Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I am in my first year of training in an energy balancing and healing art. And right now I'm finding it difficult to reconcile putting an awareness on energetic, emotional, and physical healing, with the fact that EVERYTHING seems to rise to the surface and cause more trouble as I clear more of the "stuff that isn't me".

This is difficult, because part of me really feels like I should be getting better, and I suppose that in some ways I am. I am more true to myself than I've ever been, and yet, physically I'm cycling from one ailment to another, each one driving me more crazy than the last. I SO want to be rid of it... the allergies, the coughing... I've never had such a long allergy "season" in my life. I'm tired.

Now, I don't mean to sound complainy about being sick... there are obviously a million people within 50 miles of me who have it worse. It's the irony of being in a healing space, of focusing on health, of all the things I've done in the last 2 or 3 years moving toward healthier food, a healthier low-chemical household, organic clothing... and now I'm sicker??? I'm losing patience, and not sure where to go from here.

I love my life now, how my spirituality has REALLY fallen into place for me in the last two years, how I've embraced the flow of my life, and that I've happily redefined myself from working professional to stay-at-home-mom. I've fully found what is important to me, and I'm loving my freedom to play in it.

Thus the irony... feeling less well than I had been feeling... although if I'm truly honest with myself it was the abrupt change in my physical health that propelled me into energy balancing. I guess I just thought my body would feel better by now... and I admit to feeling a little sad over the whole thing.

Thanks for letting me rant... if you got this far I truly appreciate it! Do you ever feel this dilemma? About putting your energy in what feels like such a positive place and not feel like you get back what you expected? I suppose the Mother/Father knows what's going on here... I wish they'd share...

Sunday, July 25, 2010


The path to the party... thanks to my kids and an artistic friend!

And took you through a magical doorway...

Full of people and objects that brought my heart much happiness...

And the whole thing left me feeling happy and fulfilled. I have the deepest gratitude for all of my friends, they are truly wonderful people, treasures that I've found along the path of my life... absolutely the stuff of beauty! I am very blessed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm trying to structure prayer time into my day. It's a bit hard to do EVERY day... but I like the idea of making sure that I spend some time giving thanks, just being in a grateful space, and acknowledging the moment. I've started with a morning prayer that I recite many mornings (but not all... I just haven't been that disciplined).

I raise my hands in honor
Of the Lord and Lady of the morning
Who rise in glory in the East
Bringing light to the world.
Illuminate my path in this day
And in this life
As I move through each moment
To do my highest good.

This prayer was inspired by one in a book called A Book Of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith. The book is very good, even though I honestly don't use many prayers directly from the book. I find it more inspirational for writing my own.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Butterfly garden

Last week was such a busy week... and all about gardening and birthdays! I'm so excited!

We decided awhile back that we were going to put in a butterfly garden along a patch of bamboo in our back yard. Well, last week it went in... and I'm SO pleased!

The girls and I went shopping for the plants together, and chose each plant especially for its appeal to butterflies. There's a side benefit... the garden is attracting a lot of other attention... for example... we've seen a LOT of birds... this little guy!

And here's your hint about birthday plans... I haven't had a birthday party in probably 20 years... and this year I'm 40, and intending to embrace it fully (despite the fact that the number ALWAYS takes me by surprise!). I'm having a celebration of the soul... I invited people who feed my soul, and I'm decorating to my own taste, and we're having good food to nourish our souls. It's going to be SO much fun! I promise to post pictures after!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Herb preparation

I've been looking into herb preparations lately. I love to garden, and I have been slowly but surely adding plants that have magical meanings for me to my yard. I even have a 'witches' garden laid out, but it's in pots and in the far reaches of my yard (read: hard to keep watered appropriately). By next year that should all be rectified... but I want to be able to preserve some of my plants for use during the rest of the year. (For information on what you can do with mullein see the Grove of the Ancients blog.)

(NOTE: it is very important that you look up the plant you're working with, several common plants are poisonous and should be handled with extreme care (or if you work on my principles... it's not worth the risk, something else can do the job... so don't work with these plants at all).

So, here are some things to do with the herbs in that garden that you can use in ritual, as remedies, or in less formal 'appreciations':

Flower Essences: I mentioned how I do this in a previous post.

Drying herbs: You can harvest whole stems (as long as you don't take more than about 25% of the plant so that it can regenerate), tie them loosely and hang them in a sunny window or other warm dry place. You could also put them in a food dehydrator if you have one, or put them in the oven on its lowest temperature for about 10 minutes. Store in a jar with a loose lid, or cheesecloth/muslin bag, to keep air circulating and the dust off. It's often wise to remove the dried leafy material or flowers from the stem, as the stem of some plants is difficult to dry and can set mold growing in your herb collection.

Once you have fresh or dried herbs you can make one of the following:

Oils: You can make infused oils by mashing an herb (or in some cases, the flowers) with a mortar and pestle and pouring a carrier oil, such as almond, olive, or jojoba oil, over it. Leave the mixture in the sun for three days, or heat VERY gently over a fire (maybe even just a candle). Strain through cheesecloth and bottle. This should probably be stored in the refrigerator or a cool place.

Teas/infusions: Pour boiling water over the herb (either fresh, in which case you'll need a little more, or dried, which takes about a spoonful or 1 oz.). Let it sit until the liquid cools. Strain through cheesecloth (or you can put it in a teabag to start with... I just bought a bag of empty teabags from my local craft store for 50 cents). These should also be stored in the refrigerator, and they'll only last about a month, but I think it might depend on the herbs.

Alcohol based tinctures: I don't have experience with these, but I hear they work well. According to Cunningham's Incense, Oils, and Brews, you need to use ethyl alcohol to make a tincture (rubbing alcohol is a petroleum product) and it can be hard to find. It's also known as wood alcohol, and I do know that it turns to formaldehyde in the human body (it was widely ingested during prohibition, and it killed and maimed a lot of people). I choose not to use this.

I have a personal list of about twelve plants that I work with regularly and having growing in my garden, plus a few that I buy dried, and I often use cinnamon and lemon. This is really my entire repertoire, and I find that I can do most stuff with these plants.



What are your favorite herbs?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Last night's experience inspired me to use this new moon to really clear out old baggage, to give up much of what I don't want, and replace it with what I do want. I did a ritual much like last night... spontaneous, in front of the window, looking out on the fog rolling in, and feeling that what I was doing was right.

I let go of energy that I felt wasn't mine... or was no longer pertinent to me. Many things ran through my mind as I did this, some were people that I don't want to have control over my mind or body (usually through their judgments), some were events that happened long ago that I don't want to carry any longer, and some were agreements or beliefs that I had in my head that are outdated and no longer serve me. I felt my hands get heavy, and several times I emptied them of this energy... sent to the quantum field to be completely neutralized.

When that felt complete I turned it around, and invited all of the things that ARE me, that are current and applicable, to come into my life. I imagined people that were like minded, I imagined my body working according to the energetic template that I was born with, and really coming into myself. I want to be who I really am... and I'm very much looking forward to hanging out with her... because I think she's going to be VERY cool! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet at the water...

NotHannah over at Divining Women has started a Meet Us at the Water new moon healing ritual. I participated last month, and felt very empowered by recognizing the ocean and what she's going through right now (the Gulf)... so I did it again this month.

I had grand intentions of heading over the ocean in the dark... but the kids went to bed late, fell asleep even later, and my poor body just did not feel up to it. So, I sat at my little space that I've created in my room, where I can look out the window toward the water, and I tried to figure out what to do. I picked up a shell, pondered putting water in it... but just didn't know what to do.

I ended up just choosing to sit and energetically dialogue with the ocean... I feel very much like her right now. Some parts of me are not terribly healthy, needing attention and assistance, much like the Gulf (not to belittle what's happening out there). But I opted to resonate my healthy parts with the healthy parts of the ocean, for I believe whole-heartedly that we attract the type of energy that we put our attention on. I sent out healthy energy to different parts of the ocean ecosystem, and received back variations on that energy, some strong and robust, some less strong. I did feel that the vibration of health is out there, persistent and calm.

My hands were cupped during the whole meditation, collecting bits and pieces of the images of health that went back and forth between me and the ocean. Eventually I felt that I had many 'bits' of healthy energies built up, and I redirected these thoughts, this energy, to the Gulf... in order to remind that part of the oceans what health feels like. If we can resonate health, then it can be recreated.

Blessed Be.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Today I am feeling gratitude for a paradox in my life. These two little people came into my world and consumed it, and yet, they've driven my quest to know myself and really spend time doing just that.

They've been the impetus for me to be a better person... to learn more ways to communicate... to really listen and understand what people are trying to tell me... and for me to learn to respond with compassion. I'm forever grateful for this paradox... this gift of motivation... the beauty of truly seeing. Thank you to my children. I love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I've been making a lot of oils... this one I made just before we went on vacation because I've had a lingering cough.

Healing oil:
3 drops rosemary essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil
a few leaves of dried mugwort
about a tablespoon of carrier oil (I used almond)

I rubbed this on my chest each night to help keep down the congestion. I think it worked pretty well. I also rubbed in on my belly when I started cramping right before my moon, and the pain went away and STAYED away! Wow, that is cool stuff! I've decided that's a keeper recipe and I've put it in my Book of Shadows.

I made lots more oils too... mostly out of the book I mentioned in the last post. I made a Hearth Oil and a Clean and Clear oil for my kitchen.

Hope you all had a nice 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010


One of the things I decided when I was thinking about my hearthcraft this last week, was that I really want a nice broom that bridges the gap between functional and spiritual. I find that the more often I can remind myself that the mundane is actually part of my craft, the easier it is to perform tasks I don't love (like dishes, or sweeping).

Anyway, I found these at Broom Magic! It's TOTALLY on my wish list!

The tree spirit carving is amazing!

...and I'd also like a dustpan to go with it...

Although, I'd really like one of these... I can't really afford it right now...

And as long as we're dreaming here... they make some fantastic walking sticks too...

If you're needing a ceremonial broom or are doing a handfasting anytime soon, they also make besoms!

I suspect BroomChick on Etsy is the same broom maker as And, just as a disclaimer... I don't actually know these people, and I haven't talked to them about their products, and they didn't ask me to write about them... I just think they're VERY cool!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So sorry about leaving without saying good-bye...

...but parting is such sweet sorrow... and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Now I am back... from my sweet little vacation by the lake... and I'll share with you my lakeside reading! Well, it was actually re-reading... since a year ago when we went to the same lake I read this book for the first time.

As I started on my path I tended toward a lot of reading of pagan books, mostly Wicca-oriented. I was trying to figure out what my 'place' was... what ideas I resonated with, what kind of spirituality I wanted to bring into my life. I think as a pagan that's one of the great and difficult things. You create your own personalized spirituality... whatever feels right to you, not what is written down and perpetuated by anyone else. One of the most powerful books I came across early in my readings, was a book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock called The Way of the Hedge Witch.

At the time that I found this book I was coming to terms with being a stay-at-home mom after spending most of my life in school getting advanced degrees in various biological sciences. I had to redefine who I was, and find meaning in my life at home. This book really helped me link my spirituality to my everyday motions, to create a few small spaces that reminded me of the positive things I was doing, and really honoring the creation of family. It came at the perfect moment.

I came home with a To Do list for the hearth, and I figure if I write it here I might just follow through and do them all! :) I do have a tendency to procrastinate!

Bless my kitchen
Dry flowers, apples, and orange and lemon peels (this is great because I just got a dehydrator!)
Make sprinkling powder for the carpet
Create an altar in the living room aimed at promoting peace and harmony

I'll keep you updated on how these go... and I do have a few other things to share... but I need to download pictures from my camera first!