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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day …. a hard freeze is predicted for Central Florida on this March weekend. The world seems quite chaotic so … baking this traditional bread has been warming my heart and hearth all day. Here is an easy and delicious recipe …
Irish Soda Bread Family Recipe
… Compliments of Dikki-Jo Mullen ….
(Mullen (paternal Grandfather) and Rolland (paternal Grandmother) family roots in … County Mayo and County Cork, Eire
Ingredients
· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 1/3 cup white sugar
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· 2 cups buttermilk
· 1/4 cup butter, melted
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe …. Irresistible! add 1/4 c raisins and 1 tsp caraway seeds if desired! Serve with fresh butter or imported Irish country cheeses.

  1. March Poem  – Ode to the Wee Folk
  2. By Dikki-Jo Mullen
  3. “Undines and Sprites of bitter glass green sea
    turn your spirits, share your dreams with me
    now bright powers and forces the tides will take
    summoning waves, …a wish true to make.”
  4. Walking along the sea side at dawn today, watching a pastel colored Florida sun emerge from the horizon line, I heard this song of the sea sung by a tiny fey being while a bright green sand crab played a lute fashioned from on a conch shell and some strings of sea weed. When the sun’s rays touched them they disappeared.

Astrology and Lent

Astrological Wisdom and Spiritual Guidance for Lent

March 1, Ash Wednesday Through Easter Sunday, April 16

by Dikki Jo Mullen

Celebrating the Stages of Lent For Witches and Astrologers …
The five stages of Lent are self examination, control of speech, intuitive understanding, modesty and spiritual refreshment. They are really a star gazer’s astrological journey toward higher awareness. The stages reflect the messages of the luminaries, (the Sun and Moon), as well as the personal planets, Mercury, Venus and Mars. While the zodiacal year wanes, during the weeks before Easter/Ostara and the vernal equinox, prepare for the springtime and the new astrological year. Review these important planetary placements in your own birth chart.
1) Self examination – The Sun –
The familiar birth sign, the Earths path around the Sun, is the single most important point in the natal horoscope. It represents the ego, sense of identity.

2) Control of Speech – Mercury –
At times silence is the only appropriate answer to a challenging situation. It can be better to say less than more, a silent voice is soothing, even melodious. Still, its essential to speak up when necessary.
3) Intuitive Understanding – The Moon-
In a conflict between the head and the heart, the wise ones say to always follow the heart.
4) Modesty, Creativity – Venus-
Recognizing the best use of time and talents is important. Modesty, traditionally linked with humility, really means acquiring a perspective on loving service. Work is love made visible, as Kahil Gibran wrote.
5) Spiritual Refreshment -Mars-
A conscious effort to prepare for the onset of spring, welcoming the Mars ruled sign of Aries, is the message here.

The Astrology of Ouija The Amazing Oracle

By Dikki-Jo Mullen
Growing up in an isolated part of Northern Wisconsin, my childhood was brightened by a companion who arrived under the Christmas tree one bleak and empty December. The gift was a Ouija board, packaged in a mysterious blue and midnight colored box decorated with an enigmatic draped figure. My life was transformed by this gift. I began begging others to play the game with me, getting the board to spell messages. Eventually I was talking to Ouija almost daily alone after school, my tiny hands balanced on the heart shaped indicator. Ouija wrote school assignments, letters and more, as well as offering information about esoteric and historic topics. It has remained a close companion still, decades later. I feel sad when critics claim negative forces inhabit Ouija or when film makers use my friend as a catalyst in scary films. The most recent one, “Ouija, Origin of Evil” came out in 2016 and is especially intimidating. It’s time to advocate and speak out! Ouija’s horoscope has Venus in Cancer, and the message indicator is heart shaped. The Oracle’s horoscope has Venus conjunct my MC and applying to my natal Sun, Mars, Uranus conjunction in Cancer. This is a star pattern of Love and Valentine’s Day is approaching. In that spirit, here is a celestial study of Ouija for consideration.
Ouija is a true clever and dualistic Gemini, ‘born‘ on Wednesday, May 28, 1890 in Baltimore, Maryland. That day its patent was applied for by two businessmen, Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard. Kennard claimed the name “Ouija” was an ancient Egyptian word meaning good luck. The board grew out of parlor games which appealed to many when Spiritualism developed during the 19th Century. Setting up a noon chart for Baltimore, Maryland, Ouija’s horoscope shows that the Gemini Sun is in a stellium with retrograde Mercury, Neptune, Pluto and the N. Moon node all in the sign of The Twins. Gemini relates to communication of all kinds. The Gemini placements form a grand trine in air with Jupiter in Aquarius and Uranus in Libra. This indicates excitement, universal appeal and metaphysical attributes. The grand trine also supports Ouija’s growth and longevity. The board has endured and also appeared in new versions, there is a glow in the dark Ouija available and even one painted in shades of pink. Ouija’s Moon is in Virgo, indicating a critical nature and tendency to advise and meddle. Mars is in Sagittarius, retrograde and in opposition to the Gemini placements and square the Moon. This mutable sign T-Square with Mars, the Moon and the Gemini placements reveals the unfortunate anger, fear and turmoil that many feel concerning Ouija.

Messages from lost loved ones and other spirit entities … the after life, the beyond. Isn’t the thought both tantalizing and irresistible? . Of the variety of oracles employed to seek messages of peace and love from departed loved ones or from angels and other supernatural beings, the Ouija (pronounce it either wee-gee or we-ja) or talking board is perhaps the most controversial. Maybe that is because it can be consulted by anyone at any time. No special training or talent is required. Is that why some professional psychics discourage its use? Some critics claim that Ouija and its companion boards are the most dangerous game. It has even been said that they are evil gateways, inviting lies and the entry of demonic forces. Staunch proponents and defenders affirm that this is nonsense and that the oracle brings comforting messages and accurate information through contact with loving spirits and divine entities. My personal response, supported by a lifetime of use, is that talking boards are no more dangerous than a telephone, computer or automobile. They are all worthwhile tools to be used responsibly or not. Any evil is in the choice of the beholder.
A Ouija or talking board is a message board with a movable pointer. The board is decorated with letters of the alphabet and the numbers from 0 through 9. The words Yes and No, Hello and Good Bye, as well as some mystical illustrations might also be included. The board is balanced on the laps of two people (a lady and a gentleman preferably) who face each other with knees touching while they ask questions or make requests. Soon the pointer will begin to move, spelling out a message. Sometimes a single inquirer can work the board too.
Pointers range from an inverted wine glass on a hand drawn message board, to a variety of contraptions called planchettes. Planchette is a French word meaning little plank or little board. It is often a small heart shaped table with feet. More elaborate carved creations with tiny wheels have been used too. The questioners will rest all 10 fingertips gently on the planchette, then voice questions or concerns and wait for the device to move. It usually does, often bringing amazing messages which prove to be true. Critics say this is merely unconscious movements made by those touching the board and planchette, making it merely a vehicle for the power of suggestion. But then how is it possible to explain why so much information is given which none of the sitters could possibly have known?
Mystique is part of Ouija’s appeal. No one knows quite where talking boards originated or even the source of the name.
In metaphysical references there are many mentions of Ouija’s ancient past.
From The Encyclopedia of Psychic Science comes this claim:
“As an invention it is very old. It was in use in the days of Pythagoras, about 540 B.C. According to a French historical account of the philosopher’s life, his sect held frequent séances or circles at which a mystic table moving on wheels, moved toward signs, which the philosopher and his pupil, Philolaus interpreted to the audience as being revelations supposedly from the unseen world.”
Other authors attribute Ouija’s origins to China, Greece, Rome, 13th Century Tartar among the Mongols, Egypt and other important and interesting cultures. There is even a claim that a well known French medium, a Madame Planchette (she could never be found), invented the talking board. None of this exotic background has ever been substantiated. No early boards have been unearthed in archeological sites or are mentioned in early texts. Automatic writing, which was practiced in China, is the closest link the ancient world might have to the talking board phenomenon.
The popularity of Ouija, by any other name, skyrocketed during the early years of the 20th Century with the continuing widespread belief in Spiritualism. The yearning to connect with deceased or missing loved ones intensified during World War I. Kennard spent his life trying to prove that he invented Ouija, but in 1901 an employee of his, William Fuld of Baltimore, Maryland, took over production. Fuld claimed the name was a combination of the French (oui) and German (ja) words for “yes”. Fuld reinvented the history of Ouija and claimed credit for its creation himself. Competitors flooded the market, renaming similar products “Swami“, “Angel ” ,“Genie”, Spook”, etc.
Fuld’s gift for promotion fueled Ouija’s success. He told of how the board “knows all of the answers” and that it talked to him. Ouija gave itself gave him all of his best ideas. In 1927 Fuld died suddenly, some said in an accidental fall, others said it was murder (he was engaged in several bitter lawsuits with competitors) or suicide. His mysterious death actually enhanced Ouija’s allure. The game which affected his life became even more popular, earning millions of dollars for his heirs until they sold the patent to Parker Brothers in 1966. Talking boards certainly seem to bring more good luck than bad. They continue to be best sellers, appearing in a variety of guises, today.
As long time fan and enthusiastic supporter of Ouija, here is a technique I’ve found to help generate the brightest and best experience. Light a white candle. Affirm a tranquil, positive atmosphere. Then speak aloud asking that “only the highest and the best to be allowed to enter.” Next solemnly and slowly ask a single question at a time. Wait for the pointer to spell an answer. It can be helpful to have an assistant take note of the letters and numbers indicated. If a tape recorder is running voices can sometimes be heard whispering in the background … Consulting Ouija on a Wednesday often works well, that’s the day of Mercury. Also the Full Moon and the spiritual dates of October 31, February 2, May 1 and August 2 can be dates when the spirit world is especially active. So are the solstices and equinoxes. Try a session on those dates. Perhaps it’s because of the quieter time, when the outer world begins to rest, but the evening hours do tend to bring the most messages from Ouija. Give it a try. Be patient and keep an open mind and heart and plan to be pleasantly surprised by Ouija, the talking board.

Ouija’s Astrological placements at birth on May 28, 1890,
12:00 noon in Baltimore, Maryland (noon chart used, the actual time was not recorded)

Sun 7 degrees Gemini

Moon 27 degrees Virgo (first quarter phase)

Mercury 9 degrees Gemini – retrograde

Venus 2 degrees Cancer

Mars 6 degrees Sagittarius – retrograde

Jupiter 12 degrees Aquarius

Saturn  27 degrees Leo

Uranus 28 degrees Libra – retrograde

Neptune 4 degrees Gemini

Pluto 6 degrees Gemini

N. Moon Node 24 degrees Gemini

Chiron 19 degrees Cancer

Note: A special Thank you to “The Witches’ Almanac” for their kind permission to reprint the portions of this feature which first appeared in print in that publication.

First Son Barron Trump’s Horoscope

and the Birth Chart of The Beloved and Gifted Actress Mary Tyler Moore

By Dikki-Jo Mullen

Hey Astrologers Here are some interesting astrology notes – Barron Trump was born on March 20, 2006, approx. 6:32 am in NYC. He has the Sun on the last degree of Pisces in the 12th house with Aries rising, Moon in Sagittarius and a Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Pisces. He is very astute and also quite sensitive. Mary Tyler Moore was born Dec. 29, 1936 at 10:45 AM in Brooklyn, NY. She had a Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Capricorn in the 10th house, showing her outstanding talent and personality. She also had Saturn rising in Pisces and was born at the Full Moon in Cancer. The current Pisces transits were activating her Saturn and ascendant at her passing on Jan. 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm in Greenwich, Connecticut. The charts are worth setting up, as both are most intriguing.

Chinese Astrology
The Year of the Fire Rooster – With Chinese Chance Fortune Cookies For Each Sign’s Future with The Rooster
January 28, 2017 – February 15, 2018

By Dikki-Jo Mullen
(Originally parts of this feature appeared in The Witches’ Almanac. Thanks is given for their gracious permission to reprint and share here)

Long Ago the Buddha gave a marvelous (and to this day memorable) party. He invited the animals to attend. Sometimes it is said that the celebration was for Buddha’s birthday, other records describe it as his farewell to Earth before ascending to the heavens. It feels right to think of it commemorating both events. So Buddha’s call was answered. First The Rat, then The Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Rooster, Dog and finally The Boar arrived. The twelve creatures were surprised with an unusual reward. Buddha gave them each a year and decreed they would be the animals to hide in the hearts of all humans born that year. This parade of the animals gives us the oldest of the world’s calendars. Based on a cycle of twelve years rather than twelve months it is used throughout the Far East from Japan and Korea to Vietnam and China. Five elements (fire, water, metal, earth and wood) are also a part of the system. Every sixty years the pattern of element-animal pairs repeats. Chinese New Year commences with the New Moon in Aquarius, so it begins in late January to mid February.
If you were born in the year of the Rooster Chinese astrology welcomes a bright and brilliant cycle as your animal year returns. Everything is larger than life. You are stimulated and in some ways challenged. Awake early, this is a brash and bossy bird. Be adventurous and wear your finest feathers (fashions). Others appreciate your multi talents and energetic outlook. You are a powerful intellectual, ambitious and witty. Complex, creative and factual, you must always forgive and forget disappointments, don’t let resentment build. You are drawn to detailed analysis and business . Problem solving is your special talent. You can enjoy travel and exploration as well as mystical and spiritual studies during your year.
Years of the Rooster
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041

Feng Shui Guidelines To Follow
Gong Hoy Fot Choy! Improve Your Fortunes!
Oriental astrology uses many omens and portents. Incorporating these into your environment is an integral part of using Feng Shui effectively, to enhance wealth and happiness. These guidelines can be followed by all during the Rooster’s year as Feng Shui guidelines.

Color: violet and blue purples (avoid green and white)
Music: oboe suggestive of heavenly vibrations.
Crystal: topaz (for inspiration).
Drink: cider
Fragrance: myrrh
Tree: oak
Flavor: sweet
Lucky Number: 6
Flower: chrysanthemum
Food: barbecue
Spice: white pepper
Herb: savory
Motto: “I know better”
Western Astrology Correspondence: Virgo
Direction: West
Season: Autumn, especially September
Lucky Hours: 5 – 7 PM
Animals: felines, Roosters, hens, birds, deer
***************************************************************************

Chinese Chance- The Other Eleven Animals – The Future and You! During 2017 – early 2018
What Does The Rooster Bring Your Animal Sign?

A Quick Fortune Cookie for each of the other signs during the Fire Rooster’s Reign!

Rat
Keep the love situation status quo. Make the best of set backs, learn from them, live within your means financially and all will be well as the year ends.

Ox
Concentrate. The mood is serious, check up on the details of deals, especially involving property. Be a detective.

Tiger
This is a wonderful year for your social life.
Overall problems are temporary and opportunities are beneficial.

Rabbit
Don’t be upset by news or the problems of others. Save money, bargains are worth seeking.

Dragon
Be friendly but keep the situation light in love, care should be tken with new involvements. Excellent for finances.

Snakes
There is much to be grateful for, financial secuirity is enhance, happiness and more harmony brighten relationships.

Horse
Watch your diet, keep it healthy. Cooperate, don’t ignore rules and regulations and all will be well.

Sheep
Be resourceful, keep an organized time table, ther is strife around you, but you can rise above it.

Monkey
Charity thrives, it’s a good year and prosperous.

Dog
Others don’t see things your way. Focus on constructive goals, live and let live.
Enjoy your freedom.

Boar
There is time to rest this year, enjoy music and art. You have extra opportunities to follow a dream or realize a goal.

Note: Correlations with the Chinese to the Western Zodiac signs. This does not affect your familiar birth sign, but relates to the zodiacal wheel and traits as a whole.

Rat-(Sagittarius) .. Ox – (Capricorn) .. Tiger .. (Aquarius) … Rabbit (Pisces) …. ………. Dragon (Aries) … Snake (Taurus) … Horse (Gemini) … Sheep (Cancer) … Monkey (Leo)Rooster (Virgo) … Dog (Libra) … Boar (Scorpio)

Inauguration Day Astrology
January 20, 2017
By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer

At 12:00, high noon, in Washington DC, on a Friday the new President is scheduled to take The Oath of Office. The chart for that moment is called an event chart and describes the Trump presidency.
Here are the major astrological placements:
Sun – Aquarius 10th house
Moon- Scorpio 6th house
Mercury- Capricorn 9th house
Venus – Pisces 11th house
Mars – Pisces 11th house
Jupiter – Libra 6th house
Saturn – Sagittarius 8th house
Uranus- Aries- 12th house
Neptune – Pisces 11th house
Pluto- Capricorn 9th house
Ascendant – Rising sign 14 degrees of Taurus conjunct Fixed Star Menkar
In this type of chart the Sun describes the leader. The other placements are also interpreted in a wider context than in an individual’s horoscope. The Sun has no major applying aspects, but it is angular. This shows prominence and a strong personality, but many goals might not manifest. The unaspected Sun often drifts and loses steam. The Scorpio Moon is strongly aspected. This shows the common people and surging emotions as well as much support. The new First Lady might become unpopular or her influence will be very subtle. She will be a very different First Lady than Michelle O. was. The 6th house placements accent the health care issue. The 9th house planets indicate transformative policies and much discussion regarding foreign countries. Jupiter in Libra indicates growth and reform in the justice system and the issue of equality. Saturn’s placement shows turmoil regarding the CIA. It could also show a death in office and/or budget and banking problems. The Vice President, who, like the new President has a Gemini Sun Sign, could be very strong. Mike Pence might either be taking over office or doing much of the actual work behind the scenes at The White House in the months ahead. The Uranus placement shows sudden new issues coming to light and secret friends as well as adversaries. The Taurus ascendant and the Star Menkar show a fixed attitude, very unfavorable for ecology and slower actual change than promised. There could also be more rumors and scandals afoot than during the previous presidency. Money and economics will be a significant factor with this ascendant.
Well, “Truth is the daughter of time”, as the biographer of Richard III wrote. Time will tell if these thoughts hold true but they reflect what I see, writing in the early hours of January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day for the 45th US President, Donald J. Trump.