This year’s biological ode to borscht

March 28, 2021


There is no finer belly-filler than a hot bowl of thick vegetables. I am one quarter Slovak, but it’s on the distaff side, meaning my femininity and nurturing capacity are intimately connected with my borscht.

Borscht can be haute cuisine, or the place to use every last leftover at the back of the icebox. Winter is waning and green shoots will arrive soon. Or it may even be shreds of last year making way for the new harvest as the winds blow chill. It can have any number of ingredients, be dairy free or meat free or both, but it always contains the big four of season’s end:


Sometimes the cabbage or beets have even been pickled. The chemistry of it means that the red might fade once boiled, but boil it you must. Boil it well until all the anaerobic organisms have foamed and the foam is gone, so your insides will be safe.

Some folks carefully use only red ingredients and others allow the concoction to verge on golden. My borscht happens once a year in my largest kettle and part of it goes into the freezer because it is more precious than gold in this tiny household. This year it also has ground meat, garlic, beans, a splotch of tomato sauce along with the bay leaves and the pickling juices. The onions were sprouting. The beets and spuds were turning grey. The cabbage was limp. Borscht has saved them. With borscht I choose life.

I have not always chosen life. I have not always practiced borscht. Sometimes I have skipped over it in favor of compost. But I have found that compost needs its own recipes. It can’t just accept anything and everything undigested. Far better to have a feces intervention, whether ours or an animal’s. My compost has improved now that I think of it as feed for the local critters who leave scat in exchange. That mean feeding me, the Druid, too, even if my contribution is piped away by the municipality.

Eating borscht can also be as elaborate as you like. Some people fish out the bay leaves and then blend it all smooth. Some blend up only part of it for a ‘richer’ broth. Myself I like the chunks. And because it often ends up too sweet despite all the salting, I will serve it with a dollop. Traditionally it’s sour cream but I’m happy enough with plain yogurt.

At breakfast the ‘dollop’ could also be a poached egg. Borscht is good, hot or cold, at any time. I will eat it steaming hot into my nose or I will drink it blended with ice. Prepare to feel healthy and strong for the rest of the day. Spring cleaning. BORSCHT POWER.

Some other things I have put into borscht:

carrots peppers mushrooms seaweed celery greens squash eggplant meat stock fish sauce sriracha vegetable juice peas miso what you like


Oh yeah, vernal equinox

March 26, 2021

Half my online presences are in the other hemisphere, so I find somehow that my awareness of the one I actually reside at is muted lately

This is the one most referenced by Reformed Druids of North America, my organization (so to speak) of ordination, here you have it. Hare, consort of the Eostra goddess, surrounded by signs of reanimating fertility. In North America I am gifted with crocus and chive tops. Down under it’s torrents and autumn setting in.

Shadow and light balance. Libra full moon nears, promising great inner healing. I did do something for ‘spring cleaning’ — I had a bonfire and plan to spread the ashes of the past all over the garden at the feet of the Grove. But first I have to get past the side effects of the COVID jab. Feeling as if I was punched in the triceps is better than dying.

Peace peace peace.

Among the trees: guest re-post

February 14, 2021

Personal resilience or community resilience Nimue Brown guest re-post

December 11, 2020


Resilience makes a lot more sense as something we do together.

If we focus on personal resilience, we don’t have to change systems. We don’t have to challenge people who are causing the problems. If resilience is personal, we don’t have to ask about the economic context, or the fair distribution of resources…

Resilience for a community means supporting the best and most capable people so they can deploy their skills and expertise for the good of all. If you need them to be able to still do that while an incompetent boss shouts abuse at them… your priorities are all wrong.

Druid Life

I’ve been in a few situations now that were difficult for me and where people who meant well came in to try and help me improve my personal resilience. They had advice to give. They wanted me to see it from the other person’s perspective, they wanted me to be more understanding. What this also meant is that people who had acted inappropriately were left unchallenged. People who had wanted to use my time unfairly, people who had been sexist, or had gone on the offensive in inappropriate ways were not called out. It wasn’t about them – they were fine. As the person who had a problem with it, the pressure was on me to be more resilient.

I know my experience isn’t unique. ‘Resilience’ is what you have to do as an individual when people who could make changes to better accommodate you, won’t.

For me this is…

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The Prophecy of the Serpents : guest repost

November 25, 2020

The Prophecy of the Serpents


And I knew that… our elders told us that we would be the ones that would see it. We couldn’t be caught when it’s time and they’re not… like know about it and then not do something about it, not be ready and not be prepared. So I fully am planning to be a part of a movement of people to take land and to do that very thing, because it’s here. All of the signs have arisen. The settlers are killing earth and they dragged our people into it with them. And it’s time for the red serpent to go up on the hills and heal again. And we’re seeing [inaudible 24:06], that’s what they’re doing. And they’re letting their broke-off white tail come along for the ride and learn how to do it. They’re healed. 

“It’s happening all over, it’s here, it’s now. It’s not some time in the future that we’ve got to be aware of. It’s like right now. And we don’t know how long it’s going to take for them to really make a mess, I don’t know. But this is what we’ve see happening. I keep hearing people, like “What can the settlers do?”

“The answer is be the white tail because otherwise the doors are closed. Fucking die, or go home. If you don’t want to listen and you don’t want to change… It’s not just about how do we reconcile our relationship. It literally means like change every aspect about how you live and how you interact with the world. 

guest re-post: Jupiter conjunct Pluto, Room 101

November 10, 2020


“Jupiter has the quality of exposing the themes of the planet it touches, so in 2020 Jupiter exposed Pluto’s dirty secrets.

“Of course, we may not like to hear what Jupiter has been exposing since April 2020. We may call it fake news or manipulation.

“But since this is not a Neptune transit, chances are that these exposed dirty secrets are not fake news. Pluto is the real deal. What you see IS the truth – even if it’s gross and rotten. 

Knowing what’s rotten is a good thing. If your tooth rots, you go to the dentist and fix the problem… and save your other teeth. If you want your tree to grow healthy, you trim the dead branches.”

Around here, the Grove is facing the ‘elephants in the room’ such as discovering lost valuables under mounds of recycling, repairing broken things before solid cold sets them in ice, and so on.

activism arts astrology balance beltane bodhisattva darklight druid earth eclipse Ellen Evert Hopman environment eostre equinox folklore guest repost healing hope humanity imbolc light Love lughnasadh materialism me Mike Scharding 'Mike TheFool' moi mysticism nature new year Nimue Brown Philip Carr-Gomm poetry politics rdna re-post samhain shamanism solstice stories trees truth universe wisdom world

Lughnasadh full moon in Aquarius

August 3, 2020

you matter


Fixed Patterns Are Meant to Be Broken During the Aquarius Full Moon


Full moon is the natural time for celebration in each lunar cycle,  and this Lughnasadh lands pretty closely to its moon.  The Trickster, the jack of all trades, the super salesman, the creator of beautiful objects and marrying maidens,  first fruits and new hay,  in another turning we’d be off to market or off to battle. This year has to be different.

‘But the trouble with an Aquarius full moon is that human behavior and emotions are never purely logical. Even if, intellectually, we understand that the world doesn’t revolve around us, some part of us still needs to feel like it does (at least some of the time!). And the Leo sun makes this “illogical” yearning impossible to ignore.

The Aquarius/Leo polarity is all about integrating our individual identity within the larger collective. Each of us is indeed a unique person with a special destiny, worthy of being honored and celebrated. But it’s also true that none of us is inherently any more “special” than anyone else. And none of us can truly shine unless all of us are equally free and encouraged to do so.’

This year I don’t have any ‘harvest’ to offer except myself, the work in progress.  I am trying daily to get a handle on health challenges while the greater social context is also trying to get through a pandemic and crumbling superstructures of many sorts.

Okay, I survive.  We have Aquarian Full Moon to light up our conscious awareness, reminding us that nothing moves forward without Love. Our Aquarian quality of consciousness is where we come face to face with the core reality: we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.


It just so happens that many of the things going on in the sky this full moon Lughnasadh are impacting my own birth chart in many ways and making it all about Me.  Not everyone will feel this day as I do, but it is most certainly a day for gratitude for what we are and what we have in abundance right NOW.



Guest re-post: unthinkable thoughts: call out culture in the age of covid-19

July 22, 2020
Unthinkable Thoughts–  call-out culture in the age of COVID19

What this means to me the reader is that it’s too easy just to say that the emperor has no clothes.  What happens next determines how the emperor and the kingdom will remedy the situation.


as soon as i acknowledged i was afraid i was able to move into discernment. my fear became data – i am afraid because the numbers are clear that i am in a safer place than any of the locations i am considering going to. i should stay put, not because i am afraid, but because, as my fear is actually screaming on behalf of my informed intuition, this is the best place to be in this moment.

my fear made me freeze until i had to move. therapy helped me notice i was afraid, deepen my breath, and return to discernment.

i see the same vacillation between fear and discernment in our movements right now, with no therapist in sight…

…it doesn’t make sense to say ‘believe all survivors’ if we don’t also remember that most of us are survivors, which includes most people who cause harm. what we mean is we are tired of being silenced, dismissed, powerless in our pain, hurt over and over. yes. but being loud is different from being whole, or even being heard, being cared for, being comforted, being healed. being loud is different from being just. being able to destroy is different from being able to generate a future where harm isn’t happening all around us.

we are terrified of how widespread and active harm is, and it makes us want to point the finger and quickly remove those we can identify as bad. we want to protect each other from those who cause harm.

many of us seem to worry that if we don’t immediately jump on whatever mob wagon has pulled up in our dms, that we will be next to be called out, or called a rape apologist or a white person whisperer or an internalized misogynist, or just disposed of for refusing to group think and then group act. online, we perform solidarity for strangers rather than engaging in hard conversations with comrades.

we are fearful of taking the time to be discerning, because then we may have to recognize that any of us could be seen as harmdoers. and when we are discerning, when we do step up to say wait, let’s get understanding here, we risk becoming the new target, viewed as another accomplice to harm instead of understood as a comrade in ending harm.

perhaps, most dangerously, we are, all together now, teetering on the edge of hopelessness. collective suicidal ideation, pandemic burnout, 45-in-office burnout, climate catastrophe burnout and other exhaustions have us spent and flailing, especially if we are caught in reactive loops (which include the culture of multiple daily call outs) instead of purposeful adaptations. some of us are losing hope, tossed by the tornado, ungrounded and uprooted by the pace of change, seeking something tangible we can do, control, hold, throw away…

…it is a different kind of suicide, to attack one part of ourselves at a time. cancer does this, i have seen it – oh it’s in the throat, now it’s in the lungs, now it’s in the bones. when we engage in knee jerk call outs and instant consequences with no process, we become a cancer unto ourselves, unto movements and communities. we become the toxicity we long to heal. we become a tool of harm when we are trying to be, and i think meant to be, a balm.

oh unthinkable thoughts. now that i have thought you, it becomes clear to me that all of you are rooted in a singular longing: i want us to want to live.

i want us to want to live in this world, in this time, together.

i want us to love this planet and this species, at this time.

i want us to see ourselves as larger than just individuals randomly pinging around in a world that will never care for us.

i want us to see ourselves as a murmuration of creatures who are, as far as we know right now, unique in all the universe. each cell, each individual body, itself a unique part of this unique complexity.

i want us not to waste the time we have together…


…because against all odds in space and time? we. are. winning.

we are winning in spite of the tsunami of pressures against us. we are moving towards life in spite of everything that wants us to give up.

we in movement must learn to choose life even in conflict, composting the bad behaviors while holding the beating hearts.

choosing life includes asking:
do i have the necessary information to form an opinion?
do i have the time to seek understanding?
what does the survivor need?
did a conversation/process already happen?
is a conversation/process possible?
how do we be abolitionist while gaining accountability here?
who benefits from me doubting that movement can hold this?
who could hold this well?
what will end the cycle of harm here?

Guest re-post: Mars conjunct Chiron, the Spin Doctor

July 14, 2020

Mars Conjunct Chiron – The Spin Doctor



‘But that’s why we have Mars. Mars is in domicile (and very strong) in Aries. Mars has the upper hand here, and will “force” Chiron to expose the Chironic process of split/wounding and take ownership of it.

Chiron will also help Mars to see where he is too selfish and where he seeks – consciously and unconsciously – personal gain at the expense of other people’s personal gains.

Mars conjunct Chiron is our opportunity to see where we are spin doctors. Where we deform reality to seek personal gain.

When we do that, two beautiful things happen: 1). We understand when others do the same, and we are much less likely to be the victim of other Wounded Wounders, and 2). We find empathy for ourselves and others, and we heal.

Ultimately, Mars conjunct Chiron is an opportunity to align our personal will (Mars) with the greater will (Chiron).’


General strike for Beltane/Samhain

May 1, 2020

small_epic-win-photos-hacked-irl-i-love-revolutions.jpg  It is Beltane in this hemisphere, Samhain in that hemisphere, the gateway to either summer or winter.  Whichever one you dwell in, the humans are having a world wide GENERAL STRIKE.  That means this day we will not work, we will not pay, we will not purchase. It is time to pay attention to our WORLD instead.

The early founders of the international workers of the world were wise to choose to celebrate it on Beltane.  All the civilized riches and craftsmanship flow from the abundance now manifesting.  It is not for fighting over; it is for sharing and fertilizing.  Care of the cow brings good fortune.  Audubon Society has discovered that controlled grazing of herbivores actually benefits the diversity and capacity of prairies, allowing endangered birds to return.

Even though the pandemic has us unable to gather in human crowds,  we are free to dance around like the flowery king,  Adonis revived,  Flora enthroned.  We are free to look through the briefly lifting veil at the intelligences who have preceded us,  who are safeguarding the cycles of withering and unfolding.   Every cycle of our Mother Earth has a rhythm and that means it is a MUSIC.  Let us listen and marvel at this music now. It is vastly more important than any of the activities we may be giving up for the day.

image courtesy of OBOD

In other nations, there may be an emphasis on the bonfires,  or the making love,  or the eating and drinking.  Internally it is time to OM it all.  Fill yourself like a cup up to the very brim and it will spill out into the world in a thousand ways.  ‘An it harm none,  do as thou wilt’.  Gratitude is the very opposite of harm.


Our misguided societies need us and today they must learn to be grateful to us.  We will give them great hints by how we prioritize LOVE, Harmony, Beauty and the SOURCE,

which is Our Mother at PEACE. PEACE. PEACE.


Have a lovely UNBIRTHDAY!