Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Out With The Old

I always have a bit of a declutter before the festiver season sets in, particularly as far as the kids toys are concerned. Beth's birthday is less than a week before Christmas so we have to make room for all the new stuff she alone is going to get. This year I've really felt the need to go a bit deeper. We as a family have been through a massively emotional time this year, and while things have pretty much righted themselves now I realized that really the house needs a bit of TLC too.

I think it's easy to forget how the energies of the houses we live in get affected by our day to day lives, particularly when a lot has been going on keeping us busy and leaving negative and emotional prints all over the place. Now in order to do this properly I have to clean from top to bottom and I'm not just talking about surface cleaning, but sorting out every cupboard, drawer, closet, nook and cranny too. I'm one of those people that can't just forget that the mess and disorganized clutter is there just because it's hidden away in a drawer or such (men seem to be much better at doing this :p) and I find that when there is this kind of a jumble all over the house my mind and life get a bit jumbled and unclear too.

So it began last Thursday and I finally finished up yesterday, all set to begin the spiritual cleaning soon. Yes it took me five days! to get through the house thoroughly, but already it feels so much better, even Beths room, which I haven't been able to actually traverse without tripping up or stepping on something and hurting myself in months, is tidy! I really should have taken some before and after pics... nevermind.

Side note here too: those queens of clean Kim and Aggie on How Clean is Your House came through again... How you may well ask? Well, quite a while ago I saw they recommended the use of cheap hairspray to get rid of crayon on the walls. Hairspray? I wondered, surely that won't work... up until recently I didn't have a reason to try it out, however, I discovered Beth has been practicing writing her numbers in blue crayon on her bedroom walls. It is a bugger to get that stuff off, so I resorted finally to the hairspray tip, and it only bloody worked! I couldn't believe it... so if you need to get rid of any crayon scribbling from your walls use cheap hairspray, just spray it on and use some tissue and a bit of elbow grease to rub it straight off.

Anyways, back to the point....

My nicely physically and energetically clean house will then be followed by a new protection and warding, all of which I have shamefully become lax with over the last few months, so it's really no wonder that it has taken us so long to get back on track is it...

I love so much connecting with the energies of my house and hearth, something that is such a big part of my practice as domestic witchcraft is so integral in my life. It is so important to nurture and create not just a physically healthy atmosphere but also a spiritually healthy atmosphere in the one place you should be able to relax, unwind and really be yourself.... your home.

Pay attention to doing this on a daily basis and things begin to just click into place. A simple prayer or a few minutes feeling for your hearth energies maybe accompanied by the lighting of a candle is all you need. Just connecting to those earthy home energies and firey hearth energies is always such a boost to me, it lifts my spirits, gives me energy and motivation to approach all the domestic jobs that all too often I don't really want to do and pummels me with creativity.

When you are spiritually sound and content life is so much happier all round and right now that is the place I find myself. Blessings x

Monday, 16 November 2009

New Moon Musings....

It's that time again! It's the new moon and this months 'idea' my end is to try to shift some more of this baby weight before the festive season arrives. I've still got a fair bit that I want to get rid of and today is the day that me and my mum arranged, a few weeks ago, to attempt it. We usually do these things together to motivate each other.... it worked last time before I fell pregnant with Ethan so here's hoping I'll have some success again. I will of course keep you all posted with how well, if at all it is going.


At this time of year I tend to make a few spiritual goals either on or just after Samhain, like your average New Years resolutions only they're based on my spiritual practices. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks but have finally found the motivation and clarification to organize my thoughts and set them. They may be learning/practicing a new type of divination or researching a particular pantheon of interest or completing a certain section in my BOS.... well you get the idea :)

This year I have three that I intend to work with... the first is to finish my healing course completely, which will hopefully be easily acheivable. I had to stop my studies and practicing while I was pregnant with Ethan as I was just so ill but finally over this last month (a good 20 months later) I've found things clicking into place and the course work I had outstanding for level 2 is nearly complete and ready for evaluation. Then next year I can really set to working on my Masters level and I don't want it to be hanging around waiting to finish like I had to for level 2.

My second is to make a real effort to use my oracle cards and runes more often. I used to use them all the time, the cards in particular, but I have been a bit lax with it of late and rather unhappily find myself getting a little disconnected with my beloved tools.

And the third is to push myself to continue practicing scrying with my crystal ball. Now this I really enjoyed doing as part of my meditation but I often found myself getting frustrated because it was always a bit ummm... temperamental. The long and short is that I'm not all that good at it, but then that's really because I don't/haven't been practicing much.... I have no-one to blame but myself. So following a good cleansing and attunement I have begun once more. My aim is to scry every dark moon, as I did last night... I have found that this seems to be my most receptive time and so far so good, I actually had some results yesterday :)

As you can see there is a main divinatory theme to my goals this year, I find that happens a lot. A couple of years ago it was a whole research theme where there were a couple of different areas I felt inexplicably drawn to collect information and images about. Last year started as a rest year which then turned into a spiritual social theme as I began blogging and connecting with new people, and indeed, felt drawn to do so.

Not all of them come to fruition, but usually at least one of mine does get completed. I often add or change them during the year, but it gives me something to work towards in my strange and rather persistant love of gaining knowledge and skills. It is one of the things I love so much about this path, the neverending stream of things to learn about both within and without myself.

So I ask you to think about your journey right now, is there something that seems to be calling you? A skill or theme you feel pulled to learn about? A deity you're being drawn to? An idea you can't shake from your mind because you're being called to it? If so why not make it your spiritual goal for the year and see how it changes and benefits your path...

Blessings x
Note: For anyone who's been trying to follow my Twitter link; it is now working again!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Untitled Painting.

The latest painting that I finished yesterday morning. It's a little difficult to see the full range of colours and marks from the photo but it is possible to see some of the scratching in. This method, which I usually use on my work, has a better impact when used with oils, but I'm not too disappointed with these results in acryllic.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Butternut Squash Bread

This recipe is for a really thick and sweet bread that I have found babies in particular really enjoy. It can be made with most bake-able vegetables, my favourites being butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potato:
1 small/medium butternut squash (or equivalent amount of other veg of choice)
300g plain flour (to start but more to add depending on how much veg. flesh you have to use)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp olive oil
65ml cold water
You can also add different herbs to taste or for magickal purposes. The beauty about this recipe is that it's quite forgiving and open to huge amounts of tweaking :)
Bake the butternut squash (or whatever you are using), leave to cool and then scoop out the flesh and mash. Add the other ingredients and knead together adding more flour to lessen the stickiness of the dough if it is needed. Sometimes the flesh you use can add a lot of extra fluid so I just add more flour to counteract this. Shape into a round loaf or rolls. Again, if your dough is quite wet still I would recommend making rolls or two smaller loaves. Score a cross or lines into the top of the loaf and bake on gas mark 6 for 30 - 35 mins or until hollow sounding.
Enjoy x

Uses for....

....Pumpkin Seeds.

What can you do with all those left over pumpkin seeds from the Halloween/Samhain celebrations? Well here are a few ideas:
Roasted Seeds - Make a tasty snack by roasting the seeds on a low heat tossed in a little melted butter and some salt.... yummy. My daughter loves them plain like this but you could also add sweet or savoury spices for a bit of variety, or make a caramel to toss them in once they're done. Roast them on a low heat gas mark 2 - 3 for a good 30 - 40 mins checking them every 10 mins or so to make sure they don't burn.

Seed pictures.... make pictures with them! Once clean and dry they make great craft materials for pictures, just add glue, paint and whatever takes your fancy. This isn't just something for the kids to do either... it's great fun and they can be used to make seasonal decorative pictures, mosaics or mandalas... the possibilities are endless!

Dry them for use all year round; clean them up and leave them somewhere warm to dry out like an airing cupboard then store in a jar or container in your herb store :)

When they're clean and dry you can paint them. This tends to work best when they have been completely dried out as the paint holds better to them. Why not string the painted ones up to make decorations for next year or for the fast approaching festive season?

If you're opting for stringing them up then you could also make jewellery with them with the kids. Use pretty painted seeds for fun necklaces and bracelets, or thread roasted seeds to make edible items.

Well these are just a few ideas, if you have any other uses for those pesky pumpkin seeds then please do tell, I'd love to hear them :D

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Playing Catch Up.

I know it's a bit late, but I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Samhain. I had a lovely time, though I was ill over the weekend with a tummy bug type thing, but it was still an enjoyable and magickal time for us. I have now fully recovered and have finally gotten round to tackling the backlog of online work I have to deal with :)

I thought I would share a few pics from our celebrations and later I'll be adding some other bits about ideas for using up all those leftover pumpkin seeds and a recipe for some butternut squash/pumkin bread.

I always carve at least two pumkins. A smaller one for my shrine and a larger family one, which Beth decides on a design for... and believe me she is very particular about what she wants

Beth dressed up as a witch this year, it's the first year we have moved away from the fairy themed costume, though the fact that I managed to get her a pink witches costume swung the deal, lol.