Thyme in a Bottle

158me1

Since my last post I have been working really hard to keep up with my daily tasks and routines. I’ve followed through to the best of my ability, which fluctuates from day to day. But everyday I give conscious effort to do the best I can with what I’ve got.

That means remembering who I am and what makes my life feel “good” and “on track”.
The crazy thing is that I haven’t even beat myself up for not accomplishing everything on my “list of the day” and that in itself is a major triumph.

When I woke up this morning, before I even got out of bed I asked myself a simple question; How will I choose to spend my time today? And the question didn’t make me anxious.

I say this because two weeks ago, time management was difficult. At the end of a day where all those things on my list seemed to remain one step ahead of me, I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I ended up being a crabby bitch when I started thinking about all the things I didn’t get done. I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with life.

So I took 3 cleansing breaths and wrote out the bare bones of this spell, which in part was a letter to myself, (but really, aren’t most spells merely letters to that aspect of ourselves that we are trying to connect with?) and then had a heart-to-heart talk with the Goddess.

Thyme Management Spell

Gather your items:

Your three minute egg timer
1 orange candle
1 small bottle
3 drops patchouli oil
3 drops cinnamon leaf oil
3 drops orange oil
30 drops sweet almond or mineral oil
A pinch of thyme (go ahead and make it a big pinch)
A piece of paper and your pretty purple pen that makes you happy.

Remember your simple altar setup. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). You know that during this time in your life simplicity avoids confusion and saves time!

So set it up and quit over-thinking, because I know you will want to. You just love second-guessing yourself. Keep acting that way and all the thyme in the world will not be enough.

Cleanse, cast, and invoke. Then move forward.

Prepare the oil in the bottle with a dropper, add the thyme, cap and shake to mix well. Imagine that while you are shaking the oil that you are also dislodging any negativity or frustration that comes with simply trying to keep up with life. But be careful not to break the bottle with your built up ick, because then you’ll have to start all over again, thus wasting more time.

On the piece of paper write your petition to the Goddess, feeling your deep personal need for successful time management. And remember, K.I.S.S.

I wrote to Her during my ritual, expressing my longing for less chaos and more peace throughout my days. I didn’t want to feel rushed, and I didn’t want to be angry at myself anymore because anger physically hurts me. I wanted her to know that I was willing to keep my priorities in focus, and to take charge of my actions, as each one leads to the other, and so on.

I folded the letter and held it in my hands feeling my fingers tingle with energy. When it felt right, I placed the piece of paper under the timer. Then I dabbed a small amount of the prepared oil to my wrists and rubbed them together.

I lit the orange candle and started the timer.

altar2

I gazed into the candle flame and pictured myself going through a typical day at a calm even pace. Things were running smoothly. Appointments were remembered and household duties were under control. My mind wandered into the darkness a few times but I reigned it back in.

When the timer had sounded, I extinguished the flame and went on about my day. When that feeling of tension began bubbling up, I would bring back into focus the orange candle’s flame and feel the loving support from Her. I was then able to trust in my ability to take back control of my day.

I did this every morning for 3 days, and every other day since. I read the letter, dab on the oil, light the candle, start the timer, and then visualize a smooth sailing day. It only takes a few minutes, and within those first 3 days I began to see a noticeable difference in how I reacted to situations, and how I made better choices in managing my time.

I’m going to do this as often as I need, (replacing the candle when needed) but I choose not to waste my time obsessing about it! I will do it and then go on about my day.

The best part about this daily “blessing” is that I’m finding that if my day didn’t go exactly as planned, I don’t beat myself up about it. One of the things I’ve learned since starting this is that successful time management is the ability to take on unforeseen challenges without causing negativity to creep in and slow me down.

 

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

Advertisements

Day by Day

My husband went away on business today. He’ll be gone for two weeks; same as last year. That first time was pretty rough because we had never spent more than two nights apart in 14 years. It was really strange having him gone so long. He will be in intensive training all day, every day and then there’s 2-3 hours of homework every night plus projects on the weekends. Quite frankly we won’t be talking a whole lot. I’ll miss his calls and texts. But I’ll really just miss him. His soft kisses and big strong bear hugs.

He warmed our hearts today (mine actually melted) when after giving us goodbye hugs and kisses, he handed each of us a small notebook. These little notebooks had handwritten messages for each day. We were told not to look ahead, just read each entry for that day and then do our part. I was good, I only looked through the kid’s books because he whispered in my ear that I could, but he stressed the fact that I was not to look all the way through mine. “Day by Day” he says, “and when I read them when I get home I will savor your responses just as much as your curiosity tempts you to look ahead.” Then he kissed me again; a long languorous kiss that sealed the deal. I swooned over my big, burly, Irish Druid. And said goodbye.

He wrote personal little messages for each day he’ll be gone. For the kid’s books, he created tasks for them to complete and sometimes asks them questions about their day. For example, a couple of our daughter’s things to do is, “If you could be any animal real or mythical what would you be? Write me a story about a banana eating a monkey.”

For our son, “Draw your favorite food being eaten by a bug; Tell me a story about a boy that couldn’t stop farting… And then he threw in a few math problems for the both of them; what a meanie, right?

My notebook’s first task was to listen to a song that reminded me of him and then text him the song. What a brilliant way to check and make sure I was doing my mini journal. He’s smart like that. I’m so glad I didn’t forget to look at my notebook!

So I’m alone. Sort of. I’ve got my kids and dog so I’m doing okay tonight. In fact, I will be fine for the first 3 or 4 days before those pesky little pangs of loneliness and longing start creeping their way in. I plan on being busy doing activities with the kids to make the time go by faster. A trip to the science museum, see a movie, visit the library, go to the pool, and then the yogurt shop where we can create our own frozen yogurt with mountains of toppings….

As much as I will miss my husband, there’s also a few advantages to my alone time too. I’ll get to stay up as late as I want reading a book. I’ll have Alexa all to myself (Amazon Echo was my birthday gift last week) and I’ll be tempted to eat cookies in bed and allow the crumbs to fall on his side….just tempted though because I know I’ll probably end up over there in the scratchy crumbs at some point. So I shall save my wild woman ways for the upcoming weekend….

Which brings me to something fun for just me. I’ll be kid-less this weekend thanks to my mom and dad and I’ll be spending the Lammas weekend away in the forest with my Sisters in Spirit. And oh my, will I ever be a wild woman wandering through the trees, luxuriating in the beauty of nature and reveling in the powerful magick of the old growth forest. My feet will be dirty, my hair tangled, and I will be wearing a big smile on my face.

Those are the things that will get me through the first week. The second week is still a blank page full of magickal possibilities.

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

May We Honor Mother Earth Today and Every Day

When we heal ourselves, others are healed. When we nurture our dreams, we give birth to the dreams of humankind. When we walk as loving aspects of the Earth Mother, we become the fertile, life-giving Mothers of the Creative Force. When we honor our bodies, our health, and our emotional needs, we make space for our dreams to come into being. When we speak the truth from our healed hearts, we allow life abundant to continue on our Mother Planet.
~Jamie Sams

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

That Which is Me

There is a special place for me that is down a little path. It sits between two giant cedar trees and is far enough away from the main house to feel like I’m away from it all. I suppose it’s really a private place where I can deal with my life in general. It has a door that locks and three windows that let in enough natural light when I want it and blackout drapes for times I need darkness and privacy. I appreciate this place I have and am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to enjoy it (“it” being what I affectionately call my “Lair”) as much as life allows.

It’s my office and workspace with a big desk where I can write, draw, or waste my time. There is another craft table for collage/mixed media projects, painting, etc. I find that the cycle in which I move through these different projects remains in harmony with what my spirit needs; the nourishment coming from the creative flow of what I choose to do. There are walls with bookshelves stuffed with way too many books, and 2 reading chairs where I can read or crochet. It also has a massage table and placed in one corner is my altar and in front of that is my ritual/meditation space.

DSCF6459

There are many times I have to tuck back the sheer nettings, stack the pillows, and roll back the sheepskin rug to make room for my sewing table or to pull the massage table away from the wall. Sometimes the entire room is a cluttered mess with projects in progress.

Today I thought about all the reasons I go out there and what I use that quiet place for. The list got ridiculously long, so I decided to pare it down to describe what I feel is the most important and basic need I have of it. My altar.

The one thing in the “Lair” that never gets moved, untidy, or packed away is my altar.
It’s the one place in my life that I know will be there the way I need it to be at any given moment. I love being in that spiritual space in front of my altar, but it’s not limited to one location….. Yes, it’s a physical space, but it’s also with me by being within me. The only boundaries are those that are created by me whether on purpose, accidental, or coincidental.

When I clean my altar, rearrange the items on it, change the cloth, or update the essentials, I commit the changes to memory so that I can access it anytime, anywhere. I can be in the middle of the grocery store and feel the familiar spike in anxiety or pain. I can choose to tense up and try and rush through or I can close my eyes for just a moment and allow the image of my altar to flow into my mind. I can reach out and touch an item, smell the incense, and feel the warmth of the candle flame all within a moment and a deep breath.

DSCF6501

Meet Seymour, Guardian of my Altar

I need that place, not just the physical location, (although that’s also nice) but the true nature of what it embodies and my accessibility to it. It exists far beyond my physical reality. It’s teeming with emotions and memories; it’s a vessel of intention and magick; it’s about love and passion; music and poetry; it’s brimming with mantras and dreams; it’s overflowing with my wishes and desires; It’s a place of creative prompts and encouragement to do what it is that makes me happy and fulfilled. This is the altar of my private sanctuary, and mine alone. It’s where my heart can dance because it is simply me.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

This is How I Spent Most of my Day

DSCF6567

I’ve been enjoying one of my favorite novels all over again. I have many “favorites” across many genres but time travel and 1700’s Scottish Highlands were calling out to me.

Although I’ve had too many cups of Tazo today, it feels good to indulge myself in a world that I find easy to daydream about. Years ago this story opened my heart to the possibility of enjoying a fantasy/time travel/historical romance, which was something I had never before considered to be my “taste.” But my own little daydream was born within the pages of this book. It was a little seedling of fantasy that grew with my imagination, further fed by my new-found desires; ones I never even knew I had. Before I knew it I was daydreaming about wandering around a medieval Scottish castle where I purposefully stray from the tour group and sneak beyond the roped off area. This of course leads me to a mysterious chamber in which a time portal opens up (you see, it was waiting just for me) and, not surprisingly, I lose my balance, fall through and travel back in time. I reappear just outside the castle walls in the mid 1700’s. I’m immediately found by a big burly Scottish Highlander in a kilt who sweeps me off my feet and plants me on the back of his horse. I hold onto him tightly as he whisks me away to…..well I don’t always know where exactly….the locations vary….as do a lot of the other parts, but you get the gist.

Losing myself within the pages of what daydreams are made of is a good thing. At least until 3 p.m. when the kids return from school, running inside the house, dropping their backpacks on the floor, arguing about who’s more annoying, and complaining about how hungry they are. 

For me, revisiting those familiar characters and settings is an ongoing adventure because each time I return I find something new, like catching sight of a gem caught in a stained glass window. It’s a long, luxurious bubble bath for my soul, an extended Calgon moment I suppose. And until tomorrow, my bookmark will act as my tether to that other place.

So daydreams are encouraged! May you spend some time revisiting one of your favorite books too.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

 

 

Cherry Tarts~ Retro-Style

Mercury Retrograde.
It’s a time to say what I should have said when I felt what I meant to say. Or something like that.

Discombobulated anyone?

Just blame it on Mercury. Like the most of us tend to do.

 I’ve been on the alternative route long enough to have been duly warned of all the do’s and don’ts during this “troubling” time. I am well aware of the more-than-likely-mishaps and frustrating malfunctions, dumb misunderstandings and deals gone bad. I’ve been there, done that. And so have you.

 No need to fret, It’s just Mercury Retrograde doing it’s thing; and we all have our thing.

When things go awry like your printer takes a nosedive or you accidentally hit “send” when you really shouldn’t have then it’s time to pay more attention to the little wisps of luck in your life like getting out of a speeding ticket, finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket and then find the bakery is making your favorite cherry tarts again (I must admit I worked hard on making that wheel squeak).You know, the important stuff in the Grand Scheme of Things.

Besides, Mercury isn’t really moving backwards, it’s all just an optical illusion…but I really shouldn’t spoil the mood so I’ll stop there.

Life speeds by on its endless course and dear Mercury Retrograde can be that slap in the face you need in order to get a grip on life.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

The tarts are calling my name. Mercury Rocks!

Statements of Intent in Lieu of Resolutions

It’s New Years (in case you haven’t heard) and I began thinking about all of those resolutions people make every year-just like the ones I used to make. I remember those promises well and the key phrase that went along with them; “I’m going to (insert something I don’t really want to do) every day”. Most were doomed, but that’s the norm; the expected outcome.

My top picks of unsuccessful attempts at resolutions have included, but of course are not limited to: join the gym, walk the dog, call my mom more often, cut back on my caffeine intake, etc.

My personal favorite and most often used one was, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by swimsuit season”. Sure, I was successful, but when I got back from the vacation I bought that swimsuit for, I found that those 10 pounds had rewound themselves around my thighs.

Before I began the Path I already had come to realize that my New Year’s Resolutions were nothing but cop outs. Knowing that New Years was coming up I could postpone losing that weight or cutting back on my frivolous shopping. It could all wait because that was going on my mental New Year’s Resolution list. Sometimes that list would get ridiculously long and by the time New Years rolled around I would scold myself, knowing that my list was unreasonable and that I would have to narrow it down to only one or two. They would ultimately fail and I would tell myself that there was always next year.

Then finally my life took a different direction and I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was going to be making no more New Year’s Resolutions. How I had arrived at that decision was simple. Why hadn’t I embraced it long ago?

The year 2000 was a real eye-opening year for me. It was the year I decided to take my spiritual path to another level, to take it seriously and put it to work. I knew that ultimately I could only read so many books on beginners magic, Wicca and/or Witchcraft, Tantra, astral travel, lucid dreaming, past life regression, chakra balancing, crystal healing, etc. until it was time to roll up my sleeves and dig in. The next step in my spiritual journey wasn’t going to happen until I applied that book knowledge-to put it into practice. So I set things in motion and never looked back.

When I began honoring the cycles of the moon and the Wheel of the Year, I was free to realize that opportunities for “resolutions” were all the time. They weren’t limited to one day of the year. They were constantly evolving and changing, always in motion just as I was and the world around me. As a practicing Witch I became aware of the boundless opportunities for me to make firm decisions and act upon them to create change. My mental and spiritual commitment to bring change into my life did not cause me to judge myself or get angry at my failures. Instead of self-induced emotional trauma, my mistakes became learning experiences, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

I began to see resolutions for what they were; simply intentions that had yet to be acted upon. I no longer referred to the opportunities for change as “resolutions” (mostly because of the negativity I had attached to the word) but as Statements of Intent. These statements are the basis of spellwork that (more times than not) lead me to my desired outcome. The longer I practiced magick the more I became aware of the power of words and learned that thoughts are things. The magick came from within me, outside of me, above me, below me, in the trees, the ocean, my breath, and the blood pulsing in my veins. It was everything, it was endless, and the power was real. By creating spells and practicing magick with the extra boost of timing, I can set into motion the change I want to happen.

Timing in magick and its different desired outcomes varies as much as the hours of the day, the days of the week, and the months of the year. Combining those with the monthly moon cycles, different Sabbats within the Wheel of the Year, colors, candles, incense, herbs, etc. there are endless formulas for success and ample opportunities to make effective change in my life and creating positive energy within the world. My Statements of Intent are born from the center of my being and are powerful sparks of potential. May you too see the potential in every minute of every day of every year. So mote it be!

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

A Journey Within the Flames

fire-line-lowrider hood-flames.jpg

We’ve lazed around all day with our leftover pie-bloated bellies having not much energy to do anything other than…well, nothing. There’s homework, including an animal report due on Monday, but procrastination triumphs over our weak resolve.

It’s cold outside and the fire is crackling in the fireplace. It’s warmth and comfort is a gravitational pull and we are drawn like moths to a flame. So here we lie covered in woolen blankets and chenille throws telling each other what we see in the flames.

A fiery dragon, a waterfall, an old bearded man, a swirling phoenix, the Greenman, a person sticking their tongue out, a castle, a rose, a dog, hearts, among many other vivid images. Sometimes we see what the other person does and a lot of times we see our own version of the image, but rarely do we see nothing at all.

After a while we become naturally grounded and centered. I begin the prayer of protection that we use together during divination, meditation, visualization, ritual, spellwork, etc. We place the bubble of protection around ourselves and set a boundary of magickal space. When we feel the energy in the room shift to a special level of quiet and peacefulness we can begin to soften our eyes and let the story of the flames unfold as it tells its tale. The images we see within the flames combine with images, words, sounds and emotions from within, creating a personal tapestry that is woven in a way that is uniquely our own. Even if our softened eyes close, the flames will continue their dance in our mind’s eye.

When one of us becomes restless or fidgety, then it’s time to wrap things up. We slice a few pieces of pumpkin bread and pour some milk to share. This creates more grounding and gives us the opportunity, if we choose, to share some of our experiences with each other. Afterwards we take some alone time to journal/draw what we experienced during our journey with the flame.

Do you let the visions within flames tell you a story?

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

The Tower: Open Your Heart as the Goddess Moves Through You

10378013_10152584048987146_5513036525982794409_n

The Tower Card: The Tree Tarot

Miles of ocean blue-serene yet unsettled
I look out over the horizon and the water is lit up
like millions of shining diamonds-the backdrop of the coming twilight

Out beyond the breakers a beacon appears
A Tower that exudes solitude and unrest
Rooted beneath the sea, it has been painstakingly built and I watch
Helplessly as flames began to lick up the sides of the stone walls.

The structure will be consumed before the darkness of true night falls.
Watching this unfold comes the realization that
this is the falling of me.

It now becomes a bright torch engulfing itself.
The storm cast waves do little to soften the flame’s fury.
And it continues to grow impossibly higher and brighter.
Its existence is becoming nothing but smoke and ash in the wind
Or falling chunks of stone breaking away and falling to the water below
I am powerless watching the pieces of my life being tossed around in
the choppy waters.

The ruins drift aimlessly out to sea,
now beyond my reach for sure.
I stare out at the dark sky left by the smoke of destruction
The blank canvas of my soul; I don’t even know where to begin.

I wander aimlessly along the shore feeling the storm clouds follow me
Weary, I sit upon the sand with my head in my hands.
And weep through the night.

Dawn breaks, giving light to the beach and warmth to
my body- a true balm to my soul.
At my feet I discover a small stone that has washed up on the shore.
A token from the sea- a remnant from my past laid before me.

And the Goddess speaks to me from the breath of the sea; “Daughter of my womb, I have never abandoned you, even on
the darkest of nights.

I watched with sorrow as you suffered through your great loss.
You must accept that you are not meant to control all
aspects of your life, but my child, that does not mean that your
life is out of control.”
I have a choice. I pick up the stone and stand-
Again I look out over the horizon. The surface now glimmers
like millions of golden butterflies in the morning sunlight.
I bow my head in reverence and whisper a thank you.

I place the rock to my heart until it warms to my skin. I gently kiss it and toss the rock out into the waves and watch patiently
as the tide pulls it out to sea.

There’s a slight tremor in the sand beneath my feet
as the rock roots itself. A new foundation is taking hold and I smile.
Before long a peak will appear from the waterline that will someday
evolve into a splendid tower, built stronger and even
more beautiful than the last,

A feeling of quiet peace surrounded me
and I smiled for I knew the best was yet to come.
Please open your heart as the Goddess Moves through you.
And may those feelings of quiet peace surround you and yours as well.

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

A Descent into the Underworld; November New Moon Shamanic Journey

A Descent into the Underworld; A New Moon Shamanic Journey in November

DSCF6126

I cleansed, renewed, and charged my altar today. It’s been a dark, wet day and the rain outside is absolutely delicious. It’s the soft Oregon rain that is as temperate as the forests that surround me. I’m sitting here in my art studio typing away with the door open, pausing every now and then to look out at the trees and smile at the birds as they sing. I’ve made sure to keep their feeders full and have even made sure to share some of the sunflower seeds with the squirrels.

As I continue to prepare for the dark months ahead, I’ve decided to check my spiritual inventory as well. At Samhain I honored my ancestors of long ago and gave special remembrance to my loved ones who have passed over during this lifetime. I welcomed the coming darkness but as the nights stretch their long fingers further and further into the days I feel a stronger desire to turn towards the within. What a lovely dark night to take a close look at my life and take stock of my truths and the things that reside at the center of my day to day living. Are these things working for me or are they hindering my Spirit?

When I renewed my altar I did it with the purpose and intention of taking a shamanic journey later this evening. This is the time between the passageway of Samhain and the gateway to renewed light at Winter Solstice. When I placed the items onto my altar, I took my time. I was at my own passageway in my movements and feelings of patience and contentment came naturally. I was floating in an ethereal movement that was eerily comforting. This feeling is something I want more of in my life and I want it to be accessible in the center of my day to day living. It’s what I long for but I find it increasingly difficult to either attain or maintain those feelings of patience, calmness, and contentedness for any length of time.

Pain is a very real barrier between me and that peacefulness. From failed back surgeries to Fibromyalgia, and on to the emotional consequences of my intuitive empathic nature, I have a mind that cannot easily turn off external stimuli. Both my body and mind (and consequently my Spirit) have become overly sensitive to physical sensations, the heartache on the news, and the dissatisfaction and unhappiness that seeps from strangers in a crowd. My sensitivity to these things is what shaped my ability to help others through the Tarot but my real problem is finding the shut-off valve. I want to find and nurture the ability to slow my mind in order to return to a peaceful (or relatively peaceful) state of being. Oh how I would love to effectively clear away the negativity and be able to sleep at night!

So tonight I am going in search of that peace that I need to bring forth into my life. On this new moon, I am taking a journey through drumming and visualization to enter the gateway of trees and into the forest realm of the within. Tonight I will unwrap my scrying mirror (that I have not held in quite some time) and delve deep into the dark moon, awakening to what is revealed within. And in the darkness just before the light breaks, I will be in a safe, personal, and private space to find that peace and draw it towards my life’s center in order to balance my Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Lady,
Tiny voices, like the hidden
sounds that moths make,
call to me in the silence
of the night.
Like moths beating their wings
against the screen, You
beat against the shutters of my mind,
demanding entrance.
The candle of the moon is dark,
granting no direction.
Yet, veiled though You are,
Your nearness brushes me like
fragile wings against the fire’s flame.
New beginnings are Your gift,
to unfold as the many-petalled moon,
or the iridescent wings of
Your desire.

Galen Gillotte “The Book of Hours”

The darkness of this November New Moon offers a period of reflection and reprieve. How will you choose to use it?

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(