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4 Point Celtic Knot

What I seek to provide here are some episodes from my own journey in spirituality and healing that perhaps may help others who are struggling with similar issues. Also find articles on metaphysics in general, stone medicine and articles specific to intuitive health readings, including counsel for selecting an intuitive health reader. I hope the entries in this blog help you on your journey.

Mist in the Pines

Healing Stories and Articles by Alannah

Stone Medicine - Moonstone & Rainbow Moonstone

by Alannah Hudis on 09/29/17


(Stone medicine interpretation by Alannah Hudis - geological information (http://www.minerals.net, https://en.wikipedia.org, & https://www.gemselect.com/index.php)

"Moonstone is the most well-known gemstone of the feldspar group. Named for its glowing color sheen that resembles the moonlight, Moonstone can belong to several different members of the feldspar group, especially Orthoclase and Oligoclase. Moonstone displays a unique play of color known as adularescence. This effect is in the form of a moving floating light or sheen. This phenomenon is caused by structural anomalies within the crystal formation." (http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/moonstone_gemstone.aspx)

"Moonstone has been used in jewelry for centuries, including ancient civilizations. The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was born from solidified rays of the moon.[1] Both the Romans and Greeks associated Moonstone with their lunar deities. In more recent history, the moonstone became popular during the Art Nouveau period; French goldsmith René Lalique and many others created a large quantity of jewelry using this stone.[2]" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonstone_(gemstone))

Moonstone with its soft, feminine energy is a stone of mystery, enhancing psychic skills and intuition. Aligned with the moon and water, this stone is a good ally for women and especially new mothers. It is a stone of evening and enjoys being refreshed in moonlight.

Physically, moonstone has a nurturing energy and helps regulate tidal flow in the body. Moonstone is beneficial for the reproductive organs, the adrenals and kidneys. For those who are sensitive to the moon's cycles, moonstone helps ease emotions during the time of the New and Full Moon phases. Moonstone also helps relieve night terrors and promote peaceful dreams.

Rainbow Moonstone

Rainbow Moonstone

"Rainbow moonstone is the name given to a variety of labradorite that exhibits a blue or multicoloured adularescence on a light body colour. Rainbow moonstone is a member of the feldspar group, which makes up approximately 60% of the Earth's crust.

True moonstone is orthoclase (potassium feldspar), rather than labradorite (plagioclase feldspar). Though these two moonstones are related, they are technically not the same material. The reason for rainbow moonstone being referred to as "moonstone" is due to its adularescence, which according to some deems it worthy of the name. However, the adularescence of rainbow moonstone is caused by the same phenomenon as labradorite (reflection from twinning planes), where the true orthoclase moonstone gets its unusual adularescence from albite inclusions. This, and rainbow moonstone's composition set it apart from true, orthoclase moonstone. Some refer to rainbow moonstone as "labradorite moonstone" to distinguish it from orthoclase moonstone, but neither one of these is technically sound. Yet, the name, "rainbow moonstone" has stuck and some people prefer rainbow moonstone to regular moonstone."(https://www.gemselect.com/gem-info/rainbow-moonstone/rainbow-moonstone-info.php)

Rainbow moonstone, with its more apparent iridescent shimmer of light, is an ally of healers and shares healing attributes with labradorite. To learn more about labradorite, read this article previously published: http:///StoriesandArticles.html?entry=stone-medicine-labradorite

Stone Medicine - Prehnite

by Alannah Hudis on 09/29/17


(Stone medicine interpretation by Alannah Hudis - geological information https://en.wikipedia.org)

"Prehnite is an inosilicate of calcium and aluminium with the formula: Ca2Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)2. Limited Fe3+ substitutes for aluminium in the structure. Prehnite crystallizes in the orthorhombic crystal system, and most oftens forms as stalactitic or botryoidal aggregates, with only just the crests of small crystals showing any faces, which are almost always curved or composite. Very rarely will it form distinct, well-individualized crystals showing a square-like cross-section, including those found at the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, Canada. Prehnite is brittle with an uneven fracture and a vitreous to pearly luster. Its hardness is 6-6.5, its specific gravity is 2.80-2.90 and its color varies from light green to yellow, but also colorless, blue, pink or white. In April 2000, rare orange prehnite was discovered in the Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa. Prehnite is mostly translucent, and rarely transparent." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehnite)

Prehnite, with its translucent aspect has a gentle, placid energy. Wonderful for aiding balance in the garden, this stone brings a steady energy that encourages healthy growth of plants. Prehnite is also an ally of those who seek communion with the natural world.

Prehnite can support inner peace, calm the nerves and soothe anxious children and animals. An ally of meditation, prehnite stills the busy mind, assisting a meditative state. A stone of spiritual alignment, prehnite allies with those who point their inner compass towards compassion, truth and spiritual maturation.

Green prehnite is beneficial for the heart, both physically and energetically, helping to strengthen and regulate heart health and bring awareness to compassionate response.

As an earth and water stone, prehnite enjoys being refreshed outside in the rain.

Stone Medicine - Snowflake Obsidian

by Alannah Hudis on 09/29/17

Snowflake Obsidian

(Stone medicine interpretation by Alannah Hudis - geological information http://www.geology.com & https://en.https://en.wikipedia.org.org)

“Obsidian is an igneous rock that forms when molten rock material cools so rapidly that atoms are unable to arrange themselves into a crystalline structure. It is an amorphous material known as a "mineraloid." The result is a volcanic glass with a smooth uniform texture that breaks with a conchoidal fracture. Obsidian is usually an extrusive rock - one that solidifies above Earth's surface. However, it can form in a variety of cooling environments.

Black is the most common color of obsidian. However, it can also be brown, tan, or green. Rarely, obsidian can be blue, red, orange, or yellow. The colors are thought to be caused mainly by trace elements or inclusions.” (http://geology.com/rocks/obsidian.shtml) In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern (snowflake obsidian).” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian)

The use of obsidian in jewelry can be limited by its durability. It has a hardness of about 5.5 which makes it easy to scratch. It also lacks toughness and is easily broken or chipped upon impact. It is best suited for use in low-impact pieces such as earrings, brooches, and pendants.” (http://geology.com/rocks/obsidian.shtml)

Obsidian is a seer's stone. In ancient times the stones were ground to a high polish and used as mirrors, and indeed, this stone when engaged, may reflect back to us things that might otherwise remain hidden. It is a stone of the Mysteries and the elements, resonating with all four elements: fire, air, water and earth. Obsidian can act as an intermediary for humans who wish to commune with the elements.

Black obsidian has a predominantly masculine energy, but the quartz inclusions in snowflake obsidian bring a feminine energy into play. This stone reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously, even when doing serious metaphysical work, and urges us to retain our sense of play and lightness of being.

Physically, all obsidians are beneficial for the liver and aid in the production and elimination of waste material in the body. Obsidian is also balancing for the first four chakra energies.

Being comfortable with all elements, obsidians can be refreshed in natural light, water immersion or simply by lying on the earth.

Celebrating the Seasons - Autumnal Equinox

by Alannah Hudis on 09/22/17

Celebrating the Seasons - Autumnal Equinox

A time of ripening, letting go, moving inward

By Alannah Hudis

Autumn Leaf

Photo by Costea Alexandra on Unsplash

Crisp morning air, soft afternoon sunshine, leaves beginning to turn color, who doesn't love the subtle pleasures of Autumn? As the earth nears the halfway mark in its orbit around the sun, its axis pointing neither toward nor away from the sun, we come to one of the two points in the year when the entire globe experiences equal day and night. For those of us in the northern hemisphere away from the equator, it is a sublime time of year, falling in the middle of the autumnal season in the Celtic calendar, bracketed by Lughhasadh (beginning of Autumn) in early August and Samhain (beginning of Winter) near the first of November.

While, according to reliable sources[1], the quarters (equinoxes and solstices) were not of the same importance to the Celts as the cross-quarters, there is mounting evidence[2] in terms of the megalithic monuments of the cultures that preceded the arrival of the Celts that, at least in astronomical terms, the quarters were important to the spiritual and daily lives of the Neolithic peoples. Many of the monuments in Ireland, Scotland and England host stone circles, cairns and passage tombs thousands of years old that are aligned to sunrises and sunsets during the equinoxes and solstices. Some better known examples of these are: Newgrange in Ireland, a passage tomb whose inner chamber is lit by the light of the winter solstice sunrise; the Callanish stone circle in Scotland, which is reputed to have both solar and lunar alignments; Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England which some theorize may have been built in part as a celestial observatory.

Traditionally, the Autumn Equinox was the second harvest festival. Celebrations included feasting and the making of offerings to give thanks for the bounty the earth provided.[3] I have found no evidence that the Celts had names in their language for the equinoxes or solstices, but the name Mabon, (referring to the autumn equinox) has come into relatively recent use among neo-pagans and Wiccans and "was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology."[4]

Whatever the historical significance of and the celebrations associated with the quarters, for those of us embracing a nature based spirituality, marking the Autumnal Equinox and the other seasonal stations associated with nature's cycles is meaningful and lends a richness to the cycle of the year and our lives.

The season reaches a fullness at this time, garden harvests are in full swing, fruits of summer labors. It is a liminal time of year when the veil between worlds becomes thin; perception heightens to subtle smells, sounds and presences. Angles of light shift, surroundings take on a gauzy quality. Perception deepens to detect the subtle, energetic, mutable nature of the world.

It has been my sense for many years, that the equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarter days span a period of time, a window, if you will, rather than a single day or moment. While it is true that they have an astronomical point in time, their influence can be felt over a period of days. That said, particularly with the quarters, I sense a "stillpoint" at the astronomical moment, a palpable pause, when there is a great stillness to the world. Even though there are still actual sounds and movement happening, underneath surface activity there is a profound silence; as though the earth is holding her breath, waiting to exhale and then move on.

For me, in no season does the sense of that fullness reach such a height as during the Autumnal Equinox. Each point around the wheel of the year has its own character, from the promise of Spring with its new growth and subtle movement at Imbolc in early February, to the icy cold and depth of the night on Winter Solstice. However, Autumn is such a time of change; a time of accepting the gifts of bounty from the earth in tandem with being a time of letting go, moving deeper, going within. It can be a time of contraction, life force drawing in, husbanded in the womb of the earth, until she warms once again, and life burgeons forth. It is a good time to commune with the forces and elements of nature as they transform and become, for a short time, more transparent in their activities.

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to spend outside in nature, observing the changing of the guard of the migratory birds, who leaves, who arrives, who stays - spending time with trees, watching them change their robes over to Winter wear, feeling the descending of energy to their roots for the long sleep of the coming season. It is a time of changing light, the sun playing across the landscape in an eternal shadow play.

Autumn is a superb time to start a meditation practice. The sometimes hectic, outward moving energy of Summer gives way to a more measured pace, lending more calm and focus to practice. Cleaning and clearing out of the old and disused in our homes is fruitful in Autumn also, making way for cozy, tidy spaces in which to retreat during the long Winter months. A useful counterpoint to Spring cleaning! Other beneficial activities with which to engage at this time are long, contemplative walks in nature, (bundle up, it's getting chilly!) evening prayers, and handcrafts to engage your creative side. Textile crafts such as sewing, weaving, crochet, knitting or quilt making are comforting as are paper crafts for the long, bleak days to come. Try making your own Christmas cards!

However you choose to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, know that recognizing these seasonal days can bring you closer to the heart of nature, and bring your physical system and your spirit into more harmonious relationship with natural cycles.

Autumn Blessings!

[1] Loren Cruden, Walking the Maze (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1998), 95.

[2] Anthony Murphy, Newgrange, Monument to Immortality (Dublin, Ireland: The Liffey Press, 2012).

[3] http://ireland-calling.com/mabon/. Retrieved 13 September, 2017.

Celebrating the Seasons - Lughnasadh

by Alannah Hudis on 08/04/17

Celebrating the Seasons

Celtic Sacred Days & The Cross Quarter of Lughnasadh

(Beginning of Autumn)

by Alannah Hudis

Callenish Standing Stones

Callenish Standing Stones - Scotland

Photo by Simon Hattinga Verschure on Unsplash

The ancient Celts of Europe and the British Isles saw time as circular rather than linear[1] and the cycles of the seasons were as important to their spirituality as to their daily lives. While the major seasonal celebrations are most often attributed to the Celts alone, it is probable that peoples before them all the way back to the Neolithic period influenced the beliefs and practices of the Celts. Megalithic stone monuments and circles found throughout Europe, England, Scotland and Ireland give testament to the importance these ancestor people placed on delineating seasonal changes as it is being increasingly theorized that these monuments have celestial alignments. Additionally, many of the myths that have survived to the present day, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, can be connected to both the monuments and the seasonal celebrations.

The predominant celebrations in the Celtic wheel of the year consist of eight sacred days known as Quarters – solar festivals, and Cross Quarters – fire festivals.[2],[3] The quarters are both of the solstices and equinoxes, and the cross quarters occur half way between the quarters. The cross quarters have names that derive from ancient Gaelic and they are: Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain. These days signal the beginnings of spring, summer, autumn and winter respectively.

It is widely thought that the cross quarters were of more importance to the Celts than the solstices and equinoxes, but irrefutable proof of that is lacking. Given the solar and lunar alignments that are being increasingly found in the megalithic monuments, it seems probable that the quarters were equally important to the Neolithic people, so it is possible that the Celts found them significant as well.

There are names for the quarter holidays that are in use today, particularly by neo-pagans and Wiccans, but unlike the old names for the cross quarters, the quarter names do not have Gaelic origins, being derived instead from Anglo Saxon and/or Germanic languages. The names most commonly found are: Ostara – spring equinox; Litha – summer solstice; Mabon – autumn equinox; and Yule – winter solstice.[4]

The Celts (and possibly their predecessors in the lands they occupied), considered the cross quarters to be an indication of the beginning of the seasons, unlike our present practice of linking seasonal beginnings to the quarters, the solstices and equinoxes, which the Celts considered to be mid-season days. Thus Imbolc was the first day of spring, when buds begin to form on plants and crocuses push up through the snow. Birds and small animals breed and some even have babies this early! The first day of summer was Bealtaine, on or close to our current May Day. Crops are growing higher and flowers are gracing us with their color and beauty. Lughnasadh falls during the first week of August and ushers in the autumnal season and is the first harvest festival. Samhain, at the time of our Halloween celebration heralds the beginning of winter. Plants are dying back, grass has stopped growing and the weather is turning cold.

It is interesting to note that for the Celts not only was the festival of Samhain the beginning of winter but their new year as well. Additionally the Celts reckoned days differently than do we, their day beginning at sundown instead of sunrise.[5]

This month we will take a closer look at Lughnasadh, (pronounced Loo-nah-sah) which is typically celebrated on 1 August by international agreement or on the full moon closest to that date[6], which occurs astronomically on 7 August this year. Like most of the Celtic sacred days, is not necessarily restricted to one day of festivity, but may be celebrated over several days.[7]

Lughnasadh, is named after the ancient Irish god Lugh who is known as a Celtic god of light or god of the sun. Lugh was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danaan, a group of deities in Irish mythology.[8] Some legends attribute the holiday to Lugh’s foster mother Tailtiu who is said to have cleared the lands of Ireland to make room for crops.[9]

Lughnasadh was historically celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. A similar festival Calan Awst, was held in Wales, the English had a holiday known as Lammas and in Breton the festival name was Gouel Eost.[10],[11] It is above all, a celebration of the first harvest and it marks the noticeable decline of the sunlight as the earth moves toward winter.[12] Celebrations in antiquity and through to today include ritual cutting and offering of grain,[13] feasting, bonfires, athletic competitions, visits to holy wells and matchmaking.[14]

Today Lughnasadh is enjoying a revival in many places in Ireland and is celebrated by neo-pagans  in many locales.[15] Simple ways for us to celebrate this holiday include making corn husk dolls, chains or herbal sachets, decorating the home with harvest themed items, harvesting and hanging herbs to dry in the kitchen, making berry bracelets or chains, or just having friends over to celebrate with food and drink.[16] If the weather is hot and dry, you might want to put off those bonfires until the rains return and burning outside is allowed! If you must have a fire, please confine it to a kettle or cauldron on a fireproof surface for safety.

A Blessed Lughnasdah to all!

[1] The Celtic Year. Livingmyths.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[2] Celtic Festivals. Sacredfire.net. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[3] The Celtic Year. Livingmyths.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[4] Wheel of the Year. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[5] The Celtic Year. Livingmyths.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[6] Deeper Into Lughnasadh. Druidry.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[7] The Celtic Year. Livingmyths.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[8] Lugh. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[9] Deeper Into Lughnasadh. Druidry.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[10] Lughnasadh. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[11] Deeper Into Lughnasadh. Druidry.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[12]  Deeper Into Lughnasadh. Druidry.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[13]  Deeper Into Lughnasadh. Druidry.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[14] Lughnasadh. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[15] Lughnasadh. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

[16] Lammas Craft Projects. Thoughtco.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.