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

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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.

 

 

 

What made me come back

anxietyIf you are one of the few who have been with my blog from the beginning, you know that I handle whatever stress or depression that comes my way by cleaning. I’ve been incredibly anxious- from moving, the fire, starting a new job, Cody getting a second job, wedding planning, family issues, and more… well… I’ve been a lunatic. I was (and still am) too stressed and exhausted to do anything more than what I had to, which was pretty much work and vacuum every now and again, leaving my home and my spiritual life in shambles… so I took a break from it. I stopped praying as much as I did before, I threw all my clothes over my altar, things in the house were getting dusty and gross… I guess I was just waiting for the moment when I snap- because I always end up waking up and flipping out at some point… and when that happens, I clean… then the rest falls into place on its own.

 

I have lived in my apartment for about three months now, and I really do love it here. Aside from a hiccup with our counters, and an even bigger hiccup with the fire, this place has become a happy home for Cody and myself. It is spacious, the dogs have plenty of room to frolic, the cats have a tong of large, sunny windows to lay near, and the kitchen is large enough for us to have room to entertain our guest.

As much as I love this home we have made for ourselves, I did take issue with one thing: our guest bedroom. We had a million boxes left over from our storage unit (full of absolute junk, by the way) and no where to put them, so we just kept shoving them in the guest bedroom until we had enough time to sort through them. But we never did… in fact, we kept shoveling even more crap in here until we could barely even open the door. I walked into this room many times with the intention of sorting it out, but ended up abandoning the project before I truly began because it was just so overwhelming to me… too many boxes, so much of it was  Cody’s, it was dusty in, there, there is still no ceiling light so it is a little dusty and dark… I had a ton of excuses to get me out of actually working on this room, so I kept ignoring it and pretending that it wasn’t a problem…
But it was a problem. We chose this apartment because of it’s size, because I wanted an office and a guest room… we are PAYING to have this bedroom available to us, but we can’t utilize this space because we have created an episode of hoarders in here…

A few days ago, I snapped. I needed to get into the second room to find a box of cleaning supplies and had to enter through our guest bathroom because I couldn’t open the door wide enough to fit through. Unfortunately, it was only then that my brain snapped and thought “hey, what is the point of having this extra room if I’m not even going to use it.” I then abandoned whatever project I was originally doing (laundry, maybe?) and decided that this room was going to get cleaned- today.

snowwhite cleaning
My pets didn’t even offer to help…

 

018f0d827adad4fdfbd4535c9573a6a3Many hours went by, and much organization took place- I unpacked almost all of the boxes and made three piles to sort them into: throw away, donate, and keep. I was shocked by how little I actually chose to keep, and I think the local church that regularly accepts donations was very pleased with how much I had to bring to them. I spent four hours in my room before I came to a stop and the difference is astounding. Aside from two boxes that are stacked neatly in the corner, this room is completely functional now. We have our Disney art hanging up on the wall, Cody’s comics and CD collection on display, the futon cleaned off and set alongside the huge and gorgeous window (which brings in a ton of natural, beautiful light, by the way), and  the best part- you can open up the door. It has quickly became my favorite room, full of inspiration and creative energies. Even our fur children have taken a liking to this room. It had been three months of hell in the room, and over the course of four hours it became a beautiful, inviting space. It took four hours of work to change not only this room, but my attitude. I had gone from sulking to cherishing- from hating the “junk” to becoming reacquainted with it.

I sat in the room for about an hour after finishing up, feeling exhausted but peaceful. For the first time in a while, I had created a joyous energy in my home and I was glad of it. It moved me to pray, to thank the divine for all that I had despite all of my other stressors in life. I followed my prayer with a quick entry in my book of shadows and a mediation.
Not only did I make peace with this room, but I made peace with my spirit. It has only been two days, but I feel like a brand new person and cannot wait to take on the rest of this year. I feel as if my heart has been mended and I am now ready to dive back into the blogging world.

I hope there are many wonderful things to follow and promise that I will return to my regular, pagan based programing shortly. For today, I simply wanted to explain to you what made me decide to get back online and reconnect with you all.

Love you all,
-D

While I was out

I was doing so well, writing pretty regularly… what happened?
A lot happened…

After moving, our second bedroom became an episode of hoarders, which was visually overwhelming for me. My workplace when from very slow and very overstaffed (which is stressful because I wasn’t making any money) to getting pretty fast and VERY understaffed- now I have no time off. The apartment managers never changed out our counters before we moved in and decided to rip out our kitchen and bathroom counters AFTER we moved in… but waited three days to replace them. Cody got a second job, so the house keeping is now 90% on me and I hardly see him anymore. Oh, yeah, and my apartment building caught on fire.

We are fine, our unit is fine, our neighbors are fine… but it was stressful. People are constantly in and out of the units, inspecting and repairing, trying to figure out what happened, so we hardly have any privacy around here anymore… but its better than not having this done.

With everything going on at the home front, I guess I decided to take an internet hiatus- everything going on was just too overwhelming, so why pack on more stress from the internet?
I took my time off, but now I am ready to come back… I’ll address what is going on in my life in my next post coming up tomorrow night… but for now I need to be off to work.

Love you guys! I’ll be back soon.