Saturday, February 19, 2011

So long for now!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to write out a quick note to let you all know that I may be pretty absent over the next week. With the travels to New Mexico and settling my grandma's estate and cramming school work in there somewhere, I'm not sure how much time, if any, I will have to blog. Never fear, when I get home I will pick back up with my daily tarot and other musings!

Until then, brightest blessings to you all!

Friday, February 18, 2011

To the Hopi- The month of purification and renewal

The full moon for February is know by many names. I chose to use the Hopi name for this moon because, for me personally, purification and renewal is what's up on the menu. =) Many of you have read my blog on the death in my family (and thank you for the warm wishes and happy energy sent my way), and my mom and I have decided to leave on Sunday and make the drive to southern New Mexico to settle my grandma's estate. I have packed a small bag with items for energy/magical purification as well as a bag for physical purification. I got to thinking about it, and when the magnitude of the task at hand hit me with the realization that we'll be cleaning out a trailer that hasn't been opened in almost 5 months, I decided that I needed to go down prepared. And in this process of cleansing and sorting, I plan to concentrate on my own life and the bedraggled state it's been in this past week, and cleanse and purge all the negativity and remaining "nasties" from being sick. I think it's an outstanding plan. =)

Because of this cold I'm still fighting, I decided to not do any of my normal full moon activities, such as making my moon water, because I don't want any "energetically tainted" things residing on my altar for the next month. However, I did cleansing the drains of my kitchen sink (because it's been a good while since I've done that), using the method I found on Mrs. B's fabulous blog:, then Jaelynn and I did our normal nightly ritual with her new Goddess Candle (I took a picture for your viewing pleasure!). After that I took a nice hot back with some chamomile, drank some homemade herbal tea, and hit the sack!

Now that I've talked all about my life, let me give you some magical correspondences for this moon!

Astrology wise, today is the end of the Aquarius and tomorrow begins Pisces! Good colors to work with are light blue, aqua and purple. When I think about things to do for this full moon, the first thought I had would be to lay down, put a pretty piece of amethyst on your third eye and soak in the light of the moon. If it is too cold to go outside, that's fine, just find a comfy spot in the house and bring the moon into you! Feel the light of the moon recharging your body, mind and soul. Easing away any pains or problems you're facing and replacing that energy with the light and love of the moon/goddess (whichever you prefer). Do this until you feel the light within your entire being and that it's created a sphere around your body. Slowly take this light and pull it into you, keeping only what you need, then sending the rest back into our beautiful Earth. Make sure you eat a little something afterwards if you need additional grounding!

Hope you enjoy! Many blessings to you this full moon!

Full Moon Tarot- Feb 18th, 2011

Today's card draw came up with the Five of Pentacles. ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Spiritual poverty, material troubles, insecurity, hard times, neglecting the body's needs, being ostracized and excluded.
This card covers a wide range of potential issues, and when I look at my own life, I can pick out a few examples... The past few days have been crazy and I have forgotten to eat lunch a few days in a row, and barely picked at a dinner. This is neglecting my body. I've been sick, dealing with a strange family death and attempting to cram a lot of school work into a few days in preparation for the road trip to New Mexico to take care of my grandma's estate. Hard times for sure.
The point is- it if the full moon. Take this time to restore yourself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, All three rely on each other, and neglecting just one can throw everything off balance.

Many Blessings to you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tarot for Feb. 17th, 2011

Today's card comes in the form of the Knight of Pentacles! ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Steadfast, conservative, and stubborn; he is set in his ways and on his path, locked onto his goal, with almost a tunnel-vision mentality. The Knight of Pentacles is methodical, thorough, and unwavering. He rides upon the crest of an earth dragon, grounded, slow but undeniable in its progress -- where he sets his sights will be reached.
So, no matter how slow the progress may seem, keep your eyes on the prize and you will get there in perfect timing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tarot Time! Feb. 16th, 2011!

Sorry this is coming late today.. is been a crazy busy morning!

Today's card is the Two of Swords- Reversed. ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
The Two of Swords reversed shows that you are caught between a rock and a hard place and you are finding it incredibly difficult to make a decision about what to do. You are really struggling to see what the right choice is as either option will lead to negative consequences. You know those "pro's and con's list's" that you've heard about and/or made before? Now is the time to do that to weigh each option that is available to you and see which will have the most favorable outcome.
Sorry guys, life happens! This is about decision making and doing what is "best" even when all possible outcomes (including what happens when you do nothing) are crappy. And remember, when you hit the bottom, there's no where to go but up! =)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tarot for the day- February 15th, 2011

Today's card is the Ten of Pentacles- R- ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Reversed, the Ten of Pentacles is about failure on the financial level. This card indicates financial loss, problems with investments, and lack of resources. Despite a lot of time and effort, there seems to be no foundation for future success. In some cases, this card represents the problems of money, such as fears about finances and quarrels over property, as finances become an impediment to the enjoyment of life. It could indicate that you are beset with financial burdens and responsibilities.
If this is applied to a relationship (given that yesterday was Valentines Day) where the relationship is relatively new, the reversed Ten of Pentacles suggests that while you are keen to progress this relationship further, you are still not 100% sure that it has potential for the long-term and you may be questioning whether your partner is truly husband/wife material or not. You may be looking for a long-term relationship, but you are unsure that your partner is going to be the one who will provide that long-term commitment. As my mom always said, if you can't picture a forever with them, don't waste your time. And you deserve to know that of your partner as well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Discovery of Death

I got a call from my mom tonight to let me know that my grandmother has passed away. For a little bit of family background, I have not seen my grandmother since the age of ten, and the only time I've talked to her was shortly after my daughter was born and she sent a ten dollar check so I could get her something. My grandmother, by her own choice, segregated herself from her entire family. That being said, after my mother told me that she passed away, she proceeded to tell me that it apparently happened back on October 1st, 2010. The only reason we found out was because my great uncle, grandma's brother, was calling the family to find out who was going to be responsible for cleaning out her home and taking care of her belongings. Yeah, that pissed me off a wee-bit, but that is not the point of this blog... I have, or had rather, no sense of connection to my grandma, and no real love outside of the fact that she is family. As I sit here and type this, I can feel within my soul that my grandmother died as she lived, a very lonely and sad woman that felt the world was against her. So, I write... I write this to ask for help because, in all my time on this path, I have never had to deal with something quite like this. I have already planned a small candle memorial for her, but I know there is something more I should be doing to help guide her soul to the other side so that she may find peace and be reborn into what is hopefully a happier life. However, whether my mind is fogged due to the heavy amount of cold medication I'm on (cause you know that right now is the PERFECT time to be sick), or for one of many other reasons, I seem to be falling short in the "what to do now" area. Any suggestions would be welcomed....

Valentines Day 2011 Tarot Card

Good morning everyone! I'm sorry I missed Tarot yesterday.. It was date day with my hubby and I was out enjoying go cart racing, dinner and a movie. =)

Today's card is the Knight of Cups-R. As always, artwork is copyrighted! ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
The Knight of Cups reversed allows his emotions too much control. He may be moody, jealous, emotional to point of incapacity. He may jump to conclusions before getting all the facts. If this card shows up reversed, either look at yourself and at how you are acting, or realise that the person involved may be acting from his emotions rather than from any form of logic. The Knight of Cups reversed indicates a situation which was initially incredibly appealing, romantic and exciting, but which later turns out to be something very different, and one walks away feeling quite disappointed. It's like wearing the rose-coloured glasses, or going through the honeymoon period, only to come out realising that the situation is quite different to what you thought. (Thank you for this interpretation- I couldn't have said it better myself!).
So, to all my happy valentiners... take this card and remember not to get caught up in the emotion of the day, but to remain grounded and aware of life. =)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tarot for the Day- Feb. 12, 2011

Today's card- a very interesting one I must say- The Devil- Reversed. ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

In many instances, the idea of the Devil card being pulled in any reading conjures up negative thoughts and frightening images of people burning in a lake of fire. Traditionally, the Devil card signifies bondage or entrapment- ultimately, he signifies our every fear, addiction, and other harmful impulses. However, in the reversed position, the card gives way to a freedom from these things- whether it be learning to overcome our fears, freedom from addiction (whether mundane things such as too much TV or junk food, to more serious things like drug abuse or even sexual addiction), or a willingness to accept changes in your life or look at things from a healthier perspective. 
The time for freedom is now- and the ultimate freedom comes when we can not only admit to our fears, faults, and failures, but learn to embrace these things and balance them with all that is good.

A Dedication

Today, several of our circle members stepped forward to dedicate themselves to their god/goddess and their chosen path. They asked me to formally step into the role of High Priestess and guide them through the dedication ritual that we, as a group, had written a few week ago. To say the least, I was a nervous wreck and this ritual remained on the forefront of my mind all week. This is not for lack of having ever stepped into that role before, as that is how I am regarded by the circle, but it never ceases to amaze me that I am regarded this way and trusted so deeply as to put together/handle/run a dedication ritual in which my friends, very much my extended family, are making life altering decisions. It's a very surreal feeling. A good friend of mine told me the other day (as I was talking to her about this very subject) "Being nervous is healthy. The day you start saying "Yeah, I'm the High Priestess" is the day you probably should re-examine what you are doing. It's in knowing our struggles and weaknesses that we remember strengths & gifts we utilize and it keeps us in check." Some of the wisest words that I've been given to live by. Anywho... onto the dedication!

We had three people doing their dedication today (though admittedly I did not know about the third one until we had started the ritual.. LOL! Nothing like flying by the seat of our broom sticks!). And it was one of the most beautiful and powerful rituals I have ever experienced with the circle. There are certain rituals that have occurred over the past 3 1/2 years that stick out in my brain because of their enormity and power, and this will certainly always be one of them.  I doubt that I can adequately describe the ritual with written words, and I completely forgot to bring the camera (note to self, check purse for camera BEFORE leaving the house..), so pictures are out of the question. In lieu of both those things, I have done a copy and post on the ritual that we wrote, and I will let your imagination be your only boundary as you visualize our gathering...

Dedication Ritual Compilation

*Begin by purify the area by smoking with sage and a hawk feather. Visualize a white light of protection encircling the area of the ritual. Smoke members of the circle also if they feel they may need openness and protection in their lives.
HPS Cast Circle:
Mark the boundaries of the circle in whatever way desired and cast the circle with the following chant:
To be the boundary underground.
To form a space between the spaces
Time out of time, reaching all places.
To hold our magickal energy so
Until we decide to let it go.
I cast this circle with Will around
To be the boundary underground.

I cast this circle with earth and tide
To be the boundary on our side.
Joining the boundary below
As our circle begins to grow.
To form a space between the spaces
Time out of time, reaching all places.
To hold our magickal energy so
Until we decide to let it go.
I cast this circle with earth and tide
To be the boundary on our side.

I cast this circle with flame and breeze
Now overhead will be complete.
Joining side and ground below
As our circle energies flow.
To form a space between the spaces
Time out of time, reaching all places.
To hold our magickal energy so
Until we decide to let it go.
I cast this circle with flame and breeze
And now our circle is complete.

So mote it be!

Prior to entering the circle, every participant must be allowed in by the HP (i.e. “How do you enter this circle?” “In perfect love and perfect trust.”). Upon entry, HPS will anoint the foreheads of all involved with the sacred symbol of life (except for dedicant(s)- which will be done later).

Calling the Quarters (lighting your candle as you call):
I call to the Watchtowers of the East the powers of Air and intellect. Join us!                                         
I call to the Watchtowers of the South the powers of Fire and passion. Join us!
I call to the Watchtowers of the West the powers of Water and intuition. Join us!
I call to the Watchtowers of the North the powers of Earth and stability. Join us!
All callers: “As we have called you forth may you watch over and protect us. Lend us your strength and help guide us in our workings this day.”

HP/HPS: Approach the center of the circle, facing the altar, with two white candles and incense before you.
HPS: Light the incense and the first candle and say:
I invoke and call upon the O mother Goddess, creatures of life and soul of the infinite universe. By candle flame and incense smoke do I invoke thee to bless this rite and to grant me admittance to the company of thy loving children.
O beautiful Goddess of life and rebirth in this consecrated circle of candlelight I do pledge myself to honor thee, and to serve thee well for as long as I shall live. I promise to respect and obey the law of love unto all living things. I promise never to reveal craft secrets to any man or woman not on the same path; and I swear to abide by the Wiccan Rede “An harm ye none, do what thou will”.
O Goddess, Queen of all witches, I do open my heart and soul to thee.
So mote it be!
HP: Light the second candle and say:
I invoke and call upon thee, O Great Horned God of Pagans, Lord of all the green woodlands and Father of all things wild and free. By candle flame and incense smoke do I invoke Thee to bless this rite. O Great Horned God in this consecrated circle of candlelight I do pledge myself to honor thee, to love thee, and to serve thee well for as long as I shall live.
O Great Horned God of Peace and Love I do open my heart and soul to thee.
So mote it be!
HP: May this balance of nature combine with our spirit of self to grant us balance in this magical work today.
Dedicant(s): We call upon our respective teachers, hear us.  We ask you to guide us on our path's we choose in our quest for knowledge and understanding. Guide us in truth, bathe us in the light of protection and love. Open our hearts and minds. Inspire and uplift our spirit as we learn more of ourselves. Help us to apply the knowledge towards the good of all.
Dedicant then lights purple candle and says: (one dedicant at a time)
I light this candle in honor of myself that I may grow in spiritual knowledge and serve those that need my service.

**At this point, each dedicant will, in turn, verbally state why they are here, who they are dedicating themselves to, and what they intend to do now that they have dedicated themselves**
**High Priest/ess anoints the forehead, palms, and heart of the dedicant while saying:
May your Mind be Free
May your Heart be Free
May your Body be Free

Dedicant: (facing center, with arms raised)
Great Gods, Old Ones, Powers of the Cosmos, accept me _____(your normal or witch-name here), a true witch and pagan, as your priest/ess.

**Dedicant will now spend time meditating at each quarter with the corresponding elements, beginning at the East. Take as long as desired and leave when you feel there is no more to learn or hear for now.**
When dedicant is done, turn back to the center of the circle and say:
I (your normal/witch name), witch and priest/ess embrace my new role with joy and celebration. My new life in the Goddess and God begins here!
**Dedicant then holds hands up in the Goddess position (legs shoulder length apart, arms raised high in a V shape with palms flat and facing up). Close your eyes and visualize two white beams of glowing light streaking down from the sky and flowing into your palms. A warm, tingling feeling will begin to spread throughout your body as the love and power of the Goddess and the God purifies your soul.**

Now we celebrate the dedication of our friend and brother/sister _______________ and watch as they discard the symbols of their past! Then let dance and rejoice in this amazing moment and celebrate with cakes and ale!

Dedicant: shreds/burns old clothing and says:
My old life is no more, I am now ______, Priest/ess of the goddess and god and brother/sister to the world around me!

Cakes and Ale:
HPS hold chalice towards the sky and says:
"Gracious Goddess of Abundance, bless this wine and infuse it with your love. In Your names, Mother Goddess and Father God I bless this wine."
HP holds up a plate of cakes with both hands to the sky and says:
"Powerful God of the Harvest, bless these cakes and infuse them with your love. In your names Mother Goddess, and Father God. I bless these cakes.”
*Cakes and Ale are passed around the circle*
Great horned one, we thank you for bearing witness to this rite and lending your strength. Go if you must, stay if you will, blessed be!
Beautiful Goddess, we thank you for bearing witness to this rite and lending your knowledge and love. Go if you must, stay if you will, blessed be!
Dismiss the Elements:
To the Watchtowers of the North powers of Earth and stability we thank you. Go if you must stay if you will. Blessed be
To the Watchtowers of the West powers of Water and intuition we thank you. Go if you must stay if you will. Blessed be.
To the Watchtowers of the South powers of Fire and passion we thank you. Go if you must stay if you will. Blessed be.
To the Watchtowers of the East powers of Air and intellect we thank you. Go if you must stay if you will. Blessed be.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tarot for today- Feb. 11th, 2011

Card of the day- The Ace of Swords- Reversed! ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

The Ace of Swords reversed suggests that you need to focus on the basics and do some better planning. Sometimes introducing a more focused plan can really help bring some more routine to the situation.
The Ace of Swords reversed also reflects an idea or concept which you have not yet but into action, perhaps because you are unsure about whether or not it will bring the results you want. So, right now is a good time to have some quiet time of meditation of self-reflection to see where you need to go/ what you need to do next.
Happy Meditating!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jaelynn's Goddess Candle

Last night, as I was tucking my daughter in and turning out the lights, she started talking about the goddess keeping her safe and warm. This is a normal conversation we have every night at bed time, and typically she rambles on in half "adult" language and half mutterings that I don't understand. Last night though, as she was talking, she looking at me and plainly said, "I want a goddess candle". I figured, ok, that's understandable, as we have several goddess candles throughout he house. So, I told her we could make one after school and nap time tomorrow (which is today). However, he next statement totally and completely caught me off guard. She said, "Candle for Gaia". Please insert my jaw dropping silence here. While we honor every goddess in our home, typically when we say our night time prayers or talk about the goddess we either call her "goddess", "mother", or we use the names of Isis, Kuan Yin, and Ostara. Gaia is not one that, in conscious memory, I can recall telling her. So, I told her that yes, Gaia would keep her safe and warm while she slept, then I dropped it and it went downstairs so she could go to sleep. This afternoon comes and I ask Jae what color she wants her candle. Without hesitation she says, "WHITE!" Totally doable. Then I ask if she wants any other colors... next, "PURPLE!" Fantastic! Before we get started, the kiddo says she has to go pee-pee, so we go and sit on the potty... While she's sitting there, she suddenly looks at me and says, "Goddess candle white, purple AND green!" Well, alrighty then. When she was done, she got to pick her own jar for the candle, as well as the order of the colors. Here is our photo documentation.. =)
Getting ready....
First Layer, White, is in!
Helping mommy stir the wax...

Pouring the Purple layer!
Smelling her candle...
Pouring the Green layer!
And the Finished (almost- minus the wick) Gaia candle!!

Tarot for the day- Feb. 10, 2011

Good morning everyone! Today's card is the Five of Wands!
©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
This card represents the notion of swimming upstream. However, no matter the obstacles thrown in your path, or the insistent urging of the little voice in your head that whispers to you to "just lie down and give up", you keep pushing. You hit the challenge not with a sense of dread of foreboding, with with a surge of vigor as the adrenaline pumps through your veins and your mind rises to the challenge!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Book Review

Last night, I was finally able to finish a book that I had been greatly looking forward to- By Land, Sky & Sea: Three Realms of Shamanic Witchcraft by Gede Parma. This is the first book of his that I've read, though he does have others. Because of the nature and capacity of this book, I have decided that it would be a down right shame to not do a review on it and get others to enjoy it as well.

I have long been drawn to, and have worked with, the shamanic path and it's teachings. While I am no where near as adapt at something as my dear friends who also walk that path, I find the lessons, trials, and victories to be uniquely rewarding every time. This book by Gede Parma was able to put a lot of things into perspective for me that I hadn't really thought about before.

The book is divided into the three parts- the Celtic three-realm cosmology of land, sky and sea. It's a wonderful change of perspective from what seems to be the standard Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking that, as I highly believe in the value of balance and the four elements. Part 1, or Land, talks about the "middle earth" or our current plane of existence. This particular portion deals with ground, aligning, loving to body, touch, and divining the land. In this section you will find meditations, exercises and a ritual to immerse yourself in the beauty and divine nature of the Land. Part 2, or Sky, discusses the Upperworld. The theme of the section is the Wyrd, receiving Gnosis, Letting go and being Free, Seeing Clearly, and to Fly or Astral Travel. This section is alight with simple techniques to practice these things with, amazing depth and exploration of the Wyrd and learning to let go and Be. As with the previous section, this one too ends with a lovely Sky ritual to bring you that much closer to the Upperworld. The last Part, Sea, is akin to the Underworld. That being said, it is a section that obviously deals with death and rebirth, transformation, trance, past lives, and the Great Mystery. This section of the book was absolutely amazing. There is so much information on how to delve deeper into the land of Mystery and how to use the information to transform yourself, your life, and your path... to truly accept your divine right as well as to recognize the divine within. The ending ritual for this chapter takes you into the depths of the Underworld to the realm of Persephone as she fills her role as Queen of the Underworld and wife of Hades.  Each section of this book comes with lists of correspondences, is delightfully well written, and clearly comes from a writer who has walked the very same path.
I can't recommend this book enough, and I hope that you will get as much enjoyment and knowledge out of it as I did!

Tarot for Feb. 9, 2011

Time for today's Tarot Card!
The card that has stepped forward for today is The Sun-Reversed. Yup, for those of you who don't normally worked with reversed cards, today is your day! However, I'm not going to flip the card on this blog, this way you can get a good look at it... ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Sun reversed indicates that finding the warmth and positive aspects may prove to be a little difficult and require more active searching than normal. The clouds may be blocking out the warmth, and preventing you from feeling like everything is on track or going smoothly. But, the Sun is never a negative card (thank goodness!), and this is only a temporary road block. The obstacles you see can be easily removed if you put your mind to it. It may just take a little more effort than usual. But, I do believe that saying is "Good things come to those that wait". =)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hedgewitch Inn: ~Bath for Nervousness and Over-Excitement~

Hedgewitch Inn: ~Bath for Nervousness and Over-Excitement~

This is a great recipe and blog! Head over and enjoy!

Tarot for the Day

I've been debating on doing daily card draws for this blog, so I'm going to give it a shot today and see how it goes. The deck I will be using is the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and all art work is copyright through her and her web site! Please do not display her art without giving proper credit.

Today's Card: Three of Wands: ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
The three of wands is a card that invites you to explore and seek out and discover the unknown. Expand your horizons, take that leap of faith. Take long views of situations, and express leadership.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Magical Pep

Boy let me tell you what... after the late night with the Superbowl and long drive home, then the early morning of getting the kiddo up and off to school, I am DRAGGING. As it is the first Monday of the month, that also means that I am starting a new class at school as well. Ah the joys of being a full time college student. It's all good though, because in July of 2011 I will be done with my Bachelors and able to take a few months of rest before tackling my Masters. Yee-haa for vacations!

Being that my energy tanks are running very low and that Monday's seem to be that nasty in between time of wanting to veg out and knowing you can't, but being unable to motivate yourself to really work hard (which is undoubtedly why the proverbial crap always hits the fan on a Monday), I figured I would use this particular blog entry to put in two simple "Pep in your step" spells.

Spell Number 1: (written by Dorthy Morrison)

To improve your own work productivity, during the waxing Moon place one hematite in a small basket or tray and enchant it by saying: "Ground and heal, magnetic one; bring me clarity on this day." Add the quartz crystal to the container and say: "Bring boundless energy to me; may it last through this day." Add the calcite and say: "Stone of joy and yellow light, help me sort through my work today." Place the container of stones on your desk and say: "Help me work through the day; bring me inspiration. And when the day is done, may the labor be finished."

Or, Spell number 2:
Take a red candle and light it. Sprinkle some chili pepper* on/around the candle and say something like "Herbs and Spices work your magic and hear my plea. Energy Boost I ask of thee, on this very day, so mote it be!" Sit and feel the energy from the candle and spices, and see yourself being pumped up with this energy.
*You can also use an Energy Boost Powder, with equal parts of appropriate herbs, like chili powder, cumin, garlic, etc.

Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekly Circle- Ethics

This morning was our weekly circle get-together, and the topic of the day was Ethics. We went through the Wiccan Rede and the Witches Creed, discussing the main focus of both "An harm ye none, do what ye will". Being a military veteran with a husband who is still active duty, and catering a circle for individuals who are military affiliated, we are put into an interesting place on our path where that one golden rule is sometimes called into question. Let's face it, the military is here to fight and defend. Period. So, when it comes to harming none, what do you do when you're sent to war and it's either kill someone or be killed (which still qualifies as "harm" due to the fact that harming yourself is still harming someone)? Well, of course my thought is, you kill. Let me look at some Native American practices to put this into perspective. In older days, it was practice to not kill unless you intended to use. Basically, if you kill the buffalo, you use EVERYTHING for something- waste not want not. This was very important. The earth and her children, which includes people, were sacred and the children all equal, regardless if the child is a human or a wolf. But, when someone comes in and threatens you and your tribe, you kill to protect... you protect out of honor, but also it is because this is what the Chief has commanded shall be so. It is the same concept in the military. We have opted to loose some of our freedom in order to protect the freedom of others. While we may not always agree with what we have been ordered to do, it is still an order that must be followed for the livelihood of our tribe.  (Now, this brought in a whole conversation on responsibility and things like that, but I don't know if I have the ability to type that out in an understandable means right now). In my mind, it comes down to honor and respect. Whether or not you're military or not, vegan or meat eater, you need to ask yourself the question "Do I honor and respect that which I kill?" Yes, a military member may be  ordered to kill someone, but that does not mean it must be done with out respect. Even something as simple as a small prayer for the "enemies" that have fallen. Because, remember, we are still of all the same essence in the end. In the same regard, when it comes to eating, do you pay respect to the plant or meat that you are eating? True, not all foods are harvested/slaughtered in the kindest ways, and that is incredibly unfortunate. Yet, as I do not have the means to maintain my own farm and oversee these things, I must rely on what I can obtain through the supermarket. So, when these things come into my house, I always make sure to bless them and thank them for their sacrifice so that my family and I might be sustained. Just food for thought.

Along with this rule, we also talked about the ideology of "In perfect love and perfect trust". Now, bear in mind that the circle is an open circle. Yes, I lead it, and yes, people do call upon me as their High Priestess, but this is not a coven that I have initiated people into and we are all on separate sacred paths with the conscious decision to meet and learn from each other. So, how do you perform magic with someone new to the group that you know little to nothing about? Well, let me tell you what, when I asked that question it sure was sure greeted by one of those momentary silences were you can hear the crickets chirping. So, I did what I do best, and started giving off ideas. =) We've had a lot of new people fluctuate into the group, and being a very spiritual person that takes a lot of pride in my ritual and magic, it is extremely important for me to be able to cast a circle and drop all of my shields to become a true vessel for the goddess and her work, without worry about what Mr. New Guy's energy is doing to me and the circle. So, in effort to combat this, we've decided to start doing trust building exercises. And no, not the kind were people stand on chairs and fall back into the waiting arms of the group (though that has the potential to be absolutely hilarious)... instead, we're going to start with small things- getting use to each others energy signature. It's still a work in progress, but in my mind I see it starting with simple things like energy balls and aura readings, then moving into chakra work where we all work on each other instead of one or two of us working on everyone, and eventually working our way into being able to drop our shields around each other. I know it won't happen over night, but I feel great knowing that we have a "plan of attack" to go with so we can all maximize our potential with each other. Oh, and that brings me to the next topic... MINDSET!

I talked with the group about my concerns with mindset during ritual (see my very  first post for more info), and we discussed various options and how some people felt about ritual and making the most of it. We have decided on what has been dubbed the "5 minute warning bell". Basically, five minutes before we start a ritual or other magical event, I will let everyone know that they have 5 minutes. This way, people can go meditate or step out side to be with an element or do whatever it is that they need to do before we start our ritual so that they can enter it with the right mindset to make it the most beneficial not only for themselves, but for those around them. I think it's a pretty good comprise for a group of individuals that like meeting based off similar belief systems.

All in all, it was a highly productive day chalked full of information and discussions- just the way I like it. =) Now, I must be off to prepare for a 3 year old's birthday party! (Children and sugar and a bouncy castle, OH MY!).

Brightest Blessings to all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Teaching the ways of the Path to a Toddler...

During my child's infancy, I spent a lot of time thinking about when I would be able to start teaching my little girl how to follow an earth based path, and how I would teach her. First of all, teaching can and does begin at infancy, sometimes it's just harder to see and understand because babies lack the use of words to tell us in a voice that we easily understand. That aside though, we're now growing through our toddler years, and I'm steadily getting my daughter more involved so she can learn over time. Like most two year olds, she has the attention span of a gnat and frequently likes to turn her listening ears into the "off" position. So, having her take part in a longer ritual with a lot of speaking parts but little movement is next to impossible, and as the phrase "sit still" still translates into "jump up and down and act like a little heathen" working on breathing and meditation is also out. However, my daughter LOVES to help me in the kitchen. She has her own little apron and set of mixing spoons/whisks/spatulas to cook with. While I don't let her in there when I'm cooking on the stove (as I don't want her to accidentally set her hand on a burner) I have her come in and help me bake. While we bake, I go through the list of ingredients and we make it part of the recipe to look up those ingredients in one of my magical reference books. The two I use are Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen and The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients: A Wiccan Guide to Spellcasting . The first one gets used much more frequently in this setting, but it never hurts to have a back up reference book. =) So, doing this, she is having fun, I am baking something which I love to do, and my daughter is learning something about the path she is being raised on. It's nothing huge, but the same goes for children and adults, it takes small steps to learn big things.

Today we made Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (recipe courtesy of Duncan Hines):

Baking Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Combine cake mix, egg whites, oats and oil in large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until blended. Stir in raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove to cooling racks; cool completely.

Oats are known for money and prosperity, while Raisins are ruled by the sun and fire and eaten to open the conscious mind.

Go bake and enjoy!

Pagan on a Diet

That's right folks, even pagan's go on diet's. =)

I spent the month of January purging my body of all the things of that I love... namely, anything that falls under the carbs, dairy, fat, and sugar categories (can anyone say Cheese Danish?!). This diet, called the HCG diet, took my normal 2000 calories a day diet and dropped it to a mear 500 calories a day. Yup. 500. So, now that I am off the drops and starting to up my calorie intake, I feel compelled to write a little something for my fellows who find themselves in need of shedding some pounds, regardless of it being for health reasons or just the desire to loose a few. And besides, let's face it, pagan's like to feast! I don't know about you guys, but when my circle gets together for a ritual we always have a potluck styled feast (everyone signs up for dishes in advanced so we don't end up with 3 cakes and a a thing of rolls!), and it is a very grand affair, with most people bringing two or three dishes with several servings available for everyone. It always ends with people taking home "doggie bags" of everyones food offering so it can be enjoyed again later.

So, to begin with, if you want to use the drops and check out the system I used, go to . It really does work well, as I lost 12lbs in just over 3 weeks.

On to the recipes! Hope you enjoy!
Here are a few that I found to be lifesavers"

Mock Chicken Nuggets:
1 chicken breast
Yellow Mustard
3-4 Garlic Melba Crackers
Italian Seasoning to taste
a pinch of Cayenne (if you like some heat)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take your chicken breast and cut it into nugget size piece then throw them in a zip lock baggies with just enough yellow mustard to cover them. Let them sit in the mustard and continue on...
Crush your Melba crackers (I use my mortar and pestle) so that they look like bread crumbs then add the seasonings. Mix well then use these "bread crumbs" to coat the chicken. Put the nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 400 for 15-20 minutes (depending on nugget size).
Serve and enjoy! (recipe makes enough for 1 person at about 170 calories).

Whey Protein "Pancakes" (especially good when you want to eat bread, but can't):
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Sweeten to taste (if desired) with Stevia

Mix all of it together, adding just enough water to get a pancake like consistency. Cook on a skillet that has been lightly dusted with Pam or some other cooking spray. Eat with fresh fruit or a sugar free/ low calorie syrup. (The whole batch is roughly 200 calories, depending on the brands used).

Chocolate Strawberry Shake:
1 Scoop Egg White Protein Powder (I used Egg White Protein Vanilla 24 oz from Jay Robb).
6 large strawberries (de-stemmed)
1 tsp baking cocoa

Blend it all together and enjoy! (about 150 Calories)

Beef "Taco":
4 oz Lean ground beef
1 Tomato
Taco Seasoning
Cabbage leaves

Cook the ground beef in a medium skillet and add in the taco seasoning. If you're worried about sodium, use the "less sodium" variety that's available in most stores or simple make your own. While the beef is cooking, take several large cabbage leaves and rinse them off, just lightly patting them with a towel to dry, and place them on a plate. Chop the tomato and set aside. When the beef is cooked through, add it to the cabbage leaf (like it's the taco shell). Put your chopped tomatoes on top, garnish with a little hot sauce if you want, and enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A time of enlightenment

My path is unique, and I most certainly dance to the beat of my own drum. Sometimes, that dance leads me to a book or a song or some other form of divine expression in which to meditate on and subsequently learn and grow from. At the present moment, my dance has lead me to The Temples of Light: An Initiatory Journey into the Heart Teachings of the Egyptian Mystery Schools (Book & CD) by Danielle Rama Hoffman. Being a Priestess of Isis, this book naturally appeals to my desire to become closer to the mysteries of Egypt and the powerhouse of knowledge within. I received the book today and have thus far read through the intro, how-to, and general areas of this book. I have decided, after reading this material, that I will take you all on my sacred journey through the temples of Egypt as I work my way through them on a personal/spiritual  level with this book as my medium.

Let the discoveries begin!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today begins the Year of the Rabbit or XinMao (stem-branch), for you Chinese Astrology buffs out there. =) The animals repeat themselves every 12 years and the stem-branch names repeat every 60! The date of the New Year changes, as it goes by the second new moon that follows the Winter Solstice. During this time, white and black colors are avoided, as they represent mourning, while red and gold are found everywhere to symbolize fire (which wards off bad luck) and prosperity. Much like we honor Brigid of the Hearth and Home, the Chinese offer a  sacrifice to the Kitchen God (Zaowang) who is considered to be the guardian of the family hearth.
There are 15 days of celebration (one hell of a party, if I don't say so myself!)
The first day of the Lunar New Year is "the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth."Many people abstain from meat on the first day of the new year because it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.
On the second day, the Chinese pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods. They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.
The third and fourth days are for the sons-in-laws to pay respect to their parents-in-law.
The fifth day is called Po Woo. On that day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day because it will bring both parties bad luck.
On the sixth to the 10th day, the Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health.
The seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. These farmers make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion. The seventh day is also considered the birthday of human beings. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.
On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.
The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor.
The 10th through the 12th are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner. After so much rich food, on the 13th day you should have simple rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse the system. The 14th day should be for preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is to be held on the 15th night. (I got this information off of a Chinese celebration web site, but I couldn't seem to find an author. If you know who it is, let me know so I can give proper credit!)

This is an occasion to unite with families and loved ones- enjoying each other and the love and honor you share!
Now go, and feast your face off! (Who doesn't love a good feast!!) Woo-hoo!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Magic and Illness

There's a lot of opinion and a wide variety of sources that talk about magic and ritual workings while sick (Not sick as in a stuffy nose, but the need to stay in bed and do as little as possible). Well, I figured that I might as well add my two cents in since the hubby is sick tonight and I will therefore be going at our Imbolc ritual solo...

I have never been one to say "no you can't", because, in reality, what gives me that right? The beauty of the pagan path is that it is as diverse as those that walk it and unique to every individual. So, someone wants to cast a love spell on another? Well, I don't agree with that, and I will certainly express that opinion and tell them WHY I don't agree, but I will never say no you can't. It's not my life and therefore not ultimately my decision. The same comes into play when it comes to illness and magic. Personally, when I'm sick, there is little chance that I will want to do anything more than drinking tea, lay in bed, sleep, and potentially read a book. Plus, when you feel that crappy, what is your energy like? It's not full of vitality and life, it's sluggish and sickly. Who really wants to send that out into our world? Not me! And for that reason, I chose to not practice magic when I'm sick. Have I had to sit out rituals with my circle before? No, I've actually been lucky enough to not ever be ill for one of those events. However, I've had to reschedule and re-plan my own rituals, just like I have tonight due to the illness of my beloved. While he won't be walking the house with me as I cleanse, he'll still be with me in spirit, and that is what matters to me. The goddess will understand. =)

So, in the end, it's up to you as the practitioner to make the decision of whether or not it's right for you to practice magic or partake in ritual while ill.

The witching hour has arrived, and I must take my leave and mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare myself for the ritual at hand.

Brightest Blessings to you all on this Imbolc Night!

Happy Imbolc Everyone!

Today is Imbolc, as well as the New Moon! What a delightful combination, I must say. The sun is out for long periods of time, and even though there is still a chill in the air (a delightful 25 degree's here), you can start to feel the warmth of the coming spring. It is time to clean your house and start de-cluttering it, both physically and energetically, from the long nights of winter. Here are a few fun and simple activities for your Imbolc celebration:
Cleanse your house with sage (air/fire) and salted water (earth/water) and follow by anointing all of the doors and window frames with a blessing oil. As you do this, say:
With the purifying power of Water,
With a clean breath of Air,
With the passionate heat of Fire,
With the grounding energy of Earth,
I/We cleanse this space!

Here is a spell of personal purification that works directly with the Goddess Brigid:

A Spell for Purification:You will need:  3 candles of varying colors,
suggested colors: red, white, yellow --a bath oil of a warming spirit

Suggested place to do spell:
Plan the spell for a time when you can be uninterrupted.
Quiet your mind the way you usually do.  Focus on Brigid's flame burning within your heart-center.  With each breathe this flame grows warmer and warmer and fills your entire body.  See, with your mind's eye, the flame from your heart now enveloping you.  Push the flame as far out of your body as you can.  Try to make it fill the entire room.
Once you have captured the image of the flame raised to where you want it, begin focusing on the things you want to bring in to your life now. Imagine yourself receiving these things before the Spring Equinox.  It may help to visualize a calendar with dates
-- be sure to see the numbers 2011!
When you have finished drawing your future with your mental magic-want, begin bringing the flame down and back into your heart.

Thank Brigid with your heart-light. Try to let the candles burn themselves out (never leaving them unattended).

Remember, no matter what you decide to do today, it is a time for new beginnings in all ways of life! So go purify your mind, body, and soul and jump into these new beginnings with a clean slate!
Blessed Imbolc Everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A cleansing bath

Many of us, on our various paths, frequently partake in cleansing rituals. These rituals typically start with a bath (or shower for the witch-on-the-go) and are followed with a wide array of rituals and spell work. I got to thinking about these things which so many of us partake in and wondering if people actually take the time to think about what they are doing. Really. When you take a cleansing bath, have you ever really contemplated or meditated on the true meaning of cleansing? Or are you simply going through the motions in order to move forward with the following ritual or spell work? I can admit, I'm guilty of jumping into a quick shower, scrubbing myself down with a sugar scrub and asking Isis to cleanse my mind, body, and soul, then jumping back out of the shower, slapping on some make-up and running out the door. Let's face it, life happens. But, I challenge you, the next time that you are preparing for a ritual or spell in which you must first partake in a cleansing bath, to light a candle, some incense and put on good meditation music then crawl into a nice hot bath and really SEE and FEEL the cleansing. Don't just ask for it to be done, but see the dirt and grim of the day wash off your body. Feel the emotional weight and stress of the day melt away into the water. And, just as importantly, center your spiritual self. Find that divine spark within and feel it expand through your whole body. Remember, you are a child of the divine, whatever divine you believe in, and it is so, so important to be at one with that divinity and to have your spirit and soul cleansed of all that is not divine.

Go in peace, my dearest friends.
Brightest Blessings to you.

Simple Candle Spell

When you suddenly find yourself needed in an area that can't be physically reached (i.e. another state, class room, etc.) I find that the simplest of candle spells can help you astrally or energetically reach this needed destination. Today I found myself being called on to help with a negative court room/ lawyer experience. The assistance needed was to help keep happy energy flowing and not allowing the person being questioned to become buried under stress and negativity. I tapped into my friend (after getting them to lower their shield enough to let me in) and, even though I had to tend to making my daughters lunch and putting groceries away, I said a small prayer lit a light blue candle and some myrrh incense. I continued on with my tasks, humming a chant to myself (om mani pedme hum) and have helped with a long-distance energy manipulation to help a friend in need.

It's not always possible to physically be there for people when you're needed, but with a small amount of concentration and a strong intent, anything is possible.