~Welcome~

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain" (unknown)

"Without Darkness, there would be no Light" (unknown)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Black is Beautiful (Pagan Blog Project, Week 4)

Black is my absolute favorite color, and I wear it often especially to work, in fact I am fondly called Elvira by one of my co-workers LOL of course it could be that I also have long dark hair. Some people find it strange that I wear black so often; I have been asked if I'm a Goth (even though I don't wear make-up), and I have had it commented that I look like I'm in constant mourning. I take in all in stride, because I really don't care what other people think about what I wear. I love the color black and I like how I look in black... that's all that matters, besides it's a professional color... good for the work place.


So let's talk about black. In psychology the color black is protection against external stress, a barrier from the outside world. It hides insecurities such as poor self esteem; however black also depicts power, mystery, sophistication, strength, control, authority, and even sexuality.


Other facts:
* Black absorbs light
* Black is the absence of all color
* In fashion the color black is always stylish and never out of style... it goes
   with anything and it is slimming; it can be conservative or sexy.
* In business black signifies success, strength, and professionalism
   (aha! see! LOL)
* On the darker side, black is a symbol of death, menace, and evil.


Historically the color black is associated with the night, darkness, the unknown, and the fear of things that go bump in the night or lurk in the dark; therefore black is a bad (not). It is linked to death as it is associated with the Black Death, the Grim Reaper, the Underworld; furthermore in old films bad guys are depicted as always wearing black (the good guys in white)... Black is Dark and White is Light. Black cats are considered bad omens, at least in Western history; they are omens of misfortune and death... as is the Raven for that matter. 


In magick however, the color black is considered to be just the opposite; it is protective and a symbol of the night, the Element Earth, and the direction North.  Black is used in magickal work for protection, banishing, returning to sender, reversals, and divination. 


Other magickal correspondences for the color black include: 
Samhain, the Dark Moon (Balsamic Moon), Kali (Hindu Goddess), Anu (Celtic Goddess), Freya (Scandinavian Goddess), Hecate (Greek Goddess), Hera (Greek Goddess), Morrigan (Celtic Goddess), Persephone (Greek Goddess), Nyx (Greek Goddess, Anubis (Egyptian God), Hades (Greek God), Odin (Scandinavian God), Osiris (Egyptian God), Quetzalcoatl (Aztec God), Set (Egyptian God), Thanatos (Greek God), and Thunor (Germanic God).


Some great black stones to wear or carry:
Onyx- defense against negativity, fortifies self confidence, aids in releasing grief and sorrow
Apache Tear (Obsidian)- grounding and protection, absorbs negative energy
Hematite- (although it is silvery I consider it a black stone) improving relationships, grounding, aids in memory and knowledge, supports your hopes and wishes, balancing.
Jet- protection, purification, power, healing


The Black Cat 
No matter their color, cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt 
and are associated with the Egyptian Goddess Bastet who is 
depicted as a black cat; cats are also associated the Roman Goddess Diana who often takes the form of a cat.
Some people may believe that black cats are bad omens but to Witches... 
we consider black cats to be good luck
and personally... 
I think black cats are extra special.


The Raven
Ravens mean different things to different Traditions. In Native American lore they are honored by Shamans and considered bearers of magick, and messengers of the spirit world; ravens were called upon to aid in clarity of visions; they are also called upon for long distance healing. In Celtic lore ravens are important totems associated with the Goddesses Morrigan and Morgan Le Fay. The Celts consider the raven as one the oldest and wisest of animals, and sometimes a messenger or omen. In other lore ravens are associated with astral travel, dream work, prophecy, and divination.


Black is Beautiful :)







Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Imbolc Plans (Pagan Blog Project)

Imbolc is the Festival of Light, a Spring festival belonging to Brigid, a Celtic Goddess who later became a Christian Saint .Traditionally Imbolc aka Oimelc is Gaelic for "milk of ewes" it refers to the lactating of the ewes, when ewes are nursing their young; it signals the return of Spring.

Imbolc (February 1) celebrates the return of light, new beginnings, and fire. It is the time between Winter and Spring when the darkness begins receding  and the days are growing longer; it signals the ending of the difficult part of the year, the harsh cold and hunger and bringing hope for the return of abundance... warmth, and food (crops), sunshine, and the beauty and colors that comes with the awakening of the Earth.



When celebrating this Sabbat your decor and altar should represent the season.The traditional colors of Imbolc are red, green, and white.. red for the returning sun, white for Brigid, and green for the new growth and life... plants/herbs, candles, and because it is also in honor of a Celtic goddess a Celtic symbol like knotwork, and/or a picture/statue of Brigid would be appropriate as this sabbat is connected to Her.  Some people choose to include Brigid's Cross or a Celtic Cross. Another popular item for Imbolc is a corn dolly.

How do I celebrate? Well, I personally like to keep things simple; it is easiest for me with my lifestyle, my spontaneity. I don't keep a permanent altar set up, instead I choose to set one up at the time that I actually do a simple ritual just because of our feisty troublesome Mina; she the youngest of our two cats, black and beautiful, with an attitude! We love her dearly but she is always in trouble and into everything, and keeping an altar set up with her around... well it's chancy LOL usually something ends up dismantled, broken, lost, or chewed on! I have to even keep my kitchen cabinets locked with childproof locks to keep her out LOL

My rituals usually take place in my bedroom or if the weather/temperature permits, in the backyard, usually at night (1) to ensure I have privacy and quiet (2) because I work during the day. I favor candles and candle magick, as well as simplicity, so my rituals are short and sweet; they involve a candle(s), incense, a flower or some greenery (or herb), a stone(s) or crystal(s), and a prayer and a thank you in acknowledgment of the Season and blessings in my life. My offering is at least one of the following:   bread/cookie, fruit, a flower... sometimes a poem.

My temporary alter is usually a rectangle board (about the size of a tray) or a dresser top. I often prefer to sit on the floor so in most cases I prefer the wooden board, unless I am outside, in which case my altar is a cluster of tree stumps in the backyard... perfect for an altar!

The photo below is an example for my tree stump altar... this was when I was in the process of designing it, and I sketched what I wanted it to look like. The stone is a thick triangular chunk of flagstone that was left laying in the yard by a previous tenant, and if you look at it closely you can make out a figure... this represents deity :)

A potted plant represents Earth; the wind chime Air, a large candle in a red dish is Fire, a bird bath is Water. The bird bath ended up being a hanging bird bath on a shepherd hook like the wind chime.


The nights are pretty cold this time of year, so I will most likely be celebrating indoors. My altar will include: 

* A piece of fabric (Green)
* A Pentacle
* White Candles
* White and/or Red Flowers (for decoration and offering)

My other correspondences will include:
Cinnamon Incense
Milk (offering)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Moon Tarot Reading



Tonight I decided to do a Celtic Cross Spread, and while I was shuffling a card flipped out: Queen of Cups. Taking note of this card, I put it aside and continued shuffling and pulled my cards...



I apologize for the picture quality... cell phone LOL but the cards are as follows:

(1) Me: Page of Wands-Potential
(2) Crossing Me: Knight of Discs- Husbandry
(3) Present: King of Cups- Water
(4) Root: 8 of Discs- Skill (R)
(5) Past Influence: 6 of Swords- Solace (R)
(6) Future Influence: 6 of Wands- Success
(7) My Attitude: King of Wands- Fire
(8) Others' View: The Lord (Emperor)
(9) Hopes/Fears: King of Discs- Earth (R)
(10) Outcome: Ace of Wands- Creativity

Now more about my personal message card, the card that flipped... 
Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups is deeply emotional, and usually empathetic. She channels feelings and emotions, as well as dreams and visions; she is usually understanding but can be moody. 

I find it interesting that I got this message during the New Moon, a time of new beginnings because this card announces a time of discovering new qualities and depths within myself and urges me to explore and experience my emotions and feelings, and to pay attention to my inner Feminine. The Queen of Cups tells me I possess intuition, and I need to learn to trust it!

Some questions to ask myself...
* How am I expressing unconscious?
* How am I expressing my emotions?
* Who or what is inspiring my dreams?
* Who or what is triggering my emotional responses?
* What is my gut telling me?
* Am I being guided towards something... feel an impulse to act on  
   something?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tagged Again!

Magaly at Pagan Culture tagged me! However, being I have already answered the eleven random questions about me, I’m going to cheat and only answer the questions she specifically asked of me, which are questions #3 and #9 from the various people that tagged her.

So ready or not, here I go…..


3. What is your favorite kind of foreign food? Mexican and Italian
9. What is your favorite movie of all time? I'm going to have to say Practical Magic

3. What weird items would I find if I went through your wardrobe? My wardrobe is  B O R I N G; you will find several t-shirts, some work blouses, a renaissance dress and chemise, a pair of moccasins, tennis shoes, and work shoes... pretty dull stuff.
9. Which god/goddess annoys you the most? Annoys me.... no deity annoys me.


3. Where is your favorite place? Well when at home, it's my bedroom, but I love the forest and the ocean.
9. What is your favorite scent or essential oil? Lemon is probably my all time favorite scent, but I like Lavender too.


3. What foreign country would you love to visit? Ireland! I want so badly to visit Ireland, and be able to actually spend time there to enjoy it at a leisurely pace and visit several different sites.
9. Number one song on your ipod/CD/whatever? Hmm I don't know that I have a favorite song. My fave artists include Within Temptation, Nickelback, and Loreena McKennitt.


3. What is your favorite smell? Other than Lemon, I'd have to say the smell of a new book!
9. What is your favorite computer game? I'm not really into computer games much, but when I do play I play Sims 3.


3. What ingredient do you most cook with? Ok firstly, I hate cooking; I can cook but I hate doing it. When I do cook we eat alot of pasta because it's so cheap, so I'm going to say pasta.
9. Which time period do you feel a calling to? Do you think you could have a past life there? The Renaissance Period, and I think it it is highly probable that I have a past life there.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Tearful Farewell



The old family house is sold, and this Friday is moving day for Mom and Deb. I realize that change is part of life, but some changes are more difficult than others; this is one of those. I'm having a hard time letting go of that house, and with Mom moving out of town... it's a double whammy. It's almost like cutting the physical ties from Dad all over again, and with Mom leaving... I'm pretty emotional right now.


I thought I'd better take some pictures before I ran out of time. As I took these pictures, I cried. I'm such a baby!

The house is old, built in the early 70's and it has seen better days. Once Dad was gone, we couldn't maintain the upkeep and the poor house has lots of issues. It's in need of new carpeting, a new bathroom floor and toilet, it has termites, the roofing needs fixed, etc... but it was our family's house for almost 20 years... lots of memories in that house.


The main house is a large 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a garage, a storage shed, and an covered boat parking area with stairs off the back patio leading up to the one bedroom guest house. For years I lived in the main house with my kids and my parents lived in the little house upstairs. After Dad passed away, Mom moved in with me for awhile, until my sister moved in with us, then Mom and Deb moved upstairs to the little house.


The main house is still in the process of getting cleaned, so excuse the boxes, etc. The little house... well they are still living there as they pack and prepare for the big moving day Friday, so excuse their mess as well.

main house, front porch

 main house from the main drive way

 from front entry looking into living room

living room

 the view from the living room

This is the original "front" entry, but it wasn't used much; we used the porch entry by the garage.The living room is to the left; the hallway to the bedroom is to the right, and the dining room is straight ahead across from the door (below).


dining/kitchen

kitchen

 kitchen, pantry area with temporary window covering

 master bedroom with the original orange shag carpet... eeow! LOL
2 entries to this bedroom (1 from the hall & 1 from the dining room) 
it has 2 closets, and a small bathroom

the larger of the other two other bedrooms

 smallest bedroom

 hall bathroom (wallpaper is not child proof LOL)

 hall bathroom

 master bedroom's bathroom 
(tiny with a shower, no tub... has a leak in the wall, hence the patch job)

 the cabinets in the master bath... I painted the flowers years ago

 hallway, from bedrooms looking into living room

 small laundry room

 nice big 2 car garage

 garage, front view

 back patio of main house with stairs going to small house

 boat parking area

 the stairs to the small house

 back patio again, from the other end

 view of little house from back of main house

 view of big house from the top of the stairs

 little house
 little house from drive way

 back of the little house

 looking down from the back yard of the little house

 main house, coming up the drive way

 bank side of the little house

 the little house from the main drive way

 the kitchen/dining in the little house

 living room from the kitchen

 bathroom entry from kitchen/dining

 big bedroom

 bedroom, entry to bathroom (left) and walk-in closet on the right

 living room, different view

 kitchen/dining, different view

living room, different view

It's in an awesome location, across the park's lake, set back from the road and surrounded by pine trees. The place has lots of wildlife to enjoy. Elk used to walk through our yard, and one Thanksgiving a fox sat on our back patio watching us eat dinner through the arcadia door.

Coyotes often yip and howl through the night, and one Summer a bear walked through the yard. Every night a family of raccoons visit to snag the cat food left out for the feral cats.... and the javelina as well. Rabbits, squirrels, doves, and quail are frequent callers.  We've even had a Mountain Lion come visit, and an occasional owl.

Oh, let's not forget the Bald Eagle! The main house has a huge window with a gorgeous view of the lake, and whenever the local Bald Eagle goes fishing, you can watch it from the living room; I loved watching that Eagle.  

Yep, I going to really miss that house!