Quick Negativity Cleanse

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When I woke up today, around 9 am, I felt a bit frustrated with myself. I wanted to wake up much earlier, I wanted to do more with that time. By the time I made it to my desk I had a negative cloud hanging over me. It clouded my vision so I couldn’t read my emails, it shrouded my mind so the message from video that the educational video on web design wasn’t received, understood or retained.

I like my office space to have clear positive energy so I became even more frustrated with myself. Luckily, I work from home so after an hour of frustration and feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, I decided to do one of my favorite rituals: The Shower Cleanse

For this ritual, you’ll need 15-30 minutes alone.

1. Turn on the hot water in your shower and close the door so that the bathroom can fill up with warm steam.

2. As you gather the clothes and items that you’ll need once you get out, visualize that room being filled with warm, transformative, and healing light/energies as the steam permeates the space.

3. Take off the clothes you are wearing before you enter the bathroom.

4. Step into the bathroom with the intention to be renewed and refreshed. Take a moment to stretch, think about all of the negative thoughts that are hanging in the air and visualize that negative energy hanging around you in corporeal bubbles.

5. Understand that energy can never be destroyed only transformed. The purpose of this ritual is to alter the negative energy through purification. So when you get into the shower, do so with the understanding that those little black (or whatever color you imagined) balls of negativity are being transmuted by the healing energy that previously filled the room and will now be purified by the shower you are taking. You can choose to release this transformed energy by visualizing it washing down the drain or you can keep it, knowing that it has been renewed.

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The Art of Doing Nothing

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Quality time is so precious to my wife and I. Our schedules are filled with saving lives, creating somethings out of nothings and speaking with people across the world.

Anna’s schedule, in my opinion, is a more simple to explain. She is a nurse who works 12 – 13 (sometimes 16) hour night shifts from 7 pm until 7 am (give or take a few hours). I don’t have to explain how demanding her job is. Working the night shift, in f itself, is tough. When you add the responsibility for the health and care of her patients, managing the politics of the hospital, being disrespected by doctors, having to work multiple floors in one night, etc…it just becomes too much to bear.

My schedule is complicated because I am in the midst of a career transition. Here is a quick snapshot of my daily schedule:

2 – 9 am: Every weekday but Monday, I teach English as a Foreign Language to people all over the world.

9 – 10 am: I usually workout, journal, apply to jobs and read the news.

10 – 5 pm: I work on Web Design, Web Development and Illustration as freelancer.

In consideration of our schedules, you can easily understand why time off is sacred to us. Quality time (defined as time we set aside to spend with one another so that we may nurture our friendship, relationship and because, well, we like each other a lot and love to spend time together) is even more sacred.

We’ve found lately, that we are skilled at filling our quality time with activities. We explore surrounding towns, go shopping, watch TV shows, run errands, complete personal projects, etc. We aren’t very good at doing “nothing”. At the beginning of this week, I decided that I would relinquish the following activities:

  • Reading – for pleasure
  • Facebook – outside of marketing purposes (clients often contact me through my Facebook Business page)
  • Instagram & Twitter – outside of marketing purposes
  • Watching Television Shows and Movies
  • Playing games on my phone
  • Any activity that keeps my mind too busy to think and doesn’t serve my Development business.

This means that Anna and I can’t watch shows together – something we often do. Nor can we spend hours looking at videos of animals, scrolling on Facebook (seriously, have you ever considered how much time passes when you are doing this?).

It’s more difficult than it sounds.

As much as I enjoy the above activities, I’ve found that they can be stress inducing. There is too much negativity and confusion on Facebook. I am genuinely interested in the lives of my friends so I cannot unfollow them all. I found myself comparing my life to theirs, scrolling in my downtime, always on my phone or computer. Since my work is also on my computer my eyes definitely need a break from the screen light. I think that many times, without realizing it, we fill our time with so many different activities so that we aren’t confronted with out thoughts. Mindless activities are dangerous in excess.

A good example of this is Monday night. Anna and I settled on the couch in our living room. She had her phone in hand and was busy scrolling. I didn’t bring my phone or computer so I found myself facing silence and I craved something more. I began trying to initiate a conversation. Various topics flew across my mind. It was silly. My wife isn’t difficult to talk to. In fact, she’s an amazing conversationalist (one of the many reasons I fell head over heels for her). I sat there, with my anxiety gradually increasing, trying to figure out what to talk about with her and when I couldn’t find a topic that I thought was “interesting” enough I became frustrated with myself. When I feel bothered, i have a habit of fidgeting and my wife looked on with moderate amusement as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.

“How do you do nothing?” I blurted the question, my eyes seeking hers.

I can’t remember the last time I truly did…nothing. “Nothing” usually includes something, even when I’m merely savoring the pleasure of idleness. Nothing useful, but some activity that isn’t considered productive.

So, tonight, I am writing aimlessly as music plays in the background. I’m hoping to hear myself speak and think clearly without the influence of others. I’m hoping to confront whatever intrusive thoughts my come my way. I’m hoping to simply enjoy myself, my heart, my mind and to relish in them. I intend to give my brain a break from learning and my body the rest that it deserves for working so hard all of the time.

I’m going to simply be. Why is it so difficult to just be?

Have you ever experienced this?

Spell for Clarity & Creativity by Deborah Blake

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9780738750927Recently, I purchased A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft by Deborah Blake (Wiccan High Priestess and leader of eclectic group Blue Moon Circle). I thought that I would share one of the spells, written in the book, that I liked:

I ask the gods for light in darkness
for clarity of mind & sight
Shine a beacon on my path
And creativity’s spark ignite

 

Crazy Good Things (Recurring Title)

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Anna, my wife, was attempting to find my blog by searching the url through google and she discovered an old picture of me in the search results. Immediately, I went to hunt it down and demand that whomever was using my picture take it down. The picture was nestled within a group of pins on Pinterest called “People and their Posts that Inspire Me.” Naturally, all of my righteous anger dissipated and was quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of incredulity. I don’t think I wrote anything of significance on my old blog.

people-inspire-me

But there it is, the synchronicity that witches often speak of. I was just thinking about who I am, who I want to be and I was just given a sign that I’m doing something right on this path. It makes me happy that my words impacted her in a positive manner. I’ve added the screenshot that I took of this event to the “Kudos” folder that I keep on my hard drive to remind me of my accomplishments, both small and large.  This folder serves me, in times of doubt and uncertainty, as a reminder of who I am and what I am capable of. Here’s to the power of words!

The Significance of Names

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How many of you searched for the symbolic meaning of your name? Googled your name on the internet? Why do so many of us participate in such an activity? The truth is that names are a part of every culture and that they are of enormous importance to both the individual who receives the name and for the societies, families and cultures who give them. I’ve always found it interesting how people tend to reflect on their names and the stories behind the naming ceremony. In fact, I find it a great deal more intriguing how much naming ceremonies vary from culture to culture and that, regardless of when, why, or how often it happens, the giving and receiving of a name is an event of major importance. Frequently, the significance of names is emphasized by elaborate rituals that almost always have deep religious/spiritual meaning.

In Christianity, the child is officially recognized and named through a baptism ceremony whereas in Islam, the infant is named on the seventh day by the mother and father who make a decision together on what the child should be called. In the Hindu tradition, naming is considered a sacred practice and it involves not only the parents but also close relatives and friends. An elaborate ceremony is conducted on the 12th day after the birth of the child. No matter the differences in traditions, the effect of the naming ceremonies -across cultures- is the same.  The person receiving a name also receives an identity and a place in society.

I’ll refrain from doing deeper into the symbolic contract we make in naming individuals but I will ask you, in exchange, to consider all that comes with having a name: the birth certificate and all of the societal benefits that are attributed to those who bear legally recognized names, like being able to register for social security, schools, etc. Another thing to consider is how convicts, as punishment, are stripped of their names and are forced to be recognized by prison numbers. In doing this, society says, in effect, that the convicts have broken the contract with civilization that their names imply. They have separated themselves from the community by breaking the rules; thus, they are no longer entitled to the identity and social privileges their names give them.

The link between names and identity is reflected in the search for the symbolic meaning so many of use participate in online. We are wondering if our names correspond to who we believe ourselves to be. When we introduce ourselves, answer phone calls, we take care in the pronunciation of our names. By that same token, we are offended when people mispronounce them because, in doing so, they distort our identity. Accidental distortions are annoying, but mispronunciation and distortions of a name on purpose are sizable insults, especially if they result in unflattering puns. (Consider how people refer to Trump as Drumpf — along with many other insulting/unflattering names and how he, in turn, creates insulting nicknames for his own enemies.) The sense of personal identity and uniqueness that a name gives us is at the heart of why names interest us and why they are important to us as individuals and to our society as a whole. In spite of their importance, though, most people know very little about names and about the effects they have on us and on our children in everyday life. In a very real sense, we are consumers of names, and we have a need and right to know about the psychological, magical, legal, religious, and ethnic aspects of our names.

In Wiccan/Witchy Traditions, initiates take a Wiccan Name (Craft Name, Magickal Name). This name is typically not used in public, but is shared with other Witches, Pagans and  Wiccans relevant communities or gatherings. Some Occult authors use their craft name on their publications. For Example, Silver Ravenwolf, Starhawk and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. This tradition of re-naming signifies re-birth for Wiccans. As you are no doubt aware by now, names and naming both hold a significant amount of power. The Witch’s magickal name is encapsulates her/his Essential Self. It is their “true name.”

This is the very reason why your magickal name is held sacred and secret, generally divulged only to those with whom you are close. To know your true name is to know a great deal about you. Very few people know my full magickal name.

I often say to myself, “Know Thyself, Witch.” In taking a magickal name, full of intent and in complete understanding of it’s symbolic meaning, I identify myself. Every time I hear it or say it, I’m reminded of who I am – of who I choose to be. Every time I am called by this name, I feel the energy of it move within myself and in the person who uses it. I firmly believe that the Universe shifts, when you take ownership of yourself and give yourself a magickal name, to help you become that person you know yourself to be. The more cognizant you are of your name’s meaning, the more alignment with your Divine Essence you are creating. Thus, you are accessing more power when you invoke the name.

There are several components to my Magickal Name but I will only share two with you here:

Tala (TAH-lâ) – In Samoan culture means “teller of stories” or “story”. Significant because I am a writer. In Arabic, it means “little tree”, an offshoot that grows alongside a greater mother tree. Significant because, to me, it corresponds to spiritual growth and the Goddess.

Añuli (ah NOO lee) – In Igbo, means “joy” or “daughter who brings happiness”. Significant because I want to radiate with joy and bring happiness to those around me.

When put together, Tala Añuli speaks of a person, perpetually on a path of spiritual growth, who brings joy through her words, stories, and deeds. This is who I know and want myself to be.

 

Imbolc – A Detailed Description of a Wiccan Holiday

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Imbolc – A Detailed Description of a Wiccan Holiday

Name and Date:

Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and/or Brigid’s Day (named for the Celtic Goddess Brigid, later known as Saint Brigid in Christianity), falls on the 1st/2nd of February. It has many other associated names across varying traditions and cultures.

Other Names & Associated Festivals: Imbolg, Oimealg, Oimelc, The Feast of St. Brigid, Brigid’s Day, Bride’s Feast, Ground Hog Day, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting, Lubercus, Candlemas, Candlelaria, the Snowdrop Festival, The Festival of Lights, the Feast of the Virgin, February Eve

Significance

In Wicca, Imbolc is often described as a festival marking the Goddess’ cyclical change from Crone to Maiden. Much light is shined on the first signs of spring, in Mississippi and other southern states in America one can see the early flowering plant species. The names “Imbolc” and “Oimelc” are remnants of a Pagan past and have rather interesting meanings. For example, the word Imbolc literally means ‘in the belly’ (of the Mother).  It is in the womb of Mother Earth, hidden from our mundane sight but sensed by a more keen vision, that there are stirrings. The seed that was planted in her womb at the solstice is quickening and the new year ( new life, new opportunities) grows. Oimelc, on the other hand, means ‘milk of ewes’, for it is also lambing season – first born lambs of the new season are feed at this time of year. It is a festival of light and of fertility, illuminated by fire. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. The association of fire with Imbolc stems from Brigid (As a solar deity her attributes are light, inspiration and all skills associated with fire. )

Traditions, Rituals and Magick

My tradition on Imbolc, and many other witches/wiccans is to light a candle -one white and one red at sunset or post ritual. If I am unable to light candles, I turn on the lamps, lights in the house – if only for a few moments. It is a small way to honor Brigid and the rebirth of the Sun/coming of the Spring.

Imbolc is an excellent time to begin making plans, or continue working on those already made, for the upcoming months. I would suggest cleansing and purification rituals – clean the house, your workstation, tools and journal about the things your goals for the year ahead. Creative pursuits are also favorable, write an outline for that book! Create new artwork! Some witches do divination.

Bake homemade bread and enjoy it with a glass of milk.

Let’s Talk About Witchcraft -Questionnaire

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1. Is your craft secular, or does it intersect with religion/spirituality?

  • I would say that my craft is eclectic. I’m a very spiritual person; I meditate, cleanse on a regular basis, and have been known to carry around sage in case of bad energies. I don’t subscribe to any religion and don’t consider myself a Wiccan, simply a Witch. My path is deeply personal for me. I do draw inspiration from various religions and mythologies though.

2. Spell language: do you like it simple? Do you dress it up? Is it poetry? Is it silent?

  • It depends on many different things; what kind of spellwork I’m doing, where I am, how far in advance I’ve prepared for it, etc. Usually, I write my own spells and more often than not, they rhyme. I don’t normally wear any special robes or use any tools because I travel often (I’ve lived in 5 different states last year) and it’s impractical to carry them all around. I do a lot of silent spellwork on the road, or in airplanes. I have a feeling that once I settle down, my craft will become more flamboyant because I have a dramatic flair.

3. On a scale from “Kitchen Witch” to “I could burn water”, how much of your witchcraft takes place in the kitchen?

  • I’m a total Kitchen Witch. I do most of the cooking in my household and I am constantly imprinting food and drinks with positive energies. I cook with creativity, love and for health -balanced meals, lots of greens, organic and natural remedies. I dream of making my own tinctures, potions, soaps, and having a garden from which I can get our vegetables. Witchery in the kitchen, for me, is as simple as understanding the Magickal Properties of Bergamot when I make myself Earl Grey tea on days when I find myself feeling down and out. It can also be as complex as using herb-infused and charged oils in dishes or doing a ritual through which I thank the spirits of the animals we eat.

4. On a scale from “TechnoWitch” to “I broke the internet”, how much of your witchcraft incorporates technology?

  • I’ve never heard the term TechnoWitch before. I use the internet often to commune with P^3, other witches, to learn about various traditions, and often use online playlists when working magick. Also, I listen to podcasts about witchcraft, spirituality, etc. I work in technology (Web Designer & Developer) so it’s role in my life is prominent.

5. Herbs: essential? confusing? no thank you? if I could get my hands on some?

  • I often use herbs. I’ve spent countless hours studying the properties of herbs and their medicinal and magickal properties. One day, I will have my own herb garden – I look forward to it. 

6. Tools: handmade only? natural materials only? I only need my will? anything works if I want to use it?

  • When I was a fledgling – some seven years ago, I had an entire altar kit, an athame, a wand, a robe, etc. Now, I use my own will. I do have a BOS (Book of Shadows) though, and have used stones and crystals for talismans. Again, it’s not practical right now but this is subject to change once I settle down.

7. Do you work with the elements? perhaps not air earth fire water? no connection to them?

  • I do. I’ve always been drawn to nature, so I like to charge by walking barefoot -if possible. If I am performing formal rituals and doing serious magick, I always call the elements for protection, etc.

8. Do you do spells for others? Do you or would you buy or sell services?

  • I’ve paid for services before. I like to support witches who offer them. I’ve had readings done, purchased spell kits, etc. I do spells on behalf of others very sparingly. For example, if I know someone who desperately needs a job and I can see the amount of time, energy and effort they have put into their search – if asked, I would do a career spell for them. I’ve rejected many people who’ve, upon learning that I’m a witch, asked me to do things like love spells, hexes, etc. In short, yes, I do spells for others…on a case by case basis. I’ve never charged for it and have only done them for people with whom I am close.

9. Divination: Yes, no, maybe, try again later? Methods?

  • Very interesting subject. Dream work, meditation, mirror magic, channeling, etc.

10. Do you write all your own spells, use ones from books, or a combination?

  • I prefer to write my own spells but I have and probably will continue to use/draw inspiration from those that were written by others. I strongly support people using their own words, though.

11. Love spells? Curses? Discuss.

  • Love Spells – I refuse to cast love spells on specific people. Instead, with those who seek love, I suggest a general –but thorough– spell that details what you need, desire from a relationship, in addition to some of the traits and actions that are attractive to you. I’ve done love spells before ( experimentation, young and stupid) and I learned a thing or two about how to properly format them.
  • Curses – I’m comfortable with the light and the dark aspects of witchcraft. That being said, if someone crosses me or my loved ones, they’ll get their comeuppance – whether by my intent or by those who protect/look out for me. 

12. Moon phases, planetary correspondences, day of the week, hour: irrelevant or key?

  • I often consult moon phases for spellwork, making plans, life events, etc. My wedding day was in the spring, on April 8th, Waxing Gibbous, with a lot of intent and symbolism to enhance the magick of the rituals and handfasting. 

13. Is witchcraft an everyday thing? Is it only for special occasions? Lots of ritual? Just a few words? Both?

  • Witchcraft is essential to who I am. I walk the path of a witch, I attempt to be kind, fair, just, thoughtful and respectful in every aspect of my life. I live an intentional, creative life and have many rituals throughout each day from putting on Good JuJu Perfume in the morning to Meditation at the end of my day’s work.