Sorry, folks

I’m terribly inconsistent. I know. I go through periods of time where I love writing and updating, followed by periods of time where I can’t be bothered to turn on the computer. Maybe 2017 will be the year that I get my shit together?.. Just kidding, we all know that wont happen.
But I will try.

Over the past few months, I have been busy. Between holidays, bridal showers, work, and FINALLY getting married (that is right…  married… only two and a half years later), we have been busy.

wedding-2
Photo Credit: FlashKissed Photography

 

It’s been busy, but so worth it. The wedding was amazing! Cody and I had the time of our lives, and we are so thankful for all the friends and family that worked with us to give us the day we dreamed of for so long now. (BTW, please check out my wonderful photographer’s facebook page here, or her website here and show her some love. This chick makes my world go round!)

Now that the wedding is behind us, we are ready to tackle the rest of our lives. We have a mountain of hard work and difficulties in front of us, but I’m feeling  confident that we can tackle it all with enthusiasm and grace. We are ready to work on our debt, our health, our home, and our spirituality. Honestly, if we could survive 2016- a year full of chemotherapy with our dog, the election, just beginning to set out on fixing our debt situation, living with our in-laws, starting new jobs, the apartment catching on fire, and so on- we can survive anything… knock on wood.

So here’s to a blessed Yule, a Merry Christmas, and a happy new year.

Love you all,
D

Advertisements

Getting ready for Samhain

I wrote this for 2 reasons” 1) To help those who are new to the craft understand Samhain and 2) to serve as a conversation piece for those who have been long practicing. I’m feeling good about Samhain this year!

 

Every October I feel a new surge of energy- something that makes me feel extra “witchy.” Part of me believes that it is the crisp, cool weather that breathes life into me… Another part of me thinks it is all the Halloween décor for sale. Regardless of why I get that surge of feeling, I believe that all other witchy people feel it, too. Whether or not you have been practicing the craft for many years now or you are just beginning to dip you toes into these waters, Samhain is a wonderful time of the year to connect to your spiritual path.

When is Samhain?

In the northern hemisphere, traditionally, it is November 1st, but the celebration often began after sunset on October 31st. For our southern hemisphere companions, Samhain is celebrated on May 1st. For my own practice, I celebrate on Halloween.

Why do we celebrate Samhain?

Samhain, meaning summer’s end, is the last of the three harvest holidays. The leaves are changing color, our fields are producing the last of their crops, and we are beginning to move forward into longer and cooler nights- officially propelling us into the dark half of the year.  Additionally, we believe that the veil between the living and the spirit world is at its thinnest, allowing us to honor and reconnect with our ancestors before they move on.

In both respects, it is quite clear that we honor death during this time of year; be it the death of the land and crops or a loved one. However, this celebration isn’t as morbid as some may think! Though we honor those that have passed, we do so by celebrating the life that was once had- It can truly be a happy time.

Symbols of Samhain

Using traditional Samhain colors, herbs, symbols, etc. can help give a boost of energy to your ritual- or at the very least brighten up you altar!

Colors: focus on black, orange, brown, gold

Stones: Onyx, Jet, and Bloodstone

Food and Herbs: Pumpkins, turnips, apples, mugwort, rosemary, garlic, sage, catnip

 

Celebration Ideas

We all celebrate differently, but these are a few ways I like to spend my time leading up to and the day of this holiday.

Make lanterns out of gourds: This is a no brainer- most of us do every year anyways. If you are feeling adventurous, try to make a few smaller “candle holders” out of turnips- the original jock-o-lantern. I’m NOT that adventurous, so I stick to my regular pumpkin. We carve the pumpkins as a family, carving faces into some of them and protective sigils in others. We use pumpkins and other gourds because they are the most durable crop we have available to us around this time of year.

Bake pumpkin seeds: You just carved that pumpkin, right? Waist nothing! Clean and toast your pumpkin seeds as a delicious, family friendly snack. You can also set aside a few seeds to be used in your Samhain ritual- get creative!

Leave baked goods as an offering: If you are planning on celebrating your departed loved ones, make sure to leave a place at the table for them! I make many different recipes of bread and bake apple pies (or any other seasonal baked good that comes to mind) and I be sure to leave enough for any loved ones who may be visiting. I believe it is a good way to show them that I still value them and will always leave a spot in my heart for them.

Revamp your altar: Using traditional Samhain colors and herbs, redo your altar and make it picture perfect for the season. I buy a few of the tiny pumpkins and other squash that are sold at grocery stores and place them all around my altar. I also add a few framed pictures of departed family members to my altar with black and gold ribbon and the name tags of beloved pets who have crossed that rainbow bridge.

Break out your Tarot Cards: Or any other divination tool you might have. Because of the mass amounts of spiritual energy in the air, this is an ideal time to practice divination. Personally, I like using Oracle Cards or my pendulum while holding a pouch of mugwort- an herb that is widely used for its properties in divination.

Get a witches’ broom: Not too long ago, I bought a cheap witch broom from Michaels and decorated it the fabric and ribbon. I use it around this time of year to “Sweep” away any nasty energies that may be lingering around my house.

Play with your kids and family: Go trick or treating, dress up with them, eat too much candy, go to a haunted house, watch the scary movies, etc. Though we honor death this day, we do so my celebrating life- so go live! While I believe that it is important to make time to partake in Samhain rituals, don’t lose sight of the friends and family you have in front of you. Be silly, make memories and laugh with them.

 

Have fun this Halloween!

 

Magic isn’t always hocus pocus

disneyWhile my favorite type of magic to write about primarily concerns spells and rituals, it is not the only type of magic in the world. The most incredible magic comes about when we are able to do incredible things for the people we love, wanting nothing in return except to see that person happy. Hocus pocus can’t bring about that kind of happiness, only true love and kindness can do that.

I bring this up because last night I was able to give my mother a gift of a lifetime. Though I have walked a witchy path for nearly ten years now, despite the many spells I have cast over the years and the hundreds of rituals I have taken part in, NOTHING has made me feel quite as magical as I did last night.

You see, my mother loves Disney. She doesn’t just like the occasional Disney movie, or have fond memories of taking us to Walt Disney World when we were younger; she absolutely LOVES all things Disney; to her, the word “Disney” represents opportunity, youthfulness, dreams come true, and a beautiful tomorrow. Disney is where families come together and forget their practical lives and start believing in fairy god mothers and the power of wishing upon stars, no matter how old they are or where they come from.
As much as my mom loves and cherishes the name Disney, it also comes with a sweet sadness to her. While the name is synonymous with happiness, she also believe it to be unattainable; going to a Disney park is hard enough on anyone’s finances, but if you factor in her current financial strife, walking down Main Street to see Cinderella Castle is damn near impossible. While her heart is often filled with joy when she hears that her friends and family will be experiencing the Magic Kingdom for themselves, it isn’t without a small pang of sadness, fearing that she will never again see that castle for herself.

What she didn’t know was that my fiancé and myself knew how she felt and were hell bent on doing something about it. This woman raised me and my two brothers alone and managed to provide for us no matter how hard her financial situation was, she has always been right next to me during any stressful moment in my life, she worked endless hours to make sure that we still believed in magic, surprising us with little trips here and there ; in short, she is has been my Wonder Woman and has never asked for anything in return… ever.

Cody and I knew that she couldn’t get herself to Disney World on her own, and wouldn’t want to go without all of her kids- lets face it, Disney is rough on anyone’s budget- so we decided to do it for her. We put a down payment on a six day vacation for the whole family to see the Mouse for next year, all that was left to do was to tell her.

Last night she came over for dinner, clearly upset because so many of her friends were getting ready to leave for the Magic Kingdom within the next few days. I poured her a glass of wine as she told me that it’s her only wish experience walking down Main Street at least one more time with all of her kids, but it is seeming to become a more distant possibility with each passing day. It was then that I reminder her of the famous Walt Disney quote:

The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements, but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem.

Of course, she was confused, so we handed her a present; a set of wrapped Mickey ears…. which she also didn’t understand. I had to tell her, “We are taking her to Walt Disney World,” (a few times, actually) before it sank in: the whole family is taking you to Disney World.

 

It may not be a clever spell, it may not be a well planned and beautiful ritual… but seeing my mother’s face lighting up when she realized that she would once again be stepping foot on Main Street Station was the most magical moment in my entire life. Yes, I am excited about going to Disney as well, but allowing my mom to be a child for once in her life was the most heartwarming experience in my entire life.

It isn’t hocus pocus… but its magic.

 

 

 

Apple Picking and Magic

apple-picking-4

With how much Cody and I have been working, it is rare that the both of us have an evening off together, let alone a whole day… But yesterday both of us were fortunate enough to be off work all day long with one another. Originally, we were talking about doing a lot of much needed shopping, running errands, cleaning house, then making dinner and calling it an early night; practical and boring, but thing that needed to be done.  However, as soon as we woke up and saw what a beautiful day it was, we decided an adventure was in order.

apple-picking-7We got dressed, threw together some snacks, and jumped into the car and set off for Blue Ridge, GA. There is a family run apple orchard there called Mercier, which hosts a “U Pick,” where guests can pay for a bag and pick all the apples they could possibly ask for. Cody and I spent the day in the Orchards and picked more apples than I could ever dream of eating, so I imagine I will be spending the next several days putting  together obscene amounts of baked goods for my loved ones.

With all the time we spent in the orchards, surrounded by the mountains and apples, it was hard to not thing about all the wonderful, magical properties in which the apple possesses and the many ways that you can incorporate said properties into your magical and mundane life.

The magical properties of apples:

  • Health and fertility
  • Financial Abundance
  • Happiness
  • Protection
  • Divination
  • Connecting to the feminine
  • Emotional and romantic love

apple-pickingAs you can see, apples can be used for nearly anything you can possibly imagine, and using apples for these purposes are incredibly easy. For health, bless and apple before you eat it. Add apple seeds to a financial security mojo bag. Bake apple pies for your loved ones. Place apples on your altar to protect and bless it.

As you can imagine, you all will be flooded with magical apple crafts for the next week or so- in fact, as we speak I am waiting for my sweet potato and apple dog treats to come out of the oven, so you will be getting a post on the baking process within the day.

Apples…apples for days. I have a life time of magic laying across my counters at the moment (and at least a week’s worth of baking… at least), so I will leave you here for the moment. I hope you all enjoied your long weekend (if you did indeed have a long weekend).

Be Blessed,
-D