Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feeling out of sorts...

Something is strange... and I'm not the only one feeling it. Something is off... not balanced... not quite "right". Do you feel it?

Nellie at A Bit of Gardening Spirit feels it...

Geez... even my apple tree feels it...

(Note: I'm in the northern hemisphere... the leaves on the tree are turning, and yet it's flowering... ???)

Is it because the moon and sun are joining forces during parts of the day? Leaving us with a time where neither is with us at night? Are the extremes with us right now... sometimes both luminaries work on us simultaneously, with their different energies... creating conflict? Or just disorientation? And sometimes we are left without their influence overhead at all?

Is this where my strange dreams are coming from? I know I'm not alone in the strange dreams of late, either.

Life has also been challenging lately... we've spent hours in our house lately trying to figure out how to get everyone's needs met. It's hard... identifying those needs and managing how to make sure everyone is supported, loved, nurtured, independent, and content.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I need advice... really badly... good advice... got any? (Caveat: please don't tell me that crying is good for children and it makes us all strong... it's not my world view... so if you have other advice I'd really love to hear it. Thank you).

My four-year-old and I used to go to a co-op preschool, so I worked some days and not others. It was great for me (I learned a lot about what kind of parent I wanted to be) but it was torture for her because she could never understand the pattern of what days I was there, and what days I was dropping her off. So, this year we moved her to an extremely wonderful and nurturing preschool with only 12 kids (same number as the co-op)... in fact, the teacher is a former co-op mom (and she has help - 1 or 2 assistants depending on the day).

Problem: my daughter STILL doesn't want to go to school if I'm not coming. Well, that's really not a problem in my view, she's 4 after all, and it seems totally normal... but the problem is the way it's handled. I don't like leaving crying (sometimes sobbing) children with someone else. I don't like the whole scenario where I walk away from this child I've vowed to nurture while she's clearly in distress, while someone else restrains her from following and grabbing onto me.

Fundamentals: I realized last night, that the reason I find it hard to walk away, the reason I'm then miserable until I go pick up my child (thus negating all of the great "me" time I'm supposed to be getting while alone) is that this action goes against every single decision I've made in parenting... of nurturing, of figuring out what the need is and feeding it, of being gentle and supportive with my children.

Real problem: I'm not sure how to get my daughter a preschool experience that does not require a) me to stay and be present, or b) to leave her kicking and screaming.

Are those really my only options? Is there a way to set up the drop off so that this can go differently? Is there some explanation that I can give of why preschool is important? Is there some trick, technique, or set of words that can change this? Or is this doomed to go on until she decides that she's not important enough to be heard and just gives up the crying? Oh please don't tell me that's how this will go... I'm not sure I can handle it...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What I did with some of the lavender...

So, I told you about all that lavender I got... and how long it took to deal with all of it! I did keep some of the stalks for burning as incense. I'm not sure that's my favorite smell... honestly it just smells like burning stick. Plus, I had a hard time keeping mine lit.

Most of my lavender is sitting in a big jar right now waiting for its final destination as a sachet or other version of a gift for someone. But, I think my favorite idea was one I thought up on my own (although I don't for a second suggest that someone didn't think of it before me). I mixed some lavender with baking soda (not sure how I picked up the baking POWDER for the pic... duh) to create my own vacuum room freshener! I hate those super perfume heavy ones you buy at the store... besides, most fragrances are toxic, but I'll save that soapbox...

Anyway, it inspired me to make other fragrances or mixtures... I think I'll be drying some orange peel and mixing with clove and baking soda for Yule! I've got other ideas too... oh so fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I was lucky to be part of a circle yesterday afternoon, of women who are on a similar path. We found ourselves, six of us in all, with time and place and opportunity to form a healing group. So we did. We sat around a table of candles, and for about 20 minutes we poured out all of the things that we want to let go of. Self-deprecation, anger, fear, fat, low self-esteem, sadness, feelings of lack, emptiness... and on and on... we had quite a list. Together we sent this ball of what we wanted to release into the candles for transformation.

Then for the next 20 minutes, we sat together, verbalizing all of the things we do want in our lives. We made a big orb of bright light full of these things... love, acceptance, peace, abundance, self-respect, gratitude, laughter, ability to go with the flow... and once the energy was complete, we each connected to that source of positive energy and drew from it what we needed. We allowed the rest to float into the world, to provide those energies for others that find themselves asking for such a thing.

It was an amazing feeling of community that I am so very grateful for. I often feel lonely in my practice, and although none of us said a single word about spirituality when we were working out how this ritual was going to go... we all came from a place of openness and likeness and it was a very moving experience.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September new moon

On the September new moon I found myself with a day at home with both kids in school, and for a short time I felt like I wasn't sure what to do. Then, I decided it was a perfect time to do my new moon ritual that started with Meet Us At The Water through the Divining Women blog.

With leisure on my mind (after all, this was my first day in eons with no children following me around), I decided that this new moon ritual deserved a tub full of hot water!

I found a blue candle (representing the waters of the earth) and I anointed it with rosemary oil. I had also recently purchased some empty tea bags from the craft store, with no particular project in mind... but instantly I felt an idea brewing (tee hee)!

I looked up water herbs, and found a few that fit my purpose. I ended up using chamomile for mediation and calm, orris for protection and divination qualities, and yarrow for courage and removing evil and negativity. I wrapped these three herbs up in two teabags, and tied them closed with a blue string.

I ran a hot bath and put the herb packets in. I said a prayer before getting in the tub, about healing and returning to the nature of one's true self. I consciously said it in such a way that included both me and the earth's waters. I soaked for awhile, meditating on my own healing and alignment. As I let the water go down the drain I imagined those same vibrations flowing out into the world... into the oceans.

It was a wonderful ritual, and very calming. It might actually become a go-to new moon ritual for me, as it fed me in subtle ways, felt deliciously indulgent, and served a practical purpose all at once!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Parenting and magic

Nellie over at A Bit of Gardening Spirit has been writing about parenting lately, and is putting out a call for people to start a cooperative blog about pagan parenting issues. I'm totally behind the blog in whatever way I can be supportive... I think it's a fantastic idea. I often wonder about how to teach my kids about what I believe and what I do, but in such a way that it's clear that it's a decision that each person makes on their own (or should, I believe). And maybe that's too much right now when they're 4 and 6, but it's where I'm headed. So, if you're interested in taking part please contact Nellie at her blog.

In the meantime, I'll give you a flavor of my pagan parenting, LOL... this is what I do for my kids when they have trouble sleeping.

I have a small bowl of flour, that I did a very short ritual over in the moonlight. I call it "magic fairy sleeping dust". When the girls have trouble going to sleep I get some on my fingers and sprinkle it over them and say:

Fairies of the stars, fairies of the moon,
Please let "name" fall asleep soon.
With good dreams through the night,
Let her wake happy, in the morning light.

I then tell them that it only works if you lay down quiet and still and feel it soak into your bones.

I figure it's a spell, and it has lots of the general elements of a ritual... and yet it only takes a few seconds to do. It also seems to work, especially on my older daughter who really resonates with this kind of thing.