Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daily Draw - Saturday April 14th, 2012

From the book:
"I know how hard the path has been, how deep the despair, how savage the untruths.  I am here to help you restore your own sense of glory, your own truth, your own shining self...soon you will come to understand the whole of who you are. and that there is no evil or darkness within you, only instinct and truth, all of which is right and innocent."

Personal Interpretation:
A reminder that what I'm working through is worth it, and that my fears about myself are unfounded, I am who I am meant to be.

Film Friday - (Posted Sat April14th, 2012)

More often than not I'm sure this posting will end up like this weeks - photos that I think help remind me of the magic of the world.

Trees for me are truly magickal.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Daily Draw - April 13th, 2012

From the Book: There will be new growth.  All will be well again.  But it may take and acknowledgement of your own part in this sad tale to understand fully how to bring your life back to richness and beauty.  Forgive yourself, speak the truth, make amends, and watch your own magickal abilities grow and thrive

Personal Interpretation:  There are things you have done and said in order to protect that you need to let go if you are to truly set yourself free for growth and rebirth.  It will be hard but done with sincerity it will set you free.

H is for Hearths - The Heart of the Home

We've all most likely heard of hearth magick - and it is often bunched in together with kitchen witchery and the like. The idea stems from the historical notion of the hearth being the center of the home (quite literally if one goes back far enough in history).  The hearth was where the majority of daily life took place, you cooked your food here, socialized, stayed warm and participated in spiritual practices.  Perhaps the most famous of the hearth deities would be Hestia(Greek)/Vesta(Roman).  An offering would be made to Hestia/Vesta at each meal.  The fortunes and successes of Rome were intricately linked with the workings of the cult of Vesta.  In fact throughout most Western societies you see a great deal of importance placed on the hearth fire in general (I speak of Western societies because I don't know may of the Eastern traditions that well).

Of course today things are a little different.  Lets face it, few of us still cook around the home hearth (unless you count your stove as your hearth), and a lot of us don't even have a fire place of any description and so we forget about the importance of the hearth.  What is key to recognize here is that the hearth is more than just the fireplace, it is the center of the home, the place where the family gathers, it is the heart.  You don't need to have a fireplace to have a hearth, all you need to do is set up a space where you can create your home's heart.

Some people will put up a mantle on the wall and decorate it like a fire place but you don't have to go that far if you don't want to.  You could use a shelf of some description, a table top, etc.  Get creative.  What do you put on it?  There are so many options here - although I find simplicity for a hearth is the best way to go.  Something that represents fire is a logical start.  You could place something symbolic to a hearth deity (or an image of one).  Crystals that would promote health, abundance and love for your household.  An offering bowl or something similar.  A family photo.  The options are endless.

The important part is to take the time to set aside a place that is central to your home, a place you can see that symbolizes what is important in your home.  Somewhere you could meditate or make offerings at.  A focal point.  If you have household deities you may also choose to set up a place here for them to reside.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday - April 12, 2012

This week I am thankful for the fact that I was able to get away last weekend with the hubby and spend time at the beach.

I am a water baby - in fact up until my move to the USA I have spent most of my life within a maximum driving distance of thirty minutes from the ocean.  I have missed the ocean, it grounds and centers me like nothing else.  It cleanses my worries and gives me energy.  Out last house in New Zealand had the most amazing ocean views - from our living room and our bedroom we could look out over the ocean - I could go to bed with the moon over the water and wake up with the sun rising over the ocean - it was nothing but magical.

This weekend was much needed.  Both hubby and I have been on the go for so long that we needed a weekend to stop.  We are both working full time as well as doing out Masters degrees so life is very much work, school, sleep.  It was wonderful to take time out (we amazingly had no school work due) and just be ourselves again.  In some ways it was bitter sweet to remember what life used to be like before we got the crazy idea to continue our schooling, or even before we moved to the USA.  It definitely solidified our desire to move back to the southern hemisphere.

I fell in love with Monterey and could quite happily live there (if I could afford the housing).  It reminded me a lot of areas we visited/lived in in New Zealand.

So I am thankful for- time out, sunshine, the ocean, spending time with hubby, relaxing, and remembering what life is about.

Daily Draw: Thursday April 12th, 2012

From the book: Once you were mistreated, it is true.  Once you retreated - that is also true.  No more.  You are changing the way you view yourself, and speaking up and out.  I am myself, and I am proud of who I am. No one can harm me now I have this knowledge...While I have lost some of my innocence, I have my life, my strength, my voice, my ability to stay myself no matter what others do or say.

Personal Message: I see a pattern appearing.  Yesterday I drew the same card as Tuesday and it dawned on me that the message is perhaps telling me its okay to go through that process.  Today's card seem to be moving along the same lines.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wellness Wednesday - April 11th, 2012

Today's Wellness Wednesday is Organics.

I cannot recommend highly enough organic products.  While I know some people who think it is just a marketing scheme and that there is no helpful benefits, I could not agree less.  The saddest thing about Organics here in California (I don't know about the US as a whole) is that they're just so damn expensive and not always the easiest things to come by.  Of course if you have a yard you can grow your own organic garden but not everyone has that luxury.  I am quite lucky that I now have a Whole Foods near us.  There is also a company that will deliver organic produce to your door (although that didn't work out so well for us - I'm fussy and like to choose my produce).  There is of course the issue with Whole Foods that not everything that is organic is locally grown and I know that buying local is definitely a better option but not always a viable one.

So why do I love organics?  Because it not only is better for you, but it tastes so much better.  We first got hooked on organics in New Zealand.  There we were lucky, we had a delivery service for the produce and an organic butcher for our meats and eggs.  We also had three different organic/natural stores within easy driving distance where we could get everything else for the house - and best of all - the grocery bill wasn't any more than if we purchased regular items from the grocery store.  We noticed the taste difference straight away - things had flavor (not much regular produce or meat does anymore), you could eat a salad without piling on the dressing because each vegetable was full of flavor.  Of course after a few weeks we noticed the health and energy benefits as well and that sold us on the process.  I used to have an organic beauty range that I used too - it was a NZ brand, and I received so many compliments on the quality of my skin when I was using it.

And of course this doesn't even go into the earth conscious parts of the argument for organic produce.

G is for Grounding

Grounding - one of the most important parts of everyday life not just a spiritual one.  I wish more people knew about grounding and took the time to participate in it, I think the world would be a lot more mellow.

Why do we ground?  Well really we are essentially energy beings, sometimes that energy gets out of whack and we need to ground it out in order to return to balance.  We need to ground before we undertake any highly spiritual activity to ensure that we are in balance and tethered to this realm.  Empaths ground a lot, especially when they feel others emotions strongly, it helps them deal with the energies that don't belong to them.

When do we ground? Whenever we feel the need to.  Sometimes we ground to re-balance ourselves, to get rid of negative emotions, before ritual or other spiritual practices, when we're feeling drained etc.

How do we ground?  In oh so many different ways.  We can physically touch the earth (bare feet, hands, lay down on it or just touch it in some way - ever notice that if you're really annoyed you will want to walk it out - you're releasing energy through contact with the ground).  You can also hold a crystal and channel your energies into that (make sure you cleanse regularly if you're going to do that).  A common one is to visualize roots, either from your feet or tail bone, extending into the earth - this is a good one because you cant be anywhere to do this and nobody is any the wiser. You can ground with a partner, stomp or shake it out, the list could go on and on.  I bet there are even some times you don't realize you're doing it.

I honestly don't know how I ever did without this technique in my life, it has saved me numerous times.  I appear to be quite empathic and so I keep crystals around me at all times so that I have something to ground out into if I need it or if I can I try to get outside (sometimes it takes me a little while to realize what is going on but I get there eventually).  Its a great way to start your day off too.  Taking a moment to just ground and center oneself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tarot Tuesday - April 10th, 2012

I thought I'd start this process by introducing the two decks that I own and the two that I hope to own very soon.  This way as I work through the tarot there is a reference point for my cards.

The Decks I Own:

First: Legacy of the Divine Tarot.  This is a fairly new deck for me and I haven't worked with it a great deal.  It has some beautiful imagery that resonates well.  I purchased it to help learn tarot because my other deck isn't quite the traditional deck that most are used to.

Second: The Druid Craft Tarot.  This was the first deck I ever owned.  It was one of those ones where I walked around the store over and over picking it up and putting it down until finally my husband got sick of it all and purchased it for me.  I love this deck.  It isn't quite your traditional deck and the cards are slightly oversized.

The Two I Covet:

The Steampunk Tarot: by Barbara Moore

Shadowscapes Tarot: Barbara Moore

Daily Draw: Tuesday April 4th 2012

Alice in a Sea of Tears: Castaway, out of your depth, feeling abandoned.

From the Book: You are releasing the Pain!  Now you have acknowledged your pain, and cried your heartbreak out, the sad magic of your tears is that you are trapped still in your emotional vibration.  You have been through a very emotional time, and have finally released your need to hold on.  Now the challenge is to move on from this, with wisdom in place, without repeating what has led to this manifestation.  Dry your tears, help is here.  Well done on making such an important change!

Personal Message:  This one I think pertains to a dear friend.  Though it links somewhat to my dreams of late also.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Meditative Monday - April 9th, 2012

Thought to ponder today: How does one shut off the rational mind to embrace the magical?

I struggle with this sometimes - shutting down your "rational" thinking to see and acknowledge the magical is not as easy as some make it out to be.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who oft times has sat there asking "Really?  How can you possibly believe that?"

And mixed in with this is my aura dilemma. You see, I can understand how rationally the body can give off an aura - we are energy beings really.  But the idea that our eyes (that can't even see beyond the 2 dimensional perspective - its our brains and the fact that we have 2 eyes that make it 3D) can possibly see the energy fields of a living thing.

G is for Getting over it - Using ritual to close the past.

One of the hardest things for me to do in my life is to get over things.  Not the little things – but those big things, and those things that sit in the back of your mind and haunt you.  Part of this is the little voice in my head that likes to constantly call out how wrong I am about things.  In order to grow thought we need to be able to put these things behind us, to be able to cast off the shadows of doubt and the shackles of history and move forward to embrace ourselves and our role within this life.

Now I know that a lot of people believe everything happens for a reason, and I am by no means discounting that belief.  I personally believe that we would not be the people we are today without what has happened in our past, but that doesn’t mean we have to carry the baggage around with us.  If you believe that we choose our life lessons for each lifetime that doesn’t mean that we have to dwell on them, in fact dwelling to me indicates that you haven’t learnt from them but rather that you are still trying to piece the correct lesson together out of it.

Throughout my life I have had some pretty nasty stuff happen to me.  I am a survivor of child sexual abuse and I have not always made the best decisions in my life.  But since I found my pagan path I have definitely been able to come to terms more with the things that have occurred and have been able to take my learning from them and let them go.  I am certain that other religions have various ways of dealing with it but for me the symbolism of ritual is an amazing way to “get over it.”

Here is where I should probably clarify.  I am not saying that one should simply create an awesome ritual and you will be done with the event.  What I am saying is that once you have taken the time to churn it over, analyze, rant, rave, cry and otherwise move through your experience ritual is a great way to close the book on the process.

Over the years I’ve developed a few different ways of dealing with this scenario. 
Firstly, some ideas to get it all out: 
  •  Unconscious writing: - sit and just write it out – it can be single words, or entire essays the idea is to not think but to feel and let the feelings flow through you.
  • Confront the person: - Now I don’t mean literally here (sometimes that isn’t even an option) but rather talk as if they were there or write it out just get what you wish you could say out of your head.
  • Visit that you of the past: - Do a meditative journey and visit with your past self, talk to them about it and help them deal with the events.
  • Energize: - use dance or some form of movement to physically work the feelings out of your system.

(This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few I’ve used.  The key I would say to all though is the set up – make sure you’re ready for what will come out, create yourself a sacred/safe space to do this in, and if needs be have someone with you for it).

Secondly, some ways to ritualize the release:
  • Written words: If on paper you can burn them, bury them, shred them, flush them (warning here, if you’re flushing I’d burn first and flush the ashes or write on toilet paper), etc  If you’ve written on an object you can dispose of it in an appropriate way. 
  • Meditation: complete an activity within the journey such as a ritual jumping through the flames etc. Smudge and ground and center afterwards.
  • Energize: scream it out, work up to a crescendo and let it all go somehow then do a gentle bring down, something to re-gather yourself and re-center.