Spring Equinox Treat

Happy Spring, Vernal Equinox, Ostara, Eostre…whatever you call it, for those of us on the East Coast of the US, we never really had a Winter but an extended Spring/Autumn-esque season.  Not that I’m complaining about the unusually mild weather but when you really think about it the longer term implications are kind of scary…will our Summer be filled with 150 degree days???  OK, I’ll try not to think about that and just enjoy these oddly balmy Spring days…it has been beautiful out there and the early flowers have been in bloom for a few weeks already.  To honor the new, light-filled season, my good friend and book cover design client, Vila Spiderhawk  (yup, she’s commissioned me to design covers for ALL of her awesome books!) has written the following guest blog to share with you so take it away Vila…and if you like this little blurb, buy her books (they’re only 99 cents online!!!) and you’ll be doubly impressed!!

Becoming Maiden in the Spring

Every time the seasons change, I will honestly assert that the upcoming one is my favorite.  Ask me at the end of May, and I’ll compose a loving ode about my jungle of a garden in July.  But in August, my poem will be colored red and orange and scented with the crisp perfume of apples. And just before December, I’ll create a rhapsody about the beauty of the icicles dangling from the trees, about the purple-shadowed snow, about the quiet.  Every season has its beauty and its purpose and its joy, particularly here in the woods.

Now, rushing headlong into spring, the geese are honking merrily while songbirds brag about their newly woven nests.  The pussywillows are in bud, and bulbs have thumbed their way up and are stretching toward the latticework the boughs make for the sun.

Every year about this time, I shed my Cronely meditation with my sweaters and my mittens and my parka.  An effervescent exhilaration giggles in my heart at all the opportunities about to bloom.  I spread my arms out to the forest, send my love to all the fairies, to the creatures, to the plants, and to the glorious belief that every wonder I can dream is possible.

The giddy little girl in me plays hide and seek among the trees, a flash of color peeking from the leafless woods.  Spinning this way and that, leaping over obstacles as if they were just part of the game, she wafts out story lines like bubbles, watches as they burst or land, celebrates their fluid roundness and their brilliant rainbow hues.

But when one flies, survives and thrives, and rises through the branches’ gauntlet to the sky, a joy as rich as childhood envelopes me.  And, I am Maiden through and through, discovering truth in “let’s pretend”, a truth as strong and pure and reckless as the spring.

Vila SpiderHawk, author of five works of fiction and three cookbooks, lives in the woods of Pennsylvania with her husband, their four house cats, and their many woodland friends.  Contact her at http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com

 With memory we can relive special moments, we thought we’d lost.  Just a scent, a word, an old china doll can bring those special moments back.  Join the characters in Short Stories as they relive the special times of their lives.

Short Stories is available for just 99 cents

http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com/booksFSSS.asp

 

Cooking for the Soul, Spirit & Stomach!

Hello again, dear bloggers…it’s time for another special guest feature and this time it’s my good friend, and amazing author, Vila SpiderHawk.  Aside from her wonderful, spiritually empowering novels, she’s also a fantastic vegetarian cook and has written several cookbooks.  I’ve been working with her for a while now, designing the covers for her books, and have gotten to know her very well.  Vila does everything from the heart and soul so I thought it’d be interesting to learn about what drives her to lead the vegetarian lifestyle.  So, in her own words…take it away Vila!

People often ask me why I live a vegetarian lifestyle.  And the short answer is the Wiccan Rede: An it harm none, do as you will.

I honestly try to live by that, the only rule in the Craft.  And since I am part of the “none” that I try not to harm, I start with myself and work my way outward.  Therefore, I eschew animal products and all the dietary cholesterol and fat associated with them as well as the hormones and antibiotics injected into farm animals.  Instead I eat a plant-based diet and make a genuine effort to go with organically grown produce.  And, yes, it is possible to consume enough protein that way.  All vegetables contain protein, and vegetable protein is actually easier to absorb than the protein in animal products.

Working my way outward into the world, my refusal to eat animal products insures that I do no harm to the animals either.  I have seen the way animals are raised for food.  It’s a short and very cruel life for them.  They live in conditions that are guaranteed to cause disease, which is why they’re loaded with antibiotics.  Overcrowded and often improperly fed, pumped full of hormones so they’ll fatten up more quickly, these animals go through their entire lives without seeing the sun, without smelling fresh air, often without being able to move.  And then they are slaughtered.  I want no part of that process.

Moving out a bit more into the world, and we talk about the environment: the land and the air and the water.  Eating low on the food chain, as all vegetarians do, is a small step toward saving the planet.  We don’t have to overfish the waterways to satisfy a vegetarian’s needs.  There’s no need to plant fields of grain to feed cattle so that eventually the muscles of those animals can provide protein for vegetarians.  Vegetarians get our protein from the grain itself.  That by definition puts less land under cultivation and allows more of it to be as nature intended.  There’s no need to pump chickens up with cancer-inducing hormones for vegetarians.  Furthermore, if we go for organic produce, there are no pesticides or chemical fertilizers to foul the air, the earth, or the water. 

While I recognize that vegetarians do harm;  Every tomato we eat is dead, having been plucked from its life-giving vine.  But I have to eat something.  Remember, I am also part of the “none” that I am not to harm.  Therefore, I eat everything with reverence and gratitude, asking permission of the fruit before harvesting it and then praying over it before I consume it.  I don’t know who originally wrote this blessing, but I like it. 


We bless the beings that gave their lives for this food.

We bless the hands that brought this food to our table.

We transmute any harm to our highest destiny.

 

We bless this food.

We bless this food.

We bless this food.

 

We bless us.

We bless us.

We bless us.

 

Go into the light.

Go into the light.

Go into the light.

 But there is more than practicality to my spiritual reasons for being a vegetarian.  There is also the pleasure of beauty and good taste. Vegetarian food is a riot of brilliant colors–reds, oranges, yellows, and greens–each hue bearing witness to an outrageous supply of antioxidants.  And, believe me, there is nothing bland about vegetarian food.  Even carnivores love my cooking.  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out my books, Home for Dinner Cookbook and Feasting from the Garden.  Here’s where you can order them:

Each book available

in Amazon’s Kindle Store at http://tinyurl.com/4y9hltc

in Barnes and Noble’s Nook Store at http://tinyurl.com/43lasvk

In PDF (printable form) at

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/vSpiderHawk

And on my website,

http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com

Don’t have a Kindle device? 

Download a FREE Kindle for PC program

from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/yzcqkcr

ENJOY!!

 Vegetarian Cookbook by Vila SpiderHawkVegetarian Cookbook by Vila SpiderHawk

Guest Blog #3: Vila Spiderhawk, author

I just finished reading a wonderful book, “Hidden Passages” by my friend, author Vila Spiderhawk & I wanted her to be my next guest blogger. Here’s a blurb she emailed me about her spiritual, beautifully written and meaningful books about the transformations women go through in all walks of life:

Info. about Vila Spiderhawk's novels

Info. about Vila Spiderhawk's novels