Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Solstice with my daughter

I had not planned anything for Winter Solstice this year. With everything else going on; packing for our move, my grandmother's passing, and being generally to busy and stressed - I just figured I would wing it this year with some prayer and meditation.

Monday my parents were here. I was getting ready to drive them to the airport - they are going to my grandma's funeral. We exchanged some gifts, as they won't be here for Christmas this year, and inevitably - we talked about grandma. My 6 year old had some questions about death, and my mom was telling her that "Grandma is in Heaven with Jesus now." I don't mind that my kids are exposed to my mom's faith... I think that being exposed to many different beliefs will help them find their personal path when they are older. Now, my mom has no idea what my spiritual beliefs are, and I prefer to keep it that way. Long story short - she is Southern Baptist to the core, and I would prefer to keep my relationship with her in good standings.

Anyways, here we are talking about Grandma and Heaven, and my oldest daughter, 10 - says, "Yeah, but she doesn't have to stay in Heaven. She can be born again as a little baby and have a new life, but she won't remember us if we meet her." (I am choking on my tea.) My mom, says "What?? What are you talking about???" and gives me that questioning/scared/worried/disapproving look that only a religious mother can give. Miss Zee, confused, says, "You know mom. What's it called again when we are reborn?" (Quick, come up with a cover story! The last thing my mom needs to worry about at her mother's funeral is the state of her daughter's eternal soul...)

"Um, yeah, honey. It's called Reincarnation." I smile reassuringly to my daughter even though I have been screaming shut up shut up shut up inside my head. Then I turn to my mom, "Because, you know, she is curious about different beliefs, so I told her about them." My mom, still unsure and frowning, says "Oh-kayyyy....."
Awkward Silence....

Anyways... somehow or another someone changed the subject. We visited some more, and then Dad decided it was time to go. Dreading the long drive to the airport with my parents, I spontaneously invited my oldest daughter to come along for the ride. She was more than happy to come along, though she didn't know it would take over an hour to get there. I dropped my parents off, we hugged and exchanged our final tears and goodbyes. I wish I could go to my grandma's funeral, but life and kids and finances.... *sigh*... she understands and knows I would be there if I could.

Anyways, on to my story. Back in the car with my daughter, starting the long drive back home, I decide I might as well talk to her about what happened earlier. I have told her in the past that I would prefer it if she doesn't mention mommy's beliefs or "Wicca, magic, or cards", around her grandma... but I hadn't fully explained why. Apparently now was a good time to go over this with her again, before she decides to out me completely. We talked about how I have different beliefs than grandma, and that's OK, everyone is entitled to different beliefs. But some people think that their religion is the only "right" one, and other beliefs scare them or bother them. I was happy to find that my daughter feel that this kind of judgement is "Totally unfair and not cool."- Then I had to explain to her that her grandma is one of those people who just doesn't understand, and no matter how you try to explain things to them, they may never understand. I found myself, driving down the interstate at 7 pm on Winter Solstice, having an amazing conversation with my ten year old daughter about religious diversity.

Then, another amazing thing happened. I was telling her that Grandma is not wrong or bad for believing the way she does, but she might be very sad or upset if she knew that I didn't believe the same thing as her. My daughter said she understood, and she likes reading the bible and going to church with grandma... "But, I want to learn more about what you do, because I think I believe in that." I told her, "You don't have to believe in something just because I do. I want you to learn about many things and decide for yourself." She said, "I know mom, but I want to learn more about Wicca. I mean, I know how you pray and use candles and crystals and cards but I want to learn about that stuff." I'm trying to make sure I'm in the right lane for our coming exit - while smiling and feeling so proud and happy at the same time, and I tell her, "Yeah? No problem.. you're getting bigger now anyways... I can teach you about that stuff. And you can ask me questions about it at any time - I hope you have always known that."
"Yeah mom, I know. But I'm curious now and I want to learn more."

"Okay... I've got something we can learn about right now. Do you know that tonite is a special day for Wiccans? Tonite is the Winter Solstice"
"Ooooh, I've heard of that! We put decorations of the Sun on our tree for that... what else does it mean?"

I went on to explain about the seasons, the solstices, and how on Winter Solstice it is the longest night of the year, but after this night the days start to grow longer again. I told her how it's a time to welcome back the sun, and remember that even though winter is still not over yet, the Solstice is a promise of the coming Spring. We talked about how our lives can seem like this; sometimes things are sad, or "dark", but eventually things get better again and we heal and grow and move forward.

She wanted to know about other "Wiccan Holidays", as she called them, and I told her about Beltane in the spring, then the Summer Solstice, then Samhain in the fall. She confirmed that she has indeed been paying attention to the little things that I have told her about these Sabbats in the past, by remembering little symbolic acts or items that she had seen. We talked and talked, so much that I missed my final exit and had to take a 10 mile detour to get back home!

THEN, my night just kept getting better, because she asked me if we could do something together to celebrate the Solstice! As I said, I hadn't planned anything, but I couldn't turn this down! After the younger kids were sleeping, I pulled out some candles and sage and books. We did some yoga and breathing exercises together. We sang together. (I taught her the simple Element Song) Then we lit candles and sage and read out loud the Yule Ritual from Scott Cunningham's "Wicca - a guide for the solitary practitioner". We prayed. I used my Angel Therapy cards by Doreen Virtue and did a one card reading for my daughter, and then or myself. We talked and prayed by the candlelight, and eventually closed the circle and said goodnight, as it was rather late. We both went to bed feeling happy, and I know I finally found the peace that I have been missing for the past week. My unplanned Winter Solstice turned out way better than if I had planned it, even with that awkward silence and disapproving look from my mother....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Winter Goddess in a Grimm's Fairy Tale...

I found this at http://paganparenting.org/ and wanted to share. It is a folktale that is most likely connected with with the Germanic Goddess, Holle, who was celebrated in Winter. It's a good story, and seems fitting of the season, read it and enjoy!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paper Fetish!

I like looking around at etsy shops. Even though I currently don't have the extra money to buy most of the things I see, I still like browsing around at what people are making and selling. Today I found this site called Paper Fetish. OMGs! Talk about something that is ALWAYS on my wishlist! Blank Journals and Notebooks... handcrafted... leather... or farbric.... this place has some beautiful hand made journals and I would love to get my hands on some of these! I always have journals laying around.... and when I go in a bookstore it takes a huge amount of restraint and self-control to not walk out with more blank journals! If you're interested in journals, or are looking for a gift for someone, I would suggest this etsy shop, Paper Fetish!!!

I found out about this site from the "31 Days of Yule Giveaway" at The Soccer Mom's Guide to Wicca!

My Life, New Moon in Capricorn, and The Devil

The past couple of weeks have been exceptionally hard for me and my family. It seems that this time of year we always struggle more financially - things just seem to catch up with us in December. The phrase "When it rains, it pours" is present in my mind these days.
First, along with our financial situation getting really rocky, we found out that my grandma is very sick. She was hospitalized for pneumonia and anemia, and they found cancer in her lungs. Since then her condition has been steadily declining and she probably won't be with us much longer. She lives far away, and I haven't seen her in 10 years. My heart aches because I can't afford to go see her one last time. My two younger children have never even met her, and my oldest was too young to remember the last time we saw her. I wish I could be there with my mom, aunts, uncle, and cousins during this time, but it is just not possible.
Then, we had a heavy blow concerning the house we are buying. Our offer was accepted in November, and we have gone thru the process of the "short sale" and have everything signed except the title. We were planning on moving next week - half of my stuff is packed and ready to go. The papers went to the title company, and when they did the title search, they found that there was a second mortgage on the house - something that the previous owners failed to disclose. So this really sets us back. We have to basically sit and wait while the second bank decides if it is going to allow the sale. Worst case scenario- the second bank repossess the home and puts it up for auction, and we start again looking for a house. I feel lost, confused, depressed. We can't stay in this apartment much longer, it is too small for our family, and we financially can't afford it anymore. Our realtor told us we have an option of going ahead and moving into the house anyways - but if the bank doesn't allow the sale we will have to move out again in a couple months. But - we could live there rent free until the choice is made. So we are faced with this crazy choice -uproot the kids and try to save money and hope for the best, and move again in a few months if it doesn't work out. Or - stay here and continue to struggle, and wait. Either way, it's a waiting game again.
Being a Capricorn, I HATE waiting. I Hate not knowing my future, at least when it comes to things like where my family is going to live.
I feel like I am having trouble trusting my intuition too. Because everything in my heart told me that this was going to be our house, but now I'm not sure anymore. Did I feel that way because I wanted it so bad? It's one of those things - psychic readers and tarot readers will tell you they have trouble reading for themselves, because the emotions and ego get in the way.
Every day I have been forcing myself through the motions. Get up. Eat. Clean the house. (I have fallen WAY off my FlyLady routines) I didn't even notice that today was the New Moon, and I'm usually on top of watching he moon cycles. Today I have had so much trouble getting moving. Crawling out of bed was a chore in itself, and it's a miracle that I have washed the dishes and gotten dressed but I had to force myself to do even those mundane things. I noticed on a website widget that today is the New Moon. So I pulled out my almanac calendar. As usual with a New Moon, it's been Void of Course most of the day. Perhaps that explains my total lack of feeling today. Looking further, I noticed that tonite, the moon will enter Capricorn. Hmm.. a New Moon in Capricorn. Maybe this is just what I need to get myself out of this rut and back to working again. Maybe the start of this new cycle will bring about a more successful end to my current situation....

I found this New Moon in Capricorn Meditation and I hope to use it tonite to try and get myself back into the spiritual balance that I am craving;

I have also been thinking about The Devil card - this is the card related to Capricorn. Sometimes, dealing with the harsh realities of life and being forced into certain situations can give us the change of perspective that we need. Being locked in to any situation, or feeling like things are out of our control can wake up our survival instincts and help us make those tough choices that we would otherwise avoid. Alternatively, The Devil deals with temptations, and my temptation is to just allow myself to sink into a depression and self-pity. So which way am I going to go when the New Moon energy manifests? Despite the chains on the Devil card - I am not locked in to this. Because the "Devil" that I am chained to is nothing but my own fear. And as Rebecca Brent's article and meditation point out, my sense of power lies within me, and within my ability to pick up the pieces, get organized, and just keep on going.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Tarot!

Corrine Kenner (author of Tarot For Writers) just put together a Christmas Tarot deck based on Victorian Christmas Postcards and Art!! It's a Major Arcana only deck, and she is offering it for download and print for only $2.09 this Christmas! Come check it out;


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yule - the Altar (and an update from me!)

I'm trying to get back into my blogging again. Yes, I was absent from the bloggingworld for almost the whole month of November - but I have a good excuse!

YES! I was participating in NaNoWriMo, and I DID IT!! I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days! It's a great start on my novel, which is far from finished and may or may not ever see the light of day. We shall see...

Anyways, along with my soul-searching and writing, I have been busy with the kids, and doing this crazy Real-Estate dance that has driven me almost to the brink of insanity! I can't say much right now except for that we WILL be moving soon, into our very first HOME, and I'm so excited and happy yet so stressed beyond belief! We are waiting to sign the final papers (the title) and then get the keys and move!!

So.... funny thing... when you write as much as you can for 30 days straight, it actually becomes a habit! I have started journaling again just to keep writing, and as you can see from the previous two bogs, I have been inspired both poetically and spiritually. Today I kept thinking of several things I would like to blog about, but the day passed me by rather quickly as I cleaned my kitchen, and did my usual household stuff - and then of course I had to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special on tv. So I finally get back to my computer and wonder... what should I write about?

Looking thru my blog list I remembered this site - Pagan Blog Prompts and I figured today's prompt was a perfect way to get my wheels turning!! I had wanted to start posting some Yule related stuff anyways, and today's prompt is;

Your winter altar

Show or describe your altar as it stands in the winter months. What sorts of imagery do you focus on? Which deities do you call in via symbolism? Where in your home does it sit?

I love the colors of this season... pure, crisp whites, with dark greens and deep reds. Highlighted with golds and silvers.... these colors are refreshing and empowering and I try to include them on my altar if I can. I have a dark green tablecloth that I use as an altar cloth, and white lace doilies on the top give it a perfect touch. Of course I have two white candles, and I usually include a large red candle right in the middle - cinnamon scented if they have it. Pine cones, holly leaves, and mistletoe will decorate my altar if I can find them (sometimes I have to substitute the fake plastic stuff, but I don't mind). I also try to place some representation of the Sun on my altar at this time of the year, as I find this is an important, yet often overlooked symbol of this Sabbat...

Yule, or Winter Solstice, is traditionally thought of as the first day of winter, as the hemisphere is now tilted away from the sun and the colder weather is here to stay for awhile. But the night of Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, meaning that after Yule - the days slowly become to get longer again, and the Sun slowly regains it's balance and prominence. This year I painted a little ceramic box with paint ad beads = a picture of the sun, and I am looking forward to giving it a place on my winter altar to help welcome back the sun and recognize that brighter times lay ahead!!

I don't currently have my altar, or any seasonal decorations put up, because we will be moving sometime in the week before Christmas. I am hoping to be settled in by Yule so I can put up my altar. Wish I had some pictures to show you, but instead I found these Yule altar photos at Pagan/Wiccan About.com, as well as this article about what other types of things or items might be placed on a Yule Altar...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Warm Home Cider Spell

Kitchen Magick is all about letting everything you create in your home or kitchen have a focused purpose. Every moment can be magical, if you want it to be. When you cook something, think about each ingredient you add, visualize, meditate, pray. Focus on your food or drink being *more* than just physical sustenance, and visualize the outcome you desire.

Here is a recipe for Hot Spiced Apple Cider, and a spell I wrote to g along with it.

*Hot Spiced Cider *
8 cups Apple Cider or Apple juice
2 cups Orange juice
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
6 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tsp Whole Cloves
1 Tsp Allspice
1/2 Tsp. Ginger
1 small apple or orange

Slice the apple or orange, stick the whole cloves into the apple or orange. Combine all ingredients in crockpot, slowcooker, or large pan. Heat slowly, serve while Hot!

"Warm Home Cider Spell"
Collect all ingredients for the recipe above, or for your own variation of Spiced Cider. As you add each ingredient individually, visualize the positve traits of these plants and spices entering your home. As the cider heats, the aroma will infuse these gifts into your home.

Apples / Apple Cider - Health, Healing, Fertility, Prosperity Creativity, Luck, Leadership, Happiness, Love

Allspice - Health, Healing, Creativity, Confidence, Communication, Happiness, Marriage/relationships

Cinnamon - Health, Healing, communication, confidence, employment, prosperity, success, wisdom.

Clove - Health, protection, fertility, confidence, employment, communication, love, stress relief, peace, happiness, understanding

Ginger - Grounding, health healing, breaking bad habits, happiness, love, marriage, success, prosperity, wisdom

Later, as you serve full cups of hot cider toyour family or friends, tell them each that you love them and name one reason you are thankful for them. Remember to tell yourself that you love YOU too, and think of at least one reason you are proud of yourself. Drink and enjoy and feel the warmth, health, love, and prosperity filling your home!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chasing Time (A poem)

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
I chase after you
and it is like arriving at the bus stop just in time
to hear the sound of the yellow diesel monster
driving away.

Tomorrow and tomorrow
I am ever reaching out
to grasp the cold air where you will someday stand,
my hand falters, I stumble.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
I chase after you,
and just when I know that you may be lurking
right beyond the next corner
I slow my step - afraid.

Tomorrow, oh Tomorrow,
I forgot my shoes, my bag is not packed,
my homework is not done...
I will have to catch up with you

~W.J.M. 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Josephine’s Tarot Journal, Nov. 21 - Three of Cups

The three of cups is a positive card. It often represents exuberance, community, friendship, high spirits, family, celebration of teamwork and a common goal. I feel like today, this card is reminding me to celebrate the small victories. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress of everything in my life right now. We still don’t know 100% about the house, we are beyond broke, and the stress just makes every little thing seem so hard. But today was a good day. Despite the stress and drama at work, it was a good day at home with the kids. I need to be reminded sometimes to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that I have a wonderful and amazing family. And life will get better. I know it will. In the meantime we just need to focus on working together as a family, not only in working towards our goals, but also in helping each other feel uplifted and celebrated.

I have had many victories in my life, but they are so often overlooked. With Thanksgiving coming up next week I think it is important to make myself find time to have gratitude for everything in my life. I should be grateful all the time, not just at Thanksgiving! I think we tend to find it much easier to be grateful when things are going well, and much harder to be grateful when life is full of conflict. But the conflict and stress should just make us that much more thankful!!

There was a game I saw on a website, called “The Gratitude Game”, in which people worked together to find gratitude in things that you normally wouldn’t be grateful for. The game went like this;
1st person - I am grateful for my old vacuum cleaner, which doesn’t work very well.”
2nd person - You are grateful for that old vacuum cleaner, because it means you have a floor to clean, which means you have a home!!! I am thankful for my job, even though I only work 2 days a week.
3rd person - You are grateful for your part time job because it brings you income and you still have time to spend with your family and doing the things you love! I am thankful for the leaky pipe under my bathroom sink!
…. And it goes on like that. You would say you’re grateful for something you wouldn’t normally think to be thankful for, and then the next person helps point out why it’s a blessing and then they post their own. It helps to put things in perspective and be thankful for those little things that we think are nuisances or bothers.. When we begin to see everything in a light of gratitude, we find we have so much more to celebrate.
What am I grateful for?
I am grateful for my aching back. My back hurts because I was at work all day and I made money to bless my family with groceries! I am thankful for the drama at work, because it makes me realize how blissful and happy my home life really is. I am thankful for my kids’ bickering and arguing, because they are full of life and healthy and learning how to cope with social situations by interacting with their siblings! I am thankful for the dirty dishes, because it means that we had food in the house for eating! I am thankful for the dirty laundry, because it means that my family has clothes to wear and places to go to get that laundry dirty - like work or school! I am thankful that it is late and I am tired, because it means another day full of blessings has passed and I will soon be sleeping and getting my rest! I am thankful for tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tarot Journal - Knight of Wands

Josephine’s Tarot Journal, November 3 - Knight of Wands

To be honest, I have a problem with Court Cards. I am finally beginning to understand how to interpret their meaning in a reading, but still get stumped. Tonight as I shuffled the cards, I was thinking about how this whole day was wasted. My motivation and inspiration seem to be gone completely, and thru the day I keep thinking about yesterday’s card, the Queen of Pentacles. Why is it that when I set a goal, I tend to drag myself down? When I try to quit smoking, I end up smoking more. When I see my highest personal potential, I backtrack to a lower potential. So as I shuffled, I asked the Universe, what message does the Queen of Pentacles have for me? What should I do to allow myself to really embrace her as my true self? I got the Knight of Wands.

Air and Fire. Idea and Action combined. The Knight of Wands is confident - perhaps overly confident. He clearly has a goal in mind and is inspired to chase after it, no matter what the risks may be. This Knight doesn’t seem to be the type to over think things, but begins to take action soon after the idea is formed, willing to act on his inspiration. Perhaps today I was over thinking things way too much. I am tired, and I am reaching a point where I need to take it easy physically (thanks to Mother Nature’s monthly gift which should arrive shortly.) But today I gave up on myself too soon. I could have found a project within my home; something to appease the desire to be nurturing and creative, but instead I waste my time. The more time I wasted the more I over-thought things, dwelling on my failure rather than possibilities. Action is the answer. I know from personal experience that sometimes the large goals will overwhelm me, and that it’s best to take “Baby Steps” or just do things one thing at a time. It think today I was thinking of the big picture and dwelling on everything I should be doing as a mother and housewife as one huge impossible goal. If I had just picked one thing and done it, then the feeling of accomplishment would have fed my inspiration; and then I could have moved on to something else. I just have to keep moving. The Knight of Wands doesn’t rest, if one thing isn’t working he will think of a new plan or idea and then take action. He doesn’t think it through - which makes him reckless and adventurous; sometimes a downfall. But it is better than doing nothing and failing by default.

I also feel like this card is telling me to exercise. I am restless being at home all day with my pre-schooler and we both get bored and need an outlet. Even though I enjoy my outlet of reading, writing, and the internet, it doesn’t help my feeling of restlessness. Doing something active like taking a walk, playing outside with my son, or otherwise being physically active are something I need to incorporate into my daily life. When I was working full-time I was more active. My hours were cut back at work, which has increased my financial stress, but I did nothing to replace the physical activity, and that was a mistake. I need to get active again, and this Knight of Fire and Air has reminded me of that.

I am going to make a list of my goals for tomorrow and break it down into small sections that I can tackle one at a time. Just doing something and being moderately active will help me to feel better, and once I start to feel like I am contributing to the home environment and filling that role of a mother, I should be able to find myself in the Queen of Pentacles again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tarot Journal - Queen of Pentacles; my Personal Potential Card

Josephine’s Tarot Journal - Nov. 2 2009 - Queen of Pentacles

This is another card that is in my Tarot Profile. The court card that is related to my Sun Sign, it is called my “Personal Potential Card”. A person’s Personal Potential card can show them their greatest strengths, and the possibilities of what they can become. When I look at this card, knowing it’s meanings, I see both reflections of myself as I am, and aspects that I would like to have. I also see some negative traits that I would like to overcome, and these are described by this card’s reversed or negative meanings. The Queen of Pentacles is close to Mother Earth, she is crafty, creative, and nurturing. She is probably the “ultimate mom” of the Tarot (other than the Empress), and though I know my parenting skills need some work and fine tuning, I can relate. Being a mom has helped me mature, and it keeps me grounded and responsible. I guess one way I could examine this card and how it relates to me as my Personal Potential card is to make a list of character strengths and weaknesses. In therapy or counseling sessions, a therapist will ask you to make a list of what you perceive to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses…what better way to do that then to compare and contrast with your Personal Potential card?

The Queen of Pentacles’ Strengths;

She is Nurturing - Mothering, good with children and animals, Supportive. I am a good mother, but I feel that I could be much better. I could be more patient, more supportive, and more nurturing. I think I lose my patience too easily and often expect much of my children, but I will do anything to make sure they have a comfortable and loving home environment.
She is Bighearted - will do anything thing for others, is generous, warm and welcoming. It’s true, I won’t turn away a friend and will do anything in my power to help them if they need it. I love being a generous hostess, and I enjoy my job in the service industry because I find it very rewarding. But I have learned to be more cautious and have curbed my generosity as I have gotten older, because I have repeatedly been used and taken advantage of. I do not like the feeling of not trusting people, it doesn’t come naturally to me, and I hope to eventually be able to trust people again.

The Queen of Pentacles is trustworthy - loyal, true to her word, and keeps secrets and confidences. She is naturally trusting of others and therefore is trusted by others in return. While I think of myself as an extremely loyal person, I haven’t always been so trustworthy. Maybe this is one of the aspects of my Personal Potential that I have had to grow into. There are times in my past that I am ashamed of because of my dishonesty or gossiping, but I feel I have grown into a much more trustworthy adult. People often come to me with their problems seeking advice or just someone to listen to, and I put that trust and respect on the highest platform and will do whatever I can to not only help them, but keep their trust.

The Queen of Pentacles is Down To Earth - she is realistic, sensible, accepting of people for who they are, and has a matter-of-fact way of finding solutions or handling life. I think sometimes people who know me can find me rather abrasive or seemingly cold-hearted, but this isn’t really true. It can seem that way because of my Capricorn personality detachment; which is really just my way of looking at things in a down to earth and matter-of fact kind of way. The shortest distance between two points is the direct, straight path. To me, the simplest, most sensible approach is always the obvious answer. I like to have all the facts before I develop an opinion, and my friends will wonder why I don’t automatically take their side. I can be rather blunt and have a “tell it like it is” attitude when I am asked for advice, and I know this can come across as cold or mean sometimes but in reality, I wouldn’t be that honest and matter of fact with someone if I didn’t care. It’s truly out of love, but I think that the Queen of Pentacles; while Mothering and Nurturing, is probably a believer in “Tough Love”. She is, after all, a Capricorn.

The Queen of Pentacles is resourceful - versatile, creative, handy, and not one to easily give up. She is thrifty and responsible with her resources, will come through in a pinch, and make due with what is available. Though I often stress about money and finances, I can be pretty good at managing a budget and making things work. Just tonight I was so proud of myself for the way I stretched my grocery money. There have been times I have managed to make a little bit go a long way (or at least a little farther) - like this morning when I noticed we were almost out of milk - rather than using it all for the kid’s cereal, I watered it down just enough to make sure that there would be enough left over to make lunch with later on. No one noticed the difference, and I saved myself the hassle of running out too early. These are simple examples from my day but the Queen of Pentacles is just showing me how like her I really am. :o)

There are some times in a tarot reading when the negative aspect of a card will be indicated, sometimes through reversal, and sometimes through placement, and so I think the negative aspects can be important in a Personal Potential card as well. While it’s great to look at the positive potential of what I can become, I think it is also important to accept that every coin has it’s flip side; The Queen of Pentacles has the potential to become messy, lazy, slovenly, or even fanatic about housework. I can see how these are dangers of what I could become. When I get depressed or stressed out, I get lazy, messy, apathetic. Sometimes when I have spent a lot of time and energy cleaning the house, I will get really picky about it and get rather obsessed with it, and this could easily turn fanatical if I let it get out of control. The Queen of Pentacles can be materialistic, selfish, disloyal, Helpless, lacking self-confidence, and she can even become so self involved that she no longer nurtures others or takes care of herself. These descriptions of the negative or reversed aspects of this card all reflect how I have been at one point or another in my past. In my darker days when I was lost and wandering, I was all of these things, and much less of the good. Looking at this card in this way shows me how much I have grown and the positive changes I have made, but it also serves to warn me. Because I could easily fall down this path again if I let myself. I can be selfish and self-involved. I do sometimes find myself thinking with a victim attitude of helplessness. I can become obsessed with finances and materialistic. To embrace my role as The Queen of Pentacles in my life, I should strive to adapt and nurture all of her positive traits within myself, and guard against slipping into the negative traits or patterns. And even if I do slip from time to time, I just need to remember how far I have come and that my true potential is not that hard of a goal to grasp, in the long run.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tarot Journal - 13 Death; my Hidden Factor card

Josephine’s Tarot Journal - November 2 2009 - DEATH

I have always been afraid of change and the unknown. Capricorns generally like stability, and we can be quite the perfectionists as well. Change is uncertain, and how can I be sure that things will turn out just right if there is any uncertainty in my vision? I think for most people, fear can be the biggest obstacle in life and it is no different for me. I can’t see the future. I can make educated guesses about what will happen, and I sometimes can utilize my intuition and empathy to help me divine what the next step will be, but tomorrow is mostly unknown. I can admit that this fear of change, this fear of the unknown outcome, has prevented me from taking risks in areas like my career and my finances. I am, after all, still a waitress after 11 years. I would love to be able to take my tarot readings and interest in astrology to another level and do it professionally, but I tend to hold myself back. What if I’m not good at it? What if I give someone bad advice? What if I don’t make enough money doing it? What should I charge for my services anyways? What would my mother think? That’s just an example of one area in my life where I know that fear of change and the unknown has held me back.

A couple years ago I discovered how to make a “Tarot Profile”. Using numerology and astrology, you can figure out what specific tarot cards represent you. Learning the meanings of these cards can help you on a journey of self discovery, and I believe that knowing yourself is the first major step towards enlightenment. There are three main important cards to know, and these are your Personality Card, your Soul Purpose Card, and your Hidden Factor card, sometimes called your Shadow Card. My Hidden Factor card is Death. When I first calculated this card, I was not too happy with this outcome. I mean, of all the 22 Major Arcana, who wants this card to describe their personality? But I have come to understand it and accept it over the years.

The Hidden Factor card usually represents aspects of your life or personality which are hidden from you. The things about yourself that you fear or reject. It could be defined as the “Denial Card”, and it shows the true nature of your challenges and obstacles through life. Though it’s tempting to reject and ignore this card in my Tarot Profile, I can see how it fits. I am constantly in a state of change or growth. My interests, beliefs, projects and goals are always changing. I will become stagnant or “stuck” for awhile; sometimes I get overwhelmed, tired and depressed and just get stuck in a rut or give up on my goals for awhile. Then I will wake up again, grow, change, take a new direction and begin again. It is how I have always functioned. Seeing this as my Hidden Factor card is actually comforting in some ways… to realize and see that these cycles I go through aren’t just laziness or ADD, but perhaps just who I am. It gives meaning to my past and hope for my future. I know I will experience stagnation again, but it will always be followed by another new beginning or surge of growth. The song by Tori Amos, “Little Earthquakes” comes to mind. It really is how I function. My experiences and emotions run so deep, I sometimes have to experience a “little earthquake”, or strong change or upheaval before I can move forward. I tend to hold myself back not just because of fear, but because I want to be sure to get the full experience and learn all I can before I move on and transform myself again. In a way, I guess I need to recognize and accept that I am always changing, always in a state of transformation and renewal. As much as my past has shaped me, it does not define me.

Yet sometimes before growth can really happen, some healing and purging needs to happen. Like cleaning your house, you can’t rearrange the furniture until you clean house and get rid of some clutter. Despite all the changing and growing I have done, I still feel like there is a lot of healing and purging that needs to be done as well. I tend to feel better when I write, and I am always advocating journaling as a tool for self-discovery and healing. But lately I haven’t been doing very much personal journaling or blogging. Perhaps it’s time to challenge myself, to make a commitment and see if I can stick with it for a whole month. I am always starting new things but never finishing them. What would happen if I actually set a personal goal and met it? Would I find confidence? Healing? Closure?

Why not start right now? I enjoy using tarot cards as tools and prompts for my journaling, yet I don’t stick to it as often as I like. What about a card a day, and a journal entry or blog every day to go with that card? 30 cards, 30 days. I feel like my Hidden Factor card, Death, is calling me to action. It is time to take some steps and start writing down my thoughts and feelings, purging and healing and “cleaning house’. A transformation is at hand.

This journal is part of my NaNoWriMo project for 2009, "November's Cards"

it is also a response to the journaling assignment or prompt at my other blog, Journal Yourself Awake.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Afraid of Halloween??... why I live in secrecy....

This article was posted in a religion debate group on CafeMom. I am reposting what was posted in that group, and my reply to that post... While the whole thing is rather disturbing to me, the parts highlighted in red are particularly amusing.

I found this article over at CBN. The article has since been taken down, but I'm including a link to the cached article.

The Danger of Celebrating Halloween
By Kimberly Daniels
Guest Writer

CBN.com - Halloween-October 31-is considered a holiday in the United States. In fact, it rivals Christmas with regard to how widely celebrated it is. Stores that sell only Halloween-related paraphernalia open up a few months before the day and close shortly after it ends. But is Halloween a holiday that Christians should be observing?

The word "holiday" means "holy day." But there is nothing holy about Halloween. The root word of Halloween is "hallow," which means "holy, consecrated and set apart for service." If this holiday is hallowed, whose service is it set apart for? The answer to that question is very easy-Lucifer's!

Lucifer is a part of the demonic godhead. Remember, everything God has, the devil has a counterfeit. Halloween is a counterfeit holy day that is dedicated to celebrating the demonic trinity of : the Luciferian Spirit (the false father); the Antichrist Spirit (the false holy spirit); and the Spirit of Belial (the false son).

The key word in discussing Halloween is "dedicated." It is dedicated to darkness and is an accursed season. During Halloween, time-released curses are always loosed. A time-released curse is a period that has been set aside to release demonic activity and to ensnare souls in great measure.

You may ask, "Doesn't God have more power than the devil?" Yes, but He has given that power to us. If we do not walk in it, we will become the devil's prey. Witchcraft works through dirty hearts and wrong spirits.

During this period demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities. These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example,
most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.

Even the colors of Halloween (orange, brown and dark red) are dedicated. These colors are connected to the fall equinox, which is around the 20th or 21st of September each year and is sometimes called "Mabon." During this season witches are celebrating the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. They give praise to the gods for the demonic harvest. They pray to the gods of the elements (air, fire, water and earth).

Mother earth is highly celebrated during the fall demonic harvest. Witches praise mother earth by bringing her fruits, nuts and herbs. Demons are loosed during these acts of worship. When nice church folk lay out their pumpkins on the church lawn, fill their baskets with nuts and herbs, and fire up their bonfires, the demons get busy. They have no respect for the church grounds. They respect only the sacrifice and do not care if it comes from believers or non-believers.

Gathering around bonfires is a common practice in pagan worship. As I remember, the bonfires that I attended during homecoming week when I was in high school were always in the fall. I am amazed at how we ignorantly participate in pagan, occult rituals.

The gods of harvest that the witches worship during their fall festivals are the Corn King and the Harvest Lord. The devil is too stupid to understand that Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest 365 days a year. But we cannot be ignorant of the devices of the enemy. When we pray, we bind the powers of the strong men that people involved in the occult worship.

Halloween is much more than a holiday filled with fun and tricks or treats. It is a time for the gathering of evil that masquerades behind the fictitious characters of Dracula, werewolves, mummies and witches on brooms.
The truth is that these demons that have been presented as scary cartoons actually exist. I have prayed for witches who are addicted to drinking blood and howling at the moon.

While the lukewarm and ignorant think of these customs as "just harmless fun," the vortexes of hell are releasing new assignments against souls. Witches take pride in laughing at the ignorance of natural men (those who ignore the spirit realm).

Decorating buildings with Halloween scenes, dressing up for parties, going door-to-door for candy, standing around bonfires and highlighting pumpkin patches are all acts rooted in entertaining familiar spirits. All these activities are demonic and have occult roots.

The word "occult" means "secret." The danger of Halloween is not in the scary things we see but in the secret, wicked, cruel activities that go on behind the scenes. These activities include:

Sex with demons
Orgies between animals and humans
Animal and human sacrifices
Sacrificing babies to shed innocent blood
Rape and molestation of adults, children and babies
Revel nights
Conjuring of demons and casting of spells
Release of "time-released" curses against the innocent and the ignorant.
Another abomination that goes on behind the scenes of Halloween is necromancy, or communication with the dead. Séances and contacting spirit guides are very popular on Halloween, so there is a lot of darkness lurking in the air.

However, Ephesians 1:19-21 speaks of the authority of the believer and the exceeding greatness of God's power in us (the same power that raised Christ from the dead). It goes on to say that that Jesus is seated in heavenly places far above all principalities, power, might, dominions and every name that is named. The good news is that because we are seated in heavenly places with Jesus, the same demonic activity that is under His feet is under our feet, too!

People who worship the devil continue to attempt to lift him up. But he has already been cast out and down! Many are blinded to this fact, but the day will come when all will know he has been defeated once and for all.

When we accept Jesus but refuse to renounce Satan and his practices, we are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm-and the Word says that God will spit us out of His mouth. The problem with lukewarm is that it attempts to mix the things of the devil with the things of God. It is God's desire that we serve Him alone.

Second Corinthians 6:15 asks the question, "And what agreement has Christ with Belial?" As believers, we need to answer that question in our hearts. We must avoid the very appearance of evil. I would not want a demon spirit to mistake me for an occult worshiper.

There is no doubt in my heart that God is not calling us to replace fall festivals and Halloween activities; rather, He wants us to utterly destroy the deeds of this season. If you or your family members have opened the door to any curses that are released during the demonic fall festivals, renounce them and repent. I already have. Then declare with me: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"



I mean really..... WOW! That is totally hilarious and totally scary at the same time. Sex with demons? Sacrificing babies? Cursing the candy??WOW... I am just flabbergasted (Yep.. I said "flabergasted" LOL!) that anyone could write this.. it is obviously just fear propaganda - and not even researched at all! I found it funny that while she wants to point out it's obvious roots in Pagan holidays, she mentions Mabon but makes NO reference to Samhain! I mean, if she really wanted to make a point about Halloween's "Pagan Roots" she could have at least done an internet search on the topic!

I know exactly the type of point of view she is coming from - was raised attending a Southern Baptist church with my mom. Now I'm not sure if they really bought into all of the stuff about witches in this article... but I do know that some of this is what was preached. Basically, they taught that anything that leads you away from the straight and narrow Christian path is a Lie created by the Devil and his Demons. If you follow any other religion other than theirs, it is because you have been tricked by the Devil into believing something else - and this trickery could have been avoided if you had been a more devout Christian. This is what my mom and her church believes. This kind of fear and propaganda is why I am still in the "Broom Closet", and after 10 years I still can't tell my mom that I am a Wiccan.

Here's an example - When I was 16, she found a deck of Tarot cards I had borrowed from a friend. I hadn't even used them because of fear, I had just looked at them once. She took them away, and instead of giving them back to my friend, she BURNED them, claming that they were a tool of the Devil, and if I were to give them back to my friend, I would just be allowing her to be lead astray. I would LOVE to be honest with my mother and tell her about the beauty of my Pagan beliefs, and about the healing I have helped others accomplish by giving Tarot card readings. But it would totally crush her world... she would never be able to accept it because she would just think that I am being tricked and tempted by the devil. She would never be able to see past this wall of fear that has been created by her church to see some of the beauty - or even find tolerance for - my beliefs. So, I live in secrecy when it comes to my family - but only because I really don't want to give up a functional and loving relationship with my mother.....

sorry this turned into such a long post. It just really hits close to home when I see stuff like this - because of this kind of ignorance and intolerance I am not even free to be honest with my own mother....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ascended Masters - Confucius & Jesus

Tonite, after an exhausting yet gratifying birthday party for my son and husband, the kids are in bed, the kitchen is a mess, and all is quiet. All,that is, except for my spirit. I feel restless, ill-at-ease, as if I pressure is building in the very atmosphere around me. It could be the stress of my current life; my financial state is looking very grim right now. I am trying to stay positive and release my worries, but it is hard with this crushing feeling pushing in around me from all sides. I am in desperate need of some energy cleansing, and have already decided that I will be taking a bath and doing some yoga before bed tonite. Yet I felt like I needed to do something more, and more than that, I felt the need to blog. But what to write about? So I pulled out a deck of Oracle cards to draw one card for a thought for the week. As I shuffled the "Angel Therapy Oracle Cards" (Doreen Virtue, Hay House) I asked my Spirit Guide to give me a card that would guide me an help me find peace during this time of uncertainty.....

"Ascended Masters" ~ Powerful, loving, and wise spiritual teachers are watching over you and guiding you."

From the guidebook by Doreen Virtue; "This card indicates that you have a strong connection with one or more ascended masters , who are helping you with the situation you've inquired about. Ascended Masters are powerful teachers and healers who once walked the earth. Many are associated with religions such as Jesus, Quan Yin, the saints, Moses, Mother Mary, Ganesha, Buddha, Confucius, and so forth. You don't have to be a religious person to warrant an Ascended Master's attention. The only qualification is sincerity and pure desire to work with the deity for the betterment of humanity and the planet. The first Ascended Master or Masters who enter your thoughts right now are the beings who are helping you. These masters love and honor you. They know of your talents and spiritual gifts, and they'll help you hone them so they may be used in sacred service."

The first Ascended Master to pop into my mind was Confucius. I get a daily quote of his on my iGoogle page, and I find these simple quotes very inspiring. But then I realized, if I was being totally honest with myself, the first Ascended Master to pop into my mind tonite was Jesus. I at first tried to deny this; too many years of "bad blood" between me and Christianity. I started looking up Confucius quotes but that sinking feeling was still here. Then I realized, this card is talking about The Ascended Masters, and their teachings, not the dogmatic rules of the man-made religions that crudely represent them. I have no problem with Jesus himself, and his teachings, but I tend to distance myself from his Archetype because of a personal problem with the Fundies. *Sigh* So I typed in a search for Jesus Quotes and this is the first one I came across;

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."(
Matthew 6.31-34 ESV)

I immediately knew that this is the message I was intended to hear tonite. I am smiling again, because two things have happened for me tonite. First, I have been reminded that the God and Goddess are with me, that my worry and anxiety do nothing to solve the problem, and that "Tomorrow will be anxious for itself".... what will be will be, Que Sera, Sera! Putting my energy towards Spiritual enlightenment, rather than worldly worry will bring the resolutions I seek. Second, I have finally been able to separate "Jesus The Ascended Master" from the "Jesus of the Insane Baptist Church of my Youth." Perhaps I can begin to develop a relationship with him again, after all?

Once I mentally digested this little nugget, I could still hear the quiet nudge from Confucius, tapping my shoulder. I could just picture Jesus and Confucius standing behind me, patiently waiting for me to "get it". So I did another random search (what would the world be without Internet search engines?), this time for Confucius Quotes. I found two that seemed to go along with the other;

"With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow - I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud."


"The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar."

~ Confucius, The Confucian Analects

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday's 13 - 13 things I did today

It's been awhile since I have posted a Thursday's 13. I was gonna blog about my day, and figured I'd kill 2 birds with one stone so to speak, and do it ~List Style~

AAAAHH!! I was typing this last night, and Blogger suddenly had some very annoying technical difficulties that prevented me from finishing it or posting it! Thankfully most of my draft was saved!!!


A Not-So-Average Day In My Life

1) Woke up and realized that I had forgotten to play "Tooth Fairy" last night. HOW could I do that? My 6 yr old daughter just lost her 1st tooth! Fortunatley, she was in the bathroom and the other 2 kids were still sleeping - I was able to sneak into her room and make the switch. This of course, resulted in her screeching with suprise as she returned to her room and found that the tooth that had been there moments before was gone, replaced with money. Of course, she finds mommy in her bed, "sleeping" - after screaming so loud that she had woken everyone up, except for me :o)

2) Made a healthy breakfast of GrapeNuts cereal with raisins, Yogurt, and juice. Yep, I'm making an effort to change from the quick & easy breakfast to the fresh fruits or other healthy stuff breakfasts. (Aartianna, aren't you proud?)

3) Played on FaceBook. For way too long. What can I say?

4) Drank a coffee from Starbucks. Hubby was home today and went out and got us each a Starbucks, a special indulgence, and yes - one of my guilty pleasures.

5) Finally washed the dishes, scrubbed the countertops, swept the kitchen floor and took out the trash. I had been putting this off since Wednesday.... but once I got started it only took me 30 minutes to do. (kicking myself in the butt and reminding myself of all I havelearned from FlyLady ) I blame temporary amnesia. But, all is back in order now!

6) Got in the car with son and Hubby and took a drive. OMG it was so nice to get out of the apartment for awhile!!

7) Ended up at a used book store - can you say HEAVEN?? *Contented Sigh* Browsed among hundreds of books - love the smell of books!! Bought Mr. X a "Super Why" Matching Card Game, bought myself another blank Tarot journal, and a copy of Buckland's "Practical Candleburning Rituals"

8) Went across the street to eat at McDonalds (I know, EEWWW!) But they have this really big awesome play land, with some almost-life sized replicas of DINOSAURS - Mr. X had so much fun!!!

9) Drove around town some more, looking for a guitar shop for Hubby. He was given a guitar and is teaching himself to pla. We found a really nice music shop and looked around - we will have to go back there again sometime!

10) We came home (Mr. X made it the whole 3 hours without having an accident, an he used the public restrooms about 4 times - YAY!) The girls came home from school and since it was so nice outside, I sat on the steps and watched them while all 3 of my kids played in the grass.

11) I cooked dinner. Nothing special, the cupboards are getting bare (it's the end of the week). Hamburger Helper, Veggies, Fruit, and Bread.

12) I spent some time looking at my new books, and some more time on FaceBook. My two favorite shows were not on this week, so while my Thursdays are usually booked, I had some extra free time. (The Vampire Diaries was a re-run, and Fringe wasn't on due to baseball.) I even washed the dishes, put the kids to bed, and cleaned up the livingroom at my leisure. But it all got done!!

13) I drew a Tarot Card for the day. Just out of boredom and curiosity, I asked the Tarot to clarify what my lesson for the day had been. I drew the 9 of Pentacles. I know I definatley had the "Enjoying Leisure" part of this car down, and I did feel pretty in control of my life today (Even though hubby was home and we went out for awhile, I still had the self-discipline to get my housework done.) And - I am crossing my fingers and knocking on wood - because this card can indicate that my harvest is almost ready, that it is almost time to see the benefits and rewards of all my hard work, determination, self-control, and faith. (A house?? Our House? Can I dare to get my hopes up?!?!?!)

Book of Shadows

Prompt: Book of Shadows
This was a suggestion by one of our regulars, and it will surely bring a wide range of answers.....What is your Book of Shadows/Grimoire like?Is it digital or hand-written? A spiral bound notebook, loose leaf pages in a binder, or in a handmade binding?What kinds of things do you keep in this book, and what things do you leave out or reserve for another book?If you are willing, perhaps take a picture or two to share with us.How do you ensure the safety of this information? Where do you keep it?

My Book of Shadows is a work in progress. I use a three ring binder so I can add stuff in different sections or move things around if I want to. It varies from hand written, decorated scrapbook style pages, to plain handwritten pages, to some typed and computer printed pages. I have so much more that I would like to add to it but haven't yet... as I said, it is a work in progress and it is always growing and changing (like me).

I used to have just one, but later divided some stuff into seperate notebooks. I have a seperate binder for all my Tarot related stuff (and I have a couple different tarot journals as well - which are blank journal books or spiral notebooks). I have another binder that is my "Wheel of the Year" journal, in which I keep everything related to Sabbats and Astrology. My main Book of Shadows is the collection of everything else; Prayers, Rituals, Correspondences, Elements, Chakras, whatever I have studied over the years. Here is my current "Table of Contents" for my Book of Shadows -

Book of Shadows Blessing
Wiccan Rede
Blessings, Prayers & Poems
Ritual Information;
* Altar and Tools * Ritual Outline * Ritual Preparation * Opening Prayers & Invokations * Closings
Moon Power;
* Table & Correspondences * Moon & Astrology * Moon Prayers & Chants * Moon Rituals & Spells
Earth Power - Correspondences * Earth Prayer * Spells & Rituals
Air Power - Correspondences * Air Prayer * Spells & Rituals
Fire Power - Correspondences * Fire Prayer * Spells & Rituals
Water Power - Correspondences* Water Prayer * Spells & Rituals
Personal Power;
* Chakras * Meditation * Yoga * Grounding & Cleansing

I don't have any pictures of my B.O.S. to share with you today but it's a great idea to take some pictures, I will have to do that soon! I keep my B.O.S. on my special bookshelf/altar in my room, along with my other metaphysical / Pagan books.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Hopes, Fears, and Real-Estate

We have been waiting 8 weeks to hear anything on the house we are trying to buy. It's in short-sale, so it has been a matter of waiting to hear from the home-owner's bank. Today our realtor called. Our offer of 39,900 falls short, the bank has requested 42,000. Our loan is only approved for 40,000. At this point, with money as tight as it is, we just can't come up with another 2,000 dollars. Our realtor said that she thinks if we put in a counter-offer for $40,500, we would have a good chance of still getting the house. I don't know if we will be able to do it or not, but we will see. So tomorrow there will be a counter-offer put in, for either $40,000 or $40,500, depending on what my parents decide they can do. It is their loan, they are the ones buying the house as an investment loan, and we will be paying the monthly mortgage to my parents. It is so stressful right now. I am trying to stay positive, but I feel like it's one of those "So Close, Yet So Far Away." moments.

Eight weeks of waiting, hoping, praying, and we could get denied all because of $2,000. Or, we could still get approved, with an offer of $40,500 - IF my parents are willing and able to up their original offer by 600 dollars. As I said, so close yet so far away. I feel like I am sitting in a glass room with my family, and everything my family needs is on the other side of that glass wall. I can see it, I can almost touch it, but I can't quite reach it. All I can do is sit here and wait for some unseen force to lift that glass wall. I have prayed, I have offered up my tears to the Heavens....

I can't live in this apartment any more. I feel so cramped, so trapped. My kids need more space. I need more space. If we get this house, our monthly mortgage payment will be LESS than what we pay for rent for this cramped 2 bedroom apartment. I don't ask for a lot. I don't want to be rich or famous. I know we have made mistakes in our past, and that has screwed up our credit, making our options very limited. My parents helping us by buying us a house is more than I ever hoped for, possibly even more than I deserve. But my kids deserve it. They deserve to have separate bedrooms, a backyard to play in, a living room that has room to play. I can't help but feel like time is running out, this window of opportunity is not going to be here forever and yet my hopes and fears lie in the hands of others - of some faceless bank of a homeowner that I don't even know. What do I have to give that can help my kids have a better life? What more can I do but have faith?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Check your boobies & lick your lids!

Just a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!

Remember to give yourself monthly self-exams, and talk to your Dr about getting a mammogram! Early detection is the greatest thing you can do for yourself!
If you want to help out, you can always donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation, or send in your Yoplait lids to the Save Lids, Save Lives foundation. You can register here; http://www.yoplait.com/slsl/default.aspx#/default. You don't have to register or join a team to send in lids, but it might help you remember to do so! If you're interested in joining a team, I created one, so if you do register, click to join a team and search for Pink Pagan Moms (Arizona) and together we can keep track of how many lids we send in!
Anytime between now and Dec. 31 you can send your clean Yoplait lids to:

Save Lids to Save Lives®
P.O. Box 420704
El Paso, TX 88542-0704

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's Oracle ~ Ear Chakras ~

(O.K., I know, it's been a long time since I have posted an Oracle card for you. Sorry about the delay!)
Today's card is from Doreen Virtue's "Angel Therapy Oracle Cards". (Hay House, Inc.)

Ear Chakras
"Notice message that appear s sounds, music, and words, both from external sources and within your mind. These messages are real answers to your prayers."

(Artwork on this card is by Audrey Rawlings Arena; www.fantasyartbyaudrey.com )

The message for this week is simple. LISTEN.
Listen to your inner voice, Listen to what people tell you, Listen to what you hear in music and in idle chatter. Somewhere in the sounds and noises, there may be a message for you. "Repetitive songs, an overheard conversation, a stranger's out-of-the-blue reassurances, or words that you hear in your mind. The angel's messages are always loving, positive,trustworthy, and constructive." ~ Doreen Virtue, from the Angel Therapy Guidebook

Enjoy The Silence
Take about 30 minutes to sit in complete silence. You may have to wait until everyone else is asleep, but take some time to turn off the radio, the T.V., the fans, anything that may create noise in your environment. When was the last time it you enjoyed complete silence? (Other than when you are sleeping) Be mindful of the silence, and how it makes you feel. What can you hear? Traffic in the distance? Neighborhood pets? Wind or birds? Is it harder to let your mind drift in he silence, or easier? Does it make you feel uncomfortable, or more peaceful? Try not to judge how your quiet time feels, just take notice of it. Take some time for meditation, quiet breathing, prayer, or yoga while you enjoy the silence.

Action Steps (from the guidebook)
In a quiet place where you are undisturbed, say the following prayer to the Archangel Michael, "I now ask you to vacuum and clear any lower energies in my physical ears and ear chakras. I am willing to release anything painful that I've ever heard, in exchange for clarity in my ability to hear the voice of love and the Angels."

NaNoWriMo starts Nov. 1st!

I have never done this before, though I have heard of it and it sounds like fun.... as if I really need another project! But, I am thinking, why not? If nothing else, it gives me a good creative outlet for the month...


November will be National Novel Writing Month! 30 days and nights of literary abandon! Just writing, no editing is necessary! Just write and write and have 50,000 words by the end of the month, that, when put together, make some semblance of a novel. This could be interesting!

The easiest thing, I guess, would be to just write journal-style about my life and my thoughts. Though that might be boring, but not necessarily pointless. I have (or at least I like to think that I have) interesting thoughts as a mother, wife, wage slave, and spiritual person.

Another thought I had, was to write based on a daily-draw using my Tarot or Oracle cards. I could even use those as writing prompts to write about my own life. OR, I could use them as writing prompts to write about something else - something fictional perhaps. I don't know yet. I guess I do have some time to decide, and no matter what, starting Nov. 1st, I am gonna have to try and commit some time Every day to writing! Sounds daunting, scary, and fun!
Who wants to join me??? Click the link to join http://www.nanowrimo.org/, and after you sign up, search for me, I'm on as Mama_McD, and add me as a writing buddy!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

an excuse for my absence

yes, I have an excuse... a rather good one too! I even have a doctor's note!

After "The Week of The Virus" (previous post), my family was struck again, by another virus! This time it wasn't a 24 hour bug, it was the Flu. All those lovely flu symptoms of fever, body aches, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and a cough. The girls each missed 4 days of school, all of us were pretty useless for most of the week. Then, to top it off, as everyone else was getting better I noticed that I had a couple symptoms that were not going away. In fact, my cough and sinus pressure were just getting worse! While the "Flu" like symptoms were gone, I finally had to admit that I needed a Dr.s intervention; antibiotics were definatley in order! A dr. confirmed my fears - the crud from the flu had settled in my chest and sinuses, leading to not one,but TWO infections; a Sinus Infection AND Bronchitis!
So I'm on day TWO of the three day Z-pack antibiotics, but still in recovery. It might be a few days before I recover more fully, after all, I have been sick for about 2 weeks! I want to be better, but I'm not pushing it yet! Sorry there haven't been more blogs, I will try to get back into blogging very soon!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WHR 10/3/09 - Week of the Virus

Weekly Housewife's Report for the week of 9/27 - 10/3
The Week of the Virus

Lets just say that any plans I had for deep cleaning, organizing, decluttering, or special projects were laid aside as last week we all took turns having a stomach virus. I will spare you the nasty details, it was not nearly as fun as it sounds! Monday and Tuesday it was Me and Mr. X, then Weds. and Thursday it was Miss Z's turn, followed by Daddy on Friday and Princess A on Saturday and Sunday. Once I was feeling alive enough to clean my house, it was in desperate need! Apparently, what they say is true, Mom can NEVER take a day off. The husband means well, he did make me tea and soup, and I am sure he cleaned something, though I might just be fooling myself. I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that, try as he might, his standard of "clean" is just not the same as mine (and possibly not even the same as most residents of the planet). My apartment, apparently, is home to a vortex that without the intervention of Mom, can go from live able to condemnable in 2 days. So, I have come to the conclusion, that I am not allowed to get sick any more. I am trying to figure out a way to make my immune system sign a contract. Other than that I will just have to come to terms with the fact that if I do need to take a sick day or two, there will be consequences, which may involve crime-scene tape to keep visitors away until I have managed to clean the wreckage.

It's not all bad. by Thursday I was feeling good enough to clean, and I power-cleaned my butt off! October has brought along a great FlyLady theme - our new "Habit of the Month" is Paper Clutter! So I'll have some reminders and motivation to go thru any clutter that involves paper; school papers, mail, etc. Paper Clutter is everywhere throughout my home, so I am excited to have a reason to start purging it! In the Fluttering Flybabies group (my favorite CafeMom group where we motivate each other to follow FlyLady) we have a challenge for the month and I'll be keeping track of how many paper items I fling each day. Last week I managed to get a great start and fling 63 pieces of paper from the art/school shelf in the living room!!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, simply because it is the start of a new week and I will be able to get back into my routines (hopefully!) There might be one thing holding me back;
Potty Training! Every week that I have decided to try and just buckle down and make Mr. X deal with his potty issues, something comes up. Too busy, traveling, company, kids sick, something! Husband decided yesterday would be a great time to get involved and put his foot own (though he could have consulted me first) and he refused to change Mr. X's pull-up. I came home from work to a battle Royale! Finally, we got Mr. X to change his own pull-up, wipe his own butt, and sit on the potty. So, rather than letting all that effort go to waste, I decided it's TIME, once again, to start the full-time potty training. Now he will have no more excuses to be "lazy" and just go in his pants, because he will have to change himself and sit on the potty anyways. Sound harsh? Well, keep in mind, he is almost 4, and this has been an on-again, off-again battle for well over a year! (Or is it two years? I don't know anymore...)

I had a great personal ritual and prayer session last night under the full-moon and I'm feeling quite motivated! I experienced such an overwhelming rush of peace, energy, and Magick under the moon last night, and I know that I am so Blessed and Loved!! I also chose last night to dedicate myself at last to being 100% Smoke free! As you know, I quit smoking a couple months ago, but have continued to allow myself one cigarette a night. This was good, and working for me for awhile, but slowly, I started to slip. One smoke was turning into two, then three, then four a day, depending on my stress level. I realized that I wasn't taking my commitment seriously anymore, and was going backwards. So last night I decided no more; back to cold-turkey - and this time no nightly smoke. I will have to be really hard on myself. Since Husband smokes, there are cigarettes here available to me at any time. But I know I can overcome that temptation, and that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for in the beginning. Surely I have coping skills to deal with my stress, I am not going to use that as an excuse anymore!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Housewife's Report 9/26/09

This week was a rather off-week for me. Not that I didn't get a lot done, but there was too much going on for me to really stick with any kind of routine or schedule. Maybe it was the Mercury Retrograde and it's connection to Saturn and the Sun in Virgo, but I feel like this week was pivotal to my life's journey somehow.

As far as life at home, there was a lot going on. We had to schedule for the apartment to get fumigated because sadly, an apartment in the desert means roaches. Eeeew they drive me crazy! So Monday was spent taking everything out of my kitchen; food, dishes, utensils, everything, and storing it outside on my patio. Tuesday I borrowed my friend's car (hubby takes our car to work and commutes quite a distance) so that Mr. X and I could get out of the apartment for the day while it was bombed. It turned out to be quite a nice day, for the most part - because since me and my 3 year old are usually stuck in the apartment with no car, it was a nice change. We went to a bookstore, I got myself the next 2 books in the fiction series I have been reading, and got myself a beautiful new deck of oracle cards. Then we went to the park. Weather was perfect, so we just hung out and relaxed at the park for awhile, before going out to lunch. By 2:45 I had to return my friend's car, just in time to go home and open up the doors and windows and begin to let the apartment air out. The girls came home from school, and we stayed outside till 4:00, lounging in the grass, reading and coloring. When hubby got home we went in and began the clean up (You don't want the details, trust me, this was the worst part of my week) After getting everything wiped down, we ordered pizza and watched tv.

Wednesday couldn't do much of my usual cleaning, because I was busy putting stuff back in my kitchen. The whole ordeal was kinda like moving. Pack, move out, unpack, put away; but without the perks of a new environment. Just when I thought I might begin to get back to my routines, my parents called and announced that they would be coming to visit on Thursday. So Thursday they arrived around lunch, took Mr. X and me out to lunch, then grocery shopping. Back home, hubby comes home from work and the girls get home from school, and after visiting, my parents announced that they would like to take us all to play miniature golf. (We agreed though both hubby and I were tired, and we aren't much into the spontaneous thing) But it was a really fun time and I am glad we went!! I think I needed to get out of my box (and my apartment and routines) for awhile. The kids all had a great time too!

Meanwhile, thru the week during what little "me time" or "down time" I had, I have been exploring this whole Virgo/Hermit/Hestia/Vesta thing (see previous 2 blogs) and discovering more of my spiritual path and just feeling really good about it. I gave myself a reading with my new oracle deck and it was really helpful, and I am just waiting for this Mercury Retrograde to be over so I can start some new projects and start moving forward again. Tomorrow is another day of work, then on Monday I will be back to my daily routines of laundry and dishes and kids, and trying to catch up with all the stuff I had to skip this week. But it wasn't lost time, and the piles of dirty laundry will hopefully just serve to remind me that it's okay to step away from it all once in awhile and just do something different.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Earlier this week I became intrigued with the Roman Goddess Vesta. Her image on The Hermit and related to Virgo (as with the Spiral Tarot) really got me thinking. I have needed to explore my Virgo side. (I'm a Capricorn, but seem to have a lot of Virgo going on in my chart), and have always been drawn to the tarot card, "The Hermit". So I was really delighted to find a connection between this card and the astrological sign representing "The Virgin", as the traditional decks didn't seem to resonate this part of the card's meanings for me. (See more on my previous blog, The Hermit / Vesta.) When it came to the Vesta/Hermit relationship, I felt it was speaking to me about not only looking within, but in sacrificing or giving up selfish needs. In helping and serving others without any selfish reasons, we can shine a light on this truth and love within ourselves, thus seeing our true natures more clearly and be able to find that sense of direction and Inner Truth that the Hermit seems to be seeking.

I learned that Vesta's Greek counterpart is the Goddess Hestia. I have always been drawn to Ancient Greek Archetypes, though I haven't really done much serious research on specific deities and myths, so I decided to look her up. Both Vesta and Hestia were revered as the Goddess of the Hearth Fire and the Home. Already I feel a connection! I am always looking or Archetypes that relate to things that I feel I relate to, that I would call on during my practical day. So this draws me in. Hestia is the Grand-daughter of Gaia. She was the first-born of Cronus and Rhea, though Cronus swallowed her whole because of a prophecy that his own child would de-throne him. He also swallowed whole all of Hestia's sisters and brothers, except for Zeus. Rhea tricked him into swallowing a rock wrapped up as a baby, because she was tired of her husband swallowing her babies, for obvious reasons! As you know, Zeus eventually grew up and was a main factor in overthrowing Cronus. Zeus gave Cronus a potion in his wine and Cronus vomited up his other 5 children, who were now fully grown. Hestia was the last to be expelled from Cronus' stomach, and for this reason she is said to be both the oldest and the youngest of the Olympians. She was both the first-born and the last-born.

I felt a strange understanding and connection as I read this part of Hestia's story. I am a first-born. I had a time in my life when I was swallowed up, consumed by earthly greed and folly. I eventually had a "Rebirth", a time when I came back to life and finally started figuring out who I was. By this time, my younger brother had begun to mature, and in some ways, he had caught up with me. Sometimes I feel like he has things figured out a little better than I do, when it comes to knowing and accepting his spiritual path and life purpose. Most of the time I see him as an equal, not a younger sibling, but someone more the same age as me. This is how Hestia must have felt toward her siblings - they were all born after her, and, other than Zeus, they all emerged at the same time, and she was not their older sister, but their equal, and slightly younger sister. Hestia's brothers were Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Her sisters were Hera and Demeter.
The siblings ran away to Mount Olympius and formed a plan to fight against Cronus and the Titans. A great war began, though the young gods were outnumbered by the Titans.
Fortunately, a few Titans decided to side with the Olympians. Prometheus was a Titan, and his name meant "One who thinks ahead", and he had a gift of foresight. He foresaw that the Titans would lose the battle, and he and his brother Epimetheus refused to fight against the Olympians because of this. Again I paused as I read the story of Hestia. My brother, who I mentioned before, has an unusual middle name. It is Prometheus. The light bulbs keep going on in my head. This is the story I have been searching for! Finally, the Olymians won the battle and most of the Titans were sent to Tartarus. (Not Prometheus or his brother, obviously, since they had not fought against the victorious Olympian siblings. ) After this, the Olympians decided to divide up the duties as Gods. Rather than having one God ruling over it all, like Cronus had tried to do, they decided to work together. Hestia became the Goddess of the Hearth, or fireplace, and the Home. Her sister, Demeter, became the Goddess of agriculture and all living things, and their sister Hera became the Goddess of marriage and childbirth.

Aside from the story of the battle of the Olympians, I couldn't find much else about Hestia. I could not find anything about her children or a husband, and for this reason I think she never married or had kids. So this would explain why her later Roman counterpart, Vesta, was described as The Virgin Goddess. I have also found reference to her as the Virgin of the Harvest. As I meditated, I saw/felt this;
The Hearth, or fire, has always been the center of not only the home, but the community and civilization. Without the hearth, there is no where to cook the food. There is nowhere to make the tools that harvest the food. Although the flames of the fire themselves do not create anything tangible, the heat of these flames makes all else possible. This is where the servitude aspect of Virgo comes out. Serving your family and community with warmth and love. This is what Hestia and Vesta were revered and honored for. And although she remained a virgin and never had any children, it is her watch over the Home and Hearth that made all harvests possible. The Virgin of the Harvest. Goddess of the Hearth. I am enraptured and inspired. Also, as I meditated on how this Goddess' image and name may have changed over time, another light bulb came on. Both Hestia and Vesta are represented as a pure, kind woman, often with a cloak over their head. This goddess' symbolic animal is the Ass (donkey/mule). Who else do we know in history that is seen to wear a cloak and accompanied by an Ass? Who else do we now know as The Virgin, and the Virgo? The Virgin Mary, mother of Christ. A Virgin who gave forth a great harvest, a pure, self-sacrificing woman. And so Hestia's story has continued through time....

Friday, September 18, 2009


Today is the New Moon. A time for rest and meditation. Both the Sun and Moon are in Virgo, the sign of the Virgin. The Virgin Virgo symbolizes the selfless aspect of the self; rather than pursuing self-gratifying needs, The Virgin thinks of others. Through time there have been people (mostly women) who embody the self-sacrificing traits of Virgo; The Virgin Mary, Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth I, Princess Diana, etc. People who are remembered for thinking of others above all else, who made personal sacrifices in order to help the greater good of others.
In Tarot, Virgo is related to The Hermit, which generally represents looking inward to find our true purpose. Taking time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to look within and find the truth that really drives us. When we see The Hermit in a reading, it is generally a time to put aside our selfish desires for a moment, to get to the heart of the matter, find our inner passion, rediscover our purpose or meaning, and then continue on our path with a new found purity or innocence.

Today, being the new moon, I decided to study this card (again - this card calls to me a lot). I pulled out The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon and found that in her deck, The Hermit is represented by the Goddess Vesta. Here's a picture of the card from this deck;

and the meaning from the booklet;
"The Hermit, the Goddess Vesta, holds her lantern aloft to show us the way. Self-knowledge and self-sufficiency; being alone to experience what is meaningful and significant to you. Your Inner Guide."

I haven't done all my homework when it comes to the Goddesses, so I decided to look up more on Vesta. I found that Vesta is a Roman and later Greek Goddess, also known as Hestia, who rules over the Home and Hearth. She rules over the fires of the Hearth; meaning that she watches over the spark of life, love, and warmth in a home. This is one great site I found; http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Vesta.html. Ever heard the term "Vestal Virgins"? These were the Greek people, like nuns, who dedicated themselves to the Goddess Vesta and swore an oath of celibacy, dedicating their life to helping others and tending to the fires in the Temple. Vesta was the Goddess who was called upon to bring peace and harmony to a home, as well as love, fertility, and prosperity within the home. Sharing a meal or a loaf of bread with a neighbor, stranger, or elderly person, was thought to please Vesta and bring blessings unto your home that your own family would never hunger. More on Vesta can be found here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesta_(mythology)

Yeah, my interest is defiantly piqued. I have been searching for a Patron Goddess, and I have always been inexplicably drawn to the image and meaning of The Hermit. Plus I have some very prominent Virgo in my charts. And, as you know, my main area of focus is always my home. This could be the beginning of a wonderful new area of study and relationship with the Goddess!

Another version of this card that I am looking at today is from The Celestial Tarot. (by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark) In this card we see a beautiful maiden (who looks rather virginal), holding in her arms the wheat of a harvest, and with her hand is sharing the gifts of this bounty.

From the booklet;
"Virgo, The Wise Virgin
At this point in the journey we meet the Hermit, the Major Arcana card associated with Virgo, the harvest maiden, intertwining the paradoxical themes of fertility and purity. In the Celestial Tarot she holds the wheat in her left hand and disseminates seeds with her right. The card depicts the season of withdrawal. For psyche the time of harvest has come; it is time to withdraw and prepare and reflect. In the background is the traditional image of the hermit holding the lamp of inner guidance necessary during this time. Virgo embodies the wisdom of cycles, a respect for fate and an openness to destiny. The Hermit augurs a period of meditation where the inner world is fortified to prepare for a major shift on the life path."

I also found this website and great meditation;
This is a great article about the energy of a New Moon in Virgo;
And this is a meditation to go along with it

Meditation for the New Moon in Virgo
I make constructive, helpful, specific suggestions for
improvement in situations that need better organization and
I release habits of complaining, griping, criticizing, and
I accept that "perfection" is an ideal and often relative
concept, and where practical and sensible, I let "good
enough" be exactly that.
I am realistic, careful, and reasonable in the demands I
make on myself and others.
I make healthy, prudent, self-caring choices that support a
productive lifestyle.
(~ by Rebecca Brent ~)

I will definatley have to take some time for real meditation. With both the sun and the New Moon in Virgo, and having learned of this new aspect of The Hermit and the Goddess Vesta, I am feeling the pull for the need of solitude even more. Of course, there is always the perfect image from the Housewives Tarot - which seems like the perfect way for me to meditate tonite;