31 March, 2010

Divination: Tarot

Even though I grew up in a very Catholic family, I have been exposed to Tarot reading and other forms of divination since childhood.  Both my mother and great-grandmother read Tarot (Spanish deck).  My mother still uses my great-grandmother's cards.  I don't understand her deck very much, as it is very different from the French spread that I've grown accustomed to.  I always found it strange that a woman who claims she's a devout Catholic would play around with things like Tarot cards.  I think there is a part of her that doesn't want to admit how much of the craft is within her family.

I bought my first Tarot deck back in high school.  I was exploring the path a little back then, but was still very nervous because of my parents.  At this point in my life, my mother would hang rosary beads or place crosses under my bed to "try to bring me back to church."  That didn't really help her cause since it just drove me farther away from the church and put a major strain on my relationship with her for a number of years.  So, I began my study of tarot with the Universal Waite deck.  I didn't take it very seriously then, but I would play with the cards and do occasional readings for myself and close friends.  However, I never made them a part of my every day life, which is what I've started to do now.

This week, I've been doing a daily draw from my deck.  I still use the Universal Waite because it's what I'm most comfortable with.  I think doing the daily draw will help bring me closer to my cards and give me a stronger understanding of their meanings.  I have my tarot journal, but I need to be better at keeping it.  My friend who started our coven actually created a great worksheet that I plan on using.  I think I'll continue the journal I have, because it's really pretty, but I'll use the set up from her worksheet.

So, this leads me to the purpose of today's blog post.  I wanted to bring in my tarot study to the blog as a part of my weekly reflections.  I think I'll close each week (Saturdays) with a reflection on my daily draws and see how they fall into my week once it's finished.  If any of you are experienced readers and would like to offer some advice/critique/help with the readings, I would greatly appreciate it.

30 March, 2010

Storm Moon Recap

Last night was our first coven meeting.  It was only four of us to start as some of the members are away for spring break, but it was wonderful.  Our ritual was very similar to what The Domestic Witch posted on her blog yesterday, so you can take a peek over at her blog for the ritual specifics.  It would be a bit redundant for me to post them a second time here.

We didn't get to see the moon herself last night, but the name of this March moon was quite appropriate as it is still storming here in New York.  There was a break in the storm, so we were able to go out into my friend's yard and spread our offerings to the Goddess and the creatures of spring.  In the distance I was able to catch the glipse of some spring rabbits running around.  It was quite fitting for the end of our first coven ritual. 

Something that all of us plan to grow and change along with our blessed seeds is in our health.  We all want to look better and feel better about ourselves which is why I cannot thank The Domestic Witch enough for her spring cleaning event.  It is really helping me keep focused on my overall goal for spiritual and physical cleansing.  We also all commented on how creating this coven is something we've all planned or hoped to do for a long time, but were not independent enough, from our parents and in our own selves, to actually do it.  I really think it will help bring our friendships closer together and really help us draw a great bit of power and energy into our projects. 

I hope everyone had an amazing full moon last night!  Blessed be.

28 March, 2010

The Storm Moon and more Spring Cleaning!

I know I've been a bit of a slacker when it has come to posting this week, but now that I'm on vacation from work for a week, I'll be able to post more often and everyday. 

In spring cleaning news, I've been doing ok with my diet.  I've had a little cheating this week, but I'll be back on track starting tomorrow.  Even though my food choices haven't been the most outstanding, I'm not overeating which is good.  I still need to be better about getting to the gym.  I did go twice last week and stayed for over an hour and a half.  This week off is much needed for my trips to the gym to increase.  I'm going tomorrow morning and I'll be there Tuesday night to start.  Then we'll go from there!

Tomorrow night is also March's full moon.  Originally I was planning on joining a coven in the area, but my personal schedule and the coven's meeting distance from my own home was a bit of an issue.  So, one of my friends who helped get me to this point in my path suggested starting our own coven.  Now, she does live in upstate New York, which is considerably further away than the originally coven I was going to join.  However, she is a good friend of mine and I'm always welcome to sleep over.  Plus, I love spending time with her, so the extra driving distance is really worth it for me.

For this full moon ritual, I plan on completing my wand project that I started at her house last month.  I have some beautiful beads that I purchased that are made from natural stones.  I'll be using Tiger's Eye (for personal empowerment and as a grounding stone), Hematite (for dissolving negativity) and Red Garnet (for self confidence and sexuality - hehehe).  The changes in season allow for a lot of creative energy and the full moon is a good opportunity to concentrate the wand.  I'll post some ritual ideas for everyone tomorrow along with my Monday Mutterings. 

26 March, 2010

More Slut Cat

I know I haven't been posting much of Marty lately, but Frankie (aka Slut Cat) has really been hamming it up for the camera.  The hubby caught Slut Cat like this early one morning and snapped the picture before he left for work:

This cat really needs to get a job!

23 March, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Week One Health and Fitness

I had to skip Monday Mutterings this week because I was just so wiped out after work yesterday.  My students are writing their research papers, which are due Friday, and I think I get more stressed out than them.
 
So, this Sunday was the official start of The Domestic Witch's Spring Cleaning event.  Week one focuses on health and fitness/well being.  I've been actively going to the gym for about a year now, but this year I really want to see the results.  I've lost about 30lbs since I started, but to me, I still look the same.  I've only dropped one pant size, which is 4 sizes away from my goal.  My personal trainer gave me this book to help with my eating habits and I've found that it's pretty helpful.  Honestly, I would not buy it for myself because the first 5 chapters talk about general health and I don't really need it.  If you are interested and have been into fitness for a while, I would just check it out from the library.  However, if you are a beginner, I would pick up a copy from the bookstore.  The diet comes from Prevention magazine, so you may also want to flip through a copy of that before doing anything.

The core of the diet is eating four meals a day.  Each meal should be no more than 400 calories and should contain a MUFA.  Meals should be spaced no more than 4 hours apart but no sooner than 2.  It has honetly helped me a lot.  I was never a big breakfast eater, but now that I've been forcing it upon myself, I feel that I'm less hungry and exhausted when I get to work.  I usually make myself a protein shake (I use EAS powder) with skim milk (I hate it with water - yuck!) in the morning and drink it on my drive to work.  I then follow it up with my coffee.  It really helps keep me full until lunch time.

My biggest hurdle to overcome to get myself back into shape is getting to the gym more often.  I see my personal trainer twice a week but I need to be more diligent about going to the classes on the days I don't see her.  It's hard because I'm working as a full time teacher, going to grad school and all of that other life stuff that tends to get in the way.  I'm seeing the trainer again on Thursday this week, so I'm planning to go to a Mixed aerobics class tonight at the gym.  Tomorrow, I'm in grad school and won't be home until 7:30.  If it isn't raining, I may take the bike out with the hubby or walk the dog around the block a few times and end my night on the eliptical my Dad brought home.  Next week will be a much easier time at the gym because I'm off from work (YAY for spring break!).  I will be able to go the gym in the mornings and afternoons.

I'm motivated!  Let's hope it doesn't wear off!

21 March, 2010

And now my craft is in

the rock garden!














Plus, I love the idea that Catpriestess from eWitch gave me about making one for all of the Sabbats.  I think this will become a Sabbat tradition.  When the hubby and I finally purchase a home of our own, we plan on having a stone fire ring:
These stepping stones would be placed around the yard or near the fire ring.  Plus, I just was reading through my Ostara lessons from about.com and got another awesome idea.  Since the Ostara stepping stone has glow in the dark stars, I could use it in a Magical Moon Garden.  The ideas are just flowing this weekend!  I'm excited!

20 March, 2010

Crafting is Done

As part of my first spring cleaning event for the home, I created an Ostara Garden Stone.  I wanted to share the pictures with you!


I was originally going to use the "fully homemade" method from my book, but when I went to Michael's they had kits for under $20.  So, being this is my first time making one of these, I went with the kit.



A rare picture of me.

Another of me.  Just look at that pathetic pony-tail.  Hopefully my hair will grow out soon!

 Spreading the cement in the mold.




Half-way done! Pssst!  The glass stars are glow in the dark!  Oh, I am a nerd!












FINITO!








Now I wait for the mold to dry.  In three days I will see how it came out and post the pictures.  I may make a few more after this one.  Maybe I can use them in eventual giveaways when I have more blog followers . . . Hmmmm.  Ideas. 

Ostara Blessings

We are very blessed here on the East coast.  It will reach 70 degrees here again today and it is perfect Ostara celebration weather!  I am feeling crafty today, so besides the normal ritual celebration of the Sabbat, I will be making something for Ostara this year.  I have taken my craft from The Way of the Green Witch by Ann Murphy-Hiscock.  Although there are some errors and misinformation about Green Witchcraft in her book, I tend to look past that and take the useful information (which there is a great deal of).

So, besides coloring some Ostara Eggs tonight, here is another crafty project that you may want to tackle!  It is pretty involved, but I think it is a cute fun project, especially if you are starting your garden this weekend.

Garden Stepping Stone

You will need:
  • Newspaper
  • Aluminum Foil Pie Plate (at least 2" deep)
  • Small bag of concrete mix (quick setting or a special stepping stone blend)
  • Water
  • Measuring Cup 
  • 1 foot x 1 foot piece of screening
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Paint stirrer
  • Obsidian stones (Michael's and AC Moore have beads made from natural stones - and they are 40% off this weekend!)
  • One Tbsp. each of three protective herbs (try angelica, rosemary and cloves)
  • Optional Old Serving Spoon
  • Optional Twig or Popsicle stick
  • Optional Acrylic paints and brushes
  • Optional Clear Varnish (spray is the easiest) 
 How to Make
  1. Spread the newspaper over your work surface.
  2. Cut the screening to fir inside your pie plate.  This will reinforce your stepping stone once it is dry.  Put aside.
  3. Blend your herbs together using your mortar and pestle.  Set them aside.
  4. Pour the concrete powder into your bucket.  Add the water.  Using the paint stirrer, mix them together.  Follow the directions on your bag of concrete for how much water to the concrete (it's usually 5 part concrete to one part water).  The mixture should be thick and wet, but not splashy; more like drop-cookie dough than cake batter.  Do not use the entire bag.  Only use enough to fill the pie plate (a small bit extra to be safe is fine).
  5. Pour or spoon the concrete mix into the aluminum pan.  Fill until it is half-full.  Tap the mold to release air bubbles and use the paint stirrer to smooth out the concrete.
  6. Lay the screening on top of the concrete in the mold.  Pour more concrete on top of the screening, filling the mold approx. 2/3 full.  Tap the mold again to release air bubbles.
  7. Sprinkle the herbs on the top of the concrete.  Remember to visualize their protective energy while placing them.
  8. Pour more concrete on top of the herbs.  This time you will fill the mold completely.  Tap the mold again to release any remaining air bubbles.  (3 is also a magically number)
  9. Leave the mold for about an hour.  This will allow it to set slightly and give a firm surface to place the stones.
  10. After the hour has passed, place the obsidian stones into the mold.  Make any shape you'd like.  A starburst shape in the middle of the stone is a good shape for the repelling of negative energy or using them for the points on a 5 pointed star is another good shape.  You can trace the star with a stick with the popsicle stick/twig.
  11. Now, set the mold aside for 2-3 days to fully dry.  You may want to leave it a little longer to ensure the mold won't crumble.
  12. Once the mold has fully dried, pop the stone out of the mold onto the newspaper.  Gently loosen the sides and peel the aluminum pie plate away from the stone.  Turn the stone over so that the obsidian is on top.
  13. If you'd like you can paint the stone with acrylic paints.  Once the paint is dry, coat the stone with a clear varnish to protect it from the elements.  Then, you can place the stone in your garden!
I'm going to try to make this today.  When my stone is completed, I'll post the finished product.

Ostara Blessings everyone!

19 March, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Phase One

Spring Cleaning with The Domestic Witch starts this Sunday.  I'm actually starting a little bit early, but I am following her schedule:

Week ~ Area of the Home ~ Area of Life
Week 1 ~ Home Exterior and Repairs ~ Health and Fitness
Week 2 ~ Front Porch/Entryway ~ Personality and Self-image
Week 3 ~ Kitchen and Dining Room ~ The Heart of Your Life
Week 4 ~ Living Areas ~ Entertainment and Social Life
Week 5 ~ Your Bedroom ~ Love Life and Relaxation
Week 6 ~ Kids' Bedrooms ~ Fertility and Parenting
Week 7 ~ Bathroom ~ Beauty and Hygiene
Week 8 ~ Home Office/Den ~ Career and Finances
Week 9 ~ Back Yard ~ Connecting with Nature
Week 10 ~ Front Yard ~ Living Green
Week 11 ~ Garage/Attic/Basement ~ Emotional and Mental Clutter
Week 12 ~ Laundry Area and Closets ~Your Shadow Self
I don't own my own home yet, but I will be helping my mother clean hers.  Since The Domestic Witch's first Week is focused on personal health and fitness, I started by eliminating all harmful cleaners and beauty products.  I've been replacing them with plant based, green products and  I wanted to recommend one of them to all of you out there in blog land.  The company is called Onesta and they make all natural hair products.  The best part is that they are vegan (no animal products used) and cruelty free (no animal testing).  Everything in them is plant based.   It's not available for purchase except in salons, so I'm not sure how easily any of you can get it where you live, but their line of hair products, especially the shampoo and conditioner, are wonderful.  Check out their website and see if a salon near you sells their line of product.  Any pagan would appreciate their pledge for green living as well as their contributions towards cancer research.

Fur Baby Fridays!

It's Friday and I think the fur children knew it because last night Frankie was being extra adorable.  I'll post a few pictures because he's done this a few times.

My father was getting ready a buisness trip and Frankie felt it would be appropriate if he adorned the bag with himself.  I must also explain that my father is not a fan of animals.  He merely tolerates them living in his home.  Frankie is very lucky that my Dad was at a meeting and didn't see him laying on his freshly packed bag.

Frankie was not pleased that I was taking his photo.  Look at those demon blue eyes!

This is not the first time he's tried to pack himself either:











No suitcase is safe when Frankie is around!

18 March, 2010

I've gotten an award!



I received a Sunshine award!  Thanks again to the Wizardess Epi at Go Out Beneath the Naked Night for nominating me.






Here are the rules for this one:

1. Place the award on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 Sunny Bloggers -- those whose positivity and creativity inspire others!
3. Link to the nominees in your post.
4. Tell the nominees they've received the award by commenting on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

For my dozen, I choose:

The Domestic Witch
A Witch Amid the Shamrock
Confessions of a Crafty Witch
Deep Inside My Broom Closet
Enchanted Garden Studio
Lizzie's Logic
Mother Moon
The Golden Willow
Spelled With a W
Kim and Katy
Inciting a Riot
The Fairy Den

Ostara Prayers






stara Prayers





I've been getting Ostara lessons for the past few days from About.com and I felt a strong attachment to three of the prayers sent to me today.  I thought I'd share them with you for Thursday's blog.  First is a Garden Blessing, so for all of you starting gardens and planting seeds, this is something you may want to say while you plant.


The earth is cool and dark,
and far below, new life begins.
May the soil be blessed with fertility and abundance,
with rains of life-giving water,
with the heat of the sun,
with the energy of the raw earth.
May the soil be blessed
as the womb of the land becomes full and fruitful
to bring forth the garden anew.


There is also a prayer for the Goddesses of Spring that I liked.  I don't worship all of the Goddesses mentioned in this particular version, but I'm sure you can insert Goddesses that you have an attachment to.

Hail, and welcome!
Green life returns to the earth
blooming and blossoming
once more from the soil.
We welcome you,
goddesses of spring,
Eostre, Persephone, Flora, Cybele,
in the trees,
in the soil,
in the flowers,
in the rains,
and we are grateful
for your presence.

 

And lastly, this prayer will be helpful, especially if any of you still have snow on the ground.  This prayer is for the resurrection or waking up of the Earth.

The death sleep of winter has slowly faded,
the rigor of the ground loosens,
and the earth is once more reborn.
Like Mithras and Osiris,
reborn from death,
life returns again to the land,
springing up as the snow melts away.
As the soil warms and the days grow longer,
dew forms along new sprouts of grass,
bringing life back.
Awaken! Awaken! Awaken!
And rise!
Let the earth come to life again,
and welcome the light of spring!

17 March, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day


Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

- Irish Friend Blessing

St. Patrick's Day is the day Catholics celebrate St. Patrick "sweeping the snakes (*cough*paganism*cough*) from Ireland." Anyone of Irish decent and perhaps a pagan should still be extra proud that they are Irish today.  I tend to look towards the modern celebration of the day because of it's haunting anti-pagan past.  If you look to how the holiday is celebrated now, it gives you a bit of a brighter image.

I am not Irish by birth; I am Irish by marriage.  Most people look at me funny when I tell them my last name and then they ask, "You're Irish?!"  I merely just display my wedding ring and then they understand.  I guess Native American/Italian/Spanish/French chicks can't ever really look Irish, but I will celebrate the day with my husband.  


So, throw on some green and put a clover in your lapel!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

16 March, 2010

Ostara Altar Ideas



stara






I thought my first Ostara post should be about altar ideas.  Whenever I set up my altar, I take my inspiration from the season itself, then I add the traditional symbols of the holiday.

Altar Cloth Colors
Everyone always typically picks pastel colors for spring.  Personally, I cannot stand pastels.  The closest I get to using a pastel is using a pale green for my Ostara altar cloth.  However, draw your own color ideas from what you see outside.  Another color I tend to use is violet because it is the color of the tulips outside of my house and they are the first flowers I see in spring.  You can do the same at your house.  Don't remember which color flowers come up first?  Then go with whatever color feels right to you.

Flowers
I also tend to decorate my altar with plants and/or flowers which reflect the season.  Tulips and Daffodils are early spring flowers and I will often use them in my set up.  Plus, if you'd like to get really symbolic, they both look like phallic symbols (tulips representing female; daffodils representing male). 



Spring Symbols
Growing up a Catholic, there were always egg and bunny decorations all over my house.  They are still there since I still live with my parents (I'm married too - imagine how much fun that is!). Interestingly enough, none of the decorations my mother has put up this year say "Happy Easter," but say "Happy Spring" instead.  Now to your altar.  Because this time of year was always rabbits and eggs, I continue the same theme on my altar.  The Christmas Tree Shoppe has tons of cheap, cute holiday decorations.  I highly recommend taking a stop in there if you have a store near you.  You can also make many of your own decorations.  I still color hard boiled eggs and place them on the altar.  I'm still working on Earth friendly, home-made dyes.  If they don't work out, food coloring and vinegar still works.  After my ritual, I put them back in the fridge for breakfast the next morning.  

                   Other Home-made Altar Ideas: These are all great, especially if you have little ones.
Other Items You May Want to Include:
Honey and Milk are also spring symbols and you may want to include a glass of one or both on your altar.  Milk is obviously a symbol of fertility and motherhood.  You can pour the glass of milk outside as a gift (much like an Imbolc ritual) or offering to the Lord and the Lady or to the Fae.  Honey is a symbol of abundance.  Spring is a time that is abundant with life both physically and metaphorically.  The honey can be used later in cakes and wine or as part of an Ostara dinner or even in a nice cup of herbal tea.

I hope everyone enjoys these ideas!

15 March, 2010

A very special Monday Mutterings: A Blog Photo Tag Game

So, I was tagged by The Wizardess Epi from Go Out Beneath the Naked Night.  I think this is a cute blog game.

Now we need to play photo tag!

Here are the rules:

Open your first photo file
Scroll to the 10th photo
Post the photo and tell the story behind it
Tag five more people
This is a picture of the reflection of our Christmas/Yule tree (it depends on if you ask my mother or me what the tree is for) in the living room window.  My husband actually took this particular photo.  It was the first big snow storm here in New York and he wanted to catch the snow with the reflection of the lights in the window.  I really love this picture and I wish I took it.

Now for the tagging!!!



I am tagging Confessions of a Crafty Witch because I love reading about her new creations.
I am tagging The Domestic Witch because of her honest posts about her personal life.
I am tagging Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom because she inspired me to start this blog.
I am tagging A Pagan Tapestry because I love her rituals.
and finally . . .
I am tagging eWitch because of love the concept of their blog.

Have fun continuing the game!

March New Moon Ritual

I have been very busy with my Graduate school work this weekend.  Because I've been such a busy bee, I haven't had the chance to post my promised rituals for Ostara and the New Moon!  I'm a very bad blogger. 

Tonight is the March New Moon.  New Moons are a representation of the Goddess in the form of the Crone.  It is also symbolic of new beginnings, rebirth, and death.  The March New Moon can be seen as the death of winter and the birth of spring.  All around us we can see the signs of the coming warmth.  This morning I saw my first robin.  He was jumping around the raindrops in my backyard.  I couldn't help but watch and giggle.  Thank goodness neither of my kitties were outside!

I've often found that New Moons are the best time for meditation.  Full Moons rituals can be more elaborate as each has a name and purpose within the Wheel of the Year.  New Moons are separate in my practice.  I still conduct a small ritual, but the main purpose of the New Moon is to meditate and reflect on the self.  I seem to be doing a lot of reflecting lately and I think it is because I have so much stress in my life.  So, if you feel the same, I hope this short New Moon ritual is helpful for you.

You Will Need:
A Bowl of Water (Water)
A Bowl of Salt or Dirt (Earth)
A Feather or your favorite insense (Air)
A Yellow or Red Candle (Fire)

Arrange the items listed above as you see fit.  Everyone has their own preference for altar set-ups.  If you wish to have a traditional altar, feel free.

Ritual (This is my personal meditation.  Feel free to change it for your own needs/beliefs):

1. Light the red/yellow candle and incense (if using).  I usually arrange the objects around me in a circle and  I lay down.  I'd like to conduct this ritual outside, but it's always raining!

2. Raise your open arms and say "As [your name for the Goddess] are you known to me, for this is Moon of my Lady as the Crone, Lady of Darkness, of Wisdom, of Mysteries revealed.  The Wheel turns through birth, death, and rebirth, and every end is a new beginning.  You are the Passage from life to life; You are She who is at the beginning and the end of all time.  You, with Your Lord [your name for the God] at your side, abide in us all, so mote it be!" - from the Grimoire for the Green Witch by Ann Moura

3. Close your eyes and begin to meditate: While sitting or standing or laying down, cross your arms.  Imagine yourself walking in the woods toward your sacred space.  Concentrate on the feeling of the ground beneath you.  Focus on the cool feeling of the soil beneath your feet.  Feel empowered by the crunching of twigs and leaves as you walk.  As you walk, you notice a clearing in the trees.  There, in the clearing, you see an old woman.   She stands there, motionless.  However, a voice tells you to approach her.  There is nothing surrounding her except the trees.  They are leafless, but you notice the buds beginning to appear on the branches.  There is an immediate warmth surrounding the elderly woman.  Again, you hear a voice inviting you to take her hand and sit.  Together, you sit in the middle of the clearing, holding first one hand and then both.  Finally, she speaks, but only one word, "Listen."  You close your eyes, and focus on the sounds reverberating around you.  They are the sounds of spring: the robin, the scampering of small animals on leaves, water dripping from tree branches.  You open your eyes.  The old woman speaks again: "Listen, closer."  You begin to focus beyond the forest around you and you hear the Earth awakening.  You heart her heart beating and you feel it beneath you.  You begin to realize that your heart and the Earth's are beating together.  Feel yourself coming back to life with her.  Think of your mind, body and spirit opening up like a new spring flower.  You are reborn again.  Again, you open your eyes.  The old woman is now standing before you.  She speaks for the last time: "Rise."  As you stand before her, she takes your hand again and smiles.  That same warmth you felt when you first approached fills you again and you begin your walk back through the path.  Even though she is behind you, the Goddess is still walking beside you, holding your hand.


4. Slowly open your eyes.  You may still feel that warmth gaining in the meditation.  You may feel very emotional, especially if this is the first time you've seen the Goddess, in any form.  You may need a few moments with yourself alone.  Once you are ready, raise your open arms again and say: "You are the Dark Mother of All; the Tomb that is also the Womb.  You are at the beginning and end of life.  You dwell within us all for You are Life, the Passage to New Life, and Love; and thus do You make me immortal through in the cycle of Life, the Passage to New Life, and Love.  Love is the Law and Love is the Bond! So mote it Be! - from the Grimoire for the Green Witch by Ann Moura

5. Blow out the candle if you wish to end the ritual.  If not, you may wish to have cakes and wine.

I  also enjoyed the March New Moon ritual on A Pagan Tapestry. You may want also want to bookmark her blog.  I've put many of her posts into my Book of Shadows.

12 March, 2010

Giveaways



I just started following The Wizardess Epi today.  She has a great blog, so if you're interested, take a visit over there when you can.  She's also doing a great giveaway for Ostara.  I just entered the giveaway today and I'm really excited about it.  Even if I don't win, I think I may order the book, Magic When You Need It, on Amazon.

Fur Baby Fridays

My Siamese cat, Frankie, is what I'd like to call a slut cat.  He poses as if he were on the cover of Playgirl.  This picture has been my phone display background for a while.  I thought you'd like to see the "whore" in action:





Just look at that fuzzy belly!  It's taunting you, teasing you to pet it.  But don't do it!  You may lose a finger.

Damn you slut cat!

11 March, 2010

After all the waiting . . .

spring has finally arrived.  I'm a little sad to see the snow melting, but a smile comes to my face when I spot tulips poking through the soil.


It has me thinking about my first Ostara celebration next week.  Even though I've had a Pagan/Wiccan mindset for most of my life, it will be my first ritual.  I plan on finding the nerve to meet with the coven I found on meetup, because I don't want to spend another holiday alone.  Living at home with my parents, who I have not "come out of the broom closet" to, performing a ritual the exact way that I want to is a bit difficult.  The last few holidays I celebrated with a friend or I had to wait until the house was empty to do anything.  I know that ritual isn't everything, but it does make me feel better inside.  I feel closer to the Lord and Lady when I do them, so I'm really looking forward to next Saturday.

I plan on posting different Ostara items in the next few days.  Look for different spells, meditations, and ways to bring the holiday and the gods into the mundane portions of your life.

08 March, 2010

Mundane Monday Mutterings

Parent/Teacher conferences are this evening.  My district holds them three times during the school year and this year, the last night lands in the beginning of March.  I should be an expert at these by now, but my stomach still forms into knots.

I will keep repeating my mantra: You will get through this.  You are a good teacher. 

Just keep me in your thoughts for some extra positive energy.

06 March, 2010

My Witchy Self

I've seen this on a few of the other blogs I follow, so I thought that since this is a newer blog, it may be a good idea to share my answers.

Do you have a magical name?
I know it may seem clichè, but I use Willow as my Craft Name.  I have another name, but it is personal between myself and the Lord and Lady. 

Does it have a special meaning?
I didn't take it from the character on Buffy or the film.   Before conducting my initiation ceremony, I meditated about a name for myself.  I wanted the Lord and the Lady to help me so I found a quiet place in my friend's backyard (which is where I performed the ceremony), laid in the grass, closed my eyes and meditated.  A vision of myself under a willow tree appeared while I meditated, but it would often morph and I would be the tree itself.  It's difficult to fully explain what I experienced, but the name came from that vision.

How did you find Wicca/Paganism?
Two friends of mine are openly Wiccan and I eventually was brave enough to ask them questions about their path.  They both shared books and brought me to pagan friendly shops.  I also searched online before speaking to them and bought a few books of my own.  Reading them first guided me towards the questions I wanted to ask.

How long have you been practicing?
About a year officially, but I've been of the "Wiccan mindset" for years.

Solitary or group practitioner?
Currently I'm a solitary but I have plans to meet with a Wiccan group later this month.

What is your path?
I follow a Green Path of Wicca, but I do have elements of other paths that I mix in based on personal beliefs.

Are you out of the broom closet?
Yes and No.  There are some people that I work with that know about my practice and all of my friends know.  However, my family (mom, dad, grandparents, aunts/uncles) do not know.

Gods/Goddess

Who are your patron Gods?
Cernunnus

Who are your patron Goddesses? 
Brigid.

Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship?
I tend to stay within the Celtic pantheon. 

Do you fear dark aspects of the Gods/Goddess, or rather, respect them?
No.  I respect them.  You cannot have dark without light.

Do you worship the Christian God?
I do not worship, but I have no issue with people who choose to follow that path.

Do you ever worship animals?
No, but I do respect their part in the balance.

Or plants?
See above.


Nature

Do you regularly commune with nature?
Daily.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
Yes, but it's a bit cold to do right now.  When it warms up, I'll be doing it again.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?
Not yet, but the hubby and I plan to go this summer.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?
When I'm snowboarding.  The quiet that you hear on top of the mountain, especially when Nature is sleeping under the snow, is incredible.  Also when I'm hiking in the woods.  I'll stop and often just sit listening to the sounds she makes around me.

What is/are your power animal(s)?
Not sure yet.

Do you have a familiar?
Yup.  Frankie the cat.

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual?
No.

Or a plant?
No.

Do you hug trees?
All the time.

Give them gifts?
I will often leave gifts for the fae at the foot of plants and trees and I'll leave little things for the trees.

What is your favorite flower to work with?
Gardenias.

What is your favorite tree to work with?
Willow. :)

Wheel of the Year

What are your favorite holidays?
Samhain and Beltane.

What if your least favorite holiday?
I don't really have a least favorite.

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?
Yup yup.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a pagan holiday?
They tend to work well with the school calendar, so I don't need to.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25?
I celebrate Christmas with my family on the 25th, so I have my own rituals on the 21st.

Have you ever felt the Veil thin?
Yes.

Ever danced the Maypole?
This year will be my first.

Know what the Maypole symbolizes?
Yes and I do giggle about it sometimes.

Ever made love on Beltane?
Hehehehe.

How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays?
Depends on my needs at that particular point.

Divination

Do you use Tarot?
All the time.  It is the first form of divination I ever used as a child and I feel most comfortable with it.

Do you use runes?
I'd like to learn.

Do you use a pendulum?
Just started to.

Do you use dowsing rods?
No.

Do you use astrology?
Just started to really understand it.

Any other form of divination?
I read tea leaves

Spells

What was the first spell you did?
protection

What was the latest?
Inner Peace.

Ever done a love spell?
Nope.  I don't believe in them.

A job spell?
Not really.

A healing spell?
yes

What was the most powerful spell you've ever performed?
Protection.

Cryptozoology

Do you believe in Vampires?
If only Eric Northman from True Blood were real!  I believe in entities that can suck the life from you, but Dracula and the rest of the fanged ones are sadly not real.

Werewolves?
No.

Shape shifters?
In the spiritual world.

Elves? Faeries? Dragons? Nymphs? Sprites? Mermaids? Sirens? Satyrs?
Yup.

Angels?
Sort of.  Not in the Christian/Catholic sense.

Ghosts/Spirits?
Yes.

Ever "seen" any of the above?
Only my grandparents.

Ever talked to any of the above?
See above.

Ever called on any of the above in magic?
I wouldn't say call upon them.  I've talked to them and asked for guidance, but never in formal spell or ritual.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?
Both of them.  I wouldn't know what to do if they didn't show up when I needed them most.

Random

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon?
An old woman.

Own a cat?
I own two and live with a third (it's my Mother's cat).

When you meditate what does your sacred/safe place look like?
Under the willow tree in a clearing of the woods.

Do you work with Chakras?
Eventually.

Do you believe in soul mates?
Yup.

Ever met one?
Yup.  <3 the hubby.

Do you have a Spirit guide?
I think so.

Is it always love and light?
Like I said earlier, you cannot have dark without light.  It's all shades of grey anyway.

04 March, 2010

Another updated look

So, I updated the look of the blog again.  I'm finally happy with how things look.  I had to get rid of my beautiful "willow witch" as my header picture, but I'm now using it as my user picture instead of my cat, Marty.

I did a lot today at work and had a nice hour and fifteen minute workout at the gym.  I'm physically exhausted.  I will do some more witchy type updates tomorrow.  Tonight, I'm going to bed early.

03 March, 2010

Winter Wonderland

 View from Outside my Window

Since another storm has hit the northeast, I can spend another day sitting inside watching the snowflakes.  I love snow.  I adore winter.  Everyone at work is constantly complaining about the weather and I'm the only one sitting in the teacher's lounge smiling.  Snow, for me at least, always meant sitting under a warm blanket and either reading a great book or watching re-runs of my favorite shows on TV.  Now that I'm married, it gives me the added bonus of snuggling under that warm blanket with the hubby.  I can light the fireplace and stare into the flames or I can sit on the windowseat and watch the snow fall. 

I've never really seen snow as a negative.  Even shoveling it isn't terrible.  I see it as a chance to get outside and be part of the storm, not to mention some great exercise.  All of our neighbors are outside, shoveling their driveways, we wave at one another and throw up our hands as if to say, "here we go again!"  We actually smile at the sight of our neighbors.  Some of us even help those without snowblowers.  We're nice to one another.  Snow brings us together, even if it is to shovel it away.  Then, we sit inside and make a warm meal or a warm drink and sit.  We enjoy the company of one another.  Heck, we might even break out that dusty, old Monopoly box and fight over who can and cannot be the banker.

Relax everyone.  Think of all the good things that snow brings you.  Spend time with loved ones, even if is just yourself and a furry companion.  Talk to the Lord and the Lady.  Light a candle.  Do some crafts.  Perform some spell work.  This is one that I will often use.  It is an adapted version of Ann Mouira's "Five Fold Blessing":

Blessed be my feet that bring me on my path.
Blessed be my knees that support me before the Lady and the Lord.
Blessed be my heart that holds me true to my path.
Blessed be my eyes that see the beauty of Nature.
Blessed be my mind that seeks the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord and Lady.



02 March, 2010

I think Marty loves my purse too much

I didn't get the picture in time, but he was rubbing his face on my bag. 
It's ok if my male cat loves my purse.  I mean, I love my purse.  I just don't drool (literally) on it or get hair in every crevasse of it!
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