Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Know It All's Who Know Nothing

Warning: This is a rant. If I offend someone too bad for you because what I'm about to talk about is something that needs to change.

My mom has a friend that while I think she means well with most of her crap, she's also one of those people that just rubs you the wrong way. You can only handle her in small increments and then it's time for her to go home. So when she informed us that she started massage school I almost barfed. She wants to trade services with me and I don't think I could stand her for a whole massage. But that's not even the biggest part of my rant. I easily handled that situation by telling her that I don't get massages.

My biggest issue is this: she comes from a family that doesn't even allow their young ones to watch Harry Potter because it shows Witchcraft. She started learning about reflexology and kept calling it Witchcraft. I looked at her one day and said "That isn't witchcraft, it is just nerves responding to touch." And she just kept on insisting it was Witchcraft. Now she is on this crazy kick of having to "cleanse the energy around her and within her." Now, normally I would be all for that, and I would even be helping her with it, but the probably is she seems to think that what she is doing isn't witchcraft and everything else that she doesn't understand is witchcraft. Her school also teaches Reiki and she tried to correct my pronunciation of the word! Although I have a sneaking suspicion that the Reiki they teach isn't very in-depth because she will be finished with school in one more semester and they haven't started teaching the Reiki part yet.

Now that she is understanding some of the things going on I informed her that I am Pagan and I'm a priestess as well, card carrying and all. When she mentioned "needing to find someone to cleanse her house," I told her that as a legal, card carrying priestess, I am completely capable of cleansing her home for her, but she refuses to acknowledge that. What irritates me is that she thinks she knows everything about energy healing and energy work because of the things they cover at her massage school. Her teacher even informed her that she is a healer! All the healers I have ever known have a calming energy about them. With her I can't stand to be around her because she is loud, obnoxious, and nerve grating. How can you heal someone when you grate on their nerves so badly that no one wants to be around you?

I've tried discussing some of the things I've learned with her while doing pedicures for her and such and she has a bad problem with tossing aside the things I'm explaining to her because "she knows that already"! These are things that took me years to understand and successfully work with, and not because I'm incompetent, but because these are things that you don't learn over night! She has been in this school for less than 6 months and now she thinks she knows everything there is to know. If there's one thing I cannot stand is someone who thinks they know everything when they've only scratched the surface of something and when they don't even know anything truly. She has no idea what kind of energy is used in Reiki except that "it's really cool and somehow it just works"! I'm sorry, but I'm of the school of thought that if you don't know exactly what kind of energy you are working with, and have some small idea of how it works, you shouldn't be messing with it. I even asked her about chakra alignments and such and asked what she knew about that, because with Reiki you work with the chakras, and she looked at me like I was speaking in tongues!

Here's the thing, if you've had just enough training to make you curious about something, you haven't had enough training in my mind. If you are curious about it, you don't have enough knowledge about what you are messing with to safely wield it. But with another turn of that coin, if you say you know everything there is to know about something you are working with you are sadly deluded. You should have enough training that you are comfortable enough to work with the energies and say "this is how it should work, but things are always changing," and you should still hold enough curiosity to learn from each experience as well.

A while back, Mom started getting very sick. To the point where we weren't sure if she was going to survive or if the pain was going to overcome her spirit and send her to the Otherside before her time. I've been working on energy healings with her, and teaching her how to cleanse her own chakras because she has the personal power to do so by herself. I also called in a friend to do some Reiki on her. That friend of mine is a Second Degree Reiki Master. She didn't finish her training, but I knew from being around her enough that she truly is a healer and was comfortable with asking her to work on Mom. Now Mom's friend that irritates the crap out of me wants to "try" Reiki on Mom. Since starting this journey with Mom's health, I've started learning about energy healing myself. I'm at the part where I am still curious and still learning, but not comfortable enough to use it with Mom yet. I was fine with her doing massages on Mom because Mom needs them, but now she's started using reflexology on Mom's feet which irritates me because I'm the one that works on her feet. I'm also Mom's herbalist and I work hand in hand with her doctor to help speed things along, and I am her energy healer. Is it wrong of me to be irritated that a woman I can't even stand is STOMPING all over my territory? And one that thinks she knows everything when she knows nothing?!

My resentment towards this woman started when I decided to adopt. Since I was 21 this woman has tried to convince me that I need to have a hysterectomy and yet this woman has 5 kids of her own that she never even takes care of. Her children are with their grandparents 24 hours a day. Her mother which is a close personal friend of mine and Mom's filled out a reference sheet for me when I started my adoption process. The next time I spoke with her daughter, this irritating woman, she informed me that I didn't need to adopt, I just needed to take one of her younger children for a week and that would "take care of me wanting to have children"! I flat out looked at her and informed her that I thought she needed to keep her own children and stay out of my business. Then she informed me that I just needed to have sex and that would also take care of me wanting to have children and my bad attitude. I will be the first to admit this woman brings out the very mean side of me. She can't see that I'm a healer at heart because something about her just brings out the worst in me. I can't stand having her around me. I can't stand speaking to her. And it really offended me when she informed me I just needed to have sex instead of adopting a child! I have told her I don't know how many times that I don't like her and don't want to be around her and she just laughs it off as if I am playing. I don't know how to say it any clearer without being downright nasty. Yet she insists that we are friends, and that I value her opinion on my adoption and everything else she seems to think she knows everything about. My thoughts on all of this is: If you don't truly know what you are talking about, stop acting like you do. And if someone tells you they don't want your opinion on a big change they are making in their lives, don't force your opinion on them.

Anyway, I'll end this rant because I have a feeling it isn't making much sense anymore. Thanks for letting me rant! Brightest blessings to you all!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Late Litha!

Happy way belated Litha my friends. I've missed being around the blog. My computer is having some technical issues and is currently visiting the doctor. My phone also crashed the other day and I just now got my replacement. So posts will probably be short for a little while. July 6th I will have a book review for you guys. Thankfully my droid has a pdf reader so I am capable of reading the book on my phone. For the images that will go along with the post that day I will come to my mom's house and borrow her computer.

I am hoping to have my computer back soon and I was wondering... how would you guys feel about having a small party for Lamas aka Lughnassadh? I apologize if I misspelled that. I thought we could call it Happy Harvest and have a couple of giveaways and such. How do you feel about that? Let me know because I would like to start planning for it now. Hopefully I can get a button worked up for it soon.

Anyway, other than my thoughts and such, that's about all that's going on. Things are going slow with the adoption and truthfully sometimes I feel like I'm getting nowhere with it. Hopefully that will change soon.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Brothers Grimm, and Other Dark Things

I know I promised a couple of adoption appropriate spells and an adoption Wiccaning ritual, but I haven't sat down and worked on those things. I apologize for that, but I wanted your opinion on things. I love the original Brothers Grimm stories. I don't like to call them fairy tales because in my mind fairy tales are the whitewashed Disney versions, although yes I do know that not all fairies are like Tinker Bell, and some can be quite terrible. But my question here is when do you think a child is old enough for the original Brothers Grimm stories? Personally, I want my child to understand that "monsters" and other "dark" things as set aside by conventional America, are not to be feared. I think that promotes a good mindset. So I would eventually like to read some of the original Brothers Grimm tales to my potential child, however, I do not want to give my child nightmares either. So, leave me comments, and tell me what you think. When is a child old enough for those tales to be appropriate?

Also, I've been to see Dark Shadows (again) with my mom, dad, little brother, and little brother's girlfriend. I absolutely adore that movie, and will be buying it as soon as it comes out on DVD/BluRay. But the reason I bring it up is because I saw a movie poster at the theater that I am super excited about!

This comes out in September. I'm sincerely hoping to have a child placed with me at that time, and if so, I would love for this to be the first movie I take my little one to go see. These are the kinds of things I would love for my little one to watch. Monsters Inc., all of The Good Witch movies, and things like that, that cast the "scary" things in a more positive light. What are some of your favorite things to watch with your little one?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chalkboard Paint

I took my behavioral intervention class today. It went really well. Now I have 2 classes to take online, then my PRIDE classes. I also had my fire inspection today. It went really well. The director at Buckner was concerned that my loft wouldn't work as a personal bedroom. He told me to make sure I asked the person who did my fire inspection if they approved it as a bedroom, and if they did then there wouldn't be any problems. It has been approved and the only non-fixable thing that could have posed a problem is now a non-issue! So now all that's left is the home health inspection and the homestudy which will be done all together! I still need to get my TB test but I will get that done around the first of the month. So things are running right along!

What does all that have to do with chalkboard paint, though? Well nothing really. I wanted the first part of this post to update you guys on where I am in my process. Where chalkboard paint comes in is now. I told you guys I have been considering different paint colors for my child's bedroom, and while I was doing that I also decided to pick up chalkboard paint for my kitchen. I picked up the chalkboard paint today and have applied the first coat. It takes about 2 to 3 coats to get a good coverage, but so far I'm really liking it!

I covered one entire wall in the kitchen area so that I can use it to write appointments and lists, and my little one can use the bottom part to draw and play on. I have to wait 3 days before writing on it so that it can cure completely, but I am so excited to use it! I have also decided on the paint color for the toddler room. I have decided to go with soft sage. I just love the color and I think it will work great for a unisex room. Plus green is my favorite color so yep, I am a wee little bit biased towards it lol. The next few days are going to be busy.

My brother and I will be moving my queen sized bed upstairs, going out to the farm to find the toddler bed, working on building the fence, and a whole lot more. I don't know what I would do without him. He has been so good about helping me out around the house, especially now that I am trying to adopt. I don't know if he'll ever know how much I appreciate him helping me out so much. He installed my fire extinguisher today, taped off the area I wanted to paint the chalkboard paint on, and is already planning for helping me build my fence for my dogs, and is going to run the tractor and level my land out so that I don't end up with a lake, again, out in front of my house the next time we have another big rain. I would never be able to get all this done without him.

So there ya have it. That's all that's going on right now. Later tonight I will post some of those spells I was telling you about and discuss an adoption friendly Wiccaning. So in closing I would like to share a picture of my kitchen wall chalkboard. Its only the first coat of paint mind you, and remember my brother taped off everything that didn't need paint on it, so the messy edges you see are on the tape lol. I'll post another picture when it is completely finished!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Finding a Paint Color

I don't know if you can see the color differences here or not. Mom and I were checking out paint at Walmart the other day and picked up some sample bottles of 2 colors that we liked on the paint chip. The bottom color is called soft sage. I really like it but it seems a little dark. I tested it with a sponge as well and it is perfect sponged on so I may end up using a sponge roller with that color. The color on top Mom picked out. It is called soft meadow and on the paint chip it looked primarily green with a soft blue undertone. Even in the bottle it is a very pretty green and when I originally painted it near the soft sage I thought "Oh what a pretty light green color!" But strangely, as it dried, it turned out to be baby blue and not a cute baby blue either.

I wanted a green because it is unisex in my mind. I've also found this really cute toddler bedding set that is a jungle theme with lions and monkeys, and the primary color on it is green. I thought it would be nice to find a color that complimented that bedding set. I just can't decide now! I love, love, love the soft sage but I just don't know if it is an appropriate color. And really, are there any appropriate colors for a child's room as long as it isn't some scary garish color?

My little brother will be out of school for the summer on Thursday and he has agreed to help me build my fence, level out the area of land in front of my house, and get my bed upstairs. I think our first point on the list will be moving my bed. Once my bed has been moved I am going to steam clean the carpet and rearrange some things, then I'll post a picture of the room and you can give me your opinions. I'm still leaning towards my green right now.

Another idea I've had is to turn a wall in my kitchen into one big chalkboard. That will create a large space for me to write down appointments for me and my potential child, and a large space for my child to get creative and draw. Walmart sells two different kinds of chalkboard paint. One is a spray paint can for about $4, and the other is a one quart can for about $10. I have some very beautiful woodwork around the baseboards and a door, so I plan on buying the quart can so I can control exactly where the paint goes. I have a sneaking feeling if I was to use the spray paint there would be chalkboard sections on the floor and all over my pretty woodwork. I'm not sure how much of it I will need to cover the area of wall I want to cover but I plan one buying at least 2 cans to be sure about it.

Well that's all for now. If you guys have any other suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section. You guys know I love hearing from you!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Preparing For a Child

There are thousands of preparations going on here at my tiny house. Not only am I physically preparing my home for a toddler, but I'm planning magickal preparations for the new addition as well. A lot of adoptive parents prepare the child's bedroom or nursery, as well as several things around the home, such as childproofing cabinets and plug-ins, they do their best to prepare their pets for the changes, they discuss changes with their extended families, and they prepare themselves as best as they can. For Pagans that are adopting there are other things you may like to consider as well.

When preparing your potential child's room, think about doing a cleansing while preparing the room. While doing the cleansing think about asking for good health for anyone staying in the room and keeping illness at bay. Ask for the room to be infused with happiness, joy, and comfort. This is especially important for children that are being adopting from foster care. These children will need all the health, happiness, joy, and comfort they can get.

A lot of times we periodically do cleansings like this on our homes in general, but it's a really good idea to do this on the child's room once a week until the child is placed with you. Because the room is set aside for the child, no activity will happen in there, except for you adding things for your child, while at other times it will sit empty until the child is placed with you. In my case, once I move into my loft, the child's room will remain empty, except for me adding things to the room like decorations, and such, until my child is placed with me, and the door will remain closed, unless I am in there, to keep my dogs out of there.

When a room is essentially "closed off" from the rest of the house, the energy becomes stagnant. This is why it is a good idea to do your cleansing once a week until your child is placed with you. After your child is placed with you, you will be able to sense when the room will need a touch up. You should also take this time to do a deep cleansing and blessing on the entire home, and do so as often as needed to keep the energy flowing in a healthy, happy way. This is a good way of keeping yourself busy while either waiting for a placement, or even from the very beginning of the process.

Other magickal workings could include writing a spell to help the process along. This process can feel as if it is dragging by, and sometimes you may feel as if you will never get to the end point of the process. Doing a spell to help speed the process is a good idea. Depending on where you live, if you are adopting through foster care, this process can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer. I just recently started the process, and I'm about halfway through. Tomorrow I am being fingerprinted which is an essential part of the process, and I am also having a TB test, yet another essential part of the process. What takes the longest is not the paperwork if you are "homework" oriented like I am, but the classes. They are scheduled to happen at certain times, and you cannot race through them.

By doing a spell to speed the process up, you may be able to create an environment where you're classes happen in quick succession. My first class was my CPR class which was last Thursday. My second class will be my SAMA training (which is a behavioral intervention class and teaches you ways to defend yourself from a child acting out violently without harming them) and I will be taking that class this coming Thursday. After that is my psychotropic drugs class, which is taken online, and I will be given the link for it after my SAMA class. The biggest obstacle I have run into is my PRIDE class. The director at the Lubbock Buckner agency has said he is willing to work with me on those classes one on one, but it is suggested that I take the group class, because the people in that class will essentially become my support group after the class.

Now I fully understand the need for continued support, especially from people going through the same thing, so I would normally be all in for the group class. The problem is there is no group class scheduled until the end of July. That would put me becoming a licensed foster/adopt home around September. So what is a person to do. I would like the group class because I would love to have that support group after all this, however just like any normal person who is excited for something to happen, I want to be a licensed foster/adopt home as soon as possible as well. My director told me there is hope of getting a group class started sometime soon because he has had a few phone calls from others interested in the same program, so the witch in me instantly perked up. I can do a spell that will help give a little boost to people's interest, at least enough to get a class started sooner. Then I have a chance of being licensed by early August. This is something you may like to consider as well. Spells to obliterate obstacles will come in very handy.

You may also wish to write a spell to help bring the ideal child to you. After becoming licensed a child can be placed with you as soon as a month after licensing, sometimes potential families get calls before becoming licensed, and at other times it could take longer. If you have an idea of the kind of child you would like to adopt, not only will they ask you that in some of your paperwork to be able to keep on file, you can also list that within the universe. This will help keep things straight, speed things up, and keep you from digging through pile after pile of potential children. The spell will help bring exactly what you ask for. But just like with any other spell, be careful of being too vague. They will tell you at the agency you are working with not to restrict things too much with them, because that will make it harder for them to find a child to place with you. Spells don't work that way though. The more vague you are with your spell, the more dreck you will have to dig through. You may get thousands of potential children, but they may be nothing like what you are looking for. Sit down and write down exactly what you would like in a child. This could include key points about their personality, things they've been through, what they might look like, medical issues, and more. Just remember to be very specific with your spell.

There are many more magickal things we can do to prepare. But to keep this post from being too long, or boring you to the point of tears my friends, I will end this post now. Soon I will write specific posts for child finding spells, speeding up the process spells, and one very important spell, magickally preparing yourself.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One of My Favorite Pagan Songs Ever

Ok, so I've gotten slightly distracted while I should be doing other things... however, I am sick and I am allowing myself to do whatever I want. So I found one of my favorite Pagan songs of all time and I wanted to share it with you guys. Hope y'all like it as much as I do :D

Welcome to Our New Home

I'm sure you've noticed by now, if you've gone to the Wordpress blog you are being redirected here. That's because I missed my home here at Blogger very, very much. Wordpress runs smoothly which I appreciate, however it stifles my creativity, unless I want to pay extra fees. Granted I am paying a little bit of money yearly to redirect you guys here, but I missed my bloggy home here at Blogger.com so much that I figured I may as well just "move home" and have everyone forwarded here. I'm more comfortable here anyway. So please don't be alarmed. You are in the right place. This is still In The Arms of Mother Earth, just at a different host.

With that being said, notice that all the old posts from Wordpress are here. I imported them all before moving here. Also, you will notice that the sidebars here are not finished, and may be missing things like the button exchange, etc. Please have patience with me. I'm adding those things as you read. I'm also sick today, so between my violent coughing fits and laundry, I hope to get this blog at least sort of finished before Midnight. Although I do believe that is just a pipe dream lol. Things I hope to add since the move are adoption resources, books I've found informative about the adoption process, and of course magick tailored to the adoptive family!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hello Again!

I'm so sorry I've been missing my friends. Let's see here... there's been a whole lot of stuff going on! I finally got my license and have been working in the salon. I've been working more diligently at advertising than anything else, but hopefully that will pay off soon. I've missed you guys very much though, and you have been on my mind a whole lot here lately. I have news for you my friends, and I hope you will be just as excited about it as I am.

I am adopting a child! I have been considering adoption for a long time, a couple years in fact, and I finally just said to myself, "Amber, you are 24 years old, you have a permanent home, and a stable job ... Why not at least start the process, and discuss things with a professional and see how you feel about it after that." So I recently started working with an agency in Lubbock and decided to do the foster to adopt program through the state. That way I'll be licensed as a foster parent and as a potential adoptive parent. I will have a chance to spend time with the child as my foster child before jumping right into adoption, so that way I have a chance to bond with the child before adopting.

Now, I've had to lie about my religion through this process. I had a choice of working with the agency I'm working with right now, or working directly with CPS and state officials. I weighed both options and settled on the agency, because they work a little bit like middlemen between me and the state. The only downfall is the agency is a Christian agency. However, any Pagans trying to adopt will be hard pressed to find an all Pagan agency that is licensed to work with children in foster care. Lying about my religion has pained me a little bit, but I believe it will be worth it in the end.

I'm so excited and nervous and scared, but mainly excited. I've wanted to be a mother for a very long time, and thankfully the state of Texas allows single applicants to adopt. I've been informed that I will be watched closer than the couples because of the fact that I'm single, but I don't think it will be too big of a deal. I think I can handle all their "watching" and I'll just watch them right back!

There are currently many changes going on in my little house. I've bought a slightly larger washer and dryer that still fits in the laundry niche, I'm having a repairman come out to check out my central heat and air unit which has been acting up since I moved home from Amarillo, and I have enlisted a friend who trains dogs to help me with extra training for my precious doggies so they will be ready for the change. Soon I will be moving my queen sized bed up to my loft, taking out the built in night stands in my bedroom, and adding a toddler bed to the bedroom on the first floor. I've been busy putting latches on my cabinets and drawers to keep the little one out of it, and I'll be having a baby gate built specifically for the size of the stairwell up to the loft.

So there are big changes going on! Any of you guys know of any good Pagan adoption blogs or Pagan adoptive parenting blogs? I'd love to get connected with other Pagans who are considering adoption or have already gone through the process. I am still in the process of getting my foster/adopt license. I've completed all the paperwork, will be going to get fingerprinted on Monday, and have completed my mandatory CPR class. I still have my behavioral intervention class, my psychotropic drugs class, and my PRIDE parenting classes to do. I also still need to have my home fire inspection, health inspection, homestudy, and physical/TB test. My caseworker thinks I will be licensed by the end of August or early in September and then hopefully I'll have a placement soon after that.

So leave me your comments below. Questions, resources, anything you would like to say. I miss talking to you guys!

Monday, March 19, 2012

When Will The Stupidity End: A Rant

I'd like for you guys to watch this video, all the way to the end... then we'll go into my rant.

Have you watched it? Good, cuz it's kinda important to know what my rant is about. First let me say, I don't care if you've studied for over 20 years, or 200 years; if you haven't actually taken Wicca's true meanings to heart, you're not a Wiccan. Please note this is not pointed at anyone who doesn't claim to be Wiccan, and I also do not mean this as offense to any of my dear bloggy friends, because you guys are amazing.

Wicca specifically states, An' It Harm None, Do What Ye Will. A lot of people take this differently, but I personally (especially after what my mentor taught me) believe that this statement means you don't intentionally harm yourself, or others. This woman states that because there isn't the concept of sin in our religion, she started drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.

First off, I don't know what's she's been studying, and if there is something I haven't studied when it comes to Wicca (which is likely, because to study everything available on Wicca would take longer than I have in this lifetime) let me know, but what I have studied about Wicca says this: drinking and doing drugs while working magick DO NOT MESH! While taking wine during ritual is acceptable, becoming and staying drunk affects your personal energy, making it difficult to focus enough to raise energy, and causes all kinds of things to run amok.

I tested that theory when I was much younger, and guess what... in my case it was true. Let me explain something ... no matter what religion you are, when you lose your life in the bottom of a liquor bottle, bad things will happen. Drugs have the same friggin effect. I again know that, because I am a recovering addict, and the addiction had absolutely NOTHING to do with my religious choice. In all actuality at that time, I had pretty much stopped believing in any Gods, Christian, Pagan, or otherwise. I drug myself out of the pit of addiction with the help of my family, and my own will. After I got my life straightened back out from the shambles I had turned it into (notice I said what I turned my life into, not what Wicca turned my life into) with the addiction, I went back to Wicca, and have always felt fulfilled with my religion.

Just because there are few rules when it comes to Witchcraft, doesn't mean you shouldn't have your own set moral codes that tell you what's right and what's wrong. Relying on a religious belief to tell you what's right and wrong is idiotic and brings to mind the argument of bad cults, with their punch cups, and "all knowing" leader ruling over their flock. Please people, when will we learn to use our brains, other than processing what others tell us to do? I know something that does that, and I'm typing on it right now. Computers don't make good humans, and humans don't make good computers. That's why we have brains, and computers have processors.

Now, I don't want it to sound like I have something against Christianity itself, because I don't. In it's true meaning, Christianity is an awesome religion, with a wonderful moral code, and great intentions. However, I cannot stand the people that shove that religion down your throat and tell you that you are making the wrong decision, you are going to hell for the decisions you are making, and that God will always love you, and why are you turning your back on him? First off, how in the hell can anyone tell anyone else what is right for them? Who knows what's better for me than I do?

There are so many arguments I have that prove to me that the religious choice I've made is right FOR ME. Maybe it's not right for someone else, and that's fine. Having a one size fits all religion makes about the same sense as having one size fits all shoes. Trying to force people into a religion that isn't right for them is like trying to force someone into shoes that don't fit; it pinches, hurts, and at some point that person is going to rebel against those painful freakin shoes.

It's regrettable that her first serious relationship didn't work out, because her fiance's family didn't approve of her religion, and I truly sympathize with her on that, but if he had really loved her enough to go through with marrying her, it wouldn't have mattered. The fact that she completely changed religions for her second fiance proves that, yes she loved him enough to do that; but it shouldn't have been necessary. Of course, if she truly found something better in Christianity, I'm very happy for her; and I appreciate that she didn't have too many horrible things to say about Wicca in general.

What I'm truly angry about is the 700 Club did not even show what Wiccans actually worship. It kinda ticked me off that the announcer said she worshipped her favorite tree to try to find answers. Yes, we find answers in nature, and I talk to trees, but we don't just worship trees! Our religion was completely misconstrued! And it truly ticks me off that the 700 Club is using idiotic crap like that, with a person who obviously hadn't paid close enough attention to her studies, to launch a smear campaign against Wicca! Get the freakin facts straight, and correct before you start smearing religions, and the people in those religions.

But I think what really ticked me off about this video, is that I forgot how bad it still is. I live in my little bubble with my bloggy friends, my true friends that know what religion I am and that often call and ask for distance healing or card readings, and my amazingly supportive family, and I forgot. I forgot how hateful, and stupid some Christians can be, and how ruthless they can be when trying to convert someone. I forgot how much of a struggle it is to be taken seriously at best, and to be treated as if I am the devil incarnate at worst. So, to end this rant, I want to thank the God and Goddess for bringing this video to my attention. I appreciate them reminding me how hard it is for those of us in this religion, trying to live double lives, just to be able to worship the way we want to. So, I'm going to end this here, before I go into a further rant about the fact that America was created because people wanted the right to WORSHIP THE WAY THEY WANTED TO!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: Seasons of Witchery by Ellen Dugan

I am doing a review for Llewellyn through Netgalley.com. I got the read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a book review. So this book is called Season of Witchery: Celebrating the Sabbats With the Garden Witch by Ellen Dugan. I greatly enjoyed this book, for the most part. Ellen Dugan shares so refreshing information about the Sabbats, and offers some wonderful spells and rituals for each Sabbat. I found it informative, and I love that it is written from a "garden witch's" point of view. However, at times it felt as if the author were writing a diary/journal rather than an informative book on the Sabbats.

Her personal stories were not boring by any means, but there were times where I thought to myself "why can't we just get on with the book". At some points during her personal stories I tended to forget exactly what the book was about. I did enjoy reading about her life, because it made me feel as if she was a person just like me or you, rather than a famous witch who has written several books.  The information presented in the book is well worth the purchase, and the personal stories about Ms. Dugan are entertaining and worth a read as well.

All in all I give this book a 4 out of 5, and I would suggest it for your collection if you are interested in flower, herbal, and faerie information surrounding the Sabbats. Look for this book in June 2012.


In the Witchcraft world you'll hear a lot about balance. Balance within yourself, balance in nature, finding your balancing, maintaining your balance. But I'd like to talk about a balance that a lot of us tend to overlook, me included.

Most of us in the Pagan tradition, especially if we came from a Christian background, are happy to find a religion that has both a male God, and a female Goddess. We're drawn to that because we don't like the idea of an all powerful male God and no Goddess, because we see in all of life that there are both male and female. However, a lot of us are guilty of almost completely ignoring the God. We tend to focus more on the Goddess and either push the God to the side, or forget about him completely.

I, personally, am very guilty of this. This time of year, with Spring coming represents the rebirth of the God in his masculine form, and we are reminded more of him, because the sun is stronger this time of year, and the sun is the biggest symbol of the God. However, this year my challenge to myself and to you is to find a balance between honoring the Goddess, and the God. Both are equally worthy of honor. This Spring, while celebrating Mother Earth, let's also celebrate the God of nature as well.

Try meditating and finding the version of the nature God that most calls to you. When you find that version, do your best to find a way to balance your worship to include both the Goddess and the God. Feel the wild masculine energy that the nature God has to offer, revel in it, and feel the earthy, grounding energy of the Goddess, and wrap it around you. Pray to both and thank them for their many blessings, leave offerings for both. And if it helps you to keep your balance set up an altar honoring both God and Goddess. Find images of both that call to you and set them on the altar, maybe with a white candle (white is technically a combination of all the colors so it represents anything you would like) that would work well to remind you of the balance. Or use white and black, or green and gold, or silver and gold candles. Add pine cones to represent the God and flowers to represent the Goddess, or whatever else reminds you of Them. In this way, you'll be able to find a wonderful balance and see it everyday on your altar.

The Gods Are Everywhere!


I found this adorable figure in a yard while driving around in town with mom. They carved this out of an old tree in their yard. I wish I had something like this around my house. It would make an amazing god/goddess icon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Wiccan Rede

Before we get deeper into spell work, I want to take a small step back and go over what I feel are very important foundations. The Wiccan Rede, An' it harm none, do what thou wilt, is a fairly common tenet found amongst most modern witches. Note that I did not say all witches. Witchcraft is entirely too diverse to say anything all inclusive.

The Wiccan Rede is an awesome tenet in my opinion, it's a good thing to live your life by, but a lot of people over think what the Rede means in it's entirety. So, in 1973 and 1974 a very diverse group of witches, called the Council of American Witches, made an attempt to define the Wiccan Rede. After much debate, they eventually agreed on these 13 points:

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces, marked by the phases of the Moon, and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature in ecological balance, offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity, as masculine and feminine, and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energy used in magickal practice and religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, the Inner Planes, etc., and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

7. We see religion, magick, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and live within it; a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft, the Wiccan Way.

8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch, but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and without harm to others and in harmony with nature.

9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship an entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil" as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

I'm probably about to tick someone off with what I'm about to say, and so be it, but I feel that a lot of people these days tend to forget these tenets. Yes, not everyone has studied Wicca, or even know these tenets exist, but those that claim to have studied Wicca should know these tenets, or at least have read them once or twice. There are so many people out there that forget that Witchcraft was not created to be a "one true and right way" type of religion. We are taught to believe that because each human is so different and unique, there should never be one exact way of worship either. Your way of worship should be personal and fulfilling to you, with a respect for other's ways of worship as well.

These tenets are terrific to live by and hold in your heart. In my opinion, they embody what Witchcraft truly is about. However, just because you live by these tenets doesn't mean that you have to be a fluffy bunny and allow yourself to be attacked or harmed because you aren't to harm others. I learned that lesson a hard way for myself. When I was 15 and just starting out, I had an amazing mentor, whose opinion matter the most to me in the world. At that age, I had a problem with cutting myself. I am an abuse survivor, from the hands of my biological father, and trying to deal with that at such a  young age was too hard for me to deal with. Cutting myself was a way of taking control of the pain I felt. I was the one who dealt pain to me, no one else. Yeah, a twisted way to look at it, but that's the way I looked at it.

One week I was in his shop going over our weekly studies when all of a sudden he grabbed my arm, flipped it over, and found some of the cuts. Somehow he had just sense that they were there. I had them hidden under a long sleeve shirt, and when it wasn't long sleeve weather I work wrist bands that hid most of them. He asked me what they were, why they were there, and I explained everything to him. He was the first male outside of my grandfather and step-dad that I had trusted after being hurt by my biological father, and it meant the world to me to be able to openly talk to him about those things. I cried, and he asked me, "Have you not been paying attention to our studies at all?"

I was heartbroken! I could cast a circle just as good as his, I could recite everything he asked of me, and I could cast a protection spell that was infallible. I just couldn't understand where he thought that I wasn't paying attention. He sensed what I was feeling and was going to say, and he said, "The first lesson we ever went over was 'Harm none, do what you will.' You are the most adept student I've ever had come into these doors, you are the first of the people that asked to study with me that was truly dedicated to the path and not just playing, but you haven't absorbed what that saying means."

"It means don't harm anyone when you do magick, or in your every day life," I said, "but I'm not harming anyone, just me. That doesn't count." He looked at me as if he was ready to smack me upside the head. He didn't because he knew the things I'd been through. He took a breath, and said, "Of course you count, idiot. When it says 'harm none,' it means 'harm none,' you included. If you don't understand that you have to be in good health, mentally and physically, to be able to truly work magick, you will never be more than a scholar who understands the principles, but can't do what they know." He ended our session right then, even though we still technically had an hour or more left, and informed me to spend the rest of my week meditating on and thinking about what he had just told me. He counted every cut, and checked all the scars, keeping them in memory, and told me if he found even just one more, or sensed that I had cut somewhere that wouldn't show, he would end our lessons indefinitely and I would be left on my own.

That's super tough love for someone as emotionally wrecked as I was at the age, but I took what he said to heart. I meditated and thought until my brain hurt, and I totally understood what he was saying. I've never thought of cutting myself ever again. Granted there were a couple times I wished I would die, like when Gram passed from this world and I felt I couldn't live without her, but at times like that his voice always comes back to me saying, "When it says 'harm none,' it means 'harm none!'" I took that lesson 100% to heart, and as you've read today I can still remember every minute detail of the day my mentor made me realize what that Rede truly means. So, no you should not be a fluffy bunny. When it says harm none, that's what it means, including you. If you feel attacked or feel as if your family or loved ones are being attacked, it is good to defend yourself, keep you and yours safe and protected and healthy and happy. If that means sending a curse back to who it came from so be it, but don't hurt innocent bystanders in the process. If that means killing a couple snakes, spiders, or scorpions to protect you or your loved ones so be it, but don't be cruel about it.

So there's what I wanted to talk about today. For your homework, whether you're new or have been on your path for a while, take out a notebook, write down these points, and ask yourself if you've been living by them. Yes, we all slip and there's probably a couple you're not living by just because you don't think about them, so this is not an exercise in berating yourself, this is a way to refocus your path and goals; a way to remind you why you came to this religion in the first place. Write down the points that you may need to focus on a bit more and try your best to reinstate them in your life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do Witches Really Cast Spells?

                                                                                                             Now that we've explained what witchcraft is, you're probably wondering if witches really cast spells, or if spells are real at all. My answer to both of those questions is yes, witches cast spells, and spells are real. However, spells are not the same as what they show on movies. Unlike Sabrina the Teenage Witch, we cannot change our clothes with the snap of a finger, we cannot change anyone into any sort of animal, and unlike Samantha of Bewitched, we cannot wiggle our nose and clean our house. However, we can bring about subtle changes, and even big changes, it all depends on our intentions and how deeply we feel about something.

There are so many spells out there, and so many different kinds of spells. There are love spells broken down into categories of finding love, keeping love, attracting love, finding true love, finding a ;) lover, avoiding a lover, break up spells (to break up your relationship), and many many more options there. I started with love spells because for some odd reason love spells have always been, and still remain, the most popular spells out there. There are spells to help your business, spells to help you find a job, spells to help you keep a job, and so much more. There are spells covering protection of all sorts, because since the beginning of time people have always felt the need for protection from all sorts of things. There is a spell for just about anything you can imagine, except turning people into something other than human.

But, what exactly is a spell? Is it something in a strange language that I can't speak? Well there are spells out there in Latin and other languages, but you don't have to speak in tongues to cast a spell. A spell in it's simplest form is just an intention, a want, a need, something you feel so deep you know you have to have it. I love the movie Halloweentown, and in that movie Grandma Aggie tells her granddaughter that magick is simple, you just have to want something, then let yourself have it, and I've learned through my practice that, that statement is very true! It sounds simple, but it's not as easy as you think. We humans have a way of naturally telling ourselves no. We limit ourselves by thinking "I can't do that," or "That's not possible," and so many other things. By telling ourselves that, we effectively cut off our time to our magickal energy.

Think back to when you were a child, and everything in the world was possible. The tooth fairy existed and came and took your teeth, leaving you money or something else in exchange. Santa Clause was real, and somehow even though he is a rather rotund man, he could squeeze down chimneys and if you didn't have a chimney somehow he just magickally appeared to eat cookies and leave you presents under the tree. Back then fairies/faeries were real, and there was no limit to what we can do. I bet you even saw fairies/faeries as a child, but somewhere along the way you convinced yourself that they weren't real, just a figure of an overactive imagination, etc. I can tell you that anything you believe in is real. In general, you believe that the sun will rise each morning right? What would happen if you just one day decided to stop believing that the  sun would rise in the morning? No I'm not saying that you chose to not be around to see the sun, I'm saying you just didn't believe it would rise. Well, in all honesty, the sun would probably still keep rising, but who's to say that's not because although you don't believe it will rise, other people do. The same applies to magick. Just because you've convinced yourself it's not real, doesn't mean it isn't.

Now there are several things that can go into a spell. Notice that I said can. There are no set and steadfast ingredients. Yes there are certain things that compliment your intent in a love spell, business spell, etc., but the absolute most important ingredient in a spell is ... YOU. Yes, you. Your intent, your focus, your faith, your belief, that what you are doing is real, and actually works. The extra ingredients just help things along. They add their energy to yours to help bring about what you want in a stronger way than if you did things just by yourself.

Different kinds of ingredients include things like color, herbs, crystals and gemstones, different kinds of salts, powders, and oils, candles, incense, and even days, and times of day. It's a good idea to study these different correspondences. Magickal reference books come in super handy for that reason. A lot of beginners books will cover certain correspondences and if you don't want to have to dig through each page to try and find what you need, it's a good idea to write down those correspondences and keep them in a journal, binder, etc. so that you have a reference guide right at hand. You can buy spell books to study the makeup of spells, and even use those spells for yourself. Look for things called Grimoires and Books of Shadows. We'll go over more on spells tomorrow. For your homework this go around, write down what spells interest you the most and why. If you already have your own spells, what is your favorite spell, and why.
Looking for yet another good magazine? Check out the new Tricky Witchery! New posts coming everyday, filled with useful information for everyday, for celebrations, and much more! We're also looking for contributors! Do you like to write? Do you like to write witchy things? Whether you write short fiction, informative articles, or just fun tidbits, all are welcome! Contributions must be witchy/Pagan/Wiccan/magickal in nature, must be your original work, and must be family friendly. For more information click here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What Is Witchcraft?

Now that we've gone over how I got into witchcraft, let's talk a little bit about what witchcraft is. According to Dictionary.com the definition of witchcraft is:

1. the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic.
2. magical influence; witchery. 
Well that's not very meaningful, is it? Let's try what Dictionary.com says about witches, shall we? According to it, the definition of a witch is:

1. a person, now especially a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic, especially black magic or the black art; sorceress. Compare warlock.
2. an ugly or mean old woman; hag.
3. a person who uses a divining rod; dowser.
Verb (used with an object)
1. to bring by or as by witchcraft: She witched him into going.
2. Archaic. to affect as if by witchcraft; bewitch; charm.
Hmm, not very flattering, huh? Why in the world would anyone want to be a witch? They are perceived so badly! Well, the truth in that is we are not all old ugly mean women, nor do all of us practice the dark arts, although there are some people out there that just can't seem to stay away from the dark side... guess Darth Vader has a pretty good pull on people. 
However, most of us never hear the call of the darker side. Now don't get me wrong. I study curses, and I know some damn good ones, but that doesn't mean that just because a person looked at me cross-eyed I'm going to curse them and make the dead keep them from sleeping for the rest of their lives. No, I personally believe in the power of Karma. What's Karma you ask? Well my friends, Karma is this little thing that can make your life wonderful or miserable, but guess what... you have full control over that! You ever heard that old saying, "What goes around, comes around"? Well it's true, and that's how Karma works. If you put good things out into the universe, good things come back to you. If you put negative things out in the universe, negative things come back to you. It's as simple as that. 
So let's look at my definition of witchcraft shall we? And please remember this is only MY definition of witchcraft. To others it may mean something totally different. In the end what only truly matters is YOUR definition of witchcraft. After all my studies, my definition of witchcraft is this: I have the power to work in harmony with the God and Goddess, the elementals (earth, air, fire, water), herbs, candles, and more, to bring about changes in my life and the lives of my loved ones. Witchcraft to me is being a healer, helper, friend, confidant, and sometimes bully, to help people in anyway possible. Witchcraft is a practice filled with spells, rituals, and meditations; but, it is also a religion, filled with prayer, faith, and communing with the God and Goddess, walking with them everyday. 
To me, witchcraft is NOT: evil, hateful, over zealous, over bearing, over powering, or controlling. I do not believe in the Christian devil aka Satan, and I do not believe in dabbling in dark magick because I prefer to have good things in my life. I do not believe in Hell, because an all loving God/dess would not forsake us to a place of torture for all of eternity. However, just because I do not believe in the devil, or Hell, does not mean that I don't believe in evil. There is pure evil out there. I'm not sure where it comes from, but I have a theory that it comes from the darkest parts of our own minds. We create our own demons and evils, so if we create them, we also hold the power to destroy them as well. 
To me, witchcraft is a wonderful path. My path as a green witch goes a little something like this. I believe in a God and a Goddess because everything has to have a balance, i.e. male/female, sun/moon, night/day, yin/yang. Without those balances we would never truly know what happiness is, because we'd never known sadness either. I believe in living in harmony with the earth, and being eco-friendly. I believe that I hold a personal power, supplied by the earth and elements around me, to effect changes in my home, family, love life, personal life, and so forth. I believe in the power of universal healing, and I believe that everything on this earth and in this universe are all inter connected. In the end we are all part of the earth. Yes sometimes I have to remind myself of that. Think about that person that never really does anything wrong, and they've got a good heart, but somehow they always just seem to rub you the wrong way and you get irritated as all get out with them. Well, even though they are irritating me, I have to realize that we are one, we come from, and are part of the earth.
Witchcraft today is not some nut case cult, and if you ever find yourself in a situation that feels cult-ish, drop that cup of juice, step away, and think it through! Witchcraft is about making personal choices, and deciding what feels true and right to you, not because someone said it's right, but because you feel in your soul that it's right. Modern witches do not sacrifice animals (we love our furry children), we do not eat or sacrifice babies (what the hell would be the point of that!), and we do not sacrifice virgins. Actually human/animal sacrifices are kind of taboo, at least in most Wiccan, and Pagan views. Voodoo I'm not sure about ... I haven't studied enough of it to know, so if you know anything about Voodoo let me know if the chicken sacrifice actually happens or if that's just something I saw on Scooby Doo. I mean no offense by that, I'm actually ignorant of that, and would love to know more about Voodoo. 
So there you have it ... the bare basics of what witchcraft is. Now don't you feel better knowing we don't dance naked under a full moon, eating babies, and hanging cats or dogs in trees, while fornicating with Satan? Well the dancing naked part might happen ... some people just like being in their birthday suits! And yes, there are some witches that practice witchcraft skyclad (aka naked). I am not one of them, because I personally am not comfortable enough with my body to sit around naked while invoking a diety. Yes I know they see me naked all the time, and they love me anyway, despite the stretch marks, and the extra weight, but I am too distracted thinking about how bad I look naked to be able to focus enough to work skyclad. It just ain't happening for me sister! But, if you are comfortable enough in your own body to work naked, go for it! However, if you ever decide to join a group activity make sure to check out the rules beforehand. Most groups today prefer to work naked at home, and clothed in the group. 
Now, similar to Christianity, there are different sects of witchcraft, with different beliefs, and guidelines. There is Wicca, which is an organized religion believed to predate Christianity; however, there are lots of debates about whether that is true or not, and we won't get into those debates here. The point is Wicca is here, and it is a wonderful religion! It was popularized in the 50's and 60's by Gerald Gardener, and has set guidelines, and a pretty awesome moral code. It is a very ceremonial, and ritualistic religion, and most Wiccans practice in a coven, although there are lots of modern, solitary Wiccans as well! Wicca itself has many different facets to it, and all are worth at least a slight peruse. To learn a little more about Wicca here online, check out the Wikipedia entry on Wicca. And good books to learn more about Wicca include Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf (especially if you are a teen lol), To Ride a Silver Broomstick, To Stir a Magick Cauldron, and To Light a Sacred Flame all by Silver Ravenwolf. Some people are not big fans of Silver Ravenwolf, but she is who I learned with and I enjoyed her writings. Wicca, A Guide For the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham is very good as well, and I fully recommend Scott Cunningham as a wonderful, knowledgeable author. Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland is also an amazing choice, and makes a wonderful workbook, and reference book! And Mr. Buckland is another author that comes highly recommended from me. There are other very good choices available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Just be sure to read at least a little of the book before buying to make sure you'll even be interested in it. 
Next we have Paganism which is basically a blanket term. It covers things like Greco-Roman Polytheism (which I am guilty of being a believer of :D), the polytheistic religions of Europe and North Africa, before Christianity, and in contemporary meanings it covers folk magics/religions, Eastern religions, and so much more. It is a very wide, and varied term. But the key note of Paganism is the lack of door to door Pagans trying to convert you to their religion or them telling anyone else that their religion is the only one true way to God and heaven. For more information from the web check out the Wiki on Paganism. For books on the subject check out Paganism Today by Graham Harvey, Pagan Spirituality by Joyce Higginbotham, and Paganism: An Introduction to Earth Centered Religions by Joyce Higginbotham. I've also heard that Spirited: Taking Paganism Beyond the Circle by Gede Parma is a good read, although I haven't had the pleasure myself. Currently I am enjoying A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith. Again, a search of Amazon or Barnes and Noble will bring up good and bad choices, just be sure to read reviews, and read some of the book to see if you are interested in what it has to say. 
Then there are the smaller sections of witchcraft, and while these are normally not religious, they can be. These sections are mainly just practices that you add your personal religious beliefs to. There is kitchen witchery; which is basically working your witchy trickery in the kitchen. But it isn't just about cooking or cleaning up. You can change lives just by making a simple tea. You can heal heartache by making a pie, and you can create harmony in your home by making soup. There are several things that go into kitchen witchery, and it is definitely something worth looking into. Books on the subject can easily be found. One of my favorites is A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook by Patricia Telesco. Patricia Telesco is one of my favorite author's on kitchen witchery, and she has several books on different subjects as well.
There is also green witchcraft which revolves around nature. Being out in nature, gardening, and so forth, but you don't have to have an amazing green thumb to be a green witch. I'm a green witch, and I kill every plant that comes into contact with me lol. Being a green witch is about being one with nature, feeling her rhythms, celebrating her changes, looking to her for all the things we need. My absolute favorite book on the subject is The Way of the Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. I'm adding a link to it because there seem to be different versions of this book, and this is the link to my favorite version. Also Aoumiel aka Ann Moura is a good author on the subject of green witchcraft. Just search her name, or green witchcraft, and you'll find several books by her. 
Let's see here, next come garden witchery, cottage witchery, hedgecraft, and so many other folk practices and traditions. I just don't have the room in this post to continue with them! And these are just the different practices and beliefs. This doesn't come anywhere near covering the different forms of magick out there like candle magick, crystal magick, energy healing, ritual, spells, prayer, and so much more! So, I believe this is where I will end this post for today. We'll cover more tomorrow. For your homework this go around, read a little about the different sects and practices I just mentioned in this post and make a list of things that interest you that you might like to study more about. Or, for those of you that are already on your path, write down the reasons you found your path, and what makes you truly enjoy your path. Who knows, maybe you'll find there is more you would like to learn! 

Welcome to Witchcraft

You may be like I was when I started on my magickal journey. I was raised in a fairly lenient Catholic home, and grew up watching Disney movies with princesses that needed rescuing, and evil witches after them. I always wondered what happened to those witches to make them so mean. Odd reasoning for a young child, right? Well, I got that point of view from watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch, The Wizard of Oz, and Charmed, just to name a couple shows that portrayed witches in a positive light.

I was fascinated with magick, witchcraft, and witches in general. I checked out any books at the school's library that had anything to do with witches. I remember trying my hardest to find answers from the time I was 9 years old, and I especially remember the responses my research brought about. One teacher told me one of the book was evil, and that I could get in trouble just for having it. "Then why is it available at the school library," was my smart ass response. The teacher had no viable answer, so I got to keep my book, until I had to return, at which point I still had the right to check it out again.

My search continued, with many bumps in the road, until one fateful day. My parents and I were in Hastings, and I was happily browsing the books, when somehow I ended up in the occult section. My 15 year old self was so amazed to find non-fiction books on the very thing my soul had been searching for my entire life! Witchcraft was real! And anyone could learn it! Holy cow, I thought I'd found paradise! I picked up book after book on the subject, and while I desperately wanted to run to the cash register with every book they had in that section, I knew my parents would not be okay with, or able to, spend the thousand dollars it would probably take to buy all those books. I also knew that even though I was vaguely interested in some of them, if I took those home with me they would just end up in a corner discarded and unfinished.

So, what's a girl to do? I stopped, closed my eyes, and ran my hand down the spines of each book until something told me to open my eyes. I opened them and ... disappointment cut deep into my soul. My hand had landed on a book that I had no interest in at all. Sighing, I decided to look through the books ahead of me, rather than starting from the beginning again. But, I must have done something right, because right beside the disappointing book was Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf. It had the coolest cover, which has been changed since my original copy, and the back professed that witchcraft was real, and it had nothing to do with the devil. I sat down and decided to read a couple of pages. In the front was a letter to my parents outlining what I was reading about, and easing their fears; and there was a letter to me, the reader, telling me about having the power to control my life and so much more, written in teen speak, something I could understand and relate to.

In that book, I learned about a religion that I could completely relate to. The religion, Wicca, was very ceremonial and ritualistic, which slightly mirrored things I saw at Sunday Mass. The priest ritually cleansed the sacred space with incense, holy water, prayer, and chanting. We had communion every Sunday at Mass which the priest ritually empowered before we took part in it, as did we during a Wiccan ritual. I learned so much about the things I saw in the Catholic church, and at the young age I was, I became so angry at the church because I learned about an all loving Mother Goddess, that these rituals were sacred to, and the church had basically beaten the beautiful Goddess and stolen her worship.

I had finally found a religion that made me fell whole, happy, as if I was coming home, and I'd been searching for a home for a long time. I found myself focusing more on the statue of Virgin Mary than what the priest was saying and doing. Eventually Mom got used to having to tap me to make me kneel or whatever was required at the time, because I could go into a trance like state listening to Her words. The first time that happened MOm asked me what was going on. I explained in complete honesty, and from then on she just understood what was going on, and to keep the congregation from trying to have me committed to the mental ward, Mom discreetly signaled when I needed to do something.

I've come a very long way from being that seeker, just looking for something to tell me I wasn't crazy, something to tell me what I was searching for was real and not something I'd just made up. I found that and so much more! While I am no longer Wiccan, the lessons I learned while studying that path have stayed with me in my current practice as an eclectic green witch. I found a religion that makes me feel whole, powerful, and more caring than ever. This is an amazing journey that I have never regretted, but this is also a journey that takes dedication, and it should not be taken lightly. There are much more resources available now than there was when I began my journey, but you still have to do the leg work.

Here at the blog, I will be going over the things I've learned and telling you what witchcraft is and is not to me, but in the end the only definition that truly matters is yours. There are many different forms of magick and witchcraft, each with their own sets of rules/guidelines and beliefs. I will do my best to discuss each one that I've studied, and if there is something you are interested in just let me know. I'll find online resources for you and possible books if I can. I'll do my best to point you in the most reputable direction possible. There is one thing I will not go over, and that is Satanism or Satanic magic. First off, I do not believe in Hell or Satan, and second off, while I'm not what people call a fluffy bunny, meaning I don't think you can just get by with positive thoughts and rainbows because life and nature aren't that way, I also believe that when there is no absolute need for negative energy, which we will go over later, it should not be used, and we learn that when you tap into total darkness, and what is perceived as evil, nothing good every comes out of it. Now there are certain exceptions, in certain situations, but we won't get into those in this post.

So, welcome to the amazing and fulfilling world of witchcraft! Yes magick is real, yes there is a religion out there more empowering than Christianity, and there is a loving Goddess that has been calling to you, if you are here and reading this. Welcome home seekers. In the next few posts I will be going over the basics of witchcraft. I will break it down in categories of witchcraft as a practice, and witchcraft as a religion because there are some differences there.We will go over the basics of spell work, and discuss the God and Goddess, and so much more! I hope you'll continue your journey here with me, and freely share your questions and opinions. This is a safe place, and while debate is always welcome, peer bashing is not. You are free to express your opinions and ask all genuine questions, without fear of judgement or ridicule. Please know that any and all questions will be answered with heartfelt honesty, and genuine caring.

So, tune in tomorrow for more about witchcraft and what it is, and how you can become a witch too! In the mean time, here's a little bit of homework for you, whether you are a seasoned witch, or just new to the scene. I want you to sit down and write out why you became interested in witchcraft, magick, Wicca, Paganism, or whatever you are interested in right now. You can do this in a notebook, as a document on your computer, here in the comments, or as a post at your blog if you have one. Share your blog link here if you like. Bright blessings to you on your journey, new or old, and I hope to see you here tomorrow for the next installment!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I hope everyone is liking the new theme! I've changed it in anticipation of the new route the blog will be taking, starting tomorrow!

I Found A New Magazine!

I was just trying to catch up with everything that's going on with my bloggy friends since I've been on hiatus, and found this awesome magazine made just for witchy people! It's awesome! So along with the new focus of the blog, I would also like to share this magazine. I just looked over this month's issue and it's awesome!Hope you'll spread the word!

Today's post is just a quick update on things going on around here. I have my final state test to take on the 15th of this month! Once I pass that, all I have to do is basically wait for my license, then I can start working! I'm a little nervous and excited. Not about the test, but about actually working. I know I know my stuff, but I always seem to get nervous before working with a client, especially when doing artificial nail services. So hopefully things will go well once I start working.

On another note, I feel like things have gone stagnant here at the blog, so I have a plan... Ready for it? While I wanted to do the Ask Willow thing, and probably still will, I'm also thinking about starting out by posting beginner information. That way I'm reteaching myself, and helping out seekers as well :D This is not a party like the last one I wanted to do, but I will be working with the same things I had outlined. So, I hope you guys will tune in, and read along! I will start posting these new topics on Monday, and of course, you guys are more than welcome to leave comments, or post your opinions on your blogs and leave a link! Hope to see you all tomorrow! Bright blessings!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Have Internet!!!

I finally got internet installed at my house. Super excited! I'm doing a little better on my Weight Watchers thing, but after last night, I'm a little depressed about it. I started the program out at 246, and I weighed myself last night... 257! So I'm working harder trying to get this damn weight off. I don't want to be the person that can't do something because of my weight. So I'm working out more, did 30 minutes of kickboxing last night, and staying much more strict on the points area, and hopefully at the end of the week I'll have some more results, that I like!

I'm excited to have internet back at my house. Now maybe I can write things a little more meaningful than I have been. I've had an idea, and I'd like your opinion on it. Some time last week, I got an email from someone new to the Pagan/Wiccan path, asking my opinion on killing spiders, scorpions and such. I was a little confused about it at first until I remembered that I'm a WitchVox sponsor, and I have a listing as clergy. After responding to her email, I got to thinking... There are so many people out there with questions, and they aren't sure where to turn for answers. I remember as a child, when I first became interested in magick, I had so many questions, but I didn't know where to turn. So... what if I do an Ask Willow sort of thing for seekers? In that option I would have certain days where I answer questions emailed to me on the blog. Of course, if I don't have the answer to a question, I will find the answer (and in keeping honest, give credit where it is due). Or in option number 2, I could start a second blog called Ask Willow and it would serve only to answer email questions. What's your opinion? And would anyone be able to help me get the word out about it? Let me know in the comments friends :D

Friday, March 2, 2012

Start Over

I haven't posted in a little while. Haven't really had that much to say. But today, I wanted to share with my blogging friends. I have things almost pretty much set up the way I want them here at home. I still need to get the fence built, and still need to get my day bed in here instead of the couch, but things are working out in their own ways.

I've been mainly focusing on myself during all of this. I've decided I want to learn a little about voodoo/hoodoo, and I've read a little on the subject and am enjoying what I'm learning so far. Also, I've been part of Weight Watchers online for quite a while, since Yule, and I realized I've not lost near the weight I should have in the few months I've been on the plan. That's because I followed it for a while, then just fell back into bad habits for several reasons. My friend Sarita joined WW as well, just last week, and it made me realize that I need to get back on track. So now I'm trying to get more serious about the program. Thankfully Sarita has my back on it this go round, and I think it will help.

I am an xbox 360 owner, and I plan on going into town tonight to pick up a kinect because my xbox is kinect ready, and zumba, and maybe one more workout game. I think if its a game that I can do in my own home I'll be more likely to actually workout. Plus I actually really do like zumba. I wonder if they make a yoga one for xbox kinect? I like yoga too, and have a mat somewhere lol.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I sit here slightly disappointed today. This was to be the day that our blog party started, but I've only had 2 people respond to my posts about doing the party. Maybe it wasn't time to have a party here at the blog, maybe I timed it badly, however it does bother me just a little that only 2 people were even interested in doing a back to basics blog party. That's okay though, because while I'm back on a seekers path, I've decided I'm interested in Voodoo/Hoodoo, so I'll be studying more again. I'll share my journey with you guys as always, and I hope you guys stick around.

I've had no more sales on my Etsy shop too. That just means I won't spend any more on supplies until I make some money back on what I already have there. No sense in filling the shop with stuff that no one wants. That breaks my heart, because I truly enjoy making these things, and I truly enjoy it when people show interest in them. I will be featured in a giveaway at some point in time, which I truly look forward to. I sincerely hope everyone is doing well. I need to make the rounds again and catch back up, as always.

I've finally got electricity at my home, like I've told you guys before. Now I have TV, but I still need to call and have the internet installed. I'm just waiting to get the money together because I know they will have a lot of things they will need to install. The only internet my home ever had was through Clearwire, and I loved their service, however they don't come out to Whiteface, so I had to let them go. That saddened me as well, because now the only place that offers internet here is Windstream, and I'm a girl that loves my options. I hate having options taken away from me, and now I'm down to I can choose to have internet through the one company that offers it in this town, or I can do without, and you know me my dear friends, I can't do without internet for very long.

So while waiting for the money to have internet installed at my house I'm using Mom's internet during the day. I find that I love researching as much as I can on things, and when I sit down to write a post here I'm always interrupted by one thing or another. Easier to wait and get totally serious with my blogging once I have the freedom of an internet connection in my personal home. So, yeah, those are the things going on right now :D Hope the rest of you are doing well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Review: The Good Energy Book

Image I promised you guys a book review, and here it is! First, please let me say that the good people over at Llewellyn publishing gave me this book in exchange for a review. I am not obliged to write a good review, just a review. Now, on to the fun stuff! 

The Good Energy Book: Creating Harmony and Balance For Yourself and Your Home by Tess Whitehurst is a terrific book. With that being said, I feel as if Ms. Whitehurst relied more heavily on energy for your home than yourself in this book, which is slightly disappointing, because she goes over almost all that in her book Magical Housekeeping. However, she does give some very awesome techniques for clearing yourself, and doing energy healing on yourself, which in turn can be used on other; it's just disappointingly buried under all the magical housekeeping discussed in this book. 

The chapter on personal hygiene (energetically speaking) has some awesome tips, and are wonderful to work with. And she does have amazing tips on clearing the energy in your home, and creating harmony in the home. I personally found new clearing techniques I'd never used before and tried one of them (The Rainbow Woman clearing) and I'll be 100% honest, my house felt like a totally new home! The walls even looked different! So, all in all, this book is pretty good. If you're looking for something more focused on personal energy, and creating personal harmony, healing, and balance, this book is a good starting point, but if you're like me and already new some of the basics and was looking for something deeper, look elsewhere. 

However, please don't mistake my disappointment in this book as disapproval. I actually really enjoyed this book while reading it, and now that I've done my review I plan on reading it again to work on some of the exercises in it. This book does touch on very useful things, and things I'd personally never heard of until I read this book. So, while I was disappointed because I expected to find a book about personal energy work, and not just a couple chapters, this is a good book to have around and would make a good basis for starting out on home clearing and personal energetic balance. So all in all I give this book 3.5 stars, but I do suggest reading it, just don't expect too much work on yourself.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm finally slowly moving into my house now! The electricity is finally hooked up. We still have a lot of work to do, but things are finally moving along! I spent the night last night here in the house with my two doggies, and all was well. I was happy to finally take a shower when I wanted to in my shower. Princess and I sat up and watched Horrible Bosses, which by the way, is pretty freaking funny.

We still need to get the skirting up around the house, and build my fence for everything to be basically 100% but at least we're making progress! I've spent today cleaning. I absolutely love west Texas because its home, but I absolutely hate the dirt here! Even when it doesn't look like its blowing that damn dirt is still moving around! It creeps into your house like ants, only it seems like ants are easier to get rid of than dirt!

The last time I was living in my house I didn't worry too much about organization, because I knew eventually I would be moving the house. Now that it's sitting where it will hopefully be sitting permanently, I vow to organize things better. So right now there are things strewn everywhere, but I'm planning on having Mom help me figure out great ways to organize things better so I don't feel extremely overwhelmed by all the stuff in the house. The lived in look is fine, so cluttered that I'm falling over crap is not lol.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Still Looking

We're still doing the blog party, and it starts on the 23rd of this month. So far I only have 2 guest posters signed up, so there's lots of room for many more! If you would like to be a guest poster, please click the contact me image in the right hand corner here and leave me a message. I'll send you a PDF. of the outline of the blog party, and you can let me know what you would like to cover. Use the inLinkz link tool below to sign up as well, so that way I can keep everyone organized, and I can add you to the participants page. Grab the blog party button and display it on your blog! We'll be covering a new topic each week, and during those weeks, I would like to receive different points of views on each topic, so I would like at least 2 guest posts per topic. Help me get the word out so we can have a well rounded conversation! Also, here's the perks! All participants, whether guest posters or readers of the party, are also entering into one big drawing to win digital book of shadows pages from me! I will draw 3 winners. Winner number one will receive 10 BOS pages from me and will be able to collab with me on exactly how they want them to look! Winners number 2 and 3 will receive their choice of any 3 pages in my Etsy shop. If you don't like what you see there, you can collab with me on 3 pages of your own! So, do you want to participate? Sign up with the link tool below! And don't forget to email me to get the outline of the blog party!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Here!

Remember when I asked if you guys were ready for a book review? Well, I've just received the book in the mail! Super exciting! It's got such a pretty cover, and I've scanned the contents section, and it looks like it covers some awesome stuff! Stay tuned my friends, as soon as I'm finished reading the book, I'll be posting my review!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ready For a Book Review?

I'll be reviewing a new book here pretty soon. I emailed Llewellyn about The Good Energy Book, and they have graciously agreed to allow me to review it. I just sent them my mailing address today, so it'll be a little while before the review is out, but I just wanted y'all to know that there's more coming!

On another note, I really want to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone from Facebook, and here on the blog, that wished me happy birthday, and all of you who have offered comforting words over the loss of my beloved baby Lily Munster. I don't know if you guys realize just how much I truly appreciate y'all. You guys unflaggingly listen to me whine and ramble, and you always have wonderful advice. Thank you so much for sticking by me through everything that's happened in the 3 years that I've been in the blogging community. You guys are some of the best friends I've ever found; I just wish y'all were local, so we could sit together and have tea on a regular basis.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lily Munster's Video

This is the video I tried to embed in the other post. After I deleted my old facebook profile it messed up the video. Thank the gods for smart phones. I uploaded her video to youtube so I can always have it. Sadly this video is the only "fives" I'll ever get from her anymore.


I Miss My Puppy

Lily Munster passed away tonight. She got out of the yard, and got on the highway and got hit. It crushed her head, and Mom keeps assuring me that she died instantly. However, that doesn't make me feel any better. Today is my birthday ... wanna guess what the worst birthday present ever is? Your puppy in a box, buried in your front yard. I'm also about to delete my personal profile on Facebook because well, it's my birthday, and none of my so called "friends" on that profile, people I've met in real life, have said a thing about my birthday, nor have any of the cared to show up, nor have any of them mentioned anything about me losing Lily. I'll be creating a new profile, and if my friends on there actually want to continue being my friends and speaking with me, they can find me there. My Willow profile will stay the same though, so no worries there. Sadly I've gotten more birthday wishes, and apologies from my blogging friends that I've never met in real life, than I have from the people I've known in real life and that call me their friend. Anyway, in memory of Lily, and to keep her video from being deleted, I'm embedding the only video I have of her... her giving me five.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Book of Shadows Page

I thought I'd share another BOS page I just created with you guys. This is a free one for y'all to keep as yours if you like it. I just threw it together so you may not like it at all, but here it is for your enjoyment or non-enjoyment lol.


Click on the pic and make it it's biggest, then right click it and save it to your computer. If you guys like it, let me know, and I'll try to make more like it.

Do You Wanna Party?!

Ok guys, I've moved into my new bloggy home, and have settled in nicely, now it's time ... Time for a party! I was working on my BOS pages, and I got to thinking. In the past when I was creating a new BOS I had all kinds of things to fill my pages with. I sat down and started trying to write SOMETHING on the first page of my BOS, and nothing came to mind! I realized I've been out of things so much, I don't even remember some of my favorite spells that I used to be able to remember at the drop of a hat! I used to write spells in my sleep, and I couldn't even bring myself to write a simple spell! So the party is born.

<a href="http://motherearthsarms.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/do-you-wanna-party/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/rr58/amberh2008_photos/blogpartybutton.jpg" border="10" /></a><br />

This blog party will be called Back to Basics, and you guessed it! We'll be going back to square one basics and building up to advanced things. I don't mean that we're going to start our seeker studies all over again, but I do plan to do a brush up thing of all basics. Now, this is what I would like from you guys ... I would love to have guest posts talking about a number of things. If you're interested in doing a guest post please click the CONTACT ME image in the sidebar and send me an email telling me you're interested, and I'll send you guys an outline of the party so you can tell me what you might be interested in writing about.

To give me time to get things together and organized, I will be starting the party on February 23. Everyone who would like to participate should be signed up with me by no later than February 20. I won't be doing daily giveaways, however at the end of the blog party I will hold a drawing of 3 names. The first winner will get to collab with me on creating their own personal BOS pages, the other 2 winners will receive their choice of any of my BOS pages available at Pagan Fancies for free! I'm creating new BOS pages everyday, and am currently trying to create a full 10 pages for one design to be offered as a full BOS!

So does this sound interesting to you guys? If so, please sign up with the inlinkz Linky below. Everyone participating, whether you're only displaying the button and reading along, or you're a guest poster, will get a link displayed under the Party Participants page! I look forward to partying with you guys!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Book of Shadows

So here's the next thing I'm working on. I used to have like 20 books of shadows, one for everything I'm interested in, and a big master one that held everything I for sure wanted to keep a hold of. However, in the house fire (the one where Mom and Dad lost their house when I was at University and hung out with Miss K all the time), I lost all of them. If they didn't burn up, they were so ruined with soot and smoke they couldn't be read.

I've lived these past 2 years without any BOS, so last night, I decided to search on Etsy to see if I could buy some pages for digital download. I searched for hours and found a couple of pages that I thought were absolutely gorgeous, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $9 for just a couple of pages. I know, I'm a tightwad, and I'm quite sure those pages are worth it, because they are gorgeous. However, I got to thinking, "Why spend the money on someone else's work, when I know how to make pages like that too?" I have GIMP and have used it forever. It's what I used to use to create Blogger templates :D. So, I sat down last night and started working on my personal master BOS. There will be a couple others as well, like my herbal grimoire which will look different because I want it to look more natural, however for my master, it will just be an eclectic mix of pages.

I would now like to show off my pages that I've made so far. I only have 3 so far. The front page, a page to write on, and a spells separator page for Love Spells. If you guys like these, feel free to save them to your computer for personal use as well! Click on them to make them bigger then just save them to your computer and print to your heart's content. Be sure to tell your printer to do it without borders and it will fill a whole page! They look best on white cardstock, but look terrific on regular paper as well!

There is much more of these guys to come. I'll be making more writing pages with different quotes and some pictures and such on them, and I'll gladly share them here. Just please don't try to turn around and resell them as your own work! I've put a lot of time into these, and I'm gladly giving them away FOR FREE because I like to share. I'm fine with you guys sharing them all you want, just please be nice and give me the credit for creating them.