Julie A Carda

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Name: Julie A Carda

After studying dance in Europe, Julie returned to the United States and graduated from Creighton University. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville with a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the past twenty years, she has taught high school and college courses, and facilitated workshops on the healing arts while occasionally writing for academic periodicals. Her quest to acknowledge world religions and the desire to expose the similarities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal Source of love in all people. Besides writing fiction, Julie is co-creating a Space of Love through advocacy for Kin Domains.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009


The year of the mineral energy fades into the year of earth energy.
Among other things, 2010 is a time to nurture life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon

What would you do once in a blue moon? Tomorrow is the blue moon of December 31, 2009. A blue moon is the second full moon in the same month. Rare. Also rare is the opportunity to sit with the energy. It is a moon of introspection perfect for reflecting upon what you'll leave behind going into the new year and what you'll bring forward.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Natures Beauty



Ice covered pods of my flowering crab. This picture captured the droplets of water frozen at the ends of each crab apple seed pod. It never did warm up enough to melt them off before a foot of snow fell two days later.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Deerhide drum

I was studying this drum the other day. The hide was prepared by my hands the traditional way using ash and bone scrappers. The frame is made of white pine from my tree in the north woods of Wisconsin. I was so much younger when I created this earthy instrument. Now the memory is a story to pass on. I celebrate my birth this day. I celebrate the beat of my heart as it is one with the earth. I give thanks and gratitude and flow into 2010 with much appreciation.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hawaiian Prayer

Dedicated to my family and friends celebrating the Yuletide in Hawaii:

May the earth continue to live
May the heavens above continue to live
May the rains continue to dampen the land
May the wet forests continue to grow
Then the flowers shall bloom
And we people shall live again.

~HAWAIIAN PRAYER

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Zuni Prayer

This is what I want to happen: that our earth mother
may be clothed in ground corn four times over; that frost flowers cover her over entirely;
that the mountain pines far away over there
may stand close to each other in the cold;
that the weight of snow crack some branches!
In order that the country may be this way
I have made my prayer sticks into something alive.

~ZUNI PRAYER

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yule Wishes 2009

When you care to send the very best...here is my Hallmark message:

May the time be close at hand
when all may live in harmony,
a peaceful world of kindred hearts,
united as a family.

In your heart...peace.
In your home...happiness.
In the world...love.
~Anonymous

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ye Ole Christmas Cactus


The History of this Christmas cactus

In February of 1924, my grandmother married my grandfather. As a wedding present my grandmother received a Christmas cactus. When my grandmother was alive, she’d clip back plant starts every March from the main Cactus and nurture them all year to give as gifts for various occasions.

Grandmother passed away in 1988 and my mother inherited the original plant. Every March since my grandmother’s death, my mother has cut back starts from the original and prepared them for gifts for Christmas. The one in this picture is two years old.

As a recipient of one of these starts, I’ll continue the tradition. I view this cactus as symbol of the interconnected web of life. May your life be blessed with fertile inspiration, productive growth, and radiant abundance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Life of a Tree

Consider the life of trees.

Aside from the axe, what trees acquire from man is inconsiderable.


What man may acquire from trees is immeasurable.


From their mute forms there flows a poise, in silence,

a lovely sound and motion in response to wind.

What peace comes to those aware of the voice and bearing of trees!


Trees do not scream for attention.


A tree, a rock, has no pretense, only a real growth out of itself,

in close communion with the universal spirit.

A tree retains a deep serenity.


It establishes in the earth not only its root system but also

those roots of its beauty and its unknown consciousness.

Sometimes one may sense a glisten of that consciousness and with

such perspective, feel that man is not necessarily the highest form of life.

~CEDRIC WRIGHT, 1899-1959

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Appreciation for the Winter Moisture


The beauty of winter. The appreciation of moisture. The stillness of the season. Enjoy it all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebrate Winter Solstice with Three Wish Boxes

Celebrate the winter solstice today. Imagine that these three beautiful origami boxes each contain a wish. Each wish belongs to you. Before you open each box you can name the wish. What are your three wishes?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Part Six: Winter Solstice Prayer Meditation


And you, Her children, She does not forget. You are not abandoned nor forsaken. Even now the Goddess labors to birth the Sun. Trust the laboring darkness, for the time of Awakening and Light comes. A time when burdens shall be lifted, and refugees welcomed. Grief will be healed, dreams reborn, and all of life renewed. The slumbering animals are dreaming of it. The seeds in hardened shells know the time and push forward through darkness, seeking light. Reach with your life toward the Mother as She reaches with unconditional love toward you, Her children.

The Winter Solstice promises new dreams, new hopes and new light...Be not afraid!

Will you help the light to be reborn? Do you, the people, hold the light in your hearts?


(Mary Marsh, 1994, link contains solstice ritual.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Part Five: Winter Solstice Prayer Meditation

The Crone-the Sun God Guardian:

My children, there are many kinds of darkness - the darkness of death and suffering, of hatred and war, of bloodshed. The darkness of fear and despair, the darkness of cruelty and injustice. The darkness of sorrow and loss.

Yet, all these, as great and terrible as they are, are held within another and far greater darkness. The darkness which preceded all. The darkness from which all creation surges forth. This is the pregnant darkness - the womb darkness - the darkness of the Great Mother, She who is the Source of Creation.


(Mary Marsh, 1994, link contains solstice ritual.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Part Four: Winter Solstice Prayer Meditation

NORTH GUARDIAN:

I am the North, the place of midnight, ruled by the Element of Earth. I am the place of the ancestors and ancient wisdom, of all that has walked the Wheel through millennia and knows the way. I rule the time of Winter.

The time of Darkness is now upon us. A time of cold and scarcity when the northern-most Earth leans farthest from the Sun. The Sun gives brief light and little warmth. The life that was lies shattered and still - retreated like refugees in the migration of herds, the flight of the flocks. The trees stand stripped and naked in their poverty, imprisoned in ice, bowed and broken by storms. In suffering and hardship you learn what is essential. Your wealth is taken, your weakness exposed, your dreams perish. Even the God, too, dies!

(Mary Marsh, 1994, link contains solstice ritual.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Part Three: Winter Solstice Prayer Meditation

WEST GUARDIAN:

I am the West, place of dusk, ruled by the Element of Water. I am the guardian of life's water - from the oceans' depths to the waters of the womb that rocked you before your birth. I am the sweet rain satisfying the thirsty Earth, and keeper of all that swims and lives in water. I am the place of all that lies below the surface, of intuition and dreams. I am the season of Fall and I rule the time of Harvest.

Can you remember the time of Fall? Do you remember the backbreaking labor of harvesting the grains and fruits and vegetables? The vines and trees heavy with their bounty? Now the young animals take their places beside the elders and begin the great migrations to the realms of the South and the pastures of the lowlands.

The trees transform from deep green into glorious gold, orange, and red, - their true colors shine forth before they drop their finery, leaf by leaf, to the ground. Your own children must be dressed against the evening chill and you labor to make ready for the coming darkness. The Earth stands apart from the Sun who grows cooler, and the light begins to die. Did you think it would last forever? The Wheel turns!
(Mary Marsh, 1994 Link contains solstice ritual.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Part Two: Winter Solstice Prayer Meditation


SOUTH GUARDIAN:

I am the South, the place of mid-day, ruled by the element of Fire. I am the passion and laughter of life. Keeper of Earth's fertility. Guardian of all that walks and crawls on the Earth. I hold the gift of fertile Earth from whence your crops come forth. I am the blessing of children, the keeper of truth and innocence. I am the season of Summer.

Can you remember the Summer? The fruit sets upon the vines and the branches of the trees. The herds fatten on the thick grass of the upper pastures. Young animals scamper and play under the watchful eyes of the older animals. The young birds learn to fly. Your own children take shade under the glorious leaf canopy of the trees. The Earth leans nearest the Sun, radiant in her beauty. The Sun, strong and hot, is at the peak of His power. And the light exceeds the darkness. Did you think it would last forever? The Wheel turns!

(Mary Marsh, 1994 Link contains the solstice ritual.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Part One: Winter Solstice Ritual Meditation


"I am the east the place of the dawn, ruled by the element of air.
I am the breath of life, of speech and song.
I watched over all the winged ones.
I am the season of Spring, the season of birth and new creation surging forth.


Can you remember the Spring? Life surges forth in buds and sprouts. The trees dress their branches in new leaves as the sap rises to rouse them from sleep. The birds return from the realms of the South to raise their children. New life comes forth and multiplies. The Earth warms and leans towards the Sun as she greens and blossoms. Each day the young Sun rises in the East and each day grows stronger. Each day the time of light lasts longer. Did you think it would last forever? The Wheel turns!"

(From Mary Marsh 1994. This link contains her entire ritual)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Meditation

Reflect on your Life

Take time to reflect on your life. Think of those people who have guided you and inspired you. Reflect on the times in your life which were difficult and remember the lessons learned. Remember those turning points in your life that have been determinative in shaping your journey. This could be a solitary reflection or you could invite others to do the same and come together to share.

~From Cycle of Seasons, foundation for Global Community~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter in the Kin Domain Garden

Under this precious snow cover is the Kin Domain garden. At last sleeping for the season. The sweet earth labored longer than usual this year and gave plentifully. She deserves her rest.

The chickens are snug and warm. The light 60 watt bulb supplies PLENTY of heat. Even in the near zero temps, I must crack the open the Plexiglas door to let in cool, fresh air.

By the way, chickens do not like snow. I had to sprinkle some straw on top of the snow in their coop to coax them out into the sunshine. They didn't stay out long but it gave me enough time to change the bedding, food, water, and pick the eggs from the nests. So long enough.

The converted dog house has been a blessing!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eco Christmas Tree

In December, I create a bit of festivity around my mineral altar. I cover the collection of stones at the base of my artificial pencil tree with a piece of gold flecked white fabric.

I string a set of LED lights between the white bows, tiny pine cones and small bird's nest I rescued from the ground this past summer. I have a few ornaments that people have given me over the years.


Occasionally, I will add these but some years I just want simple. For me, simple is when I allow my gaze to extend outward into nature and take pleasure from her unique decor.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Magic In Our Midst

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Plant Fears, Plant Loves

A holiday event I attended to celebrate the year long accomplishments of local writers alerted me to a startling concept. People have plant fear phobias, specifically fear of failure around care and nurturing of plants. When given the selection between several plants to take home as a gifts, the majority of participants either hung back reluctant to select one or requested I select one for them that was failure proof.


I can't begin to tell readers how many plants I've nurtured to death! All I can say is that plant care is a process, relationship, and journey. Interacting with plants allows me to understand opportunity comes around again, and again, and again. Each time more knowledge and wisdom combine to create new outcomes. If you are someone who has had the above experience decide to simply cancel those plant fears. Plant love and you'll never fail.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kin Domain Concept with Wendell Berry

"And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home."

~Wendell Berry

If you are interested in sustainable living, Kin Domains, Space of Love, Transition towns then you can't go far without connecting with the inspired Wendell Berry. Visit his site for an opportunity to read and listen to a wisdom keeper.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Winter Solstice

Below is an excerpt from Circle of Life: The Cycle of Seasons by the foundation for Global Community, Palo Alto, California.

"Silence...cold...stillness...deep...dormant...rest...waiting...

Stillness and thought of death come more readily to us in winter and remind us that each season is part of an ongoing cycle of birth, growth, fruition, and death.


The annuals that die in winter provide the mulch and compost for the spring seedlings. The cold of winter provides the dormancy for seeds and bulbs so that they may burst forth in spring. It is gestation time for the lambs, calves, and other creatures that will be born in spring. The harshness of winter prepares us for the burst of creativity, freedom, and light of spring and summer. The crisp, clear, cold, nights reveal a sky filled with the stars of the galaxies that connect us with our origins and the origins of all that is.


The bare branches of trees, stripped to the essentials, remind us to reflect on what is essential in our lives. Winter brings the still time for us to consider what is meaningful and what is not. To ask: What choices have I made-what decisions do I need to make now? What inheritance have I received from life-what legacy will I leave?


To take the time in winter's quiet to ponder these deeper, inner questions pays honor to this season and to the eternal rhythms of the Earth."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter A Symbol of Old Age

"Ritual maintains the world's holiness.
Knowing that everything we do,
no matter how simple,
has a halo of imagination around it that serves the soul,
enriches life,
and makes things around us more precious
and more worthy of our protection and care."
~Thomas Moore


Thoughts about old age and death are common during the winter months where solitude gives us time to reflect on the human journey. All life experiences the cycles from birth to death. Winter is the symbol for old age in the cycle of seasons. Unfortunately, in the western culture, old age is denied and death ignored. If you haven't ever done so, ponder for yourself the meaning of growing old and the naturalness of death.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Earth Celebration for Winter



December is a wonderful month of celebration. A contrast of black and white and all colors between. Each day reveals the sacred in life. The month lends itself to attuning the seed of dreams that will sprout in the warmth of spring. The journey through December is a time to appreciate the gift of living the dreams and loving life, and then marking the appreciation with celebration.

For the next few weeks, as we enjoy the many multicultural celebrations of the season, I'll mention a bit here and there about the earth celebration of Winter Solstice, December 21, 2009.


Fact: Stonehenge is a perfect marker of both solstices.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Appreciation

Appreciate what is. Always find yourself in a state of constant appreciation. Make a list of all the things you appreciate. Each time you find yourself in a situation where feelings turn sour, follow the stream of feelings through hatred, revenge, fear, anger, frustration, back to hope which is the fulcrum to love. Here is where you'll find appreciation. Soon you'll be living from a higher vibration. You'll be living in the feelings of optimism, excitement, compassion, happiness, joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, thrill, wonder, and yes, love.

As I was contemplating the difference between appreciation and gratitude, I came to this wonderful Abraham-Hicks explanation on YouTube. Below is a bit of the translation, but please follow the link as the insight is delivered with such beauty and elegance you won't want to miss the experience in the vibration.

"Gratitude is looking at a struggle that you've overcome and feeling grateful, feeling happy that you're still not in the struggle. But you are still messing with that vibration just a little bit...the difference between inspiration which is being called to who you are and motivation which is trying to make yourself go somewhere that's a similar difference. Appreciation is that tuned in, taped in, turned on...Appreciation is vibrational alignment with who I have become. The state of Appreciation is me being in sync with the whole of that which I am. Being in a state of appreciation is seeing whatever I'm looking at through the eyes of Source. And when you are in that state of appreciation you could walk down a crowded street with all kinds of things that a lot of other people find reason to criticize or even worry about and you would not have access to them because your vibration in appreciation is picking out for you things of a different vibrational nature. A state of appreciation is a sate of Godliness. A state of appreciation is being who you really are. A state of appreciation is who you were the day you were born and who you will be the moment you die. And it would be if we were standing in your physical shoes your quest in every moment...."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Birthday Wishes


Happy Birthday all you December 3rd Sagittarius's.
(Pssst. It's a homemade raspberry cheesecake.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Birth Night Poem

Moonlit night so soothing bright
soft shadows dance in delight.

Big white glow influences below

undulating waves both high and low.


The fullness reminiscent of the lady's ripe womb

the silence embracing the stillness of whom?

The energetic pulsing shudders through the loom

shoved aside to prepare the baby's room.


December the third beckons near and dear

as the luminescent ball travels the sky without fear.

Count steady the hours passing slowly by

until red blinks its enormous eye.


But under the gaze of the yellow sun

the birthing waned only just begun.

The child, it seemed wanted his birth

illuminated in moonlight upon this sweet earth.


~Dedicated to my eldest son born December 3, 1990

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prayers from the U.N.

Great Spirit,
give us hearts to understand,
never to take
from creation's beauty more than we give,
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed,
never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty,
never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth's

music is to create confusion,
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty,
that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us. Amen.

~U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program