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Lammas/Lughnasadh: First Harvest, August Eve; & Underworking - Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine #52
August 01, 2016

Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine #52

Lammas/Lughnasadh: First Harvest, August Eve
Learning To Be More Carefree

August / September 2016

Editor's Note

Merry Meet! Welcome to the Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine!

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Amazing — it's August already! One thing that always says "Summer" to me is the 30-lane freeway of dragonflies, zipping back and forth across the meadow (i.e., my unmowed back yard).

It's a tranquil, almost meditative sight — silent aeronauts, floating hither and yon and hither again.

I'm sure, if I were inside the head of one of the dragonflies, it'd be anything but peaceful. I'm sure to them it's a deadly-serious race for food and procreation before their all-too-brief season passes.

Makes you wonder what we look like to the Gods, doesn’t it? Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

In my own version of serious zipping-aroundness, I'm thrilled to be able to say I've finally got a replacement for the old computer (the one that spent the last 3 months in the repair shop more than out)! It's taking a while to get it set up and running properly — still not 100% there — but we're running at about 85% functionality now.

The major hold-up is that my emails didn't transfer over completely, so I've lost a LOT of emails. It seems to be pretty random, and I'm still trying to recover them. But if you haven't heard from me, that's likely why. Please email me again... along with any pertinent back-story and receipts to save time, like me writing back to ask you about it if yours are missing. Thanks!

Of course, I'm a quarter-year behind on everything, since I've essentially been without a functioning computer since, oh, April! Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

So there's a lot of catch-up I'll be doing.

And unfortunately my health situation is still requiring the majority of my focus. Healing is just not a quick fix, sometimes.

It seems that the time is just not right for me to be giving all my focus to the social media connections, or future developments for that matter. I keep wanting to get back into the harness, so to speak, but clearly the Resonance is going another direction... at least for now. (See the Energy Field Barometer column for more on this.)

I just wanted to let you know what's up with me lately, and why there's not so much excitement happening in the Wicca Spirituality world.

One of the benefits of this, though (there's always a silver lining, right?), is that I've been incorporating articles from Wicca Spirituality fans into the 'Zine. Last month was the first one, with tips for garden Witchery, and it was well-received. So we'll do another one this month.

So here's your chance to speak out to other Wiccans on topics that excite you. Please submit your own articles for future 'Zines!

Just email them in, with "Silver Chalice submission" in the subject line.

(See the Events & Announcements column below for more details.)

Until then, enjoy the golden pleasures of Summer!

With Bright Blessings,

dragonsong signature; click to write to erin

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Table of Contents

Events & Announcements Contribute Articles to the Silver Chalice
Wicca Students Speak Out A Guide To Getting Off My Butt
What's New on the Site Share Your Thoughts with Other Wiccans
Website Highlights Best Wiccan Practices
Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals Lammas/Lughnasadh: First Harvest, August Eve
Ask The Priestess Why I'm Pagan (Guest Article)
Fave Quotes Why I Wake Early
Word on the Street Spectacular Ritual
Energy Field Barometer Learning To Be More Carefree; Creating a Heart-Centered Life
Silver Chalice Details  

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Events & Announcements

Share Your Ideas with Other Wiccans

As mentioned in the Editor's Note above, the Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine is now taking submissions of articles on topics of interest to Wiccans and spiritual seekers.

This is your chance to share your ideas and expertise with other Wiccans!

The deadline for the next issue is September 10.

Submissions must come with...

wicca-spirituality Star Button   The name you want it published under (if different from your legal name)
wicca-spirituality Star Button   Your legal name (which will not be shared or published unless no nom-de-plume is given)
wicca-spirituality Star Button   Assurance that it is your original work (not copied or plagiarised)
wicca-spirituality Star Button   Permission to edit as necessary
wicca-spirituality Star Button   And permission to publish it in the Silver Chalice as space arises.

Please your submissions through this form, with "Silver Chalice submission" in the subject line.

I look forward to hearing from you! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

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Wicca Students Speak Out

Wicca School for Wicca Beginners ©

Want to hear what our students
are saying about
A Year And A Day:
53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan

*   *   *   *   *  

"I have done spell work and read books, but nothing that I have committed to.

So I am so grateful for your class!

I love the way you present everything and always gently remind us that we are the true one who decides how to practice and to trust our intuition. So important."

~ Laura-Anne Rowell, Australia

*   *   *   *   *  

"I did my dedication ritual yesterday and I did not expect to feel it so strongly.

When I felt the presence of the Divine it was such a feeling of coming home that I burst into tears."

~ Susanna S., Sweden

*   *   *   *   *  

"I absolutely Love, love, love your classes — they are so deeply soulful and magical.

And within two weeks of reading, it has open my soul growth and ignited my witches fire within.

I am a different person, and I even look so different to me."

~ Raven Moon, USA

*   *   *   *   *  

"I am looking to your course as a guide to getting off my butt and actually practising what I've been learning. As you explained in the intro course, all the knowledge in the world doesn't do any good if you're not putting it to use.

~ Matt D., USA

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What's New On The Site

If you haven't seen it yet, here's an exciting addition to the Wicca Spirituality online community — Post your own Comments!

Try it out here, on the Wiccans Who Love Jesus article...

I'm super-excited to open up this new level of dialogue with you!

And now you’ll be able to discuss things among the many readers of, as well... almost like a forum. As you may know, I've long dreamt of having a forum for readers to communicate with each other. I haven't been able to make one, but this is a pretty good substitute. Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

So when you read an article now, please take a moment to share your thoughts with me… and other Wiccans! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

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Website Highlights

Spotlighting some of the Wicca Spirituality articles you may not have seen yet!

Drawing Down The Moon In Wicca

Drawing Down The Moon, or Calling Down the Moon, is a core Wiccan spiritual practice. By drawing down the light of the Full Moon, you fill yourself with Divine Light, or the Essence of the Goddess...


Wicca Meditation?

Everybody's talking about the importance of meditation these days. But what's it all about, really?

And does it have a place in Wicca?

Actually, it has a lot to offer your Wicca practice, particularly for ritual and magick...


Sky & Earth Grounding Visualisation

Begin this grounding meditation by standing on the Earth. Stand to your full height. Take a deep breath, hold it, then let it go. Do this again, and let it go with a gusty sigh.

Feel your feet on the ground...


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Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals

Lammas/Lughnasadh: First Harvest, August Eve

Sneak Preview from Upcoming Wicca School Course ©

Excerpt from Wicca Course In Progress
(Please Note: This material is protected by legal copyright)

As summer turns
to Lammas night
First fruits and Grain Gods
reach their height

— Rede of the Wiccae (adapted version)

Lammas1 — the height of Summer!

The warm scents of Summertime calm the heartbeat to a peaceful rhythm. The lavish sunshine warms our hearts as well as our bodies, and uplifts our spirits. Time seems to slow to a golden molasses, as the heat makes hurrying seem senseless.

1   Pronounced LAM-miss or LAW-muss.

And Nature beckons with all Her charms, urging us to enjoy the long warm days and the soft slow evenings to the fullest.

The weather is glorious, while that tang of chill in the night air reminds us to savour these days while they last, for winter has its distant eye on us.

Beauty and abundance are everywhere.

Flowers of all kinds and colours blossom in profusion. Vegetables and fruits pour into our baskets. The fields are glowing with golden grains and corn. The breezes brush sweet, delicious scents off the sunbeams.

Like the Sun card in the Tarot, all of life feels rich and joyful.

The Season of Fruitfulness

The next celebration in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year is on August 12 (ie, 15 degrees of Leo, astrologically): Lammas.

2   This is February 1 for Southern Hemisphere Wiccans.

3   Pronounced LOO-nuh-sah.

Lammas (commonly known also as Lughnasadh3 and less commonly as August Eve) is a time of ripeness, a time of fruitfulness. The gardens are producing madly; the first grains have ripened and been harvested.

The Goddess is at Her peak, as the Sun warms the Earth deeply, and She produces life in great abundance. The Sun and the Earth — the God and the Goddess — are celebrating their love as only those can who foresee their separation on the horizon.

And a bountiful harvest is the issue of their union.

The power of Lammas is fruitfulness and fulfillment, yet not as carefree as Midsummer. At this stage of the Wheel we are called to participate more: we must water the gardens and orchards in the dry season, harvest each crop as it becomes ripe, and begin preserving foods to last throughout Winter.

The energy is still expansive, with just a hint of contraction in the air: the full lungs, pausing before exhalation.

The Element for Lammas is Fire, as epitomised by the Sun's potent heat.

Lammas is a time when the stresses of life are at low ebb, when abundance is high and life is good. It’s a time for celebrating with neighbours, family and friends the bounty and pleasures that life offers.

Celebrating Bounty From Without And Within

Lammas / Lughnasadh is the first of the three Wiccan harvest festivals, and is, in this way, considered to herald the imminence of Autumn.

Even though weather-wise we're at the peak of Summer, nonetheless the Sun is dying back and the plants prepare to die as well — that's what makes them ready for harvest: their energy goes into ripening the seeds, grains, and fruits that carry their genetic legacy forward beyond Winter.

At Lammas, the energy is of reaping what we've sown, as well as gathering the free gifts that the Goddess offers.

Symbolically this represents reaping the fruits of our human efforts in their proper season — not impatiently rushing ahead to receive the results, nor delaying until the opportunity has been lost. What we have sown inevitably comes to maturity, and feeds us — both in a literal and figurative sense, and we celebrate our successes.

Honouring Our Daily Bread

This holy day is an especially important event in the lives of people who live off the land... Pagan, Christian, or otherwise. Grains have always been a staple food; they meant the difference between health over Winter and slow death by starvation.

4   We'll find out more about this later in this lesson.

Pagans celebrate Lammas by thanking the Grain God and Earth Goddess, by feasting, and by weaving religious icons out of the stalks: Corn Dollies4 or Cornucopia (horns of plenty).

"Lammas" comes from the Old English word hlaefmass, and means "Loaf Mass" — a celebration of the first grains that were reaped, prepared, and baked into breads to be shared by the whole community... the breaking of bread being recognised as a blessing for everyone who partook of it.

This is a recognition that the gifts of the Earth belong to all, and that only by cooperating with each other can we survive. Everyone is valuable to the community. We all have special skills and gifts to share.

Ironically, today this is probably the least-honoured Wiccan festival.

As we've become industrialized, harvest celebrations have all but been forgotten. For the majority of humans, our daily bread comes not from the bounteous fields, nor gifted of the generosity of the Earth Goddess and the Corn God, but bought plastic-wrapped in bulk at a supermarket.

Yet it is no less vital to us today than to our foremothers and forefathers.

In fact, a celebration of Lammas could be one of the most important Pagan or Wiccan rituals to rediscover!

As global food production teeters on its delicate framework of agribusiness, cheap oil, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, nuclear irradiation, and now genetically-engineered nonreproductive seeds — not to mention climate change — we would definitely benefit by remembering just how crucial the farmers' harvests are to our continued well-being.

. . .  

To learn more, please enrol in
A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan...

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Ask The Priestess:

Why I'm Pagan

Instead of Asking the Priestess, this issue, let's hear from someone sharing info with the Priestess. Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

This article was submitted for the Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine by Wicca Spirituality Facebook fan Jasmine Venditti.

Thanks, Jasmine! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

I had a Christian friend ask me why I'm Pagan and I explained to them the best I could. I wanted to share my explanation of my personal path with you as well.

Heaven is my god and Earth is my goddess. Mother Nature and father heaven.

And my church is the world. The stars the moon the wind, the air, the fire, the water, the spirit. The light in a baby's eyes as they smile. The pattern of a dog's fur. The sound of bird song. The color of flowers. The giantness of trees. The smallness of weeds. The way the waves lap against the sand and rocks. The way a lake looks from a boat with the sun setting. The way a cat nuzzles its head against your legs. The crash of thunder and flash of lightning. The scent of tar when it rains after a hot sunny day. The complexity and beauty of our universe. All of that is my church.

I consider myself a witch but not the type you see on TV. I'm not an evil old lady with warts and green skin. I don't sacrifice lambs or turn people into frogs.

I light candles and chant prayers or poems. I mix herbs in hopes that their properties mixed together will signal my intentions to my goddess and help my life.

I have rituals, yes. But they aren't what most think. It's not "a lamb's head and eye of Newt in a cauldron with some hag chanting Latin curses." It's thanking my goddess for everything she's given me and worshipping her greatness. It's offering her herbs flowers and gorgeous things to show her I know I'm blessed to be here.

Yes, I am magickal, but not "abracadabra, some hot dude loves me" or "alacazam, that Bitch who stole my man is now ugly and hated."

My magick is just things I can see and it seems that few others can. The vibrations of feelings; the intensity of intentions. The colors of the clouds during sunrise and the feeling of the wind on a hot day. The freshness of the rain and how my soul yearns to dance and frolick in it. The beauty of our world.

That is magick. That is my magick. That is why I love everything equally. Because my goddess created everything so perfect and beautiful and everything has a purpose. A frog is just as important as a human and all life is sacred.

So yeah. That's what Paganism and being a Witch is to me.

However, there are so many different kinds and every Witch you ask will have a completely different explanation and reason.

*   *   *  

Do you have a question you'd like answered? Email the Priestess and your question could be answered in a future issue.

(Note: questions may be edited for brevity or clarity. No real names will be disclosed. For reasons of legality, all questions become the property of

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Fave Quotes

Instead of quotations, this issue, I'd love to share with you this wonderful poem in honour of the Sun, in His season, from one of Wicca's favourite poets, Mary Oliver ...

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety —

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light —
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

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Word on the Street

What People Are Saying About

I performed this ritual [Drawing Down the Moon] tonight, my first full moon. It was spectacular!

The light that filled my chalice moved like liquid moonlight, sparkling with stars, and I could feel it drench me when I lowered my arms.

Thank you for this site! It's been incredibly helpful and very inspirational!

~ LC. in USA

~ ~ ~

Thank you for creating this site; it has helped me gain an understanding of myself and a reason why.

Finding out that I am a highly sensitive person has explained a lot that is going on in my life.

Wicca was mentioned to me about 15-20 years ago but I never really looked into it. I've never really blocked out the things that happened to me but I have never embraced it either.

Now that I find myself way out of balance, like I'm being pulled in a million directions, Wicca was the first thing to come to me to start healing myself.

I am excited to start this journey and I am grateful for this tremendous resource I have found in your site. Thank you for your time. Take Care,

~ K. in USA

Thanks for writing!! I appreciate hearing from you! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

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Energy-Field Barometer

I'm sure you're accustomed to bracing yourself before reading this article, anticipating the next unpleasant wave of things going around. Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

Well, this issue will no doubt be a pleasant surprise.

Learning To Be More Carefree

There's a very lovely Energy Field lately. As all Energy Fields, it takes different guises and is understood by each person in different terms. For me, I see it as "learning to be more carefree."

The Energy is about not taking things as seriously. Especially ourselves.

While that's always good advice, up until now it's been tremendously difficult to put into practice. At least, for some of us. Wicca-School Smilie Witch © Happily, with the Energy Field supporting this viewpoint, it's now becoming more accessible, easier to achieve.

I call it "becoming an easy-going person" — a challenge, for a very intense person by nature.

This is like deciding to be happy, and letting go of things more easily. Trusting that it'll all be okay.

After all, it'll be what it is. We can either fight what is, or accept it and be happy anyway. As Byron Katie says...

If you argue with reality,
you will lose...
but only 100% of the time. Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

This is kinda what we're doing when we decide to be easy-going people. We just decided not to fixate on things so much or let things get under our skin. Something will be kinda bothering us, and we'll say, "We don't have to worry about that, we're easygoing now." It sounds funny, but (surprisingly) it helps!

It's actually a huge relief, not to have to care so fervently about every little thing. Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

It's become its own reward.

Putting It Into Practice

How do you actually do this?

Well, everyone will have their own method. What's working for my spouse and me is to just remind ourselves (and each other, gently) that we're easy-going people now and we don't have to worry about whatever little thing we're starting to get irritated about.

Of course, we're also doing visualisation and such to support this change. Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

The way my friend Colombe is going about it is quite different, though it's the same basic goal and very effective for her.

She listens to her thoughts, and notices which ones are thought patterns that upset her. Then she stops thinking them, instead of believing that they're true, or adding to them, and so she stops giving them power in her life.

I thought this sounded much easier said than done, so asked for details.

Here's what it comes down to...

Stopping the Runaway Train of Thoughts

As Colombe says, the first thought is already there — you can't stop it, but you can stop the next one.

Number 1   ©
So when the first thought comes up, she tells herself:

"This is a thought I'm having. The thought I'm having is: I want ____________; I don't have _______________" or whatever.

Number 2   ©
Then the next thought that follows is:

"That hurts and I want to do something about it."

Number 3   ©
This generally brings up a thought like:

"There is nothing I can do about it, and that makes me really sad/angry/ashamed/whatever."

And in this way, she creates misery in herself.

If she stops at the first thought, though, it doesn’t become a pain generator.

Number 4   ©
So she tells herself:

"I don't have to do something about whatever I'm thinking about, that I feel is causing my suffering. I just have to stop the thoughts and that will stop the pain."

Number 5   ©
Then, with practice, she can feel the thought come on, and tell herself,

"I'm not going to think that thought."

She's still had the first thought, but she doesn't bother going through the whole thought process, and misery, again.

An Example & A Surprise Benefit

It's like not thinking about pink elephants if someone says "don't think of pink elephants." You will think of pink elephants, unavoidably. But then you stop the thoughts that build on that.

You end up having an internal conversation that goes something like this...

"I'm thinking of a pink elephant."
"Oh my god it's such a huge elephant"
"No, I don't have to think about that."
"But it's so huge, and it's going to make a horrible mess!"
"Don't even go there."
"But, but, it's, it's...!!!"
"Shh, it's okay..."

She says this works because these tendencies have no power of their own: our thoughts are what empower them, which gives us pain.

Reining them in creates a calm, peaceful response to whatever is happening in your life. When you do that, then the situation can shift. From that calm place, you can make changes happen that you absolutely could not influence from stressed, angry, fearful, states.

When I asked if it was frustrating or tiresome to have to do that all the time, Colombe's answer made me laugh:

"Having to stop yourself repeatedly is so much better than consistently having to feel those things!"

She also maintains that this practice cures an over-sensitivity to other people and their emotions — a common malady among highly sensitive people, as most Wiccans tend to be.

Kick Back & Relax

Another Energy Field going around lately is a overpowering urge to kick back and relax. This is like the 9 of Pentacles, in Robin Wood's Tarot — the woman meanders through her garden, checking her plants, smelling the flowers, enjoying the sunshine... just being.

Part of this is the natural Energy of Lammas calling us to unwind and enjoy the languor of Summer. But I think it's more than that, since it started building in early in Spring.

You may have felt this as an irresistible reluctance to take action or be productive. You may think you've been lazy lately, or procrastinating, or burnt out, or simply strenuously disinclined to work. Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

Well, that means you're aligned with the Resonance of the times!

If you find it hard to stop working, this Energy Field is likely causing some self-judgement, guilt, and anxiety. It's tough in this ego-driven world not to judge ourselves harshly about slowing down from the habitual break-neck pace of modern life. But since that's where the Resonance is lately, you have Divine permission to take it easy.

It's like the Goddess has written a note to take to your boss: can't come in today due to unavoidable circumstances. Who could blame you then?? Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

Of course, there are always things that must be done, and when it's truly necessary the Energy Field doesn’t hold us back. But then as soon as it's done, we feel pulled back into blessed motionlessness.

And there's one other circumstance that is an exception to this laid-back, relaxing mode...

Pursuing Our Happiness

I think this Energy Field is related to the over-arching process of switching from head-driven motivation to heart-centered enthusiasm... i.e., from Old to New Paradigm.

It seems that while the ego is still saying things like "hurry up, gotta keep going, no time to rest, gotta produce, gotta make things happen..." etc., the heart is taking more control of the body and saying, "nah, it's such a great day to read a book or take a walk" or whatever.

In other words — It's getting harder to ignore our true, deep desires... or to bury them under the mudpies of busyness and self-importance.

And these are the underlying desires we're talking about here. Not the surface-level ones like a big house, a new car, the biggest home theatre, partying, a million dollars, and such. And certainly not the addictions like losing weight, being able to buy more stuff, zoning out to video games, etc. More like peacefulness, time with friends, quiet time outdoors, contentment, meaningful action, and so on.

You might have thought it was just you, getting fed up with things you don't really want, getting impatient for the things you've denied yourself for too long. It's not! It's a movement in the Energy of the planet, and it's expressing itself through you.

What is it your heart is urging you to — pursuing your passions (as a hobby, which is more fun than doing it as a job), taking a painting or pottery class, just sitting quietly on the deck for an hour a day...?

What is it that your body is crying out for — more rest, less toxic food/drink, putting your bare feet on the Earth...?

Open up to wider and better possibilities in your life!

Now is the time to let yourself go with these longings. The dividends will be greater than you'd imagine, in the end: greater health, greater vitality, greater happiness, even, yes, greater productivity! Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

And Now... The Release!

In the last week, the Energy has shifted to moving forward again... with a few bonuses!

First, that lovely restful period comes in handy, when now we're rejuvenated and motivated to jump in again.

Second, we've had a chance to step back and consider our path and our goals, fine-tuning where needed, so we will be more on- target.

Third, it's not going back to "normal," but forward to a better option.

We're now being offered a chance to leave behind the old "workaholism, work yourself crazy, drive yourself to exhaustion" mode (you know, the one that got you in the burnt-out position to begin with? Wicca-School Winking Witch © ).

It's a new way of working that's beginning. It's now "Underworking" (you heard it here first! Wicca-School Smilie Witch © ).


Underworking is the opposite of overworking. It means working while staying in harmony with your body, and being in Flow with the Universal Energies so that you don't have to work so hard.

Let's face it: 75% of the old way of working was just not being in the Flow, so everything was so much harder and slower. Getting in the Flow makes twice as much work seem thrice as easy!

This way of working has room for doing the things in your life that are taking care of yourself — or even better: making you happy! This can be small, everyday things, like spending some time playing with your kids or pets, or large things like retreats or vacations.

Try it! You might like it! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

But you may need to do some work to clear those pesky workaholic, low-self-worth issues. (The methods I've found most effective for that kind of healing are found on this page: Best Self-Healing Techniques to Make Real and Lasting Personal Transformation.)

May these Energy Fields serve you well!

*   *   *  

Notice or suspect an energy field going around? Can you confirm this reading, or shed more light on it?

I'd love to hear what's happening for you! Please let me know.

What to do about being caught in an unpleasant energy field? Click here for tips.

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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

© erin Dragonsong 2016. All rights reserved worldwide. Reprinting any of this is forbidden unless you obtain my written permission: karma and the law agree on this one. And Copyscape is keeping an eye on these things.

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