May 072015

I am very fond of Malachite. I like the color, the patterns and the energy of this stone. I have several pieces of jewelry an orb and a pyramid. Imagine how thrilled I was to see it’s unique patterns and color used in decorating. Imagine using the pattern of this beautiful stone in small accents in your home.

This semiprecious stone has been turning heads since ancient times. See how to incorporate its emerald green swirls into your decor

About the Author
Houzz Editorial Staff; writer, design enthusiast, reader, softball player.
Malachite and malachite-inspired decor have long been popular interior design resources due to the mineral’s special characteristics. From antiquity until the 1800s, malachite was used as mineral pigment for green paint. In Italy malachite is called the “peacock stone” and is greatly valued for its intricate patterns. When sliced and polished, malachite is known for its intense green color and beautiful banded masses. The most highly sought after malachite has bands consisting of concentric circles. Polished malachite has been carved into ornaments and worn as jewelry for thousands of years; some ancient civilizations believed that wearing it warded off evil spirits. Find out ways this green gem is being used today and how you can incorporate it into your home.
At a Glance
Name: Malachite; named for the Greek word “mallow” (a green herb)
Category: Carbonate material
Formula: Cu2CO3(OH)2
Color: Bright green, dark green or blackish green


Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral most commonly mined in Africa. It is usually found in copper deposits around limestones, which is the source of the carbonate. Other places known for their malachite reserves are Russia, Australia, Brazil and Arizona.

First Harvest-Lammas 2014 Edition

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Jul 252014

first harvest-lammas

Ravenhawk’s First Harvest-Lammas 2014 Edition  will include a feature article in keeping with the First Harvest-Lammas traditions.  First Harvest-Lammas marks the middle of Summer and  represents the start of the harvest cycle. It relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is therefore greatly associated with bread as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested. In keeping with the theme of Grain Harvest we are featuring King Arthur Flour the  manufacturer of an amazing range of flour  milled from 100% U.S.-grown non-GMO wheat. They also have flour made from nuts as well. Check out the article then go to King Arthur Flour and check out the large range of recipes available.

August 1, is the beginning of the harvest cycle and rests on the early gain harvest as well as those fruits and vegetables that are ready to be picked. Canning of fruits and vegetables goes into full swing, jams and jellies made and cabinets are stocked with herbs before the onset of autumn. In keeping with those traditions this edition of the magazine will have recipes for jellies and canning techniques. We will also feature the traditional craft of making corn dollies to honor the grain harvest.

First Harvest-Lammas decorating usually feature Corn dollies, cornucopia, grains, and Sun symbols we will be posting decorating, crafting, and notions potions and spells daily to enhance your First Harvest-Lammas  2014 celebrations. Recipes using some of the foods that are commonly available and ripe for picking such as  potatoes, summer squash, cider, blackberry pies and jellies, berries, apples will be posted as part of this First Harvest-Lammas Edition. 

Between 7-25 and 7-31 Ravenhawks’ Magazine will post all of it’s articles about First Harvest-Lammas. If you want more information it can be found under Lammas


About the Author

Dyanna Wyndesong is an intuitive reader and pastoral counselor, specializing in twin flame relationships and soul mate relationships. A teacher of metaphysics, magic, spiritual and psychic development, Dyanna has over 20 years of experience in spiritual guidance, relationship guidance, guiding twin flame relationships to fruition and guidance in maintaining your relationship. She also does tarot readings, intuitive readings, spiritual life coaching and energy and light healing. Editor-in-chief of Ravenhawks’ Magazine.

Great Design Plant: Blue Vervain for Beauty and Bees

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Jul 222014

Blue Vervain is a Great Design Plant to attract bees and  is one of the best nerve herbs in the entire herbal kingdom. It is a great anti-spasmodic herb, and muscle relaxer. 

Try this tall and spiky pollinator plant for an unusual back-of-the-border look

Great Design PlantBenjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens  



Houzz Contributor. I own Monarch Gardens, a native plant garden consulting, coaching, and design firm for the DIY homeowner, business, or school. I’m the author of several books including Sleep, Creep, Leap: The First Three Years of a Nebraska Garden, am a board member of the prairie conservation group Wachiska Audubon, and write for the blog Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. I dig in Lincoln, Nebraska with an award-winning 2,000 square feet of mostly native plants that has been featured at Fine Gardening and Garden Design. I also blog about my writing (memoir) and gardening projects at The Deep Middle. I’m looking for 40-80 acres in eastern Nebraska, western or central Iowa, or southern Minnesota to start a nursery, artist residency, and restore some prairie.

There are so many native plants to choose from of all stripes — many of which most of us don’t grow. But once you start growing them, it’s amazing how you’ll suddenly notice them in the wild (which is half the fun of using native plants). Blue vervain is a great example. From a distance it doesn’t seem all that impressive, but put it in the garden and it makes an unusual statement.

Planetary Meridians: 10 Gateways to Empowered Intuition

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Jul 052014

planetary meridians

In my new book, Intuition and Your Sun Sign, I discuss an energy known as qi (pronounced “chee”) in Oriental philosophy. You commonly here this term in the practice of acupuncture. This is the life force that travels through the human body along pathways known as meridians; the meridians connect to all of our major body organs. In the meridian system, there are twelve major meridians associated with the major organs in the body. Isn’t it interesting that there are twelve astrological signs?

These twelve signs are ruled by ten planets; in my book I explain how the planetary meridians work with your Sun sign. The planets move along intuitive meridians that we can’t see with our eyes; think of them as energy highways that constantly are working with us to find the inner and outer harmony we seek. When we are not making clear use of these intuitive meridians, our life can feel like it is in discord. When we are in touch with the meridians, life could not feel better. Success in our relationships and work can feel like intuition is at our fingertips. The following descriptions of the planetary meridians will give you a glimpse as to how each is a catalyst to help you make use of your intuition.

Sun Meridian
The Sun meridian influences you to embrace your intuition with great self-confidence, no matter what astrological sign you may be. Your willpower to follow through on a goal can be accomplished to meet the challenges in front of you. Falling in love with life is the essence of this meridian landscape. The Sun meridian guides you toward those life experiences that allow you to feel young as you go through the aging process. The intuition lining this meridian is filled with tremendous strength to pour into your work and cherished dreams. Your intuition when truly embracing this meridian leads you to the love you seek. Surrendering stubborn pride allows your intuition much more freedom to take you to new creative heights. This is the meridian that shows you how to use your intuition to promote your talents and to cheer on others to realize their own true potential. You exude a happy spirit when dancing to the lively beat of this meridian.

Moon Meridian
The Moon meridian entices you to intuitively trust your instincts. This Lunar domain guides you to tune into your feelings. Finding the right home comes under the influence of the Moon energy. This meridian helps you to figure out the city, state, or country that will provide you with the best opportunities for harmony. Intuitively deciphering those people you want to let get close to you and know your innermost secrets is connected to this meridian. The Moon meridian is always ready to show you how to tap into a sense of inner calmness even in the midst of a crisis. Nurturing yourself and caring for those you love is part of the Moon meridian package.

Mercury Meridian
The Mercury meridian stimulates you to ride your intuition to new insights; mental curiosity is heightened when you tap into this meridian. When you walk through the door of this meridian, life remains interesting and your hunger for new information knows no limits. An ability to adapt to new situations and to stay mentally alert is a gift embedded in this meridian. Altering a perception or two to make room for new life directions is following the intuitive guidance provided by this meridian. Letting go of self-doubt and knowing when to stop analyzing allows the intuitive power of the Mercury meridian to work for you.

Venus Meridian
The Venus meridian allows your intuition to flow toward forming compatible partnerships on the romantic and friendship levels. Reaching out and expanding your social circles is part of this meridian’s gift to you. Knowing how to find stability and peace is another offshoot of this meridian territory. Venus guides your intuition to greater self-esteem in creating an abundant lifestyle. Tuning into your values and need for ownership are assets offered by the Venus meridian.

Mars Meridian
The Mars meridian fires up your intuition with the initiative to pursue your goals. When you tap into this meridian, your assertiveness gets a dynamic boost. This is a fiery landscape that can propel you through tough challenges. The key when tapping into the push of Mars is to exercise patience, as there can be a tendency not to pace yourself. However, there is not a greater meridian to ride than this one in taking advantage of a sudden opportunity to make a dream come true. The courage to show the world your talents is encouraged by the competitive spirit awakened by this highly motivating meridian.

Jupiter Meridian
The Jupiter meridian expands the vision of your intuition. You can ride this planet onto inspirational highways like in no other meridian. Your knowledge of the world can grow by leaps and bounds, possibly leading you to realize new ways to market your skills. If you need to attract luck, then you have knocked on the right meridian’s door. You might become too confident and ignore caution; it’s true you may need to exercise sound judgment to land on your feet. This is the land that will tempt you to bet you can become a success if you just believe in your ability. Jupiter can guide you to listen to your intuition, letting it show you how to be an open-minded student of life as well as becoming a teacher and adviser.

Saturn Meridian
The Saturn meridian focuses your intuition and keeps you grounded. Saturn’s job is to guide you toward fulfilling your ambitious goals; your career drive is motivated by this meridian’s influence. Managing your time well and staying disciplined comes standard in this landscape. Intuition needs structure in order to give you a sense of a clear plan of action, and you can find that in Saturn’s meridian. Flexibility and being open to change allows this meridian to flow more smoothly in your life. Not fearing new challenges is Saturn’s way of strengthening your intuition.

Uranus Meridian
The Uranus meridian electrifies your intuition and sends it into innovative directions; your life can get a jolt of new excitement when you tap into the maverick energy embedded in this meridian. New goals can be awakened, as well as stimulating insights. Encountering people who encourage you to put your ideas into action is not uncommon when you embrace Uranus. Leaving old or unproductive situations releases new creative energy. You do need to be sure not to burn bridges you might need later. This is the meridian that points the way to inventiveness and thinking out of the box. If you want to reinvent yourself, you have come to the right meridian influence.

Neptune Meridian
The Neptune meridian influences your intuition to merge with idealism; daring to keep pursuing fulfilling creative expressions is enlivened by this dreamy atmosphere. Neptune fills us with the courage to believe in our highest values. It offers escape from everyday life stresses through meditation and other ways to relax our mind. Some sound reality testing is needed to keep your life in clear focus. The artist and healer in you may come alive like in no other meridian. You might see life through a renewed set of eyes when visited by the Neptune influence.

Pluto Meridian
The Pluto meridian intensifies your intuition; this is a landscape that encourages you to pour your passion into relationships and creative self-expression. This meridian guides you to market your skills and to find those talents that will empower you. Pluto leads the way to a rebirth that can transform your past into new clarity. The Pluto meridian helps you to figure your way out of a crisis better than any other meridian can do for you. Channeling your emotional intensity with greater insight is a gift from this meridian.
Remember the planetary meridians are always ready to work with you intuitively—hey are only a breath away. You can enjoy greater harmony in your relationships and creative goals when embracing each meridian influence.

Bernie Ashman
Bernie Ashman has been a professional astrologer for almost thirty years, having discovered his passion for astrology while reading Dane Rudyhar’s Astrology of Personality.  Since that time, his astrology practice has expanded to include…  Read more


11 Essential Herbs to Grow Right Now

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Jun 232014

11 Essential Herbs to grow now. These are herbs that you may use to spice up your meals and drinks.  Each of these essential herbs can be used in a variety of foods and drinks. Your lavender can find it’s way into cocktails,cookies, cakes and other baked goodies. Another of the Essential Herbs that is very versatile is mint, it too can go from cocktails to spicing up your tea. Some of the essential herbs will do better in pots or confined areas because they tend to be quite prolific others would need pots because they work well being planted out side only in milder temperatures. Below is the link to a guide on the 11 Essential Herbs that are handy for all chefs and those who want to try something creative with their summer drinks.

Essential HerbsAuthor Annie Thornton

San Francisco, California, United States

Houzz Editorial Staff

Make summer cooking and drinks even better with herbs plucked from your own backyard or windowsill pot.

Enhance your recipes, eliminate extra trips to the grocery store and cultivate a connection with nature with a few sprigs or leaves from an herb plant you’ve grown yourself. Herbs tie all gardeners together, whether grown in a large landscape or in pots on a windowsill, on their own or interplanted with ornamentals, by experienced or first-time gardeners. Whether herb gardening is a summer ritual or your first edible venture, here are 11 herbs we feel no gardener should fare without this summer.

To-Dos: Your June Home Checklist

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Jun 052014

As summer begin in honest for many of us, it is time to look to your home. The June Home Checklist give you some pointers for both major projects and things to do to get ready to enjoy the beautiful summer days.

Make summer easy by getting your home and outdoor gear in shape now.

June Home ChecklistLaura Gaskill

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

About the Author:Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write tend to center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures.

Learn more, and follow my adventures in creating a warm and cozy home at


June is here, and it’s time to get in the swing of summer. Whether you are watching your kids say goodbye to another year of school, scheduling a major home improvement project (like painting the house), or just looking forward to some much-deserved time hanging out on the porch, these to-dos will help get your home and yard in shape so you can fully savor the months ahead.

6 Gift-Giving Gardens for Delights Beyond the Visual

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Jun 042014

Grow your own natural dyes, snip herbs for home brews and more … these creative gardens have benefits beyond beauty alone.

GardensLaura Gaskill

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

About me: Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write tend to center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures.
Learn more, and follow my adventures in creating a warm and cozy home at

Just imagine being able to keep the cupboards stocked with your own herbal blends, enjoy bountiful bouquets from your own cutting garden or draw yourself an aromatic bath with fresh herbs after a long day in the garden. If you are already enjoying the benefits of homegrown veggies, maybe it’s time to consider planting a garden that feeds you in a different sort of way. From edible flowers to natural dyes, see if one of these six garden ideas appeals to you.

Cutting Garden

A cutting garden has flowers planted specifically to be cut for flower bouquets to enjoy indoors. Your cutting garden does not need to be huge, but it should be big enough to offer a bounty of flowers throughout the season; set aside a corner of the yard and fill it with flowers you love.

How to Give Your Garden More Soul

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Jun 032014

Feel more at home in your garden by giving it deep, personal meaning

soulBill MarkenHouzz Contributor. I grew up with a love for California’s valleys, hills, and mountains — and native plants. I’ve been a magazine editor/writer for my whole career, and was editor in chief of Sunset and Garden Design magazines.


I don’t want to start an argument, but that’s inevitable when you talk about the subject of soul, especially in music. Marvin Gaye, of course, had soul. Robin Thicke doesn’t. What’s a soulful garden? It’s expressive of you and your family. It’s authentic, sincere, personal, deeply felt, of the moment — I’m happy with a definition that says you know soul when you see it.

In a garden, blooming chrysanthemums bought from Safeway in March aren’t soulful. But a tree planted to celebrate the birth of a child is. Why add soulful touches to your garden? Mainly because that will help you and your family feel much more at home there.

1. Plant living memories. When I was a kid, my mother grew red-hot poker, shown, and many other old-fashioned plants. My wife fondly remembers ‘Cecile Brunner’ roses in her family’s garden.

The big yard of a beloved neighbor was nearly overrun by poor man’s orchid (Impatiens balfourii), which spread by seeds every summer. Growing plants like those brings back memories of people — old times, good times, sad times.

May 312014


Goddess of the Sun
In Paganism we like to say that we have reclaimed the Goddess. But have we really? Truly reclaiming the Goddess doesn’t simply mean acknowledging the existence of the divine feminine, it also requires us to explore all of Her archetypes, and to reevaluate our concepts of femininity.

What comes to mind when you think of the Goddess? What words or images does the word “Goddess” conjure? As the epitome of femininity, most likely the first thing that comes to mind are the roles and concepts we consider to be inherently feminine. Motherhood, the gentle nurturer, intuitiveness. We think of mother goddesses. Goddesses like Danu or Gaia, who are mothers of pantheons of deities. Aphrodite and Oshun, whose hearts overflow with mirth and passion. Images of goddesses like Selene and the huntress Artemis perhaps come to mind. And, of course, the moon; after all, the moon is one of the most predominant symbols of the Goddess in modern Paganism. But is the watery lunar realm exclusively that of the Goddess, or is this just our perception of Her? Is this the true extent of femininity?

To some extent the association between the moon and femininity comes from the Greek and Roman mythology, where the sun is always male and the moon female. In the Victorian era classical mythology became immensely popular; Greek and Roman myths became considered the norm to which all other mythology was measured. Later, Carl Jung would use these same mythological models for his animus and anima, the concept that within all humans exist both a feminine side (anima) and a masculine side (animus). Jung connected traits such as vanity, helplessness, the realm of emotions, and the moon to the anima, and to be inherently feminine, while the animus he connected to the sun, rational thought, and assertiveness.

Arguably Jung and his concepts of gender roles are products of his time and culture, but to some extent these attitudes still color our thoughts on gender roles and traits today. In our spirituality we sometimes have difficultly relating to goddesses that don’t fit our perceived ideas of femininity. We have forgotten that the Goddess does not always fit the gentle image of womanhood our culture has embraced for so long. She can be war-like at times, a force of destruction that brings change and rebirth in her wake. And although we think of the Goddess and the moon going hand in hand, quite often in world mythology she is not the passive moon, but the active radiant sun.

If the Goddess represents all the is feminine, then we must learn to explore all of Her aspects. To reclaim the Goddess we must see Her in Her totality—not just the gentle moon, but the fiery sun. Perhaps one of the best examples of a divinity that both embodies the gentler and fiercer side of the divine feminine is the Egyptian goddess Hathor. In her we find both the nurturing and destructive force of the divine femininity, as well as the sun. She was a goddess of creation, of dance and sensuality. At times she took the form of a sacred cow, holding the solar disc in her horns. She was hailed as the Mistress of Jubilation, the Golden One, and the Mistress of Life, and her radiance was so bright that the Gods were said to have to turn their heads away in order to see her better (perhaps an allusion to her shining like the sun).

Hathor was also a popular goddess to be called upon in matters of love, and was also thought to assist women in childbirth. In her incarnation as the seven Hathors she was believed to be present at the birth of a child and measured out their fate in life. Her festivals involved ritual inebriation and ecstatic dance. So far she appears to be what we would expect from a goddess that represents all the is feminine, but this is only one side of Hathor.

Yet when the enemies of Ra, the king of the gods, conspired against him, it is Hathor that he turns to. She seems like an unlikely figure, this goddess of dance and sensuality, for Ra to ask for aid in a battle. But like the sun—which can be beneficial, making our crops grow, or destructive, creating the Sahara—Hathor’s personality is dualistic. When angered Hathor transformed into the lioness Sekhmet, who drank blood like wine. In this form her breath was said to create the deserts. She could just as likely bring pestilence or heal illnesses.

As the raging lioness Sekhmet she soon destroyed the enemies of the gods. But, her blood lust was not satisfied, and she continued to slaughter the rest of mankind. Ra began to regret his actions, taking pity on humanity. He tricked her into drinking vats of beer that had been dyed red to resemble blood. Sekhmet began drinking it eagerly, and soon became drunk and fell asleep. When she awoke she felt content, and Sekhmet once again transformed in the gentle Hathor.

Interestingly, in the Egyptian pantheon there are several solar gods and goddesses, while the moon is for the most part relegated to the masculine realm via the gods Khonsu and Thoth. While gods like Ra represented the masculine sun, goddesses like Hathor, Sekhmet, and Bast were all connected to the sun as well. Bast shares similarities to Hathor/Sekhmet, also being connected to joy and sensuality as well as having a warrior aspect.

The Egyptian solar goddesses show us a multifaceted concept of femininity. She can be the gentle benefactor to mankind, yet when the situation demands it she is also fierce and raging warrioress. Although our culture prefers to see women just as the gentle mother, in Hathor we find a figure that moves easily between all aspects of the feminine. She is a complete figure, showing us that womanhood embodies many traits, and reminding us not to limit our ideas about how the goddess and femininity can be expressed.

You can find out more about the solar feminine and goddesses like Hathor in my book Drawing Down the Sun: Rekindle the Magick of the Solar Goddesses.

Stephanie Woodfield
Stephanie Woodfield (Brookfield, CT) has been a practicing Witch for over fourteen years and a Priestess for ten years. Her lifelong love of Irish mythology led to a close study of Celtic Witchcraft. A natural clairvoyant and empath, she has worked as a… Read more

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Grow a Kitchen Garden in 16 Square Feet

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May 282014

Got a sunny 4-by-4 space? You can make meals more interesting with your own vegetables and herbs.

kitchen gardenBill Marken Houzz Contributor. I grew up with a love for California’s valleys, hills, and mountains — and native plants. I’ve been a magazine editor/writer for my whole career, and was editor in chief of Sunset and Garden Design magazines.




With just a patch of soil and sunlight, you can create a mini kitchen garden. It won’t feed your family for the summer, but it can make your meals more interesting, and perhaps get kids interested in growing food or at least help them understand where it comes from. The trick is to choose the right crops. Varieties should be compact enough not to outgrow the space and should be productive over a season — so you are not eagerly waiting for weeks for a harvest that lasts minutes.

If you don’t have space in the ground, you can grow vegetables in a convenient raised bed or planting box. This one is 4 feet by 4 feet, constructed of two 2-by-6s on each side. Fill the planter with a commercial soil mix; if you plant in the ground, improve the soil by adding a layer of several inches of organic matter, and work it in to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.

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