserker and warrior side of him, but to be honest, I don’t know or see that side of him.  Coming across this from Wyrd Dottir kind of set my mind (and soul) at ease – THANK YOU!  To me, he appears very sagely – almost Gandalf-ish, very much “Odin, the Wanderer“.  He’s so wise; yet he’s curious, still thirsting for knowledge.  He craves wisdom, knowledge and inspires and drives me to seek out and do the same, soaking it up like a sponge and leaving me wanting more.  I feel like he’s hanging over my shoulder, even now as I write this to see what’s going on – to see what I’m doing or reading, seeing what wisdom and knowledge might lie there.  So, now what?  As much as I’ve been trying to ignore him hoping that he’ll leave me along and go away, he’s still there…Yet, a part of me instinctively knows, knows what?  Knows that he’s not going away and that I may need him as much as he needs me.

Big-Sunspot-Unleashes-Intense-Solar-Flare-At-Earth

So, working on this internal struggle during a solar eruption that happened yesterday – and a pretty intense one at that.  A little FYI about solar flares – according to Astrologyinaction.com, “In addition to affecting Earth, solar flares affect each of us both physiologically and astrologically. The Sun is the giver of all life. Astrologically, the Sun is our primary influence, determining our character, our behavior and our purpose. When the Sun experiences high solar flare activity, it’s normal for us to feel physiological disruptions or just simply feel off kilter. In fact, when either of our luminaries experience celestial events, we are affected in a rather personal way.”  Also, visit Carliniinstitute.com and read “The Effects of Recent Solar Flares“.  During such events, Heather Carlini advises to “be sure to drink extra water when we are having solar flares. The reason is that it takes extra water from the brain to process these energies. I also suggest vitamin B complex and a product from the health food store called Curamin as this helps. Omega 3 is also needed at this time. Cut back on caffeine as it revves up the nervous system even more during high solar activity. Also for upset stomach, tap on the cheekbones on both sides of the face just under the eyes as this helps release energy blockages in the stomach.”  Well now, I guess this explains a lot…

Moving onto last night’s ritual.  I set up my altar downstairs after making sure the kids were asleep so I’d have no interruptions.  Well, I guess I should’ve made sure the husband was asleep as well…ugh, a whole other topic that I don’t need to get into here.  My ritual wasn’t dedicated to any Dark Mother or Crone in particular.  I lit my black candle and charcoal that didn’t seem to want to light or stay lit, burned sage and lavender to purify and consecrate the space (which apparently was the main cause of discontent with my husband), and followed a real loose ADF COoR inspired ritual.  I had my iPhone ready with what seemed like an appropriate guided meditation/self-hypnosis to the Underworld setup ready to go, pen, paper, runes and Wisdom of the Hidden Realms Oracle Cards (just because I wasn’t sure what method of divination I wanted to use and wanted to make sure I had some options depending on what felt right at the moment).  I made offerings of Dragon’s Blood resin and whiskey to the Dark Mother and decided to grab my bag of runes to take an omen – to see if my offerings had been accepted and that it was OK to proceed to Her.  This was the first time using runes as I’ve always been intimated for some reason by them.  I’d been reading about them for awhile now and felt confident enough to say “what the heck, let’s try it tonight.”  I’m actually pretty glad I did because they were easier for me to use and interpret than what I had previously thought.  Well, let’s just say that my first rune I picked wasn’t all that great – Tiwaz inverted.  This seemed to sum it pretty well (as well as here and here).  It was actually pretty disheartening, but deep down, I knew to be true.  I then drew another after asking my new main question, “How do I change this?”  I picked Sowilo – a very good rune that gave me hope and encouragement.  Then as I was putting them back, Isa dropped out followed by Dagaz.  My interpretation – Yes, I’ve got some shit to work out that has been holding me back, keeping my energy drained and not fulfilling my potential.  I do need to prove myself and can’t expect things to be handed to me.  However, Sowilo offers hope – it’s the sun, fire – perhaps a guide of sorts that will light my way and melt the stagnant and depression that Isa signifies.  However, Isa isn’t all that bad either, because sometimes you do need to rest, take a step back and be cautious before trekking forward.  Dagaz is my goal – learning balance, receiving enlightenment from Odin and learning to balance and appreciate the Male and Female aspects of the Divine.  I’ve also been reading Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswenn and Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson that seem to be very helpful in understanding and connecting their message together.  Needless to say, I pretty much ended the ritual there.

So now what?  It’s been an interesting time – with the sparks and lightning flashes at Imbolc, the New Moon in Aquarius, this recent solar flare and Mercury in “the Shadow” getting ready to go retrograde…Oy vey!  Well, for me, it maybe a time to heed Isa, it’s time to open up, sit back and think – it’s time to realize my goals.  It’s time to organize and plan.  It’s time to think about what is really important and what will aid me in achieving my goals.  It’s time to plant those seeds and really nurture them.  It’s a time to learn balance – to balance Isa with Sowlio’s warm nurturing sun energy to achieve Dagaz…all while keeping in mind however Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde here on February 23 (Mercury entered “the Shadow” on February 8.  According to Sue on Magnoliaswest.com pertaining to Mercury entering “the Shadow”: “This window is when you may become aware of what you will be dealing with in the coming retrograde cycle. Events and situations that arise for you during this time will continue to unfold during the retrograde itself.”)  So get ready my friends!

Dark Moon, New Moon…or Liminal Moon?

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

In light of (or lack there of) the New Moon upon us within the next few days, I though I’d touch on a topic that has always confused and frustrated me a bit, and maybe some of you too:  Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Now, I’ve heard the two names used interchangeably as if they were one in the same; then I’ve heard and read that they are indeed different.  From my understanding, and what seems to be common knowledge among Pagans, Wiccans, Witches and those who follow the lunar cycle, the Waning Moon gives way to the Dark Moon or New Moon that brings with it the closing or end of a cycle and new beginnings.  It is a time of releasing and banishing negativity.  It is a time of purification, cleansing and a time of rest.  It is a time of introspection, meditation and seeking knowledge and wisdom.  It is a time of death and rebirth.  This Moon can be intimidating for some or even thought of as dangerous by those who do not understand the power and potential that this phase of the Moon has to offer.

How now, my ever critical and nitpicking Virgo mind wonders, can one Moon symbolize both an end and a beginning?  Death and rebirth?  Rest and rejuvenation?  Doesn’t one have to come before the other?  But then, which comes first?  Mustn’t you be born in order to die?  Mustn’t you die in order to be reborn?  Round and round we go…Therefore, I can understand how with death and rebirth being so intricately entwined and connected, this phase of the Moon could perhaps be treated or looked upon as a type of threshold or a liminal phase of the Moon – the “in-between” Moon of transition, waiting, and not knowing.  In saying that, it is easy to see why there is so much confusion over this Moon, discomfort or even fear of working with and under this phase of the Moon; for it is Dark (and full of terrors…LoL!  Sorry, had to throw that in there – yes, I am a hopeless Game of Thrones addict).

If we look at and consider this Moon in a sense as the liminal phase, it’s easy to see why it could be unpleasant or scary for some.  It is a time of transition and change; phasing out of the “Old Moon” and in order to usher in the “New Moon”.  It requires us to leave our comfort zone and head into the unknown.  As mentioned earlier, it is a time of introspection and seeking the wisdom of the Dark Mother or the Crone.  In making the journey and coming into contact with Her, Her demands, tasks and challenges may truly challenge preconceived notions, assumptions and narrowed perspectives; to reject all that we thought we “knew” in order to discover the new truths and the knowledge and wisdom that She has to offer…that takes trust, and that my friends can be pretty damn scary, for how can we trust what we don’t see?  How can we trust when we have no idea how long we’ll be in the dark?

It can be a time to come face to face with issues that maybe hurting us or holding us back.  This can be tricky, unpleasant and downright devastating and horrifying at times; for it requires us, if one is brave enough, to cross the threshold into the Dark Mother’s dark, deep and vast abyss of the unknown.  Some call it the Underworld, some call it the subconscious, and it is there we learn the lessons that need to be learned.

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

Like Inanna, we must shed and set aside all barriers and come face to face with Ereshkigal, or our Shadow-selves – that side of us which we would prefer not to look at, deal with or choose to repress because it maybe too hurtful or frightening to face.  It is here that we find and face the root cause of our habits, patterns and destructive behaviors and it is here that we must experience death; the death of those old habits and destructive behaviors no matter how painful it may be in order to rise above and be re-born.  If we don’t face that death, then we get caught in a never-ending pattern or cycle and are doomed to descend again and again to face Ereshkigal (or whatever Underworld deity that your personal practice or pantheon includes) until there is a death.

(NOTE: For those of you interested in Jungian psychology and Shadow work, I HIGHLY suggest reading Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perera.  I also HIGHLY suggest visiting Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom and reading Dr. Jean Raffa’s “A Study In Shadows: Four Principles“;  “Three Steps to Discovering Your Shadow“; “Creative Interactions With the Shadow” and “The Light Shadow” – absolutely enlightening and fascinating and very appropriate I think for successful journeys during this phase of the Moon.)

 

Moving onto spellwork…Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Some will say yes, some will say no. First, I’d like to look at the astronomical definitions.  “Astronomically, [the Dark Moon] refers to the period when the Moon is not visible in the sky. This lasts between 1-3 days, depending upon your location. This is the period between the end of the Waning Moon up to and including the very start of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the period when the Moon is not illuminated in any way, it is the period between the end of the Waning Moon and the start of the Waxing Moon.

Astronomically, [the New Moon] refers to the Midpoint of the Dark Moon, the time of which the Moon is exactly between phases, i.e. Waxing and Waning, as such, all times given for the New Moon on calendars, and even on the NASA website, are the Midpoint, the peak of, the Dark Moon. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the very beginning of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun; that very first Crescent of Moon in the Sky” (Lady Althaea).

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

To me, they are very different with their own distinctive qualities to aid spellworking and their own place in the cycle.  The Dark Moon is the closing of the cycle; the end of the “Old Moon” dead and gone.  It is a time for purification, a time for banishing, meditation, and rest.  The New Moon is the beginning of a new cycle; the rebirth of the “New Moon” referred to as Diana’s Bow (three days after the Dark Moon, when the moon is just a crescent in the sky).  It is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the start of new projects.

In conclusion however, the differences in terminology, beliefs and practices boils down one’s own magical tradition and what feels right to them.

 

 

Sources:

Lady Althaea. Ladyalthaea.com, “Dark Moon vs New Moon – What’s the Difference“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cauldronliving.com, “Dark Moon vs. New Moon“.

Everythingunderthemoon.net, “Moon Phases and Spellwork“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “New Moon Magic“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “When is the Dark Moon?

 

And the conclusion of “Brighid Is In the Details”. 🙂

The Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” ~ Jerry Gillies

This year started out as most of you know with a big move from New York to Georgia.  We were blessed with a speedy move, immediate availability of housing and our household goods delivered for the most part intact.  But, I was still feeling kind of down and out and empty (see “New Beginnings“).  By the time the Full Moon had rolled around this year on January 26, I was starting to pick back up a bit and feeling hopeful.  I conducted a simple yet very personal and powerful Full Moon Ritual, visualizing all the yuck and muck being transformed into positive energy, peace and Divine love.  I made some very personal offerings to the Goddess, thanking Her for the life…

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From my new blog, “Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan”.

The Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan

main_joy_0

“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” ~ Unknown

Oh indeed, and boy am I laughing!  This post is coming a little later than I had intended, so I apologize for the delay – but, alas, life happens…And because of the length, it will be in 2 parts.

Imbolc – I’ve come to refer to Imbolc as my “Re-birthday” as big or important things seem to happen on or around Imbolc that have had a serious impact on my Path.  Let me take you back to Imbolc 2004…I had just finished reading Scott Cunningham’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and got over the irrational fear of going to hell for looking at or considering worshipping other gods.  It was on Imbolc that I made my decision to dedicate myself to the God and Goddess, and so…

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We will be entering the Year of the Snake shortly. This is a wonderful piece depicting the significance of the snake throughout different cultures. The snake represents “awareness, awakening, choice, delusion, protection, esoteric knowledge, cycles, fertility, rebirth. There’s no shortage of snake mythology to draw upon when contemplating your Year of the Snake. For me, it seems to all add up to a moving inward, a necessary retraction after the fiery Year of the Dragon, for honest self-appraisal and inquiry. The result can be an emergence into a new level of awakening, a rebirth born of direct knowing, a cutting through past delusion, and a new level of alignment with both earth and Source.” – Mommy Mystic

Mommy Mystic

“If the account given in Genesis is really true, ought we not, after all, to thank this serpent? He was the first schoolmaster, the first advocate of learning, the first enemy of ignorance, the first to whisper in human ears the sacred word liberty.”

Robert Green Ingersoll

In honor of the Year of the Snake, which will arrive with Chinese and Tibetan New Year on February 10th, I decided to explore the snake as a symbol across cultures and history, just as I did with the dragon last year. If you’d like to read some of the predictions for the Year of the Snake based in the Chinese and Tibetan astrology systems, I wrote a bit on that over at Bellaonline.com. This post is more of a free-form exploration of the snake and the serpent as a symbol.  Symbols speak to us beyond words, on a…

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A Call to Brighid

"Keeper of the Sacred Flame" by =Everild-Wolfden

“Keeper of the Sacred Flame” by =Everild-Wolfden

Sweet Brighid so fair and bright,

love and joy radiate from your face.

On the eve of your holiest day

a candle invites you into my house this night.

Enter in and be welcome in this place

A bed is made for you to rest your head.

Bestow upon us your gifts of peace and light.

Before parting on your sacred journey

making the land green as you roam,

impart your blessing of protection on this home.

~ Poem written by April Guardi; February 2, 2011

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