Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Intentions

The end of 2010 is approaching, so I thought I'd review this year's intentions & get ready for the New Year.  I know this may sound like a New Year's Resolution post to most people, but you, my witchy friends...well, you isn't about resolving to do something -
It's ALL about the intent!

When I create an Intention, it has to be something I truly want, with my whole being or it's not going to work out.  I'm still working on this part.

In January 2010, I created a list of "I Want".  These were mostly surrounding my relationships.  They all happened!!! A significant amount of love magic, effort & open communication went into this project. But these results proved to me the power of intent + action (read Magick!)

As part of my 2010 planning, I also created a list of "Habits for 2010"
  • Be active daily
  • Read daily
  • Communicate love daily
  • Meditate regularly
  • Create
By February, I was well on my way to setting patterns for each (except the activity!) of these to become a part of my life.  I'm sure that the lack of activity was a direct result of not being clear with myself about really wanting this in my life.  It was a "should do," instead of a true desire.  My intent was muddy.

Last week, I saw a picture of myself at the 2009 Halloween party. 

Cat Woman!
Instantly, I became aware of the 15 pounds I've gained this year & the loss of some hard-earned muscle.  This experience brought a real desire to "look & feel as great as I did in 2008-2009".  At that time, I was biking, running & swimming regularly. Today I'm really good at sitting.  The desire to return to a previous weight & body shape is fuel for a future Intent.  It isn't quite formed yet, but I'm working on it.

Allowing for imperfection is something I'm working on.  It's easy for me to focus on the 20% of my 2010 Habits that I didn't accomplish, but I definitely recognize the 80% success rate, which is much higher than any of my previous New Years Resolutions. A lot of growth happened in 2010.  For that growth, I am proud.  It gives me hope for 2011 & years to come. 

Setting Intentions for each year is a ritual this little witch will continue as long as she has breath.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spawn of the Devil

This is Leroy, my parent's 1 year-old puppy.  He is evil! I swear he is the most evil puppy I've ever met.  See...even his eyes glow!!

He is torturing my poor old Stormy & my new baby, Luna (pics to come soon).

He jumps over the couch, barks constantly, eats pig knuckles on my porch (Ewwww!) & PEES ON MY CARPET!!

I can't wait until December 30th when I get my house back.

Wild & Bright Blessings (ok, exhausted & stressed blessings)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Visitors - What's a Witch To Do?

My sanctuary is being invaded!  The parental units will arrive within hours!!!
I adore my parents, but we are so very different!  Imagine these 2 scenarios:

Scenario #1 - Be Proud, Be Yourself!
A 65 year-old, retired, very right-wing, Baptist minister & his submissive (but passive-aggressively bitchy) wife come into my home filled with books on witchcraft & multiple altars, dragons, bats, herbs, candles, opinions of love for all, etc.  I have the candles lit & am proudly wearing my pentacle necklace.  I am comfortable in my own skin & they better accept it & be happy for me.
Let the drama begin!!  1st it will be how/why I will be spending eternity in Hell.  Mom will be in tears.  Dad will start exorcising demons [uhm...never mind the fact that this practice is magic(k), we cannot go THERE!].  I will bring up prayer & how akin it is to magic(k).  They will rant, rave, manipulate & pray.  I will cry.  My husband will get mad & demand they treat me with respect.  We spend 7 days in uncomfortable exchanges.  Oh dear goddess...maybe I'll move!

We hug upon their departure.  Everyone is tense & upset.  I pour myself a stiff drink & cry.  My husband, at my request, opens all the windows in the house as I fall to pieces full of guilt & regret.  Tears stream as I attempt to smudge our home, but a sense of sanctuary cannot be restored yet.  My parents call weekly & send me emails attempting to save my soul.  The life I have struggled to build has changed drastically.

But wait...there is another option!

Scenario #2 - Be at Peace with Yourself & Others:

With some reluctance, I gather all my witchy books & paraphernalia & slide these precious texts & icons under my bed.  Out comes a statue of Joseph & Mary cradling baby Jesus - during this time, they will represent, for me, the God & Goddess cradling my Spirit in kind & gentle arms.  I am comfortable with symbolism, this isn't too much of a stretch.
I will actively choose conversation topics that are not controversial.  Directing peaceful & laughter-filled days of communion with these two who provided me shelter & provision as I grew.  I will be accepting of myself & my views without having the need to impose them on others or defend them.  I will be confident enough in myself to allow the differences in those I love.  I will ignore & deflect inquiries about church.  When we discuss God, I will be focused on my idea of divinity & not feel the need to argue against paternalistic & dis-empowering views to which I no longer prescribe.

We will spend 7 days together.  There will be times when I bite my tongue so hard that blood drips down my face.  I will be more tense than usual.  Love will be shared.  They will not know the true me, but they will feel safe enough that they need not meddle into my life.

We hug upon their departure.  I pour a stiff, but celebratory drink, open all the windows of the house, smudge, & put my sanctuary back in order.  We communicate sporadically about silly topics for another year.  Life returns to normal.

Omissions v. Lies:

Yes, I know that a witch's word is her power.  I have spent years learning to be compassionately honest & am sad that this enlightenment cannot apply to my interaction with my parents.  But, maybe the most compassionate & loving action is to omit the truth.

There is a huge difference between an omission and a lie.  This witch is comfortable with a few omissions.  Will my word & power be effected by this large omission?  I hope not, but it is a price I'm willing to pay for the peace of knowing my parents are happy in our relationship.  Oh, and also, for my own sanity!

Setting the Ground Rules:

Having ranted about all of that, I do plan to set some ground rules for the parental units, who can be very confrontational & argumentative.  I created this little rhyme to post on the front door, I hope it works! 

A price is paid to enter here,
This house of love, mirth and cheer.
All hate and malice, discontent
Even thought of argument,
Breathe in and out, discharge these thoughts.
Your key to enter quickly bought!
A sanctuary, is this place.
Filled with love, peace and grace.
So welcome home, dear friend and kin!
Open arms await within.

Wild & Bright Blessings!!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Some Vegan Resources

Even if you're not vegan, some of these sites & books have such great recipes that you might want to check them out:

Vegan Culinary Experience This wonderful group of chefs provide a monthly BOOK of recipes, including techniques, nutritional info & some terrific articles in pdf format.  They do not send any junk e-mail!  Also, if you don't like to cook, they have a meal plan where they ship you meals. This is a great way to learn the science of great vegan cooking.

The Post Punk Kitchen - here, Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a collection of recipes, thoughts on veganism, etc.  Isa is one of the big celebs in vegan cooking.  Check her out!

Sarah Kramer has some wonderful cookbooks, she's also just a TOTALLY COOL woman!  Her blog at GoVegan ends up being about her dog, Fergus, quite a lot (which is really fun).  Her website only has autographed copies of the cookbooks, but you can purchase them directly from Amazon for a lot less if you're interested.

Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen.  Bryanna Clark Grogan is another fabulous recipe designer!  She brings the familiarity of meat dishes back to the vegan table.  While many of her great recipes are no longer available on the internet, she's putting out new ones regularly.  I'm especially excited to try her seitan "ham" recipe, because we are addicted to the seitan "turkey" & "beef".

I've never been disappointed with Bryanna's work!

The Fat Free Vegan Kitchen - Susan is amazing!  Her recipes should really be called oil-free, because she uses other fat sources at times, but they're all really wonderful.

Susan manages the Fat Free Vegan Recipes site, which is a place where readers can submit their own recipes.

Vegan Yum Yum is a site that is filled with mouth-watering pictures & recipes to go along with them.  Another very worthy site!

The Vegan Dad is a terrific source of recipes!  Since he's a dad, he has to feed some finicky kids, so everything is friendly food.

I'm sure I missed a whole pile of wonderful resources.  There are some terrific books out there too.  Here's my current collection of Vegan Cookbooks.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

When is a Witch Really a Witch?

I recently read an interesting & thought-provoking essay/poem by Juniper entitled I am Not a Real Witch.  Go ahead, read it & come back.

Juniper got me thinking. When is a witch really a witch?
  • When the words, "I am a witch" are first uttered, even if only internally?
  • When they first began to study in earnest?
  • Upon initiation in a coven/tradition?
  • Upon completion of a self-initiation ritual?
  • When the first spell is cast?
  • When the first successful spell is cast?
  • When they first began celebrating the sabbats?
  • After a complete turn of the wheel?
  • When they first have a terrifying/amazing/startling interaction with a spirit/plant/animal?
  • Some other milestone in the journey?
These are the things I started thinking about.  What say you?  When did you know you were a witch?

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Oh, as for my answer:  I think I was always a witch, I just hadn't the courage to tap into the source of energy.  I began exploring witchcraft when I was 11 years old, and returned a few times quietly in various ways.  I didn't fully commit until I was in my 40's.  It was then that I felt comfortable enough in who I was to challenge my family belief system.  I think there have been many stages of my witchy journey & hope there will be many more.  When did I become a Real Witch?  

The first time I became aware of & accountable for the consequences of my intentions.  When I began to consciously decide which path & direction to take.  When I learned that my thoughts & intentions have a direct result upon the world.  The power did not change at that moment, but my use of it did.

From that point, I began my growth as a witch.  It was the most amazing turning point of my life!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Dearest Confident

I have a dear confident.  
She knows all my secrets.
I spill to her my hearts desires, joys and pain.
She listens when no one else can.
Incapable of judgment, she speaks the truth.  
She shows me where I've been.
She shows me how much I've grown.  
She determines my future path.
She illuminates the patterns of my life.
I have a dear confident.
She is ink
on crisp white paper.
I love her dearly.


*The practice of keeping a journal was the defining factor in my healing.  Through journal keeping I was finally able to communicate my desires to myself.  Within 1 month of writing, I had the courage to begin my investigation into witchcraft.  I've never been more at home!

Wild & Bright Blessings!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Winter Vortex

Winter is not my favorite time of year. I used to think I could live in the Northwest, but now know that I NEED sunlight.  When my God of the Sun perpetually hides in the clouds, I start to spiral down into a vortex of melancholy.

As everyone around me gets ramped up & excited about the December holidays, I start to experience:
  • Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Decreased interest in work or other activities
  • Increased appetite with weight gain
  • Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
  • Social withdrawal
Recognize any of these?  They are the classic signs of S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  While my S.A.D. is mild & undiagnosed, it still exists & is often accompanied by:
  • An obsessive need to strangle anyone singing Christmas carols
  • The desire to smack the crap out of those well-meaning bell ringers
  • A huge variety of excuses as to why I cannot attend holiday parties
  • An absolute refusal to decorate my home with an embellished tree
  • A general inclination towards misbehavior 
Personally, I think the last "issue" (inclination towards misbehavior) is probably the one I need to nurture.

Or, maybe Winter is the time I need to slow down, focus on home, sit quietly & meditate.

What if all this angst is because my major totem animals are gone this time of the year?

Perhaps it's time to focus on some of my other totem animals:


Maybe the meditations of the week will be - "What would Jaguar do?" & "What would Wolf do?"

Off to meditation land!

Wild & Bright (ok, a bit dull) Blessings,


Friday, December 10, 2010

A New Magickal Cologne

I'm an avid reader of many things herbal.  Mountain Rose has started a new blog in addition to their monthly newsletter.  When I read this recipe on their blog, I was immediately attracted to it. 

- 1 organic Cinnamon Stick
- 25 organic whole Cardamom Pods
- 15 organic Cloves
- 1 organic Vanilla Bean, cut into small pieces
- 1 fresh organic Orange peel, zest only
- 8 oz Vodka

Crush spices in a mortar and pestle. Combine with Vanilla Bean pieces, Orange peel zest, and vodka in a glass mason jar. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the spices and pour the infused liquid into a glass bottle with a mister top. Simply add more spices if you desire a stronger cologne.

Before making any recipes, I always look for the magickal properties so that I may use the blend in the most appropriate way.  My current reference is Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs for this cologne.

Cinnamon – Sun & Fire; sacred to Aphrodite; Powers of spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust, protection & love.
Cardamom – Venus & Water; sacred to Erzulie; Powers of lust & love
Cloves – Jupiter & Fire; not associated with a specific deity; Powers of protection, exorcism, love & money
Vanilla – Venus & Water; not associated with a specific deity; Powers of love, lust & mental powers
Orange – Sun & Fire; not associated with a specific deity; Powers of love, divination, luck & money

So, based on these correspondences, this will become my newest blend for date night!  It's sensual smell & magickal properties ought to do quite nicely.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Time To Make Some Blessed Water

Good thing I read Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom this morning.  Mrs. B. reminded me, with her post on Marie Laveau's 5 & 7 Holy Waters, that I'm out of Blessed Water. Uh oh...better get started, this witch's Holy Water is one of her stock tools!

So, it's off to DeLeon Springs to collect some spring water. 
The water from this spring flows from the earth at about 20 million gallons per day and is a consistent 72 degrees year round.  It is beautifully clear & perfect for making blessed water.

Once the water is collected, it is time to do some ritual cleansing & charging. 

  • 1 Cup Spring Water or Storm Water
  • 2 pinches Sea Salt
  • 2 drops Rose Essential Oil
  • Final Container (& a funnel if needed)
  • Candles - black for the goddess, white for the god, blue for the water
  • Incense - myrrh & sandalwood
  • A few drops of previously charged Holy Water (unless this is the 1st time making)
Place all items on the altar.  Cleanse space & cast a circle, inviting the Elements, God & Goddess, lighting the white & black candles. The God & Goddess chosen are water spirits, directly related to what I'm currently working on. I'll leave the deity choosing to you, because it's important that you're comfortable working with any selected deity. 
Once the atmosphere is set, it's time to work.  
  • Light the incense & pass each material & tool through the smoke, saying "The power of air cleanses this __________ of all harmful energies".  Pass the water through last, saying "The power of air cleanses this water of all harmful energies, & brings insight & wisdom to all workings in which it is used."
  • Pour the blessed water into it's final container, adding a few drops of the previously charged water (or just put the new water into the previous water's container), saying "I join these waters, their power amplifies as they merge.  The power of this water is purification, purification of the three minds & all workings in which it is used."
  • Add the salt to the collected water, saying "The power of earth cleanses this water of all harmful energies & brings fertility & stability to all works in which it is used"
  • Light the blue candle & pass the salt water over the flame, saying "The power of fire cleanses this water of all harmful energies & brings passion to all works in which it is used"
  • Add the rose essential oil to the water, saying "The enchantment of rose brings love for all into workings with this water"
  • Sit or stand quietly in your circle, concentrating & gathering power in whatever way works best.  Once you feel ready, bring the container of Holy Water into your hands, directing energy into the water, saying "Spirit (or name your god & goddess) bring your blessing to join with mine.  We empower this Holy Water for the highest good, harming none.  We empower this Holy Water for the highest good, harming none.  We empower this Holy Water for the highest good, harming none."  Strongly visualize the water glowing with a rainbow of colors - I usually start with red & move through the colors of the chakra until the water is swirling with brilliant white light at the end.  You can stir the waters deosil during this time if your powers of visualization are strong enough to keep your eyes open.  I will be stirring mine with a vulture feather tip, as vultures are one of nature's purifiers, creating nourishment from decay.
  • "So Mote It Be."
Close your circle as usual, bidding "Hail & Farewell" to the Elements & deities that have joined you.  Store your Holy Water on your altar if possible.

Feel free to use any clear, natural, fresh water as your base.  Storm water is especially energetic & I often use it when I can.  Rain water (without the storm aspect) has a beautiful, peaceful energy.  Sea water seems to bring moon energies with it & needs no addition of salt.  Lake waters can bring a slow-release aspect to your workings.  I've not worked with river water yet, if you have, I'd love to know what aspects it may bring.

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some Yule Music For You

In my anticipation for the upcoming solstice, I thought I'd find some music to play around the house.  Here are a few Yule songs & other appropriate songs/presentations to brighten your December:

Wild & Bright Blessings!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Great Magickal Release

December is all about releasing what doesn't work in your life to make room for the wonderful.  I've been pondering how best to go about this in 2010 & stumbled upon Silver RavenWolf's blog.

The countdown officially started yesterday, December 1st, but I'm sure we can catch up!

Enough blogging for now...I'm off to start the project for Day #1.

Wild & Bright Blessings,