Monday, June 24, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 21

This week's prompt: Solstice

What does the Solstice mean to you? How do you celebrate it? How does it affect you as you transition into the summer months (or winter, depending on where you are)?

Having grown up on the west coast, Summer was always a hit and miss time of year. It was great when it was sunny, but it rained a lot, which meant that I really appreciated those hot days by the water. Nowadays I live in an area that very much has four seasons and I find summer to be far more pronounced in this region. Days when it reaches 32 C plus humidity are far more common in this area. It's a time of lazy summer days, less likely by the water though, which sucks!

I love summer. Waking up to warm days and cool, shady breezes. It's a time of harvesting the fruits and enjoying them; literally and spiritually. I'm so happy to see the wheel turn and to be giving birth in this time of abundance.

I hope you all have a lovely Solstice this week! This is likely to be my last circle for a while, so I know I'll be sure to make the most of it!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Life Around Here Right Now

Around here, lately:

Much of my time lately has been all about getting ready for baby Faye. From prepping our cloth diapers, refinishing the cradle we were given, adding decor to the light in the nursery (string and washi tape) and getting my belly done in a henna tattoo. I never thought I'd share a photo of my belly on the web, but I guess these are the things that pregnancy does to you...

Enjoying the indiosyncracies and joys of summer! From ducks adapting to their environment and virgin margaritas! I swear, my love of citrus based anything has gotten out of control. If this baby comes out with an orange in his mouth, I won't be surprised!

Between the 2 of us, (cat and I) we've been relaxing and taking things easy. Life is slowing down, which is not always all that easy for yours truly, but my pregnant body has been conspiring to make sure that I keep this in mind. The other day I attempted to do too much and paid for it dearly the next day. Suffice to say, these days have been about doing 1 project a day, napping, reading, eating well, and just trying to enjoy the calm before the storm.

Even Mr Faye is on board with this... we've taken to trying to find time to do the little things, like taking a bike ride to the river and just enjoying the sun, or going out for dinner on a patio and a walk along the river with ice cream (slowly cause I can't walk fast without losing my breath), and just relaxing and reading together. It's been quiet but soothing.

Only 2-3 weeks to go... (Baby Faye seems content to not be a super Moon baby).

Happy Full Moon.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

sunrise meditations

It's early in the morning as I write this. I've been up since 3am and my internal clock is completely out of whack.

watching the sun rise in my back yard

While normally I would begrudge my body for dragging me out of bed so early, today I don't mind so much because I'm watching a beautiful, fresh, spring sunrise for the first time after what feels like a long stretch of rain. And it's reminding me that in the grand scheme of things, this is what matters, not all the other hoopla going on in the big bad world around me.

Do you ever have those moments?

Lately I feel like the world has been too much with me; like the world has just been filled with too much woe and angst, as if every story I hear has been one that brings frustration, disillusionment, or sadness. I know it's a phase and it's an interesting one to be going through in juxtaposition with the celebration of life I'm also experiencing at the moment.

I live in a province that has garnered far too much negative media attention (deservedly so) in recent months (hell, year). All of which has made me feel like people are back-tracking into conservative, fundamental, and xenophobic attitudes. And yet, while the "whole" seems this way, individuals belie this over-simplification of the matters at hand. The media stories of hate and intolerance are not the things that I hear coming from my neighbours' mouths, nor my families or friends. The public voices in the media do not represent the people in the world around me and it's so important that I remember this in the midst of the storm otherwise I end up feeling overwhelmed by despair for the world I'm about to bring my son into.

For a long time I debated whether or not to have children because I have struggled with the legacy that our children will be left with in their generation. I do not think that life, despite all of our technological advancements, will be easier for the next generations.

As I watch the sunrise, I'm comforted and saddened at the same time. I hope, beyond hope, that I will be able to give my son those moments of awe and connection with nature in the midst of a chaotic world that far too often leads us away from remembering who we are and what is really important.

I hope that each one of you out there, today, has a moment when you can stop in the midst of the chaos of daily life, to hear the birds sing, smell fresh air and feel cool breezes on your body, while seeing nature, in all her glory, and be reminded of how beautiful and marvelous the world is beyond the nonsensical drama that we create.


Monday, June 17, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 20

This week's prompt: Trusting Your Magical Self

How easy has it been for you to learn to trust your magical nature/voice/self? What do you do to help you develop magical confidence? Or was this never an issue for you?

I've struggled a bit in believing myself, even while not having as much difficulty believe in others. And yet, I do believe that we're all capable (though some of us have more latent vs developed skills). As I grow and see what is possible, I feel that the trust has started to come more easily.

Monday, June 10, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 19

This week's prompt: Gratitude

Do you think it's important to remember gratitude in your daily life? Or in general? If so, what do you do to express that gratitude?

I strongly believe that remembering to be grateful helps us appreciate our lives all that much more. I started up a practice a while ago to keep track of the little things I was grateful for, but have since changed it up to make it even simpler (see May goals).


Friday, June 7, 2013

around here this week


June 1st to 7th
Sun in Gemini
Moon in Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini

New Moon in Gemini on June 8th

I'm currently cooking up a storm. I promised myself that I would try to make at least one freezer meal per weekend up until Baby Faye's birth. Last weekend I made tortillas for the first time. 
One of the things that I'm really working on lately is moving away from overly processed, pre-packaged foods. I rely a little to much on them when things get hectic in my life and I'd like to change that. To do this, I'm trying to make meals in advance that I can just defrost when life gets busy.

Also up this past weekend, I tried my hand at a Middle Eastern Rice and Beans recipe and Chipotle Bean Burritos. The burritos were definitely not spicy enough (added way more spice and salsa). Overall things were good though. I was going to try my hand at naan bread for the middle eastern recipe but life got busy so I bought it instead. Next time. Two steps forward, one step back...


I wanted to upcycle some vinyl that came from a recent purchase so I took this:

To this:

To finally this:

 A travel diaper change mat. Once again, proud to say that I made this entire project out of odds and ends I had stored in my crafty stash. I know, it's starting to sound like I have this magic tickle trunk (this is a very Canadian reference so follow this link if you don't get it and want more info) full of goodies but I swear that the supply isn't as big as it seems.

I'm still working on the logistics of a cleaning "schedule" in my life. I found this idea, which I like because it's a little more flexible. Still thinking my way through it, while observing my home and what needs to be done in it on a regular basis.


Currently taking a break from some of my fluff reading habits (I just finished 2 books that were so awful I can't even mention having read them, blech). Right now I'm reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. It's a book I've had on my to read list for far too long. It's good. Not great, but good. The dialect is a bit challenging at first, but you get used to it. I'm about halfway through and really curious about where she's going with her extended metaphor.

Thinking, Realizing & Feeling: 
So I've been working on taking walks these days. Here's a photo from one of my latest adventures:

Ironically, just as I made the decision to leave my group, I've actually found myself a lot calmer and at peace with the group. Suffice to say, I'm just going to re-examine things post mat leave to figure out where I'm at then.

I find it interesting though how the minute I stop fighting, I find contentment. As if, now that I'm not so attached to the result, I'm less disturbed by my feelings of detachment from the group. I'm more ok with being on the fringe, taking what I need, and allowing the dynamic to be what it is.

I'm sure there's a life lesson in there for me somewhere, something to do with my need to control things too much instead of going with the flow. But instead of over-analyzing it at this point in my life, I'm just going to let it be what it is for now.

I've got bigger fish to fry and things to worry about, this doesn't have to be one of them, you know?

That's it for now. Hope you have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book of Shadows: Scrapbooked Herbal Knowledge

One of the goals I wanted to work on this turn of the wheel was to create more BOS pages. I've managed to get 2 done so far.

The first one is based on a collection of information I pulled together from various sources in regards to herbs (etc) while I was researching what I wanted to plant in my garden.

The next is based on some elemental work that I'm doing lately, combined with their associated plants (etc):

 It was actually a great refresher to go back over the material again and synthesize it all in order to create these pages.

The information for these pages comes from: Culpepper's, Penczak, Cunningham's, Fortune, Greer, and various online sources that I really didn't keep track of, my bad.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May: Gratitude Journal

This month I re-started a project but with a new art journaling spin: a Gratitude Calendar.

Honestly, I loved doing it! It was a really good exercise for me this month, especially as I started to get bigger and more hormonal (and sometimes crankier... only sometimes though.... ).

Here's how I did it:

Instead of writing right into my art journal page, I kept track of things in my agenda. I photographed an example from a page that didn't have other stuff in it (or blurred it out with stars and glasses of water). I'm using my Maynard's Celestial Guide more and more these days for keeping track of my practices and opted to use it to for my gratitude keeping as well. The agenda is small and versatile enough to stay in my purse every day, so I don't tend to lose track of the exercise that often. Though, to be honest, there were a few days I had to go back and revisit from memory. I found it much harder to remember the small stuff when I did that. In fact, when I did it the day of, I found that I had a lot to be grateful for, more than I could fit into my little journaling square!

From there I copied it into my journal page on a semi regular basis:

 In the past I would have carried my art book with me, so I would have done it in there, but since I've started using my agenda to record other aspects of my practice, I've found it to be a better alternative.

It works for me right now, so that's what I'm going with for the moment!

I can't wait to start on my June pages. In fact, I'm thinking they're going to be pink. Like electric pink. Oh yeah baby! Cause lets face it, once Baby Faye is in the picture I'm going to spend the rest of my life battling the blue invasion...


Monday, June 3, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 18

This week's prompt: Solitary

Are you a solitary practitioner? Do you work with friends or in a coven? How important is it to your practice to work alone or with others?

This is something that I've been thinking about a lot over the past months because I've always longed for community. In fact, the idea of voluntarily giving up community just isn't something that I find easy to do.

So I've been contemplating a lot on the issue. What do you think about being a solitary witch. How do you find people who share your path and stimulate spiritual conversations? Do you feel a need for that in your life?