Sunday, September 4, 2016

Closing up shop and moving homes.

I have decided, after much thought, to close down this blog. I don't feel that is speaks to where I am at and for some reason, the weight of my past posts feel a bit confining and I long for a new space to start fresh in.

If you're so inclined, you can find me over here: 8taaras

Sunday, August 21, 2016

the spiritual mirror of a 3 year old

The geese are flying and quacking above me (note: do geese quack? honk? bray? Because braying seems most accurate sometimes!) and evenings and mornings are starting to get cooler. Fall is in the air even though it's still brutally hot around here.

My boys are asleep still and fingers crossed, L will give me until 7am today after the chaos of yesterday. Oh the 3s people. The threes. People tell you about them but man are they an emotional rollercoaster ride. The highs are higher and the lows, so much lower.

L can veer from being so indescribably amazing and endearing "mama that's amazing, you did a good job" to infuriating as he pitches another tantrum over the thing he said he wanted no longer being what he wanted. Of course it's all boundary testing, insecurity, and independence. We go from wanting complete autonomy to reverting to younger behaviours in order to feel reassured that the parentals are still there.

And then there are the things he is absorbing from the world around him. Like playing guns (grrr) and saying he doesn't cry like a baby as he cries (quadruple grrr) that I am attempting to balance out even while I notice the things he's taking from us that make me uncomfortable.

This motherhood gig, let me tell you, is the best spiritual test/practice I've ever had. And lately, the 3s are making me feel like I'm failing to live up to all of my ideals and values.


And I know this is normal. People wouldn't gripe about the 3s as much as they do if they weren't so challenging for everyone.

But I am trying to be mindful, even in the haze of frustration and exasperation. I am trying to remember how my reactions are informing his. That when I lose my patience and yell that teaches him to yell and scream (which I don't do but is clearly linked to the idea that raising the volume to be heard is how we deal with not being listened to or heard). He's a constant mirror and reminder of my actions and reactions, which is a blessing and a curse.

He is also now awake and rooting through the rocks in our garden and eyeing up the snails, so I must be off...


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

tarot workshop and new cards

So I signed up for a tarot workshop with Susannah Conway, 78 mirrors, and it's seriously not good for my tarot love. I mean, it's good but it's adding fuel to my must have them all, now card obsession.

Generally I have been good with one deck at a time. First the Haindl tarot deck and now, since the universe decided that I'd outgrown the deck, the Thoth tarot deck. I find the Thoth a challenging deck but one that works well with my teachings. I find the deck a bit tricky and sassy at times, which I suppose, is in keeping with Crowley's energy, so there's that.

I've often considered getting a new deck though and this course is feeding that desire by exposing me to all these amazing decks. I admit it, my husband is going to kill me when he finds out but I've just purchased the Shadowscapes tarot deckRadiant Rider-Waite deck (mainly for study purposes), and the Mary-El tarot deck.

Amazing and so exciting. I can't wait!

But wait for it...

I'm also eyeing up the Lumina tarot deck but thank god it's out of stock at the moment cause I love the look of it a lot!

The process has me drawing daily cards, which is something I think will be good for me in terms of reconnecting (or connecting) with my deck and practice. I've had a hard time with this deck even though it gives good readings because I often find it hard to make the readings concrete. Hopefully working with it intentionally will help form a better ability to ground my readings and understand them because I really miss using my tarot.

And if that fails, well... I'll have a bunch of other decks to choose from!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

on the nature of privacy and blogging

I have to admit it, I've really let my practice dwindle since having a child. Sometimes I wonder if this space is worthwhile in my life or if I should just let it go. The age of just blogging for the sake of blogging seems dead in so many ways and I'm really not sure that I'm interested in any othere type of blogging.

I debate closing this space or making it private or just putting it all out there. None of these options fully appeal to me.  I have things I want to write about. I like writing and actually miss it.  That said, I feel incredibly censored writing in this space. I know it's just a small corner of the cyber world, but given that I work in education, I often feel like it's just not appropriate to be that wide open. I would love to say that I'm pagan and proud, but the fact of the matter is, being openly pagan professionally just isn't really an option that I want to deal with in my life.

I am an active member of a coven. The reality is that I am actively practicing my faith. I'm actively practicing my faith to the point that it is a way of life that often makes me feel like I have more in common with devout Christians or Muslims or Buddhists than I do with some (***many***) pagans. Sorry, not sorry, if that offends some of you but the fact is, I am Wiccan. I'm not pagan, new age, or spiritual. I believe in the God and the Goddess in ways that are far too often misrepresented in pop-paganism. And often, for that reason, it is very uncomfortable for me to be openly pagan as much of what is seen as Wicca has little or nothing to do with my own practice and belief system.  It often feels like what is commonly understood as being Wiccan is a series of things that I'm busy downplaying in order to be taken seriously. (And yes, I recognize that that statement is problematic, no need to flame me over it). But the thing is, in order to have street cred in the professional world, there is a necessary scientific world view that one has to manifest in daily life for said credibility. This often makes me feel a little jealous of openly devout members of other faiths as the way is clearer for them, while at the same time appreciating that there is a sacrifice being made on their part, one which quite likely, knowingly or not, impacts the views others have of them.

All of this contributes to my self-censorship. It is, in many ways, a necessary evil.

Would writing privately make me feel safer? Would I feel like I could stop filtering myself? I feel like maybe, but if I do that, I suspect that I would be writing to myself (not entirely a bad thing and honestly, often how blogging often feels) but part of me wants to heard and to share. I'm a talker. I like communication.

Le sigh.

Right? Seriously first world, white privilege problems. I should just suck it up and shut up and reclaim this space. Because somewhere along the line, I let myself lose this space.

What's up with that?

Is Faye Dewell, despite being a mirror of my actual real identity, ever really going to be traced back to me by anyone who ever cares?   Probably not. Are my photos ever going to get cross referenced on google images? Maybe? I could check I suppose and make decisions on what I post image wise based on that. But other that than?  I should just stop with the fricken angsting and get on with it.

Right? Right!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

life lately

Things I've been up to lately: 

1. Being girly 


I feel pretty 😛


My skin is a bit red and shiny but oh so soft. 

2. Planting and tending a garden

Poppies, lavender and alliums oh my!

3. Traveling for work:

Have I mentioned that I currently love my job? They sent me to an enviro conference to brainstorm Eco activities for the next year!

4. Being amused and exasperated by my child:

Mr L trying out his fashion sense. 

5. Co-hosting general awesomeness for work:

And oh so much more but them's the recent highlights. 

stopping to breathe

It's been a crazy half year. My new job is great but demanding and I've been finding it hard to balance all the extras beyond every day life into some sort of quasi routine. 

Even mini art journaling has taken way longer than ever before. It's ok, but sometimes frustrating because I miss having art time. 

Currently taking a few days off in order to do just that. 

Hope all is well with those of you still here 😀

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

front garden plans

Currently working out my summer garden. I know that I want something that has a wild English garden type of feel (the cottage version, not the prim and proper manicured version).

This is what I have as a layout:

Now I just need to figure out what plants to add into the mix. I have hostas already in the garden running along the driveway (see the rock/circular plant section) and some lavender in the section below the porch/house section. We also have some ground covering artemesia (I can't remember which variation). Our soil is loamy (clay) raised beds are necessary.

Aside from how daunting a new garden project feels (kind of like scrapbooking did when I started), I'm trying to figure out how too integrate the hosta river rok line into the English garden so that it flows nicely. Mr Faye thinks we should run rocks in front of the "wild" garden to pull it together. I'm not sure if I like the idea. But even more than that, I'm just having a hard time visualizing it, which is why I tried an app to create the image above. Unfortunately the app can only do so much to help with that and has limited plant options so I can't pull together the plants I'd like. All I can recreate are colours and textures to some extent.

This is the kind of look that I have in mind. With ferns and hostas on the side of the house because we don't have much light there (added problem, our neighbour put up a 6 foot fence along the side of his house so that cuts the light even more).

Or maybe this:

Slowly but surely, I'll figure it out. Of course, then there's the question of soil to go with it all. I'm going with the premise that rich and well drained should hopefully cover all the bases and be a good neutral.

With all the overtime I've worked this year, I have most of the summer off so I'm looking forward to the garden adventure.

I'm also chipping away at the broken finishing that was done to our stairs, like a coat of finishing concrete over the concrete.  It was done poorly and has been chipping ever since so now I'm removing it (quite labour intensive) so that I can stencil my stairs.

These are some of the looks I'm considering. I think I'll stick with a grey backdrop with a white stencil as it won't be overkill and take away from the flowers. I love tiled stair mosaics but Mr Faye made a good point when he noted that all the snow shovelling would kill the tile work:

I'm eyeing up the stencil on the bottom right I think but the site has so many amazing stencils that I'm going back and forth. I love the colours, which I think is what is drawing me to this particular design.


Friday, April 15, 2016

this morning's little ironies

Do you ever wonder at the fact that we spend countless energy and parental shaming telling parents they need to clip in and harness our children just so to ensure their safety only to put them in school buses with no seat belts?

This morning I was struck by the irony as a bus lurched forward, children balancing their way down the aisles, as the vehicle started moving. 

Something is seriously wrong when parents are shamed for the car seat choices yet we turn a blind eye to society's choices when we entrust them with our children. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

working the work

I've been reading Ophiel's The Art of Astral Projection and am quite enjoying it. Definitely a recommended book, despite some of the chattiness of the text. I think he makes some great points for consideration. 

I've been meditating in is the act of patience and diligence while learning the craft.  Far too often, as he himself notes, it's too easy to get derailed in a practice because it doesn't come easily, is too much work or we muck up while learning it. 

I catch myself falling into this trap all the time. And yet, it's only in making mistakes that we learn. The road to success isn't paved in ease, it's paved in failure (so to speak). 

So I'm walking my route every day, noticing the details, working the system in order to master the craft of astral projection; working the little system. 
My husband looks at me like I'm crazy as I ponder the details of our stairway, but it's all good. Just you wait till my astral spectre freaks him out! 

Kidding. 😉

Thursday, February 18, 2016

gratitude mala practice

So I came across this idea that I just love in one of my facebook groups and I'm totally jumping onboard with it. The idea is to do a daily gratitude practice using a mala style prayer necklace or bracelet.

So I went hunting for the perfect mala style bracelet (not 108 beads because honestly I want to be setting myself up for success not failure... logging 108 gratitudes in a day is a bit cray cray if you ask me even if it's a beautiful intention).  I knew when I went looking that I really wanted a lotus on the bracelet as the lotus represents a lot of things I hold dear to my practice and spirituality, from the idea of beauty rising from the muck to as above so below. That helped narrow the search significantly, thank the gods, as there are a lot of malas on etsy (who knew).

I found this beautiful Canadian shop, kisii, and ordered the bracelet above. Yes, I realize that it's not a traditional mala, but that's ok because it was the idea of the mala prayer bracelet not so much the official mala that drives the practice. There was also another shop, Saltspring Malas, that was absolutely gorgeous but above my price range for the moment. I kind of love that the 2 shops (real traditional etsy vendors, not, based on what I can tell, China resellers) were Canadian. Shout out for my fellow crunchy Canadians!!!

I'm super excited for this practice as I think that it has the potential to bring mindfulness about my aspirations and goals for the year, as well as a gratitude meditation/practice into my daily life.

Once again, thank you interwebs for bringing some awesomeness into my life.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Candlemas and Word for the Wheel

February has been an insanely busy month. Good but busy.

I'm still working my way through my word for the wheel, thinking about how I'm going to manifest heart in my daily life in relation to this turn of the wheel.

Candlemas is for me a time of beginnings and setting intentions that reflect my values. I've been stewing on what that means for me as a practice this sabbat, slowly percolating on it in the background.

Mostly I want to make sure that I remember to stay open and keep room for those I love in my daily actions. I can easily start shutting down when I feel overwhelmed or stressed. I tend to let my friendships and general partnerships feel like a burden instead of a joy when I'm not careful. I need to be mindful about not doing that and not allowing things to feel complicated when they're really not.

So this month, instead of moving away, I've been trying to lean in when I start finding myself pulling back. Earlier this month that meant choosing to invite a friend and her daughter over for a sleep over instead of staying home and potty training. This week it's meant starting a texting conversation with one of my nearest and dearest friends who lives on the other side of the country. It also meant calling my Grandma and just chatting because she's great and I love her. It meant buying my students Valentines lollipops just to say thank you and telling them that I appreciate them. It meant baking chocolate cupcakes for my husband because he loves chocolate cake (I don't like chocolate cake). Or putting down my phone in the evenings to play puzzles and ball and train and drawing happy/angry/sad/confused/scared/surprised suns and stars for my son. It's meant reading Love You Forever even though it makes me cry because that's what Little Faye wants.

It's also meant reading an esoteric book that has me reacting constantly out of trust that there is a reason for the reactions and that there's something in it that while provoking to me is something that I need to work through. It's forcing me to look more closely at why I react so strongly to Judeo-Christian mythology but not other myths that sit uneasy. I'm trying to remember that my pathworking won't always be easy and that sometimes I need to trust the process by embracing what comes my way. Don't get me wrong, my inner brain rationalizes my discomfort and tries to wiggle it's way out of it but I was given this book for a reason and I need to trust the process. This is not easy for me. But often the things I struggle the most against are the things that I end up enjoying the most in the end. Hermetics in general tend to fall into this category and this book looks at a lot of Hermetic knowledge, so....

I'm also dragging my butt to the gym and working on eating better. Mind, body and soul seem to be the theme for my word this spin around the sun. I've said it before but yet again I am reminded of just how much I need physical activity to burn off energy and work out tensions in order to allow for the good stuff to come through.

I've even made more time for scrapbooking and art journaling. It's not as much as I used to do, but it's more than I've done in a long time.

This month I'm leaning in with love so that I live a life that embraces open heartedness and trust. That I give out what I want to get back and trust that it will be returned.

How is your word practice going? Are you working on a word/intention/resolution this year and how does it look in relation to your spiritual practice?


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

random updates jan 26th

Random thoughts:

Despite the fact that it has difficult repercussions on oil producing provinces, namely Alberta, I'm proud of Montreal region mayors for saying no to the energy east pipeline. I know that I'm part of the problem and that I live a fuel dependent lifestyle, but we have to start somewhere. I hope this signals the beginning of political leaders stepping up and making the environment a priority. The economy vs the environment debate is getting old and it's time to start debunking that narrative. They can coexist and even be mutually beneficial.

Also happy that the Assembly of First Nations won in court against the Federal government in their case claiming that the resources alloted to First Nations communities (education, health, etc) is discriminatory as documents prove that First Nations children are funded up to 35% less than the average Canadian school child.

Less political (though still somewhat political), I spent last weekend with students learning fair trade, employment equity, access to education and student refugee programs. It was amazing to watch youth engage and be part of that process. I love my job in so many ways.

Little Faye is embracing his toddlerhood with avengence. It's both amazing and exhausting! I love watching him become his own person but don't always love the process of his learning independence. Oh well, such is life.

Yet again, Mr Faye and I went through another bout of remember kindness is key in a relationship. It's so easy to lose sight of and let marriage become a scorecard of resentments and frustrations. This time however, Mr Faye was the first to address it, which made me unexplainably happy as this is not typical for him. It's so amazing to think of how far he's come in terms of emotional self awareness and ability to communicate his own frustrations/emotions. I mean that honestly, not judgementally. When we first met, he came from a family that never talked about anything and he kept everything bottled up. For him to start the dialogue is actually quite huge. This man drives me crazy and often I don't get parts of him at all, but I love him and that he's in it for the long haul and committed to doing the work; fighting it out.

My brother has sort of disappeared since the big reveal/school restarting. I'm trying to give her her space even though I know that she probably needs time to do all the things she's doing. From starting a support group, to seeing a social worker, to classes and work. But inquiring, big sister, busybody minds want to know what's going on!

Spiritually speaking, I'm pondering the nature of service to the gods. We often read the comment that Wicca is all about being in service to the gods, but I think that my understanding of that is changing rather drastically lately in favour of the service being a bit more of a symbiotic relationship that calls the gods to action through our efforts and rememberance. I'm still pondering what that means, it's kind of in the periphery of my brain, amorphous and just out of reach in terms of the language part of me that tries to communicate. It's a bit intangible but still lurking on the edge, teasing it's way into meaning.

Lastly, exercise. Yeah. I've been hit and miss but every time I work out, I am reminded once again of how much my body needs the outlet for my inner fires. Getting off my butt continues be a challenge however, despite the fact that I know this need for exercise is crucial to my wellbeing. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy, but I'm still plugging away at it!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

3 lessons I've learned from working out

3 things I've learned about myself from working out:

If I want to be successful, I need to do it every day. (Ok, there can be a day break from time to time but only for a good reason). Why? Because I lose focus and drive if I take breaks. I drag my butt about getting there to do the workout. Once I start, I'm good. But I will excuse myself from doing a workout in a million different ways if I let myself get away with it. So while I might not physically need to work out every day, I'm better to do shorter, but daily workouts so that I stay focused.
bright red post workout, always.
no matter how in shape I get!

I'm pretty sure this might be a lesson that crosses over into my meditation practice and is something that I need to look at closely in terms of getting back to a productive practice that nurtures my magical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

I'm also pretty sure this means I'm going to have to start dragging my butt out of bed really early, every morning, to get it done.


Because the second lesson I've learned is that I am a morning person and working out at night is a recipe for disaster until I'm really in it and focused (aka, mildly obsessive) about doing the work on a daily basis! I'm realizing that I will feed my excuses, opting to crawl into bed or watch netflix instead of doing the workout. Pretty much every single time. Sadly, since my son wakes super early, this also means that I need to wake even earlier in order to ensure that I actually have enough down time to work out and shower before he wakes. Sigh. I never thought that 4:30am wake ups would be a reality in my life after I gave up slogging coffee to the masses.

Life is clearly enjoying a laugh at my expense!

I'm also learning that I need to harnass my slightly obsessive nature into positive outlets. AKA, workouts and nutrition. But that I need to ensure that I do so constructively not actually obsessively. This is always a challenge for me but I'm working it.

Lastly, as much as I bemoan the workouts and the early mornings, blah blah blah, they actually make me happier and a better person. My primary ayurvedic dosha is Pitta (Pitta-Kapha to be exact but Pitta pretty much sums me up to a T), fire, and I need the physical outlet to burn off the excess fire in my system. I've spent the past few months working through a lot of anger and learning just how much regular exercise helps me release that anger and fire in my belly constructively. The great irony is that I've read for years that my body type needs the exercise but it's only recently, after I stopped working out and had to deal with a lot of anger, that I really finally knew this to be true.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Commenting made easier?

FYI, I'm trying blogging without disqus. I may rue the change as some of the spam I get drives me bonkers, but I'll approve comments to try to keep it at bay.

Hope this encourages you all to comment more!  :)


diy eye make up remover

A while back I found a diy eye make-up remover on pinterest made of half almond oil and half aloe gel.

I finally got around to making it a couple weeks ago and I'm digging it so far. The aloe makes it cool on the eyes every time I use it, which is nice at the end of day but a bit of a shock in the morning when I've been bad and not taken my eye make up off the night before. I suppose I can think of it as negative reinforcement to unlearn a bad habit!

It's quite gentle and leaves a lighter film of oil on my eyes than my previous non eco/organic eye make up remover that I was still working on finishing (truth be told, I unloaded the old almay stuff on my brother turned sister).

Oh yeah, I guess I only announced that on twitter, not on the blog. My baby brother came out as transgendered over the holidays and is currently identifying as a woman. She will start hormones some time this year. Anyways, that's another story for another day.

Back to the eye make up remover.

Yes, I'm still using cotton make-up removal pads. Anyone have good alternatives to suggest?

I splurged on eco products, figuring that I didn't want any funky chemical by-products from the almond industry near my eyes, especially if I'm making the goods (oh the ironies given the chemical crap I was using before!).

It cost a little more to buy the products than to buy the pre-made stuff, but it'll give me 2 batches. So in the end, it works out to about the same price wise.

I definitely recommend it. It takes a bit more to get all the mascara off but I like that my eyes aren't as oily (the aloe and oil is still there but it's like water based skin cream, it absorbs faster).


Sunday, January 17, 2016

word updates

Writing really is a habit that has to be nurtured. Or at least, that's how I feel these days. I'm so out of the habit of writing that when I sit down to write, I'm never sure where to start.

I've been working on my manifesting my word in my life, with some hits and misses.

One of the ways that I really wanted to start changing my relationship with being open-hearted was with a group of friends who I hadn't spoken to about my mother's choice to cut communication. It was ok sharing, but oddly enough, it stirred up so much anxiety and vulnerability in me for days afterwards. Rationally I knew that the information wouldn't be used against me. I trusted them to keep the information safe and hold it in good faith and yet, I still had this anxiety over how I was perceived and with the feeling of having burdened them with my baggage. I've been trying to sort through those reactions and find the root of why this is. It's been an interesting process to say the least.

slowly plugging away at my first art journaled word for the wheel page

At work I'm working on being bolder and asking for projects and ideas that I'd like to initiate instead of maintaining the status quo. Everyone has told me, prior to asking, that the answers would be and have always been, no. That's not been my experience so far, which is great. Now I just have to follow through and work towards building my vision. Fingers crossed that the students respond positively.

On the other hand, I've been having some rough nightmares, full of anxieties and insecurities that are leaving me quite shaken up in the morning. And I definitely shut down during my birthday, letting my hurt and sadness define the day for me. Thankfully both my husband and a close co-worker weren't shy about telling me to get my head out of my ass (in a nicer way than that).

I also joined in on Ali Edward's One Little Word workshop this year (it's been a few years since I last joined... actually the last time that a word really felt alive in my year truth be told) and I'm looking forward to fusing her project with my own sabbat based take on the year.