Thursday, February 27, 2014

vision board spells

Something that I've been thinking about lately, is the way we can use visual tools to create spells (manifest our will) in our daily life.

In my Project Light Year course, the teacher, Liv, had us create a vision board for the year to set our intentions. She had us look over the board we created and look for themes. And then talked about how seeing a vision board as a means of setting your intentions out into the universe.

Ding, ding, ding...

To me this is clearly the language of spellworking. Don't you think?

I do. Which got me to thinking about how much I love the idea of creating a visual spell this way vs candlework. I'm not great at holding visuals for magical work (I'm working on it but I over complicate things so I get in my own way far too often... shocking I know)! But this, this is right up my alley because it allows me to juggle layers.

What do you think? I'm going to give it a go with that as a goal!


Friday, February 14, 2014

making peace with Valentine's Day

This morning I left a little token Valentine's Day gift for Mr Faye (a card and a big Hershey's kiss). It was nothing big. Just a little small gesture to say, hi, I see you and love you. Neither one of us is particularly big on the big gestures or Valentine's Day.

Probably because I'm a bit of a Scrooge about the day as I feel like it's a Hallmark Holiday. Maybe I spent too many years single to appreciate it. Or maybe I just feel like love should be celebrated every day instead of one particular day.

This year though, with Baby Faye taking over our day to day life, I thought that the little gesture was a good idea in the grand scheme of taking care of our partnership. I know that kids have a way of taking front and center, to the point that couples often lose sight of each other in the midst of the day to day of raising children. It's important to me that we don't do this as a couple, so I suspect I might start taking back holidays like Valentine's Day because they are a way to remember to see your partner.

Who knew?

And Mr Faye? Well he was actually quite touched. Surprisingly so. He was squishy all morning, with little love emails and facebook messages. I had no idea it would mean so much to him. And it makes me realize that the little gestures, even though I don't do them nearly often enough, are special and important because they can make your partner feel seen. Especially when you have a smushy one like I do.

So Valentine's Day, I guess I'm going to make my peace with you and be less Scroogey about the day in general.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

my complex non gendered deities

This post is in response to this article on feminism and the Goddess.

I'm Wiccan and ascribe to pretty much none of the modes of thinking that this author assumes are held by Wiccans. 

I cannot stand the triple goddess imagery as I find it ridiculously reductive. I am far more than a breeding machine. And for anyone who has ever studied gender theory, knows that the idea that our physical gender determines our gender identity is inherently flawed as it is based on cultural mores and societal lessons regarding gender roles. If you don't know the difference between the 3 gender terms I just threw out there, find yourself a Psych 101 textbook. It'll explain them to you better than I can in this space. 

I have had heated conversations, debates, almost arguments about this idea that the Goddess is this reductive passive vessel. 

Fuck that shit. 

Yeah, you read that right. I am more than that, so why wouldn't my Goddess be more complex than that. I don't buy into the tropes of gender that are implied by the triple goddess imagery and take issue with it when they are put upon me.

Which brings me back to the article's point. I agree with the author's stance. I just feel the need to clarify that as a Wiccan, I don't fall into the belief paradigm that she assumes of Wiccans. Do the majority of Wiccans believe in it the same way? I'm not sure. I know I've had a rather long drawn out conversation with a fellow pagan friend about this very topic and we never managed to come to an agreement on it. So I know that that belief paradigm is out there and I do think that the author makes good points about the way the goddess is often understood in pop paganism.  

Let the flogging begin now.

What do I mean by pop paganism? The very surface understanding of deity and paganism. The one in which the Great Rite is all about the God and Goddess having sex to fertilize the land as being a literal act that must be recreated every year, even symbolically. The traditions where the Goddess is some pretty nubile young thing, wearing her crowns and flowing gowns. (Don't get me wrong, I like the sparkle just fine... but...).

I think that many seekers get caught up in the imagery that seems to dominate the 101 books. Hell, even the 201 or 301 esque literature. But then again, I think that pop paganism clings to closely to the personification of deity, which is, in and of itself, in my opinion, hugely reductive and problematic. My deities are far more complex than a simple reproductive couple.

We're taught from a very young age to personify things. From pets and teapots to our deities. While it's lovely to learn to relate to the Goddess as Brighid or Isis, or the God as Odin or Apollo, I think we do our deities a huge disservice by trying to reduce them into archetypes and human like personalities. I know that we tend to do this so that we can better understand deity, but those pretty pictures we have on our altars or computer screens or during guided meditations are tools, not absolutes.

So in my opinion, when we try to reduce the Goddess into the triple goddess archetype, or some highly gendered role, we are missing the point. I follow a path that plays a lot with polarities: male/female, dark/light, above/below, etc. But here's the crux of it: as above, so below... in the end they are all one divided into infinite pieces of a whole. You and I are pieces of the whole, thus, just as you are more complex as a female/male, so to are your deities because you are them.

Look to yourself, your partner, your friend, your neighbour, etc. Those are your deities incarnated, seeking to remember and understand their full nature and potentiality. Subdivided into a multiplicity of identities, all seeking to experience themselves and remember how they fit into the whole.

I don't know about you, but I am more than the triple goddess. More than my gender. So to are my deities.


Monday, February 10, 2014

oil cleansing: potential eco diy facial routines

I first heard of oil cleansing ages ago but was reluctant to give it a try because I am prone to oily skin. But then I walked into my local Sephora (which I should never do because 7/8th of their products are loaded with chemicals I don't even want to know about and I have a weakness for sparkly things). But I did and I got pulled into a conversation with a Josie Maran makeup artist. She managed to sell me a bottle of the Argan Cleansing Oil. It's way too expensive, but I was on a baby break and looking to splurge on me.

Sometimes a girl needs a little luxury, especially when she's been feeling a little down (as I was at the time). Not now, don't worry!

But I'd been thinking about trying oil cleansing and the makeup artist/representative hit me at the right moment, so there you have it. Added bonus, it counts as one of the 1/8th of Sephora's products that aren't full of chemicals, so yay!

I've been using the oil on and off for about 2 months. I'm notoriously bad about regular face cleaning, particularly when I'm tired and not getting regular sleep.

At first the oil actually brought out my acne. I'd read about this being pretty normal, so I was (sort of) ok with it as I'd been prepared for it. But after the initial breakout, purging of toxins, my skin has been really smooth and clean. Even considering that I haven't been using it super regularly. And it makes my skin soft.

Now, I don't think you need to rush out and spend the money I spent on a fancy name brand product. Oil cleansing is pretty straightforward and you can use organic, cold pressed (apparently this is best) oils, though not coconut (causes major break outs), castor (it's really drying and apparently there are harvesting issues around it) or olive (causes break outs), on your face.

Hazelnut, jojoba, sweet almond, grapeseed, even sunflower oil seem to be great for oily to average skins. Crunchy Betty breaks down her recommendations here (worth looking at if you have questions or different skin types).

Or better yet, you could play with a blend of oils to target you particular skin needs. This of course would require a bit of research on oils and their benefits. (I totally took the lazy way out to start off with and I'm thankful for it)! The Josie Maran blends argan, safflower, almond and grapeseed oils and it seems to be doing the trick for me. Though I definitely need to add cream after as I do find it a bit drying. I'm not sure if that's the argan oil or just my skin adapting still (cause I'm not all that consistent about using it).

All in all, I'm slowly moving my daily cleansing routines away from commercial products and transitioning to simpler goodies and finding them to be more effective. Coconut oil toothpaste leaves my teeth feeling cleaner and oil cleansing facials leave my skin softer and less acne prone. Oil is a win in this house these days. Oh, and did I mention that coconut and almond oils are my go tos for Baby Faye. Yup. They work great.

Do you use oils for your daily routines? If so, any tips you'd care to share? I'm thinking about trying to add in some essential oils into the mix, cause you know I'm all over them these days too! Maybe a little lemon or tea tree into the facial oils when I start making my own...


Thursday, February 6, 2014

say no to monkey mind, just say no

Do you ever feel like life works in the most randomly beautiful ways? Like if you slow down the inner skeptic long enough, your intuition/the universe is there with answers and signs for you when you sometimes least expect it?

I do.

And lately, as I am finding my way back into my practice and developing my own path, I'm finding it easier and easier to notice how synchronicity is at work in my daily life, guiding me with more clarity than I've felt I've had in a while.

It's a beautiful thing. And it reminds me why I've always been someone who believes in the divine.

More importantly, it reminds me that when I get caught up in the head games, the inner should I, shouldn't I monologue of my over-active Monkey mind, I lose sight of the forest for the trees. When I let go and find my inner calm, I flow more and am more open to the lessons, hints, nudges, and general love the universe is offering up to me on a daily basis.

It's a beautiful, yet simple gift, but one that I struggle to remember far too often. I feel like my new life mantra should be: just say no to the monkey mind, just no. Step away and let go of it. Maybe I'll paint myself a sign to hang up in craft room, or better yet, for the mirror in my bedroom so I see it every day, repeatedly!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

art journal: inspirations and moons

Random art journal pages, based on what has been inspiring me during my practice:

I cast my first full moon circle, alone, for the first time in ages in January. OMG I've missed circle time. I've missed that practice. After spending a good amount of the Yule season freaking about about spirituality and practice, it was so amazing to come back to my practice and be reminded, yes, this is what it's all about. I needed it. Rather desperately I think.

My biggest fear about going it alone is that I'll stop having the diligence to do the work and the circles, and thus lose my sense of connection. Some of you might not need circles to feel connected, but I do. It's my place to remember and feel the Goddess in my life full force.

For those of you who don't cast circles, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do to celebrate the moons/sabbats or holidays that you opt to celebrate?

Monday, February 3, 2014

daily meditation art journaled

I've been slowly sneaking in more time for creativity in my daily life.

Just letting the page stand as it it, as a reflection of my morning musings/emotions and working on noticing the flow of emotions during the seasons of moon. Today's page was created with the Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Aquarius

On another note, I signed up for this class after the universe sort of hand delivered it onto my lap, and I'm pretty stoked about it:

Project Light Year: a Soulful Journey to Your Brightest Year Yet with Liv Lane
find out more here