Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon

The moon is currently in Aries
The moon is 1 day old

Holidays

On a cool afternoon recently, I laid in the grass and grounded then centered and balanced my chakras.  It was glorious.

On a cool afternoon recently, I laid in the grass and grounded then centered and balanced my chakras. It was glorious.

We are coming upon the time of the second harvest, Mabon.  Before going into my plans and talking a little more about Mabon, yes I know it’s not actually an old name, that it was made up to sound old and blah blah blah.  I will continue to use it, because it resonates and speaks to my original roots in Wicca and new age spirituality almost 20 years ago.

As I was saying, it’s time for the second harvest.  This is the Autumnal Equinox, opposite the Vernal Equinox for spring.  The two days where the day is evenly split between light and dark.  For me, I take this time welcome the harvest that I am reaping in this year’s magickal workings.  There, of course, has been a lot going on in my year.  I have seen huge changes and shifts in my own life that speak to a more peaceful and abundant future.  I am working at healing myself on every level so that I can ultimately find true happiness WITHIN as well as out.  It’s a lot of work.

As my shifting perspective moves from summer into fall, I come to several conclusions about the year thus far.  It has been hell on wheels.  It has been transformative.  It has been amazing.  It has been sad.  It has been angry.  My goals are simple, I want to be healthier, I wanted my friends to stick by me as I went through some personally trying and dark stuff.  I needed people to understand that I am not going to always be right there and ready or willing to do things or even talk all the time.  I have to be able to do this self-healing work.  I’m sorry that my healing affected my friends.  That was never my intention.  I am a different person than I was even two months ago.

Every morning, I wake up and breathe deeply, thankful that I have made it to another day.  Each morning, I give my family all the love I have and then I give the same amount to friends that cross my path in that day.  It will not always be the same people but everyday I am sending a little more love into the world.  You see, the more I love myself, the more I have to share with the world.  My mind is expanding, it’s perceiving things differently and I am more balanced than I have been in years.  Not there yet, but it’s happening.

This Mabon, I am going to make my red wine Mabon Pot Roast, I am going to share that with friends and family.  What is left, I might just package up to give to some homeless folks.  I am thankful to still be here.  I am thankful to have friends who truly care about me.  I am thankful to the family that loves me.  I am thankful to my Coven.  I am thankful to my Circle.  I am thankful to my Tribe.

What are you thankful for this Mabon?

Samhain Altar at the completion of the ritual.

Samhain Altar at the completion of the ritual.

Last Thursday, Sacred Mists had our Sabbat Ritual for Samhain.  We do this on an alternate day for availability and attendance.  With Halloween being so busy and the weekend of being filled with activities, we choose an alternate day so that our students can be present with the Circle and enjoy our Sabbat.

This year, we did something a little different.  Different in that I wrote and led the Sabbat instead of our traditional ritual written and led by our founder Lady Lorien.  The ritual I wrote was the completion of a cycle I began in February of this year.  At Pantheacon this year, I was gifted with the information to present this particular ritual and meditation for this year and as such it was an amazing process filled with spirit and Deity.  When you channel a ritual during the writing process, you are never for sure, until the end that the ritual is going to meet the needs of the group you will be offering it to.  I feel this ritual met and exceeded the needs of my circle and after both rituals I felt simply wonderful.

 

Smoke from the Ancestral messages + offering

Smoke from the Ancestral messages + offering

A little about this ritual I asked everyone to prepare both a message to their ancestors for Hades and something you wish to remove from your life, be it a habit, a health issue or something else to be replaced with something helpful that Persephone will take to the underworld to plant in her rose garden. From this fertilizer helpful + positive things will come to each of us.   This was to be a ritual of transformation as well as ancestral.

Flare up from Ancestral messages + offerings

Flare up from Ancestral messages + offerings

Both instances of the ritual were incredibly powerful for me and I felt major shifting within beginning.  During the second ritual it was dusk into full dark here in California and something clicked in that ritual that just was immense for me personally.

One of the things that I did for this ritual was to have the ancestral messages and the release + welcome written on special versions of my Color Magick Sizzling Spell Paper that is sold at the Sacred Mists Shoppe.  If you have never worked with my paper before, I must share with you that it’s positively amazing to work with for spell and ritual work.

As I worked through each aspect of this ritual and performed on behalf of my coven & circle I felt a shift deep within my spirit that I am still working to understand fully.  The veil, has seemingly, been lifted from my eyes and the darkness and fog that has followed me for more than a year now seems to be dissipating.  I am seeing more “light” than I have in sometime.

The last thing I wish to share from the ritual is a super short (6 second) video of the release + welcome offerings as they burnt.  It was a beautiful and fiery display!

Aff_HighPriestessTo say that this week has not been at all what I anticipated, would be an understatement.  As we move closer and closer to the holidays, it seems that more and more is heaped upon my plate for completion and doing.  I wonder, every day, if I will be able to accomplish my goals for that day and yet I still approach each day with hope and seeing the beauty in the world around me.  One of the most important things to me is a sense of peace in my life and making my mark on a given day.

Things that are very much a part of me and my life are simple and yet not at the same time.  I am a woman with a heart desiring to grow and evolve spiritually, I have a family I adore and want to take care of, I have friends that I want to see, I have work that is deeply rewarding to my spirit and life, I have challenges in each of these things that help me grow and improve.

I’ve spent some time this morning with one of my great joys of my work.  I sat down and reviewed and graded First Degree homework for the last third of the degree at Sacred Mists.  This truly is something I receive joy from.  Not only do I get to work one on one with students and their lessons but I also get to learn from these experiences and feel some of what they feel when they are doing the work.  It’s absolutely fantastic and something I don’t know I will ever be able to give up.

I  pulled my card yesterday, I just didn’t get to post it.  Yesterday was the emperor and my affirmation for that card was modified to be “I work with truth and for the highest good, I lead with love and wisdom, I am content”.  Today my card is the High Priestess.  Each of these cards has spoken to me in such an interesting way.  This card shows the Priestess robed with the colors of twilight on one side of the inner “cape” and the other side peacock feathers.  The affirmation is “I lift the veils of ignorance and darkness”, I am going to modify this one (surprise!) to be ” I lift the veils of darkness and shatter the illusions, I share wisdom and light with love and joy”.  Yes I think that will work lovely for me today.

Again there is a lot on my “plate” for work but I will get through it, all the while spreading with each interaction joy and love.

Aff-StrengthIt’s interesting when little synchronicities show up in life.  When joking around about the state of life this morning with my good friend Judy, she was all “just use your mad magic skills to fix it, be all like bippity boppity boo and shit”, pretty funny really.  I’ve been up for hours and hours and it’s about time for some caffeine so I pulled my card and I pulled Strength.

I laughed, out loud when I saw the card.  First it’s beautiful but the timing was well, amusing and the affirmation…added to it.  On the card it reads “I wisely use my life-force energy to create and direct my good work in the world”.

I am modifying today’s affirmation, surprise, to “I wisely use my energy to create and direct good in the world around me.  I manifest in my life strength, prosperity and wisdom”  I am going all encompassing with this one as there are a great number of changes that are on the horizon looming at me and taunting me.  I had a fairly decent weekend but still found myself stressed out yesterday pretty hard over the state of work and life right now.

It’s the 2nd week of December and I’ve not set my Yule Altar, I’ve not decorated the house at all.  After Thanksgiving last  year I had decorated and took everything down at New Year.  At the rate my “bah humbug” is currently eroding into life, there will be no decorations.  It’s not that I don’t want to do it, I just can’t find the energy to devote to the process.  I don’t want to even participate in Yule right now at all.  I am participating but my personal energy is lagging on it pretty far behind everyone else right now.  Maybe this week I will use this affirmation and just get it done.

Changing the affirmation again… “I wisely use my energy to create and direct cheer and holiday tidings in the world around me.  I manifest joy, strength, prosperity and wisdom”.  Yes that should do it.

Are you lagging in the holiday cheer right now?  Let me know and let’s kick it together!

Star-Aff-Card

As I mentioned yesterday I started working on my daily practice again in the mornings.  While mornings are  a little bit all over the place for me, I still get my own spirit taken care of.

For this morning, I got up after playing with Ariyana for a few and popped breakfast in the microwave for Keith, fed the animals then sat down at my place on the table.  I lit my Yankee jar candle.  I arranged my work bits and bobs then started reading my RSS feed and while doing that, moved my card from yesterday to the bottom and pulled a new card.  Today’s card is the Star.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Star, Sun and Moon in the major arcana so looking at this card this morning was a nice beginning.  As you can see it’s a lovely card with the traditional symbolism plus the addition of the Ibis in the background.  The ibis is a bird that I loved taking pictures of in South FL and will always be a part of my past so it’s fitting to find it behind the woman in this card.

The affirmation for this card is “I am always growing with wisdom and spiritual knowledge.”  A fitting card for today as I move forward with my own practice and my circle locally.  Holidays wreck a lot of time and I don’t see this as any different so what I’ve done with the circle, for now, is opened up the house on Saturday for a few hours for any of the gals to come by and talk or work on something and we will still have rituals together when we can.  It’s very open and free flowing right now, which is necessary since well holidays are crazy for me and not really showing signs of getting “less” crazy. HA.

I’ve got a lot on my work plate right now and I am really enjoying the diversity and challenge it’s bringing me to maintain my sanity and getting everything done.  I am pretty much welcoming anyone to stop by on Saturday’s for visits throughout the holiday time since that’s the best way to spend time with me…I’ll go out and do stuff when I can as well.  Holidays are here, treat your family with the best gift…time with you.

To say that the last month or so has been busy or stressful, would be an understatement.

Work things began heating up when Julie went out on disability for her shoulder surgery.  This changed everything with the way I work and has been super stressful for me.  I went from being able to easily handle my duties and work on projects some to being overwhelmed and it taking me longer than I am content with to get things done.  I’ve been spending half my day doing shipping and receiving plus working on making sure my normal stuff doesn’t slip through the cracks. It is starting to get super busy for holidays and I am thankful for the patience that the majority has shown during this time so far.

A few weeks into this Keith and I, had the opportunity to visit with some good friends of ours from West Palm Beach for a day.  It was fantastic, relaxing and just what the doctor ordered.  We had been stressing out a lot, in part due to my work and in part due to Seth, our eldest cat.  Seth had been sick off and on for a couple weeks and we were not able to get any real answers from the vet or the specialist yet and it was weighing on us a great deal.  Our visit started with a whale watching excursion down in Monterey Bay.  It was glorious to be on the water and the icing on the cake?  WHALES!  Not only did we see Russo’s dolphins, humpback whales but the rockstars of the whale world…ORCA.  It was so cool to be able to see all this.  It was the perfect start to the weekend and the best anniversary present imaginable.  It was Friday 11-1, and the day after our 13th anniversary.

Once we got home…well things slid downhill pretty fast for our peaceful relaxation.  Seth was getting worse and worse.  The vets could find nothing wrong with him and were beginning to think it was a tumor, likely on his brain somewhere that was affecting him with the symptoms he had.  Ultimately at 15 years old, the MRI and potential chemo/radiation treatment seemed like the worst thing to do for him.  We had a long talk with him and he let us know he was ready to go.  By Monday night, he had crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

At this point queue a wicked sinus infection that had me out for several hours everyday that week and falling further behind at work than I thought I could dig my way out of.

That was two weeks ago.  This last week, I felt pretty decently and am pretty caught up on everything right now.  Of course now is the time for the Holiday Season to begin and thus begin kicking my arse.  This is not a bad thing, it’s wonderful to be busy…but projects are languishing and well that bugs me.  I’ll be glad when the silly season is over.

I’ve started making gifts for Yule for those few people that I am close to and want to make them something special and for family.  Unfortunately, the side effect of being so busy is that I am not eating as much homemade meals as I was so there is way too much salt and preservative in my diet.  I’ll work on changing this and pre-cooking on weekends.  Sometimes you need to take 3 steps back to take one solid step forward.

Now I will share with you some of my pictures from the whale watching tour…it was glorious.

DSCN0831Yesterday I celebrated Mabon with my Coven, The Willow Grove of the Sacred Mists.  It is always a true joy for me to celebrate with the amazing women who have joined this little group.  We are at 5 members now and 3 came yesterday.  It was a lovely little ritual and I am really enjoying putting things together for everyone.  Our Mabon ritual was beautiful and I truly feel a bond with these beautiful women.  As time marches on we will, no doubt, gain new members and go through all that entails and I can’t wait to share the beautiful aspects of life with everyone.

After our ritual was concluded we adjourned to the inside of the house for our feast.  I made potato corn chowder, Pam brought fresh made zucchini bread, fresh berries brought by Janet and Robin.  We chatted and ate together and started doing some planning for activities and crafts together.

Our gatherings are all set up to Samhain with the ability to jiggle the dates slightly.  You can tell that it is now fall here, the air has taken on a slight chill with the same temperatures at night and the days are noticeably shorter than in the summer.  All in all it’s been a great year even with the difficulties that I have encountered.  Triumph over adversity!

On the 28th I am going to do my first ever 5K and I will write about that in a little while separately, everything is so exciting this time of year and I am beside myself with the joy of the season.  After circle yesterday, Jenn came up with Jersey.  We went over to the Mare Island Preserve and walked.  I stopped a little up from the Bowser Garden (half way)…well I stopped at the Garden then rested and continued up a little.  We had dinner at our favorite little family Mexican restaurant around the corner from the house.  I got a new fitbit tracker since the case on the Ultra cracked.  I have the Zip now which will do wireless updates to the dashboard.  only problem is I lost a couple days of data off the Ultra.  Bummer.  Yesterday I did almost 6700 steps. Not my highest but pretty darned good.

I am just all over the place today with my thoughts and am going to call it for right now before I just ramble on and on. 😉

Keith & I at Muir Overlook a month or two ago

Keith & I at Muir Overlook a month or two ago

While life is often filled with a roller coaster of emotions, this morning I am taking pause to realize that I am blessed in this life.  I am surrounded with people who love me and work in a field that fulfills me both in heart and spirit.  My husband is positively amazing in supporting me in what I do.

The roller coaster of this year has been pretty busy and yet at the end of the day I know I am blessed to be alive right now with this family and this love in my life.

Roller Coaster events of this year that were rather traumatic for me:

  • Found out Dad has Lung Cancer
  • Work things for K were not always good
  • Interview process for K’s new job across the country was intense
  • Smoking was still happening despite Lung Cancer and Chemo treatments
  • Cross Country MOVE!
  • Settling into a new state and town!
  • Job craziness for me
  • Poppy dies
  • Dad gets admitted for a hospital stay (still there it’s intense)
  • Physical store from my work is closing in 11 days
Lorien & I on Thanksgiving at her Mom's

Lorien & I on Thanksgiving at her Mom’s

All in all pretty stressful as these are the highlights.  I am blazing new trails, creating new traditions in my new home state and loving every minute of it.

Every minute leads to something new and amazing.  The first major holiday we experienced was Thanksgiving.  We spent this with my best friend and her family over in Napa.  It was a wonderful time and a tradition that I am going to enjoy doing for years to come.

Decorations have gone up at home, another first in many years for Yule.  Heck we’ve even started doing Yule gifts for family and are making sure that we cover every bit of our new family.  I am so thankful to have this family out here that has taken us and added us to their lovely hearts.  I am truly looking forward to Yule and Christmas this year.  As each day comes and goes I feel more and more comfortable in my own skin, with my own talents and with what I do with my life.  I am far from perfect and the holidays burn me out like none other, being in retail, and yet I would not give it up for the world.  I hope to be doing this until I am old and gray.

Decorations on the front of the house.  The faux "pine" garland is wrapped around the entire entry banister area and then the wreath is made by me.

Decorations on the front of the house. The faux “pine” garland is wrapped around the entire entry banister area and then the wreath is made by me.

So yes, life has it’s ups and downs and yes it can be quite challenging AND painful, it is also infinitely enriching and delightful.  Like no other time in my life, I feel truly blessed with opportunity, joy, laughter and love and my family and friends are the gifts that keep blessing me.

No matter what happens in your life, in your days, in your moments, let your breath be stolen by beauty, let your love be captured, share your blessings with friends and family.  We are all blessed to be able to walk this path and lifetime together.  I thank each of you for being a part of my life and hope to continue into the future.

Yule Altar in the Living Room.  Altar cloth (hard to see) quilted by my Mother in Law, pine cone harvested by me!

Yule Altar in the Living Room. Altar cloth (hard to see) quilted by my Mother in Law, pine cone harvested by me!

Around the house it’s starting to look like Yule. I’ve two altars set up this year. Pictured to the left is the altar in my living room in the wee hours of the morning.

This is the first time in years I’ve felt like decorating, it is a lovely change for sure.

Outside I have wrapped “pine” looking garland around the railings and made a little wreath which hangs on the banister outside. It looks lovely.

This is our first Yule away from our families and we are planning on spending it with our chosen family in Napa. Lorien & her family are fabulous and I really am looking forward to the new fun with them.

It’s been amazing sharing traditions with my extended family out here and well just comfortable really. It was easy to slide in at thanksgiving and feel a part of the family. I have a feeling Christmas might be a little more difficult since we are used to sharing it with Keith’s folks and their friends every year so this year will be the 2nd holiday of this year without them. I don’t know but I am looking forward to it just the same.

It is amazing to me exactly how different the world is when you are happy.  I feel like myself…like truly like myself.  I am an awesome person with a lot of love and laughter to share with my friends and family.  I am enjoying all my hobbies again and spending time out in nature walking and so many other things that I had forgotten I loved doing!

This post is going to be picture heavy since I want to share the pictures I put on Instagram last night of the house and my altars. 🙂 Let the pictures begin, the smaller pictures will open up to a larger image!  The last three are Instagram taken the Altar I took with my Nikon D70 in low light early morning.

The Yule Tree is a baby Cypress that is potted.  I will be able to put it in the ground in Spring!

The Yule Tree is a baby Cypress that is potted. I will be able to put it in the ground in Spring!

Decorations on the front of the house.  The faux "pine" garland is wrapped around the entire entry banister area and then the wreath is made by me.

Decorations on the front of the house. The faux “pine” garland is wrapped around the entire entry banister area and then the wreath is made by me.

I went with red lights for the window up front and LOVE how they look.  They are held in place with suction cups and are LED so they use less electricity and are brighter than traditional lights!

I went with red lights for the window up front and LOVE how they look. They are held in place with suction cups and are LED so they use less electricity and are brighter than traditional lights!

I put this wreath together with a base I picked up at Michael's and then added the blue and silver glittered pinecones and red bells at the bottom and the ornaments around it.  I like it!

I put this wreath together with a base I picked up at Michael’s and then added the blue and silver glittered pinecones and red bells at the bottom and the ornaments around it. I like it!