Concrete Jungle Update: 5.27.2022

We’re a good month away from the Summer Solstice (officially) but I’m already feeling the Summer Love. So is Ramses. He wants to be “outside” all the time!

(As I’m writing this, he has made himself into a little black “loaf” next to my chair. An unusual place for him to park but I’m not complaining.)

We had some real warm weather earlier this week. I still have some gardening to do (potting and re-potting) but it was too hot so I opted to spend some quality time with the plants, Ramses, and a nice glass of white wine. Did I tell you I cleared away a corner of the Concrete Jungle so I could have a proper seating area?

The mornings have been lovely, too, so I’ve taken to having my first sips of coffee out there. I think I want to hang some small pots on the trellis. Maybe ferns. The asparagus fern in the corner serves as a little hideaway “tent” for Ramses. (He thinks he’s hiding from me. LOL)

None of the birds have gotten used to me sitting out there though, as I’m VERY close to both feeding stations. They anxiously observe us from the nearby tree, cussing us out. (At least, it SEEMS like they’re cursing.) I watch the bees making their rounds of the African Blue basils. So does Ramses. I keep a spray bottle of water nearby when he gets too inquisitive because my cat’s an Über Hunter! Today he caught and consumed a Cabbage Butterfly. I consider them pests because of their larvae (cabbage worms) so I didn’t care. However, I had to intervene when he tried to grab Skipper butterfly – which is considered a no-no. I have to keep an eye on him constantly. Hence another reason for the seating nook.

In the afternoons (wine in hand) I chart the sun’s path through the patio and make notes of which plants I might want (or need) to relocate. Container gardening = flexibility. I note which plants need pruning or deadheading. The choices I made in plants last year have proved sound. They are thriving. The ones that flower are flourishing. Small though it may be, there’s abundance here.

Little by little, my Concrete Jungle is becoming a Sacred Sanctuary filled with Magickal intent…

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Fortune smiles on those born under the sign of Aries

‘Kayso I WAS going to do a Post about the upcoming Full (Blood) Moon/Lunar Eclipse – in Scorpio – happening tonight on the West Coast [1] but…when I did a one-card reading this morning I pulled this:

This was one of those moments when I planned on going down one path, but the Universe led me down another. Fortune is the Planetary Trump of Jupiter and Jupiter entered the sign of Aries last Tuesday – where it will remain for one year.

Destiny is what you are supposed to do in life.
Fate is what kicks you in the ass to make you do it.

– Henry Miller

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is referred to as “the Great Benefic” in astrology. A planet of luck, growth, optimism, expansion, and joy. (I’ve always pictured Jupiter as jolly St. Nick. Santa Claus.)

Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the Sun, so it generally spends about 12 to 13 months in each zodiac sign. Known as the King of the Gods in Roman mythology, Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius (freedom-loving individualist). Like Aries and Leo, Sagittarius is a Fire sign.

The Trump Card of Jupiter represents the Universe in a constant state of change – which it is. Here we see three Vampyre creatures clutching a wheel: Panther (the active and creative energy initiating Summer, the Fire of Life, and is a positive force), Serpent (Winter, retrospection and decay, and a negative force), Chimera (made-up of the four elemental animals in The Tarot of Vampyres deck; its role is to give the other two the momentum needed to spin the wheel).

Fortune is symbolized as a Wheel, spinning the destiny of each individual. The card symbolizes fate/destiny, expansion/momentum, change/movement, cycles, and unexpected gifts/opportunities. When this card appears change, movement, or expansion is inevitable. (Remember: Major Arcana cards represent life lessons, karmic influences, and archetypal energies that are influencing you right now. When you draw a Trump card its influence is unavoidable.)

Synchronicity. The relationship between two seemingly unrelated occurrences. My drawing the Fortune card days after Jupiter entered Aries is no coincidence, Dear Readers. The card is supporting what the heavens are saying: It’s the beginning of a era filled with happy beginnings, blessings, and new opportunities.

Indeed. I will go further and state that ALL Aries will be the luckiest sign of the zodiac for the next 12 months! So let’s not squander our good fortune.

But for every sign of the zodiac, with Jupiter in Aries we can attract the best fortune when we take the lead, initiate, inspire others, and demonstrate enthusiasm and courage. Faith in ourselves can bring about positive circumstances or good luck during this transit. Remember:

Fortune favors the brave.

This Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse is going to be a Blood Moon, where the moon will glow a scarlet color during the eclipse. On top of that it’s a Supermoon: A new or full moon at its closest to Earth for the month. There’s a lot going on here including a hard aspect to the “most dangerous star in heaven”: Algol.

I’ve already covered Algol’s power on the Full Moon/Partial Eclipse that occurred last November: Lilith’s Mourning Moon. Same influence holds true tonight.

The Sun in Taurus encourages happiness with the simple, tangible things in life, while the Scorpio Moon draws our attention to complexities, intangibles, and mysteries. (Scorpio rules the Underworld and symbolizes death, rebirth, and transformation.) Ideally, a balance should be found between the two energies, and this is what the Full Moon invites us to do.

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Pour votre santé – it’s World Cocktail Day!

During these last two years we’ve been honing skills in preparing mixed drinks – aka mixology. With limited options on going out to a club, bar, or restaurant, what else was there to do? (There are silver linings to every cloud…)

African Blue Basil Martini

  • Dry vermouth
  • Chilled vodka (I keep mine in the freezer)
  • Castelvetrano olives (Don’t even try substituting these – it won’t taste the same.)
  • 4-5 African Blue basil flowers
  • Lemon (optional)

Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker (don’t scrimp on the ice). Add 2 ounces vodka and 2 spurts of vermouth. Shake for about 10 seconds then pour into a chilled martini glass. Add a jot (or two) of olive juice and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle the flowers on top and garnish with 2 the olives.

Makes 1 cocktail

Elderflower Martini: 2 ounces chilled vodka and
1/4 bottle Elderflower lemonade (or to taste).

Fresh organic strawberries from the Farmers Market make the perfect blended Strawberry Margarita.

A classic Manhattan using Redemption Rye whiskey.
(Never, ever use maraschino cherries. Splurge on the good, black ones.)

A successful experiment using ingredients we had on-hand.

Use good quality eggnog, please
– and don’t forget FRESHLY-grated nutmeg!

A classic vodka martini using jalapeño-infused olives
(and more than a “jot” of the juice).

I’ve also amassed a collection of cocktail recipe books…

One of Sushi Confidential’s twist on a Mantattan: Deserves a Defense.

Cheers!!

Related Posts
Bourbon Milk Punch
Elderflower Peach Sangria
Gin & Tonic à la Chez Rock Vixen
Brazilian Lemonade

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Calling Down the Sun*

May 3rd is World Sun Day. (First designated as Sun Day by Jimmy Carter in 1978.) We all know The Sun is the center of our Universe, but in reality it is much, much more.

The Sun gives Life to all living things here on Earth. Without it nothing would survive. Not only does it keep our planet from becoming one big iceberg, it provides LIGHT – something plants and other organisms require in order to covert light energy into fuel for their metabolism (a process called photosynthesis). Not only does this “fuel” provide necessary nutrients to animals who consume plants, the nutritional benefits are also passed along to animals that eat the herbivores – including we humans.

After I brought Ramses home I found a small patch of ringworm on his chest. It was easily treated and caused no further problems for either of us, but in researching this fungus I discovered that sunlight kills it. Outbreaks of ringworm can be quite common in shelter cats – a consequence of stress and lack of sunlight. Being the highly intelligent creatures they are cats instinctively know that bathing in sunlight not only feels good, it’s good for them, too!

The Sun’s radiant energy is beneficial to people, as well. Such as:

  1. Better Sleep Cycle. Studies show that getting out in the sun could connect your body to its natural circadian rhythm.
  2. Increased Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a major component of building a strong immune system and spending at least 15-30 minutes in the sun a day can give you all the Vitamin D that you need.
  3. Increased Mood. Groups that were more exposed to the sun had more energy, increased mood, and a more positive outlook on life.
  4. Lower Blood Pressure. The sun helps release nitric oxide into the blood which aids in lowering blood pressure and increased heart health.
  5. It just plain feels good!

When thinking of flowers one’s mind naturally turns to the Sunflower (Helianthus). Did you know that young sunflower heads track the sun’s movement? Before blooming, they tilt during the day to face the Sun in order to gain more sunlight for photosynthesis. This is thought to help attract pollinators, as many are more attracted to warm flowers.

Magickally, use the properties of the Sun to help lend energy to the following intents: Eenlightenment, generosity, spirituality, health, vitality, joy, positivity, creativity, and friendship. Metaphysically, its color is yellow and its stone is the sunstone, which is a stone of ABUNDANCE.

Sunstone creates an inner fire that vanquishes any unwanted power others hold over you.
It is a stone of self-love and confidence.

Goddesses associated with the Sun: Brigid (Celtic), Hathor (Egyptian), Medusa (Greek), Sekhmet (Egyptian), Sól/Sunna (Nordic), and Bast (Egyptian).

Tarot of Vampyres

Lord of the Fire of the World
Planetary Trump of the Sun; ruled by Leo
Father Archetype
Vitality, Joy, Creativity, Spirituality, Pride, Self-confidence, Personal power, Abundance

Resources:
Amazing Facts About the Sun
Daily Tarot::The Sun
Health Benefits of Being in the Sun
Helianthus
Midsummer Ritual: Calling Down the Sun
Sun Goddesses
4.20.2022: The Sun is Vibrating!
What on Earth is a Sunstone?
Wikipedia

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*A ritual celebrated on June 21st (Litha on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year).