Tuesday, January 29, 2013

what my daily practice is looking like lately

Lately I've been shifting things around quite a bit in my practice, tailoring it to work for me.

Obviously this is NOT part of my daily practice, just pretty! 
 In the past a lot of my daily practice has centered around quite a bit of Hermetics. And while this gave me an excellent foundation for a few years, this just isn't working for me these days.

In fact, lately I find myself very adamant about changing things up in my life and redefining my priorities in more pronounced ways.

In terms of my daily practice this means that I've pretty much abandoned the Hermetic stuff for now and have shifted things into a practice that is much simpler but far more emotionally evocative to me.

Here's how I start my days lately:

  • Devotionals to the God and Goddess, the Watchers and the Mighty Dead
  • Self-blessing
  • Yoga (20 minutes of practice)
  • Prayer/Conversation with Aradia and Kernunnos in which I ask them to help me today (remember to see the divine in everyone I come across, to act with kindness and in line with the respect of individual divinity and experience of said divinity, and then offer up prayers for people I know who need help in their lives right now, always with an eye to respecting that they get what they need, not what I think they need)
  • Tarot divination
  • Closing devotional prayer.

All in all this takes me around 40 minutes to an hour. It's not a quick practice and not for everyone, I know. But right now, it's really working for me and I'm going through my day with much more tranquility and grace than I've experienced in a while. I suspect that I'll have to change it down the road as my needs change, but for now I dig it.

Out of curiousity, for those of you who do a daily practice, what are you doing? You know, so I can copy you if it so inspires me?!


Friday, January 25, 2013

update: I'm more preggers than anticipated


 Meet Baby Faye... Apparently he's (yes he) is 16 weeks, not 13. This is what happens when you have a messed up moon cycle. And yes, he's a boy. We're sure. We got an excellent shot of his junk. And apparently I shouldn't say that out loud because he can hear me now.

Crazy. Just fracken' crazy!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

playing with paint again

Oh Art Journaling, how I've missed you.

Slowly but surely I'm getting my creative groove back and with it, my sense of contentment in life. If you read the text in the pictures you'll find I'm writing a lot about my crazy hormones and me seeking balance, that too will pass I'm sure... But hey, that's just where I'm at right now and part of what I want to focus on this year and in my spiritual evolution in general is keeping track of what I'm going through right now.

I pulled out some tools for this piece... my stamps, stencils and water for textured effects. So fun.

I don't know. I don't care what form it takes but I think that we all have a creative piece inside that needs nourishing. It could be baking or photography or web design or music, but without the regular practice of it we lose track of just how much that creativity can nourish us when things get rough or just how rough things can feel when we're not taking care our whole soul. You know?


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

and we have a belly

Want to see something freaky?

Of course you do... cause let's face it... inquiring minds and all that!

So last week was the last week that I was able to comfortably (sort of) where my every day clothes:

Say farewell non prego pants, we're moving to elastic waists

 Why? Well just take a gander at this:

And there you have it, I have a prego belly. This shit is becoming real and I'm excited and freaked all at the same time. Did I tell you that I heard the baby's heartbeat last week? Yeah. And today I'm going for an ultrasound and will get to see the wee one. Amazing and crazy all wrapped into one big rounding belly that just feels fat right now even if it doesn't necessarily look that way.

And did you know that prego ladies run at a higher temperature? Yeah. They do. I'm in -30 weather (Celsius, don't ask me what that is in Fahrenheit cause I don't know) and I'm pulling off layers while everyone is adding them. Only 1.5 weeks ago I was freezing all the time. I don't even want to imagine what menopause is like...


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

recent creative endeavours

Ok, these are some art journal pages/sketches that I've working on lately:

I'm being maybe a bit more honest emotionally than I tend to be on the blog with my art journal pages, but you know what, this is just where I'm at right now. I'm blaming it on my hormones but yeah, I've had easier winter months before but I'm sure it'll balance out soon enough.

Besides, to be quite honest, I've always felt a little off kilter with the world, slightly out of sync. I suspect that this is fairly common within the pagan community and isn't all that surprising given that many of are working with a world view that isn't always akin to the majority around us. But these days I'm feeling very contemplative about things and this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately cause my hormones are making me crazy.  :)

On a more upbeat note.... playing with fairies:

I'm not happy with the mouth. I really need to work on my ability to draw mouths. One day I mean to take an official, learn to draw course... cause I can only go so far with my dabbling. One day. I challenged myself to do something out of my comfort zone as part of my One Little Word project of the year, maybe taking myself to an art course and being the bumbling art student will be it...

We'll see.

But in the end, I'm just happy that I'm starting to get back into the creative habit!


Monday, January 21, 2013

one litte word 2013: story

This year I signed up for another round of One Little Word. Last year I chose the word balance and struggled with it throughout the year. While I didn't do any scrapbooking around the word, aside from the intro page, it was very much a year about balance for me. In some ways I failed, in others I was successful.

I suppose that's just the way life goes.

This year I chose story for a multitude of reasons (read the linked post if you're curious). Here are the start pages I created for this year's word, along with the intentions I've set for myself:

Are you doing the word thing this year? If so, what did you choose? Are you incorporating it into the pagan stuff, merging it in, or keeping it separate? Inquiring minds want to know!


Friday, January 18, 2013

rune sticks

Druid Sticks Celtic Inlay  Boxed Set
Image Source

So I just bought myself some geomancy sticks on Etsy. I'm really excited about them because I think they're beautiful.

This is a whole new type of divination practice for me and I'm excited about venturing into a new school of divination.

In the past I've used the Norse Runes,  the Celtic Tree Oracle, the Haindl tarot, Angel Cards, and the Thoth tarot. But I've always veered away from the simplicity of systems like the IChing or Rune Sticks because in some ways the sticks seem too abstract (which is ironic really cause they're very concrete as a system).

Anyways, I can't wait to get the sticks and start playing with them. I'm excited about learning a new form of divination.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eco baby

You know, it seems so easy but it's harder than it looks to resist all the cute baby stuff. OMG there's a lot of cute baby stuff out there! Seriously. And baby shoes. They just kill me, much to Mr Faye's amusement.

But I'm committed to the idea of being as sustainable as I can when it comes to baby stuff. Here's what I'm doing so far:
  • Accepting hand me downs (crib, high chair, etc). Can I afford the new stuff? Yes and no, but given all the scary stuff about gas off setting from new products, I feel like used is better because it's not adding to the landfills and it's minimizing the toxins (to some degree).
  • I've informed all immediate family members that we're working on a 1 in, 1 out rule when it comes to toys. And we've shared our values in terms of over-consumption with the family in order to forewarn them of the iron fist attitude that is going to be put in place. So far, our parents (mine and his) are very on board. My parents because it's part of their philosophy and his because our nephews have so much and my in-laws are pretty disgusted by it. (shhh... I didn't share that on the internet). We plan on starting a savings account for the baby and we've told everyone that we want to limit gifts to 1 toy only per occasion. If they want to do more they can deposit into the savings account and we'll keep a record of who gave what so that when the kid wants to use the money to travel the world or go to university, it'll know who to thank. (yes, I did just call my baby it).
  • Buying 2nd hand baby clothes. Seriously, go visit your local second hand store. You'll be amazed by how much cute, good quality stuff is there, for really cheap prices. That sleep jumper you bought for like $40, I got for $1.99.
  • I'm committed to cloth diapers. Yes there's still the washing with the water issue but that's better than the landfill issue, to me at least. I'm currently looking at buying them 2nd hand, slowly over the next few months.

That's what I've got so far. Any suggestions that I might have missed? I'm new at this and still willing to take advice!


Friday, January 11, 2013

art and post 2012

So, slowly but surely I'm getting back into my creative groove. I'm feeling rusty but that's ok.

 I'm not looking to win any great prize for my creative endeavours.

Right now I'm just trying to take time during my lunch breaks to make time for some art. The college is quiet so I can stay in my office and draw without students knocking on my door (most of the time), so it's a good way (for me at least), to get back into the groove of things.

For now I'll do what I can, during those breaks, while I can, just to inspire and nurture my creativity again. I'm shying away from any hard and solid commitments at the moment in an effort to be gentle with myself at this point in time. And I'm just focusing on where I'm at in my life right now as I journal. And right now, well that's just, as much as I want it to be more, it's baby on the brain.

On the other hand though, I've been watching the Idle No More movement with great fascination and hope lately. One of the student groups that I work with is Native students so I feel deeply invested in this dialogue not only for myself but also for my students. And I'm humbled by the thought that I'm witnessing something that has such huge potential for change right now in the way Canada treats its Native population. Fingers crossed, candles lighted, and prayers said that this movement leads to healing and positive change.

In fact, I have to admit that the post Mayan 2012 era feels more positive than I anticipated. No, I never expected the world to end, rather I saw this turn of the calendar as a time of transition wherein the course of human history had the potential to shift positively or negatively, dependent on humanity.

Perhaps my hormones and my invested hope for the future have made me overly optimistic. Maybe I refuse to allow for any other option. But honestly, some of the things I've been watching/listening to on the news, outside of boring pop culture junk, have been very inspiring to me lately because they reaffirm the notion that one person or small group of people can make huge differences, from changing Native discourse in our nation, to being willing to risk their lives to help a pod of Orca whales. My hormonal self finds that inspiring these days. Yup, it makes me feel positively Pollyanna-esque with hope for the future from the most unexpected places. (I may be in a bubble right now, but don't burst it cause you might make me cry... I'm pretty moody)!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the habit of creativity vs other things

If you don't use it, do you lose it?

Lately I've been wondering about this in relation to my art journaling.

kitty faye and I have been spending a lot of time cuddling together while I read or watch movies, or, more importantly, I nap!
I don't think the answer is as simple as the question seems. I don't know that you ever really lose a skill or ability, although it may fade and become rusty. No, I think what happens more often than not is that you fall out of the habit of the thing. You forget to make time for it and so it sort of falls to the wayside and becomes something that you think of less and less as an option to fill in those moments of your day.

Instead those moments become consumed by other endeavours, healthy or unhealthy as the case may be. TV, fitness, reading... You name it. The habit of doing something creative with your time becomes less of a habit and more of a chore because it's something you feel like you should be doing but don't necessarily crave anymore because other things have taken up that space in your life.

But here's the thing: the other day I started sketching again and it was like riding a bike or sinking into an old familiar chair or warm bath. My body has been craving it even while my mind has forgotten how much creativity fills me and nurtures me.

So now I'm in a zone where I'm having to fight off the habit of not being creative and remember to make time for creativity in my life on a regular basis. I'm dragging my heels a bit, I'll be honest, but I'm also starting to get excited for new projects and recognizing the light at the end of the sleep hazy first trimester tunnel.

Second trimester baby, I can feel it, it's going to be a crafty bonanza! Stay tuned for the shenanigans. Only 1.5 weeks left to go and I'm sleeping less every day now...


Friday, January 4, 2013

quote of the week

via pinterest
So true. So very, very true.

And with that comes the big reveal of my word for 2013, because really, to me at least, the above quote just encapsulates a little of what I'm looking for this year: story. This year my goal is to create stories in my life that reflect the life I aspire to live and the person I aspire to be.

When I went home in November, I had a bit of a life freak out as I pondered fertility issues, the fact that 26 is just around the corner, and that I'm living a very traditional life in surburbia. I have always been someone who defined herself, to some extent, as being a person who doesn't follow the beaten path and yet, in many ways over the course of the last 7 years as I've settled into career and marriage, I feel like the beaten path has become all to easy and comfortable to fall into.

Ironically, the issue that prompted this re-evaluation was a fertility issue that was at the time actually becoming a moot point. Now however, the questions that I was asking myself then and the reality that I'm facing this year begs the question even more: how do I continue to live a life that is true to me, my aspirations, and the life I want to create for myself and my little family?

So I chose story as my word because I want to remember to get off the beaten track and back to my true self. Sometimes it'll be easy and be a matter of making simple changes like setting up a compost bin this summer and choosing the eco bamboo flooring when we finish the basement. Other times it'll be fun, like remembering to get out, big prego belly and all, to see live shows in local venues so that we don't get caught in the boring married people rut.

But other times I know I'm going to struggle more, sometimes because I'm struggling to force myself out of my comfort zone and other times because it's going to mean more conflict between me and the world my husband's family lives in. But such is life and a life worth living, as far as I'm concerned, is full of bumps, curves, and leaps of faith. And more so now than ever, I think it is so important for me to remember to walk the talk and create a place in the world that reflects the person I want to be and the type of person I want to raise.

So story, here I come and I think it's going to be great! Because let's face it, this year is about choosing not to settle for anything less than a life story that is quirky and wonderful!


Yule Goals

Halloween goals update: Most accomplished (didn't finish the Tree of Life art journal pages and Mom failed on her end of the family album so that fell out my hands.

As for daily practice, I admit complete defeat in the face of pregnancy exhaustion. But it's a new year and I'm starting fresh now that all my travel, family, exhaustion have passed.

From Yule to Imbolc here's what's on my plate:

My backyard covered in snow and feeling very wintery!
So that's it for now. A little later than anticipated, but whatever, sometimes life and family and everything else gets in between my blogging intentions and living and well, living wins!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

pagan baby room theme: owls

The bean is out of the closet!

Over the holidays we were outed by relatives (who knew they'd be the ones who couldn't keep their mouths shut, not me)!  At this point, I'm just holding off from the wider friend announcement until I tell my boss first.

But on to even more exciting thoughts.... I'm starting to think about the baby room and I've decided to do an owl theme. I want something that is gender neutral (no pinks or blues), no pastels, but is fun and colourful.

Images from Pinterest

I like the idea of surrounding our little bean with wise owls and colours that represent vitality, earth, tranquility and energy. I'm digging it and Mr Faye is resigned to whatever I choose! Oh yeah, victory is mine... that is, until he starts working on his man cave (aka basement) and he starts demanding carte blanche.

Any other suggestions (keeping in mind my preference for whimsical, colourful, and subtle pagan touches)?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

post Yule pagan decor update

So the last of the family left this morning and life post Yule season settles back into the regular routines as of tomorrow.

Before I start cleaning (I don't want to, please don't make me), I thought I'd share some of my holiday pagan inspired touches because I've been sneaking stars everywhere! These are my fav additions so far:

Star garlands for the dining room

My sister in law came over and helped me cut tons of these stars, which I then sewed together into garlands. Don't ask about the tangled mess they became in the short distance between my craft room to the dining room. It's a mystery to me!

Star tree topper

Traditionally in my family we've always had a bulb like thing on the top of our tree, so the star is a big change up for me. I know, it's the little things that don't seem like much but that actually are...

Also in keeping with my subversive pagan undertones added into my Yule time decor are our stocking holders, which are deer and make me think of the Horned God.

I like the idea of infusing my holiday decor with subtle reminders that keep the season sacred for me, but not necessarily in an over the top way that needs to be shared with everyone. For me, much of my spirituality is about the subtle stuff, the things that remind me that the God and Goddess are with us in even the smallest, subtlest of ways. That's my thing and I dig it because ironically I find that I remember the sacred more when it manifests in the minutiae. But I might be the exception to the rule...