Full Moon in Aries – Initiation

I feel like this month’s full moon (13th, 22:07 BST)is a story of two sets of competing plot lines. On the one hand we have the Aries/ Libra axis activated, bringing our attention to where we want to move forward, and how we can best do that. And then there is the Cancer/ Capricorn axis also activated. All 4 cardinal signs. the urge to initiate is strong. But initiate what?

adult book boring face

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The answer(s) might come from dreams, or from journeying/ pathworking. This time from the full moon to the new moon in Scorpio is potent for dreamtime. Make sure you’re taking the opportunity by getting enough sleep.

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Divination/ Journal Prompts

*What is being forged in my fire?

*What is rising from my depths?

*What inspiration is blowing towards me on the wind?

*What is growing in my fertile soil?

Ritual/ Everydaymagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*Dream encouragement/ enhancement (mugwort tea works well)

*Free writing on the journal prompts

*Pathworking a random tarot or oracle card

 

First Quarter Moon in Capricorn – Work/ Work Balance

The First Quarter Moon lands in Capricorn, conjunct native Saturn (5th 5:46pm BST). I find First Quarter moons always have an aspect of challenge to them, but this one will feel that way more than most. With the moon also forming a sextile to dreamy Neptune in Pisces and trine Uranus in Taurus, there is a strong urge to do something different, to break free of the everyday, same old, same old. And that’s great, but the new thing, if it’s worth your effort, will also need work. The grass is not necessarily greener. You need to feed your current lawn too.

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It’s all about finding your work/ work balance. That may be between your day job and your side hustle, or parenting and employment, or self-employment and home maintenance. You get the idea. There’s work, and there’s work. And there’s no right answer. Try and have some fun with it.

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”
― Jerome K. Jerome

Divination/ Journal Prompts

*What is my work?

*What is my Great Work?

*What is calling me right now?

*How can I best move forward?

Ritual/ Everydaymagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*Dream up a list of things you’d love to be Your Work

*Make time for a relaxing ritual bath

*Volunteer for a cause that is important to you

 

Moon Wisdom for October

photo of sky

Photo by Aidan Roof on Pexels.com

(All times in BST, time zone converter here). 

Even though this month starts in Libra (sun) season, the Pluto/ Scorpionic darkness is never far away, and I think the entirety of October may feel like a very long build-up to the New Moon on the 28th (3:38 BST). If there’s anything you’ve pushed into the shadow it will rear its ugly head again this month. If you recognise it you can deal with it. If you don’t recognise it you may find yourself triggered by other people this month. A lot. 

The full moon is in Aries on the 13th (22:07 BST), some welcome Fire to combat the surrounding darkness. Start something, commit. Even if it feels a little crazy, or out of character. That’s the thing about lingering in the presence of death (Pluto), rebirth (also Pluto) is always around the corner. It’s not evil. It’s “just” nature. 

If you’d like more detailed info about the moon phases, from this month I’m adding this here on my blog! Each moon phase -new, first quarter, full, last quarter- I will post with astrological/ moon information specific to that time and phase, plus suggestions for journaling prompts and ritual/ spellwork. (For those of you who were my Patrons, the posts will follow that same format as I used to share over there – it’s my way of trying to still provide that for you guys).


If that sounds good to you, you can look out for my posts, I’ll also share via instagram and facebook. If you prefer to receive them direct to your email, you can do that by clicking here and choose the “Museletter and Blog Posts” option. 

Hubble Bubble – August is Cauldron Month

“In all the old stories, the geilt is hypersensitive to the sights and sounds of the civilised world, finding them unendurable. She finds other people unendurable too; only alone in the wild, in nature, can safety and freedom be found.”
Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman

While I claim not to be a crazy woman, I recognise that need to withdraw. The sights and sounds of this world, often larger than life, in technicolor and 3D, are overwhelming at times. Quiet is not just something I enjoy, it is something I need. Quiet and space. And I know I am not alone in this need. (I have witnessed it especially strongly in fellow HSPs). So, when I first heard Molly Remer talk about a cauldron month in 2016, it immediately resonated…

During August, I vow, I will take it all to the Cauldron…to let it bubble and brew and stew and percolate. I will pull my energy inward to let myself listen and be and to see what wants to emerge. I give myself permission not to create for public consumption during this month, but just to sit with myself and see what is bubbling, what is cooking, and how I might create a safe space for myself in which to stew up my truest magic.

Sustaining Myself by Molly Remer

I said to myself, that’s a beautiful idea, but I just can’t do it. I need to be connected, sharing my creations with the world, interacting with other people. I didn’t recognise that beneath that “need” for connection was fear. What would happen if I stopped?

The next few years I took a token Cauldron Month. I allowed myself to move away from daily posting on social media (and that is something that I have adopted as a habit all year round). But I was still blogging/ making videos/ writing and submitting. It was like I had a slow cooker month rather than a cauldron month. The alchemy was happening, but incredibly slowly (and it’s frustrating because you just want to take the damn lid off and stir and taste it, but you know you can’t because it will add another hour to the cooking time).

This year is different. This year I am going deep (which is appropriate, as Cauldron Month falls in the middle of my Depth Year). When I drew my cards for 2019 in my Wheel of the Year Spread, guess what came out for August? Yup, the Hermit! I took the hint (finally).

So, for me, the practical application of cauldron month means I will be removing all social media from my phone, including messaging apps like What’s App and Facebook Messenger. It says a lot that I have had to plan this in advance and let people know my plans. I am still reachable by phone or text for those who have my number, or by email (though I will be only checking email once a week).

But the HUGE thing is that, I am, like Molly, giving myself permission not to create for public consumption for the entire month! I won’t be posting any blogs, videos, articles etc. which feels like a huge deal because I have been consistently creating content for… well… a long time. It feels really radical. And just the right amount of scary. I have the whole of August to go deep into the cauldron of myself. Adding to the brew. Adjusting if necessary. Bubbling and boiling the raw ingredients into something tastier, more distilled – something ready to share. I can’t wait to taste what is in the pot come September.

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Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

So, that is what Cauldron Month looks like for me, for you it may be different.

Does Cauldron Month resonate for you? If so, you should check out Molly’s excellent resources here

See you in September.

A Full Moon Ritual

Here is a super simple ritual, which is amazingly powerful at full moon :full_moon:

Preparation

You may want to physically cleanse yourself beforehand, however you prefer to do that. A simple bath or shower works fine. A special bath or shower makes it more special.

Gather the things you need:

:star2: candle (white is best, a tea light in a jar works well, especially if you’re outside as it doesn’t blow out)

:star2: paper

:star2: pen (fountain with dragon’s blood ink or biro/ pencil)

:star2: black thread (regular cotton is fine)

:star2: matches/ lighter

:star2: any of the optional extras you are using (see optional extras below).

Choose where you will do this, indoor or outdoor. I prefer to do this outside but it works well indoors too. Just make sure you’ve got a nearby window that you can open as it will get smoky, and perhaps put something down to catch any debris. Outside, you will need to be able to see well enough to write on some paper (without it blowing away) and without freaking out your housemates or neighbours.

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Centring/ Creating your space

Once you have everything you need and you are happy in your chosen place spend a few moments tuning in to your breath. Let go of anything that may be bothering you so that you can focus on your ritual. It can be helpful to say “I am Jessica, I am present” (obviously inserting your own name instead of Jessica, or that would be weird).

Light your candle. Take a moment to look into the flame as it flickers.

If you work with spirits or deities then now would be the time to invite them in. If you don’t then don’t. Similarly with the elements/ directions.

Working Part

Take your paper and free write onto it anything that is troubling you. Pour out your heart. You don’t need to worry about spelling, grammar, legibility even. Just put it down. The paper can hold it all. If you need more sheets use more.

Roll up the paper you have written on like a very tight scroll. If you are using herbs pop them in the centre of your scroll before you roll it. Use the black thread to wind it around and keep it tight.

Get under the light of the moon (or darkness, if the moon isn’t visible – but better if you can time your ritual when the moon is out). Easy if you’re outside, but poking a face, or arm out of your window also works.

Take three more deep breaths and consciously feel each time you are breathing out that you are letting go of these things which no longer serve you.

Set the paper alight. Watch it burn (it can sometimes take a little while to get going so take a few matches or a lighter). I like to gently blow to keep the smoke going. If you blow into the lit end the smoke pushes out through the other too which always pleases me for some odd reason. Try it.

While it burns you may like to visualise something which helps with releasing, like darkness flowing out of you and back into the earth, or millions of little insects flying away. You may like to say some words, wither pre-prepared or ad lib. Move, dance, sing, play music, drum, chant. Whatever feels good.

If your bundle stops burning just light it again. Try to burn it until it is all gone. (Any bits and pieces that are left can be put outside on bare soil, or gifted to a house plant).

red candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Closing

If you invited any spirits/ deities/ ancestors then say goodbye to them now.

You may want to add some closing words of your own here. Or just a simple thank you to the moon, sun and Earth is perfect.

Ideally let your candle burn all the way down while you settle into what has been done. If that’s not practical snuff the candle. Clear any debris.

Optional extras

You can add an extra sensory dimension to this ritual by adding some dry herbs into the rolled paper. Bay leaves work really well. Sage or mugwort would also be good choices.

:star2: You could sing or play music

:star2: Move or dance

:star2: Say some special words, either pre-prepared or ad lib

:star2: Wear special clothes and jewellery

:star2: Journal about your experience. It can be helpful to keep this going on a daily basis until, at least, the next new moon.

:star2: Or you can just do the basics: write (to discover) and burn (to clear).

That doesn’t sound too hard does it? Reading about it won’t have the same affect though (I know, it’s a shame right?). Doing it is where the magic is. And it works, powerfully, even if you think it’s a bit silly, things start moving in new exciting ways.

Try it. Let me know how it goes.

Using the New Moon to Plant Seeds of Intention

A lot of fuss is made about the full moon. It’s the high point of the lunar cycle, the energetic zenith, the showpiece. And yet, when you’re working with the lunar cycle, it all starts a fortnight or so before, with the dark*/ new moon.

This new moon time is the equivalent to the seed being planted. Nothing can be seen, and yet, there is a lot going on beneath the surface. This is the time to focus on what it is we want to grow and blossom in our lives.

Here, I share an outline for a simple new moon intention setting ceremony (though it may not look particularly ceremonial – it depends on your personal taste) that you can adapt and make your own. I’m using a somewhat over-extended metaphor of planting a seed, because it makes me happy, and also because I hope it will resonate and create new thoughtful connections for you, if you haven’t thought about it in this way before.

person holding green cactus on pot

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The Digging

Often, it’s not immediately clear which intention you want to set. There might be nothing you can pinpoint that you need right now, you may feel awkward giving yourself and your desires this kind of luscious playtime, and/or, there may be so many things that need to change that you don’t know where to start.

If this is the case, you can find inspiration by digging deeper into your current pain points, hopes, and dreams (literally). This is the general digging stage. You may like to do this through:

*Journalling; either free-writing (see below) or using prompts, such as, which part of my life feels out of balance right now? How can I bring more joy into my life? What do I need to focus on this month? Where am I limited? What do I need? Ezzie Spencer also has a Dream Life Exercise in her book Lunar Abundance, which can be helpful for figuring out what to focus on. (If you’re interested in Lunar Abundance, I made a review over on my YouTube channel)
*Free-writing (a fancy way of saying, writing without consciously thinking about what you’re going to write, there’s a good definition here). It can be surprising the insights that bubble up to the surface when you allow yourself to write without any expectations. About 3 sides of A4 usually does the trick.
*Doodling; similar to free-writing but with doodles/ collage instead. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, this is a great way to connect with your deep self.
*Divination; using your preferred method, cards/ runes/ bones. Ethony has an excellent library of free, moon specific, tarot spreads here.
*Pay attention to your dreams. Keep a notebook by your bed and jot down any motifs or characters that pop up in your dreams. You may spot a pattern, you may not, but keeping this kind of record is always valuable. If you’d like to make this practice more focused you can state, before you go to sleep, that you would like to dream about an intention that it would be helpful for you to work on – and then see what pops up.
*Meditation; guided journeys/ visualisations can be especially helpful.
*Contemplation; good old fashioned, getting still and quiet (or going for a walk/ doing the ironing – anything that gets you out of that left-brain thinking space) and creating space for some new thinking about your intention to come in.

Preparing the Soil

*Know when the moon is New. You can do this by checking any decent witchy planner, or use the online calculator here.
*Use this information to schedule your new moon intention setting ceremony (you don’t have to get up for it if it’s in the middle of the night, just choose the time that works for you that falls closest after the new moon).
*Prepare the space you will be using for your ceremony. Think about each of the senses when you do this, how can you make it feel nurturing for yourself and your intention seed? e.g. you may want to have some music playing, a blanket to cosy up in, a special scent in the diffuser etc.
*You may also want to prepare yourself in a similar fashion. Choose clothes that help you feel a certain way, use scent, have a bath (getting into your gardening clothes is the metaphor here, but you probably won’t want to wear wellies and your scruffs, but each to their own).

person holding a green plant

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

Selecting the Seed

If you’ve already worked on preparing your soil, then it’s likely you already know which  seed (intention) to plant this moon cycle.
Now it’s time to really focus in on that intention seed. Some things to bear in mind as you do this:

*It is better to frame your intention in a positive way, rather than as something you want to get rid of e.g. “I want to lose 10lb and be healthy” is about what you want to lose – it would be better to state, “I am a healthy 145lb”.
*Frame your intention in the present tense, as if it is already true. (You’ll notice I did that with the example I gave in the last point). So, I am in a loving relationship, instead of, I want a loving relationship.
*You may want to play around with how you write/ state your intention. If you want to write it down (I find I have better results this way, than if I hold it only in my mind/ heart) you may want to do this using the circular, don’t-take-your-pen-off-the-paper method. Which is exactly as it sounds. You write your intention in a clockwise circle, joining each letter and word, until the last letter of the last word meets up with the first letter of the first. It sounds more complicated than it is 😀 just make sure you keep your pen on the paper and do not lift it up until all the letters are joined as one.
If you use sigils, you may want to use that method for writing/ sigilising your intention.

The Planting

At the allotted time, in your already prepared self and space, with your ready-to-be-planted seed, it’s time to start the planting/ ceremony itself:

*First, sprinkle in some bone meal and/ or fertiliser; you may want to light some candles, cast a circle (if you do that), call on your ancestors, spirits, or deities (if that feels right).
*Plant the seed; read/ state your intention out loud. You may want to do this a number of times, 3 works well I’ve found. If you’re using sigils then activate them now.
*Cover over the hole; you may want to burn your intention (if it’s on paper or a safely burnable item such as a leaf), meditate, chant, drum.
*Water the seed; in tarot and magic water is the emotions. To water your seed to focus on how your intention makes you FEEL. Remember, not how it WILL make you feel, but how you feel as it is real in the present moment. eg. visualise yourself in that loving relationship as if it is real right now (it is already real, just only on the astral plane at the moment – that’s the first step to making it real on the material plan). Don’t skip this step, the seed will wither and die if it’s not sufficiently watered in.

brown and green leafed plants

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Tending

A lot of the work is now done, but most seeds can use a little TLC while they get established. And what’s the point of planting if you don’t enjoy the flowers when they bloom (hopefully by the full moon, though some intentions are slower growers and take longer before they blossom) so:

*Throughout the waxing cycle you can tend your seed by watering, as in the planting section above, and making sure it gets lots of sun (happy, loving, and grateful, thoughts).
*At the first quarter moon, you may need to thin out the seedlings, if you planted more than one, or if you realise you placed them too close together.
*At the full moon appreciate the flowers, or if there are no flowers yet, check that you have been caring for the plant properly and that it has the environment it needs (it could be this isn’t the right seed for you right now, and/ or your current environment needs some changes made).
*Throughout the waning cycle you can make any changes that are needed. Weeding out anything that’s unhelpful for your seed e.g. releasing toxic friendships/ relationships, clearing out physical items, shadow work so that the sun can come through and warm your growing seed etc. You can also harvest the plant if the fruit/ intention is ready. Always with gratitude and appreciation.
*At the next dark moon your attention turns to the new seed to be planted (but keep an eye on the slow-growers that may still need your care), and so the cycle continues.

*I use the Dark Moon to refer to that period of time when the moon is invisible to the naked eye, as it is rising and setting in the same place and at the same time as the sun. The New Moon refers to the specific time and date of the new lunar cycle, which is given by astrologers. It refers to that point in time when the moon is most “dark”/ closest to the sun. For intention setting you want to be working with this NEW energy, so after this given timestamp. 

Are you in tune with the moon? Starting a Lunar Practice

I’ve been working with the waxing and waning lunar cycles for nearly 20 years now; starting out with following the moon phases, and then weaving in the astrological signs and houses. Over that time my practice has changed and evolved and I’m feeling ready to pass on what I know in the hope it will be helpful.

But it almost feels too huge. Where to start?
I’m going to attempt to cover everything you need to get started working with the lunar cycles in this post…
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Step 1
Observation
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Make a point of knowing which phase the moon is in as she waxes and wanes. You can record this in your magical journal/ book of shadows/ bullet journal – whatever you use.

You can use a special almanac or diary which shows the phases every day, to support you in this practice, but nothing beats actually getting outside, or by a window, and seeing the moon for yourself. Different phases are visible at different times. I’ll go into this more in another post perhaps.

Also note how you feel at different phases. Are you more outgoing at full moon? Do you dream more when the moon is in a certain phase (or sign, if you’re working with astrology already).

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Step 2
marking the major phases with ritual
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

I do this on full and new/ dark moon, and usually also a little something on the quarter moons too. This can be as simple as a ritual bath with salt and candles every dark moon. Or as elaborate as a group meet up for drumming, chanting, trancework and partying on the full moon.

Add these to step 1. Note how your rituals feel. Perhaps try the same ritual on a different phase. How does that change things?

crescent moon

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Step 3
utilising the cycles in your workings
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If you’re already familiar with spell work then you can tweak things a little to sync your spells with the moon (and if you’re not casting yet, simple spells corresponding with the moon phases is a great place to start).

The general rule is, from new to full ie. the waxing (getting bigger) moon, you cast for things you want to grow bigger. For example, financial abundance, love, promotions at work etc.

Then from full to new ie. the waning (getting smaller) moon, you cast for things you want to get smaller/ go away. For example, illness, weight loss, bad habits, annoying people etc.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Step 4
experiment and notice
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Try things. See how they feel. Try different things. Does divination work better for you at certain phases? Do you have more energy for spell work at certain phases?

If you have a bleeding cycle, how does your internal moon phase sync, or not, with the external moon phase?

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Step 5
research and review
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Read and learn more about working with the phases. You might like to add working with the astrological signs and houses into your practice. Perhaps a different aspect is calling to you. As with all parts of the craft, continue to learn and grow. How we relate to the moon can wax and wane as we get older too. Stay curious.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

I’ve uploaded a video about how to start working with the cycles over on my YouTube. So if you prefer your info in video form you can find that here. It also includes the resources I like to use and more info I couldn’t fit into this post.

 

ENDNOTE: I know this is a simplistic overview of a HUGE topic. I hope it makes sense and is helpful, but I’m conscious there is so much more to cover. If you have any questions please ask.

What would you like to know about working with the moon? How do you already tune into the moon in your practice?

Wheel of the Year Card Spread

For the last few years now I have offered “Wheel of the Year” readings. I have decided not to do them this year (sorry) mainly because of time constraints. I am committed to quite a few projects at the moment and I am shifting from doing frequent tarot readings to focusing more on teaching tarot – which is a change I am really enjoying.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. – Chinese Proverb

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So, in the spirit of lifetime feeding, here is the spread I use to do these readings, so that you can do your own.

Wheel of the Year Spread

I hope you find it useful.

Happy New Year!

The Rainbow – A Bridge between Magical and Mundane

“Two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves.
They flickered out saying:
“It was worth being a bubble, just to have held that rainbow thirty seconds.”
― Carl Sandburg

I said I was going to wrote a post about the significance of rainbows. But somehow it just wasn’t flowing, and there is already so much out there. You already know the wonderful promises which that coloured arch across the sky, appearing, as it does, at times of rain AND sun, holds. (Though, according to Wikipedia, in some rainforest locales, they are seen as a bad omen, probably because of the weather that comes along with them). An emblem of tolerance, a reminder of a child loved and lost too soon – and a child who came afterwards. A message. A promise. A hope.

 

So, I thought instead I would share with you something else. Something you won’t find anywhere else (unless you have a copy of my book). It’s a story I wrote a while ago, when I was very sad and needed to feel better. I hope you like it.

Iris’s Rainbow

One day a woman had a baby girl. That baby girl grew up, and one day she had a baby girl. This girl was called Iris. Iris loved to dance in puddles, sing loudly, and never wanted to go to bed when it was bedtime.

Other people said to Iris’s mama that she had spoiled Iris. “She needs to learn that she cannot always have her own way,” they would tell her sternly.

Iris’s mother said nothing and just smiled. She knew that she had not spoiled Iris and that she can always have her own way. She fed her when she was hungry, cuddled her when she was sad, comforted her when she was cross and told her stories when it was late at night and the other mamas had sent their children to bed. 

Iris loved her mama and grew into a strong and generous woman. She painted, sang and wrote beautiful stories, bringing joy to all around her. And she still liked to dance in puddles. 

One day Iris fell in love. She sang songs to her love and he sang to her. They both loved to curl up beside the fire and share stories. Soon Iris’s belly blossomed and swelled. Her baby, a girl, was born. Iris was so happy. She loved being a mama. Her days were full of sunshine (and, of course, a little rain, and she would dance with her daughter in the puddles). 

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When Iris was forty years old her own mama got ill. Really ill. Iris fed her when she was hungry and cuddled her when they were both sad. They stayed up late at night sharing stories. And then one day Iris’s mama died. 

Iris’s heart was broken. Her mama was her rock, her foundation. Without her in the world she felt like a kite tossed by the breeze, a drifting leaf in a huge lake. She had no anchor. She lost her joy.

Days passed and Iris drifted. She was empty. Her daughter would wind her arms around her neck and try to fill the hole but it was too deep. Weeks passed and Iris still felt hollow. Months passed and Iris’s daughter felt her mama slipping away. 

“Mama, let’s go for a walk, please.” Iris didn’t want to walk but she loved her daughter so they put on their coats. It had been raining that morning, but Iris didn’t dance in the puddles. She didn’t even splash. Her daughter held her hand. 

They walked and walked till they came to the top of a hill. You could see all around and about. Above the next hill they saw a rainbow. 

“What is a rainbow, Mama?” 

“It is a bridge between worlds.” 

“It’s beautiful!”

“Yes,” Iris replied, and then after a pause, “Yes, it is.”

Iris looked hard at the rainbow arching over them, no beginning, no end. Iris saw her mama in the rainbow. She remembered her voice, her smell, the feel of her arms around her. And Iris laughed and cried and laughed and cried and laughed and cried. She was found. 

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