Friday, May 31, 2013

Amy Smart, Grant Bowler, and Cassidy Mack film in Palm Springs

Zoey to the Max is a film about a 13-year-old girl who escapes her foster home in Los Angeles and stows away in a vehicle headed to Palm Springs. Directed by Jim Valdez, 'Zoey' has been filming in Palm Springs.

Like her on-screen character, Zoey, Cassidy Mack was once a  foster child. She was adopted at age six. At thirteen, Mack founded Love Gives Chances (http://lovegiveschances.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering foster youth.

Miss Gracie would love to meet Miss Mack. She looks like the kind of teen who would stop and pet a small dog. Miss Gracie and I would have dressed more stylishly before heading to Village Fest had we known a film crew was about. I think we missed them. Whew! No more yoga pants in public for this writer, no matter how hot the outside temperature! Miss Gracie would have been mortified if we had encountered the film's stars, Grant Bowler (Defiance), Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect) or Cassidy Mack while attired so horrifically. She does not approve at all of my continued pairing of last season's red leash with her new purple harness. (She is NOT a member of the Red Hat Club, thank you very much.)
                                                                     Amy Smart

                                                                    Grant Bowler


As an author of Young Adult fiction (Spell Check and its upcoming sequel, Spell Struck), a movie lover, and a long time grant donor for foster youth scholarships, I'm happy to see my passions come together in this project. Fingers crossed they hold the premier in Palm Springs. I'll be there - and dressed in something much nicer than yoga pants.
~Ariella Moon

Amanda Matthews to Design Spell Struck Cover

I am beyond excited! I just learned that the amazing Amanda Matthews will be designing the cover for my upcoming paranormal YA novel, Spell Struck. AND she may be revamping the cover for Spell Check as well. Here are some of the covers Amanda has done. All of the books are available at www.astraeapress.com as well as amazon and Barnes & Noble. ~Ariella Moon











Monday, May 27, 2013

Beltane Magic - Follow the Signs


                                                       

Beltane — Follow the Magic



                                    Photo by By Angi Unruh (Flickr) under Creative Commons
                           
Throughout May we’ve celebrated and invoked the fiery passion of Beltane. Perhaps you burned frankincense, planted lemon balm, or honored the goddess Diana, Artemis, Cybele, or Aphrodite. You may have created a Beltane bowl to concentrate the power of your wish or intention. As May draws to a close, watch for signs that the Universe is supporting your Beltane magic.

                                               

What desire did you present to the Universe? Like dreams, messages from the Universe can be highly symbolic or metaphoric. They might manifest in nature—a heart shaped rock, an unusual cloud formation, or an unexpected wildlife sighting. (www.linsdomain.com is an excellent resource for understanding animal totems.) When Iris, Mercury, and other air goddesses and gods deliver a message to humans, they shift into a shape the intended recipient of the message can recognize. The form will have personal meaning to the recipient and may symbolize the outcome he or she hopes to achieve, or an action that must be taken. Since I have a Master’s Degree in Art History, my messages often appear as paintings that flash in my mind. Once I interpret what the painting symbolizes to me, the message becomes clear. As a shaman, I honor nature, so I also receive many messages in the form of animal totems. 

                                                                 
                                                                                                            Messenger God Mercury
                                                                                   Photo By Michal Ma┼łas under Creative Commons

While tracking signs, remember to keep up your part of the bargain. If your passion was a project you wanted to launch, continue to invest your energy and focus on the project’s success. If your desire was to bring new love into your life, make room in your home for that person and become the type of person you wish to meet. Like attracts like.

Where intention goes, energy flows. 

~Ariella Moon

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May's Flower Moon

                                         
                                          Photo by Paul Gore Photography
                                       http://paul-gore.deviantart.com/art/Moonlight-325851794


The Flower Moon

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 12:25 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Lunar Eclipse at 12:10 a.m. EDT


Historically, world cultures named each month’s full moon as a way to track the passing year. May’s mild planting weather gave birth to names like Flower Moon, Milk Moon, Planting Moon, Strawberry Moon, Bright Moon, Hare Moon, Field Maker Moon, Dyad Moon, and Blossom Moon. In China, where the rainy season starts in the south in April-May, May marked the Dragon Moon, the time when Shen-Lung, the blue Spiritual Dragon of the sky, controlled the rain that nourished the crops.

Magically, the May Full Moon is a good time to decorate your sacred or creative space with fresh cut flowers and ribbons. Bless your crops and money for fertile growth and abundance. The moon will be in Sagittarius—encouraging us to get out into nature, move, hike, dance, and explore.

Crush together anise, lavender, and rosemary into a pleasingly fragrant mix then burn to give rise to whatever you want to grow in the coming months. Place your crystals in a charging dish and set outside or in a window where they can be bathed in moonlight.

Love and light,
~Ariella Moon




Monday, May 20, 2013

Beltane Bowls



Monday’s Magic


Photo Credit: http://morgandria.tumblr.com

Beltane Bowls

Intention bowls (Prayer Bowls, Bedside Bowls, Altar Bowls) are an attractive, portable way to concentrate magical intent. The bowls can focus on any purpose—love, protection, prosperity, etc. May is a good month to harness the fiery, passionate energies of Beltane, the Celtic fire and fertility festival. Do you wish to attract love? Is there a project you are passionate about and want to fuel its success? Is there a garden or special idea you wish to nurture and see grow?

Step One – Pick Your Focus
Magic works best if you concentrate on a single focus. From this step until the last, you create a moving meditation that gathers focused energy. Each step increases the magic.

Step Two – Choose or Create a Bowl
The bowl’s color or shape should boost your magical intent. Certain colors have specific associations—red/love; pink/friendship & harmony; gold or green/prosperity; teal/decision making; pale blue/healing or protection; orange/business projects and attraction; etc.— but since the magic stems from you, use whatever color you feel empowers your intent. With each item you place into the bowl, envision your dream coming true. Remember- do not direct love spells at a particular person!

Step Three – Gather Items for Your Bowl
·      The options are endless.
·      You can use stones and plants associated with Beltane: frankincense, roses, lemon balm, quartz crystals, sunstone/aventurine, orange calcite, and malachite.
·      You can collect symbolically shaped objects, i.e. heart-shaped for love.
·      You can intermix handwritten affirmations (anything from “NY Times Bestselling Author” to “Abundance” or “Growing Good Health”) with appropriately colored stones. (As a general guideline, follow the colors listed in Step One. This is an abbreviated list. If you aren’t sure what color to use, ask me!)

Step Four – Power Placement
Place your Beltane Bowl where you will see it every day. Every time you glance at it, you will consciously on unconsciously send energy to fuel your magical intent. Place it where feel right to you, or follow the principles of feng shui and place it in the appropriate are of your home or creative workspace.

Step Five – Keep it Clean
Keep your Beltane Bowl well dusted. Depending on its intent, you may want to occasionally charge it under the sun or set it outside during the full moon so it can be bathed in moonlight.

For fabulous bowl ideas and more photos, go to http://morgandria.tumblr.com click on the Altar and Shrine Index and scroll down to Bedside Bowls. 



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ariella Moon meets Ariel from Guide Dogs of the Desert

Meeting Between Ariella and Ariel

A new friend recently introduced me to Ariel, a 5 year old standard poodle who was retired from Guide Dogs of the Desert breeding program after one litter. (Ariel had a chronic ear infection.) 

Christine Hammond (below, driving the snazzy convertible) said, "Ariella, meet Ariel." 
Hope Miss Gracie doesn't find out!


Even Authors Need a Lunch Break


Once you ride in a convertible, there is no turning back. This would make me an official SoCal Gal, except I haven't survived a desert summer yet. At the wheel-Christine Hammond, one of Ariel's "moms." Christine rescued me from nonstop work on my third book, Ditched for the Holidays. Even authors need lunch! Now back to writing. I'd love to finish writing Ditched before Spell Struck comes out. Over 36,000 words and counting!

Love and light,
~Ariella

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jackie Rosas ~ Friday's Fabulous Teen

Cathedral City Teen Spurs Rescue of a New Jersey Teen

The world needs more young adults like Jackie Rosas. Her instincts, compassion, determination, and internet sleuthing helped avert a teen she had never met from committing suicide. Here's her amazing story:
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20130513/NEWS01/305130029/Suicide-threat-averted-via-Net-sleuthing

Jackie Rosas ~ Friday's Fabulous Teen!

Be the light.
~Ariella Moon

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spell Check the Audio Book (unabridged)

During my daily check of Amazon's Author Central, I spotted an anomaly in the ranking for my sweet paranormal teen romance, Spell Check. Turns out the audio version of Spell Check has been released! Of course, I had to check out the audio sample. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CPCOF9I

So weird to hear someone else read aloud my words -especially since the narrator pronounces the name of one of the main characters differently than the way I hear it pronounced inside my head. (Must work on those inner voices!) Nevertheless, I'm super excited that the audio version has been released.

Next up: Spell Struck, the sequel to Spell Check. The galleys have been proofed. I'm awaiting my first look at the cover art. My senior editor said the release is scheduled for early summer. Hmm. Hope Astraea Press can work around my trip to Wales! I'll let you know as soon as I have a release date. Meanwhile, happy listening! ~Ariella Moon

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lemon Balm Magic ~ A Beltane Herb


Monday’s Magic

Lemon Balm

My exploration of magical plants associated with Beltane continues today with Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis. To understand why this fabulously fragrant mint corresponds with love magic and the Celtic festival of fire and fertility, one must follow the bees. Yes, bees.

Tradition holds that Amazons, a tribe of female warriors, founded the ancient city that later became known as Ephesus, and that the goddess Diana was born in the nearby woods. A great temple was erected to honor the goddess, who was also known as Artemis (not to be confused with the later Greek goddess by the same name) or Cybele — the Goddess of Nature and Fertility. Like Beltane, Cybele’s annual festival occurred in the spring.


The temple was considered analogous to a hive, with the goddess as the queen bee, and the priestesses as bees or Melissai. The hive structure also occurred at the Temple of Aphrodite at Eryx, an ancient city south of modern-day Sicily. Aphrodite/Venus is the Goddess of Love.

Lemon balm was one of the sacred herbs used in the Temple of Artemis/Diana. Honeybees loved the plant. Honey and wax were valuable commodities in ancient times, so beekeepers used lemon balm to attract swarms. A calming herb, lemon balm was planted around the hives to keep the bees happy and in residence.

According to Hilda M. Ransome’s “The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times & Folklore,” the honeybee was considered to be a form the human soul took when descending from the Goddess Artemis herself.

The plant was also valued for its culinary and curative uses. In the ninth century, the Roman Emperor Charlemagne ordered the monasteries to grow lemon balm in their gardens. By the tenth century, the herb made its way to Europe. From there it spread to Britain and America.

Seventeenth century astrologer and herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper, determined lemon balm was ruled by the planet Jupiter and fell under the astrological sign of Cancer. Some modern day writers link lemon balm to the moon and Venus.

Although lemon balm’s astrological correspondences may vary, one thing is certain: the history of lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, is deeply entwined with the Melissai priestesses and the goddesses of love and fertility. The herb’s magical roots become clear once you follow the bees.


Lemon Balm Magic

Grow lemon balm in large flowerpots. Planted in the ground, it will take over your garden. The sight and fragrant smell of lemon balm alleviates depression and opens your heart to romantic love. Place cuttings on your altar when performing love spells or infuse your tea, water, or lemonade with lemon balm leaves. Lemon balm is thought to aid communication between lovers, so soak in a bath sprinkled with lemon balm leaves or burn the leaves and envision the smoke carrying your message to your beloved.

~Ariella Moon



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spell Struck ~ One Step Closer to Publication!


I finished proofing the galleys for Spell Struck today and sent them off to Senior Editor, Kim Bowman at Astraea Press. Yay! I found a big -oops! - that had somehow gotten past me and 2 editors. The best way to discover inconsistencies is to read your manuscript from beginning to end in one or two sittings. Next up: Cover Art!

~Ariella Moon

Happy Mother's Day!


You never know who you might meet on your morning walk!

Happy Mother's Day!
~Ariella Moon

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Maya Little-Sana and Danielle Acosta ~ Saturday's Superstar Teens

In addition to the wonderful kids donating their time in the desert heat today at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Palm Springs (See previous blog) to raise money for an injured staff member, I want to pay tribute to two other Teen Superstars: Maya Little-Sana and Danielle Acosta.

Maya Little-Sana

Maya Little-Sana has won the prestigious National Scholastic Art and Writing Award for her dark personal essay titled "Abyss." Past winners of this award have been Stephen King, Robert Redford, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and Joyce Carol Oates. Congratulations, Maya on your amazing achievement! And a big shout out to San Diego humanities teacher, Tony Spitzberg for giving his class, including Maya, this assignment.

Danielle Acosta

Danielle Acosta has won a $4,000.00 scholarship for her short film, which was recently featured in the 5th Annual Palm Springs Unified School District Digicom Film Festival. The film explored how Danielle's love of filmmaking helped her cope with a loved one's suicide. Awards also went to teachers Tarra Bercegeay of Palm Springs High, James O'Neil of Desert Hot Springs High, and Jessica Pack of James Workman Middle School. Congratulations!

Boys and Girls Club of America - Palm Springs Fundraiser

Car Wash to Aid Injured Staff Member -Today Until 1:00 p.m.

I just got recognized at the Boys and Girls Club of America car wash! School visits=rock star. Okay, maybe not rock star...Still it was great to see familiar faces and contribute to a worthy cause. The kids are raising money to help pay the medical bills for a staff member who was hit by a drunk driver. 

Only $5.00!

My car was super filthy, so I donated double!

450 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs. The kids will be there until one o'clock today. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Galleys are in for Spell Struck!


Final phase of the editing process!

I received the galleys for Spell Struck this morning. We'll see who won the battle over to hyphen or not to hyphen certain words! I did concede on blonde vs. blond. Evidently even the unabridged dictionary says "blonde" has fallen out of usage to describe a woman's hair. Miss Gracie and I are mourning its demise.

Make every day magical!
~Ariella Moon

Monday, May 6, 2013

Beltane Correspondences: Rose Magic

Monday’s Magic

Rose Magic

Roses, associated with Venus, the Goddess of Love, and Water, the element of emotions, are a natural fit for Beltane, an ancient Celtic fire and fertility festival.

Ruling Planets: Venus (Damask Rose), Moon (White Rose), Jupiter (Red rose).

 Rosa gallica, the most ancient known cultivated rose, may have been introduced to Britain by the Romans. In the early thirteenth century, crusaders returning from the Middle East were thought to have brought back the fragrant damask rose. Rose petals, hips, and oil have multiple applications, including medicinal, culinary, and magical.

My shaman teacher once told me roses have the highest vibration of any flower. According to Connie and Ablan Higley, authors of Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils, absolutely pure rose oil, expensive and nearly impossible to acquire, “has the highest measured frequency of any essential oil while Love has the highest frequency of all emotions.”

Magical Attributes of Roses
Roses can be used in spells and rituals for Love, Healing, Luck, and Protection.


Roses to Attract Love
Perform love magic on a Friday, the day of the week ruled by Venus. Use red roses for passion, pink for romance, orange for attracting love, and white for pure love. While performing any of the following, ask the Universe to bring the right person (specify gender) to you at a time when that is optimum for both of you. Love spells should not be rushed and should never be directed at a specific person.

Add rose petals (from the appropriate colored rose as described above) to your bath.

  Wear rose hips or beads. For making rose beads, follow Melissa Breyer's steps outlined 

·                             Place a rose on your altar. Make a list of the qualities you seek in a lover/boyfriend/girlfriend. Do NOT direct your spell at a specific person! Place the list beneath the vase containing the rose.

Spell to Enhance Existing Love
For Love already strong and true,
May all that is good between me and you,
Grow stronger with each day and night,
Enhancing our Love, and our Passion ignite.

May the joy and passion of Beltane help you find love or enhance existing love!
~Ariella Moon                                                                  ©2013 Ariella Moon