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Please add to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox. - Monthly e-Magazine - August 2013

A Perfect Rain on an Enchanted Homestead
by Cliff Seruntine - August 2013

My family and I live on a homestead called Twa Corbies Hollow, which is back in the northwoods of the Canadian Maritimes. It is deep in a region of Nova Scotia called the highlands, which is a continuation of the Appalachian mountain range that runs from the middle of the province up through the isle of Cape Breton. Twa Corbies Hollow is tucked into a little valley atop one of the many low mountains of the region, and the country is mostly wild—a mix of woodlands, glades, sequestered brooks and rocky outcrops, with the odd homestead or blueberry farm scattered about. The homestead is semi-remote, having access to a couple very small towns about forty-five minutes north and south. And there is an infinitesimally tiny village—all of about two dozen cottages—tucked into the woods an hour's horse ride down the battered old road that can't quite be called blacktop and can't quite be called dirt.

The region was settled centuries ago by the Gaels of Scotland, and in fact some folk in these parts still speak Gaelic. Many of their traditions still run strong, such as the ceilidh, a festival of Celtic music, stories, and Scots country dancing, done up with a good beer and sometimes even a little haggis. And the old beliefs survive, too, though they are faded. Yet the forests are still rumored to be haunted by faerie spirits and many folk fear to tread the wild lands by night.

 We have called this place home for years, and from the beginning we have sought to live in harmony with its land and spirits. To that end, we grow most of our own food, or harvest wild greens, fruits, and mushrooms from the surrounding woods. Aiming to make our impact minimal upon the land, we have sought to find ways to live side-by-side with the local wildlife and found means to redirect the animals from our gardens and livestock rather than simply driving them off. And we determined, from the beginning, to live well with the spirits of the land. Come the High Days, we set out faerie plates with little gifts of bread, cheese, and home-brewed ale, and I spend a fair bit of time in the wildwoods, communing with the spirits as I pursue my own shamanic path.

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Back to Top - Author Interview - August 2013

by Llewellyn

1.Your new book is Seaons of the Sacred Earth, in which you detail your family's life on an eco-friendly homestead in Nova Scotia. What inspired you and your family to create such a life of living in connection with the land?

Cliff SeruntineAs far back as I can recall, I was always drawn deeply to the green world. I was born in New Orleans, but my mother had been raised on a farm in the back country, surrounded by bayous and deep, dark woodlands. My earliest memories are of her teaching me how to identify wild edible plants, showing me Indian burial mounds, and warning me to avoid les feux follets—faerie beings of Acadian legend, much like the British will-o-the-wisp. I fell in love with that green world of life and magic, and almost as soon as I started school, I was begging her for a microscope of my own so I could see the life in a drop of pond water. When we moved permanently back to my grandparents' little farm, I was delighted; my days became a non-stop romp through the woods and swamps and bayous. I could go endless days with nothing but a knife, a bit of fishing line, and what are now called bushcraft skills (but what were to me just skills of living: finding wild food, making lean-to camps, and finding my way through the wild wood).

My wife Daphne grew up in the countryside of western Canada. Her mother maintained a nice garden and some fruit trees, but Daphne would say she was more an "edge-of-small-town" girl. She did not know the real wild country like I did, but she loved the peace and fulfillment of living close to Nature, the realness of knowing from where her food came, and the satisfaction of being able to provide for herself, whether that was making clothes or patching a fence. When we got together, we knew from the start that we wanted to carry on lives close to the green world, and we wanted our children to know that world, too.

We delved headlong into that way of life when we went to Alaska together, and though living in that remote bush was challenging, we often speak of it as simple and sublime. We heated with wood, ate berries and potherbs from the forest and game from the lake and tundra, learned to navigate in a landscape where there is no meaningful east or west, and reveled in the raw, rugged beauty of it all. I took up shamanic studies and came to realize how tightly linked the Otherworld is to the natural world, and how fulfilling it is to live in that nexus. Daphne never took up the shaman's way, but she felt it, too. And we came to desire to do more for the land than just live close to it—we wanted to give something back. We wanted to be able to farm in ways that were easy on Earth. We wanted to share the bushcraft and rural living skills we had developed. I wanted to share what the wild places had taught me of the ways of spirit and magic. And so we came to a place that allowed us to do all those things.

2.You've lived all over, from the bayous of Louisiana to the Alaskan bush. What brought you to Nova Scotia?

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Back to Top - Llewellyn Journal - August 2013

Tarot: Reading for Yourself
by Barbara Moore

Being a tarot reader but finding it difficult to read for yourself is a bit like a cobbler whose children have no shoes. "How can I read for myself?" is a common question from tarot readers. Author and tarot expert Barbara Moore addresses this question and provides several tips to help tarotists read their own cards.

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Alchemy: The Most Secretive of Arts
by Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero

Alchemy is considered one of the principle branches of the Western Esoteric Tradition. But while many students are familiar with astrology and the Qabalah, far fewer are acquainted with the basics of alchemy (which is often misrepresented and well-hidden). Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero discuss Israel Regardie's The Philosopher's Stone and the powerful message it brings to alchemical seekers.

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Having a Natural Childbirth Requires a Plan
by Dorothy Guerra

Many women may lean toward natural childbirth even prior to pregnancy. That said, having a natural childbirth requires research, planning, and plenty of moral support. Here, Yoga Birth Method author Dorothy Guerra explains why having a plan is so important to the process of natural birth.

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10 Reasons to Help a Ghost Cross Over
by Diana Palm

Not all that long ago, people were afraid to approach the topic of ghosts. The popularity of ghost shows on television has changed that perspective, and now people are excited to talk about ghost sightings and other supernatural experiences they have. With the quantity of paranormal occurrences increasing, we need to be cognizant that if a ghost is in our lives, it will need our help in crossing over. Diana Palm, author of Setting Spirits Free, gives us ten reasons we should help ghosts with their healing and journey to the other side.

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Back to Top - Try This! - August 2013

Here Comes the Sun: Lughnasad

Exercise: Create a Symbolic Seed-Planting Tradition in the Fall

Goddess Archetype Tarot Spread - New Releases - August 2013

Angelic Pathways, by Chantal Lysette
Angelic Pathways
by Chantal Lysette

Become a Psychic Wanderer, by Kathryn Harwig & Jean Harwig
Become a Psychic Wanderer
by Kathryn Harwig & Jean Harwig

Have You Been Hexed? by Alexandra Chauran
Have You Been Hexed?
by Alexandra Chauran

The Philosopher's Stone, by Israel Regardie, Edited and Annotated by Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero
The Philosopher's Stone
by Israel Regardie
Edited and Annotated by
Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabata Cicero

Seasons of the Sacred Earth, by Cliff Seruntine
Seasons of the Sacred Earth
by Cliff Seruntine

The Yoga Birth Method, by Dorothy Guerra
The Yoga Birth Method
by Dorothy Guerra - Reader's Top Picks - August 2013

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