Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Personal Commitments

For the next month on Prosperity Project(See sidebar for link) the focus will be on personal commitments.

At first I was considering fitness or skin care, but the more I thought about it, I realized that neither of them fit with the rules. Skin care didn't fit because it would require me to spend money and fitness didn't fit because it would take more then 10 minutes a day to be effective and to be completely honest it wasn't something I really wanted to do.

So I decided on meditation. It is something that I have let slip for a while now, but I really want to get back to. I miss the feeling of peace that resonates afterwards. It is also a great baby step to help with spirituality.

For thirty days (starting yesterday) I will spend 10 minutes meditating everyday.

If you would like to work on keeping a personal commitment to yourself head over to the prosperity project and join in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Pagan Giveaway

Pagan giveaways are few and far between. That's why when I find one I always share it with you. Even the one's I really want to win!
The giveaway I found today is for a few Greenman items, including a mug, a magnet and a mask from Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan. They really are beautiful. It's always helpful to have reminders of the divine scattered throughout the house. Or you could use them to decorate your alter.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Goodbye Winter

I am surprised to find that I am a bit sorry to see you go. We had so much fun together this year. We made blessed water with beautiful snow you sent us. That snow also brought our family closer together, keeping my children home from school and my husband home from work.
Your cold winds gave me reason to cuddle a little closer to my beloved husband. It knocked out the electricity so that we had to find fun new ways to entertain ourselves.
Most of all I will miss the way you slowed life down for us. Gave us chance to rest and recuperate before we enter the hustle and bustle of the spring and summer again.
Thank you winter. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Communal Living

There are times when I get disgusted with society. The corrupt government, as well as the wealth and the greed that drives it. Children being raised not to think for themselves, and being taught not to question some of the most important things in life such as religion, and right and wrong.
To often a persons value is determined by either their wealth or their physical attractiveness. Those that are poor or disabled are seen as lazy and a drain on the economy. Society takes and consumes then takes more, giving almost nothing back, because they feel it is there "right". Anyone who thinks outside of the box is labeled a trouble maker.
So what is a person to do? Lately I have been considering communal living as a possible cure for the "human condition".
I would love to live in a mini society where differences of opinion were settled with meetings, not wars; where eating and living sustainably was considered the norm instead of "eccentric." It would be awesome if when my children wore hand-me-downs people realized that they were saving the earths resources, rather than seeing them as poor and therefore less than everyone else.
Communal living or co-housing enables people to be dependent on each other. Everyone does their share of the work and shares in everything else as well. It's a situation that can help people overcome their addiction to money, which I feel is the number one problem in America today. (Number 2 is addiction to power)
So that is my dream. To live out in the woods with like minded people providing for our own needs in as many ways as possible. Sharing everything we have including work and resources. So what's stopping me? My husband.
Now in his defense, he is supportive of me in almost everything from religion to spending twice as much money on organic groceries, but this one thing he just isn't willing to consider. I can't even convince him to visit.
He values his privacy way to much. Just having neighbors is a little to much for him.
He would however, love to own our own organic vegetable and dairy farm. It's not exactly my dream, but it's a lot closer than I am right now. And, after all, marriage is all about compromise. The only issue is that stands in our way is money. eek. There it is again. The driving force that apparently keeps the world turning.
So what do you think? Have you ever considered communal living? Have you ever tried it? Share your thoughts and experiences.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I is for Isis


Although ancient Egyptian culture has never been of any particular interest to me, I have always felt drawn to the Goddess Isis. Perhaps it is because she is such an all-encompassing Goddess. She is the Goddess of medicine, wisdom and magic. While many Gods and Goddesses are aligned with a certain compass direction, Isis is aligned with the center and rules all directions, as well as all elements.

Isis is the only Egyptian Goddess to walk among her people daily, teaching the skills like weaving and baking. Her husband Osiris taught agriculture. Together they had a son named Horus, who became known as the sun God.

I don't keep a permanent alter up in my home because I have no space, but occasionally when I want to feel more connected to my higher power I will erect an alter on top of my dresser. When honoring Isis, my alter is set up with a vase of lillys, a painting of an eagle, a stuffed lion and a few small quartz crystals. I also leave offerings of bread and wine. Isis is also represented by the woman's body, so I have been looking for some artwork of the female form to add to my alter.

Blessed Be
For more I posts visit ABC Wednesday

Monday, March 15, 2010

Last Week on the Converted Kitchen

For those of you interested in the real food movement here are the links to my posts from last week on the converted kitchen.

Sourdough Inspiration Giveaways
My First Attempt at Real Cooking (this one is funny)
Breakfast of Champions...or Maybe Not
Awesome Bubbleage

Happy Reading

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Discussing Ferility Based Religion Without the S Word


At some point when discussing fertility based religion with children the topic of fertility is bound to come up. (Possibly around Beltane or the very near spring equinox.)

Now me, being the strong and independent woman I like to think I am, hate to ask my husband permission for anything (thanks for being so understanding sweety). But in all fairness he did play a part in bringing them into the world, even if I did all the work. And he's a pretty cool guy so it's not so bad. So before you discuss anything with your children I suggest you find out how your partner in crime (aka spouse, significant other or baby daddy) feels about the subject.

We decided that we would discuss everything we could with the children without using the S word. He was okay with talking about the birth process though. It's about time those kids realized what I went through for them.

I started out by telling them how the God and Goddess created life. We discussed the different type of life on the planet, plants, animals, people and how we were all children of the Goddess and as such everything that is alive is our brothers and sisters and should be treated with respect and love.

I emphasized the God and Goddess rather than just the Goddess, because in every form of life it takes both to create life, even if it both male and female aspects in the same plant or animal.

Then I told the children that the ability to create life was the greatest power that we have been given. We discussed how great power comes with great responsibility (thanks Spiderman!).

We discussed that people and animals and plants all had there own unique ways of creating life, and then we quickly discussed the birth process before any questions of S-E-X could come up. It went smoothly without to many questions.

We finished up by planting seeds. I told the children that while we didn't create this life (it's parent plants did) we can help it grow and become strong and beautiful by taking care of it.

It was a farely painless introduction to the birds and the bees talk that will inevitably come up later.

I do feel like it is important to discuss these things with your children before they hear it from school, or some other source that may not mesh with your beliefs, so this is how I handled it.

How did you or will you handle it?

Blessed Be

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

H is for Homemade

My new real food blog, The Converted Kitchen is now up and running so this will be my last post dealing with real food on this blog. Please head over there and follow me if you are interested in the real food life style or would just like to watch how I do learning to cook from scratch.

This week I started with my first homemade sourdough thanks to some help with Kitchen Stewardship.

We purchased some organic whole wheat flour from from my local whole food country market. It was quite expensive ($7 for lbs), but luckily I found I cheaper one at my health food store for next time. The health food store's flour is also freshly milled and kept refrigerated until it is purchased.

I already had two Ball Mason jar's that I used for collecting water samples at work last summer. I love Ball mason jars, because they have the rings around them so you can use them with the ring and leave out the lid for fermenting and then just insert the rest of the lid for storage.

I filled one of the jars with tap water and let it sit overnight because I have city water so I needed to let the chlorine evaporate.



The next morning I added a half a cup of water and a half a cup of flour, stirred and covered it with a coffee filter and ring. It was so easy. Then I put it in the oven with the light turned on. I just hope I remember to take it out every time before I cook anything!

That night I took it out and emptied the icky dark water off the top and fed it. Well actually the kids did. I love to get the kids involved in preparing healthy food. It makes them more excited about eating it.



I continued feeding a few more times and was so existed when I started seeing bubbles. Yes, I know, bubbles are not to be that existing when you are an adult, but I just could not hold the pride in. I was practically giddy!

At this point I am feeding it a couple of tablespoons a day. Part of me just wants to jump right in a start baking bread, but all of the advice says to give it time to mature before making anything that needs to rise, so instead I will make something simple first. Maybe pancakes. I am not sure yet, but what ever it is, I will eat it proudly knowing that I am taking a step towards becoming more self sufficient and improving the health of my family.

I am writing this post as part of ABC Wednesday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tuesday Trivia - My Valentine

I have decided to participate in Tuesday Trivia on I Refuse to Recede. I hope to make this a regular thing, perhaps alternating between this blog and my other blog, The Converted Kitchen, which I will officially be opening on Wednesday. Today's Trivia will be about St. Valentine who shares a name with my newest pet.
You have already been introduced to the newest member of our family. He was one of my 14 Valentines Day gifts. I had considered naming him after pagan God, or a mythical figure like I had done with my other Cocktails. They were named Arther and Gwen, and those names fit them perfect.

Arther was a very proud bird, only allowing the most dominant member of the family that was present to handle him. Gwen was a bit shy, but beautiful and I think she might have been having a love affair with my husband's left ear.

Like I said, I wanted to give our newest bird a name along the same lines, but I felt to guilty getting all of these gifts, while my children, who had been begging for their own pet for so long, were getting nothing. So I decided to make our bird a family pet, and to make it official I let the children pick his name.

Because the most exciting thing happening in their lives at the time was their school Valentine's Day parties, they chose to name him Valentine, and the name seems to fit him well. He loves to cuddle and gives kisses and sing us his love songs.

So today's trivia is about St. Valentine. I wanted to learn about how the holiday started and who St. Valentine actually was. The answer was more interesting than I expected, in the fact that nobody actually knows, yet we still celebrate the holiday every year.

I learned that the Catholic Feast of St. Valentine is celebrated on February 14th. So that gives us some basis for a Holiday, but who is this Saint. We know of one Catholic Saints was buried at Via Flaminia on February 14th, but absolutely nothing else is known about him or what he has to do with romance. Even the Catholics don't know that. It is not even known whether the holiday celebrates just one Saint, or many with the same name.

The tradition of Valentines Day being associated with romance began in the middle ages. In my opinion, I think this might have been when those who snuck off to celebrate the Beltane rituals later in the year began choosing and courting their partners, but that is just my opinion.

It is funny that their is so much mystery behind a holiday that is so commonly celebrated without question. Interesting, don't you think?

Blessed Be

Baby Step Get Back to the 366 Days at My Own Pace

I have realized that trying to make the books schedule meld with my own was to forced. There are some days when I feel like a subject needs just a tad more contemplation time before moving on. Other days that are supposed to be ritual days, I just don't feel as magical as I usually do (like when the kids spend the morning throwing up all over the house). Doing spells requires a lot of mental preparation for me, so learning what spell I am going to do right before I do it just doesn't work for me.

This doesn't mean that I am going to give up on the book as a whole. I plan to work through each and everyone of the pages, just at my own pace. I may take a full week to contemplate one days work, or more. I may be able to complete it in a day. I also intend to continue to use the book for reference as I have been doing.

Blessed Be

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Interesting Questions

I found these questions on a post at Divining Women and I thought it would be fun to answer them. I didn't realize how long it would take to get through them, but oh well now that they are done I might as well share them.

Do you have a magical name?
I do have one. I've never shared it with anyone. Not because it is secret or anything, but no one ever asked. The name is Juniper.

Does it have a special meaning?
It is from the nick name my mother gave me as a little girl. She used to call me Juniper Lee long before the cartoon ever came out.

How did you find Wicca/Paganism?
I started looking into Wicca as a teenager, but I was quickly scared off by the "witch wars" and terms like "fluffy bunny". After my children were born I wanted them to realize that there was more than one path to the divine so I started studying other religions. I found that there was a bit of truth somewhere in each religion and a whole lot of man-made rules added in to most. Wicca, Druidism, and Buddhism seem to have the most truth to me.

How long have you been practicing?
I have only been practising in a group for 3 months. I have been studying on my own for years.

Solitary or group practitioner?
Mostly Solitary but I try to make it to a meet-up group for full moons and sabots.

What is your path?
I think that I am forging my own path, using the advice of many others who came before me. Perhaps at some point I will find a set path that fits me perfect. As long as we get to the ultimate destination, I don't think it matters how we get there.

Are you out of the broom closet?
There are a few people that I don't discuss it with, like my grandmother, but for the most part it's not a secret.

Who are your patron Gods and Goddesses?
I don't have any yet, but I do connect better to the Goddess in her Maiden and Crone form more than I do in her mother form. I have always found that strange because being a mother is such a huge part of my life.

Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship?
I have worshiped quite a few in my time.

Do you fear dark aspects of the Gods/Goddess, or rather, respect them?

Now I respect them, but for the longest time I feared them.

Do you worship the Christian God?
Not in the Christian sense, but since I believe that we ultimately all worship the same Divine Higher Power then I suppose I do.

Do you ever worship animals?
I have worshiped the divine energy that flows through them but never the animal itself.

Or plants?
same as last answer

Do you regularly commune with nature?
I do the best I can while living in a place that doesn't have much nature in it. I am always looking for better ways to connect.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
Not in the woods, but I have in plenty of other outdoor places.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?
I've never had to before living here, because everywhere else I lived was right in the middle of nature. I should probably do that.

This is only a few of the questions. Check out Divining Women for the rest of the questions. I will try to get to answering more at another time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Working on Blog # 2

I've started working on a second blog that will focus exclusively on my real food journey. I realize that reading a blog about paganism may conflict with some peoples religious views, and I don't want to exclude any readers that may benefit from my experience with real food just for that reason. I also realize that many pagans don't have any interest in real food so they may become bored with this blog if I continue to go off topic to often. For those of you who are interested in both, I will post links here to each post on the new blog so that you don't have to worry about subscribing to both blogs unless you want to. I will continue to post on this blog about everything related to my spiritual journey.

My new blog will be a diary of my experience as I attempt convert myself and my family over to a nourishing real food diet.


A few topics you can expect to hear about are:


  • My food related baby steps and updates on their progress
  • My participation in Monday Mission at Kitchen Stewardship
  • Recipes I try and how they turn out - My goal is to try at least one new recipe a week.
  • Research that I do about Real Food Related Topics - I find that a lot of the information I read is a bit biased so I would like to look into it from a more scientific point of view.
  • Information on the political aspects of real food - This will include both facts and opinions so I will be careful to make sure it is clear which is which.
I am sure that these are not the only topics that will come up. I am taking this conversion to real food slow so that I don't overwhelm myself or my family. This blog is as much for me as it is for you.


The goal is to have it up and running by Tuesday of next week. I'll let you know as soon as it is ready. I hope that you all enjoy it.


Blessed Be

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baby Step # 1 No More Soy

What: Eliminate Soy from our diet

Who: Myself and my children. I will also try to include my husband but he is an adult so he will make his own choices. I do most of the cooking so I will have control of at least one meal he eats a day.

Why :
Soy Depresses the thyroid and can cause thyroid disease. Thyroid disorders run in my family especially in the women. My mother had two miscarriages in her mid twenties that the doctors attributed to her thyroid. If you are trying to loose weight you should also note that a depressed thyroid will seriously slow down your metabolism. Not good for weight loss or energy. Just one glass of soy milk a day can cause your metabolism to slow down.

Soy is higher in Phytoestrogens than just about any other food source. Phytoestrogen is plant based estrogen. Now I'm sure a few people have heard studies that say that this is good for you, but these studies are funded by the soy industry. Independent studies show that high estrogen levels lead to many types of cancers including breast cancer.

Soy is high in Phytates. The best way I have heard Phytates explained is that they are anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing the nutrients that it needs. They are present in all grains, seeds, nuts and legumes. In most cases you can neutralize them by fermenting or soaking, but in the case of soy the phytates are so high that it is virtually impossible.

Soy contains a large amount of trypsin inhibitors. Your body needs trypsin to properly digest food. Without it you can experience stomach problems such as cramps and diarrhea. Inmates in America are fed a mostly soy diet and this has lead to a very high number of inmates developing irritable bowl syndrome.

Another thing to note is that the American Heart Association has never recognized the FDA's claim that soy can reduce your chance of heart disease stating that the research was flawed. The FDA is now re-evaluating that claim.
How:

Reading Food Labels and finding substitutes for anything that has soy in any form in the ingredients.

I will let you know in a week how this baby step is working out.

Blessed Be

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Magic and Science

“Any technology beyond our own would seem like magic to us.” - Arthur C. Clark


I believe many things that we call technology can actually be considered magic. I think that to most people the only difference is whether or not we understand it, but in my opinion understanding how something works does not make it any less magical.

Imagine yourself living in medieval times. You walk into your castle and in front of the entire court flip a device attached to the wall causing the entire room to fill with light. Imagine the reaction you would get. Fear, amazement, shock. You would be labeled a witch or a sorcerer for doing something that today is considered normal routine.

Consider all the medications that we use today that are derived from the herbs once used by Shamens. The ability for a person to fly was once laughed at the way magic is laughed at today, until the two brothers came along and showed us that it was possible.

Think of all of the technology that is being discovered now, like harnessing the energy of the sun. We find new ways to use the resources given to us by the divine every day.

We try to guess at what the future will look like in books and movies, but in my opinion the answer is simple. Just look at what we consider magic today. I see "scientist discovering" that rose quarts is related to love, the same way that they discovered that certain foods are aphrodisiacs. I think that they will learn how to contact the spirit world just like they learned how to use a telephone to have a conversation with someone across the country.

What do you think? Do you think that magic and science are related?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I found Green house giveaway to share with you.

There was a time when I would spend hours a day entering blog giveaways gathering up tons of prizes that collected dust in my closet. Since then I have scaled back to only entering a few giveaways a month on blogs that I read regularly, and prizes that I could really use.

I have found a few so far to share with you, and I wish you all luck. Today the giveaway is found is at a great blog called I Refuse to Recede. What better way to fight the recession than by saving money growing your own vegetables and herbs. Even better save your seeds from your freshly grown veggies so that next years are completely free! ( I know this is illegal for some seeds,but I don't recommend using them anyway because they are genetically modified. Yuck)

To help you reach this goal enter to win this greenhouse. It is perfect for me because as I have told you in the past I have no outdoor space for gardening. However I do have a nice flat overhang right outside of my kitchen window that gets great sunlight. This would be perfect!

I hope you enter, and don't forget, if you win send me some fresh veggies!

Blessed Be.

G is for Ginger



I have been wanting to learn more about herbology in magical and healing practice for some time now. I can't afford to take classes at the local metaphysical shop, so until I can I am doing a little bit of research on my own. I found that ginger is a very powerful healing tool in both medicine and magic. That is why I chose ginger as my ABC post today.

Ginger is one of the many plants that can be used for magic, medical or cooking purposes.

First healing. Here is a homemade elixir you can take at the first sign of a cold Remember I am not a doctor so be sure you speak to your own doctor before making this or any other remedy you find online.

1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup scalded whole milk
1 tbsp honey

Combine ingredients and drink hot.

You can also add a little ginger to your tea to help with stomach aches or use it to flavor other homemade remedies.

Ginger is used often used in healing spells. Some traditions associate it with the moon and others associate it with Mars. Here is a recipe for a healing sachet. This sachet works particularly well with healing pain after surgery.

2 parts cinnamon
2 parts sandalwood
1 part rose petals
1 part cayenne
1 part ginger
1 part rue

Mix the herbs together and then tie into a blue or purple cloth. Anoint the sachet with Eucalyptus oil and wear it on your person or keep it under your pillow while you are resting during your recovery.

Ginger is also an ingredient in Wassail. It is a traditional pagan spiced ale made at Yule to invoke the energy of the sun and good health.

2 pints brown ale
1/2 pint dry sherry or dry white wine
3 ounces sugar (I use unrefined whole organic sugar)
3-4 apples
1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Place peeled and cored apples into a glass baking dish with sugar and 4 tbsp of brown ale and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until the apples are tender. Peel the bright yellow outer layer of the lemon rind. In a large pot combine the remaining ingredients including the lemon rind, but do not add the apples and the juices yet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10-15 min. Then add apples and their juices and serve warm.

For More G Posts visit ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Steps

My mother is full of advice in the form of cliches. Kill two birds with one stone. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. And one of her favorites is Baby Steps. Anytime you want to make a change in your life you need to take baby steps.

Cliche as they may be they do have value to them. So I think it is time for me to take my mothers advice. There are so many changes that I want to make but don't know how to start, so I will do as my mother suggests and take baby steps.


And yes I do realize that I am setting a goal to set goals, but hey, I got to start somewhere right.


Here are the areas that I want to change:


Eat Healthier - By healthier I mean more natural. My goal isn't weight loss at this point, just to develop a healthier relationship with food for both myself and my family. We do make an effort right now, here and there, but we have made no real lasting change. We tend to just grab a healthier option whenever it is convenient.


Earth Friendly - reducing my global footprint


Parenting


Spirituality


I am not sure if this will become a regular weekly post or if I will wright as it occurs to me. I don't want to get overwhelmed by taking to many baby steps at one time. My nutrition baby steps will probably take place on Friday so that I can take part in Food Renegades Fight Back Friday.


So stay tuned all of your support is welcomed.


I am also considering creating a Baby steps McLinky so that everyone can share the changes they are making in there lives as well. Let me know if there is any interest.

Thanks


Blessed Be

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh Monday How I Do Loath Thee...

I drug myself out of bed at 5:30 this morning to hold back my daughters hair as she puked all over the floor about 3 feet from the toilet. It just wouldn't be a true Monday if she had made that extra 3 feet. It took 3 freshly washed towel to clean up.(hint:you should avoid washing all your towels at once just so you have some dirty ones for times like this).

Once that was taken care of I still had two healthy (or so I thought) children to get ready for school. So feeling extra gross I wake the other children up and lay out their clothes. Make breakfast, and then go wake them up again. This time dragging them out of bed. After breakfast and clothes comes the argument about brushing teeth and why they can't use bubblegum flavored toothpaste. I have, on past mornings explained to them about artificial sweeteners, but because it is Monday the answer is "because I said so" which leads to lots of foot stomping that I am sure the downstairs neighbor did not appreciate.

Out the door to the bus stop and then I get to sit, but not for long. After all DD just threw up her breakfast so of course she is hungry again. It is times like this that I am tempted to use sweetened boxed cereals, but no. My little one is sick and needs all the help her immune system can get. So I pull out a jar of left over chicken bone broth and start heating it, all with the little one watching me silently.

Once the broth is fully heated and in front of her I am told that her tummy doesn't hurt anymore and she wants oatmeal. Debating whether I should deal with an argument with a 5 year old or just make the oats I decide to just give her some quick (unsoaked because I had no time to prepare) oats. Sometimes you just have to choose your battles.

So now you think I get to sit down again. No. The phone rings DS is in the nurses office because he got sick in the boys bathroom at school. So DD finishes her breakfast and I get her in the car. We almost make it all the way to school before she throws up oatmeal all over the back seat. (good bye new car smell)

Run in the school. Pick up son, get home. Wash off daughter. Sit down leaving car a mess for now. My husband can deal with that. And if he even thinks about complaining...well he will regret it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Blessed Water With The Kids


Now on our third day of non-stop snow I was starting to feel a little bit depressed being cooped up in the house. The roads are covered so the only people going anywhere have snow mobiles or some seriously heavy duty plow trucks.

This morning I looked out the window and saw the glistening snow in a whole new light. It was so beautiful and gave me the opportunity to spend some quality time with my children who haven't been to school in days.

I recalled a post from Sitara Haye on making blessed water from snow and decided to call an unscheduled witch class for the kids. We made blessed water to protect us from bad dreams. This is how we did it.

First we washed our hands with salt and water to cleanse us of negative energy and then we washed our glass bowl and a jar the same way.

I tried to open a window to scoop the snow up but the snow was to high so I opened the door and drew a pentagram in the snow and I scooped up the top layer and brought the bowl back to the children.

Each of them thanked the goddess for the magical gift of snow and then pressed one star anise and one white sage leaf into the snow while asking for protection from bad dreams.

We set the snow in my son's bedroom near a window to melt. That is the stage we are in right now.

Once it is melted I will strain it into our jar and sprinkle it around their beds.

That was simple and the kids got involved. I love it.

Blessed Be

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Natural Foods to Feel More Connected

I have been posting alot lately about nautral foods and cleaning products and even more, so I am sure a few people are wondering why, all of the sudden to I need to do everything natural. Well, I will tell you how it started.


Some of you may remember a post I did a while back called The Sun Does Not Rise Over Hawley PA. That was when I realized how disconected I had become. There was a time when I got up early with my daughter to watch the sunrise every morning. We didn't need an alarm clock or a compas. It was just happened naturaly. During those times I felt so connected to the earth, and my family, the creatures that shared my plot of land with me, and the higher powers that ruled it all. Since moving into town, as small as it is, our lives have become rushed, full of convienience items, take out and absolutly know gardening or sunrises.


It happened so slowly that I didn't even realize until I was completly gone. The first thing I did when I realized was go to my mothers house and sit on the cold frozen ground and meditate until I could no longer feel my butt. Now you would think that a person that had no feeling in there butt would be unhappy. Not me, I have not felt that good in months. That is when I promised myself that I would no longer let modern convienences come come between me and the world that I love.


I don't think that all modern conviences are bad. I watch the news on tv and occasionaly a prime time drama if I am bored, and I love the internet. It is an amzing way to learn things that you would otherwise never know, but I feel that the things that interact with me most intimatly, like the food that I ingest, and the air that I breath, should be as chemical and technolgy free as I can make them.


So I am balancing, my time, and budget, and making my life as natural as I can.


Blessed Be

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finaly A Truely Pagan Giveaway

I didn't think that I would ever find one, but thanks to a great blog... Go out beneath the Naked Sky, I have found one to share with you. When you first click on the link you may get an adult content warning. I have never seen anything I find offensive on the blog, so I wouldn't worry to much about that (but then again what I find offensive is very different than what others/Christians find offensive, but that's for another post).

Okay back to the good stuff. The prizes. I copied this directly from her blog so I wouldn't get anything wrong.

"I'm giving away Crone Stones, which are beautiful, woman-centered porcelain
runes, a mini-octopus, twin to the one on my Aphrodite altar, and Magic When You
Need It by Judika Illes."

Now all that there is left to do is enter. Click here for the entry post.

Todays Life Lessons Are brought to You By The Letter F

F is for future, hopefully a good one but sometimes scary because it is so unknown. So F is also for Fear or perhaps Fearlessness depending on who you are and where you are on your journey. But always remember that F is for Freedom as well. You always have a choice. You choose where the journey takes you. Which paths you will follow. F is for Family. So sometimes you may have to consider others in those choices.



F is for following, because sometimes being a follower is not such a bad thing. When you have the right leader you can learn a lot. F is for friendship because we are all social creatures and we need someone to connect with, someone to stand witness to our lives if just to prove that we actually existed. F is forgiveness because sometimes our friends don't quite meet the standards that we try to hold them to.



And of course F is for final. The end is always sad, but at least it gives us an opportunity for new beginnings.

For More F Posts visit ABC Wednesday

By the way I entered a few more giveaways today. I will try to make time to share them with you because I think that the prizes will be interesting to my followers (all 6 of you)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Natural Skin Care

A while back I blogged about the nasty ingredients I found in my Face care products and promised that I would share with you when I found something better. Well today I found myself with a bit of spare time and started entering giveaway's, and look what I found. H2o Naturals makes organic skin care products using only natural ingredients.

I browsed a few items on the website and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The ingredients are listed on the site, and are for the most part easy to understand. Anyone with a basic understanding of herbs will recognize them,

The only things that I didn't like were a few ingredients at the end that were very vague, but they were at the end of the list so it is not a main ingredient. Another issue that I had was that I could not find anything on their site that said they were "certified organic". However it is illegal to represent a product as organic without certification. I am also not sure if the packaging made of recycled materials or if the products were tested on animals.

It is not a perfect solution, but it is a better option than propane and butane filled products.

If you would like to buy some you can find it here or head over to today's diva to win some for free.

Clean Your Water/Win A Water Purifier from Food Renegade

I have mentioned a few things that bother me about living in town such as the lack of out door space and the fact that the sunrise is blocked by buildings, but one thing that I haven't griped to you about yet is the city water. It smells of chlorine, especially after it rain, so I don't want to even think of all of the other things that are in there.

I have considered buying bottled water, but my earth conscious conscience won't allow it, and I simply can not afford a water purifier. Luckily I found a giveaway for an Aqua Dome Water Purifier over at Food Renegade.

Feel free to enter your self, and if you win instead of me remember, you owe me a glass of water!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Raw Milk



I have finaly found a semi-local sourse for Raw Milk. It travels about 2 hours to get to the local whole foods store that I bought it from. I am suprised I couldn't find anything closer because there are so many farms about 20 minutes away.

We only bought one gallon to try it, and it was gone in 24 hours. The kids loved it the most. They call it cow milk, and they ask for it so much that I have to tell them no sometimes. If you are a parent you know how good it feels to have your kids asking for milk instead of soda or other sugary drinks!

It is only available on Thursday's and it is a bit expensive so we will supliment with regular pasturized whole milk. I think we will do about 50% raw and 50% pasturized whole milk.

Our next step in our more natural diet is going to be soaking oats to make our own oatmeal and using oat flour to make bisquits with dinner. I will let you know how it is going.

Cleaning Energy


I have been hit by that cleaning energy that I typically feel between Imbolc and Ostra. Of course for me this is a big deal because I don't get much cleaning energy the rest of the year. Typically cleaning is a chore for me that I find the quickest way possible to rush through.


I am starting in the kitchen this year because of my goal to eat more natural foods. Yesterday was spent decluttering the main hot spots and mopping the floor and scrubbing apliances. I even cleaned the oven. Yuck! I did break down and use a chemical cleaner on the oven. It was fume free but full of unhealthy stuff so I will have to look for something else before next time.


Today I am going to clean out the refrigerator and cabinets and get rid of all of the processed foods. Okay, so maybe not get rid of them since I can't bring myself to throw out perfectly good food, but I am going to try to get it down to one cabinet to use when we can't afford the more natural foods.


Once I am done with the kitchen I plan to move on to the bathroom which should take less than a day to really deep clean. The biggest part is going to be cleaning out under the sink and figuring out what I can get rid of.


Hopefully by the time that is done, I will still have enough energy left to get to my room. My closet is literally overflowing with clothes we don't wear. Okay, It's time for me to get to work.


Blessed Be.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker By Sandi Thom




I had a lot of fun posting about the last song so I thought that I would do it again. I have absolutely no musical talent of any kind but it is still a huge part of my life. Lessons often come from unexpected places, and it was very unexpected when an 18 year old boy taught me that you can relate to almost any song even if it deals with something that you have never experienced before, because it is not the experience it's self that matters. It is the emotion that it invokes.

The song that I am looking at today is I wish I was a punk rocker. The video above is not the actual video that goes with the song, but it is still a good one.

The lyrics that grab my attention are "I was born to late in a world that doesn't care." I feel that way kind of often. When my kids ask to bring Mountain Dew for lunch like their friends, or I see someone taking a joy ride in a hummer, or I think about all of my brother-in-laws (3 int total) either overseas fighting a war over oil or on their way there) it doesn't make me angry like it does to a lot of people who share my beliefs, but it does make me sad.

There was a time when you could not put a dollar value on human life, and humanity mattered more than money and power, at least I hope their was.

But change isn't all bad. Women have made some huge advances in gaining equal rights, as well as many minorities. We haven't reached our goals of complete equality just yet, but you have to admit we are on our way. Hopefully soon we will be able to say that all people are treated equal, regardless of Race, Religion, Gender, or Sexual Orientation.


Blessed Be!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Raise Your Hand If Smear Propane on Your Face

I have been attempting a healthier life style, that includes eating more natural foods and using less chemicals. I am also trying to be a better friend to the earth and all of those I share it with (people and animals). We are all in the same boat in the vast sea that is the universe. Okay that is as philosophical as I get for today.

Anyways I got a package in the mail today from a contest I had one months ago and had forgotten all about. It was a foaming face mask from a brand I won't mention. After all it was free, so I don't to bad mouth them. I will say that it is not a discount store brand so it would be quite costly if you were to buy it.

Just out of habit because I am so used to checking food labels, the first thing I did was read the ingredients. The second ingredient listed was propane followed by butane! OMG I couldn't believe it! This prompted me to check the rest of my beauty products and more than have of them got throne out. I will be on the prowl for some more natural (and less disturbing) products. I will be sure to share with you as I find them. Feel free to let me know of any you know of and tips on what to look for.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

E is for Earpiece

Ok, so this was another gift I got for Valentines Day. It is a blue tooth earpiece that I have a very fickle love/hate relationship with. On one hand it is extremely convenient and makes life a heck of a lot easier. When I was driving back and forth to a hospital in Scranton (this place is considered a city to all of us who live out in Hawley, Pa. I was able to get directions from my husband, without having to look away from the road. It is like talking to a person that is right there next to you.

The problem is that know one else knows that. I realized when I was walking into the hospital and still talking to my husband, that everyone was staring at me. The same way I stare at others, wondering if they are talking to themselves.

This is a cheaper blue tooth so it takes a minute to disconnect and reconnect. If I don't do it before I get out of the car, I will forget. And then when the phone rings there is no time, so I have to use the earpiece.

This is a pit of a pain, but because it makes life so much easier I will probably still use it.

For more E Posts visit ABC Wednesday
Blessed Be

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More about Death...and Life

I realize that many of my recent posts can be seen as slightly depressing. That isn't how they were intended to be at all. I do not see death as something sad or scary, at least not my own. It is an inevitable event, and I know with every fiber of my being that it is not the end.

What I would rather focus on is how I am going to feel about my life when my time does come. Is anyones life better because I was in it. Have I found joy and spread joy. Is the world better off or worse off because of me. Have I accomplished all that I was meant to accomplish.

These are the big questions that we all must asks ourselves eventually. Might as well be now, when we can still do something about it. It is so easy getting caught up in the immediate future. We can tell ourselves that we can't meditate to find our life's meaning right now because the dishes need to be done. But in the end when we look back do you think you are more likely to remember a sink full of dishes or the moment you discovered your purpose here on earth.

Blessed Be

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Temporary Home By Carrie Underwood

I spent Valentines Day morning curled up in bed with my husband watching CMT. I am not as big a fan of country music as I used to be but I still get into it occasionally. My husband loves it. He eats sleeps and breaths country (and Nascar). But I am getting off topic.

This morning I heard Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood. It is a great song about a foster child, a single mother, and a man that is dying. The song really got to me.



I have done quite a bit of moving in my life, and passed through temporary homes. In fact, I am in one right now. I know that cramming my family of 5 into a small 2 bedroom apartment with no outdoor space is not permanent. It is not where we belong. I have lived in places where I felt I belonged, but could not afford to stay there. But I know that my goal is to get back there. I have lived in rentals all of my life and I try to think about how I would want a tenant to treat a home if I were the owner and had so much invested in it.

Then I think about the end of the song. When the man is dying and he speaks of the earth as our temporary home. We are just visitors here. This is the place where we have to stay right now, but it is not our permanent home. We are guests in this place. So often we forget that and treat the earth as if it belongs to us. As if it is our right to take and use as much of the earths resources as we can. We neglect it and mistreat it as if it were something that belonged to us. But how can it belong to us if we are only here for such a short stay.

Imagine if you had spent millenniums building and perfecting a home. Adding touches and adjustments here and there to make the home more perfect, and then tenants moved in and pulled up the floor boards, punched holes in the walls, and painted graffiti on the walls.

Just something to think about. Blessed Be

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Death and Dyeing - Facing My Own Mortality

They're are only two events that every living creature in this world will experience. Birth and Death. Chances are if you are reading this you already have the birth part out of the way. At some point we will all experience the other part. The dying. This is the single scariest thing that any of us will ever have to face.It makes me wonder about afterlife. I wonder if we spend our after life preparing for birth, and is that just as scary.

I can't help but wonder how and when mines gonna go down. Would I want to know ahead of time.

It makes sense to me that it would be best to be prepared for such a huge event. One that you know is coming. Leave the world with all of our affairs in order.

But then I wonder if I would miss out on things. Things that I am supposed to experience.

What are your thoughts on death and Dying.

Taking A Break From My 366 Days

I have been working threw a book called Wicca: A Year and A Day - 366 Days of
Spiritual Practice in the Craft of the Wise. So far it has been a very enlightening experience. I am a better mediator, I notice the sun and the moon and the changes of the season more, and I feel very connected to the earth. The last section I completed was a four days about the maiden goddess. I felt a deep connection and even believe that the goddess that I eventually dedicate myself to will probably be a maiden goddess.

My step-father went into the hospital right after that section was completed, and things got a little bit crazy with me running back and forth to the hospital (about a 1 hour drive each way). The house is a mess, the children are a bit out-of-control after being spoiled by a baby-sitter for so many days. And on top of that we are preparing for my husbands departure.

I tried to begin the section on the mother goddess, but my heart just wasn't in it. I couldn't concentrate or focus. I worked through the first two days of the section and realized that I just wasn't feeling the same connection that I felt with with the maiden. Now I realize this can be caused by more than one reason, but I really want to put my all into every one of my 366 days.

So yesterday I decided to take some time off. The first day off was yesterday, which I spent just relaxing and reading a trashy romance novel (I think that I may still be living under the influence of the maiden goddess), however today I plan to get busy. I am going to get the house back into order and recenter myself, so that as soon as things settle down a little I begin again.

I was really torn about this decision to take a break because I know that spirituality isn't meant to be for times when things are calm and forgot when things get crazy. But I can still be spiritual. I have just put learning on hold until I am better able to absorb.

Now it's time for me to get to work. Blessed Be.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quit Smoking Spell

I am planning to quit smoking this month on the full moon. I know that there is a lot of controversy about quit smoking spells, so here is my take on it.

Will power is an essential ingredient in any spell that you perform. If the will power is not there it will not work. I have the will power. I hate smoking, what it does to my health, my home, my budget and my children. This spell is only to reinforce what I know I can do myself. Because this is my first spell I have spent a lot of time researching and putting together what I think will work. This is what I came up with.

I will start by making a tea out of St. John's Wart for Success and Power

I will use three candles anointed with three different oils:

Red for drive and achievement anointed with yarrow oil to banish anger and hostility that come with quitting.


Black for stopping, anointed with fennel oil for change.

Brown for Endurance anointed with gardenia oil for emotional strength.

I will use Breath Control to raise power because a mini version of the process can be used later on to help with the will power to get through cravings.

After completing 40 breath cycles I will direct the energy into a Quartz Crystal and the tea.

I will then drink the tea.
I am not sure yet if I will carry the quartz in a pouch or have it made into a necklace.

I welcome any tips or tweaks from someone more experienced. Thanks

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ABC Wednesday...D is for Doctors

I am actually writing this on Monday night because tomorrow will be to busy for writing. I need to leave my house at 7:00 am and be at the hospital by 8:00. My father will be having a triple bypass surgery. So today D is for Doctors.


He has had quite a few doctors this week. First was the ER doctor at our local hospital who sent by ambulance to Mercy hospital about an hour away to have a Cardiac Catheterization (I am sure I spelled this wrong). Then was the doctor who performed the procedure and told us that three of his arteries were blocked. That doctor was followed by a parade of others who asked him the same questions over and over (don't these doctors communicate) and finally was the Surgeon.


I am not so sure I liked this Surgeon. I can't tell you one particular thing that is wrong with him. I am sure he is a great doctor (lets hope) but he seemed way to jolly to be dealing with a family in such a stressful time, and although I am sure it wasn't intentional he talked down at my parents as if they were children. And then there was the fact the he referred to herbal medicine as "any of that other crap they try to sell you". Lets just hope that he is better with the scalpel than he is with people.


By the time I get around to posting this it will be Tuesday night and my stepfather will be recovering. I will update you later.

Update : Wed. My father is awake and doing well. He will be moved out of ICU and onto the cardiovascular floor sometime today.


For more D posts visit ABC Wednesday
Blessed Be

Monday, February 8, 2010

More on Guided Meditation

I participated in a group guided meditation this week that brought me deeper into the meditation than any other method I had tried thus far. It was so helpful in showing me ways to deepen my meditation at home. I would like to share a few of my insights with you now.

Make relaxing your body and clearing your head a bigger part of the meditation.

I have always spent about 5 minutes or less total on getting relaxed and clearing my head and then focused on the purpose of the meditation. This time we spent about 10 minutes on relaxing our body's followed by 5 minutes of clearing our head before we even began the focus of the meditation. As soon as we started visualizing I was pulled deeper into the trance and my visualizations were clearer than they had ever been before.

Rethink your meditation position.
When I do a sitting meditation I usually do it cross legged on the floor. This time I was sitting back in a comfortable overstuffed chair with my hands in my lap and my feet flat on the ground. During the meditation I did not feel the floor underneath me or even the chair. I was able to feel the water and the sand that were described by the guide.

Set the atmosphere.

Having the proper setting really does make a difference. Can you smell the garbage in the kitchen. Take it out before you begin so that it does not interfere. Place some fresh flowers in front of you or burn your favorite incense. Is the lighting just right. What is the last thing you see before you close your eyes. Are you worried that you will be interrupted because the area is not private enough. All of these things will effect the quality of your meditation.

Remember these things to help give you a deeper more satisfying experience.

Blessed Be.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

ABC Wednesday Computers, Chalices and Cauldrens Oh my...

I used to have a blog about entering giveaways, but I stopped that because life got to busy to spend 5 or more hours a day entering these giveaways. I don't miss the giveaways as much as I do the blogging. Which is why I started this blog. One thing I remember having a lot of fun with was memes. I have been watching as Bringing Up Salamanders played along with the ABC meme and finally decided to take the big plunge myself today. After today I will start posting on Tuesday's. Today's later is C.

I was racking my brain for something that tells a story about me and begins with the letter C. It took a little while for me to realize that the answers have been coming at me for weeks. You see, my husband is going to be leaving us for a little while very soon. I think he has been feeling a little guilty about this because for the past two weeks he has been giving me a gift almost everyday. He plans on keeping this up until Valentines Day. Some of the gifts are very large, and more money than I feel we can afford to spend and others are very small but show that he truly knows me.


So here are the gifts that begin with C.


The first is my Cauldron and Chalice. They were two separate gifts for two separate days. The cauldron I use for burning charcoal incense (including Frankincense that was a gift from another day). I don't use the Chalice to often because I do rituals as part of a group, it's not a coven, just a group of other pagans from various traditions, but it does look great on my alter.

The next C gifts are the cage and Cockatiel. I got both of these gifts on the same day. There was a time in my life when I had close to 17 cockatiels, but when I moved out of my parents house they stayed and as my parents health faded and they were no longer able to take care of the birds, the cockatiels were adopted by various families. Three of them broke my heart when they left, but my landlord at the time would not accept any pets regardless of how small. Aurthur and Gwen, were the first birds that were actually mine, unlike the birds that we had had up until then which were my mothers. Neko was a baby from a pair of my mothers birds who got very sick around two weeks old and the parents stopped feeding him. After a lot of begging my mother allowed me to hand feed him and care for him rather than letting nature take it's course. That bird was with my night and day until I moved out. My husband new how much I missed my birds and that I still take out pictures from time to time. So he surprised me with a new baby cockatiel last week. I named him Valentine because he was part of this month long Valentines Day thing and he is sitting on my shoulder as I type.



The next C gift was my computer, I purple mini lap top to be exact. We already had a laptop that had been converted into a desktop when the screen broke. I told my husband that I missed being able to use the Internet at the laundry mat and other places that offered wi fi, so one of my gifts was a purple acer. I use it every day even when I am at home. This was kind of a gift for him to because it frees up the desk top for him to use now.

The final C gift that I have received so far is my car. It is a Silver 2000 Dodge Neon, in honer of the Red 1995 Dodge Neon that I lost this past summer when I lent it to a teenager who had just gotten his licence. I know, I know... not smart but I learned my lesson when I had to drive my husbands beet up old pick up truck around for half the year. I promise to take better care of this one.

It has been a very great couple of weeks, although I am worried that the decorative sword I got him for Valentines Day is going to look very cheap in comparison. I am so grateful to have a husband that cares for me so much, but it is still his fault that he has to leave and I wish he would have sacrificed other things so that he could stay with us rather than making up for it by spoiling me with gifts that we can't afford.

That is all of the C gifts that I have received.
For more C Posts visit ABC Tuesday

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Witch School


I figured it was about time that my wee witches started to learn more about our religion. They already know the basics, but they want to start attending some rituals with me so I think it is time for them to learn a little bit more.

I started witch school today with Matthew age 7, Ashley age 6, and Sarah Belle age 3. Sarah won't be attending rituals any time soon and probably won't understand much of what I am telling her, but just being exposed to it should help her later on.

We talked about Imbolic and why we celebrate, and the goddess Brigid and what her qualities are. Then I started to teach them how to call the quarters. This will take them some time to memorize, but they have all the time they need. After that we read a chapter in a pagan children's book, and finished up with a short guided meditation.

All of the children enjoyed it, and I'm not surprised. They all love school and have been so eager to learn more about Wicca since I started practicing openly. I think that tomorrow's lesson will be about the sun and the moon. They should enjoy that.

Blessed Be

Monday, February 1, 2010

Can You Put A Price on Civil Rights...Because the Government Can

Reading and watching the news for the past couple of days has really put me in a bad mood. It has become blatantly clear that no longer are all people created equal and deserving of the same civil rights... unless of course they can afford them.


First their was the Supreme Court ruling giving corporations the same rights as people, allowing them to donate as much money to a campaign as they choose. As if they didn't have enough control of politics already. Now I am watching the news to find out that a cooperation is running for an elected government position and telling everyone that they are willing to fight for their rights if need be. I am wondering if the retards in charge of our country realize that they have given cooperation's more rights than many Americans because cooperation's have the legal right to merge with one and other. All it takes is a few dollars to buy someone else's rights these days.


Then I read about a case in California that is trying to say that Christians and about four other religions are first tier religions and everyone else including Pagans, Hindu's, and Jehovah's Witnesses are second tier religions and are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as first tier religions.


What the Hell is the matter with this country. Did we not learn anything from the past, when we took the rights of Native Americans and African Americans. When will we learn that ALL Americans deserve the same civil rights. If we allow this to keep happening it will only get worse. If you think it has nothing to do with you, your wrong. Before you know it they will say that people who make under a certain amount of money do not get the same rights as millionaires.


We need to stand up, not only for our own rights, but the rights of others as well. Because the longer it goes on the greater the chance that it will happen to you.


Blessed Be

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My First Group Full Moon Ritual

I attended my first full moon ritual on Saturday at Luna's shop of Enchantments in Milford PA. I can not say enough about the experience. There was a mix of people from beginners to devout practitioners of many years. Everyone was so open and welcoming and willing to teach and learn.

When I first arrived I felt a bit shy, because my husband was not able to attend with me do to the fact that our babysitter got sick at the last minute, so I didn't really know anyone there. I used the time to do some shopping and picked up some herbs and candles that I needed. Eventually two other beginners approached me and we had a pleasant conversation and I felt much more at ease.

We all went upstairs to the loft where the circle was actually conducted and the ritual began. I learned so much about how to cast a circle and calling the quarters just from watching Lady Raven, the group leader. I also learned about the property's of the wolf moon and how it had been affecting my life. The energy work that we did with the group was also a great experience. Difficult to describe in words exactly how it made me feel, but rest assured it is a very strong positive feeling.

Unfortunately I was chosen that night to take care of my mother-in-law, so I did not get the opportunity to stay and chat after the circle. Hopefully next time.

Practicing solitary is a amazing experience on it's own for me, but having the opportunity to work with a group has brought my understanding of the divine and the energy we work with to a whole new level.

Blessed Be

What I Think About God...Then and Now

As I child I pictured God as a friendly looking Grandfather type man with a big staff sitting on a cloud. As I grew older and learned more about the vengful side of him the images became less pleasant. All of these images are so different from what I know the divine to be today.

I don't believe that the pictures and statues we use are actualy what the dieties look like. I think they are more of a representation of traits that they carry and the images that we create help us understand them better.

When I was younger I thought that I had to believe in God because my elders said so, and I never thought to question why. For a long time that made me question the existing of any higher power. There was a time that I believed in Science as the only explanation for how the universe works, but eventualy I started questioning why science works. The answer to it all, at least for me, was that a higher power is working "behind the scenes" to create and perfect this world we live in.

I feel like I was cheated as a child by only being taught about one god. The one they said was the only true god. Of course every parent has a right and responsiblilty to teach their children about their believes, but I feel like I was forced to believe what they do, which to me is unfair.

I hope to give my children a more open-minded belief system. Right now I have one child who is a Christian, and one who is a pagan, and one who is too young to understand. I try to avoid letting them see pictures of any particular gods or goddesses because I want them to come to know the divine on their own before they are exposed to other peoples representations.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meditation

Meditation is still new for me. I have only started about two weeks ago, but already I am seeing the benefits. I have tried a few methods and of all of the methods I've tried gazing at a candle flame as been the most effective. The peaceful feeling that I felt afterwords lasted for days. Unfortunately it also took quite a lot of time and with three kids and a very childish husband time is a luxury I don't get much of.

Another method that I have tried is wall gazing. Because I am so short I don't have a chair that I can sit back on and have my feet touch the floor at the same time (Go ahead, laugh if you must) so I sat on the toilet with a soft towel as a cushion. This was effective but I had a very difficult time staying focused.

On the rare occasion that I do have the house to myself for a few minutes, I like to do guided meditiation. I usualy find one that I like in a book or online and then I use my cell phone to record myself reading it so that I can play it back whenever I want. This is also very convienent when I am sitting in the car, waiting to pick someone up form work.

The method that I use most often, only because it is the most convenient is laying in bed and focusing on my breathing. I can do this after everyone is asleep so that I am not disturbed and I sleep so much better after. I am now using prescription sleep aids about once a week as apposed to every night, and I wake up remembering my dreams, including some new skills I had never had before (see I had a dream...What does it mean?)

I would like to start meditating in the morning as well, to start my day off, but I have enough trouble getting up as it is. If I go to bed earlier I won't get the quiet time I need to meditate at night. I will have to think about this a little longer.

Blessed Be

Friday, January 29, 2010

Woke Up With So Many Questions

It must be the Imbolic energy getting to me or something. First the whole braiding issue and now this. I woke up this morning with a ton of questions in my head. Questions that I have never thought to ask before.
Questions like

Where does the Universe End and What lies beyond it?

If Scientists believe that a big bang in the universe started the earth then what started the universe?

If we were put on this earth by a god or goddess or both, what was the purpose?

These questions have been bothering me all day. I know that most of them, I will probably never know the answers to, but I can't help myself from trying to figure them out. The problem is I get to a certain point and then I have to stop because I know that there is a concept in all of the questions that I just can't wrap my head around. I do think this concept is the answer to all of these questions, but I don't know what it is.




Well that's all for today. I have to go give myself a head ache trying to answer unanswerable questions. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Had A Dream. What does It Mean?



A very strange thing happened to me this week. I learned how to braid hair with four strands. Okay, I know that, that isn't so strange all by itself, but it gets weirder. I learned this new skill without being taught. I had a dream one night that I was braiding four stands of fabric that were hanging from a curtain rod in my kitchen. I have never seen this done before, infact I usualy make a mess trying to braid three strands of anything. But when I woke up I was able to do the braid on my duaghters hair perfectly!

Earlier in the week, I had another dream about braiding. I was sitting on my bed braiding my daughters hair. She was standing in front of my. The only unusualy thing about this dream was that the braid was on the right side of her head rather than in the back. Another thing that may be important is that I was rushing in both dreams, yet the results came out perfectly.

I don't usualy remember any of my dreams, so to rember two dreams about the same thing in one week must mean that they have some significance. I have looked up dream meanings but I am getting so many different results that I don't know which ones to believe.

If anyone hear has any expeirence with dream interpretation your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much and Blessed Be.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Sun Does Not Rise Over Hawley PA

I checked my trusty Farmer's Almanac on Friday night, figured out what time the sun would be up. I set my alarm clock and woke up early on a Saturday morning...on purpose. I walked outside in the freezing cold with my compass in hand and waited and watched. I watched the sky get brighter for a good 20 minutes longer than I was supposed too. But that big bright ball never showed up.



So the next morning, the only other chance I would have had to sleep in for a week, I got up early and tried again. This time I drove to the lake. I figured without the buildings in the way to block the view I would have a better shot. Do you think I had better luck...Nope. Not a chance!



The sun does not rise over Hawley PA, but I will not give up. I will continue to get up early every morning. I will see a sunrise someday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Am Finaly Taking A Stand on a Controversial Issue - Gay Marige

I tend to try to stay neutral on controversial topics most of the time. I don't like taking sides so even if I agree with someone I tend to steer the conversation to a different topic just so I don't have to argue my side. I don't like that about me. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything. (Buy the way, I came to this realization along with many others while following along with an awsome blog I read called The Prosperity Project.)


So I am taking a stand on issue, one that I never thought much of because it didn't effect my life directly. Recently the topic of civil rights has been on mind. I am starting to see that anyone's civil rights being violated has a huge effect on me as an American.


It wasn't so long ago that mixed race couples were fighting for there rites to get married. Its hard to believe that people were so prejudice back then. It scary to think that our children and grandchildren will think of us the same way.


Denying Any American Basic Civil Rights (or complex ones for that matter) Because of Race Religion of Sexual Orrientations is Wrong. If they can take those rights from one group they can take them from a group you belong to.


All people are created equal regardless of race, religion or sexual orrientation. Thats all I got to say. That is wear I stand on Gay marriage.

Time: A Valuable Commodity

I was sitting outside a bank the other day and noticed a poster saying "How Do You Want To Spend Your Time". I found it kind of funny that the bank was asking how you wanted to spend your time rather than how you wanted to spend your money.


But it did get me thinking about time and how we are allotted a certain amount when you first enter the world. How much you have depends on a ton of variables just like with money. In most cases you can earn more by working hard (i.e. working out, eating healthy) but in some cases you just get lucky and end up with more than most people without having to do anything (good genes) and in other cases you get stuck with a raw deal and have a lot less. (not so good genes).


You can buy certain things with your time just like with money. You could choose to buy a few months of bliss through drugs but it will cost you more than money. It will cost you the years it takes off your life. You can even buy money with your time by working at job. There really is no such thing as a free lunch because everything costs you time.


I am starting to realize how valuable my time really is and I have to rethink how I am going to spend what I have.

A Shamanic Expierience

One of the hallmarks of a shamanic experience are demonstrations of natural psychic, magical or healing abilities.



I have always had an extra sense that seemed normal to me. I don't know if it is considered psychic or magical, or just plain strange (many people consider me just plain strange and I tend to agree with them) but I can tell when people were pregnant before they know themselves. I don't know how I know this. Its not like I can sense the baby's heartbeat or read the baby's mind or anything like that. I just know that they are pregnant. It generally only works on people that I have met more than once, and I do have to be with them. I can't tell from a phone conversation or anything.



When I was six I told my mom that she was going to have another baby. She just laughed and said I hope not. A week later she sat me and my sister down and told me that she was in fact going to have another baby. A few weeks later when she had lost the baby, I knew about that too.



It was at some point in high school that I learned that it is best to keep these things to myself after telling a teacher congratulations on her pregnancy. Apparently she didn't know yet and thought that I was calling her fat. Even after she found out that I was right she never liked me. I didn't do to well in her class.



They say that these things typically follow events such as near death experiences, high fevers, traumatic events ext. ext. ext. I can't remember that far back to tell you if I had any of these things happen to me or not, but I can tell you from stories that my father once left me in my car seat on top of the car and started driving. (Thanks Dad!)



One thing that I do remember is from when I was 11 years old, long after I starting having this ability but long before I knew that it was an ability. I had been sick for a while and I had spiked a high fever. My mother was trying to get me in the bathtub to cool me down and I was fighting her. (I may have been a pretty tough 11 year old, but not as tough as her) At some point I stopped fighting her and started talking to the whale that was telling me it was okay to get in. (I warned you that I was strange) Now of course I have considered that this was a hallucination brought on by high fever, but the whale was telling me that I had a special purpose and that I needed to get better so that I could fulfil this purpose. I don't remember most of this conversation but I know that it changed me and the way I look at the world.



So maybe it was a Shamanic experience and maybe it was the fever induced delusion of a very strange child. Who knows. I suppose it is the outcome that really matters.



Blessed Be.

Cleaner and Greener

I have been feeling lately that I don't really do enough to connect with and protect with the earth. I don't have a yard and in the winter a walk to the park is not very desirable. Aside from a trip to the recycling center twice a month I don't really do very much at all. I decided this week I was going to start using homemade green cleaning products, and (sighs...) actually cleaning.

I have been looking around on the Internet for a few recipes and here is what I have found so far:

Soft Scrubber - Take 1/2 cup baking soda and add liquid detergent until the texture is like frosting. If you want to store this in a jar add a tsp. of vegetable glycerin to keep it from drying out.
When I make this soft scrubber I will probably use shampoo as a liquid detergent because I have used it cleaning my showers before and it actually works works pretty well.

Glass Cleaner - mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon soap or detergent 3 tbsp. vinegar and 2 cups water in a spray bottle. The soap in this recipe is important because it will help was away the residue from the toxic cleaners you have used in the past.

Oven Cleaner - Sprinkle Water generously over the bottom of the oven then coat with at least a cup of baking soda. Sprinkle more water over the top and let sit overnight. The grease should wipe away easily. After you get the bulk of the mess cleaned up use a small amount of detergent to get what remains.

All Purpose Cleaner - Add 1/2 teaspoon washing soda a dab of liquid soap and 2 cups hot water to a spray bottle. Shake well until the washing soda is dissolved.

Furniture Polish - Mix together 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar of fresh lemon juice in a glass jar. This recipe stores really well.

Mold Killer - Mix 2 tsp. Tea tree oil with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray on the problem are and don't rinse.

Mopping- mix 1 cup of vinegar and a few drops of olive oil and 1 gallon of water. Some recipes recommend baby oil but I don't recommend this because baby oil can be toxic if inhaled in large amounts so I prefer not to keep it in my house. Kids will always find away to get to something they want. For tough jobs add 1/4 cup borax but use this sparingly on linoleum.

Wish me luck with this. I suppose I should get off my butt and do some cleaning now. Blessed Be!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Questioning Your Spiritual Path

One of the books that I am reading recommends that I answer the following questions. The book uses the word Wicca but because I have not chosen any particular path yet I will substitute the word Pagan.



1. Why am i exploring the Pagan Path?



I have been exposed to both the Christian and the Pagan path in childhood and nothing about Christianity ever made sense to me. Why should I feel guilty just for being human? Why would God really punish an entire race because two people millions of years ago took a bite of an apple? Why should I be submissive to a man when I am just as capable as him making the same decisions? It makes more sense to me that their is both a male and a female divinity and I feel a connection with the goddess that I never felt to the Christian God.



2. What were my previous spiritual practices?



Like I mentioned before I was a Christian. I went to Sunday School as a child and even as an adult I have attempted to find a Christian church that felt right to me but it just wasn't going to happen. I have also explored Wicca and while that may be the right path for me I am not sure yet. The "Witch Wars" led me to do research on more pagan paths to help figure out what is right for me.



3. Did any of these past practices lead me to investigate Paganism?



Yes they did as I described above. My mother was also a huge influence in my initial investigation and my daughters have re-awakened that interest.



4. What are my fears in engaging in this path.



I am worried about finding a teacher that may mislead me or try to take advantage which is why I am working primarily with books right now. I do plan to get involved with a local pagan group but as for finding a teacher that may have to wait until I overcome my fear.

Another fear I have is my fathers side of the family finding out. I know that I have every right to explore any religion of my choice but it always hurts to hear that someone you care about is disappointed in you.



5. How will I deal with friends and family members who might not approve of my spiritual search?



This kind of goes with the last answer. I do not plan to share my religious practices with anyone who might feel the need to judge me. If they do find out it may hurt but I will not let them make me feel like I have done something wrong.



6. Aside from transitioning to a new spiritual path are there any other major life events that might impact your life at this time?



Yes, my husband will be leaving for several months at the end of February do to circumstances beyond our control. I will miss him tremendously and while we will be able to contact each other it will be limited. I have taken care of the home and children on my own in the past but it is not easy, especially while dealing with the emotions of him being gone.



7. If I have life events happening right now is this the best time to explore a new spiritual path? Why or Why not?



Yes, for a few reasons. 1. Because this needs to be about me, and I have a tendency to let my husbands opinions influence me so while he is gone that will not be an issue. 2. Without this spiritual path I have nothing, and to go through a difficult time alone without any higher power is ten times worse. 3. All of the books and learning will take up a lot of time and make time pass faster.



Thats all of the questions. Blessed Be

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My first Ritual

Yesterday I participated in my first ritual. It was a small one, but effective. The purpase of it was to melt away a negative emotion. I started by etching the emotion on a white candle then closing my eyes and allowing my self to feel it. I made note to what type of memories were associated with it helping me discover the root cause. I then lit the candle and watched as it melted into something else at the same time seeing the emotion and the attached memories melt away and transform into something else. I then took a long walk and burried it far away. This was not easy considering the ground was frozen and the only thing I took with me to dig with was a tablespoon!



My initial reaction to starting this ritual was exsiment. I mean after all your first time doing most things is exciting (hopefuly) and their was also a serious undertone because It was important to me that it worked. I began very dedicated but after a half hour the candle had only melted a tiny bit I started to feel a bit restless and I noticed my attentions were drifting so I turned and exhast fan on low and the candle did start to burn a little bit faster. I was then able to focus my attention on transforming my emotions for the rest of the time. I had etched the word very low in the candle and once the wax started melting the actual word I did start feeling a change in me taking place. That realy helped to reasure me.



I think that this ritual has really helped me let go of things that needed to be let go of. I feel much more at peace now and I hope this peace lasts for a while.



Blessed Be.