Category Archives: Discussion

Joy and Love is the Reason……

Merry Meet my friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  I know I did.  We had a small group this year as some of my family was scattered in all directions, but those of us who were here had a very wonderful day.  Watching my granddaughter Lily open her birthday presents for her 3rd birthday was highest on my list of memories that day. Such a blessing is that little girl 🙂 

Since then, I have been in full Yule mode! 🙂  Shopping and decorating and sending off cards and spending time having fun with the family.  I feel behind so far but taking the time to enjoy the season so I’m having fun either way.  My house should be fully decked out by tomorrow night, shopping is more then half done, cards will be going by the weekend and wrapping and baking will commence soon after.  We have even had our first snow tuesday night and it was beautiful.  It didnt’t stay around for long but I’m quite sure, living in Ohio as I do, there is much more to come..and soon!  I have had fireside, Bailey’s in my glass night, and watching holiday movies nights, and lunch out with family and shopping days…I just love this time of year!

Along with the joy of the Season, comes again the Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays wars.  *sigh*.  I just felt the need to put in my two cents worth as I see many who feel like me…. and then there are those people who are apparantly completely offended if the “right” words aren’t spoken to them during this time of year. 

As you all know by now, I am a Witch..a Pagan.  I celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice. It is a very joyful and meaningful Sabbat for me and I celebrate it fully!    I also celebrate Christmas  *gasp* LOL.    I grew up celebrating Christmas and some of my family members are Christians.  I celebrate the day with them.  For me, it’s not  a celebration of the birth of the Christian Jesus Christ, It’s a family holiday…..it’s about Santa, presents, good food, fun, family, love and joy. Just like many Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan families do..we celebrate both!  Now I know that to some Pagans, this is an unpopular decision, and yet I have many many facebook Witch and Pagan friends who do the same. Unless you are born into a family who is all of one faith, it would be disrespectful, in my opinion, not to share in the day with those I love, who celebrate Christmas. 

When I see all the comments about “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”  or “Don’t take Christ out of Christmas”….well, one I agree with and one I sure don’t.  I agree that Christ is the reason for Christmas..after all, Christmas IS a Christian holiday, the birth of Jesus to the Christians.   However, Jesus is NOT the reason for the Season in my mind.  The “season”  is not just a day…the Season is much more..for some people it denotes the period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  For others, it may be just the December holidays.  For still others, it might be the whole Wintertime..after all, many “holidays” are celebrated well into January.  The birth of Jesus, (Which we should all know by now, was NOT in December)  is not the reason for ANY of the other holidays but Christmas…right??  For me, the Solstice, the turning of the Wheel of the Year, the re-birth of the Sun God, the longest night of the year is the reason for Yule and my celebration of the “season”.  Hannukah, Kwaanza, and other faiths have their own reason for the season as well.  The season is not just about the Christian holiday, Christmas.

Having said all that, I think the argument over what to say or what you want to hear is just absurd. For me, if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Yule, or Happy Holidays…I look at it as well wishes for a joyful holiday, joyful season, or joyful day.  Merry Christmas is not a slap in the face to my beliefs.  It is what the OTHER person believes so that is what they say.  Why don’t we all quit being so selfish and just take the sentiment in the way it was meant to be taken? They are wishing you well!!  You can choose to respond as you want too…of course.  There is nothing wrong with saying something different back to them…for instance “Merry Christmas to you and Blessed Yule to me”….or say what you prefer to say…in a nice way..not in a correcting manner. Most likely they will smile and still wish you well.  and keep in mind..if you are being helped by someone in customer service..they HAVE to say whatever the store policy is….don’t get nasty with them for saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas or vice versa.  I have seen this happen and it just gets my Irish up! LOL. I have also seen a Christian get very nasty when told Happy Holidays..and it actually scared me it was so nasty!  Same with other faiths folks who don’t think about anyone but themselves this time of year.  My fear is that some day nobody will be giving a seasonal greeting to anyone out of fear of saying the wrong thing and receiving an earful!  How sad would that be?  😦 

I’m not telling anyone what to do..just saying what I think is the right thing to do.  I try to be gracious, accept whatever greeting comes my way and move on.  I believe if I react kindly, the Goddess will appreciate that I was kind. The Pagan community is growing in leaps and bounds and Blessed Yule is on the lips of many!  Take comfort in that if anything 🙂 Look at Joy and Love as the Reason for the Season..for I believe no matter what you celebrate …those are two good reasons we can all agree on and embrace in unison!

I don’t know if I have Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Athiest readers here..but I know I have a lot of beautiful Witches and Pagans..many I call friends.  I know many of you feel as I do, and some of you may not.  I honor your choices either way.  And by the way,  I do feel the irritation too when someone puts Jesus and Christmas down my throat when it’s unwanted.  That is a whole different thing and I would deal with that much differently..after all, I am a Witch! Hehehe 🙂

Soon I will be posting my Yule recipes, altar pics and some favorite Yule books I love.  So I’ll be back soon!  Please feel free to leave comments…whether you agree or disagree…I love a good discussion!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

 

23 Comments

Filed under Discussion, Family, Holiday, My Writing, Seasons, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

The End of an Era?………..

Merry Meet!  Today is Sun Day…my favorite day of the week.  It marks the end of the week for me, a time to relax, rest, and spend time with family.  Today it is extremely HOT and HUMID, So…. we headed out to a cool dark theater to see the final Harry Potter movie.  The Deathly Hallows Part 2!

The movie was Awesome!…really well done.  I jumped, I cheered, I cried.  But what I did most was marvel at the fact that I have followed JK Rowling’s vision since my youngest daughter was the same age as Harry, Ron & Hermoine were in the first book..11 years old.  I first heard about the Harry Potter books while watching a Rosie O’Donnell show.  She was raving about the books, how wonderful they were, how imaginative and she had JK on her show.  Now,  my girls already  loved books and loved to read series books.  I believe that the first book had been out for a bit and the 2nd book had just come out at this time.  The very next day I went out and found them on a table in the kid’s section…they were just paperback at the time.  I bought the first two books and brought them home.  Sara read them and was hooked!  She then gave them to her sister to read …and she loved them too.  Then the 3rd came out…and so forth.  At that point, I decided to read them myself and was hooked as well.  Oh how I wish I had the creativity to have thought of someone like Harry Potter and the world he lives in….to me the books were pure magick!  We all have our own set now too! LOL

*CORRECTION! LOL  My youngest, Kate, reminded me that it was she who read them first…and I remembered then that she had to really talk her sister into reading them…Sara had no interest in reading them at first.  LOL   But of course, once she read them, she loved them too.  Sorry Kate! hahah! 🙂

We attended midnight Book release parties at Barnes & Noble after that, dressing up in our Gryffindor gear and round glasses like Harry’s. Of course we waited with bated breath as the first movie came out…and were NOT disappointed at seeing the characters and the story come to life on the big screen!  The characters looked as they were described in the books, the quidditch field was pure magick, Hogworts was a dream come true…..for me even the soundtrack was perfect.  The wait between books and movies seemed too too long.  A fond memory of mine is the day the 7th book came out, my whole family would be arriving in Hilton Head for a week’s vacation.  As soon as we realized that, I found the Barnes & Noble there and pre- ordered 5 books!  One for myself, my two daughers, my son in law, and a friend who was with us.  Before we even arrived at our beach condo..we stopped and picked up our prized books.  What a fun time it was…we all spent the week reading our books by the pool or on the beach.  Some of us finishing faster then others…teasing each other about what we had read that they hadn’t yet…sometimes caught with tears in our eyes or letting out a loud gasp…which would result in “Don’t tell me..I’m not there yet”!!!  LOL  I will always remember that trip because of that book!

Having read the books multiple times, I’m reminded of how these wonderful books spurred on the love of reading again for a whole generation of children.  Whether they were old enough to read it themselves, or have them read to them….they brought families together in the common love of the books.  Never had such a phenomena been seen…at least not in my lifetime.  The movies of course enhanced the experience.  In a time where kids are glued to the TV or playing  games on the Wii and Playstation, how wonderful it was to see them reading again.  My grandmother was a 2nd grade teacher for over 50 years..I give her full credit for giving me my love of reading…She would have been thrilled to have seen children reading with great joy again.  For my kids, the love of reading  has continued..for me too.  My granddaughter Lily, who is 2 1/2..already loves books too..she will sit for an hour and bring multiple books to be read to her…and will often finish the sentence for us…I just love seeing that!!

Now that my girls are grown, I look forward to the day that Harry, Ron and Hermoine and all the lovely characters are introduced to my grandchildren.  Is the last book and last movie the end of an era?   Well, I don’t think so….I think that they will continue to give great joy to young minds (and their parents) for ages to come.  I am quite sure that there are many more books out there.. some yet to be written..that will bring joy to children and aid them in their love of reading ….but I truly believe that it will take something really special to equal what the Harry Potter books did.  Do you still remember the books you loved as a child?  Did you pass that love to your children and grandchildren?  I still have the books my children owned and even some of the books that I owned as a child.  There is no end to a good story….it just continues for generations..as long as we see to it that they do. 

So THANK YOU JK Rowling and Harry Potter for your wonderful world of imagination.  A whole generation has loved and enjoyed it…… and many more in the future will as well.  Pure magick!

“A blessed companion is a book, – a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend,… a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own.” ~Douglas Jerrold

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Books, Daughters, Discussion, Family, Grandchildren, Movies, My Favorite Things, Quote

Playing with Herbs…….

Merry Meet again my friends.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned.  After the amazing weekend I had last week, I’m pretty much planning on  reading, crocheting, puttering and just taking it easy.  I had so much energy this past weekend and then as the week has gone on, I’ve felt a bit drained and tired.   I bet many of you have felt that way as well.  I’m planning on making some bread and my delicious veggie soup on Sun day. I also have some new herbs I need to get put into jars and labeled. Speaking of herbs, I spent a couple of days this week making some tinctures, oils and a healing salve.  Thought I’d show you some pics and talk about it a bit here for you.

I have decided to bring out my “green” witch a bit more by really diving into learning more about herbs for medicinal purposes…not just for magickal purposes.  My daughter Kate and I have dabbled in it in the past and we are both interested in doing more then dabbling.  My friend Mossie and I (Hi Mossie!) also have decided to make potions and lotions together..though she is in Canada and I am here in Ohio..LOL! We have discussions and decide what we are going to make together.   I have been purchasing books like crazy and weeding thru what I would realistically not only make, but use on a daily basis.  I have some new favorite herbal books and I’ll talk about those in time….in my library and/or here in the blog text.  

So this week I made three tinctures, two oils and a lavender/tea tree oil antiseptic salve. I gathered my supplies and got busy. Now tinctures are very simple as I’m sure many of you know.  You can use just about any herb, I use dried, about 1-2 ozs depending on the weight of the herb.   Place the herbs in a jar that has a twist lid (I love canning jars for this), and add 100 proof vodka to fill the jar.  You can also use 80 proof and you can use Rum instead of vodka.  Rum will actually help to “sweeten” herb tinctures that will have a bitter taste like stinging nettles.  Shake the jar well to mix.  Always label your tincture with the name of it and the date.  Now just put it on a shelf for 6 weeks.  The first week I shake it every day.  After that I give it a shake every couple of days.  After 6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the tincture.  Bottle it and you are good to go. 

I made three tinctures..Valerian which will aid sleep, Yarrow which has antiseptic properties and will bring down blood pressure, and stinging nettles for my seasonal allergies.  In 6 weeks I’ll be able to start taking a dropperful every day.

I also made calendula oil and St. John’s oil….both which will be made into salves in a few weeks.  The instructions are the same as for tinctures.  You can use any kind of oil you like.  Grapeseed, virgin olive, almond, sunflower, jojoba.  For my purposes I used organic grapeseed but any of these oils will do.  The other thing I did a bit differently was that I gently warmed the oil with the herb in it to give it a good start in releasing the good stuff from the herb. 

This is the calendula…isn’t that pretty?  and it smelled wonderful!  When the oils are ready, I’ll show how to make the salves from that oil here on my blog. Here is my finished jars.  So now I’ll just be shaking them and opening them to smell them etc.  You may need to add more vodka or more oil if necessary. I’m pleased with my work! 🙂

Today my daughter Kate and I made our lavender/tea tree antiseptic salve.  This salve is good for anything going on with your skin..from dry red skin to minor cuts and scratches.  Good stuff..we use it alot and it smells great!

For this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of jojoba oil, 2-3 ozs of beeswax beads, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 50 drops of lavender oil, and a 1/2 tsp of vitamin E oil. Now you can use another oil like peppermint or wintergreen instead of lavender if you’d like, but the tea tree oil must stay.  You can adjust also how much of each you put in the mix…make it smell the way YOU like it!  Gently warm the oil and the beeswax until the beeswax melts.

Drop in the essential oils and vitamin E oil and stir well.  Pour quickly into clean dry jars before it sets up again.  This is my beautiful daughter Kate doing just that.  (and yes, she is carrying my grandson Charlie Matthew who will be here in about 9 weeks!)  Can’t wait! 🙂

It only took about 20 minutes for it to set up then.  Be sure and label and date the jars.  With the tea tree oil being an antiseptic, this salve lasts a long time.  But it won’t because you will find lots of uses for it! It’s great on diaper rash too! 🙂  I keep the ingredients to make this in my home at all times. 

If you haven’t worked with herbs before…these are some of the easiest ways to start.  Be sure to learn what the herbs will DO for your body and be sure always that they don’t interfere with any prescription medicines you’re taking and that your doctor knows you’re taking them.  I hope to use these remedies to REPLACE prescription meds eventually.  There are so many great videos on youtube, online herbal classes etc to help you get started.  Your local herb shop or health food store will also be a great place to find what you’re looking for and to get valuable information.  And Books…there are so many books about just this thing.  Here is some of my favorites…..

-The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey

-The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

-Judes Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd

-The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green

-The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce Wardwell

-The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy

-Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

and anything by Susun Weed

I’ll be talking alot more about herbs and remedies as my dabbling turns into serious learning.  I have even signed up for an online course..though basic..it’ll be a great place to start.  To give me a good foundation to move on to possibly becoming a Master Herbalist.  For now, I’m a green witch..still learning and enjoying the process!  Anybody care to join me? 

“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine.”
Anne Wilson Schaef

Blessings and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Daughters, Discussion, Family, Herbal remedy, Herbs, Photography, Quote

Devastation and Regeneration…….

Hello my friends.  I write this with a heavy heart.  Today has been a terrible day in Japan and other places in the world affected by the 8.9 earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunamis. I know that you all join me in sending love, comfort and healing to the victims of this terrible tragedy.  Mother Earth is shifting and the effect is very dramatic and devastating.  There are earthquakes so often and they always seem to be  worse “someplace else”,  but we are all here on Earth together and the tragedy does indeed and should affect us All.   Many are saying that Mother Earth is angry and wreaking havoc…well that may or may not be true.  I prefer to think that She is not doing anything to hurt us or to punish us. That does not sound like the beautiful, loving Goddess I know.  I DO believe however that She has a right to be angry with us.  We have done Her great harm as a people.  Our treatment of Her has not been good for Her or the creatures,  plantlife, sealife, air we breathe, water we drink….we have done serious damage to this Earth we love so much.  Pagans feel the pain She is going thru as we have such an affinity for our Mother and want to take care of Her, Heal Her, treat Her better!  As my heart goes out to the victims of this day..my heart also goes out to our Mother Earth.  May this be a reminder to take care of Her the best we can. 

“How I do love the earth. I feel it thrill under my feet. I feel somehow as if it were conscious of my love, as if something passed into my dancing blood from it.”

                                                                                               James Russell Lowell

It is almost Spring and every witches heart is turning to thoughts of her garden….the flowers, herbs, and veggies that we will tenderly plant, and watch grow, and harvest and use in mundane and magickal ways.  Digging in the dirt, feeling it in my hands and under my feet, the rich smell, is one way to connect with the Earth Mother.  There is no way you won’t appreciate what She gives to us after planting a garden.  With that in mind, I planted my herb seeds today…to try to connect to the Earth while this terrible day unfolded.  I had shopped for my pots, soil, markers and seeds last week and the time is right to plant here in Ohio..and the Sun came out and melted the night’s snow away..put me in the mood for sure.

As you can see..I’m all set to get started.  The pots are peat pots that you can plant right in the ground or outdoor pots when your seeds are ready.  They just become part of the soil.  I bought herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, lavender, chamomile, dill, organo, cilantro/coriander, parsley, catnip…hum..just realized I didnt’ get mint yet.  I also got soapwort flowers…haven’t grown them from seeds before but thought I’d try.  The first thing you do is fill each pot with good soil to start seeds.  Mine is organic which I find necessary in my book 🙂 

As I fill the pots, I visualize the dirt as rich in nutrients and see my herbs growing big and strong because of it. As I filled mine..I got a visitor…my little Harley..who is always by my side..came to help. 🙂

After filling, I water down the pots and soil til the pots are damp.  Then comes the fun part.  I love to see the seeds, what they look like, do they have a scent? 

 I just poke my finger in the pot, drop in the seeds, press down the dirt and place a marker with the name of the herb in the pot.  Once done, give them a good watering again.  That’s it..all done.  Now place in a sunny window..water frequently and watch them grow for the next 6 weeks.  Transfer to patio pots or the ground once you get past all chance of frost. 

All done..easy peasy?   Nah….I’m a witch..there is another step.  I have to bless my seeds.  Spell them to grow as magickal and strong as they can be….for use in future spells, teas, medicinal remedies, loose incense recipes, cooking…I want them to be full strength!  I like this seed blessing for its simplicity……I found it on Llewellyn’s spell a day but changed up the words a bit to suit me. 

Seed Blessing Ritual

Spread your seed packets on your altar or kitchen table. Burn a green candle dressed with vetivert. Spend some time visualizing the beautiful garden you’ll have this year. Hold your hands over the seeds and say:

Blessed Gaia, mother of us all,

Make these plants grow strong and tall.

Herbs and Flowers sweet and bright,

 
Blessed by the Sun and pale moonlight

 I’ll tend them well as they grow

So magick will abound and flow

By my will and with harm to none

By fire and oil, this spell is done.

 Then you will go ahead and plant as I’ve described above.  I have been perusing my herbal books and buying new herbal books and am working with a friend on learning more about herbalism..even taking an online class.  I have made some herbal remedies here and there but I intend to do so much more in the future.  This is another way that I can get closer to the Earth…to plant, grow, harvest, dry, and make herbals is a great way to honor Her.  Living off the land so to speak. 

I wish you all well with your gardens this year….put all the magick you can muster up into your work and you will be blessed with an abundant garden filled with sweet smelling herbs, colorful flowers and warm from the Sun veggies.  Feel blessed in your hard work and know that you are connecting with the Divine Mother. 

“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden

must first have beautiful roses in his heart”

                          Samuel Reynolds Hole

Blessings of Love and Light, Autumn

 

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Filed under Discussion, Flowers, Garden, Granddaughter, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Photography, Quote, Ritual, Spells, Spring

Living a Magickal Life…….

Merry Meet friends!  The Sun has come out for 3 days now and signs of Spring are showing up here in Ohio!  There are shoots coming up of daffodils and crocuses, wildflowers are popping up, chipmunks and squirrels are out and about, my crabapple trees are starting to bud and my fish are moving around in the koi pond!  All wonderful signs of the return of the Sun god.  I have been enjoying gorgeous sunrises earlier in the morning and the Moon comes out later at night.  Ostara or the Spring Equinox is less then 3 weeks away…ahhhh..Spring 🙂

I recently read a newletter  from Patti Wigington at About.com that I thought was a great article and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog. She talks about how we come to this path for various reasons and that finding our way of practicing our craft and honoring our Deities should be something we think about and “do” everyday.  There are many of us who may only celebrate at Full Moons or on Sabbats or perform a spell occasionally when the mood strikes us.  They may have read a book or two or three and think that they know everything they need to know.  She calls them “Weekend Wiccans”.

“Living a magical life is something that one does twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on the needs of your tradition, it may involve something as complex as daily ritual, or as simple as taking a moment to thank your gods each morning when you get out of bed. It means being in tune with the spiritual world around you, and staying in balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

A pagan or witch who really grasps the meaning of living the magickal way of life…finds some way to celebrate everyday.  They take notice of the small things throughout their day to day life that brings joy and magick to them.  Everything they do is with purpose and intention…to honor their deities and Mother Earth  and Her inhabitants,  and to increase their own power in manifesting the life they desire for themselves and their families. I am sure that you know  someone who does this and does it beautifully.  How do they do it?  How do they find the time?  Well, lets talk about that.   This newsletter brings up some suggestions and I have a few of my own.  You see I am one of those witches who strives to find magick in my everyday life.  Some days I am wonderfully successful, some days I’m mediocre, but I DO try, every day, to make my home and my life magickal.

-My very first suggestion is to watch a sunrise or a sunset and moonrise.  Watching this wonderful moment in time..everyday…will remind you of the wonder of the turning of the wheel, of the day that is starting or ending.  I can’t watch a sunset and then the mystical moon without feeling so blessed in my path and to thank the Goddess for it. 

-Know the phases of the Moon..pay attention to when the Moon will be full or new,  or if She is waxing or waning.  Pay attention to how you are feeling during the different phases.  Knowing the phases will ensure that any spells or rituals you perform will be as strong as they can be if done during the right phase of the Moon.  It connects you to the flow of energy, the changing seasons, etc.  The Moon rising and setting is what keeps the wheel of life rolling.

-Read everything you can get your hands on..never stop learning!  I have been reading witchcraft books for 13 years now and there are many, many I still havent’ read or want to re-read.  Everytime I read a book I learn something new..and can apply it to my practice or discard it as not helpful to me.  With the internet at our disposal and our witchy facebook friends, we get alot of differing opinions and ideas thrown out as facts.  Being knowledgeable about your craft will help you to decide what feels right to you.  

-Be a caretaker of this Earth we live on.  You can do magick everyday by being mindful of  your relationship with nature.  Recycle, compost, reuse, watch your energy usage.  Also you can plant trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers.  Collect rainwater.  Be close to Mother Earth, dive into her dirt, sit under a tree, feed and water the birds.  Be aware of the subtle changes in the seasons.  These things alone bring awareness of the magick in our everyday lives.   

-One of my favorite ways to bring magick into my everyday life is to light a candle with intention.  I light a candle everyday with the intention of sending healing to someone I care about.  There are so many ways to be witchy. Make loose incense, burn it in your cauldron and smudge your house with it to clean out the negativity.  I love grinding herbs and resins with my mortar and pestle and make a sweet or spicy incense.  Carry crystals with you for the purpose you are needing that day such as healing or protection or to draw love.   Take a few minutes everyday at your altar to meditate or send a prayer to the Goddess/God.  Have a cup of tea that you have made yourself from your own herbs grown in your garden.  Give an offering to the fae and ask them to aid you in your garden.  All of these things just take up minutes of your day or no time at all. 

-Be empowered.  Be aware of the power you have to manifest your desires yourself.  Be honorable in word and deed.  Use your magick for good and to better your life.  Be helpful, loving, respectful to others and yourself.  Giving love is what we are all here for after all.  Be responsible for you own actions.  If you are unhappy or living a life much less then you should be, take the steps to fix it.  You deserve your best life!

-Find happiness in the small things in life.  A gorgeous sunny day, a moonlit starry sky, a good simple meal of fresh foods, a good book, the smell of woodsmoke or lavender growing in your garden.  Keep your home harmonious, clean, happy.  Live a balanced life.  Be aware of small things with big impact and be grateful for them.  Focus on the positive and let the negative go.  Be happy!

-Honor Goddess/God everyday in some way.  A morning prayer for a good day, an evening thank you for the things you are blessed with.  Go out and look at the Moon goddess and draw Her in….feel the energy you can receive from Her!  Sit in the Sun and feel the warmth from the Sun god.  Be aware that they are within you..not without!  You can draw strength from them by looking inward.  When you are still…they will talk to you.

-Keep a BOS or journal.  I have journaled for 15 years and writing down my thoughts and feelings and the things that are going on in the world or just my world is very important to me.   It is a record of my life that will be passed down to my children & grandchildren.  It helps to free my mind from all the thoughts floating around in there as well. LOL.  A BOS is a witches most important tool besides themselves.  It is a place to go for information to aid you in your magick, your spells and rituals.  It makes life easier to have that information in one place when you need it. 

-Bring magick to the mundane part of your life.  When you cook, put all your love into it…no matter how simple the meal, your love will make it delicious.  When you bathe or shower, use yummy smelling products that remind you of your garden or your favorite spice.  Picture all the negativity washing away from you..any bad feelings or anger go right down the drain.  Listen to music that soothes your soul or makes you feel positive and happy and energetic.  If you are washing your car,  place protection all around it to keep you safe.  When you clean your house, wash out the stagnant air and bring in fresh air.  Place protection and love all around your home while dusting it.  Picture your home as a place of love and harmony and balance.  You are manifesting a better life for yourself when you do this.

-Give Love to your family and friends everyday.  Never be too busy to take a few moments to let them know you love them.  When you give love, you will receive it back!  This is something you all know..you brilliant witches 🙂

Now I know that some people will be saying that they do NOT have time to do all of this.  After all, you have jobs, kids, furbabies, errands, extended family, appts, etc to take care of.  But many of the things I mentioned above, you are already doing.  Just change the way you look at what you are doing every day.  Don’t look at it as a chore, look at it as a chance to bring magick into your day.  Find a way to find the time for your craft everyday.  If all you do is spend 10 minutes outside…to connect with nature….then you will find that magick and want it so bad that you will find other ways to get it…I promise you.  The more you practice..the better you get at it! Picture in your mind..you ….at your best witchy self and you will achieve it!

My life as a witch just keeps getting better and better and I understand more and more that magick and the divine and nature is all around us.  There for us to enjoy and take in.  I can make of my life what I want it to be.  Even when everything seems to be going wrong, I can find the silver lining on a cloudy day.  So can you…just look for it…MAGICK! 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Discussion, Family, Full Moons, Garden, Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Spring, Sunrise/Sunset

Saying good-bye to 2010……

Merry Meet my friends.  I hope that you all had a fabulous holiday and that Santa was good to you all!  I had a very nice holiday myself and my family was very generous and thoughtful this year…there were many “witchy” presents under our tree, for my daughters and myself.  My hubby got me the camera I had been wanting as well..can’t wait to play with the powerful zoom lens! 🙂  

If you’re like me, pretty quick after the last present is open and the feast is over and everything put away…it’s time to think about taking down the decorations! LOL!  For me this starts immediately.  All of the sudden I feel the need to clear out all the clutter that I find so beautiful and charming when the holiday season starts.  I want to put it all away, de-clutter, organize, clean.  As a witch, I also start thinking about clearing the house of the stale air and any negative energy.  I start thinking of projects I can work on during the long winter ahead.

I have blogged about how to do a house cleansing here before so I wont’ go into it again.  But I will be doing a thorough cleaning this week.  New Year’s eve I will do a thorough cleansing.  I will also at midnight throw open the doors and invite in positive, healthy energy and send out the old, negative energy! Grab your broom and sweep out all the things, both physical and mental, that no longer serve you well.  Do  a good smudging and a quick chant…that should do the trick!  I will also spend some time at my altar which will be set up just simply…holding only my elemental reps,  My god and goddess candles, some crystals, and my working tools.  As I think about what I want to come my way in the new year, I will place sympathy items there to represent those hopes…such as coins for prosperity,  a red heart stone for love,  a band aid for good health, food and drink for abundance, a 4 leaf clover charm for good luck, etc. Think about what you would like to have come your way and place items on your altar as well.  Ask god and goddess to bless you in the new year to come..you know they are listening! 🙂

We are heading for the New Moon as well soon.  Want to start a new project for winter?  The New Moon is the perfect time for that as all witches know!  I am going to tackle my attic to get rid of junk, turn a never used sewing room into a room for my grandkids, make a quilt for my granddaughter’s big girl room, and work on my Book of Shadows…seriously work on that!  I will catch up on reading as I will have more time to do that and will start working on making some herbal remedies I’m in need of as well.

I know alot of people don’t love Winter, but I say it’s an opportunity to both relax and reflect, and  a time to get your home organized and cleaned out for the coming spring.  Winter gives you time to work on those projects that you always want to do but don’t seem to have the time to do.  What will you do this winter?  What would you like to accomplish?  Find something to look forward to, don’t let the blues or the “I’m so bored” take over!  Think about spring coming..maybe you’d like to peruse gardening books and plan your garden.  Paint a room a pretty spring color like yellow or green or lilac.  Work on your BOS or make up some lotions and potions.  All of these things will make winter go faster and be more enjoyable and you’ll feel so good and so accomplished!

New Year’s resolutions?  Do you do them?  I have done them in the past and of course, like everybody else, start out with good intentions and work hard to do them, but they soon fall to the wayside.  I quit doing them many years ago.  This year however, I have a few things that I would like to resolve to do..to improve my life.  These I hope are very doable for me 🙂

*Be kind and speak softly

*Open myself up to receive love from others and to give love in return

*Practice witchcraft somehow, everyday

*Continue to learn and grow in my path..becoming stagnant is to lose my magick

*To be the best I can be

*To live in the moment

*To honor the Goddess and the Earth everyday in all I do

*Practice random acts of kindness

I hope these are things I can “do” everyday…hopefully without even giving it a thought..that it just comes naturally.  Have you thought about resolutions?  Things you’d like to bring into your life, that you want to change about your life?  Now is the time! 

Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Book of Shadows, Discussion, Goddess, New Moons, Winter

The Spirit of Christmas……

Merry Meet friends!  I hope that  all of you here in  the USA and those who celebrate it;  had a blessed Thanksgiving day.  I had those in the family who were in town or didn’t have to go to the In-laws this year, to my house.  My mom and I split the menu….the traditional meal as we have made for years..and that everyone expects! 🙂  The food was great..some drama from my momma as alway…then lots of time to relax, doze, read, crochet and read and of course eat some turkey sandwiches when the notion hits! 

Now my thoughts turn to Yule/Christmas.  Other than Samhain, probably my favorite Sabbat!  Before I go on any further, let me explain that I celebrate the Winter Solstice AND Christmas..but Christmas is a secular holiday to me that I grew up loving and celebrating with my christian parents. Therefore, because the book is about Christmas Day..I’ll be referring to that day. 

    I love Winter! ( yes I know some people will be groaning right now!)  I love all it entails.  Sitting by the fire, nesting, going outside and feeling the cold air whip across my face and take my breath away, wearing cozy sweaters, knitted scarves, hats & mittens, hot chocolate, warm spiced wine, feeding the winter birds and having time to read, crochet, relax, bake, cook hot meals…I just love it!  Today I watched “A Christmas Carol”…my all time favorite book and movie…all versions..ever!  Today happened to be the musical version..which I happen to think is excellent.  Has Kelsey Grammar as Scrooge and many other great stars.  My favorite version..for the record..is probably George C. Scott…he was a most excellent Scrooge!

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”……..Scrooge…Charles Dickens

I am sure many of you will recognize this quote.  I am a huge lover of Charles Dickens and I think he writes beautifully and from the heart and his words are still ringing true all these years later.  He was indeed teaching a lesson in this Novella.  What is the lesson?  I would imagine most people would say the same thing…”goodwill towards men”.   I see it as more than that.  My understanding is that Dickens was appalled at the poverty he saw around him, and that the middle and upper class were doing nothing to help them at all.  His Scrooge talks about the work houses and the programs set up by the government to aid the impoverished…but it was nowhere near enough.  He wrote this book to open the eyes of those who were not “seeing” what needed to be done.  For people to open their hearts and their wallets to help the less fortunate and it would make them happier and more blessed in their own life. 

As a pagan witch, I believe that God/Goddess, the Universe, the Creator, whatever you believe in…  put us here to learn lessons..with the ultimate goal being LOVE.  Our goal in life should be to discover that..LOVE.  And to love means to care for our “fellow man”.  To me, “goodwill towards Men” means just that.  We should love our family and friends as I’m sure we do.  But we should also love those we don’t know, help those who need it, love and care for Mother Earth and the creatures who inhabit Her…  No judgement, no greed, no setting standards for others in our own minds, equality for all, acceptance of all religions, courtesy, kindness….Love.  To me, Dickens hit the nail on the head so to speak…he saw a vision of how the world should be.  More of us could learn from Scrooge’s Christmas Eve night.

  Scrooge was not an evil man..he was afraid.  His father did time in debtors prison..causing him to have to slave in a work house at 11 years old.  He never wanted to do that again..but he lost track of his self, his soul..so focused was he on never being poor.  Until he learned what dying a lonely old man would truly be like..did he become a truly rich man.  Hoarding his money, working long hours, never enjoying the money he had;  even for himself.  He didn’t have a relationship with anyone except his business partner, Marley.  He lived a very “poor” life in every way…because of his fear.

There are many positive wonderful characters in this book.  Old Fizziwig, who gave a huge party,  sparing no expense,  to show his gratitude to his employees.  There is the clerk, Bob Cratchit, so lowly in Scrooge’s eyes, but greatly loved by his large poverty stricken family, especially Tiny Tim.  Then there is Fred,  Scrooge’s endearing nephew.  He was the epitome of a good man who’s life was abundant in family, friends, love , joy, and blessings.  He showed love at every turn.  All he wanted from Uncle Scrooge was for him to come to Christmas Day dinner.  He came every year and requested it every year.  He never gave up on him.  and when Scrooge had his life altered…he welcomed him with open arms..holding no grudge for all the years of rejection.  Though he was not a rich man…he was rich in every other way. 

I don’t know about you..but I want to be like Fred….I want to be rich in friends.  I want to be rich in experiences.  I want to be rich in appreciation for the blessings that come to my life.  This is the lesson that Scrooge learned..luckily while he could have some time to truly appreciate it. Look into your own Past, Present, and even into your Future.  Have you done well by others?  Can you do better?  A Christmas Carol will always mean a lot to me…and I will try to keep Christmas in my heart all year long.  and as Tiny Tim says……God Bless Us Every One!!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Crochet/Knit, Discussion, My Favorite Things, Quote, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas