Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon

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

joy

Concept of balance and harmony. White rocks zen on the sea with a chakra balance watermark demonstrating energetic balance.

Concept of balance and harmony. White rocks zen on the sea with a chakra balance watermark demonstrating energetic balance.

When you think of balance, what do you think of?  Does your mind take you to balanced perched rocks?  Perhaps then a spiritual aura balance of chakra energy?  Enough time in the day to do all the things you are expected to do?  For most of us, we will identify with one of these concepts of balance.  There are of course many others but for this, let’s focus on the most common that we feel.  Personally, I experience all of these and many others!  When you ask many people, what it is they seek in their life improvement, they will tell you that they would like a better balance on x, y, z.  Let’s examine what balance is defined as.  In the most basic definition, for this post, balance can be defined as a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or importance in one’s life.  Our equilibrium is at optimum and we are in a perfect state of homeostasis.  This is the dream many of us have had over our years on this beautiful spinning home, we call Earth.  As I continue to walk my path and evolve as a person, I begin to truly see things differently.  I see things not only more precisely as well as more softly.  What is this nonsense I have written?

OK, let me break it down a little bit from my perspective.  The goals in my life have always revolved some sort of balance in my life.  I want a better work, life balance.  I want a better work, life, spirit balance.  I want a better balance of ALL THE THINGS!  Now, I just look at all of that and roll my eyes.  Balance, by it’s very nature is precarious.  If you pull just the right rock from that pile in the picture above, the entire structure will collapse and the balance, undone.  If you have a precise amount of time planned in your day for travel time to and from work.  Let’s say, you do not allow any “wiggle room”.  You must leave and arrive at the appointed time only.  You are driving to work and someone gets in an accident and now you are sitting in traffic and going to be late.  You cannot apply one analogy to the other, they are completely different concepts of balance but can tie together if it is time that you seek to bring your balance of life, work, spirit.

Do you see where this is going?  If one little thing shifts, the structure *can* fall.  Your homeostasis is false in that you think you are balanced but what you are doing is avoiding new experiences and possibilities in rigidity and therefore your homeostasis will disappear and you will again struggle to regain that position.  A grain of sand can shift the wind, the wind cannot shift the cliffside so easily.  I do not know but in my head, this makes sense.  I am leaving out things from my life, I am not experiencing things in order to work ever harder on this balance that is always out of reach.  It is the goal of many of us, to rise to challenges and to do better than we did the day before.  In this we are always seeking that balance because it’s never quite right and we can do better.

Is this process a futile practice?  Definitely, not.  I know I just said that it’s not attainable and as a result, would it not be understood that to waste energy in such endeavors would be ridiculous.  Except, that’s not what I really said.  That last part, we all read that.  I read it and sometimes I type it and believe it.  In working to achieve these balances, to better ourselves, we are in essence finding a balance of possibilities and experiencing new things.  I still do not believe balance is possible, if we were perfectly balanced we would cease to truly learn and grow as we would not seek out new experiences.  Why seek out these things when we have attained balance?  Interesting and random thoughts rolling around in my head at 11pm at night when I should be in bed, with getting up for work early tomorrow.

Hi there folks!  I realize that I’ve probably lost anyone who still followed my blog in my once again absence.  To say that life caught up with me?  Well that would be a gross understatement.  We have arrived on the final day of August in 2016, it’s 10pm Pacific and I am sitting here with an amazing amount of thoughts rolling through my head.

In the last little while, I’ve been through so much and have really spiritually grown in new and fantastic ways.  My path has deepened.  My crystal healing work is continuing to grow in terms of knowledge and overall collection.  I am content again.  I am going to start working out again via BeachBody On Demand.  I am stepping outside my comfort zone and really working on myself and the world around me.

I realized, not that long ago, that while I may not believe it, I do have value.  I do deserve happiness.  I deserve feeling and being beautiful.  What does this all mean?  Well I am doing new things.  I am starting small with things like my hair, my wardrobe and working out at least 5 days a week to start.  I am writing a lot, I am learning a lot.  Above all, I’ve learned to love myself for who I am not for any of the qualifiers that people put on me.  What do they know that I do not, about myself?  Pretty much nothing.

Who am I?  I am a witch.  I am fat. I am beautiful. I am worthy.  I am loved.  I love.  I have some really fantastic friends, who when I was at my absolute lowest, they stood by me.  These are the people that lift me up instead of tear me down.  The friends who helped me when I fell, the ones who stood for me when I could not.  Beautiful spirits, each one of them that stood by me when I could not stand by them because I was broken and struggling to regain myself.  I lost a few friends along the way.  People that I thought would stick by me, when I reached this low point.  Guess I was fooled.  That hurt a bit.  I am not going to let it keep me down. Ultimately, I cannot be responsible for  anyone other than myself and how I react to things.  I won’t defend myself, I don’t need to. I will not justify myself or my absence, I don’t need to.  I will stand and know that I have come through the gates of Tartarus and emerged stronger, smarter and a different person.

To everyone that I have EVER known, whether present in my life or not, I thank you so much for your contribution to my growth.  It was through your season(s) of friendship that I have emerged on the other side of this a different person.  To the folks who are still with me, I cannot say, words are so inadequate, how much you have meant to me as I navigated these dark corridors of my shadow workings.  I love each of you…my friends past and present.

In this moment, I thank everyone who has ever been in my life.  I offer you my love and genuine thanks in this blessed moment as I transition to what comes next.

In this moment, I thank everyone who has ever been in my life. I offer you my love and genuine thanks in this blessed moment as I transition to what comes next.

Altar from September.   Some of the stones have changed but the feeling is the same.

Altar from September. Some of the stones have changed but the feeling is the same.

A lot of things have been floating in and out of my head lately.  Some of them about life and weight and health while others are about how I can, energetically and spiritually get through this dark night and continue my personal evolution.  Each thought that comes to me I try to acknowledge it so that I can hopefully remember it.  Right now the magick of the moment is daily practice of my path and finding health together.

What is daily practice?  As with all things, it’s a matter of perspective.  Each of us will find something different that is vital to our spiritual growth and well being.  For me my daily practice is simple, elegant in a manner and meaningful to me.

I have a friend who has not had “sacred space” readily available for about three years.  That’s not to say she’s stopped practicing just she’s been doing it on the fly and nothing of permanence has been set up for her in her own home.  I took some time today to help her do some cleaning and I set up some sacred pieces for her then smudged.  The house definitely felt different after the fact and I can tell that things will start to improve for her.  I see things getting better.  She just needed someone to come in and help her get it started after a move.

Anyway, I digressed greatly.  Magick and Practice does not have to be these big grand gestures.  They do not have to follow a formula or a specific set of correspondences.  Do you FEEL something different?  Then go with it.  Spirit calls to us in different ways.  Why do we have to follow the “old rules” when life changes and evolves?

Do the Gods appear differently to you?  That’s ok.  Is your altar set up in the North?  That’s ok.  Do you prefer a crystal for a wand and an antler for an athame?  That’s ok too.  Spirit is fluid.  Some of my own personal practices go against the grain.  I do sacred showers instead of baths for ritual cleansing.  I use stones at the directions to correspond.  I do candle magick daily and with simple candles and intentions.

Gemstones are a huge part of my practice and I ALWAYS have them nearby so that I can draw on their wisdom and energies to keep my stresses lower and my light brighter.  Right now on my altar is Black Moonstone. Aqua Obsidian, Skeletal Quartz, Chlorite Phantom Quartz, Clear Quartz, Red Hematoid Quartz, Pink Lemurian Quartz. Tibetan Lemurian Quartz, Selenite, Kambaba Quartz and finally Opal Aura Amethyst.  Each of these lend me their energies throughout the day for various purposes and healing.  If I am feeling stressed…I just take a moment and grab the piece that calls to me and breathe with my eyes closed.  It’s amazing.

If you are a fire person keep a jar candle in your sacred space and light that up every day.  Jar candles such as Yankee, Ashland, and Village have amazing scents and the jars can be reused once they are finished with.  Candles don’t have to be magically poured to work for intention.  YOU set the intention and the purpose for it.

Now go out there and do your own wonderful, amazing and beautiful magick!

at Hann's Park under a Willow tree near the stream

at Hann’s Park under a Willow tree near the stream

So this weekend was a pretty busy one…then again they all seem to be busy. I have started to really work with gemstones and some very personal workings that I started earlier this year. I am feeling a real difference.

This weekend I made a few decisions that I can share with you:

  • I will blog three times a week
    • Monday’s will be weekend musings
    • Wednesday will be Gemstones + Magick
    • Friday will be freeform whatever comes to mind.
  • Starting with the new moon tonight I am digging in deeper to some much needed shadow workings.
  • I wrote the ritual for tonight and it’s great. LOL
  • Daily House of Night Oracle draws are back on.

Aside from all of these decisions I am starting to feel the fog of an ongoing Dark Night of the Soul begin to lift up.  There is still work to be done but the fog is not as thick as it once was and for that I am grateful.  I am feeling some real joy in life and the world around me as the depression that has hung on in this dark night starts to alleviate some of its stranglehold.

I started preparing for guests arriving at the end of this month.  There is not a TON to do but there is enough that I want to do it in small chunks.  I got a lot of old dog toys tossed out, started going through some of the excess that is in the front room and will be doing some serious cleaning in the room that used to be the office.

All in all there is a lot of progress going on in both life and spirituality that seems to get kicked up on the weekends.  I’m digging it.

Continuing on my quest for accepting myself and going against the grain of traditional beauty standards, I say to you gentle reader, be bold and fierce.  Be yourself without apologies.  Granted, that is much easier to say than follow through on sometimes but I shall continue to buck the conventional.  Some of my most recent experiences are quite contrasting in actions and reactions.

Since this whole movement towards health started for me, I have been berating myself for not doing x or y.  I have been religiously using my fitbit to the point that I feel badly if I don’t make my goals for a given day.  Even when I am sick I push myself to complete my self-inflicted goals.  Sometimes they are more like shackles than goals.  I have lost a lot of weight, and my clothes fit me so much better than they have in a long time.  While this may be true, I still have a long road ahead of me with my weight.  I don’t believe I will ever be thin but I’d like to have one less chin.

Through affirmations I overcome the years of negative self-talk and abuse.

Through affirmations I overcome the years of negative self-talk and abuse.

One of the things I have noticed, well one of the many really, is that no matter what I am wearing, feeling or participating in, I am always there.  On a good day, I might dress a little more nicely and put on some makeup.  On a bad day, well I’m in my comfies with my hair pulled up and no makeup.  I don’t wear makeup often but when I do, it adds a little something to my step.  That something is confidence, a little more “me” that I am regaining from long ago in a galaxy far away.

The thing is, that this is not easy and it’s a labor of peeling back layers and years of negative self-talk and abuse from others out in the world.  Guess what though?  No matter what is said by you or to you, at the end of the day you are the only person that will always be there.  You will always find a way to make it through and yes there may be support systems for you to help you.  It’s up to you to make the changes for yourself.

So how do you change what is ingrained into your very spirit?  You start with affirmations.  Affirm that YOU ARE good, beautiful, smart, successful.  Whatever it is you want to be, tell yourself you are that very thing.  Tell yourself everyday.  Eventually the negative and harmful thoughts about yourself?  They go away.  Does wearing makeup make you feel beautiful?  Wear it.  Nails?  Paint them!  Make sure you look in a mirror for your affirmations.  Believe them and they will be.

I’m sure there will be more about this later but this is enough of a start for now. 😉

 

Hann's Park Feb. 2013.  Good morning Sunshine!

Hann’s Park Feb. 2013. Good morning Sunshine!

It’s been several days since I’ve written and I can feel that.  I try to write everyday but sometimes it’s just hard.  Life gets in the way of writing and when that happens I have to remember to be gentle with myself about it.  I’ve been sick for the last 4 or 5 days.  It’s a head cold so nothing that a doctor can do anything about, it just needs to run it’s course and be gone.  I’ve tried to be kind to myself while I need the extra rest and not overdo it.  It’s hard, when you are used to GOING on weekends and getting stuff done to realize that the nap in the middle of the day is absolutely necessary.  Being in bed by 8 also necessary.  I just could not stay awake even when I was taking dayquil so I tried to not fight it.

This morning dawned early, as with all weekdays.  We get up at 5:30 and get the day started so that by 6:30 we can leave the house to take my husband to the ferry so he can be to work by 8:30 at the latest.  It’s a long day but one that is routine for us.  By 9am I start work (at the latest) and then go through everything that needs to be done.  At 5pm I am done and start working on dinner and feeding the fur-kids and any chores left undone from the morning.  Leave to pick up K by 5:55 then we are home by 6:30p and then it’s dinner for us and winding down from the day.

This is a glance at the daily routine for us.  Let’s throw in being sick and then you can see a thick layer of fog descending into place.  It’s hard to see through.  You become unsteady and need extra breaks from the simplest things.  Slowly the fog lifts and you regain health.  I am able to start seeing through the fog of this head cold finally so there is progress on it.  My goals for today are simple.  Don’t nap. Get as much work done as possible and do so with a smile.

It seems that it’s been a while since I was able to smile all day long and more than anything I would love to find that happy place again.  Hopeful that it is on the other side of this fog I move on.  No more anger and “flying off the handle” over silly things.  Finding balance is going to be key.  Fall is finally here so perhaps that will help me get there.  Slowly I move through the fog and look for the sunshine that is hidden somewhere within.

As I continue walking my path and working on eliminating more and more of the processed foods from our diets, this means I am cooking A LOT more.  I made this one day last week for dinner and it came out really good.  I took a meal my mom used to make for us growing up as “salisbury steaks” and made it my own with some interesting results.  I use cubed steaks from the grocer (thin steaks that have been tenderized in a cube pattern on the meat) and beef gravy.  Here’s my process.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package cube steak (I got a package with 4 steaks)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (not dehydrated)
  • 1 tbsp Sriacha Sauce
  • 4 medium Gold Potatoes
  • 1/2 package frozen green beans
  • 1 packet low sodium brown gravy
  • 1 cup water
  • 2- 1/2 cup red wine (I used a merlot)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tsp Herbs du Provence

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thinly slice potatoes and place in a round casserole dish.  Between layers of potatoes lay thin slices of butter and add seasoning of your choice.  I used a sprinkling of Herbs du Provence.
  3. Once the potatoes have been placed in the casserole dish, add a final layer of thinly sliced butter and then top with the frozen green beans, another thin layer of butter and a sprinkling of herbs.
  4. Bake in oven until potatoes are tender with a fork (approximately 25-30 minutes)
  5. In a small sautee pan place 1 tbsp butter and your thinly sliced onions.  Sautee until they begin softening then add minced garlic and 1/2 cup of wine.  Continue at medium heat until the wine begins to reduce.  Add sriacha and complete the reduction until the mixture resembles a compote.  turn off heat and set aside.
  6. In a large skillet brown and cook the Cube steaks with seasoning of your choice.  I added a smidge of sriacha, garlic and pink salt.
  7. When the cube steaks are almost complete make your gravy in another pan with the 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of red wine.  Warm it until thickened but may be a little thinner than a normal gravy.
  8. Pour gravy atop the cube steaks and cook approximately 3-5 minutes.

When serving place your steak to one side of the plate with your potato + vegetable to the other side.  Top meat with the compote onion/garlic reduction and then a drizzle of brown gravy.  Add gravy to potatoes and green beans if inclined and enjoy!

"Salisbury Steaks" with Gold Potatoes + Green Beans

“Salisbury Steaks” with Gold Potatoes + Green Beans

Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law ~ Four of Wands

Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law ~ Four of Wands

July 8, 2014
Shadowscapes Insight
Four of Wands

In brilliant yellows, blues and pinks this card is a celebration!  Four unicorns serve as the heralds of joy and the essence of this card.  They lead a procession of faerie as they take off from the blooming and flower filled world below.

The four of wands calls for celebration, early successes + achievements have brought in joy and hope.  Now is the time to sound the trumpet of joy.  Harmony + peace are ready for blooming.  Revel in your victory for it is hard won.  Keep the forward motion you have worked hard to attain to keep the joy lit in life.  Let go of the fears and self-imposed limitations upon yourself in order to embrace the fire of joy, peace, harmony, prosperity + life.

This is an interesting time to pull this card to me.  I’ve been struggling for so long against depression that I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel “normal” but I have had a week of feeling pretty good overall and that is amazing to me.  It has been refreshing to not feel as if I am underwater.  My altars are cleared off and clean.  They are being used daily again and I finally feel like I have shed a layer of emotion that was holding me down.  It’s lovely to feel change in such a keen way and on so many levels.

A side note is that there may indeed be celebration coming to me with some time away with my wonderful husband for a night of fun in the city.  I hope that works out, it would be lovely to do and then spend the day just relaxing and doing touristy stuff in San Fran with him.  The trumpet has sounded and I hear the clarion call of change.  Prosperity, joy, peace + harmony for the summer and into fall when I will harvest these things fully!

Mystic Sisters painting by Emily Balivet

Mystic Sisters painting by Emily Balivet

On Friday, February 14, I left my home and headed down to San Carlos to pick up my good friend Victoria.  After a pick up and load of the rental, we traveled a little further into San Jose for Pantheacon.  This was to be something extraordinarily memorable for me, you see this was the first “pcon” that I would be able to make it to.  When I lived in Florida there wasn’t time or funds for me to fly to the opposing coast for just a few days.  Last year I could not make it as we still had boxes and hadn’t been in CA long enough to even settle.

Going into the weekend I did not know what to expect.  I’ve attended various events in the past ranging from public circles, workshops, Pagan Pride and the Goddess Festival (2010 from Z Budapest) and none of them could have even remotely prepared me for what I would encounter this weekend.  Not that this was in anyway a bad thing, just something that had to be experienced in order to truly understand.

First I would like to start out by saying that everyone there helped create an energetic and safe place for pagans to gather, exchange ideas, have ritual and more together.  Victoria and I arrived early afternoon on Friday and went through the check-in process both with the hotel and the festival/conference.  After check-in we ran into some of her friends who own Xcentricities Corsets and work with them when they are in town.  We were minionized to help hold doors and such, which was fun.  The first workshop we attended was at 1:30 and for Fiber Magick.  It was definitely more thought provoking than I thought it would be.  My working with fiber is very limited as I am  not a spinner, crocheter, knitter, etc but it definitely gave me some ideas on working with fabrics, threads and even hair.  Following this we attended Pagan Theurgy surrounding ceremonial magick and the use of neo-platonic philosophy and the bits that go along with it.  Absolutely fascinating and something I am going to look more into.  That evening we attended a Ritual of Calling the Guardians from Thorn Coyle.

As the first day drew to a close we met up with Victoria’s friends (and wonderful people she generally rooms with yearly) Ben and Rebecca.  I must say that meeting these wonderful people, this family that included so many amazing people that have come together as a family was altering for me.  It is one thing to attend such a large conference and experience workshop and ritual and quite another thing to befriend some amazing people.  Ben, Rebecca, Shirley, Sandy, Kay, Dan, Ynhared, Kevin, Nathania, Tony, Richard and many more whom I may be forgetting at the moment…simply beautiful and amazing people with warm hearts, wit and many senses of humor that simply had me laughing and laughing.

The weekend came fully to life on Saturday as many more people joined the conference for workshops such as Rethinking Community for the Solitary Pagan and many others.  Saturday I needed a break in the afternoon so I napped to rid myself of a headache.  We hung out a bit more and had so much fun!  It was amazing how many more people showed up on Saturday and Sunday than had been present on Friday.  Sunday brought the ADF Ritual for Community Service and work, a non-stop chanting workshop with Margot Adler, a workshop on The Woman Magician with Brandy Williams (who also ran the Theurgy workshop we attended earlier in pcon).  Much more schmoozing and having a good time Sunday evening as everything started to wind down for the weekend.

On our last morning we attended a workshop on Pop Culture Magick then packed up said our good byes and head home.  All in all the weekend was amazing for me.  I will be writing one more post on how some of the events/workshops/rituals I attended, affected me.  This includes the effects these new friends have had on me as I  move forward in my path this lifetime.  Would I do this again?  Most definitely.

Lilie's Tag and Purple Collar

Lilie’s Tag and Purple Collar

Dated: Wednesday 12-11-2013; 8:48 am

There has been a lot going on lately and not all of it is good stuff, but if life were only filled with the good, how could we grow and learn from the bad?  Work is crazy busy with being “one man down” and the holidays on top of that.  As I continue to walk down the path of life, I become more in tune with the seasons and myself and my family.  We aren’t a big family, we aren’t even an average family.  It’s my wonderful husband and I plus our pets.  Our “pets” are our children and over the years we’ve seen several of them cross the Rainbow Bridge, even as recently as November of this year with Seth’s crossing.  It’s never easy to help them transition but we do what we can and move on.  We talk about our family and how wonderful it is and how peaceful our home is and often speculate what one more animal could mean to the mix we have.  In fact, we’ve been talking about getting another dog for quite some time.  Someone for Ariyana to play with and someone to share the love of our home with.

Lilie being held by the breeder.

Lilie being held by the breeder.

I don’t know how things could look any more synchronous than what occurred this week.  As I mentioned, we’ve been talking about puppies a bit lately.  In looking at puppies before work I came across a site that manages matching breeders with puppies.  At this point I want to simply say do not condemn us for choosing to go this route or for not supporting our local shelters.  We DO support the shelters in our area.  On this site things quickly lined up in a way that can only be described as perfection and synchronicity.  I came across this sweet little white lump of cuteness, an English Cream Retriever.  I was stolen by her sweet face then I looked at her name on the site and was done for.  Her name was Lily.  For those of you that know me, know that Ariyana came to us through an accidental breeding of my best friend’s dogs Oliver and Lily.  Oliver is an American Golden and Lily is an English Cream.  I looked at many other pictures but kept coming back to Lily.  I called the number and with an interview on the phone, it was done.  Our new puppy has been found and will be coming home to us this week.  In fits of excitement and joy, we went to the Dog Park with Ariyana on Tuesday.  It was cold and the wind was blowing a bit but we stayed for a while so she could have some good social time and play time.  Afterwards we went to Petco, here in Vallejo.  We looked at collars, tags, toys and such.  We brought home puppy food, puppy training pads and her collar with tag.

Fluffy and expressive Lilie, I have to wonder what caught her attention...

Fluffy and expressive Lilie, I have to wonder what caught her attention…

According to the breeder she is a sweet girl who loves to snuggle and play.  She’s begun potty training and is eating puppy food now and we are so excited we can’t stand it.  We keep talking to the family about the new sister they are going to have.  While doing the paperwork, I decided to keep the name Lilie just with a different spelling.  It was too perfect of everything lining up to not keep it.  Right now, I am waiting for the travel info to arrive so I know when she comes home and won’t post this until I know for sure but I am silly excited and want it to come now!

Dated: December 11, 2013 11:31 AM

I’ve just heard from the travel folks and she’s coming home!  YAH!!!!!  We are picking our baby girl up on Friday at 5:10pm.  Keith is going to be taking a short day on Friday so he can go with me to the airport.  The plan is to head over to the airport at about 2 or 3 to make it through the traffic of SFO.  I will pick him up in the city from work then we will head on over to the airport and begin the nail biting waiting of the arrival of the little bundle of love and cuteness and joy that is coming our way.

To say that we are excited would be a vast understatement of all the thoughts going through our heads right now.  The process has been pretty smooth so far, which I am thankful for.  The worst part was holding this until I got the call from the folks in travel to confirm times and all that good stuff for her arrival.  I will be spending some time doing puppy-proofing and I am so excited!