Jan 31, 2013

There Is Movement

As January comes to a close and some of us get ready to observe a celebration or two this week, I am feeling grateful for the slight shift I've been noticing the last few days.  The light is coming earlier, if only by minutes and we are getting more days that offer moments (and sometimes hours) of sunshine.  The grey is far from over, but with February's arrival, it feels as if there is an end in sight.

First on the list is celebrating Imbolc this weekend.  I wrote a little article on Imbolc over at Kallan's blog last weekend, so I won't repeat myself here.  I know this is not necessarily a "winter is over" celebration for much of the northern US or Canada, but there are plenty of signs that the earth is stirring from her long sleep.

Although I've never had any real experience with Catholicism, the blessing of the candles at Candlemas seems to carry over into some secular or other spiritual traditions in the form of crafting candles for the year's rituals or offertory lights.  I've grown weary of unhealthy mass-produced candles and am attempting to pour some candles myself this weekend.

I've found a fun book by a Canadian author about Candlemas traditions in eastern Canada.  My father told me about the Acadians, how they had been French settlers who were pushed from their homes after many battles with the British.  A few brave souls stayed on the in the area, but many of them headed south and settled in the Mississippi River area and other regions.  Some, after a time, came back north and re-settled in the Maritimes.  

Folklore historian Georges Arsenault has written several books about the Acadian traditions and folklore, but I've only found two that have been translated into English. (I'm a terrible Canadian - and don't read or speak French well.)  I picked up his "Acadian Traditions on Candlemas Day" recently and have enjoyed the stories of the old timers that he quotes as well as the songs and folklore he has dug up.  You can see quite a similarity between Acadian traditions and some of the traditions of the deep south.  One practice that is quite popular is the eating of pancakes on Candlemas Day to ensure a good crop for the year.  It is implied that eating wheat in some form symbolizes a good harvest, and saving a pancake ensures that there will always be more wheat.  More interesting is how the Acadians hid toys or trinkets in the pancakes as a way of divination for the year (akin to the King Cake.)

Do not buy this from the US Amazon site - people are charging hundreds of dollars for Arsenault's books.  
Amazon.ca has them priced for $11-$13. 

Of course, one of the most popular traditions on the first days of February is the prophetic mammal that hints at the coming spring (or lingering winter.)  The Acadians spoke of the "whistle-pig" but we know him as the groundhog today.  There is also folklore that puts the skunk or other small mammals in this prognosticating position.

As the ground thaws, the hibernating ones reappear and the small signs of early spring emerge, may you find your own way to celebrate and return to life.  However January fades out and you welcome February in, I hope there is wonderful movement for you!


Jan 23, 2013


"When I was a child, I was fearless.  I knew that I could do anything.  If I had friends over and they didn't want to play my games, I sent them home.  My mother was horrified at times.  But I knew what I wanted.  I was confident and sure of myself.  Until I grew up and lost that fearlessness, piece by piece, as others took it from me."

"But we let them," I said.

"Yes.  But now I want it back."

~snippet of a conversation I had with my best friend last night

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

As a child, we learn lessons about practical fear.  Fear associated with touching a hot stove, lest we get burned.  Fear about accepting rides from strangers.  But somewhere along the way, the lessons about fear become less worldly wisdom, and more about how we might fit in with society, make friends, find a mate.

Some people operate from a place of fear all the time. 

"What would other people think if I did this?"  
"What if I'm wrong/look foolish/am not accepted?"
"What if there is not enough?"
"What if I'm not enough?"

That last one, had a hold of me for years.  Once I realized what I was happening, I fluctuated between feeling angry that I hadn't valued myself enough and feeling sadness and loss for the girl that wasted so much time feeling those things.  And still, still, they pop up.  Those nagging doubts, those little snickers after I've been on an "I can do anything" high for a while.  The difference between then and now is, when the dust settles, I realize that I don't believe that voice anymore.

"Do you hear me?  I'm not afraid anymore!"

Yes, I just quoted Kevin, from Home Alone.

I have done fearless things in my life.  Jumped out of a plane. Started businesses. Took solo road trips to unknown places.  Said "why the hell not?" when I wanted to run the other direction.  But I don't think that those things make a person fearless.  I think fearless is a muscle that you have to exercise until it becomes an automatic state of being.

I think it's practicing the getting-up-one-more-time-than-you-fall mindset.  I think it's the "Wow - see this fabulous mistake, this foolishly huge error in judgment?  That's mine. And I'm going to learn from it.  And I'm going to endeavor not to repeat that. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it."  It's hearing that voice that likes to tell you all the things you are not, and telling it to fuck off.  And maybe for a moment you feel less-than.  Maybe for a moment you feel not enough.  But then you shake that shit off, and move along - move ahead.  Because that's not who you are anymore.  

Now, you are becoming fearless.

Jan 17, 2013

It's Called January

My friend asked me the other day, "what's it called when you are tired all the time and cold all the time and can barely drag your ass to work?"

"It's called January," I said.

This year, January has been fairly painless so far.  Last year I was drinking herbal infusions as if my life depended on it - because it mostly did.  This year, the grey hasn't gotten to me.  But the cold is another story.  I've grown weary of bitterly cold days with colder winds.  I feel as though I'm constantly trying to keep warm - and failing.  

In order to attempt some venturing out (other than to the office,) I've given myself little gifts of "me time."  So far I've taken a drive up into the hills, had a spa day with my mom, built a fire in my fire bowl, and made an effort to walk whenever there wasn't a danger of losing toes and fingers to frostbite.

The view from the R & R room at the spa - waiting for my toes to dry.

The other item on my "ME ME ME" list (Dear Ones, you need a list like this - you're worth it,) is signing up for free seminars and adding my name to a handful of email lists on those "Rah Rah, You Are Amazing" sites.  Self-help has come a long way, baby.  What once was a fairly bland, extreme navel-gazing type industry, has blossomed into a powerful, encouraging network of amazing women (and men) who have a real passion for seeing others live fabulous, fulfilling lives.

Here is a sampling of what I'm reading, trying on for size and diving into:
(Links are attached to the person/website's name - just click.)

I mentioned her in my last post, and I'm sure you've heard her name on the interwebs, but I'll say it again - Leonie Dawson.  Her workbooks are wonderful.  I'm working my way through them and loving them!

Denise Duffield-Thomas talks about manifesting your own luck in business and your life's purpose.  She wrote the book "Lucky Bitch" and has a free webinar coming up.  Her blog is full of great posts and worth a read.

Bri Saussy of Milagro Roots is beginning her free Phone Fests this month with "how to draw the best life has to offer, to yourself."  She has a myriad of magical services she offers as well.

Wild Sister is a website and magazine by women for women to inspire you to "love yourself, follow your bliss and change the world."  There are wonderful and encouraging posts to read whether you subscribe to the magazine or not.

Jennifer Louden is the woman and author behind "Savour and Serve." Tips on self care, organization and being your true self abound on this site.  I've only just scratched the surface here, but it looks great!

Anne Samoilov teaches how to re-launch your business/website/idea.  Work on your goal setting, enlist the help of a team, and get a free copy of her "toolkit" full of templates and tutorials.

(Please note: I am not affiliated with any of these sites, nor have I been asked to advertise for them in any way.)

These are just a few of the ways I'm distracting myself from the cold January days.  I'm still garden-planning too, and dreaming of the earth waking up. But I know that this hibernation period is healthy for the earth - if not slightly uncomfortable for some of the rest of us.  I'm taking this slower time of the year to plan my big dive in to the rest of 2013.  I plan on making a splash!

How is this month shaping up for you?

Jan 9, 2013

Rise and Organize - Welcome 2013!

Hello, and a very happy 2013 Dearies!

I've been plotting feverishly these first 9 days of January.  I've got my hands on Leonie Dawson's awesome planners and am working my way through listing my goals for the year.  I've been out walking in the snow and mentally taking stock of what's working for me and what isn't.  I've been puttering around the office getting year-end done, and organizing like a madwoman at home.  And I'm napping like a queen.

I'm also stepping out. Or up. Or into myself.  I'm rather done with trying to keep my daily life separate from my spiritual/magical pursuits.  Something about being in the last vestiges of my thirties makes me realize that life is too short to hide who I am, no matter who disapproves.  Plus, it's just damn tiring.  So, even though I'm not a fan of self-photos, you'll see an occasional picture of me now and then (there's one on the About page if you really need to know that I'm a real, live girl - in a kitty hat no less,) and I'm also posting a contact email if anyone (who is not a crazy spammer, or just plain crazy) wants to ask a question or just say "hi."

There are some ongoing blog adjustments - I'm needing to organize the blogs/links page so you know who does what, and where you can find some of the cool finds I blog about, and pictures need to be reviewed.  I'll be getting to all of this over the next few months, but there will still be plenty to post about while the behind-the-scenes things are happening.  I'm already feeling a bit of Spring fever and have ordered seeds and am knee-deep in garden plotting.

In the meantime, I wanted to point out to you a few cool things available (some for free) on the interwebs this month:

~ Cory, from New World Witchery just released the first quarter of his free calendar filled with magical dates and other cool tidbits.

~ The super-magical Miss Bri from Milagro Roots is having a free Phone Fest on January 30th.  She'll be chatting about "Magnetism & Mojo."  I'll be there - come & chat!

Rowan Pendragon has released her digital 2013 Magical Datebook.  In her words:

"2013 for the Wild Soul is the latest incarnation of my popular One Witch’s Way Datebook that has come out every year for the last few years.  It is both a magickal recipe book of sorts along with a 52 week datebook/planner for the year.  The planner pages are dated for the year along with all the important dates that you need to know for the year plugged right in for you!  It is a simple but effective way to carry with you all the core information that you need to plan out your magick for the year while also keeping track of your life!"

~ Ciro Marchetti of The Gilded Tarot and Legacy of the Divine Tarot fame, is re-releasing his Lenormand deck for the last time tomorrow (January 10, 2013.)  This is a limited run release and the final deck that Ciro has said he will do.  This deck is just as stunning as his other creations and I'm really hoping to snap one up before they are all gone!

Check out those links and enjoy!