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Welcome to my Garden
The Art of Omens
This past week, I have relished being a layabout—My aimless walks; moments staring off into space listening to music, laying in bed or watching candle wax drip. This space allows me to watch the world breathe. It allows me to tune in enough with myself to hear the universe speak its language, knowing the inner and outer are not so separate. The language of the world is subtler, and not as straightforward, as human or animal tongues. It comes in repetition, unexpected moments of presence, a dream you vividly remember “out of nowhere”. Some call this synchronicity, or when one seemingly unrelated thing answers another aspect of your life.
In my most recent newsletter, I wrote of the relationship between creativity and spirituality by way of the 5th and 9th houses in astrology. One point I focused on were all these signs and symbols we encounter in our daily life, much more so when we are seeing our artistic life as an offshoot of our relationship to spirit. Even if you do not consider yourself creative I ask you this: do you get your nails done in fun colors? Curate special meals or relish a specific walk through your neighborhoods? Those are all moments of creation. If we can see out little pleasures and tinkering as manifestations of a divine spark, we, too, can have the world speak back to us.
So, for today’s newsletter, I wrote about some synchronicities I’ve been experiencing, repeating motifs that show me I am always in dialogue with something, a wellspring of inspiration and flow.
P.S. I opened my books for September! You can still snag 20% off my Creative Praxis Reading with code SHINE through today 9/4 as well as book a natal, timing or fixed star paran reading with me 🌸
An Ode to Fennel
When I moved into my current apartment in March, I noticed a small green tuft of fennel in the patch of dirt near the building’s door. Now, five months later, the tiny patch of bright green fronds has shot up into dozens of hearty stalks taller than I am, each tipped with tiny yellow flowers slowly turning into hundreds of sea foam green seeds. Sometimes I take a few when I pass by because they’re good for my stomach and a comforting taste.
I grey up with fennel in sausage and taralles, ribbon-shaped breads flavored with the seeds, all made by my Nonna. I ate them at the end of meals at Indian restaurants but I don’t think I saw it in the wild until moving to Oregon, where they grow on roadsides and households gardens in abundance. A few years ago I learned the plant is ruled by Mercury, the airy, ever-moving channeler of information and connection. You can see it in its wispy, net-like cascade of leaves, its great height and the space between its clusters of flowers on the stem; its presence also invites consideration of the air it surrounds.
Throughout the tradition, fennel was synchronized with the Pleiades, a cluster of stars seen as either sisters or birds. To make a talisman with them was said to “increase of light to the eyes, [collect] daemons, [promote] winds, and [reveal] secrets and hidden things”.They are a unveiler of the subtle, as well as the truth and difficulty that real seeing reveals. They are Lunar stars, speaking to their sensitive, oracular, and illuminating nature, but they are also martial, or of Mars. This quality speaks to a certain contact with the malefic, as evidenced through their ability to gather demons, but also through having to deal with a certain sort of melancholy that comes with Knowing what was hidden.
Fennel, interestingly, is also said to improve the eyesight, and Renaissance occultist Marsilio Ficino “recommended daily use of the plant for strengthening the vision”.It has also long been used to purify and cast away demons, perhaps an antidote to when your demon-summoning goes awry. They have also been used in divine frenzies to evoke ecstatic states, so perhaps have a role in inducing visions as well.
I take my Pleiades fennel tincture from its shelf and see that a spill has washed the words off the label; only I know what it is and who it was made it for. I put some in my water and the taste brings me back to my Nonna’s kitchen. She was deeply Catholic, but in the secretly spooky way where she had altars to saints all over her house and regularly saw visions of Jesus whom she asked to take care of her family. Perhaps fennel has been there too, protecting me and mine, revealing mysteries along the way.
Just since writing this, I have seen fennel twice: once, in a sausage my friend made for me and again when I ate Indian food and saw a bowl of the colorful sugar-coated seeds by the register. I ate them both. I have certainly felt my share of demons this Venus retrograde in my first, a time of descent to an underworld, of sorts. Fennel calms my stomach but it also seems a reminder that I am protected in this liminal space, walking through as I must but not bringing it with me.
Be my Ladybug
I have had a peculiar infestation of ladybugs in my apartment and if it were any other kind of insect, I would be upset. But who doesn’t get excited when they see those cute, colorful little dudes hanging out on your shirt or arm? I’ve always been taught they mean good luck. I never knew why, though.
I’ve had a few Moments, let’s say, with the many ladybugs around me. Sometimes, they get really zippy and fly in circles so quickly you can’t tell what kind of insect they are at first. With one in particular, I thought it was upset, so I tried to capture it when it landed on my curtains but it quickly flew away. I gave up on the project momentarily and went to the bathroom. Then, sitting on the toilet, I noticed it was right on the floor in front of me. I was able to scoop it up but it didn’t want to leave. So, for now, I’ll have a few roommates.
In Christianity, ladybugs are seen as divine protectors, syncretized with the Virgin Mary who was said to bring them down to earth to protect crops.The Celts also believed they brought protection, along with good fortune and positive transition. I certainly feel more blessed when I encounter them. Perhaps, as these have been a more recent addition to my landscape than the fennel, they indicate the end to this ghostly passage is nearer, and that I am taking some luck with me.
Have you notice any interesting symbolism or synchronicity in your life recently? Let me know in the comments
And reminder I opened my books for September! You can still snag 20% off my Creative Praxis Reading with code SHINE through Monday 9/4 as well as book a natal, timing or fixed star paran reading with me
Until next time,
Cornelius Agrippa, “Three Books of Occult Philosophy,” trans. Eric Purdue, p. 328
Daniel Schulke, “The Green Mysteries: An Occult Herbarium,” p. 181