Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lesson One

I received the book yesterday that I ordered, well one of them and the tarot cards. The book is "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft". It's really good actually. I had heard that it wasn't the easiest of reads but it hasn't been so bad and really enjoying it actually. There are little questions and things to think about at the end of each lesson. At first I wasn't too sure I would do that part of the book but the questions are actually really good. So I started it today and am taking my time to really absorb the information. I did get a few of the essay questions today and it is very enlightening. So I thought I would share with everyone and maybe get some feed back on what I have so far. Like I said before "takes a village" and I am sticking with my idea of that. 




Lesson One Questions


1. It is often helpful to examine your feelings/attitudes toward a philosophy or topic we are interested in. What is your understanding, feelings of Witchcraft? Examine your impressions, preconceptions, biases, etc. How have your reactions changed regarding Witchcraft throughout your life? 


What is your understanding, feelings of Witchcraft? 


My understanding is that Witchcraft is about the balances in life.  As in nature there is a male and female side to everything; from animals, to humans, to even plants. No one side is stronger they are an equal part in life. It's also about respecting everything that we see around us. Everything has energy and that energy is life and should be treated with respect and love. It's about nature and how it evolves throughout the year. How it progresses through the different seasons and being happy in the fact that we have been blessed to be here to enjoy and revere the change. It's about seeing the God and Goddess in all things including ourselves.
My feelings on Witchcraft as I sit here today are that is how it's supposed to be for me. Simple but accurate for me. It just seems natural. Maybe that is why the word natural has always seemed like a very powerful word to me. I feel a peace when I think of Witchcraft, though I struggle with some of the past misconceptions that have been told to me, have to work to get those recordings out of the brain. But when those creep in I know that they are just that, misconceptions, and I try to wipe them out as quickly as possible. They are like a seed, let them take root and they will, throw them away and they can't take over your thinking.


How have your reactions changed regarding Witchcraft throughout your life? 


I remember when I was a child growing up Christian that I thought Witchcraft was evil and anyone that practiced it was evil and unholy. Thought that it was devil based. The more I started to think for myself I started to question everything with Christianity and religion. Things just didn't seem to added up in my mind and heart. It didn't seem to be about love, though I am sure for some it is very loving, but for me it wasn't. I watched all the "Christians" around me and didn't see love and acceptance. I saw judgement and hypocrisy. What kind of religion and "enlightment" is that? That didn't seem very enlightening to me.


And what about the world around us? The air and water and plants and animals? Where did they all fall into everything? I remember as a child bumping a plant and turning and saying sorry. I also had a cactus as a child that I would pet and talk to. Don't know why I did these things, just did. I always thought as a child that things had feelings, which I know now is energy but back then I thought they had feelings. Always thought about things being even, have to give just as much water to this plant that I give the others because it will hurt it's feelings if I don't. Same with animals and just about everything around me. I never thought I was more important than anything else on the earth, not a person or a plant or an animal, but a different form of life.


The more I learned about different religions throughout the world I realized that there isn't one true path to the Divine, that all paths lead us to the Divine. With that learning I realized that I had to find my path. And I really felt drawn to how the ancestors celebrated and worshipped the Divine. I always had the feeling of being drawn to how it was orginally done. How did the beginning people celebrate the Divine? How did they connect with the Divine? That's what I wanted to learn and be like. To me that was a time when there wasn't persecution for religion. It wasn't that everyone did it the same, it was a time when people did what they FELT was right. Isn't it that concept that makes the most sense? Wouldn't the Divine be within us to let us know what is right and wrong, isn't that what are intuition is for? Isn't it our intuition that we should be listening to me, because for me that is the Divine. That is my Jiminy Cricket of sort to reference a modern day representation of intuition. I think that is something that a lot of people ignore now days is their intuition and it is such a shame because I feel that is the Divine talking to us and trying to guide us on our path.


I really had found that all my beliefs and convictions all lie within Witchcraft. It's what feels right to me. I have grown to be a better and more certain person just with the studying I have done. It feels like home to me. It is my path to the Divine.


2. There are many different denominations of Witchcraft. Based on what you know at this point, which denominations do you think you would like to practice, and why? 


I can't say that I would pick any of them right now. In reading the short descriptions on each of them there was something that didn't ring true with me in each of them. I'm not sure if it isn't the right time in my learning to pick one or if maybe none will ever be the one for me. So I think for now I am just going to learn and see where it leads me, might be one of them might be none of them, so it's a time to just wait and see.


3. The earliest conceptions of primitive magick dealt with sympathetic magick. How can sympathetic magick help you today? In what ways can you foresee using it? List some possibilites. 


How can sympathetic magick help you today?


Not sure if this would be considered sympathetic magick or not, but as in my case wanting to move to Arkansas I try to visualize myself driving down a road in Arkansas. Maybe it would be closer to taking a picture of Akransas and then paint shopping a picture of me into that picture.
Or if I am need of money to pay a certain bill I would actually make out the check for that exact amount made out to who the money was due to, which in turn will bring that money to me to pay that bill.
It could be used to banish things out of your life as well, but not too sure that is a good idea as the concept of banishing isn't something I am caring for right now. Seems so permanent. But to use sympathetic magick for banishing, you could make an effigy of that object and burn it to take away that object from your life.
Could it also be just making the effigy and placing it in a place where it will be seen on a regular basis that that will bring it into your life? I would say it was the same. So maybe making a small house and placing it on the mantle, if you are wanting to find a house you want to make your home, would that be sympathetic magick as well?


In what ways can you foresee using it? List some possibilities. 


In my first example I could definitely see using it for that. A way of depicting me already living in Arkansas and having that around would be a perfect way to me to use sympathetic magick.


Also writing the check for the amount of money I need to pay a bill would be another I would use.


In the banishing aspect I am not at a place right now to use it, but one way that I could see using it is if I wanted to get rid of all negative thinking. Make something that I see as representing negative thinking or even energy and then burning it till it is nothing but ash.


That's what I have so far.


Many smiles and blessings!!!


Bold and Italic questions copied from "Buckland's Complete Book Of Witchcraft" by Raymond Buckland

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Frankincense

At one point in history it had the same value as gold. After studying up on it I can see why. It was amazing to find out all the medicinal uses throughout history and still today. Even John Hopkins has done studies on it for it's anti-inflammatory properties and releaving anxiety.

Facts -

It is a resin that is tapped from trees that grow on rocky hillsides and cliffs or in dry river beds. The trees grow best in a dry climate. Some of the countries that it grows best in is Oman, Yemen, India, and parts of Northern Africa. The trees grow to about 20 feet and their branches begin near the base/bottom of the tree.
The resin is best harvested two times a year. January to March and also August to October. To harvest the resin one has to make a large cut in the tree and leave it for a couple of weeks or longer. The tree produces the resin to "heal" the cut and seal it off from infection getting into the tree. The longer the resin is left to harden the easier it is to harvest it. Once harvested the resin is then left alone for 12 weeks to age.

Medical and other uses -

In aromatherapy it is used as an antidepressant. (Which I have to agree, the smell is very uplifting)
The medicinal applications are almost endless. Not just the resin but the entire tree was used.
The bark was ground to a powder and made into a paste which helped with swelling and also rheumatic arthritis.
Used in a tea to help with stomach problems and morning sickness and also thought to ease morning sickness.
Can be used as an antiseptic when mixed with water used on cuts and burns.
Often used in eye washes. The smoke is thought to help with sore or tired eyes.
The bark and resin were used in making splints. A cloth would be soaked in the resin before it hardened and then wrapped around two pieces of the bark placed over the broken limb. Then the resin would harden to make a make shift cast.
Most modern uses medically is for rheumatoid arthritis and is also administered for gastro-intestinal diseases like colitis and Crohn's.
It was also one of the ingredients used in ancient embalming practices.

Magical uses -

Magically it is associated with the Sun God Ra and connected to the fire element, also listed as gender male (though I am not sure what that exactly means, next thing to study). It is used for protection and purification and luck. Use the oil to anoint your tools or yourself. It is said to accelerate spiritual growth. Rids negative energy. Helps with psychic abilities and meditation.


I was really blown away by this and amazed that our ancestors used it so much. I feel that it is something that isn't even heard about in modern times. A lot of people associate it with the birth of Jesus, it being one of the gifts that the three wise men brought to the baby. I often wondered why would you bring a spice to a baby, but learning of its purpose and how much it was valued I can now see why.

The magical purposes seem to mainly deal with protection and purification. Catholic churches still use it to this day for those reasons as well. Isn't it amazing that though the world views all the religions as being so different but when you get down to it we are all kind of same. Yeah sure some of the rituals and thinking about the Divine is a bit different but even with this one little thing like frankincense we all use it for the same thing.



Sources-
http://fullerlife4u.blogspot.com/2010/12/frankincense-even-more-uses-and.html
http://www.oocities.com/witchowllee/herbs/magical-properties/frankincense.html
http://www.oocities.com/witchowllee/herbs/magical-properties/frankincense.html
http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/frankincense.php

Friday, February 4, 2011

Few new things

So I haven't been doing any real studying the past few days. I think I am still adjusting to living alone again. I am finally relaxing and just being so I seem to be tired constantly. Really annoying as my mind isn't tired as well so it keeps going but my body is still back at the starting line. 


I have been totally loving all the podcasts out there. I have downloaded so many on my iPod and listen to them all day at work. So much fun!! Maybe that has been my studying. On the Pagan Hooligans she is talking about tarot cards and that has really peaked my interest in those. Then on Witchesbrewhaha she has herbal and stone sections and that has my interest peaked as well. I guess I am going to hop around in my studying and for me that is perfect. I can't keep my brain on one subject for too long otherwise I get bored and lose interest. 


I do have some pictures of my altar from Imbolc I just need to upload them and get them on here. Just haven't found the energy to deal with it. I have to adjust all my USB plugs to plug in the SD card so been putting that off. 


I have ordered me some books and stuff and I am waiting anxiously to get everything in. I ordered the books "The Craft" and "The Craft Companion", did I already tell everyone that? I think I did, oh well. I also ordered "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft" and a deck of tarot cards - "The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck". Read that is a good basic one, hopefully that is right and a good one to start with. Just really want to study each of the cards, which I could do without the deck but I want to be able to look at each cards closely and see what I get out of them. 


I also got a few oils and some sage sticks. I am really amazed at the smell of the oils. I guess I have expected them to stink. I got sage, lavender, frankincense, and myrrh. The frankincense and myrrh are the ones that really amazed me. They smell so good!!! Frankincense is kind of a spicy smell and myrrh is a very sweet smell, almost like cookies or something. I can't place what the smells remind me of but it is something. But love them so much!! Not sure what I am going to do with them yet. Any suggestions on that would be greatly appreciated. Maybe that's what I should study next. YEAH that would be a great idea. Just start with the ones I have and then expand from there. 


Past couple of days have been really busy at work and that might be why I have been so tired. Guess I just need a good day of rest and hoping to get that on Sunday. I only work four hours tomorrow thank goodness. Hopefully it will be a quick four hours. Well I am getting really sleepy and I am sure MoMo is ready for bed as well. So off to read and head to lala land. 


And as always...


Many smiles and blessings to you and yours!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just have to share

I finally took the plunge. I was sitting here most of the day listening to podcasts and just going over things for Imbolc tomorrow. I got my candle holders done and also a Brighid's cross as well. The cross is actually still in the oven as all this was made out of clay. 

So this evening I decided it was time. I wanted the house to be clean and ready for Imbolc tomorrow. And it was physically clean but it wasn't complete in my mind. I started to read others way of doing a cleansing of their house and chants that they used and they were all great but didn't connect with me. I decided to write my own and also wrote out the whole ritual. Wasn't a lot but it was just right for me. 

I started off by talking to the God and Goddess and asked that they guide me in my ritual. At first I was scared and nervous and thought to myself "what are you doing?" but I wiped it from my mind and just went with it. Figured if I was asking for their help I better shut my thoughts and mind out of it and just go with where they lead me.

Next I took a cleansing shower (don't do baths...just a quirk of mine) and I have to say that was amazing. I don't have all the special little things that a lot of people use so I just kind of went with what felt right. I imagined the negative energy running off of me and down the drain and away from my home. It was so peaceful and warm and and and...a thousand words to describe it but I don't think that would even be enough. 

I then did my little ritual of cleansing the house. At first it felt weird like I was almost just going through the motions and not really feeling it per say. But before I knew it I was just moving along and wasn't even following what I had written out for my chant. Was just saying what I felt needed to be said. Then I realized I had the biggest smile on my face and nothing felt weird or wrong just amazing and completely right. 

As I finished I thanked the God and Goddess for helping me through my first cleansing and sat down to just be. 

I have to say that everything I have been reading and studying all seemed like it was out of my reach. Something that I wouldn't be able to attain. Now I feel like it all makes sense. I get the reason for the Sabbats and Esbats and the reason for the altar.

I think especially the altar. I thought it was just something that Pagans do but now I get it. It's not something to just do it's something I WANT to do. I want to lay an altar out for them to show my gratitude for what they have done. To show them the love I have for them. 

I know some may say "You've done one little thing" which is very true and looking in from the outside it very well may seem that way. For me though it was a big step and one I have been putting off for months, maybe even years. Yes I have only been officially studying for a few days but I feel like I have been studying my whole life just not the actual steps of everything. 

Now it is all falling into place within my head and heart. I could probably go on and on about it. But I'm really kind of tired now and really hungry, what is that about? LOL So I am going to go find some food and then get my butt to bed, still have a lot to do for tomorrow and want to get an early start. 

Thank you for reading about this "newbies" first experience. 

And as always...

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!


Monday, January 31, 2011

Some quick photos

I finally found my camera and took some pictures of the recent clay work I have done. The pictures aren't the best. Today is my Friday!! YEAH!! I am so ready to create more and get things done for Imbolc that I want to get done. 

Lot blurry!! The love inside!!!

Black and white necklace. The Swarovski in the middle is
dark green, doesn't show well in the picture.

This is one of those that I didn't think would make
a good necklace so is now a magnet for the fridge.

Another magnet for the fridge!! Such a pretty fridge now!!

The colors are all wrong in the picture. The "pink" is actually
a very bright red. Have to work on my picture taking.

Really blurry!! Another black and white necklace.

Another one that is supposed to be a bright red. Can't see it well
but there is a clear teardrop Swarovaki crystal hanging from the bottom.


Ok have to get to work soon. Thank Goddess for Fridays even when they fall on Mondays!!!

And as always....

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Imbolc


The word Imbolc comes from the Old Irish "i mbolg" meaning "in the belly".  Referring to the pregnancy of ewes. There is also reference to the lactation of ewes. 


It's a festival of hearth and home and a celebration of days getting longer and the early signs of spring. 


Festival of the Maiden. The Maiden is honored as the Bride.


Brighid is the Goddess that watches over pregnant women and everything domestic. She is also the Goddess of the crossroads.


Also a fire festival.


One story I read that goes with the weather prognostication of this Sabbat is if the day is cloudy and dreary it is said that Cailleach is sleeping and winter will end soon. But if the day is sunny and bright, it means that Cailleach is out of her hiberation and is collecting more wood for her hearth and winter will last longer. This is probably where the concept of Groundhog's Day came from. 


It's a time of:
Creativity - Love - Cleansing - Fire


Traditions -


Time to light candles and bless the candles that will be used throughout the year.


Corn dollies are made and placed in a basket made from wheat or oat straw with the bedding be made from white flowers. The corn dollies can be decorated with shells and colorful ribbons.  Young girls would then carry this basket from door to door and the people would give gifts. At the feast the older women would make acorn wands for the dollies to hold. 


The night before the hearth is put out and the ash would be smoothed out and in the morning if it had be disturbed then it was a sign that Brighid had visited them. 


A piece of cloth or ribbon is laid out on that night to receive Brighids blessing. In the morning the cloth or ribbon is brought in and has the powers of protection and healing. Or make a green wrap and place that out as well and then Brighid can bless it then you can use it to wrap yourself in protection and healing energy.


It's the time to bless the seeds to be planted in spring and of the tools that will be used in the garden. 


Have foods that are dairy based. Custards, homemade butter, breads, etc.


Make a Brighid's cross. 


Clean the house of the old to make room for the new. 


Do a cleansing of the house to rid the house of old negative energy to bring in new positive energy. 


Do a cleansing bath. 


This is a time to welcome in the new things to come into our lives. 


Colors for this time would be red - representing the fire -- green - representing the new growth of plants -- white - to represent the melting snow. 


In doing this research and learning I have finally realized what I want to do for Imbolc. I am going to set up my first altar and place all things that represent Brighid and the day of Imbolc. Going to have to get crafty for this but will make it all the better. And I am more than sure most of it will be out of clay as all my other craft stuff is packed. Dang it!! 


Going to make a corn dollie...well more of a clay dollie. Does that still count? In my clay world it absolutely counts!! Also a Brighid's cross will be out of clay as well. I'm going to make some ivy out of clay as well. Getting the theme yet? I will place all these on my altar. Besides some white pillar candles that I will have to make some candleholders for as I don't have any for pillars. Maybe I will decorate those with the ivy leaves as well or maybe with some flames. 


I think I will put out an offering plate as well to place some milk. (Hopefully MoMo won't think this is for him) Going to place some ribbons outside in hopes that Brighid will bless them. 


As for a chant I'm not sure yet. Going to do more research on that before I decide on that part. 


I'm sure other things will come up as I start crafting and getting things ready. I will definitely take some pictures when I have it all finished. 


Again if I forgot anything important please let me know. Be my village please. :)


And as always....


May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!


P.S. Girl Scouts just showed up at my door with cookies!!!  YEAH!!! I love thin mints!! Can you make an offering to Brighid with Girl Scout cookies? Would that be wrong? I know she would love them as much as I do. LOL 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Started studying



I am one of those type people that needs to know the reason why for everything. Someone will tell me they need to move something from one place to another and I will need to know why they are doing it before I can even begin to help them with it. It's usually because until it makes sense to me I don't see the purpose of it and if there is no purpose for it then I have no drive to do it. I don't know if there is some technical, psychological word for it, most just call it me being a pain in the butt. I'm not a "just do it" type of person. Too much of a thinker I guess. 


Anyway I have been going over in my mind where I want to "start" my studying when it comes to my Pagan path. Some may say just go with it....refer to above about not being a "just do it" type of person. I need to know at least some of the ends and outs before I can even begin. 


I have scoured the internet as that is all I have access to right now and have found nothing in the lines of a way to begin or steps to take to start the path. At first I was lost but quickly realized that the steps to take are the ones that I lay before me. One persons way may not be the way I would choose. So I am making my own and decided to start with the Esbats and Sabbats. 


I thought about starting with the phases of the moon but when I was reading that it was referring a lot to the Esbats and Sabbats and as I didn't know the difference with those I delved deeper into those to get a good base to work from and this is what I came up with so far. 


Please let me know if I get this wrong or if I missed something really important. Sort of like the saying "It takes a village to raise a child", maybe it should take a village to "raise" a Pagan. lol


This won't be in any particular order as it is kind of the notes I was taking as I was reading. Nor is it a full description, what have you, for each of the things. Just a jumping off point for me. 




Esbats are lunar. They are the 13 full moons of the year. One for each month and then the 13 refers to the "Blue Moon". Deals mostly with the new moon and the full moon. These are what is referred to as the "working" holidays. These are the days to work on what you want to bring in or banish from your life depending on the phase of the moon. These are held to honor the Goddess and her passing from Maiden to Mother to Crone. 




Sabbats are solar. These are the 8 Pagan holidays. 2 solstices - 2 equinoxes - 4 cross-quarters. They are the cycle of the Earth's seasons. Wheel of the year is a graphic to show the Sabbats. Sabbats deal with the location of the sun. These are to celebrate the changing of the seasons, gathering of the harvest, etc. These are held to honor the God and his passing from birth, to life, to death, and to rebirth. 


Sabbats begin on the sunset of that day and go through the sunset of the following day. 


Samhain - cross quarter day - half way between Mabon and Yule. It is on the same day every year. Oct. 31st through Nov. 1st. 


Yule - quarter day - Winter Solstice. Date varies every year. For 2011 is it on Dec. 22nd through Dec. 23rd. 


Imbolc/Imbolg - cross-quarter day - half way between Yule and Ostara. Same day every year Feb. 2nd to Feb. 3rd. 



Ostara - quarter day Spring Equinox. Varies as well. 2011 it's on March 20th to March 21st

Beltane - cross-quarter day - half way between Ostara and Litha/Midsummer. Same every year May 1st to May 2nd

Midsummer/Litha - quarter day Summer Solstice. Varies - for 2011 June 21 to June 22nd.

Lughnassadh/Lammas - cross-quarter day - half way between Litha/Midsummer and Mabon. Same July 30th to July 31st

Mabon - quarter day Autumn Equinox. Varies - for 2011 Sept. 23rd to Sept. 24th. 


Quarter days from what I gather are named so because they are the quarter marks for the year. Quarter days (starting November 1st) is the first day of the month every three months. 

Cross-quarter days mark the middle of each season. IE the middle of winter, half way mark from the start of winter to the start of spring. Cross-quarter days hit midway between the quarter days. 

Equinox is where the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. 

Solstice is when the sun reaches it northernmost and southernmost extremes. 


That's what I have so far. Just in that little bit things seem to make more sense to me. Not a lot of information but now I get it. LOL Now the question is will I remember it tomorrow? This is why I am blogging it...one way to help this old brain of mine. 

So would this be the type of thing that someone would put in their Book of Shadows or am I missing the point of a Book of Shadows? Or does one put whatever they want in their Book of Shadows? Now that I think about it, I think I do want this in my Book of Shadows. It's mine anyway and can have whatever I want. LOL

Next I want to break down each of the Sabbats. Maybe make a post for each of them. With this I am hoping to break down each thing further and further. Maybe after that deal with the herbs that go with the Sabbats or maybe the tools that are used for each of the Sabbats. I don't know yet really I am just letting the God/Goddess lead me on where they want me to go. I start reading and whatever I feel is supposed to be next then I go with it. Does that make sense? 

Have to get to bed. My littleman AJ is spending the night with his grandma and won't go to bed until I do so time to hit the hay. 

And as always...

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Few Things To Share...

So I ordered me a couple of books last night. "The Craft" by Dorothy Morrison and "The Craft Companion" by Dorothy Morrison as well. Both of which were a recommendation by the wonderful Velma Nightshade and her amazing PodCast "WitchesBrewHaHa". Might be a few weeks before I get them but I can be patient....sometimes. LOL If you do get a chance check out Velmas' podcast, it is so much fun and full of great information. 


I am adjusting well to living alone again. I must have forgotten how wonderful this actually is and how much more art I can get finished. I got quite a few pieces done on Wednesday. Am working on a whole black and white series of jewelry with just a hint of color in the Swarovski that I place in the piece. I am really liking the look of these pieces. Another thing that I found out is that if I get a piece all done and I don't think it would make a good pendant or jewelry of some sort, too large what have you, it will make a great magnet for the fridge. LOL. So now not only do I have quite a few necklaces done but my fridge is looking beautiful. One hot fridge if you ask me!! I can't remember where I put my camera but as soon as I find it again I will get some pictures taken and put up here to share with everyone. 


Though I am having a great week emotionally (besides today more on that later) and mentally, physically it has been pretty horrible. One thing is that something funky is going on with my thumb. It's got a very strange feeling to it, almost swollen tingly feeling and it hurts in the nail bed area thing. Have no idea what it's called. But it's weird and of course I am going with the whole thing of "if I ignore it...it will go away". I know not the smartest thing to do but living with Fibro for 20 years I just got to the point of not getting my panties in a wad with every little thing. Costs less in medical bills, especially for a doctor to tell me it's nothing, not paying to hear that for the thousandth time. 


The part that is horrible this week is my jaw. I swear I have TMJ in fact pretty dang positive that I do. This week it is playing havoc on me. So much pain and of course this time it has my jaw out of line. That part doesn't hurt unless of course I try to eat or speak. I am eating very soft foods, which helps a little but sure doesn't fill the tummy very well especially when I am craving a big fat juicy steak this week. The one thing that would kill me with pain is the one thing I really want. The speaking part....well I'm a delivery driver so that kind of works as I am in a car 90% of the time by myself, so there isn't anyone to talk to anyway other than myself and that just looks weird driving down the road. I am trudging through and am slowly getting to the point that the pain is waning with everyday so hopefully I will be all better real soon. I know it is from the stress of last week, I grind my teeth when I sleep and stressed and that's what brings it about for me. I am working on being more conscious when I am grinding them so that is helping as well. Oh heck I will be better soon and will move on with things. 


My daughter informed me this evening that she took a statement that I jokingly say all the time and said it at her church and the preacher thought it was hysterical and then used it in his Sunday sermon. Ok.......stop and think about this. A statement a Pagan made is being used in a church sermon. That's funny!! Though they have used Pagan holidays and probably some of our statements in the past, I still find this hysterical. I told her not to inform them that it came from a Pagan, just wouldn't end well. Now the statement is one I'm sure everyone has heard, I believe I heard it from a comedian years ago, I think don't remember. The statement is "The old are only cramming for finals". If this offends anyone...I'm ....no really I'm not. it's a joke and it's funny and true. I see my own mother run to church on Sundays and I clearly see she is just getting her studying done for the week. 


Did I happen to mention I get really REALLY punchy when I am in pain. Very cynical and a whole lot of bi***ness going on. As I would tell my hubby...."Welcome to my world, please have a wonderful ride on the "Julia is in pain don't mess with her" crazy ride. 


Anyway I digress I just thought it was funny that the preacher used this statement to point out to his followers that one shouldn't be "cramming for finals". Good luck with that one and glad I could help. LOL


Ok now I have to get to the sad part of my day. Today would have marked my 22nd wedding anniversary. These days never get easier. I deal with this one and the anniversary of his death and his birthday by just making it through the day without a total break down. I noticed the date when I was filling out papers in front of a mechanic well that isn't exactly the best time to have a moment. So as I walked to my car after leaving the mechanic my eyes started to tear and a lump in my throat began to swell. I looked up to the sky and said "Happy Anniversary Papa" (that's what I called him because he was an old man). Couldn't lose it then as I had another stop that was only a few minutes away and swollen and bloodshot eyes don't go well with mechanics. They freak out and stand there in total silence as they don't do well with emotions. They don't talk to people very often just cars. So I had to just swallow it and let it go. That part is hard as well, not being able to let the emotions go when they come about. They don't happen very often but it makes it worse when you have to swallow them. Fortunes of working with mostly men but I'm getting used to it. The day had it's low moments like this one but I can say with pride that I made it through another "remembrance" day. I know the pain won't be less as I go through each of them in the future but I do know that how I react to them will get better over the years to come. 


Now the anniversary of his death is a day I take off from work. That is the day that all the memories of that horrible day come flooding back to me and being at work when that happens is not a good idea. I usually just take the day to work on art because of everything I do in my life, my art is the one thing that Chuck would be the most pushy about me continuing. So to honor him on that day I work on my art. It is also a great thing to be focused on, lot more positive than focusing on that horrible day. That day is right around the corner too so I tend to get a bit anxious about it when it gets close.  I know there will be tears that day but there will also be art. Tears and art isn't a completely horrible thing to have in a day so I will just go with it and make it through another milestone. 


Well it's almost time for bed and I could go for some mindless TV before I have to hit the hay. I hope all of you have a wonderful evening and some much needed sleep for those of you not sleeping well. (You know who you are *wink*)


And as always....


May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Help!!!

Ok I need some suggestions. 


Now that my daughter has moved out and my house is my own again. I really want to embrace this path and really start practicing it. I have the time and energy without the interruptions to do so. Not to mention that I don't have to keep it under wraps anymore as a respect to her. 



 I am looking for some books to read that will help me get started. Maybe, sort of, kind of like a workbook, but not really. LOL Can I get more confusing? YES I can just give it some time. 


What is a good book to start off with? I have "Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner" and it's great, but I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Don't know why, just can't. Have read it a couple of times and it just doesn't grab on to me. Thought about taking it chapter by chapter and really delving into it by writing something about each one, maybe that would help. I don't know. 


If anyone out there has some suggestions about some books to get I would greatly appreciate it. Even thought about putting up a poll but as I don't know what books to put in the poll that idea went out the window quickly. lol 




May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why do we apologize for crying

I was watching a video about a lady that was shot and she began to cry on camera and immediately she apologized for it. I have noticed myself doing it as well. Especially right after the passing of Chuck. I will be telling someone about how he passed and will begin to tear up and I will immediately apologize for it. 


What are we apologizing for? That we have a heart and show our emotions? That we are going through an emotional time and it is hard to hold back the emotions? Why? 


We have all seen someone cry before. We have all cried ourselves. It is a part of life. I can guarantee that at some point in the future you/me will cry again. 


Heck we even expect people to cry. It has even made the news when someone doesn't cry. Someone will lose someone to murder and they didn't cry on tv to a news reporter and that will make big news. Why aren't they crying? What are they hiding because they didn't cry?


So why is that we feel compelled to apologize for our emotions? 


Are we saying sorry because our crying might make the other person feel uncomfortable? I remember having a very stressful day at work and my boss came to talk to me about it and I started to cry and I could tell by the look on his face that he was freaking out, besides the fact that he told me when a woman cries he doesn't know what to do. That was one time I apologized for crying but also said, "Yeah I'm crying deal with it." That got an even more freaked out look on his face. 


Is that the reason? People don't know how to deal with someone crying or what to do in that instance. I'm sure we have all heard it before that when someone starts to cry just listen and be supportive. How hard is it to stand there for a few minutes and just listen to what this person has to say?


Are we so wrapped up in ourselves that we can't give a fellow person that is hurting, frustrated, etc. a few minutes of our time? Maybe if we did be supportive in that moment they wouldn't feel the need to apologize for crying and just maybe that is all they needed to get back out there. They just needed the release and now they will feel better. Maybe they will come back later and say thank you for letting me vent, I feel so much better. 


I don't know about you but I would rather hear a thank you than an I'm sorry. 


So I have decided to not apologize for my emotions anymore. I will also not let anyone apologize to me for theirs either. I will say that their apology isn't needed and they have every right to cry and I am hear to listen and be supportive. 


What are your thoughts on apologizing for crying or showing emotions? Do you apologize? Have you had someone apologize to you and how did you handle it? 






May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings. 







Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ruin is a gift.....

I have been watching movies all day and just vegging around the house. Basically gave myself permission to do nothing today. To grieve my loss of my daughter and grandson living with me. I slept horribly last night couldn't get my mind to shut off for nothing and when I woke early this morning I tried with all my heart to go back to sleep but it just wasn't happening. 




At first I started out the day watching horror and zombie movies but I got tired of those and put on the movie "Eat Pray Love" with Julia Roberts. If you have never seen this movie I highly recommend it. I have watched it before but with a two year old running around you don't catch everything so I watched it again. 




The premise of the movie is that she is recently divorced because she realizes that she isn't happy and immediately jumps into another relationship. She finally realizes that since she was the age of 15 she has been in or just getting out a relationship with a man. She decides she is going to move to Italy for 3-4 months and then India and then Bali. To basically find herself. 


I always thought that the concept of "finding oneself" was kind of weird. You have lived with yourself your entire life how could you not know who or what you are. 


It reminded me of another Julia Roberts movie "Runaway Bride", how she goes through this as well. Finding out what eggs she likes. 


There is a part in "Eat Pray Love" where they ask her what her word is and she proceeds to list "...a daughter good at that, a wife not so good at that, a girlfriend not so good at that. So I guess my word would be writer. I am a writer." Her friends point out to her that that is what she does not who she is. That whole thing of not knowing who you are again. 


I sat here watching the movie and wondering to myself who am I? What is my word? I have no idea. My list started the same as hers. A mother, a daughter, a widow, an artist. Not only are those what I do but they are who I am in connection to others. I don't want to "define" myself for what I do or for the relationships that I have with others. 


Right before Julia is getting ready to leave Italy she visits an old Roman building that is in ruins and is used by the homeless now. As she was sitting there thinking about the ruins she makes the statement "Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."


I woke up this morning thinking my life was in ruin. Why? Because I was alone? Because I don't have a lot of people in my life and definitely none that I really connect with and even more definitely any that I truly trust. Any that I can tell anything to and not worry about judgement. 


There's only one person I have that with and that is me. Though at times I judge myself but it's more of thinking about what I did and how I could have handled it better not so much that I am a screw up and can't get anything right. I gave up that way of thinking a while ago. Just had to change the recording. 


I don't have a word though. I can't even come close to thinking of one. Maybe because of the grieving I am going through right now. 


Another statement in the movie "Send him love and light and let it go. Be quiet and the universe will rush in." Let go of the grieving. Easier said then done but I am going to do the work to get to that point. And I am definitely going to be quiet and let the universe rush in.


I guess the main point of this post is that I was thinking I have never sat with just myself in total silence. I always have to have noise around me. It's my way of quieting the mind. While thinking about that earlier I realized I don't know me. I never took the time to get to know myself. I never sat and just listened to me. 


I never went to a pond and just sat quietly watching the ducks in the water. 


I never went to a museum and just enjoyed the painting on the wall with out thinking or talking. 


I never sat in an empty field and watched the stars in the night sky.


It's just hit me...I have never even stayed in the shower and enjoyed that.


I'm not saying that this is the way to find oneself but I think for me it just might be the ticket.  I have never done anything outside of my house by myself. Something that I would enjoy by myself. Sure the usual running of errands, but nothing that would bring me joy. Never took the time for me. 


I never dated myself. 


So I have decided to take myself on a date. Maybe just go to a park and watch the people go buy. Maybe go to that pond and watch the ducks. Maybe go to a museum and just enjoy the art in silence. Maybe find an empty field and stare up at the stars. Don't care what it is maybe all of them. 


Dear Julia, 




I would love the honor of taking you on a date so we can get a chance to know each other and building a lasting and amazing relationship. 


Love, 


Yourself




Dear Self, 




The honor would be all mine. There is nothing that would make me happier than to get to know you as well. 


Love, 


Julia




May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings. 


Julia



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Horrible Day

Today turned out to be a very horrible day. And to have it happen on my baby Becca's birthday just makes it all the more horrible because I didn't get to say Happy Birthday to her and sing to her like I do every year. 


My youngest daughter and I had a blow out this evening. Not about the religious path she is choosing but because of the life choices she is making. Moving to another state with a guy she has only known six months and has only technically been dating for two days. They say they won't move till March a whole month in a half away. Guess that is a lifetime and I just didn't know it. 


Then again from what I gather I don't know anything and she has to make her own mistakes. Infamous last words but we all said them at some time in our lives. 


And really if she wants to move to Tibet with a guy she barely knows more power to her and like I explained to her the only person I was concerned about was AJ and what will happen if the relationship doesn't work out. AJ gets bonded with this guy and sees him as a father figure and when they decide they can't be with each other anymore where does that leave AJ? A poor little boy that has lost another man in his life. She said she doesn't want to live in fear or on what if's she just wants to be happy. That's all well in good when you aren't a mother and only a teenager. But in the real world that isn't fair to AJ.


I'm just his grandma though I don't have a say so in anything. I'm just the person that helped support her and AJ for the last year or so. Guess that doesn't count for anything. Which I guess it really doesn't. 


So tonight I sit here alone because she has moved out and I don't even know where she is going because she said that was her business. But I do know that her little boyfriend is the one that helped her move her things out so I can only imagine that is where she has gone. 


I gave AJ a lot of hugs and kisses and told him I love him and to be a good boy for his mommy. What more could I do? 


I'll be offline for a while though as I am going to turn off my internet to save money in the next couple days, maybe I'll get in a few more post before I do. Hopefully not too long as the house will sale and I will get it back up as soon as I get to where I am going. Even questioning going back to Arkansas now as well. Won't even have her and AJ there with me. Maybe I'm just being silly and it was time for me to move on with MY life just such a blow to the heart to see my little grandbaby walk out the door and to know I won't get to  rock him to sleep at night anymore. Or to see his bright face when I come home from work. My heart is just breaking. Maybe tomorrow will be a bit brighter.


Also going to be calling the realtor tomorrow to lower the price on the house even more. I have to get out of this house even more now because of financial reasons. And truthfully it's really painful to look around and still see them here in my mind and heart. I know it will get better with time and I know that I would have had to go through this in the future I just didn't see it playing out like this. 


Please send some good and positive energy my way. I need all I can get right now. I wish I knew how to cleanse my house or at least had the money to buy some sage to cleanse it with. Maybe it would help me to embrace my Pagan path more. To cleanse it and start fresh with the way I want to lead my life. 


Guess I am just grasping for something I can hold on to right now. Feels like it is all slipping through my hands. 


I need sleep sure that will help as well. Going to get off of here and try to get a good nights rest. 


May your day be filled with smiles and blessings. 


Julia




P.S. She just called and said she forgot AJ's diapers and will be here in twenty to pick them up. AJ's diapers? Really, you forgot one of the things you need for him. She didn't take his toys either, WTF? Amazing!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quiet Day

So I decided to take advantage of my youngest new venture of going to church. Why not take a some what bad thing, well not bad for her or me really, but go with me on this. Take a bad thing and turn it into something good. So she left early this morning with AJ and before she left I lined up my iTunes with all my Pagan music and the minute the door closed from her walking out I pushed play and just breathed. It was wonderful and still is as she is still out and about. Though I am a bit concerned she has AJ out at this time of night but it's her child and she will pay the price when he is a cranky pants from being out late. I said some little "prayers" to the Goddess to help me through this trying time with the kiddo and as always to guide me and bless me with some peace. I kind of had my own little "church service". So that's what I have decided to do when she goes off to hers I am going to have my own. 


MoMo has spent the day with me, he doesn't come out much when AJ is home and awake. So he spent most of the day following me around and is right now sitting at the front door looking outside. So many sights and smells, he is a happy boy right now and is giving me a big smile. Right now he hears a frog out there and is looking all over for it. 


I worked on the laundry and the last load is in the dryer. Yeah clean uniforms for work tomorrow and hey matching socks too!! That is a party in my books lately. Kiddo doesn't like to fold the clothes, only washes and dries them, so I have to either do it myself or rummage through baskets every time I need something and socks are the hardest to find at 7am when I can careless what is on my feet. 


I did work on some clay stuff. Made a couple of Marie Segals hearts from the tutorial she put up a couple of days ago. Very cute and another one I could see getting addicted to. Not a lot done in that area but my hands were in clay after so long of doing no crafts so I was a happy girl. I was also working on getting my craft area a bit more organized. It was such a disaster and actually still is but it is on the right track. Trying to make the clay a little more assessable when I am sitting down to work on something. Want it to be more visible. 


I did come to the realization that one of the reasons that I wasn't crafting more lately is because every time I would sit down to craft I would get frustrated because nothing was turning out. So about two weeks ago I made myself sit down and said that I had to make something no matter how it turned out. Again not so great then I realized I CAN'T SEE AS CLEAR!! It wasn't that I had forgotten or lost my touch it was because I can't see as well and was squinting the whole time. That gets very tiring on the eyes so I would give up from being tired and not liking what I was seeing, thinking it had to do with my abilities. To quick to think that my talent was the problem. I picked up some of those little cheap reading glasses at Wally World last week and when I sat down today to make the little hearts everything was working perfectly and it was like I was back to my old self. And OLD being the operative word here. Old age is playing havoc with me all over my life. 


OH OH MoMo is getting frisky time for mommy to play with him and add more scratches to my arms and hands. :)


May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings. 




Julia

Friday, January 14, 2011

Little more than perplexed now

Ok so I thought the thing with my youngest daughter wasn't that big of a deal. Was hoping it would pass and wouldn't affect me that much. But......I came home this evening from work to find a bible perched on my computer desk. It still sits here staring at me. There is also a couple highlighters so she can mark passages that she may like. I really try so hard to be accepting of others religion and the choices in their lives, but this is in my face now and I am struggling big time with it. 


Listen I don't have issues with the Christian religion, it's their thing. More power to them as long as it doesn't infringe on my life I am all cool with it. Don't want to sound like my parents but this is my house and I am allowing her to live with me and am even willing to pay for her way to Arkansas when the house does sale. She isn't working but is looking for a job. I fight with her to get things done around the house and I guess part of me feels like this is just one more excuse that will be used that she doesn't get anything done around here. 


This is a girl that before this guy mentioned his new found path was an atheist. Now it's because she didn't read the bible that she was one that didn't believe in any higher power. I am almost positive that she just wants to keep this guy that she is going down this road and as soon as she gets rid of him she will not continue down this road. 


I asked where the bible came from as I know the ones I own are all packed and she said that her grandmother, my mother, bought it for her. WELL OF COURSE SHE DID!! 


Me and my mother......well we aren't the best of friends. Really if she wasn't my mother I probably wouldn't even associate with her. I know sounds really harsh, but there is a lot of history there and one thing I learned about my mother when I was little and have never forgotten is that she has a motive to her own benefit to everything she does and it doesn't matter who it affects along the way. So I can only imagine what her purpose is for this. My brothers have learned that if they want something from my mom they just have to tell her that they have turned to God and they need help, she is all over it like white on rice, no matter how many times they get DUI's or how many women they get pregnant. 


Ok I admit I am sounding way too bitter and resentful here but this has me all turned around and don't know what to do. I am trying to make my house a very positive and guilt free area. Some place that I can call MY sanctuary and I feel like this is really being ignored and disregarded. 


Now I am looking at a statue of a saint that if you bury him in the yard it will help your house sale faster. My mother bought this as well.


Can someone please come over and choke me because I feel like it is already happening mentally and spiritually, might as well be physically as well. LOL 


Think I am going to go meditate for a while and take some long deep breaths before I lose it completely. 


Sorry about the ranting and going on about this. I will be chipper soon, I promise. LOL




May your day be filled with smiles and blessings. 




Julia

Catching up

I've been MIA for a while now but I'm pushing myself to get back out there. Not that a lot has been going on, at least not big things, just a bunch of little things. 


The biggest thing that is going on is that my creative juices are a little dry right now. I'm trying to "wettin" then up again but it's a struggle. My craft area is a little messy right now and I think that has a lot to do with it so that is the first step I'm going to take in getting my muse happy again. With having packed so much of my craft room up I am having to think out of the box on making things because I don't have most of my supplies at my finger tips as I usually do. I hoping that will be a good thing in the end. 


My youngest daughter has me a little...don't even know the word to use. Perplexed maybe. She has this guy she has sort of been seeing. Well last week he informed her that he couldn't see her anymore because he was giving his life to Christ. Good for him, glad he found his path. But that path is now bleeding into my house and I am far from happy about that. He also told her that she is full of demons and she needs to come to church with him to get rid of them. As a mom and her mom I took great offense to that and was quite mad about it, but said nothing out of respect to her. She has now informed me that she is going to go to church with him. And I couldn't be happier for her. Hey thats what she wants to do fantastic. Never denied my girls their religion just don't preach to me about it. The other night I went to sleep listening to them on the phone talking about the bible and a big religious debate. Ok, now that really doesn't make me happy. I have kept my religion under wraps while she is living here to respect her space but I feel it isn't being returned. I don't have pictures of the God/Goddess up or an alter and my books I keep tucked in my room out of her sight. Not sure how I am going to handle it all yet will just have to wait and see how this one plays out. 


We did get a cat for Christmas!! WooHoo!! I haven't had a cat for a few years now because of the loss of my dear Moxie. She was a Manx and the love of my life. We did everything together. I don't speak of her much because it still hurts so much. She passed away two months after Chuck passed away so a really hard thing for me to talk about. But now I have MoMo...pronounced moe moe. I didn't name him. He is a big fluffy fur ball. So loving and is slowly coming out of his shell. He is four years old and has only known one family so it's taking him time to adjust but he's getting there. I will get pictures of him real soon and get them posted. 


Becca is still at bootcamp and is not liking it one bit. Her fiance isn't liking it at all. He is so lost without her so we try to have him over as much as possible. He is having a hard time hanging out with his friends because they were "his and her" friends, so too much of a reminder for him right now. We are just trying to give him as much support as we can. 


Ok so there might be one big thing going on with me, but I'm not sure. I think I might be going through the "big change". Eckkkkkk. Just a lot of strange things going on with my body right now centering around my reproductive area. And I think I've had a few hot flashes. Everyone else is bundled up because it's been cold here and I'm the one with a fan and sweating to death, it will last a few minutes and then I will be cold like everyone else. What the heck is that all about? I thought I was too young for this, but I have no idea. I ask my mom but don't get much from her that's for sure. 




Oh have to go to work, crap. Lost track of time. 




May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings. 




Julia