Monthly Archives: June 2013

Making your charms personal

When Grenwinae and I were dating, we often went to eat at Chinese restaurants. After our first lovemaking, I received the fortune:  There is yet time enough for you to take a different path. The day he proposed to me he received the same fortune! LOL! Neither of us took that different path so here we are.

fortune_cookie_hearts

Over the years, we kept a lot of our cookie fortunes and stored them in a glass jar. Last weekend we went through and made four piles:

1.) those related to love, relationships and friendships which we will work into some July love rituals;

2.) those related to careers and business success for Grenwinae’s impending career move;

3.) any that could be related to protection, for a new moon ritual to protect himself at his current job;

4.) and a trash pile of fortunes too ambiguous or double-edged to be used in any ritual or spell work.

The career fortunes, Grenwinae will work into the money herb mixture for his own ritual later this month. While I was with him, I made a few additions into the mixture: dried Bergamot flower petals from our garden, Sesame Seeds and fresh Marjoram.

I took one fortune, some of the success herb mixture, and a cleansed Citrine stone with the following three quarters:

A 1989 Quarter symbolizing the year we married (we want to be together);

an Oklahoma quarter, stamped on the back with the state bird, the Scissortail Flycatcher, in mid-flight (we want to fly back home);

a 2013 coin (the year we want to move) that has a stamped back, commemorating Perrys’ Victory; and

Grenwinae kept a fourth coin: a Missouri Quarter, he will add to his own work.

The coins were all washed and cleansed in the river before we used them. While the river rushed over them, we walked down the river bed where Grenwinae found two holey stones, one which he gifted to me. I’ll take a red ribbon and tie it over our bed for when we meet again over the fourth of July weekend.

holey_stones_finley_river

Coming up the hill from the river, a rabbit hopped across our path, stopping at the edge of the wood before dashing away into the undergrowth. As we pulled the car up to the spot where the rabbit had vanished, two Indigo Blue Buntings, were sitting on a branch, before flying off together.

An auspicious blessing upon our work I believe.

The ethics of spells and wishing for money

When I was researching herbs related to money success, it struck me as really funny that an often used search phrase at Google was “Money spells that really work”. ROLMAO. Like why would anyone search for money spells that were okay or didn’t work?

I also came across a few articles stating that working a spell for money was not ethical and would backfire upon you (i.e relative dies and you get money sort of thing). When it comes to this dilemma I can only write that for thousands of years people have been trying to persuade the universe to move a certain direction: bring love, fortune, fertility, freedom from want, vengeance, and justice. It’s human nature.

Is it ethically right? I think for me it comes from intent. We ask only for what I feel we, specifically Grenwinae, deserves due to his hard work and effort he has put into his career. We don’t expect miracles or even excessive blessings. We don’t need tremendous riches and we both know that money isn’t the ultimate happiness. We also asked no one be harmed to bring us this outcome.

When he does get the job offer he wants, yes, it means someone else didn’t get it. It’s called competition and Nature teaches all about the winners who catch the food and the losers who don’t.

On the practical side of life, it would be nice to meet bills and have a bit extra to indulgence ourselves. I also feel that seeing us with abundance and prosperity as a mental image can help us through this difficult time and set a personal goal on what we desire and the steps to get there. There is nothing wrong with wanting an abundance of food in the refrigerator or a nice roof over your head that doesn’t leak.

I found a lot of spells, most of which really didn’t interest me. I think it was because of the personal factor. If the spell doesn’t talk to you personally, I don’t feel it will be effective. If generic, money spells did work for everyone why doesn’t everyone who tries them have money?

Case in point, a lot of those spells had you write down a money amount you needed. I suggested to Grenwinae that, instead, he write an acceptance letter where someone has offered him his dream job. The act of writing the letter makes it concrete on what Grenwinae is desiring for this career move: money, benefits, relocation etc… Mentally, it helps him set a goal and know what he needs.

In my next entry, I’ll show some other ways we personalized our spell: with coins of specific years and images and even with Chinese fortune cookies!

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I’ve already gone into why I selected the herbs that I did. We didn’t need just money but also protection from gossip and harm (as Grenwinae’s work is turbulent right now), movement and success, while maintaining confidence and courage.

While I was gathering materials for the herb mixture and the ceremony I wanted to do (which didn’t quite go the direction I wanted it too), what really tickled my fancy was finding how many things just came out of the kitchen. Spellwork just really flies under the radar – it can look completely innocent but not be for what you think. Many of the plants (seeds, roots, berries, oils etc… derived from them) can be found in most grocery stores.

It’s this element of everyday magic right under our noses that is really appealing to me right now.

influence of environments

Some additional thinking on my internal dialogue of a few days ago….

I definitely had the UPG impressions that Vulture is female/mother; Rabbit is an androgynous child; that Owl seemed more male but was somehow linked to the female in a Yin-Yang complement; and that Hawk was male – the brother aspect.

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I hesitated about posting my thoughts on how home is linked to the feminine because, yes I’m a diehard feminist and feel women should be given equal representation, equal pay and benefits and I really don’t like sexist attitudes in the media or with individuals. However, as I’ve aged, I’ve also seen there are things linked to our gender that are unique to us because of our gender.

My awareness of the physical environment around me and how it impacts my emotions is something I am very aware of. Grewinae not so much.

In having three brothers, living with a man for over 20 years and having a son, you just come to realize that they don’t seem to have the same awareness of their surroundings as your average woman does. Do I mean all men don’t care about if the bed is made – or that no woman can use a hammer? No, not at all. But take this incident as an example….

We are letting the horses graze the front yard. They are avoiding a certain weed and have eaten down all the grass around it. This is good as this weed is poisonous to horses. However, this weed now stands out like a sore thumb amongst all the close-cropped grass and it has been bothering me for weeks. Yesterday, I had Grenwinae chop them down with a hoe while I pulled some up. The front yard immediately looked much better. He told me they had been bothering him too but just didn’t think too much about it.

I also noticed the split limb off of the Oak at the front of the driveway. It must have happened in a storm the night that I had my ceremony but Grenwinae noticed it only after I pointed it out. Hm…

massage oil for creaky knees

I’m having a slight problem with my knees being sore. Too much sitting and being too fat is taking a toll. It’s probably the beginning of old age so I figured I better try out some help.

First I tried Recipe #1 here for arthritis. Didn’t really see much help. I ended up with the Sore Muscle Blend with 2 ounces of carrier oil and:

2 drops Ginger

5 drops Black Pepper

4 drops Peppermint

5 drops Eucalyptus

It provides some temporary relief when rubbed over the kneecaps morning and evening.

BTW I don’t have sensitive skins, allergies, not pregnant etc.. so read up before you use it. Not responsible for you. 🙂

The Mystery of Home

After all my preparation for my working to ask the Universe to move a bit faster, Fire and Success didn’t want to talk to me. My candles kept blowing out and after a great bit of smudging a beautiful scent, my Horn of Plenty fire faded. Harumph.

I took Vulture’s feathers, laid back on the grass and told Wind, Fine talk with me. Turns out, Wind had a lot to say.

I asked Mother Vulture to look after me;

of course, daughter,  you are family (wings spread to the sun as we all sit on the family tree).

I asked Rabbit-child to be there for me;

You carry me within you (quiet whisper).

I asked Owl for guidance;

I haven’t left you (a hooting chuckle).

I asked Hawk for a message. Hawk? Hello, Hawk? Hawk was too busy so I think my mind supplied the reply of that He would get back to me when I needed it. I swear he reminds me of my brother.

vulture_10245_md

After that, a whole long inner dialogue took place, some of which I’ll give the gist of…

It started with me thinking of the Dragon Hoards’ oil and how much I liked the smell which made my mind fasten on the word Treasure. Which got the reply:

Your treasure is right here.

In the scratchy grass? Where it was 101 degrees today and none of my grand spell is going along the way I expected…?

Yes, Treasure is here. Home is here. You are the home. Where you go, there is the Hearth, the Dwelling, the Sense of Place for the family. He will come to you.

Home? You’re kidding right? I don’t like housework and don’t consider my myself Supermommy material at any time of my motherhood.

Yes. You are the receptacle. The place mark. The container that holds all of it. The womb is more than a place to birth out children.

Even if I went out and was an Amazon Warrior, I would still embody the Center of Place. I would take it with me and any male would recognize it. At this point there was a lot of skepticism on my end and many questions.

Grenwinae will have it harder than you because of his yearning and need to be Home. He might know how to cook a meal and  clean up the kitchen but he really doesn’t understand all the layers and meanings of what Home, Hearth, and Place actually is. He yearns for it. Yet has no ability to create it – or hold it –

That is your Mystery.

About this time little light drops of rain started to fall on me.

But I want him here! I want to be looked after. I want to be cuddled and cherished and have him do all the King things.

Queens have to do things too. Defense, strategic management, putting down usurpers….

Being a Queen isn’t an easy job you know.

So I guess this means no job, huh?

The replying silence wasn’t really a no. It was just we had discussed what we needed to be discussed and Wind had moved on. The fear of losing Grenwinae or not having him with me far outweighs money concerns. Obviously, my inner self knows this and is responding to the deep fears I have, sweeping away earthly concerns of paying overdue bills, food and clothing.

A Working of Acorns

For months there seems to be a swirling maelstrom of energy and emotions around ourselves. Up to Missouri, back to Oklahoma, changing schools, changing management at work, first I’m working in Missouri, than I quit, than I go back, and lastly a job move back to Oklahoma with another change of schools for daughter and a separation between myself and Grenwinae.

Is it a wonder that Powers and Presences are confused? I am confused!

At first, I started out with the idea that I wanted to just draw money, but after a few job interviews it became apparent that we needed more than money: we needed a job that provided career advancement working for good people/company, as well as a certain level of benefits (i.e. insurance, 401K matching, vacation etc…). Most importantly we needed to be together and able to meet our obligations. Money wasn’t everything and was it even ethical to ask for money?

What we really needed was what was right for us and what the universe could provide for us – just maybe moving it along a little faster. Time to get focused! What did we want? What do we need? We needed to bless ourselves and stay faithful to what would benefit us all as a family – and with Grenwinae being the major, financial breadwinner a lot of what I selected has a masculine element to it.

Today, I had a plan. I’m not a follower of Thors, but being Thursday, and beginning a working, it behooved me to pay a bit of respect. His male warrior aspect also fits well with Grenwinae needing to be a warrior, take no prisoners, attitude he needs while jobhunting. Oak (Protection, Health, Money, Healing, Potency, Fertility, Luck) is a tree that Grenwinae feels a kinship with and is connected to Thor and the Masculine.

Thor, son of Odin,

Red-haired Thunder

Rides the Storm.

Hammer swung, Giants fell,

Fierce Warrior.

Your battles are still revered.

Accept the Oak, leaves and nut,

Honoring your day.

Fire is another male aspect. I’m also a sun sign. Fire destroys and consumes and leaves fertile ground behind. It’s rather a paradox – the destroyer and the creator.

For the fire, I made a collection of natural offerings, focusing on the colors of green and gold: Cedar, pine, acorns, whole Allspice, and shavings of Ginger, mixed with crayons and cotton balls scented with Dragons’ Hoard Oil. All wrapped with offering papers of gold and green made into Horns of Plenty (some extra ones I’ll bring to Grenwinae in Missouri this weekend).

I made a mixture of the following:

Whole Allspice Masculine, Mars, Fire
(money, luck, healing and treasure! adds extra determination and energy),
Black Pepper (courage, banish negativity, works against petty jealousy, and provides courage in difficult circumstances, exorcism),
Cedar (confidence, strength, power, prosperity and money),
Cinnamon Masculine, Mars, Fire, Venus
(personal empowerment, power, love, luck, money).
Fennel seed (stimulates movement),
Fenugreek (money, prosperity),
Ginger slices (to draw adventure and new experiences, confidence, success, manifests),
Mustard Seed (courage, faith and endurance), and
Pine (promotes clean breaks, new beginnings, success, strength, employment).

When it comes to a “spell” I have a lot of reservations, which I’ve posted about before. This “working” is really about visualizing what I desire, and asking the Universe to provide what is right for our family at this time. Its for me to take a step back, realize what we need, and to gain a centered calm that what will happen, even if it is not exactly what I had imagined, is actually what is best.

Tam supra, quam subter
(as above, so below)

Tam intra, quam extra
(as within, so without)

Determination & Courage

Strength & Endurance

Confidence & Self Faith

New Beginnings with a Clean Break

Protection.

Manifestation of the Blessing

AS THE UNIVERSE DETERMINES

AS THE WILL STRIVES

AS PROVIDENCE PROVIDES

EX ANIMO
(from the heart, sincerely)

To me, the outcome I desire is is linked to the Tarot’s Temperance card: magic and earthly matters, coming together alchemically in the right proportions, at the right time, with ease. And Justice. You get what you deserved. Good or bad. We ask only for what I feel we have earned.

thor_abundance

June esbat: making it simple

Right now I am living a rather exhausted life. I am emotionally depleted due to long term stress and events that have stretched out for five years, or really longer. Just when I think I’ve gotten some things straightened out, we get hit by another whammy. I can’t tell you how much I now have a blank stare when I’m told of something that is once again going to turn my life upside down.

This blankness, part depression, part burn out and part just long term uncertainty, has to be what I actively try to pull myself out of. This impacts trying to plan ceremonies, rituals and holidays. Sure it would have been nice to go all symbolic, take a walk down to the bridge and plan out some sort of ceremony under the full moon.

Just didn’t happen.

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I didn’t know if I would be alone in Oklahoma or with Grenwinae in Missouri for Sunday. Friday I had to work and just used the Midsummer day to clear some stones – whether that is a psychological cleansing or something magickal, who knows? The intent on that day was to gain some feeling the stones were ready to be used by ourselves for whatever meditation, ritual or purpose we needed.

By the time Grenwinae got here on Sunday, I had a long list of Must-Do’s to get done. This a problem and contributes to both of our exhausted stress levels. It’s why I’ve had to start picking and choosing, cutting back on what I can get done (what is reasonable? what is the most important?) and why I MUST put down free time with no obligation as one of the important to-do’s.

Releasing a long list of responsibility is actually a huge step for me. I get done what I can. I am not going to kill myself anymore doing the superwoman act. It is what it is.

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Our master bedroom has a high, vaulted ceiling. At the south end is a half circle window which always allows the moon to shine in. Last night we used the shelf under that window to offer my Druid Animal and Plant Oracle Decks, my new moonstone, Quartz and Girasol stones to the moonlight.

Than we spent time under the moon doing what couples do.

Afterwards, we relaxed and for the most part, I didn’t worry (too much). I actually felt much calmer and happier the next day even knowing that Grenwinae would be returning to Missouri alone.

Next Esbat is July 22nd

Vulture’s Tears (essential oil blend)

After a week of experimenting, I’ve made my first massage oil blend. Dedicated to Vulture, it’s a blend to prepare for a transformation – letting go of the past, what has not served, releasing grief, anxiety and stress and consecrating for the change. It’s not the change itself – it’s the preparation and the work that has to be done – the letting go so you can feel free to cross over the bridge to the other side.

vulture_10245_md

Last night, Grenwinae gave me a massage using my oil blend I had put together, based on my thoughts on my Animal Guide, Vulture. At first he said it was nice smell, subtle. Than as time went on he finally said, “it’s kind of a … hm well a downer.” LOL!

As the night progressed, we ended up both having a bit of a cry over our situation – being stuck in separate states, money, waiting etc… – The next day in discussing it again, we both agreed the blend had a mellow sadness. Not full out despair but a quiet mourning.

EXACTLY what this is designed for! So this blend is not for the person who is already depressed and sobbing all the time. It’s not for hysteria and those who about ready to slip off the edge of their sanity due to racking loss. It’s designed for the stoic, the person who holds it all in, the person who refuses to let go but needs to let go. And the person who has done so much grieving, their heart is sore and empty. A time where the grief has become a mourning and you are ready to turn a corner.

Vulture’s Tears

2 ounces of carrier oil

6 drops Cypress (middle note) ~ overcome grief, sadness and loss,
brings understanding of our losses and sacrifices, useful in time of crises. Stimulates.

8 drops Juniper Berry (middle note) ~ cleansing and protection, release of grief,  calming, good for those emotionally exhausted.

6 drops Lime (top note) ~ calms hysteria and anxiety, cleanses the aura. Invigorating.

8 drops Frankincense (base note) ~ relieves depression, anxiety, grief.  Slow downs and calms breathing. Cleanses, purifies and consecrates.

turkey_vulture_head
Turkey Vulture – image from wikipedia

Vulture is about family – they live in communal groups and in the morning they face the rising sun, spreading their feathers in order to dry them.  She is often seen connected to Solar imagery. A Wind Rider, She conserves Her energy and uses the Earth and Wind to take Her where She needs to be. Turkey Vulture has keen eyesight and smell.

She may be passed over due to Her appearance, which many might find disgusting, but it is Her inner qualities that are important. Vultures often have a lack of feathers on their heads to prevent acquiring disease and parasites from the animals they eat. Vulture kills nothing yet her clean up duties prevents disease and thus provides an ultimate service to the human and animal web of life.

griffon_vulture
Griffon Vulture ~ image from wikipedia

She is the Handmaiden who prepares the flesh to make the great transformation of leaving the body and becoming spirit. Vulture, as a psychopomp, allows us to understand the need for death and decay in the cycle of birth and transformation.

I love how the Ancient Egyptians and Native Americans didn’t shy from Her work. It’s our modern distaste of facing the ending of our cycle of life which makes Vulture either a joke or repellent.

Nekhbet_temple
image from wikipedia

BTW the feather Maat used was that of an Ostrich, not a Vulture. However, Maat is depicted with wings thought to be a Vultures, and she was also accompanied by Vultures. Check out Nekhbet, the White Vulture goddess of Ancient Egypt.

Blending a Massage Oil with Essential Oils

How I put this all together….

When you first start testing a blend, I highly recommend using cottonballs or test strips to mix drops of essential oil before jumping into making a full blend. It will cut down on wastage of your essential oils, many of which are expensive. Personal preferences to smells varies considerably – I’d definitely do sniff tests to see which ones you personally like/dislike.

Be sure to read up on the essential oil you want to use and know if it has any negative effects on your health (i.e. pregnancy, arthritis, heart disease, liver disease, medications etc…). You might like to research what emotional and spiritual uses the essential oil has before using it.

For my blog, you can click the category Essential Oils & Herbs located on the right and it will show you a directory of posts of all the essential oils I’ve explored on the blog.

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The first step is to determine the blend itself by working with it in a concentrated format. To conserve your, sometimes, very expensive essential oils, you start mixing in small, concentrated amounts. Using directions from AromaWeb I  started with 2 tsp of carrier oil with the following essential oil mixture (previously cotton ball tested):

3 drops Cypress (middle note) ~ overcome grief, sadness and loss, brings understanding of our losses and sacrifices, useful in time of crises. Stimulates.

4 drops Juniper Berry (middle note) ~ cleansing and protection, release of grief, calming, good for those emotionally exhausted.

3 drops Lime (top note) ~ calms hysteria and anxiety, cleanses the aura. Invigorating.

4 drops Frankincense (base note) ~ relieves depression, anxiety, grief. Slow downs and calms breathing. Cleanses, purifies and consecrates. 

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Selected essential oils and carrier oil were mixed together
in a glass votive (photo shows another blend)

making_a_blend01

Notes are related to how quickly an essential oil evaporates – high notes first, middle next, base are last. For example, the top note (30 percent) is the smell  you will notice first, after a few hours, the middle notes (50 percent) will start to bloom, and lastly the base notes (20 percent) which may even linger for several days on your skin. BTW the percentages of the notes is an estimate recommended by AromaWeb.

This is why you might smell something you like at first and hours later go yuck. Or the converse can be true such as my experience with Cypress as an essential oil. It may take several days for the entire mixture to bloom as one unit.

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Mixing for a massage oil, I could go up to a maximum 30 total drops for 2 oz (60 ml) of carrier oil (ratio 2 tsp/10 ml to every 5 drops of EO) outlined in The Illustrated Guide to Massage and Aromatherapy, Catherine Stuart, editor. Remember,  if any of the oils you select are a skin irritant or is cautionary in use, you should always scale the drop dosage to lower than you might for another essential oil that doesn’t have issues.

For the final mixture I’ll use on my skin, I took the 14 drop mixture of the concentrated blend (above) and doubled it.

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A cotton ball soaks up the test blend and is put in a labeled plastic baggie.
2-3 days later if it pasts the sniff test, I make a 2 ounce sample (labeled) to work with.

making_a_blend02

Because I will be experimenting with my own blends, I bought 2 oz. plastic squeeze bottles (which holds 1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp or almost 60 ml of carrier oil). Preferably you will want dark, glass bottles to ensure your essential oils last a long time. These are experiments that will be used up quickly and I didn’t want a glass bottle on my bed or in the tub area. Metal containers will react unfavorably so do not use them to store your mixtures or use metal tools to stir your mixtures.

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Here are some possible substitutions (however, each substitute takes you farther from the smell and intention I originally designed so do your own research on meanings, uses and safety cautions):

Juniper Berry could be substituted with Tea Tree, Scotch Pine, or Roman Chamomile.

Lime could be substituted for another Citrus such as Lemon or one of the Oranges. I found the orange made it too sweet a smell for me but you might like it better than Lime.  You might try one from the mint family such as Bergamot. All of these are also phototoxic.

Another option for Frankincense could be Bergamot (phototoxic), Angelica Root, Cedarwood, Sandlewood, Patchouli, or even Vanilla.

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Although many of the components used are invigorating/stimulating, I didn’t find it difficult to fall asleep after use. This may differ for you so try it out. Remember, Lime can be phototoxic so if going out to the sun after use, make sure your body where the massage oil was applied is covered from sunlight.

Quiet bunny

When I pulled up to park in the driveway there was a young bunny sitting on the side yard. While I watched him, traffic went by, people went in and out of their homes, never noticing his presence.

I got to sit in the grass and watch him some more under the almost full moon before he decided enough was enough and took off.