Favorite Local Places: Maryland Appalachian Trail Section #2 – High Rock to Wolfsville Rd

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These are the photos for my latest Appalachian Trail hike that I took this last Saturday (2/9). A magnetic feild zapped my phone about 10 or 20 minutes into the hike and erased all my battery life, so all but the last two pictures are the only pictures I was able to take. The first four are of High Rock and/or the view from it. There are two pictures of shelter, the top being a new example of one  and the next being an old example. The last picture is of Devil’s Racecourse. Essentially, its a boulder covered stream. Apparently, from what I was told, they were deposited there during the last Ice Age. When you walk across, and as you are descending the slop before you get there by where the old shelter was, you can hear the stream running underneath it. It’s pretty amazing.

There was a poem inscribed on the inside of the old shelter. I copied it down because it’s beautiful and profound. Here it is:

“Be the silence
woo the dream
bear the thought
become the thing”

I don’t know if the person who scrawled in on the shelter wrote it or if it was already an existing poem. Let me know if you have heard or seen it before.

I injured my knee on this hike. Funny how I keep injuring myself on hikes, this and the last one (which was my first hike). I guess that as I keep on hiking, I will stop accumalating injuries, at least I hope so.

I also collected a few rocks on this hike too. I will take pictures and post them soon.

Oh, to reiterate from what I said in my last post abotu hiking the Appalachian Trail: I went hiking with a group of people through Howard County Parks and Recreation. It cost $17, and they drive you  just about all the way there and back. I hope my bad luck with injury does not keep you from trying this amazing experience. I was the only one out of 24 to get injured the last time (1/12) and the only one out of 17 to get injured this time. Howa

Photo Source for Old Shelter: http://www.cnyhiking.com/ATinMD-HighRock.htm

Photo Source for Devils Racecourse: http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/images/at07/

Favorite Local Places: Patuxent Reservoir Watershed Pig Tail Recreation Area, Dayton, MD

This is also in Dayton, MD and is not far from the Big Branch Recreation Area. Big Branch offers more wildlife spottings but this area is just as pretty. Here is where I see more Herons. I saw at least two, maybe three, today. I see Woodpeckers a lot here too. With some hiking, biking, or on the water, you can get to some very nice sights.

For those who like to DIY,or people who don’t like to buy stuff they can gather, both this spot and Big Branch are great places to find rocks, walking sticks, tree slices, driftwood, tree stumps, and other nature stuff that can be turned into something you might want that would cost WAY TOO much in a store (or online). I picked up a walking stick today and some rocks. For pagans who want to incorporate woods and plants into their rituals, these are great places to collect them, as long as you have a guide or know what you’re doing. Many dieties have wood and plant correspondences and this is a cheap way to include a little nature into your rituals.

More than anything, Pig Tail is a beautiful place. It just happens to offer all sorts of other reasons to love it.

Rocks: Onyx (Black)

Onyx is a member of the Chalcedony family which also includes carnelian, agate, bloodstone, adventurine, etc. The Chalcedony family “ is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite.“* Onyx comes in a variety of colors but black onyx is what most people think of when they think/see/hear the word onyx.

Onyx is used like many other stones for mundane purposes including for countertops and whatnot. Magickally though, it is used for many purposes with a rich history. Onyx is a common find in jewelry for purely aesthetic and magickal reasons.

Greek mythology says onyx was once the fingernails of Venus but Cupid cut off her fingernails and scattered them on the Earth which the Fates turned into onyx so that no heavenly body part would ever perish. Weird, I know.

Corresponces: Linked to Celtic Great Mother Goddesses and Dieties of the Underworld as well as to the sabbat of Imbolc.

Mystical Properties: “Onyx is thought to increase regeneration, happiness, intuition and one’s instincts. It is also told to decrease sexual desire, and to aid in changing bad habits.”** Also said to deflect negative energy and aid in self control.

Healing Properties: “It is known to be particularly helpful with skin ailments, healing infected wounds as well as fungal infections, inflammation and even sunburn.“**

Magickal Uses: In amulets or talismans to combat negative energies or for any of the reasons as listed in mystical properties above or in rituals for the sabbats and dieties they correspond to.

Picture Source: (1) from me!, (2) http://www.thecrystalfox.com/index.php?route=product/product&keyword=onyx&category_id=54&product_id=1681. Both pictures are of Crystal Fox products though. It’s where I bought my hunk of onyx.

Wikipedia page for Chalcedony (*): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalcedony

** Link: http://shimmerlings.com/gemstones/onyx.htm

Other Correspondences to Celtic Great Mother Goddesses and Dieties of the Underworld (as well as other groups of Celtic dieties and their correspondences): http://www.oocities.org/athens/olympus/6581/correspondences9.html

Other Correspondences to Imbolc: http://www.workingwitch.com/yearwheel/imbolc.html

For more information on Onyx (listed my favorite sources):

  1. http://books.google.com/books?id=8KQQTcjkVgoC&pg=PT115&lpg=PT115&dq=onyx+dj+conway&source=bl&ots=9yedK_gwtl&sig=32rfaFwaMLVdgpfYqBoV1IdEcZw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JDriT6_3Kqn86gHv-b0K&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
  2. http://www.bardwood.com/stones.htm
  3. http://wicca.com/celtic/stones/stonek-o.htm
  4. (mundane) http://www.mineralszone.com/stones/onyx.html

Rocks: Rocks, Gems, and Jewels in Jewelry

I’ve been fangling with the idea of creating some of my own jewelry and about how I could incorporate rocks/gems/stones into talismans without buying pendants that cost more. This seems like an excellant way to do it… only I don’t know how to make that netting. Anyone know where to find instructions? I’m been looking and can’t seem to find any.

Picture Source: http://chasingthegreenfaerie.tumblr.com/