This time of year for the northern part of our world go through the dark time of the year. Further north you go the more shorter the days are. The other thing about this time of year for the north is the shadows get longer, same as the night hours do.
Winter has its own expression of beauty. Yet it also has some unique challenges and lessons. Some of those challenges seem to have so much to do with this season of long shadows and long nights, long times of darkness and shadow.
And I can’t help but wonder if we could heal those challenges we can have during this time of year! By healing our stories, beliefs, perseptions and such!
For life and the cycles of nature can help us see where we may need to change or heal a belief, a pattern we are stuck in, something of our past traumas and so forth. Creation and nature are great healers and teachers. And the seasons and their rhythms have so much to offer us.
I also know that we as individuals and as a collective can point towards what is needing healing, transformation and change!
And oh my goodness am I feeling and knowing in a deep way we need to change our stories and even maybe language about darkness and shadow!
Oh I know it may seem I’m talking crazy here!
But I’m not alone in understanding that the true relationship we need to heal is with our Minds! For it is there that All things come from in our lives! Our minds is where our power is to bring about change or destruction!
And dear ones, when we close those eyes for meditation or sleep, there you get to see Darkness and Our Shadow, it’s where we have a fuller access to ourselves!
And we are not going to be able to be whole, complete and having full access to our power. Oh no we won’t! Not if we keep making Shadow and Darkness places of nightmares or turning them into our scapegoat for all the nasty stuff we do to ourselves and each other. No! Instead we will run and run and run away! In fact that’s why we are hurting and our world is hurting!
Can we do anything to change this? Oh! Yes we can! But only if we are willing to change our stories about Darkness and Shadow! And only if we are brave enough to want fuller access to the fullness of our Minds!
So! How do we go about changing our stories, beliefs, perceptions and such about darkness and shadow? Well, are we willing to accept we are talking about our minds, when we speak our shadow and dark side?
That’s the first step is realizing we are having all kinds of stories and philosophies about the dark and shadow parts of ourselves being such terrible parts of our human psyche and that we are really talking about our thoughts, our mind.
I’ve had the humble privilege of being able to share my philosophy and my thoughts about humanity’s relationship with shadow and darkness and how we are really speaking to the inner workings of the mind. Yet when I’ve had some understanding from folks, I could still see they didn’t quite understand where I was coming from. That was until I had them do a few interactive things.
First I have them put on a blindfold or close their eyes. I like the blindfold better, by the way. Then I ask them first what they are seeing. Answer is, maybe you guessed it, darkness. But I take it further I ask them to remember a happy moment in as much detail as possible, with as many of their senses as possible. Then I ask them what they are recalling and then ask them where is this all coming from? Then yes, I have them recall a sad moment, all this is happening while they are blindfolded mind you. Again this time safely bringing up a sad memory as thoroughly as safely possible. Again my question of where is it coming from. Now mind you, some of them are getting that information through smell and touch. It isn’t just visually. I ask them a final time, where is this all coming from. Most of the time it’s darkness. The more visual type people can have a harder time with this. So I tell them clear the mind’s screen. Then they also realize it’s darkness that they are experiencing. In our sleep time is another time we are pretty much alone with the darkness of our mind. Our dreams happen there too.
For shadow, it becomes a bit of a fun time of shadow play. But I also take people outside to see nature’s shadows, building shadows and their own shadows in the natural light. I ask them things like, in the summer on a hot day isn’t sitting in the shade, the shadow of a tree nice when we’re hot? I ask them to look at the shadows and ask are the shadows detailed, do they look identical to the things casting the shadow? Then I ask, are these scary terrible things they are looking at? Most of the time the answer is, no.
As you see, through experiencing through ourselves blindfolded we have a real personal look at the mind, which when blindfolded we realize all our thoughts are coming from a place of darkness. With the help of nature we find that shadows are not perfect reflections of the things casting them. Yet in certain ways they can bring us comfort.
The most interesting thing about the darkness of the mind when blindfolded, is that darkness is neutral space till a thought brings up information. And for shadows they are not mirror images of things. Which allows us to see things in a different way.
We also have stories that are positive stories or myths about creation coming forth from darkness. Again darkness being as a neutral space till something happens.We have stories about how the people wanted it to be daytime all the time. Well those people changed their mind after awhile because they couldn’t sleep or the lands were drying up and no food was available. So they had to ask for darkness to be around again.
Life through the birth and growth of life happens often in a space of darkness, wether it’s the womb, the inside of an egg, the seed within the soil or the networks of roots and animals within the ground, under our feet.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is both shadow and darkness are very important parts of our human psyche!
Just as the people that asked for daylight to be all there was, we become bankrupt, dried up and starving because we are afraid of sitting with our minds. We get too caught up in specifics that we can’t see things in new ways.
But most important is the darkness of the mind and it’s shadows is where all things come from!
Yes! Our most amazing ideas, love and compassion come from our mind! Yet also our most nasty, fearful, judgmental and condemning things come from our mind. And that mind until we think, imagine, or sense something, all of it comes from the neutral fertile space of darkness and shadow!
So to heal this relationship for yourself, try the blindfold experience. Try the shadow play and outdoor exploration of shadows. Track down positive stories about darkness or cautionary stories about why darkness is important. And the best pictures I can recommend are of space. To see all that potential of life in the star systems is an amazing example of the amazing things that come from darkness. Look down an animal hole into the ground and you’ll see roots and such down there in the dark of the earth. And be amazed at the network of plant and animal living under your feet. Look at pictures of a baby growing in a womb and marvel at the miracle of life. And know this is your mind seeing all of this, learning and reading and such.
Yes dear ones it’s even with the darkness and shadows of your mind that is reading this!
Blessings to you all this Winter Solstice time of the year!
Crystals are simply larger and more defined pieces of minerals. They are often polished and tumbled for sale and decorative pieces. Most of the ones you find for sale at metaphysical shops are likely tumbled and polished. Raw crystals like the ones above are the ones that you can find yourself when you visit a local quarry or dig site. In these locations you will be able to find stones yourself in their natural environment. When you pull them from the earth yourself you have a closer connection to them and can feel their natural power more easily.
Crystals are natural curios regardless of the form. Crystals come from the earth and are natural items. While humans have shaped them and formed them for us to collect, play with, enjoy, and work with they are still gifts from the earth. They grew deep within the earth and are the bones of this planet. They are very powerful natural curious for this reason.
In the above photo you can see several different forms of crystals. There are small totem stones, you have a crystal mala bracelet, angel carved crystals, shaped animals, hearts, raw, tumbled, skull, spheres, towers or wands, pendants and a pyramid. All of these different forms provide many different ways to work with crystals. By combining the shape of the crystal with the properties of the crystals you can find unique ways to work crystal magic that suit your personal body and style.
Raw and Tumbled
Raw and tumbled stones and crystals make the best talismans and charms. They are easy to carry and to create into jewelry. For many stones and crystals the tumbled varieties are readily available and less expensive than working with a pyramid, sphere or object in that manner. Small tumbled stones and raw stones are easily obtainable. Which means depending on the stone obtaining what you need for the work can be done.
When it comes to crystal magic the best way to work with them is to carry them as a talisman or amulet. A Talisman is typically a piece of jewelry that is worn or a stone carried that has a symbol or phrase inscribed on it describing the magical use. Talismans are typically for draw something to you. An amulet is typically an item worn or carried to ward off something. Both talismans and amulets are used for protection. One tends to be more about removing it the other is more about preventing it from getting there to begin with.
Two of the best examples of stones carried as charms for protection come from warriors. Both of these stones were associated with blood and bleeding. The first is Bloodstone and the second is Hematite. Two very different stones that share a common historical use: Protection from bleeding or excessive wounds on the battlefield.
Hematite is a stone that has associations with blood and protection in battle. The name comes from the Greek word for blood. It has been used as an amulet against bleeding, and so is known as the “blood stone”. Many people believe that Hematite is actually the original stone referenced when folklore mentions “bloodstone”.
Blood stone was historically carried by warriors in battle. It was thought that it was a charm that would protect against bleeding in battle. Which is why warriors wore it or carried it for protection. Occasionally it was worn as a pendant hanging over the heart chakra to cleanse the blood and protect from wounds.
In the case of both Hematite and Bloodstone they are both working as protection charms. Bloodstone worked more of preventing and removing so it was more of a talisman while Hematite was more of an amulet designed to try and ward excessive or unnecessarily wounds and fights in battles. Both stones worked to protect the warriors and both stones dealt with blood.
Today wirewraped crystal gifts have become very popular. They are made with crystal chips or small raw or tumbled pieces. Witches by knowing the properties of the crystals can create charms that are hidden in plain sight. They will be able to place the decoration on the wall or in the window to catch the light and the properties of the crystals will be brought into the home. Creating powerful subtloe natural magic.
The above photo is a crystal sun catcher in the shape of a pentacle made out of Hematite, Amethysts, and quartz. Hematite isused for protection and grounding. Amethyst is used to promote peace and protection. Amethyst being an empath’s stone is also one used for healing and working out emotions. Quartz is also a good one to have in the mix. Quartz provides power to all other stones and is a good overall energy stabilizer.
When the person who bought this pentacle hangs it in their house they will be bringing the energy of those crystals into the home. The shape of the pentacle ensures protection as it is a protective symbol. The way the crystals are aligned balances the energy of the three crystals in a repetitive pattern so that none of the energy overwhelms each other and they all work in harmony for the purpose at hand. Now all they have to do is charge the crystals like they would with any other crystal item. once it is charged and dedicated by hanging the crystal on the wall they bring that magic and energy into their home.
Raw and tumbled stones are also the corner stones of grid work. Crystal grids are a way of laying our crystals in a pattern that sends out your intent and desire into the universe. Most crystal grids are more complex, the one above was a simple one created for one day. The Aventurine stone was the anchor or core for luck, prosperity and succsess. The five citrine tumbles were arranges around the center piece in a star or pentacle pattern to direct the desire for sales and succsess into the universe through the directions and elements. Citrine was chosen for its money, luck, and prosperity properties.
Wands are actually a new thing in my life and in my practice and I have to say its a new way to look at one of the most common tools in witchcraft and magic. Wands are the most common tool in magical traditions and practices. Wands are used to direct and raise the energy manipulated for the spell at hand. Wands are tools traditionally made out of wood and fashioned with crystals feathers etc. Crystal wands allow us to work with crystal energy in spells by directing the energy trough that crystal.
A Selenite wand is good to banish and remove energy. I use it regularly to wipe myself down after a day of high anxiety. The properties of selenite are clarity and dispelling negativity. Its an excellent stone to use to work with banishing and removal work. My wiping myself down with selenite after work is an example of banishment and removal work.
An Aventurine tower held over a money incense as it burns would be a great way to work with the energy of the wand. The wand will absorb the energy from the incense, add its own energy to the blend and then direct it out into the universe amplified and further charged. As seen in the grid photo posted earlier the wands also can work effectively as core components of grids. This allows them to direct the energy from their root (bottom) to the universe up through their tip. They in the end focus the energy of the other crystals from one point into the universe to create your change.
An amethyst wand would be a great way to direct specific healing energy. Simple hold the crystal wand over the area with the specific ailment and direct the energy through the Crystal into the area. The point of the tower will provide pinpoint accuracy to the area. The energy channeled will also be charged by and effected by the energy of amethyst infusing any healing energy with amethyst healing and protecting properties.
One thing wands are really good at is directing energy long distance. Lets say you have a friend that is feeling depressed and you want to help them heal and feel better but can’t travel to them. A Rose quartz wand with lavender and catnip incense burning and a photo of your friend combined together can make an effective love and healing spell. You’d burn the incense and chant something about love and healing for your friend then take the Rose quartz wand and direct the energy of the chant, the incense, and your mental/emotional energy at the photo of your friend sending it into the universe towards your friend.
The more assortments of wands you have the more opportunities you have to work crystal magic. You can work with many different wands until you find the right crystal wand for a specific task. You may even find that some crystals dont work well for you in a wand form but they do work in tumbled or shaped or other forms. The crystals will speak to you.
Many people work with animal symbols within their spiritual practice. These totem stones and soapstone or gemstone animals are tools that can be used to call upon animal energy and powers. The shape and image of an animal can be a powerful way to connect with that animal when physical contact or items are not possible.
By carrying those stones with you in the shape of an animal or with the engraving of an animal you have that energy with you. Not only that but you also have the combined power of the stone with you. Its a double wammy. Great way to create charms and talismans with very few tools.
So if you have an Unakite totem stone with a dolphin carved into it you not only have the power of the dolphin in your hands but also the power of Unakite as well. In this case the symbolism of dolphins can be protection, rebirth, and renewal. The stone Unakite encourages psychic visions and the development of the third eye. Unakite is a powerful healer too. Unakite helps balance emotions, it can help with sleep, stress and healing addictions. With these two sets of symbolism there are a few different things that we can have here.
For someone trying to overcome and addiction they could carry the stone to help balance their emotions, relieve stress, and protect them self from the addiction. The healing of the addiction will also lead to renewal. They would simply need to create a dedication spell for this purpose. That spell should include herbs to heal for strength and for power. Lavender, Woodruff and Rosemary would help in this working.
For someone who is still developing their psychic abilities the protection and rebirth aspects of the dolphin can be of help while the Unakite stone itself can help them deal with the new information and regain balance. As with the above the person carrying this stone would now need to create a dedication spell or ritual for the purpose of strengthening their psychic abilities and providing a new start. Here I would recommend using herbs like Frankincense, Mugwort, and again Rosemary.
Lets take another stone and animal combination. Red Jasper is a very common stone. Red Jasper is known for dream work, sleep aid, and protection, Eagle is a popular bird to call on for spiritual aid. They bring independence, vision, strength, power, and freedom. Here are a few different combinations here.
Lets say you feel that you need more insight and are looking for dream wisdom. By sleeping with a Red Jasper Eagle totem stone under your pillow you can call upon the eagles vision for insight and you can call upon the Jaspers properties for dream work and sleep aid. Together you have a sleep magic dream work charm. As with the Unakite an actual spell to dedicate and charge the stone would be required. Chamomile and lavender with rosemary or ginkgo would work well in this spell.
Eagles are strong and powerful. Lets say you aren’t that physical strong but want to feel more confident. Red Jasper is a stone of strength and protection. It will bring you protection energy and build your confidence. By charging this crystal in a spell calling upon the animal and stone spirits you can create a charm to carry for protection that fits in your pocket. In the charging process I’d personally add Dragons Blood, Frankincense, and Nettle Leaf for additional energetic and spiritual protection.
In witchcraft communities you will find a lot of people who love their skulls. Many witches wear skulls in various jewelry and there are those who have skulls on their altars. Skulls are powerful symbols for many cultures. For many witches skulls are a symbol of the powers of death and rebirth and decay. Witches dont see death as a bad thing. Its seen as part of the life cycle. For many death is not an ending but the start of something new. For other witches death is the end of this life but not our full journey.
For most witches skulls are symbol a symbol of the dead and of our ancestors. They provide us a way to connect with our ancestors. Some witches use animal skulls on their altars to represent the God and some use human skulls to represent ancestors. Most of these skulls are resin or made out of clay/ceramic. For those who want to have a skull on the altar but dont want ceramics or resin and a more natural material crystals provide that opportunity.
Skull shapes crystals offer us a unique way to work with the dead. The skull shape due to its symbolism allows us to call on ancestral powers and properties fairly easily. Like with the totem stones crystal skulls would retain the properties of the crystals that they are. They also gain the additional property of being able to connect to the dead and be used to channel ancestral energy.
A quartz crystal skull is a great addition to an ancestral altar. Quartz crystals are good all purpose crystals. They also empower and power up any and all other magical workings. So with a quartz skull on your ancestor altar any workings that you do with your ancestors is automatically amplified. Quartz skulls also hold energy so it can be charged with the energy of your ancestors and brought with you so that you can take their energy any where with you. To charge a quartz crystal Frankincense and Copal are good for generic all purpose spiritual cleansing and workings.
An Opalite Skull would also be a great addition not only to an ancestor altar but a working altar as well. Opalite is a highly spiritual stone and is great for communication, meditation, and all around healing. Opalite can also help us be successful in business. By placing the Opalite skull on the ancestor altar it opens your communication with the dead making it easier to let them teach you and help you in your life. Magically lets say you had an ancestor who ran their own successful business and you want to do the same. When you do a spell or working to help with your business succsess add the Opalite skull into the working. This will allow you to call on that ancestor, their wisdom and the energy of the crystal at the same time. To add further assistance I’d add herbs like Cinequfoil, Cinnamon, and Dragons Blood.
Obsidian Skulls are probably some of the most popular Skulls out there. They are Black, which is a color associated with the dead and underworld as well as death and they are simply beautiful. Obsidian is also a very protective stone. Its great against psychic attacks, removes negative energy, grounds, and protects. IN many traditions the first spirits that should be called on for protection magic or any magic is our ancestors because they will answer before any other spirits will answer. An Obsidan Skull allows for that instant connection to ancestor energy and protection. To charge it I would run it through an incense that is a combination of Wormwood, Dragonsblood, Basil, White Sage, and Frankincense.
These are just a few of the many different shapes and forms that crystals can take. There are many other shapes and forms that haven’t been mentioned that all have their own unique properties and benefits. Let these styles, shapes and ideas be another way for you to begin your journey into the world of crystal and gem magic.
One question that seems to come up over and over again is, “How young is too young to teach my child my beliefs?”
My answer is always that there is no “too young.”
First, no one in any other religion asks this question. They may not teach everything; there may be mysteries reserved for adults or for specific rites of passage. But no other group of people avoids telling their children about religion starting from a very early age.
Keep in mind, this is not school we’re talking about here. This is telling stories, talking to the moon, hugging trees, playing with energy. It’s lighting candles and saying prayers. It’s absorbing all the things you’re already doing.
And lest you worry about “indoctrinating” them…it’s likely that your faith does not believe your deity is the one and only way to a happy life after death. Pagan faiths are generally pretty open about there being other gods and other ways of belief – and if your child finds one of those other options more fitting as they grow up, there’s nothing stopping them from following that path.
Hey, do you have a question about being a Pagan Parent that you’d like some input on? I’ve got answers – 20 years as a Pagan, and almost a decade as a parent. Post your question in a comment below and I’ll answer it on a future post!
We are coming upon the Harvest festival time, along with many other types of festivals and festivities. For Pagans, the folks who are seasonal minded and our farmers , we know we are gearing up for the harvest and Autumn.
Yet why would I title this as Seeds of Harvest? Well if you were able to chat with a farmer, a gardener or country folk, you’d get to hear about the seeds that are gathered and saved for the next harvest. This is a vital practice that allows us to continue to grow food for ourselves and animals that may have a plant related diet, like cows.
Now you may be wondering what do seeds of harvests have to do with anything outside of food related things.
Well it has to do with the spiritual, mental and emotional work that goes on as we get to know ourselves and as we learn to heal ourselves. For many generations we humans have used aspects of our lives and nature to tell stories and teach lessons about life and how to live it or to teach a moral point and to help guide somebody along a path.
So today I want to share about the harvest of metaphorical seeds from the harvests of prosperity, healing, help or guidance and other such positive things that have been happening in our lives, and also the seeds of us getting to know the self and gaining our power.
I want us to take a look at seeds that have multiple uses and different stages of those uses. What comes to mind are our seeds that are edible at different stages and that they also are used for future crops.
Corn and beans are a couple of the sort of seeds that has different edible stages and can be used for future crops that will be harvested.
We love to harvest corn and beans before they are fully mature and they are tender still, so we can enjoy their freshness and juiciness. This would be a first harvest. When it comes to our personal work and magic, this would correlate to the first results of our work. It may be that first paycheck or fresh perspective on a long term challenge that helps you change direction or get answers you needed.
Yet as we know with personal work and such, there isn’t an end to the directions any of it can go or the continued work and help, we need to do and receive.
So back to our seed metaphor. Hopefully you didn’t consume all of your first harvest. As an experienced farmer or gardener may be able to tell you, save some of your first harvest by canning and freezing the rest of it for future nourishing meal ideas. Your first results and answers and such can continue to help guide you and help you in your personal and magical workings. More so if you don’t just think you reached the final results just yet, and sometimes you don’t. So the fuel is there so to speak to help continue the work.
We know though that things don’t stop at the first harvest/ first results of the person work of growth and healing.
We have further harvesting/work that needs to be done. This takes us to a second harvest that happens after we’ve allowed the remaining plants to finish maturing. At this point with corn and beans, we get to take part of this harvest and turn them into easier to store dry forms of food. The corn gets turned into grits, meal or flour and these forms can be used as hot cereal or baked goods. Beans after soaking and cooking to soften them get turned into meals that are very different from the fresh green beans and such that you have in the freezer. You may use them in soups and stews or baking them into delicious meals.
What the second harvest can teach us when it comes to personal growth and magical workings, is that things will need to reach a certain level of maturity to ensure further growth, healing, help and answers.
We also gain a different level of understanding and realizations of goals being accomplished. The help and guidance becomes more self sustaining and we can at this level of things free up some of our time and efforts, so we are not overthinking and over working ourselves. In fact having that time to step back or away from things allows things to move more favorably in you favor.
Then comes the last bit of the harvest.
Hopefully we’ve had forethought in saving seeds! Hopefully we didn’t consume all that corn and beans or storing all of them for food. For we will need seeds for future crops and they need to be stored properly, so they don’t rot or get eaten up by animals. For when the next growing season arrives we will need to plant those seeds for future sources of nourishing food.
This last harvest represents to us the need to use our power, thoughts and action in such a way that blessings of healing, growth, answers and guidance continues on into the future. For it isn’t really a natural thing to stay stationary or stagnant. Life is ever ebbing and flowing. Life is ever growing, maturing and ripening. And life is always somehow nourishing and caring for all living beings. So too is it good for us to follow the example of life.
I leave you with wishing you all a bounteous harvest in all your personal growth and magical workings!
Ah, festival season. A time of making new friends, spending time with old friends, and hitting a few workshops for entertainment, enlightenment, and education on the side.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my body is not always happy with the old standby of no sleep, with extra caffeine and sugar on the side during these sorts of events – eating well and sleeping have become important factors in getting the most out of events.
The trouble with this, of course, is that “eating well” in the hospitality suite of most indoor events is not likely to happen, and most outdoor events don’t even have a hospitality suite. And if you’re in a hotel, the hotel restaurant is always an option….but that gets expensive. So do food vendors at outdoor events.
So, what’s a Pagan who is looking to eat real food to do?
First, you have to plan ahead. Will your residence for the next few days have a refrigerator? Microwave? Electricity? How many meals will you need? (Does that include meals on the road, which are more likely to be fast food because you’re traveling?) How much space is in your luggage?
Let’s start with breakfast. We’ve successfully taken frozen breakfast sandwiches in a cooler, and let them thaw over the course of a couple of days, which is great if you have a microwave. For those times without a microwave, I usually stick with muffins or oatmeal – coffee pots can make water hot enough for instant oats, and campfires boil water pretty quickly as well. On more ambitious outdoor weeks, we often do eggs and biscuits (using a “Bakepacker” or similar steam cooking device).
Much of my daily lunch and dinner suggestions for these sorts of things are based on dried foods and lightweight backpacking experiences, because the last thing you want to do is spend hours cooking when you could be having fun. Besides, not only do dried foods store well and cook quickly with just boiling water, but they’re a good thing to have on hand in emergencies where you can’t get to the store.
While there are commercially available freeze dried meals, and the ubiquitous military surplus MRE, you’ll likely eat better making your own meals – and at a better cost too. Interestingly, the Mormons and their penchant for keeping a year’s worth of food on hand are a great source for this sort of thing, including portioning them out into canning jars for use over the next few months. Backpacking websites are good for this sort of thing too, usually planning single-serve meals (which is not a bad thing – have a whole box of them, and let people grab their own, on their own time!)
We have a list at home, from the days when my children were often in the hospital. When someone would ask what they could do, we’d send them grocery shopping for a specific list of sandwich fixings and healthy (portable) snacks – and we’d eat that way for days in the hospital. If you’re careful not to squish your bread, you can do this for festivals too. Pick 1-2 condiments, 1-2 lunch meats, 1-2 cheeses, and bread. Apples, oranges, and grapes don’t need a lot of handling. Pre-washed salads, single serve snacks, and cans or bottles of beverages may need a fridge or cooler, but don’t require fancy prep work.
And, as always, remember to consider bringing plates, silverware, and glasses that you’re going to wash, rather than disposables, because it’s generally better for the environment!
Even if we’ve done everything right in our lives, at some point, we are going to feel like a failure. Whether it’s because we didn’t accomplish a task we set out to accomplish or we simply failed in terms of our inability to create the dream we had in our head, we aren’t likely to win all of our battles in our life. But does this mean we should simply stop trying? Absolutely not. In fact, failure can be the greatest motivator of them all – if we begin to look at it in that way.
Failing is Still Trying
Your motivation to create something in your life is mostly driven by the idea that you are going to have something at the end of your journey. Whether this is a tangible thing or something intangible, you set out to do something in order to see a result. And even if you don’t see that intended result, you can rest assured that you have the ability to see that you tried. The journey you take from one point to another, after all, is filled with the experiences and the sights you saw along the way.
Though you might not get to where you want to do, you can still congratulate yourself for trying. In many cases, people don’t even attempt that because they fear failure. So, they don’t actually accomplish anything they want to accomplish – so trapped in this fear of failure. If you can change your motivation away from fear and into the idea that you are learning, you will begin to see more success than you do failure.
Helping Yourself to Your Feet
You’ve fallen down along your journey – it happens to the best of us. It’s happened to all of the greats in this world at some point or another: Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Malcolm X, etc. What has set these people apart from others is not the tasks they achieved, but rather the fact that they not only failed, but that they also continued anyways. You could simply stop what you are doing and try to give into the failure, or you could launch yourself into a new direction – as apparently that other one didn’t work.
Pulling yourself back up is a matter of momentum. Allow yourself some time to wallow in your feelings of despair, but instead of making yourself comfortable on the ground, start thinking about new possibilities in your current situation. If you were on a journey and there is a blocked road, turn around and find another road. This seems like the standard decision you would make on a literal journey, so why not begin to do the same on your personal journey?
Here are some tips:
– Make a list of your failures
– Make a list of what you’ve done right
– Make a list of what you’ve learned along the way
– Burn the list of your failures
Your failures are not mistakes – they are stepping stones that are leading to your success. Finding motivation in these wrong turns will help you continue to feel motivated, no matter what happens. In fact, you might even begin looking for failure to ‘help’ you out.
Article Source: Articlelogy.com
As a member of the local business community, I am often approached by friends and other business owners with queries on business tips, marketing techniques, and overall tricks of the trade to get their brand out there. Out of all the questions I’ve ever been asked –or have ever asked, myself!– the one question that I have found which provides the most insight into the very unique experiences each business owner has gleaned traveling their own paths is,
“What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given, or could ever give to anyone?”
The best business advice I have ever received is the best advice I could ever give. Ironically it has absolutely nothing to do with professional business techniques, management, or even PR.
No mater how much you have left to do ahead of you, pause for a moment to look behind you and cherish all you’ve already done.
Running a major event and everyone’s running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Pause, look around you at the success you’ve made, at the people enjoying themselves, and know that you (and your team!) have made it all possible.
Got a long list of items you’ve got to get up on your website, get bar coded, post the unique blurbs about every one, analyze the trends and the traffic to your site? — Stop, look at what you’ve already sold, what you’ve already done, and feel blessed to have done well enough that you have to put new product out so quickly.
So many business owners –both online and brick-and-mortar–, event coordinators, and traveling vendors get lost in all the chaos and upkeep, trying to keep up with the times and the rapidly changing economy. Not enough of us make the time to take a look at all we’ve already built.
After all, there’s no use in planting a garden if you’re not enjoying the view, right?
This is something I’ve learned the hard way over the years, and it has been a gainful journey.
With tomorrow being Valentines day alot of people are thinking about love spells and love charms. Love magic can be effective. It can be used to attract a long term relationship, a sexual relationship, friendships and more. Like with any spells love spells need to be made very specific. You may find that if you target an individual that the relationship is not a healthy one and they end up being obsessive or controlling. This is why it is best in love spells to gear them towards a specific type of person (meaning qualities, interests etc) rather than an individual.
With this in mind one of the most powerful love charms out there is Witches Red Salt. Witches Red Salt is an herbal charm that is made out of roses, sea salt and other herbs associated with love such as cinnamon, dragons blood, and Apples (the peel or flower would be best here). The goal of the Red Salt is to attract love first other additions depend on the individual witch.
Now that we know what Red Salt is used for let’s make an All Purpose Red Salt. This witches Salt will ensure fidelity, attract love, happiness, and friendship, all things that are essential in a healthy relationship. Once we have the Red Salt made we will take a look at how you can apply the red salt in a spell. The first part of the entire process is the crafting and charging of the Red Salt.
The act of making the Red witches salt is a spell in itself. When you are creating the salt you are directing, manipulating and focusing various energetic forces into the salt. You are working with the energy of the herbs and your own emotional energetic forces to create an item used to direct those energetic forces for a change in your life or the life of another person. You are effectively working a spell through the process of making the Witches Red Salt.
Crafting the Red Salt
4 cups Sea Salt *Any salt will work. Sea salt is best. Kosher salt works as well. Pink Himalayan salt will add to the spell from its color. (Salt is used to cleanse and remove blocks in the way of attracting love)
1 Cup Sugar (to sweeten them to you)
1 Cup Red Rose Petals (for love)
1 Cup Dried Apple Peels (Love)
1/4 cup Catnip (Happiness)
3 Tablespoons Dragonsblood (lust and love)
2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon (lust and love)
1 Tablespoon Ground Allspice (Fidelity)
Red Candle (for love)
Green Candle (For the herbal spirits)
White Candle (Spiritual force in general)
Mortar And Pestle
Rose Quartz (self love and friendship)
Jar or Container with a lid to store your salt in
On your altar place the three candles in a triangle with the white at the top point and the red and green at the bottom point.
Place the mixing bowl in the center of the candles
Around the Mixing bowl lay out the Rose, Apple Peels, Catnip, Dragonsblood, Cinnamon, and Allspice.
As You light each candle state:
“I call upon the spirits of the herbal Green
The powers from the worlds unseen
Lend me your blessings on this night
Bring me the powers of love shining bright
Empower this charm today
Bring us love which will stay”
Next you take the Salt and pour it into the mixing bowl
Pick up the Rose Petals and Hold the Rose petals over the candles.
As you hold the rose petals over the candles feel the powers of the spirit awaken.
Thank them silently and put them into the Mortar and Pestle.
As you grind the Rose petals into the finest powder that you can see love surrounding you.
Feel the energy of love flowing from your hands into the salt
Once the Roses are ground add them to the red salt
Stir the roses into the salt clockwise once again visualizing love. See the salt covered in a bright red light that is warm and welcoming (Red being love, desire and passion)
Take the Apple Peels and repeat the process using the Mortar and Pestle.
Once the Apple Peels are ground add them into the salt again stirring clockwise visualize the red light
Take the Catnip and awaken it as you did with the Apple Peels and Rose.
Once again grind the Catnip into as fine of a powder as you can and add it to the salt stirring clockwise
Awaken the Dragons blood, and add it to the salt followed by awakening the Cinnamon, and Allspice together.
Next add the sugar
Now that all the herbs are combined continue to stir the Red Salt together.
As you stir the salt visualize the salt glowing with red light.
While you stir and blend chant the following chant five times:
“Love come to me
One that freely loves me
Bring a lover that’s true
Open me to a love that’s new”
Once you feel that the energy has reached its max potential place your hands over the salt and draw a pentacle and a heart sealing in the energy
Pour the Charged Salt into your jar or Container
Cover With the lid and place the Rose Quartz stone on the Lid to continue to charge the Salt
Extinguish the Candles
The red Salt is now ready to use. Simply take out a small amount as needed for spell and ritual work.
Working With Red Salt
Now that we have made the red salt it’s time to talk about how we can work with the witches salt. It is important to remember that witches have always been very practical. They worked with what they had on hand and when they could. Working with red witches salt is designed to be practical and easy.
Working with red salt is fairly easy. The salt is already charged and ready to go. You can simply use the red salt as it is. That’s right. Since the red salt is already charged all you need to do now is give it a specific direction to work in. You can sprinkle the red salt into your shoes with the intent to attract love with each step. Just sprinkle the salt and say your intent for love. If you are the type to be a little more formal with your application of powders the following two spells are more structured ways to use the sprinkle in your shoes trick.
Walk to manifest Love Materials:
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it
On the paper write out your desire to have love. Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for. Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“”May every step I take this day bring true love my way”. ”
Fold the paper towards you with the red salt and place in your shoes.
Then as you walk every day the energy in your steps will activate the salt.
Your walking ever day will attract the energy that you are sending out through your steps.
Dancing for Love
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it
On the paper write out your desire to have love. Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for. Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“Every move I make tonight brings a lover that is right”.
The more you dance the more energy you will gather and direct.
The salt will act as a focal point directing the energy from dancing and the salt into the earth through your feet.
There are other ways that you can sprinkle witches salt and form a love spell. Many men and women use lotions and colognes or perfumes to male ourselves feel good about ourselves and to feel attractive. You can use red salt to strengthen the feelings of attractiveness when you work with those products. The goal in this application is to maximize how you feel attractive so it gains the attention of those who you are attracted to.
Makeup and Lotion Attraction Spell
Materials: Red Salt
Lotions and or any Beauty supplies (this includes hair styling supplies as well as makeup and colognes)
Gather all of your Beauty Supplies together
Envision yourself in a pink (for self love) and red (for general love and attractiveness)
As you pick up each item see a red and pink light entering the items until they glow.
Once they are glowing pick up the red salt and sprinkle it over the item stating
“Love come to me freely
One who accepts me
A love that’s meant be”
Now these items will be charged for the next month for both self love and romantic love.
Simply use them as you would normally.
Repeat the spell once a month to keep the items empowered
Perform the spell as needed when items are replaced
These spells should help you get started. Working with witches salt can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be. The charm is powerful and ready to use. Be wise. If you are unsure about performing a spell or working do a reading and look to find out if its a good time to do the spell. If its acceptable to perform the spell get to work. If not do a reading and you’ll find out what you can do instead.
I started teaching and facilitating workshops in 2013. Of course I didn’t know where to begin in the big ocean of all that my life had taught me and continues to teach me. All I knew, was I need to share what I’ve learned. It took me a few teaching experiences to know really where I needed t0 start. For I came to understand that there were some needed tools that could help with the life changing things I have to share. It was also in some ways that I knew that these tools were the things that really helped with my healing and transformations that have been going on for the last 11 years. I had at first called my class that had these tools Unscript It! and Unscript Yourself!. Yes I did have a rough time knowing how to name my classes. Then when the decision to do my tools class I settled on A Free Form Sort of Way! In fact I will be teaching this class at this year’s ConVocation. But now I know you are curious as to what this is all about.
A Sunlit Evening by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine
It is all about active, expressive meditation styles that are free-form in nature. These meditation styles teach us to make use of our voice and bodies in a free-form sort of way. Another way of seeing free form use of voice and bodies is things like ecstatic dancing and singing or sacred dance and singing. I also share how we can use creative arts in free-form sort of ways, so that we can freely express ourselves. It may seem odd to hear that free-form dance or singing and art can do so much to help us. For I know that most of what we have available, while very helpful and such, they require that we do things a certain way. In fact much of our lives are set up to follow certain ways to seeing things, doing things and so much more. I know I myself was struggling still to find my path and find myself within all the should do this and that this way and believe this and that. I had been doing meditation, chanting, prayer and ritual and so much more. Yet I was still somehow stuck in certain patterns and was feeling guilty when I couldn’t do ritual in the suggested ways. Often I found myself doing spontaneous things that really helped shift things for me and empower me. Yet I felt guilty for these spontaneous things I was doing during ritual and such.
That all started to change though when somehow Gabrielle Roth’s work showed up in my life!
Gabrielle’s books Maps To Ecstasy & Sweat Your Prayers, became a part of my life about 11 years ago.
With these books I started another part of my healing journey. There has been other peoples work that has added to her work and my understanding of free-form expression of our voices and bodies. Two such people are Bradford Keeney PhD his book: The Bushman Way of Tracking God and a local person in the Detroit Metro area Michael Patrick through his: Dance Meditation Technique.
These three people in different ways guide us in the benefits of free form body movement and expression of our voice. In different ways they show us how this path to meditation can help us get to know ourselves and how our mind and bodies respond to things in our lives. In different ways they show us how movement and use of voice help us to heal the disconnect we have between body, mind, feeling and emotions. They also show us how we can use these styles to make our connection with the divine in a more authentic way. These meditations styles also help us to in a conscious and active way to navigate our tougher challenges that are a part of our healing journeys. And as we are getting to know how our bodies and mind interact and react to things around us, we find means to move through stressful and tough things, because we are aware of things and we also are aware of how we can diffuse things. Why this works is because we are learning to face things and to express those things and this is a part of what can help us heal. For we are listening and paying attention to ourselves and we are giving voice, expression to things. Often just that act of acknowledging something , we start a process of diffusing things and calming things down.
The other thing that started to happen with my practice of free form expression of voice and body, was my spiritual practice deepened. I in more consistent ways experienced connection with the whole of life and it’s energies. I found myself wanting to commune with the wind, trees and animals, to where I’d dance with the trees and sing with the birds and insects. I often find myself being a bit more playful and filled with joy from the simplest of happenings and things. There is a certain freedom I gained in expressing myself through body and voice. I could feel the energies building easier and better for me when I do ritual or pray and chant freely and well, as raw as possible. Now mind you I still have the times I follow prescribed procedures when doing ritual, meditating and such. Yet so much for me has come from adding free form expression of my voice and body, as a part of regular practice also.
Another thing I’ve experienced with my free form meditation practice is that I can separate and know what emotions, energies and such belong to me and set myself free of others emotions and such. This is an important thing if you are an empath, energy worker, counselor or healer. It is also a helpful thing if you are Autistic. But even if you don’t identify with any of those things, it is good to be able to know what is your emotions and energies, what belongs to you versus what may belong to another person. Reason is we all take information in of varying types and in a variety of ways. We can get lost in all that information that we take in and it can leave us wondering why we are feeling a certain way, when it feels like we shouldn’t have a reason to feel say angry or depressed. So being able to move other peoples energies and emotions out of our system can be a big help in taking some of the edge off of being overwhelmed or buried under so much. Chances are if we feel this way we’ve been taking on to much of other people’s things. So it’s good to have means to let that excess energies and emotions out in a safe way.
This is just some of how free form expression of our bodies and voices can help us.
Now I want to share a few routines that can help:
First pick a favorite album or play list; Then ask yourself and your body ” How am I feeling? How is my body feeling?”;With the music playing start moving your body in how ever way it is feeling!
“examples; can be you are feeling sluggish. So you droop down, move slow. Another is you are stressed filled with tension, go ahead and tighten as much of your body as possible. You are feeling happy, do a happy dance then”
The point is move your body according to how it is feeling! As the music plays work through the way your are feeling. Let yourself feel and express what you and your body are feeling as much as you feel comfortable with.
” It is alright if you can only do this for say 5 minutes or a couple of songs” even that short bit of time can do wonders in diffusing the tough stuff and giving you more energy with the upbeat stuff! As you do this practice at least once or twice a week you will get better at helping your body and mind navigate how you are feeling both emotionally and physically.
You can also use this method to do energy work and to set intentions and work with affirmations! You also can spend time with The Divine and express your love and gratitude!
So allow yourself to work with and express your body and emotions through free form movement and see how it can help you.
Next is your voice!
This is a bit trickier if you don’t have any just instrumental type music you like. Yet your usual music can be alright for this also.
As for body movement, you now pick a playlist or album that you have found yourself humming or singing along with. Now you ask” What needs to be expressed?” and you express it through singing, humming or even just making sounds. We don’t always need words! The objective is to put as much feeling as you can into your voice as possible. It’s alright if words fail you! Just use your voice!
Once again it is alright if you can only do this for 5 minutes or a couple songs! All that matters is you consciously express what you are feeling through the music and your voice!
Again this can be used for a multitude of reasons!
Then comes the part that you combine your voice and body movement! And yes things can really take off when you combine the two! This is what you are working toward!
This is just a snap shot into how you can use free form expressions of your body and voice. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover these things for yourself!
I had mentioned free form expression through creative art styles in the earlier part of this article.
So let me share this particular style of free form expression with you.
I love art and I always hoped I could be an artist, even if it was just for myself. Yet sadly I didn’t have acceptable natural talent or ability when it came to art classes and such. I couldn’t draw like my sister could. Yet I did love to create cards for holidays and birthdays. Yet it never was something I thought I could do. So I never pursued anything with art.
Then I became a mother and one of my tough choices I made was to home school our child. It took me a few years to put together something that worked for myself and our child and fulfilled the state requirements also. It was during those early years that the Waldorf Education style arrived in my life. Fortunately I was able to find home school resources for this path of education. It helped us out a lot. It was also where I found that art was one of their core aspects. For the children are encouraged to do their own lesson books, in which they were encouraged to illustrate their lessons and write about their lessons in their own words. Working with our child through this style, opened some doorways for me to see what artistic things I could do.
The Many Paths To Learning To Love by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine
That was when some drawing styles came into my life. The first was: Touch Drawing, created by Deborah Koff-Chapin. Then came: Zentangle: created by Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas. Also two other books caught and grabbed my attention and those are: The Art of Silliness by Carla Sonheim and the other: Doodling with Jim Henson.
So what all did these styles teach me and still are teaching me? Well they first gave me the means that did not require me to know how to do this shape or this form and making sure that I got them proportioned right and the lines are right and well you know get it right! So they freed me up by giving some guidelines, yet gave me plenty of room to just draw! Some interesting things started to come to my notice. I’m a very creative person and learning this about myself seemed to free me up to take that creativity and use it to change my past history’s stories and programming. I also had some repeated “Aha!” moments as I saw that even though I couldn’t keep forms, shapes, lines and proportions right, I still got to see neat things come forth. It showed me that my life choices that I had made that weren’t right or healthy or did more harm than good, could be things that were still a part of who I was, yet could be turned around to help in my growth and understanding of things. That mistakes and such aren’t necessarily the terrible monsters we can make them out to be. That mistakes really are lessons. We weren’t meant to be perfect and have all the answers. Life is about exploring, learning, growing and healing. That the messiness of life can still be useful and it’s okay that we don’t get it right all the time. Learning this started helping me to feel alright around other people and helped me to not be so scared that I’m going to mess things up. Sure I do bumble and fumble, but guess what we all have our awkward moments with each other. I started to understand that we all are students in this thing called life.
A Turtle That Showed Up by Aurora Shirina Lee-Laine
I could share so much more! But that is for a book project that needs to start happening! What I hope you take away from all this, is learning to know ourselves and love ourselves is the biggest job we have. I found that making free form expression a part of my routines has done so much to help me learn about myself and love myself. It has taught me and continues to teach me things about life and how to navigate it. It has helped me in being able to better to know what is my stuff and what belongs to other. It helps me by giving me an outlet to express and release things that have overloaded me. It has taught me that there can be good lessons in my mistakes and it has giving me so much in healing my connections with the layers of myself and also the greater wholeness of life and my fellow human brother and sisters. And it keeps giving so much more!
So please accept this invitation to explore these teachers I’ve shared with you and give these meditation styles a try and see what they do for you!!!
In Wicca and other forms of religious witchcraft it is common to take a ritual bath before you enter the ritual space. This is to cleanse you and prepare you to interact with the God and Goddess. This practice varies from a light sponge bath wiping down the body to coven members sharing a tub with individuals taking a quick dip in and out, to simple washing of the face, hands, and feet with a basin of ritual water. No matter the style of ritual cleansing all of the above examples are types of ritual baths.
Magically baths can be used for so much more. You can use them to cleanse and remove things from your life. You can use them to prepare for sacred spaces and rituals. Baths are very powerful in that tool and have been used that way for a very long time. However there is much more than can be done with a magical bath. Magical baths can be used to open roads, bring money, bring love, heal, and protect. Soaking in a bath of herbs is one powerful way to get magical energy to surround your entire body mind and spirit.
The first thing you need to know is that you do not need bath tubs to work with magical baths. Not at all. You just need to have a basin to stand in and a bowl of water with the herbs. You can use a sponge bath or simply pour the water and herb mixture over your body from head to toe. The important thing is that you physically touch the herbal mixture in some way. If you have a shower stall you can work ritual baths. You can do a sponge bath from head to toe or you could tie the herbs in a bit of cheesecloth and hang that over the shower head so that the charged water comes through and touches your skin. You have options.
Now that we have that cleared up its time to talk about the different ways you can use baths. Full immersion baths or the shower method are excellent for cleansing and removal. So let’s start with a good cleansing bath. A ritual bath needs just the herbs and the water to contain them. You can use soap and water in a cleansing bath if you would like, but just having the herbs is fine.
Cleansing Ritual Bath
5 Bay Leafs
1 Tbs Rosemary
1 Tbs Hyssop
1 Tbs Rue
5 White Sage Leaves
(Optional: Soap and or normal bathing supplies)
Take the herbs and mix them in a bowl. As you mix them pray over the herbs. Ask that their spirits and the spirits of your ancestors cleanse and clean you of any negativity. See them radiating power. Know that their energy together will bless you and remove everything that does not serve your highest need. Add enough water to fill the bowl with the herbs about half way
Pour the bath water or fill the tub. If you are standing in your shower either tie the bundle up in cheese cloth or have the basins of water ready. Add the herbs to the water. Stir the water clockwise visualizing them full of a white cleansing light.
Now begin to pour the water over your body starting from your head to your toe using the cup. Always go from top to bottom when doing a cleansing or removal. Never cross back up or you could cross yourself up (hex yourself and loose the cleansing work you are currently doing). As you pour the water over your body a chant like “water wash away, water cleanse today” is important. It continues to charge the water and the herbs while reminding your spirit and mind about the work going on.
As you soak in the bath (or pour the herbal bath over your body) you should be sensing and feeling anything that doesn’t serve your highest good being forced into the water. When you feel as if all of the stuff has been removed from your body stand up. Pour the other bowl of water over your body to rinse off any residual energy from the water. This will leave you feeling light and clean.
The water in your mind should have a gray or black appearance to it when you pull the drain. That darkness is the negativity you are cleansing from your body. Watch it go down the drain and feel yourself lighter and freer. Towel dry off again from head to toe to seal in the cleansing you have just performed. Once dry go about your day as planned.
That cleansing bath was one example. Before you can do any work to bring good into your life you need to remove obstacles from your life. That is what cleansing work is for. Cleansing work opens the way for you to succeed in other areas of life. A common area people are looking for help in is love. A love bath is something that could benefit someone looking for love.
Love me sweet Bath
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Lavender3 Tbs Sugar
In the first bowl mix the rose petals, honey, lavender, and sugar. As you mix the herbs pray over them and see them filled with a red light of love. Feel and know that you are a person worthy of love and are open to love. Remember to pray to the herbs for assistance in love. Be sure to be specific about the type of person you want and the type of relationship that you want.
Once you are sure that the mixture is charged add the water to the bowl and begin to fill the tub. Fill the bowl with water about 3/4 of the way. Once the tub has started to fill to a nice level (for me about 1/4 of the way is enough to start soaking but use your judgement) step into the tub and rub yourself down from head to toe with the hot water. As you run the hot water over yourself see yourself in love and being loved by another person. Visualize that person holding you and caressing you lovingly.
Now start to pour the love bath mixture over your body beginning with your head ending with your feet. Use the cup to gently buy accurately pour the water over your body. As you wash yourself with the bath chant something along the lines of “Love be new, love that’s true”. See yourself in a lasting relationship. Feel yourself full of love and all the happiness associated with it.
Once you have completely soaked in or covered your body with the love bath mixture take the other bowl of water and slowly rinse off. If you are in a tub now is the time to pull the drain. See the water returning to the earth sending your desire for love into the center of the earth. See your love energy and the water bath combining as they flow down the drain into the earth.
Any water and herbs that remain in the bath mixture pour outside your front porch and if possible at a cross roads. This will send your desire for a relationship out to the entire universe.
As you can see cleansing is one example of baths and love work is another. There are many more ways to work with ritual baths out there. Simply use your imagination and get to work. If you don’t feel like making your own baths there are some excellent sources of precharged ritual baths out there. We recommend Mystic Echoes