Saturday, 31 December 2011
For my "normal" life January 1st makes much more sense for a New Year as that is when the western world is celebrating and beginning afresh. There are things to sort out in my "normal" life that cannot be started in early November. There are home education projects, lesson plans and so on that make more sense to begin in January. Pretty much everything in my life that is not connected to witchcraft falls in with the usual New Year because my witchy beliefs are still very much in the closet - my real life is not ready to have my MIL, among others, knowing about my beliefs.
I have been asked in the past if I feel cheated because I am not openly sharing my beliefs, but the answer is no. I can honestly say that being very private about my witchyness does not bother me in the slightest. And because I was brought up celebrating Xmas, New Year and Easter, I continue to do so with my family - even though they know I don't celebrate with the Christian meanings. They also know that I have my own little rituals I do on certain sabbats and they respect that.
For many years my parents hosted a New Year's party, so it would of been kind of hard not to get caught up in the celebrations without having to reveal why I wasn't getting involved. I guess it is a matter of what you are used to, what you are prepared to tolerate and what you absolutely must do yourself.
I always say that whatever feels right for you, deep down inside of you, in your heart, is the right thing to do for you. Even if this seems at odds with other witches and pagans, so long as you aren't deliberately hurting another then you are doing just fine.
I think living in a city that has almost no pagan presence has shaped the way I am. Of course I know there are other witches and pagans around, but they obviously want to remain anonymous for the time being and I can understand that.
So this New Year's Eve I am going to be planning for my "normal" life, seeing what and who is no longer relevant and performing whatever rituals and meditations I need to help me on my way.
Whatever your beliefs, however and whenever you celebrate, I wish you a joyous New Year and hope that 2012 is kind to you.
Friday, 30 December 2011
Don't forget to take time out for yourself whenever you can. I find it invaluable as I do find holiday family time quite trying. The easiest way to do this is to have a long soak in your bath. If this is out of the question, or even if you have done this, you can also meditate - it doesn't have to be a long meditation, a few minutes visualising yourself in a peaceful setting can do wonders for our frazzled nerves.
Go on, have a few minutes to yourself, you've earned it.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
A few years ago I had a blog and allowed comments on it. Everything was fine for a while but then someone I thought was a good friend took exception to something someone said about me - it was a lovely comment for the record - and the derogatory comments started. I removed them, but it got so bad that in the end I only allowed comments for people who were publicly following my blog. This did not stop the abuse however and in the end I closed my blog.
When I started a new blog I did not allow comments because obviously I had really had enough the last time, the abuse really was hurtful, and although I am a strong person, it was still very hurtful. I know the person who was responsible, I emailed her, messaged her, I even rang her up to ask her to stop being such a pain. For my sins I got another three years of abuse, her claiming I was bullying her. She told so many lies about me I lost friends - not friends locally, but online friends. When my brother was dying she told her cronies I was lying about it and I was fishing for sympathy. Of course she was proven to be a liar then because many people saw what was being posted on my FB wall from local friends and family.
I haven't spoken to her for quite a while now, and I have even cut all ties with our mutual friends. I figured that if I wasn't good enough then, I most certainly will never be good enough. Besides, they couldn't have been any kind of friends because they would never have acted like they did.
I have moved on from that time and that crowd, but when I started this blog I felt the same sick feeling welling up inside of me with regards to allowing comments. Unless you have been subjected to the appalling abuse that some people feel the need to direct others I don't think you can appreciate just how overly cautious this can make a person.
Because there have been many queries regarding comments I have decided that maybe it is time to trust again. Given that I have nothing to do with this person and her chums anymore might be enough to finally be able to have a blog without having to constantly remove spite and hatred everyday. I have set the blog to allow comments, but not the anyone option. Maybe this will need to be changed again to that particular setting, I don't know, we will have to see.
But if the abuse does start up again I will close the comments back down as I am not prepared to put up with that again. I am not talking about constructive criticism, or someone disagreeing with viewpoint here, I am talking full on abuse, there is a huge difference.
So, if you feel the need to comment on what I have to say, go ahead.
I fail at promoting on twitter because I have non witchy family and friends on there and it is kind of awkward when they have no idea about my witchy beliefs. The same reason applies on my facebook account, although I did try having a witchy one, but that didn't work out. I attempted google+ but always forget to update there, so the FB page seemed like the best option.
You can find it here. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eclectic-City-Witch/140275069418215
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Any unwanted gifts, or maybe that should read any gifts I have no use for personally, I either give to a friend or family member becuase they need it much more, or I keep it for a gift for another person for their birthday, Xmas etc. Sometimes I have even donated these items to a charity - they can definitely use them.
It can seem quite insulting when you receive a really awful gift, but before you hit the roof and blow a gasket with the gift giver think about how else you can use the gift. And if you really feel you want to receive something from the gift giver, you can always treat yourself to something inexpensive instead; a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, or have a meal or takeaway. Of course you may be happy knowing that your donation of the gift has brought joy to someone else.
Practising gratitude in such a way does wonders for your self esteem, you really do feel a sense of having done something wonderful.
Today was that day. It was a very stressful day - getting food prepared, picking certain guests up and then being cramped in my small house with an extra 9 people. Don't get me wrong, we had a good time, but there are always certain energies left over after my MIL has been to my house. For a long time I used to struggle with restless nights, disturbed dreams and a general uneasy feeling after MIL had been round. Then I discovered burning incense really did remove the left over energies from her.
She really is one of those nasty people that never has a good word to say about anybody, and if you have an illness then she has it fifty times worse than you. She also MUST be the centre of attention and this can make for unpleasantness during family functions.
After she has left though I arm myself with incense - and usually it is any fragrance that I feel I really want to use - and waft it about the areas shehas been and then leave it burning.
Parties should be good fun and give off positive vibes, but MIL really does give off such a vibe that if left can cause problems. Now I feel able to face gatherings such as this one as I know how best to deal with the problem.
Monday, 26 December 2011
We celebrate the togetherness of our family.
Boxing Day used to feel like such an anti climax and I could very often feel down. But now I use the time to sort my diaries and calanders out for the coming new year. I jot down any notable dates that have not been included, mark moon phases in if they haven,t been included and do my best to start the new year organised.
This may seem very boring to some, but I find it quite relaxing after the stresses and starins and inevitable over induklgence of the festive period. I enjoy doing it and always feel quite refreshed afterwards.
Sunday, 25 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
This song is my favourite Xmas song.
Friday, 23 December 2011
To get us in the festive mood I have chosen this one by Paul McCartney for today's post.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Monday, 19 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
To uncast anything is merely to reverse the process, such as when a witch casts a circle she will reverse the process she used initially to uncast it.
U is also for unity, something I would love to see a lot more of. A lot of witches get on just fine, recognise that we all have different views on stuff and are all entitled to our own opinions on something. But there is, as with all of humankind, a small group who will verbally attack anyone who disagrees with their own way of thinking. Remember my post on the fluffy bashers? To unite as one group, i.e. witches/pagans etc with similar views about such matters would be far better than attacking everyone who holds a different opinion to us.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
A talisman is an object that a witch imbues with power and energy. These items can be as basic as a stone or pebble being imbued for protection, to elaborate items being imbued with energies for healing, or bringing about a specific change.
Many cultures and religions believe in the power of talismans and many objects can be used. a talisman can be used for just about any purpose, and really needn't be that difficult to charge up.
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
The Sabbats are the witches holidays, if you like. They represent the circle of life, birth, life, death and rebirth. There are 8 sabbats in total:
Samhain - celebrated on October 31st. This is the Witch's New Year, the traditional end of the growing season. This is the time of the Lord's death and where the veil between our world and the world of the dead is at it's thinnest. We celebrate by remembering the dead, maybe laying a place for them at our feast. We also mark the end of the year by doing divination, seeing what the coming year will bring by using our favourite divination method(s).
Yule - celebrated on or around December 21st. Also known as the Winter Solstice. This is the time where the Goddess gives birth to the God. This is the return of the sun/son. It is also the time of the shortest day of the year. At this time we celebrate our family and friends, we celebrate peace, love and light.
Imbolc - celebrated on or around February 1st. Also known as Candlemas. We are celebrating birth now, early signs of spring and rebirth are starting to emerge - the first shoots are appearing, lambs are being born. The God is growing fast now, he is no longer a baby but a fine young boy.
Ostara - celebrated around March 21st. Also known as the Spring Equinox. It is when the Goddess and the God begin their courtship, now he is a fine young man. Day and night are now equal, balance is being restored. Traditionally a time of rebirth. Spring has finally sprung and there are plenty of signs of new life all around us. It is a time for new beginnings.
Beltane - celebrated on May 1st. The time when the Lord and Lady consummate their relationship. This sabbat is all about fertility, so you should finish your seed planting now and maybe finalise plans you have been making for your life.
Litha - celebrated on or around June 21st. Also known as the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It is midsummer. The Goddess is pregnant with the God now. It is a great time for handfastings and marriages of any sort - my own wedding was June 23rd, many moons ago. Everything is ripe and abundant now, but we are mindful that nothing lasts forever. Within a few days the seemingly everlasting light will begin to wain again. The God is at his peak now.
Lughnasadh - celebrated on August 1st, or thereabouts. It is the first of the harvest festivals. A time for giving thanks for what we have.
Mabon - celebrated on or around September 21st. Another of the harvest festivals and also another time of balance. The dark will now overtake the light, as we move towards Samhain and Yule again. Traditionally a time for giving thanks and enjoying the benefits of what we have grown this past year. The God rests inside the womb of the Goddess now, waiting to be reborn at Yule.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Runes are letters from ancient alphabets, such as Scandanavian and Germanic speaking nations. They were used to communicate but are more commonly used as a divination tool nowadays. Some witches use the runic alphabet to write in their Book of Shadows, or for spellwork, feeling it gives a more authentic look.
Monday, 12 December 2011
This word is used a lot in divination and you may be surprised to know that a fair few people have no idea what it actually means. A querent is basically an inquirer; someone who is enquiring after their future, someone who wants you to use a divination method to answer questions they have.
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Not so much what you would expect to find in an A-Z of witchcraft, but I think this is a very important aspect of one's craft. Whatever you send out you should accept responsibility for that energy. The same goes for absolutely anything that you do in the name of witchcraft. It's no use saying you cast a spell on someone because you read it in a book, the fact of the matter is you made the choice to act out what you read, therefore you are responsible for whatever happens next.
In this day and age we hear so much about people passing the buck when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. I absolutely hate that. As witches we need to be aware of what we send out, in whatever shape or form, and we need to be woman/man enough to accept responsibility, even if something unpleasant happens as a result.
Personal responsibility is something we need to face in all walks of life, but especially so in witchcraft.
Saturday, 10 December 2011
The definition of the word Occult is hidden or secret knowledge. When people hear the word occult, they tend to think in terms of evil doers casting evil, harmful spells upon the unsuspecting. I daresay there are such people about, but the vast majority of occultists that I know are lovely people; witches, pagans and anyone else who falls into the category of magcikal people.
In the early 2000's I was involved with a group of people and we termed ourselves as occultists. OK, so it ended badly, but that was not because we were harming folks, it was more to do with jealousy rising its ugly head within the group - those of you who read my now defunct blog will know what I am referring to.
The occult is not such a scary place after all, it is given a bad press like most pagan and witchy things by people who are misguided.
Friday, 9 December 2011
Necromancy is the communication with the dead via a Ouija board, or some other way. It is used for divination purposes, though some may use this form of magick to cast spells by summoning the spirits of the dead and getting them to carry out their bidding.
There are many articles to be read on this subject and I am not going to even attempt to give a further explanation as this is an area I have never really looked into. I will say though, like with all forms of magick one should always think long and hard about what they are wanting to achieve, how they are going to go about it and what exactly they are going to do once ready to perform said magick.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
The Muses are the Goddesses who inspire us in our creativity. They are the daughters - there are 9 of them - of Zeus and Mnemosyne. The 9 Muses are:
Calliope - muse of epic poetry.
Clio - muse of history.
Erato - muse of love poetry.
Euterpe - muse of song and Elegiac poetry.
Melpomene - muse of tragedy.
Polyhymnia - muse of hymns.
Terpsichore - muse of dance.
Thalia - muse of comedy.
Urania - muse of astronomy.
When we are wanting to create a fantastic piece of writing, or other creative piece, we should call upon the relevant muse to help us in our endeavour.
Many witches will refer to their chosen deity as Lord and Lady. For some this will be out of respect, for others still this may be because they honour more than one Goddess and God, and for others it may be that they have yet to find an affinity with any particular deity but they still believe in the Lord and Lady and so referring to them as such gives them the respect they deserve.
You can get involved too at the blog of Mrs B, by clicking here.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
There is nothing quite like spending time with people who share the same beliefs and values as you do. Granted, there are some righht twerps out there who love seeing others suffer, believe me when I say I have encountered many - both in real life and online. But I have also met some really lovely fellow witches/pagans, both in real life and via the many forums, online groups, Facebook and twitter.
There is something really special about spending time - in whatever capacity - with like minded others, our kin. They really can and do bring us great joy.
Monday, 5 December 2011
Many witches have at least one piece of jewelry that represents their beliefs. Whether it be a pentacle necklace, a crystal adorning a necklace, bracelet or ring, or some other item that has some significant meaning. Personally I prefer a simple piece of jewelry that is very understated, this is because I am very much still in the closet and everything else I have ever seen just screams
"LOOK AT ME"
The piece I have is a silver celtic band ring. It is simple, yet elegant and doesn't scream WITCH.
Sunday, 4 December 2011
We have all had that gut feeling about someone, something, and so on. Intuition is that inner knowing, that feeling you get at the centre of your being - your gut - when you know something to be right - or wrong. We should listen to that inner voice that is always right about such things.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Many non witches believe that a hex is an evil curse, but the word actually just means to cast a spell. It's hardly surprising though that non witchy folks believe spell casting and hexing to be evil, given the bad press witches have had over the centuries.
If you look the word up in the dictionary, most tell you that a hex is an evil spell or curse, but as we witches know a spell in itself is not evil, it is the intent behind it. Many witches practice what they call hexcraft, but this doesn't mean that everything they are putting out is evil; far from it, they are using an old word for working magick that is all.
Friday, 2 December 2011
When we witches ground ourselves, it doesn't mean we have put ourselves in time-out and banned ourselves from going out, using phones, internet etc. It describes what we do to reconnect ourselves to Mother Earth. There are many techniques you can use to do this, but I have always felt most comfortable with this one:
Take a few minutes to relax yourself. Slow your breathing down to a normal rate and just feel the tension flowing out of you. As you allow the tension to flow out of you feel your body becoming relaxed and loose. If you haven't already closed your eyes now is the time to do so. Spend a little while longer, with your eyes shut, just feeling relaxed and at peace.
Now, visualise yourself standing outside on the ground. Feel your feet physically connected to the ground and then imagine that roots are emerging from the souls of your feet, reaching down into the ground below you. See those roots reaching into the centre of the earth and taking hold. As these roots take hold, feel the power of Mother Earth flowing back into you through your roots. Spend as much time as you need doing this exercise and when you feel ready, slowly come back into yourself by slowly becoming more aware of your surroundings.
You can also ground yourself by working in a garden, feel the soil in your hands. Rubbing your hands in the soil connects you to the earth, as does working in your garden, weeding, clearing leaves, planting flowers etc. Also going for a walk in nature is a good way to feel grounded.
There are many techniques, including the use of certain crystals, opening chakras, or even eating certain foods, but the methods I have described are pretty simple ways.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
A familiar is a creature/animal that is a magickal helper. Mine is my cat Rocky. It doesn't matter where he is if I am doing anything magicky he will come to me. He has also started doing this with my daughters who are now practicing witches too.
My familiar is a stereotypical witch's cat - a big black cat.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Elementals are beings such as fairies, gnomes, sprites, slamanders, elves, pixies and so on. They are nature spirits and we should respect them for that. We should not try to bring them under our command, they will not tolerate such behaviour. Instead we should respect that they live among us, and just because we do not always see them does not mean they are not there. I will look at each individual one in depth at another time.
Elements. The elements of Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Spirit are ruled by the elementals directly linked to them. Witches often work with the power of the elements, using that specific power to boost a spell or ritual. We often have representations of the elements on our altars or in our homes, such as feathers for air, candles for fire, plants or something from the earth to represent earth and so on.
There is much debate as to whether Spirit should be classed as an element, but I believe that it is the force that joins the other elements together. It is as much a part of the group as the other elements and should always be included.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Divination means to forsee, to predict the future.
I use tarot and pendulum mostly, with pendulum being the tool I feel most comfortable with. I also have a crystal ball, but I rarely use that, although when I have used it the results have been pretty good. I have tried scrying with a mirror, but couldn't get the hang of that. I have rune stones, but rarely use them.
Besides the tarot and pendulum I am also a very good dream interpreter and have forseen many things this way too - most notably the deaths of four loved ones. Symbolism in dreams can be confusing with people not understanding what connection random symbols have with each other. But if you look at what symbols in dreams mean to you and then spend some time thinking it over you have your own divination tool that is hugely personal to you.
Monday, 28 November 2011
Nowadays we have shiny electric or gas cookers (or if we are lucky enough we have agas and other stoves) and microwaves where most of our cooking gets done. If we need something for healing purposes we go to the GP or buy something over the counter in the pharmacy. Some of us might visit an alternative health practitioner to, but rarely do we use our cauldrons and concoct our own remedies.
Of course there are those of us who do have a cauldron and do use them as they are intended. And it could be argued that the pots and pans that we use to create meals are our cauldrons. The cauldron though is frowned upon by many as a thing that can bring misery, by evil witches casting spells upon the innocent.
But all a cauldron is just a piece of equipment that allows us to cook or create. It is not an evil item at all.
As I have said in a previous post, I have a huge mortar, (and pestle), which sits underneath my altar shelf. It symbolises my cauldron, but rarely gets used as it is so big. I do have a smaller mortar and pestle which are better suited for use. I also have a small dish that sits in a stand and I use this to burn stuff in for spell purposes and for that reason I refer to that as my cauldron.
I don't really make an awful lot of potions, though that is something I may change in the near future. I doubt very much that I would go out and buy a specific cauldron as advertised in new age shops. Most are just for decorative purposes anyway,and those that are fully working can be really expensive. With this in mind I am highly likely to use an old pot, most likely sourced from a charity shop or car boot sale.
Sunday, 27 November 2011
I have always wanted a huge Book Of Shadows, not unlike that awesome book on Charmed. Instead I have a book I bought around eight years ago when I first started writing my own spells. A Book Of Shadows is a place, as I am sure you all know, where a witch records her work, spells included. It can be a huge book, beautifully written and decorated; or it can be a smaller affair that houses your work.
Something like this maybe...........
Saturday, 26 November 2011
I am going to start with an A-Z of Witchcraft and it is likely that I will pick only one item beginning with the specific letter of the day, this will help me focus on that particular thing rather than trying to find good enough info on a lot of items.
So without further ado I am beginning with the letter A.
A is for Altar.
I do not have an altar in the traditional sense, I have a shelf where I have my crystal ball, a couple of candles and an incense stick holder. It suffices. I have tried to have a full altar in the past, but the lack of space has always meant that I have ended up putting my chosen items away. Of course a lot of witches do this, but I found it particularly time consuming to have to set everything back up again when I wanted to spell. As time is of the essence for me it just became easier to use the shelf and have the items I always use left out. Underneath the shelf I have a few ornaments that represent different things for me, such as a lady that I call my Goddess, a wizard, a Cherished Teddy figure (Merlin who is holding a wand), a huge pestle and mortar that I use as a representation of my cauldron. I also have a little dish underneath the shelf that I use to burn things in and for all intents and purposes this is my cauldron.
I have an emu feather that I found a few years back at a wildlife park, I have a small dish with some pretty pebbles in it and on the shelf I have some artificial flowers - you know the type that women wear as button-holes at weddings.
My altar suits me just fine and the items are personal to me. I often read and hear about new witches who are anxious to get their altars just right. They take a great deal of time and effort to get everything suggested and then still feel unhappy. I always think that using your own personal ideas works better than what an author has told you to get.
Some things are just way too pricey and hardly ever get used, so it is always much better to have a good think about what you really need and what you will actually use before going ahead and paying out crazy money for items.
Altars can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. It is what matters to you that counts, not what everyone else has, or is doing.
Friday, 25 November 2011
It's the new moon today, a time for new beginnings. Incidentally, this period of time is not auspicious for people with low blood pressure and/or depression - this I found out from an app on my android. I'm not sure what truth there is in that, but my DH suffers from low blood pressure as a side effect of a beta blocker he has to take for his heart. He always gets really grouchy around the new moon.
Whatever truth there is in things such as that, one thing is certain and that is the moon does affect us all on an emotional level. Women have their moontime - their period - and for those of us who do not take contraception we often find that we have our moontime at a certain stage of the moon's cycle.
There is a belief that a woman who has her moontime during the full moon can work some seriously powerful magick, though this is something I cannot verify.
So, tonight give a blessing to the moon and mnake plans, for now is the time for successful planning. Start working for those things you want to bring into your life.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
I think that everyone knows it is Thanksgiving in the USA today. Here in the UK we don't have anything like that, which I personally think is a shame. I get that we shouldn't need a specific day to feel thankful for anything but having that specific day reminds us to take time out and give thanks. I am not in that particular camp, you know, the one where we get all arsey over Valentine's Day or Mother's/Father's Day etc. Life is hectic for the majority of us whether we like it or not and we can all get caught up in that, so much so that we do forget to appreciate our loved ones or be thankful.
For that very reason I am going to be giving thanks today for my family, the opportunities I have been given this year, for "stuff" that makes my life that little bit easier. It isn't difficult to take a little time out to give thanks and whether we should do this more frequently is irrelevant, the important thing is to be thankful and show our appreciation.
We get it 3 times a year and the planet rules communication and travel and so forth. When it goes into reverse delays are inevitable, but this doesn't just suddenly happen on the day the retrograde begins. In the build up to that day you can begin to feel the slow down. For me that sort of thing has been prevalent this week - and it's only Tuesday!
I also think I have confusion over the day that Mercury goes into reverse, I believed it to be Friday, but lots of people are talking about Thursday. Just for clarity I am going to check this out, but it doesn't really matter in the long run.
I often find that the worst of delays and miscommunications come in the days leading up to the actual retrograde day. Once we get into the thick of Mercury in reverse we kind of get used to the delays and mix ups etc. If you find this kind of problem arising in your life this week, you know who the culprit is.
People also assume that once the day of Mercury turning direct arrives - which is December 13th this time round - the delays and such stop. This isn't the case, you can sometimes feel movement just before the direct day, but for things to be back on an even keel usually takes a couple of weeks.
Like I said in a previous post, we fair better during these times if we go with the flow and recognise this is a time for delays and such, and do our best to weather the storm by using our time wisely, then Mercury Retrograde doesn't have as much bite to it.
Just go with the flow.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
I had every intention of sticking to my word and sharing some universal love yesterday. Only it didn't go according to plan. Not long after I left the house I had my first opportunity, only I had managed to forget what I had planned. I had very little sleep on Sunday night, eventually falling asleep around 2am. I was supposed to get up no later than 7.30am but it was later than that and I got myself way behind.
As soon as I had sailed past the first car waiting to pull out I remembered what I had planned. I was determined to see this through so looked for more waiting cars on the rest of my journey.
I encountered none!
I couldn't believe this and decided that since I wasn't going out anymore that day, I would carry this on today. Not only did I remember to do this today, I also encountered many cars that I was able to let out into the flow of traffic, or turn off the main road.
I am hoping that I will remember to do this kind of thing more often now and I am also going to look at other areas where I can share some universal love. I think the track for me is to start slow, then the changes will come...eventually.
Monday, 21 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
So my post today is all about the upcoming Mercury Retrograde, which begins on on November 25th, this coming Friday.
This time last year I was dreading Mercury Retrograde. I have been aware of this particular planet going into reverse three times a year for some time now. I have been aware also of the effect this period of time has on my life. But last year felt different.
It started with my washing machine breaking down on the first day and the engineer being unavailable until a couple of days before Christmas. I had no choice but to accept that and resolved not to let Mercury Retrograde get me down. The next delay came later on the same day in the form of lost paperwork that I desperately needed that day.
But the worst was to come.
On the night of December 11th my brother took ill and slipped into a coma. The doctors didn't expect him to survive and he lingered on for almost a week. I cannot begin to describe the emotions we went through, each night we would go to bed and wonder if he would still be with us when we got up again. The only one who slept during this time was me and this was because DH gave me tablets; you see, stress makes fibromyalgia worse and I was in agony. I also had a virus and felt really awful, so DH convinced me to take his tablets each night. I stopped taking them the night of David's funeral.
Then this year for the first Mercury Retrograde of the year my Dad was in hospital and had been for a long time. We knew he wasn't going to get any better but I had hoped we could get him home. But we were beset by delays in communication and misunderstandings - Mercury Retrograde is notorious for this type of thing - and he started to drift away from us. Again the end dragged on for a good few days before he passed a couple of days after Mercury turned direct.
Of course I have experienced many retrogrades - we have 3 each year - and have not gone through anything remotely like this before. Neither am I saying that these deaths are because of Mercury Retrograde, they clearly weren't. But I will always wonder if they might have died sooner had Mercury not been retrograde.
Of course I have no superstition over this time and death, although you could forgive me for feeling that way I guess. Usually what I find happens during a period of Mercury retrograde is that things get held up, one way or another and communication is painfully slow or even non existent.
However, there is a plus side to this period. Knowing what we do about the delays and lack of communication, we can use this time wisely. We can plan ahead, we can get to grips with things that we normally don't have the time to sort out.
I know that during this time the delays and communication problems are going to arise and so I choose to be as pro-active as in other areas. I know that starting something new, especially anything that requires good communication with others, is a no-go at this time. I am wise enough now, I hope, to understand that swimming against the tide is pointless and so I use this time as wisely as I can.
Saturday, 19 November 2011
But then every piece of my life seemed to unravel and I had no idea who the hell I was. In fact I still have trouble identifying with myself - hence this whole 366 day thing.
The reason I am banging about this stuff so much is because some people just really don't get it when another is having a hard time. Especially if that person is someone like me who likes to deal with stressful stuff in their own way, and without too much fuss. You know, I get people contacting me now and again saying it is so nice when I don't actually moan on twitter, stuff like that!
The thing with twitter is some folks can take it all a little too seriously and get arsey with you if you so much as dare to update more than once a day. And if you so much as talk about personal stuff on there, according to some you are breaking all sorts of rules!
I kid you not!
Anyway, I retweet an awful lot of quotes because maybe I am in a pensive mood and at that particular moment in time I see a quote on twitter and think, "yeah, that is exactly how I feel". It bugs me when folks tut at me for doing such a thing, but sometimes when a person is having a hard time that one quote - or in my case, that whole barrage of quotes - is making all the difference to how they feel and view their problems.
I tend to keep people at arms length and I know it frustrates and worries my friends, especially my online ones who maybe don't get regular contact with me. I reassure everyone that I am fine, and mostly I am, but sometimes I need to retweet those quotes and it makes me come across as depressed, or vengeful, or maybe even childish. That really isn't my intention, I can assure you. I find these quotes useful, especially as I seem to be on a never ending finding myself mission.
It would seem that every time I have made an important decision about where I am going to go with my life something major happens. Wise people say we should look upon these times as challenges to help us get the best out of our lives, but I tend to feel like it is just some really bad stuff - again. I always end up going on yet another finding myself mission and I always seem to come back to the same place.
Now, I don't know if that is because I am supposed to be this person or if I am just messing my life up royally and fate is saying, "come on, get it right this time FFS!!!"
But then, that said, I vow that I am going to be who I want to be and everything goes well for like 3-6 months, then real life kicks my ass and I have to neglect the stuff I need to do to be the me I want to be. I got bogged down in the technicalities of everyday life until some huge drama, or full on crisis makes me question my whole life once again and I go through this whole "who am I" crisis once more, resolve to be the me I want to be and then screw up somewhere down the line.
I think I know who I want to be and I should just organise myself a little better to achieve that. I know I have this organised chaos thing going on, and that is so me, but I think a little organisation isn't going to hurt.
Here's hoping I can finally get off this whole loop I seem to be in, going over the same old stuff time and again.
Friday, 18 November 2011
I have always turned to music whenever I am feeling stressed and wrung out, whether that be meditative music, music to chill me out, or my beloved pop.
I have a blog that I update every day called my life in music, you can find it here:
my music blog
It has been really therapeutic during what has been a really difficult time. I have found some real gems when searching you tube for songs that have been stuck in my head. A few days ago I got to thinking about party music and decided to brighten my blog - or maybe that should read, annoy everyone - with those really cheesy party songs that we all love to hate. I have had great fun looking them up I can tell you.
You should go check my music blog out and have a good laugh at my awesome taste in music.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Synchronicity - an unlikely pattern of events, that is how I like to describe it - saved us from bankruptcy when DH became seriously ill in 2002.
Track back to 1998/1999. Both DH and I were working - him a ridiculous amount of hours and me 20 hours per week. We had a decent income between us and we decided we wanted to move from our house that we were renting. The decision to buy was made and we soon found a decent house nearby. Our offer was accepted and we began the process. But half way through I got an inkling to call it off. A sudden sense of foreboding about the sale gripped me and I had a hard job convincing DH that we should not go ahead.
Eventually he agreed and we pulled out.
We were really thankful a year later when we discovered that the property needed major works doing and that these works were going to cost something like £15,000 - £17,000 to put right. This was definitely too much for us and we would have been stuck with a wreck of a house and no money to fix it. We would have had to get an unsecured loan to put things right.
Still looking to buy our own place we decided to try again and found a house on the street where we now live. Again, I had the urge to pull out and was nevermore thankful that we had when the owner was found dead. It took a couple of years before the house was able to go back on the market and we would have been left high and dry.
Still determined to find somewhere we turned our attention to a place not far from where we live now. It is a very popular place and houses don't come up for sale that often. In the meantime we were approached by a woman who wanted us to exchange with her. It seemed the perfect solution and there was always the opportunity later on for us to buy the house.
In April 2001 we moved into our current house.
The following year the bottom collapsed out of our world when DH get really sick and was given 6 months to live. His aortic valve was severely damaged and he would die within 6 months if it was not replaced. DH hasn't been able to work since August 2002. He had his heart valve replaced in April 2003 and he hoped to return to work in the autumn of that year. But his heart became so enlarged while he was waiting for the surgery that would save his life that it became damaged, with one side not working very effectively now. He also has a damaged artery - this was picked up on in 2002/2003 but is only starting to get worse now.
I also had to quit work to care for him and just when I thought I might get back to work my own health deteriorated. I am now unable to work because of arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Call it synchronicity, call it fate, call it what you will, something was at work when we were looking to buy a house. No matter what we did things went wrong but that worked out better for us as we would have got into serious debt with the first house and would have left out of pocket had we gone through with the second one. And when DH got sick we would have had to sell up and accept a rented house anywhere had we gone ahead and waited for a house to become available in the area we had considered next.
Something saved us at that time.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
These two numbers add up to 9 when put together and my whole DOB and name when broken down for numerology purposes are both 9 too.
I never paid much heed of numerology until a couple of years ago when I started to realise the significance of the numbers, 4, 5, and 9 in my life. I am not totally obsessed with the numerological significance of things but I have found that significant events and occurrences are linked to those 3 numbers.
In a world full of confusion and chaos I find it kind of cool that significant events link back to 4, 5 or 9.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
My Dad had 2 elder brothers and elder sister - actually, the eldest brother is the only one of them still alive. Then there are 3 brothers older than me and 1 (now deceased) younger. It's quite bizarre really because my Dad had a fascination with all kinds of religions and beliefs - he was once going to become a vicar - he even looked into paganism very briefly. I only found that out after I had become interested.
My eldest brother is interested in this kind of thing, but he is really into spiritualism and the like. The next brother down has no interest whatsoever, and then the brother directly above me is not religious but would go to church if he was asked to. Finally, our younger brother had no interest in religion and did like the idea of the beliefs of the Jedi Knights, you know that belief in the power of the mind etc.
When he died we all insisted there was no religion at his funeral.
Of course I don't think that my witchy beliefs have anything to do with being a fourth child of a fourth child, but it does sound really quite cool!
Monday, 14 November 2011
On this blog yesterday I made a brief comment about this well and said how disappointed I was. Well, it wasn't that I was disappointed in the well per se, more the size of it. I was expecting a proper well, albeit a ruin, but the reality of it is more like three paving slabs. There is no sign to indicate that you are at the well - despite the online description - and so I never bothered to take any pics of it. Me and DH assumed that the well was through a field that was closed off, except for a high stile that would have been difficult for us to get two big labs over, so we never bothered going any further.
I am always intrigued by things like this, especially when they lay claims to having healing powers. Obviously the well is no longer in use, but in the past people believed that the water from it had healing properties. I wonder if the water really did have special powers or was it just the belief of the drinkers that gave them what they were looking for.
The strength of belief is a wonderful thing; positive thinking can move mountains when used properly, so who knows whether the water from the Chalybeate Well near Carlisle really was magickal, or if it was the power of positive thinking.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
The thing is though, I am never sure what I want to write so it kind of leaves me feeling nervous. But then I noticed my friend Sally at The Village Witch was hosting a Yule blog party and I signed up right away.
You too can join in the fun, details can be found here:
But this morning came around and I felt much better, so our day out was a go.
We went to a place called Finglandrigg Wood which is only a few miles from where we live. I really love woodlands because there is always that sense of elementals being all around. I always feel so alive when I get amongst nature - I am a Taurean so the earthiness of a wood or forest is really appealing to me.
I took loads of photos, some will be no good because I am just a newbie with the photo taking and sometimes I get blurry images, or my husband walks in front of me - this actually happens a lot!
Saturday, 12 November 2011
That said, I accept myself - cowardice and all - for what and who I am. If I was asked by family or the local friends about being a witch then I would certainly not deny it, I just don't feel that comfortable broadcasting it to all and sundry.
Within the craft you pretty much have to accept not only yourself, warts and all (no pun intended!), but also your actions. This kind of thing can leave a person feeling pretty uncomfortable, especially if you don't like introspection. I have to admit, navel-gazing can feel very self-obsessed when you first begin. But like all things in the craft, and life, the more you do it the better you get.
Sometimes we go through challenges again and again, we just don't seem to be able to break out of some cycles. This is where a time of self reflection can really come in handy, and we should never feel guilty for looking within to solve problems.
I think there are times when we have to finally stop judging ourselves - and others too - and just get on down and look within. Once the initial uncomfortable feelings have subsided we soon realise that what we are pretty critical of ourselves and we should work on our feelings of self hatred. Let's face it, we all have something we hate about ourselves, no matter how small.
Accepting who we are is a vital lesson within the craft. It helps us too come to terms with our own failings and give ourselves a break. We learn to move on from negative situations and people and this helps us to become more forgiving of ourselves.
When you can accept yourself you become happier with who you are. You act in the best way for yourself and those around you. You are less prone to damaging actions and accept responsibility for what you do and say.
Acceptance is a key word in the craft.
Friday, 11 November 2011
I refuse to get drawn into the political or religious rights or wrongs of this issue. I have the utmost respect for the armed forces and am deeply grateful for all they sacrifice. It doesn't matter to me that they know what they are getting into, the horrors they must have witnessed doesn't even bear thinking about. Those who go into battle lay their lives on the line for us, for our freedom - and yes, I am aware that there are those who say Afghanistan is all for oil, or America etc. But to me it is about freedom, that is more important than anything else, the right to be free.
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
We Shall Keep the Faith
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
I was reading another blog a couple of days ago where the author was discussing spellwork and the phase of the moon and that got me thinking about how I utilise the power of the moon, or rather don't. It isn't that I disagree with those who use the power of the moon, it is just exactly like I have said, my chaotic lifestyle.
But just out of interest I thought I would include a list of the phases of the moon and what magick can be performed; it is not a complete list, just a few ideas, so don't be thinking, "well this can be done and she hasn't said".
New Moon = Magicks performed at this time are for new beginnings in all areas of your life.
Waxing Moon = Magicks performed now for positive outcomes in whatever you are working towards, it's all about bringing things to you or whoever right now.
Full Moon = This is a do all kind of phase, very powerful (actually for a couple of days before and after too) and whatever you need can be worked for right now.
Waning Moon = this phase is all about pushing away undesirable situations etc. Whether that be debts, the wrong sort of people or even wanting to lose weight.
Those moon phases and their workings are a very basic description. There are more in depth phases to those phases (including the dark of the moon) and you can be even more specific during those too. You can also work for whatever you want during whatever phase you want. Some books would have you wait until a specific phase but you can actually work for the same thing during any of the phases. Take reducing debt for example, during the new and waxing moon you could work for an increase in your finances and during the waxing and dark of the moon you could work on reducing whatever debts you have. You just have to think what is best for you and work out how you are going to do it.
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
There are mutterings about how what I am doing is a load of rubbish and nothing in my posts are credible. I have always maintained that what I write about in this blog is based on MY OPINION and not necessarily in agreement with what the next person might believe in. I am, once again, being labelled a fluffy wannabe.
You know, that term is derogatory at best.
A fluffy wannabe is someone who is all talk and no action - a bit like those muppets who are running their mouth's about me! They buy every available tool and witchy themed paraphernalia and talk lots about how fairies came to help them out at their midnight ritual to save the unicorns!
Basically, if you are living the life, practicing what you preach and so on then you are not a fluffy. I have been labelled fluffy because I like the colour pink, love romance themed books and films, don't really like rock music - although I do like certain songs - have a penchant for Charmed, Twilight Saga and the Vampire Diaries, oh, not to mention shows on the Syfy channel.
According to some, this makes me a fluffy bunny airhead.
It doesn't matter that I have been studying witchcraft since I was 14 - 26 years and counting! - practicing properly since my early 20's. Nor does it matter that I write all of my own spells, have a knack for understanding a person's dream right on the spot without having to dig a dream dictionary out. Nor does it matter to them that I can tell what a person is like within minutes of meeting them - and am correct in 99.99% of cases.
I could go on, but really I will be sounding like I am trying to justify myself to them.
The bottom line for me is that if you live this life and practice what you preach then hellooooooo, you are a witch. If you like rock music, good for you, if you don't then that's OK too. It's what's in your heart that counts and what you believe in is none of my business and I have no right to judge you because you leave food out for fairies, or work with other so called mythical beings.
Fluffy is an easy way to criticise a person who does not share the same beliefs as another. It is generally bandied about by so-called witches, but usually these witches never ever practice any form of witchcraft and just like the notoriety of being bolshie and bullying others who don't share the same beliefs and taste in music and shows on TV and films and books as they do.
Helloooo????? Who wants to be a carbon copy of their friends anyway? Who wants to live and breathe everything that their friends do? Yeah, it's great to have shared interest with others and to have the chance to discuss and enjoy those shared interest together, but if we were all the same we would be just clones of one another and life would become really boring.
So this pink loving, trashy romance novel loving, Twilight fan is no fluffy bunny. I have my own beliefs and likes and dislikes and like to think I am an original, not just doing what others are doing as I am too scared to break the mould.
Finally, the tension subsided and I decided to meditate.
Meditation is something I came to do very late on in my witchy life. I was aware of it, but it was something I thought I couldn't do - just like the visualisation ;)
About 2 or 3 years ago I was working on something and meditation was a huge part of this work. In the beginning I tried to get away with not doing it, but it soon became impossible and I ended up giving it a go. I surprised myself with just how easy it was. Now don't get me wrong, I do not go in for long and complicated meditations; firstly a lack of privacy means I am unable, for now, to play them back and just go along with them. Secondly, I have a habit of falling asleep if they are too long; this was an issue I had right at the beginning but I was advised to sit up and meditate rather than lie down and I would be less likely to fall asleep!
I have to admit that this actually does work, but if a meditation is really long I often do find myself drifting off, even sitting up.
Before I got sick I used to go to yoga with my friend and we had a blast! Towards the end of each yoga session we did some meditation, but usually I couldn't concentrate on what was supposed to be happening and would drift off and have very strange experiences, nothing remotely related to the meditation. This was why I thought I couldn't meditate at all, but obviously I was wrong.
A technique that I use when I just want to calm my mind and maybe gain some clarity is to sit comfortably, usually on my bed. Then when I have stilled my mind I picture myself standing up, walking towards the bedroom door and then down the stairs. Then I see myself going outside into my garden, sitting down on a bench and relaxing. I imagine I can hear the birds singing and a gentle breeze rustling in the trees.
Sometimes this is enough to clam me down, I maybe spend around 5-10 minutes doing this before bringing myself back inside, back up the stairs and back into the bedroom.
But sometimes I need an answer to a puzzling question and other forms of divination have not revealed anything. This is when I use the above technique, plus I imagine an older version of myself comes to sit beside me and we chat about problems; or I have other techniques where I go down my street to the field at the top end and once in the field I walk a shirt distance before a mist descends on me. Once the mist clears I am some place else - I usually have decided beforehand just where I am going to visualise myself being once the mist has cleared. Once the mist has cleared I have a few techniques, such as choosing a path to go down to discover an answer, or meeting a person who then gives me advice, or being led to a pool of water where I get clear images of what I need to know.
I much prefer to imagine myself in my back garden, or in the field near my house because these places are very familiar to me and I have no trouble at all recalling them. Sometimes, even when it is a guided meditation, I find it difficult to picture everything in my mind and that is why I tend to use these methods.
I think anyone who has difficulty with meditations should develop their own technique using familiar surroundings.