Self-Discipline and Personal Power

I want to talk about personal power and self discipline….It’s not a popular topic. Everybody wants a magic answer. They want to wave a wand or wiggle their nose and have the job done.

Me too, folks. Me too.

This is at the forefront of my mind for a couple reasons. The first has to do with my oldest daughter, the Princess. The second is hitting home because of my own situation.

The Princess is a hairdresser. She just passed her 4th anniversary at the salon she works; a high-end salon where she apprenticed. I know that she’s my daughter and I see her through rose colored lenses but let me tell you a bit about her.

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The Princess Empowering Women.

She’s annoyingly positive, incredibly emotional and was doled out an extra helping of guilt at birth.

She moves through her life trying to avoid making decisions that will make her feel the twisted pangs of guilt. Its her internal compass and she calls me when she has to make the hard decisions. She calls often.

This affliction has manifested in a number of traits such as a ridiculously strong work ethic and a desire to be helpful, supportive and kind.

I can tell ya, she is NOT the poster girl for the beauty industry.
She doesn’t fit in with the typical hairdresser and has, on occasion, been the target for the collective petty bullshit that happens whenever you get a bunch of insecure women in one place.

(I feel that ‘target’ is an ancestral wound gifted from her dad’s side and it’s her responsibility to heal it for herself and every woman that came before her. She agrees and is not happy about it.)

She loves what she does and she loves the people she works for, so she stays. Fortunately, she’s been working from their satellite salon and doesn’t interact with most of the women who target her.

On her 4th anniversary, she sat down with management to look at her numbers and discovered that she has hit the goal to receive her next raise in prices.

This is completely numerical. It has nothing to do with who she is, her work ethic, the quality of her work or how well the owner likes her. This formula is well known and applies to all hairdressers. The percentage of service sales + product sales = a bump in haircut prices.

My daughter busted her ass to earn that bump. She did her job, she scouted new clients, she took extra classes, learned new skills, perfected her techniques, built up her clientele, and promoted the products.

This success was not appreciated by the heard of cackling hens who posited that she only got the raise because she’s favored by the boss.

For a week we heard bits and pieces from a few ally’s and learned that a number of the girls confronted the boss demanding that her prices be reverted back, because it wasn’t fair. Some of the women had been there longer, some had more clients, some weren’t even hairdresser and had nothing to gain by protesting….but hey, herd mentality….

Their demands fell on deaf ears. The boss explained, once again, the process of obtaining a raise and how each of them had the power to do the same.

The Princess isn’t a witch, she doesn’t want the responsibility. She has never asked me for spells, only blessings and positive vibes. I’ve never cast a spell for her, success or otherwise. (I offered to hex the bitches but she turned me down.)

She is focused and disciplined and passionate. She wins.

And she inspires me. She reminds me everyday that Focus, Passion and Discipline are the keys to success; the keys to a happy life.

Going back to personal power and self-discipline. As kids we ‘do’ thing because we’re told to. We do it because if we don’t we’ll get in trouble. I don’t know about you, but most of what I did as a kid, was because it would stop my mom from yelling.

As an adult I didn’t. It was a rebellious thing. All those things I should have been doing for myself, like eating healthy, exercising, tidying up my home, studying my college course work…. I didn’t do that because it’s what the adults told me I had to do and now they weren’t around to make me.

I had to learn the hard way that doing those things would benefit me, they’d make me stronger, they’d make me feel better. They would give me room to focus on the things I’m passionate about. They would take me to the life I dreamed about.

It took me a good 15 years of rebellion before it started to click…

…Don’t laugh at me, everyone gets it in their own time.

So much of the craft is about what we do or don’t do. Intentions, spell work and magic will only get us so far. The rest is the boring mundane everyday things that we don’t really want to do.

Its not about motivation, its about discipline.

The princess recites that like a mantra. You do what needs to be done because it needs to be done. The results will be worth it.

In the Craft, most of the magic performed is done to boost the mundane work (at least in my practice). We set the intention, we focus the energy, light the candle, chant the rhyme, mix the herbs, charge the stones and then we do the work. The boring mundane busy work of reaching your goals.

Day in day out, we do the work that needs to be done. That’s where our personal power lies.

Sometimes the work is directly tied to the goal (The princess recommending products to her clients) and sometimes its not (Her choice to go to the gym everyday). But even if the task isn’t directly linked, It still matters. It’s all connected.

She goes to the gym because it makes her feel good. It helps her anxiety, manages her weight and makes her feel stronger. If she chose not to go to the gym everyday, her anxiety would be through the roof making her edgy and irritable and less able to deal with the stress. She’d be carrying extra weight which might have a negative effect on her self-confidence. She wouldn’t have the strength or stamina to take on the extra client with the 6 hour service.

I’m recognizing all this as we embark on this new journey and lifestyle change.

My sewing machine broke last year. It was 12 years old. It wasn’t a really expensive model and I didn’t sew as often as I wanted to because it couldn’t handle what I wanted it to do. I looked into having it fixed, (I couldn’t find the part I needed online) and it dawned on me that it would be better to save up for a heavy duty sewing machine.

I was half way to my goal when I casually mentioned it on Facebook. My cousin offered me her mothers old sewing machine. My crazy Aunt Joyce was an amazing and creative seamstress, I was humbled by the offer.

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 My Crazy Aunt Joyce! R.I.P Beautiful Soul.

So now I’m sitting on extra money with some serious craft store fantasies, knowing that I need to take that money and be responsible with it.

We still have debts to be paid and savings to increase. We’re not going to buy the farm if I waste the money on fabric. (especially when I have two 18 gallon totes full of fabric.)

My passion for a homesteading life has to outweigh my passion for being creative. I have to stay focused and be disciplined. Today it really sucks.

Today, I’m exercising my power, staying focused on my dream, and being disciplined with my resources.

Tonight, I will wave my wand and wiggle my nose and Tomorrow I’ll go to the bank.

Harvesting the Basil

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So far the toughest part about blogging about life stuff is remembering to take the pictures. You’d think it would be fairly easy in this Age of Instagram but I keep finding myself running for my phone half way through my projects.

Anyway…. I’ve harvested most of the basil. We’re having a strange summer. August wasn’t as warm as it usually is and September has been rather cool.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this weather. I thrive anywhere fro 60* – 80*. My poor Basil, however, prefers it hotter.

A couple days in the low 70’s and my poor plants started fading. They don’t tolerate cool weather. So out to the garden I went with my clippers and just snipped those babies at the base of the stem.

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I left some of the smaller plants; the ones that were stunted by the bigger plants and shielded from the cold.

I secretly hoped we’d get a last hooray; a week or two of hot weather to let those babies grow and thrive. (It seems my wish was granted. Its 88* today!)

I grow a lot of basil. I plant it from seed at the end of May and by June I’m chasing the Renaissance Man out of the garden. He starts picking the leaves off before they’re big and I panic because they need their leaves to grow! Basil is the flavor of Summer and he loves to cook with it.

His favorite is Tomato-mozzarella salad. It’s technically not cooking because its a cold salad but he also makes Chicken Parmesan with the big basil leaves between the chicken and the mozzerella and he’ll add whole leaves to his deep dish pizza.

He’s the reason I’ve gained weight. I blame him and Italian food. Completely. Its just really hard to practice portion control when he cooks!

In spite of all the the things we use fresh basil for, I always have a lot left at the end of summer. So I dry it.

I don’t really like drying it in the oven or dehydrator.
              ( I have this dehydrator, It works great on other things.)
The heat turns the leaves really dark and I feel like it looses a lot of the flavor. In the past I’ve just laid the clean leaves out on trays and let them air dry. It takes a couple days and a whole lot of space. I have a lot of basil. This year I set up a drying rope in my hall. The hallway runs down the middle of the house and gets no direct sunlight. It’s also right in front of the return air vent so there’s a constant air flow. Its working beautifully.

I’ll take these stalks into the kitchen and put them in a sink full of cold water. Swish them around, paying attention to the bottom leaves. Dirt likes to splash up onto the leaves and hang out in the crevices. Its really important to get the dirt off. No one wants to eat dirty basil.

I’ll pull out each stalk individually, pluck off any yellowed or crunchy leaves, trim of any burnt chewed up edges. Once I get the stalks clean and free of poor quality leaves I pat them dry with a towel and tie them all together to hang on the drying line.

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*sidenote*
I don’t use any pesticides in my garden. I do a little companion planting to deter bugs but unfortunately the basil is the deterrent. I stick a few plants by my tomatoes to entice bugs that would otherwise munch on my fruit.
The bugs then move on to become pollinators or food for the birds so it’s okay, I grow extra just for them!

This is my favorite part.


When the leaves are all dry and crunchy, I gently snap them off the stalk and start chopping. The Renaissance Man is in love with the smell of fresh basil but I much prefer the smell of dry basil.

To me it smells like magic and hope.

Basil was one of the first herbs I used in spell craft, years ago when I was just a baby witch. I rolled a candle in store bought basil and cast a money spell. It worked. The Idiot won a raffle and bought a pool- not the point…

The point is, it was really exciting and I’ve attached the smell to the feeling.

Basil is my go-to herb for money spells. Add to jars, wallets, cash boxes. It draws abundance and prosperity.

Basil is also used magically to bring love, peace and happiness. Use in sachets, charm bags, stuff into poppets or just sprinkle it around your house for protection.

It has been thought to “lift spirits and relieve melancholy” when consumed. It can be brewed into a tea often used to relieve headaches and other stress ailments.

Fun Folklore!

Sorry -not sorry, my inner Hermoine is butting in right now.

European lore say that Basil belongs to Satan and one must curse the ground while planting Basil in order for it to grow properly. The French idiom, “Semer le basilica” means “to sow the basil” and is used to refer to someone ranting.

More fun folklore – Witches were said to drink basil juice before flying…

I can attest that neither are true, I have never curse the ground and my basil always does well, I also do not drink basil juice before flying….I prefer vodka.

If you need some Basil, for craft work or whatever, I have plenty. You can find it here in my etsy shop!

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No herbal product is intended as a substitute for competent medical care. Please see your physician before adding any herbal supplement to your diet.

All information herein is from traditional or historical reference and intended to help you make an informed decision.

Behind the Scenes

This post isn’t really magical if that what you’re looking for. This post is just behind the scenes info and a peak into human side of my life.

I’ve been feeling a ‘change’ vibe for awhile. Battling some Wanderlust.  I’ve told The Renaissance Man. He didn’t like that. He still believes that he doesn’t like change. Silly Muggle.

About a month ago my suspicions were confirmed or rather clarified. Long story short, it looks like we may be moving out of our tiny little hobbit house.

Yes, first reaction was a freak out! For Both of us. Followed by some serious swearing. I’m totally not ready to move, not physically, not mentally, and definitely not financially.

But once the shock wore off, I felt that spark, that energy, the magic butterflies… the possibilities. The Renaissance Man, not as much, he’s stubborn that way… Silly Muggle.

In his defense, he’s put a lot of sweat equity into this house with the understanding that it would be ours someday. It took a few conversations to point out the faults in this property and open him up to the possibilities.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted a big white farmhouse with a wrap around porch and an expanse of land to grow gardens; vegetable garden, fruit gardens, herb garden, secret tucked away garden. And trees, Lots of trees. I love trees.

Maybe it was growing up reading Little House on the Prairie or maybe it’s my ancestors (They lost the farm in the depression), but that was the picture in my head, That’s where my heart goes when I loosen the reins. My happy place.

I buried that dream for a while because circumstances put my sorry ass in the City, with all the people and pollution and noise.  I did my best, no matter where I lived, to enjoy the postage stamp yards and make them magical.

Having to move, means the possibility of buying a house with a bigger yard, more land, more nature.

I’ve recently found a word for what I’ve always wanted.

Homesteading.

I’ve also learned that I already do so much of what a Homesteader does.

I grow my own herbs and vegetables. I preserve the things I grow. I cook 90 % of my meals from scratch. I can sew, I can crochet, I can knit now, Whoohoo!

The Renaissance Man can paint, sculpt, cook, bake, design and build things. (Hence his nick-name)  He does almost all the maintenance on our home and vehicles. He’s pretty freakin’ amazing!

The only thing we lack here is animals. They’re against the city ordinances and our space is already cramped.

I would like to keep chickens for eggs, and goats for milk (and because they’re adorable). I’ve also learned to spin fiber this year, so sheep or alpacas have entered the dream.

The animal part still seems very far away, if at all possible but the moving to a house with more land is now on the table although its going to take us at least a year to get the finances back in order.

Now I have to go back a bit to tell you that I got to that Hopeful, Excited Place before The Renaissance Man. It’s pretty typical. He likes to hang on to his worry; pet it and cuddle it and call it George. He has back up plans for his back up plan. He’s not really good with the whole “Trust the Universe” thing.  It took a bit of counseling, a card reading, some logic and a threat to get him on board.

Pretty much I pointed out that he needed to stay positive about this, or at the very least put it in a box and forget about it because I’d be working some magic and if his bad juju threw a wrench in all my good work, there would be hell to pay.

He laughed….nervously.

Its been a couple weeks since this all transpired. We have a finance plan in place to get rid of some debts and save some money. It’ll be at least a year before we can start looking at properties.

The focus is now,  will be on the side-business, my Etsy shop and blog.  Its always been good economic sense to have multiple streams of income. Doing that from home makes us happier people

The world needs happier people.

After 11 years of me running the Etsy shop and begging him to contribute, he’s  considering it.

I told you, he’s stubborn. If he actually does, is another question. He’s in the workshop honing his skills and making cool pieces for Christmas gifts. He may or may not be planning cool trinket and boxes to sell. We shall see.

I will be making a list of all the things I need to list on Etsy. I’ve got bundles of herbs drying and a stack of yarn craft waiting for new homes.

I’ve been doing this long enough to know the steps. I kind of burnt out and took a break but we agreed that its time for me to jump back in and do the work.

  • The making part is easy. I love the making part. The media may change but the joy is the same.
  • The photos and editing are tedious. Switching from the SLR digital camera to my phone camera may make life easier. I won’t have to transfer to the laptop to edit. Let me know if you notice a difference in quality.
  • The listing part isn’t hard. Etsy makes it pretty easy.
  • The Social Media stuff is where I struggle. Not because I can’t do it just because it always takes more time that I want it to. Let’s all wave our wands together since I can’t seem to find a working time-turner.

The biggest change for me right now may actually work in my favor. The Renaissance Man and I discussed this blog.

The Renaissance Man

A candid shot of The Renaissance Man investing sweat equity

*queue ominous music*

Okay, I rambled, he nodded a lot and occasionally made suggestions. Our final agreement is that this can’t be just a witchy blog. It can’t just be about those fun topics like plants and magic and tools that I’ve made and Goddesses that I work with.

It has to expand into the rest of our life because basically everything I do is flavored with my beliefs and touched by my magic.

This has to be a lifestyle blog. And it should chronicle the journey we are about to embark. From the very beginning (now) through all the ups and downs. The fun parts and boring parts and all the magic I work in between.

I guess I’m saying that their will be more behind the scenes type posts which  gives me more topics to write about! Which should, in theory, translate to more posts.s

Wish me luck!

Back to Basics : Grounding

Getting back to basics here. Grounding yourself. I’m starting to realize that not everyone understands the concept or knows how to do it.

I’m not talking about the those times your folks grounded you and you couldn’t hang out with your friends…. more like grounding the way electricity does. Only your electricity is made from your emotions

Think of emotion as Energy in Motion. Your emotions are just that, electrical impulses that trigger different body functions, Our thoughts give shape to those impulses and we label them; happy, sad angry, etc.

Each has a different feeling in the body. Sometimes, we don’t know why we feel what we feel. We wake up feeling sadness and we’re not sure why. We get impatient and lash our in anger for no particular reason. Sometimes we know why but there’s nothing we can do about the situation that’s causing the feelings and we still have to get our shit done.

As a triple water I know all about emotions, I swim through my days. For the most part, my emotions ebb and flow and I don’t even notice anymore. Sometimes, on rougher seas, I harness that energy to get shit done. Think rage cleaning

When its just too much, for too long and the feels are keeping me from getting other things done, I ground. Grounding helps release the extra emotions so we can get back to living our best life.

I personally believe that the whole reason we have physical bodies is to experience life through our emotions; to feel the experience in our body. Emotions give our life richness and depth but they can also get in the way.

Bonus! Grounding is aptly named as well!

Grounding is about giving the energy back to the earth to be recycled. Its like composting but with energy instead of organic material.

You all know how much I love composting!

Compost Pile

My compost pile prior to turning for visual effect.

There’s a natural magic in composting. You take your kitchen scraps, moldy fruits and rotten vegetables, bury in the ground and a few months later, Voila!

Dirt!

Healthy, nutrient rich dirt to feed your garden! Mother Nature turned all that was useless and bad for us into something with a purpose.

Guess what! The Earth does the same for your extra, moldy, rotten emotions that you have no use for.

Understand the concept?

Great, let’s get on to the process. (no? It’s okay, keep reading, I explain more.)

Just like there’s lots of ways to compost, there are also lots of ways to ground.

Lets start with visualizing. I find it to be the most effective. And it can be done almost anywhere with no tools.

(I don’t recommend doing this while operating heavy machinery so wait until you’re out of the drivers seat.)

So stop what your doing, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

Feel inside your body. Where are the tensions, the aches, the pains, the butterflies, the energetic dark spots…..

Take another breath, recognize those place and relax them.

Now imagine your emotions as a dark river running through your body, traveling up and down your limbs swirling trough your torso, pooling in those achey places, becoming stagnant and green. Imagine this river starts to move and flow. You may feel tingling in your extremities as this river flows. You may not. Its okay either way. Do it anyway.

Let it drain down your legs and into the ground. Imagine your personal energy river draining all the muck and pond scum through the earth into a larger energy river. Imagine it mixing in with Earths natural energy. Imagine the the Earth diluting and neutralizing your toxic energy and transforming it into healing energy. Let your murky emotional river continue to flow however long you need. You may feel a relief, you may feel lighter.

When you feel you have no more to give back to the Earth, Take a deep breath, move your feet to stop the flow and then imagine a richer, lighter and fluffier energy coming up from the ground in through your feet and flowing through your body via the fresh clean energy river. Let it flow, washing over all those dark achey places. Imagine it refreshing you, giving you more energy and focus. When your done. Take a deep breath, drink some water and get on with your day.

This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to a half hour. It’s up to you. It usually takes a little longer in the beginning because its a new skill that has to be learned and you probably have a lot more pent up emotions than you think.

But the good thing is that you don’t have to wait until your an emotional mess to start. I actually found that if you make this part of a routine you bypass the breakdowns.

Other ways of grounding.

Sometimes we get caught up in our heads. Its’s our nature to define and find reasons for our emotions. We feel that pang of sadness and wonder why? Instead of assuming its just blocked energy in our heart space we find a disappointment in our lives and decide that’s why we’re sad. Or angry or afraid. Our mind starts reeling and gets out of control. All kind of imagined slights will fill us with more emotions and we become so worked up we lose focus on the important things.

In these cases a few quick tricks can bring us back down to the place where we can manage again.

Think of your 5 senses.

What can you see? What can you taste; what can you hear; what can you smell; what can you feel?

Think of Earth and nature. Can you see the sky, the clouds, a tree?
Can you taste an apple, coffee, chocolate? (Professor Lupin was right about this one; It really does help.)
Can you hear birds, squirrels, water running, trees rustling?
Can you feel the air, the bark of a tree, bare feet on grass?

Getting back to nature is the most effective to getting you back into your body but other things work – wash your hands or put lotion on them. Drink some water. Turn on music. Move your body; dance, run, lift weights.

Maybe you think you don’t need this because your not emotional.
I hate to break it to you, You are.
We all are.

Its part of being human. Just because you don’t cry at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean those emotions aren’t flowing through you.

(actually crying is an awesome way to release the pent up emotions; I’m a big fan and I highly recommend it)

What happens when you don’t keep that river flowing, grounding out the extra emotions? They get stuck. In your body. And you end up with random aches and pains. Back ache, stomach issues, head aches, joint pain…..Over time you end up with chronic disease.

There’s a reason men have a shorter lifespan than women.

You remember that old paradigm of men are stronger/ women are too emotional….Women cry, men don’t.

It’s poisoned generations of men. Women release those pent up emotions and remove the blocks before they can cause disease that kill men. This has allowed women be stronger, healthier and live longer. Fortunately, shifts are happening and people are dropping that toxic masculine ideology.

The grounding exercises I’ve suggested is a way to possibly bypass the crying and still get the health benefits. Practice it. Make it part of your routine. Once a day, once a week. Whatever works for you. Just do it.

 

Hexing, Healing and Harming None.

I’ve been asked if I put spells on people, good or bad.

I don’t. Well, not specific spells, anyway- general well-being, protective and healing spells if asked or if I’m feeling compelled at the time.

Its because I believe in free will, life lessons and karma.

My ex, the Idiot, was convinced I cursed him when his second marriage failed. I didn’t. I suppose at one time or another, I had wished he got everything he deserved.

* I may or may not have hoped that included heartbreak and despair – however I did not set those parameters, specifically…. I was willing to let Karma decide*

At the time it felt like bad juju and also he’s my kids dad. Whatever happens to him effects my kids. Also, I really liked his 2nd wife. I was happy that he was happy. I was sad, but not surprised, when she left him.

I also do not do spells for people. Not unless they are willing to sit down with me, explain in detail how they feel, what they want and walk through every step with me. Magic is very personal. What you want and what I think you want could be miles apart.

I’m not going to be responsible if it doesn’t work exactly like you expect it to.

And guess what, magic rarely does.

But that’s besides the point.

In the Wiccan Rede there is a line that states, And it harm none, do as ye will”

That’s an incredibly liberating line. Especially for people who are being controlled by religious constraints, social norms, etc.

That line gives a person the right to step out of the role that society has imposed upon them. You can love the person you want, even if they are the same sex, a different race or religion, living across the country.

It means you can tattoo your skin or pierce your eyebrow or wear white after labor day. It means you can leave a toxic relationship or choose to live with 10 cats.

It also means you are free to run a company but you cannot exploit your workers or knowingly pollute the environment. There’s an ethical component to the Rule.

This is a great line to hold in your heart and guide your choices when you’re brand new and working to break the chains that kept you from knowing and expressing yourself.

I’ve even incorporated in my child rearing practices. As my kids grew, I made them consider this. Will hanging out your window with a lighter and a can of hairspray hurt you or someone else? Maybe? Then DON’T DO IT!

Most people who find this path develop a lot of righteous anger. They feel they’ve been lied to, manipulated and controlled. Its normal to be angry; healthy even. And having that one constraint of ‘harm none’ is like using training wheels as you heal your soul and develop your powers.

So then we come to the old adage that says if a witch can’t hex, they can’t heal.

I feel like this is more for the seasoned practitioner. The witch that’s been around long enough to heal some of their trauma and dabbled in magic long enough to have a basic understanding of how it works. Not that its more difficult, just that it requires more insight, control and ethics than ‘harm none’

Think sex ed. We tell our preschoolers that baby’s grow in mommy’s bellies. We tell our school age children that mommy and daddy loved each other very much and created a baby that will grow in mommy’s belly.

And then we tell our teenagers the details of how that baby was created.

The actual physical, chemical and emotional steps to creating life. And if your smart, you’ll tell them how to prevent it.

Teenagers have bodies that are changing and hormones that are surging. They need to know more and are emotionally capable of understanding some of the finer nuances,

The biggest reason for not giving all the emotional, physical and scientific facts to your three year old is that they won’t understand it. They’re brain isn’t developed enough to handle the abstract concepts.

A new Witch needs to grow a bit before tackling the nuances of hexing vs. healing.

I  feel like the concept isn’t so much that you should hex if your going to heal or that you have to hex if you want to heal.
I feel like it refers more to the mechanics of magic.

In the process of using magic, a witch manipulates energy. We draw that energy from the earth, from Spirit and from ourselves. We obtain our energy from the food we eat but also the emotions we feel. The stronger the emotion the more energy we can harness.

With this idea in mind, great energy can be harnessed by love, fear, and anger; our strongest emotions.

I think the idea that ‘you can’t heal if you can’t hex’ refers to the ability to harness both the the joys of love and the fire of anger.

A long time ago, I was saved by the idea that emotions swing like a pendulum.

I had my first 3 kids with in a 5 year period. I suffered some serious depression in those years. Part was situational, part was isolation and a big part was hormones.

After my second, I had the worst postpartum depression ever. Serious stereotypical signs of depression. Inability to function; I couldn’t eat, sleep, bathe. I had suicidal ideations…the works. Eventually hormones stabilized and life got back to normal….if there is a sense of normal in being 21 with 2 babies.

When I was pregnant with #3 I was secretly afraid that I would return to that level of despair. In the process of fearing it I managed to block all strong emotions. Long story short, by the time he was 18 months, I was 50 pounds overweight, exhausted and numb.

I realized that I couldn’t feel happy because I was too afraid to feel sad and If I wanted to feel the ecstatic joy that I imagined was possible, I had to risk feeling despair again.

I swung back and forth a few years. I found some great emotional highs but never stayed stuck in the lows. I learned that emotions are temporary if you don’t hold on to them.

This was before I discovered this magical path. It was my first step in taking more control over my own life.

But relating this back to the hexing and healing stuff. I feel like this piece of advice is best taken in the context that you have to master your emotions.

You have to be able to harness your fear and anger. You have to be brave enough to feel happy and fall in love. You have to be able to recognize the emotions, feel them and learn to let go of them if you want to work strong magic.

How can I cast a protective circle around the women of Georgia if I really just want to disembowel the Republicans that drafted the ridiculous legislation.

I could use that energy to hex the misogyny if I was so inclined.

I’m not… usually.

But more importantly, I have to recognized the anger, feel the anger and let it go effectively BEFORE I attempt to do protective and healing spell work.

If I don’t, my anger and frustration will leach into my good intentions in a passive-aggressive cluster-fuck that has the potential to hurt the very Sisterhood I’m trying to protect.

The thing is, once you know how to recognize, feel, and release an emotion, you’re only one step away from using it in spell work, whether that’s healing or hexing.

What this advice does NOT say is that you have to hex. This is your practice, this is your life and your choice. If hexing doesn’t feel right than don’t do it. Easy-peasy.

However you do have to do the emotional work. You do have to process those ‘hexing’ emotions. You know, next level Witch work.

And just because you choose not to hex doesn’t mean you can’t heal.

Please do.

The world needs more healers.

Dame Habonde – a Lesson in Abundance

Dame Habondi

I recently received a request for a custom Spirit Doll from a client I’ve worked with before.

He asked if I’d ever heard of Dame Habonde.

I hadn’t but a quick google search netted me plenty of information of this little known goddess and peaked my interest.

In Celtic areas she was a Goddess of abundance, joy, fertility and luck. Her symbols are ale and fire and as such she was honored by dancing around a bonfire.

In Wales, She’s celebrated on the First Monday in July.

She’s also connected with the night riders, believed to creep into homes at night bringing prosperity to the occupants. She was eventually dismissed as a witch and almost lost. 

As a fertility Goddess it automatically puts her in the Mother section of the Goddess triptych. But I didn’t pick up on new mother or young mother.

I was feeling a seasoned mother, maybe bordering on crone-hood; a wise and patient mother.

And yet in contrast I was picking up on early summer, more of first fruits rather that first harvest that most abundance goddess are associated with.

And just for shits and giggles, Habonde kept shooting over visions of strawberries.

Now here where I live, Strawberry season is the last half of June and in my house it’s a big deal. We have a local u-pick that does a big festival to kick off its harvesting season.

The Renaissance Man and I drag the kids into the field to pick our share while they complain that they’re bored and hot and dying……then I spend the next 2 days processing strawberries; freezing, jelly-making and cordials.

I feel like this was her way of giving me a clear picture of her energy.

I worked with my client on the details; He pictured red braids and green/gold energy.

I added ruby in zoistite, emerald and rhodochrosite chips for the rich abundant energy and self love, because you can’t have one without the other.

And then a funny thing happened.

It’s my artistic nature to add more. More of everything. More layers, more fabric, more fibers, more beads. Just more.

But every time I tried, it looked wrong. I wasn’t feeling it. I got a little nervous thinking maybe I lost my mojo. 

I’d undo what I tried and try something else. Sometimes I’d walk away, hoping that when I came back, the next layer would be more clear.

After 3 days, I finally asked Her. “What else do you need?”

And she laughed.

Nothing. I’m perfect. Sometimes, more isn’t better, it’s just more!”

So she was photographed, approved and sent off to her happy home to work her magic and bring joy to the man who commissioned her.

Her words echoed in my head. A sure sign that there was a lesson to be remembered.

The eerie truth is that it’s exactly what I told my ex-husband years ago.

Sometimes, more isn’t better. It’s just more.

He was the poster child for 80’s culture. “The one that dies with the most toys, wins”

Remember that idea?

No…okay, I’m old.

He lived by that, filling our cape cod to the seams with crap he’d never use, leaving it up to me to figure out where to keep it.

In frustration, I spit those exact words at him and he laughed a nervous laugh that suggested I was right but he wasn’t willing to admit it.

He’s still a pack rat, but his house isn’t my problem anymore. I’m not as bad, I’ll do a whole house purge at least once a year. 

I find it odd that a Deity of Abundance and plenty would preach against ‘more’. Isn’t that what Abundance is about?

So, what is the lesson now, how can that idea be applied to our current situations? Am I more focused on getting more? Do I really need it? Does it hamper my ability to enjoy the now?

And of course because I’ve lived with a pack rat and currently live in a tiny little hobbit house….. If I do feel I need it, how often will I use it? Where will I put it?

I think Dame Habonde is pointing out that abundance isn’t about more. Maybe its about enough. Enough to sustain, enough to share, enough to not worry about the next week, the next month, the dark and scarce winter seasons….

Maybe its not about having ‘it’ squirreled away in the back of the closet ‘just in case’. Maybe its about having the faith that it’ll show up when we need it. Maybe it’s about paying it forward and providing our excess to people who need it now. Something to think about. 

Daffodil (2019 update)

Okay, so a little back ground on my adventures with daffodils.

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I love these little rays of sunshine!

They are the first flowers to show up in my yard every spring. For me, its the first sign that the long, cold, miserable, Midwest winter is almost over.

I’ve always grown these – I’ve been adulting since ’92 and bought our first house in ’96. I’ve grown them at almost every house I’ve lived in since.

I didn’t start intentionally using them in magic until 2014,  when I first wrote this post. 

That year I tested out some spells and rituals. I was quite happy with the results so I began picking and drying out the flowers towards the end of their growing season.

I picked too many.

So I offered them in my shop.

It became an accidental success so I continue to harvest my daffodils every year.

This year looked like I was going to have a bumper crop. Two years ago I divided them and moved them around. They did well. I never doubted them. One of the reasons I love them is that they’re incredibly dependable and resilient. 

I started picking the ones growing on the south side of the house. Those always bloom first. I almost started picking the ones up front yesterday but the butterflies were dancing through them so I decided to give them a few more days.

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Daffodils 2019

I’d hate to deny the butterflies a happy meal after all.

Imagine my surprise to wake up this morning  to sleet and snow! I sat in the front window for an hour, drinking my coffee and watching the slush pile up on those poor flowers.

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I’ll know by tomorrow if they’ll survive. Its supposed to be back up in the 50’s.  And I guess I  can be thankful that all the bulbs I transplanted to the back haven’t bloomed yet. Those will show up in another week or so.

I’ll have a fresh batch of dried daffodil flowers  available by the middle of May, just maybe not as many as I anticipated.

So what do you do with Daffodil flowers? 

Well, I’m a big supporter of being creative with your magical workings, I won’t tell you what to do or how to use them.
(*except I highly suggest that you not consume them. All parts of a daffodil are toxic and can make you sick)

I will share some of the properties and how I use them.

Daffodils symbolize joy and happiness, hope and cheerfulness.
Traditionally their ‘power’ includes Luck, Love, and Fertility.

  • I put fresh cut daffodils on my altar and throughout the house to attract friendly Spirits.
  • Add dried flowers to a mojo or medicine bags to a dash of joy.
  • Add to a poppet for emotional healing.
  • Sprinkle on a doorstep to keep negative energy from entering.
  • Roll an anointed candle in crushed flower petals.

Also fun fact: Daffodils were adopted by the Druids as their flower.

Do you have a favorite way to use Daffodils? I’d love to hear about it.