Monday, February 12, 2018

The Universe Doesn't Give a $#@! About Your Plans (But that's okay!)

The Universe doesn't give a shit about your plans. Startling from a spiritual blogger? Probably. But it's true. At least sometimes.

While I believe in free will, I also believe the Universe will nudge us in the right direction when we need a little guidance. Sometimes this nudge can feel like a kick in the nuggets while you're already kneeling. Life can be funny like that. 

It's happened to me many times before (one time of which is documented here), it's happening to me now, and I have no doubt it will happen again. Because I'm a Taurus, which means I can be stubborn. But I had plans, damn it! Plans that were already plotted out in a day planner. That shit is binding!

Yet sometimes the Universe has bigger plans. Plans we can't always see at the time. Plans that usually make sense in hindsight, even though it really, really sucks at the time.

Bear with me here. I'm a little cranky from lack of sleep. =D

This blog, for example, came only after the Universe gave me a proverbial shove. I spent a few years trying desperately to become a novelist. I wrote several novels, some I'm extremely proud of, some that need serious editing. (Learning curve and what not.) But no matter the genre I wrote or the approach I took, nothing ever seemed to really stick. The turning point came when, after a few months of fruitlessly wasting my days at the keyboard spending more time deleting useless prose than producing anything even marginally readable, I realized something was amiss. Something was inhibiting my creativity, and I needed to let go and trust. Because fighting it was futile. Sort of like trying to windsurf in a hurricane.  

After a session of brainstorming that, in honesty, looked a lot more like me talking AT my husband than actual chatting (You can read more about that here), the idea for this blog came to me from seemingly nowhere. And you know what? I'm really flipping glad something stopped me from writing that novel. Because I truly love writing for this blog. And more than writing, I've found interacting with you lovely readers far more fulfilling than I ever imagined. With complete sincerity, thank you for every comment, every "like," and every e-mail, because each and every interaction is genuinely appreciated.

My long-winded point, dear friends, is that once again the Universe has kicked me in the ass nudged me towards something yet unseen. Don't fret! The blog is not going anywhere! In fact, my love for this site is why I'm more than a little cranky about said nudge.

Basically, writing feeds my soul. Writing at the computer feeds, well, nothing. Years ago, when I was a teen, someone made a foolish mistake, like humans tend to do. A driver pulled out in front of me, realized he didn't have enough time to cross the rural highway, and stopped dead in my tracks. Fortunately no one was seriously injured. Unfortunately, my neck has been more jacked up than a football bat ever since. And working on the computer is not helping things. Generally, this manifests as intense migraines. But lately it's gotten even worse. (Because evidently a silly little migraine just wasn't enough to get my attention!) After a few months of numb hands, searing nerve pain, and horrific sleep, my chiropractor broke the news: computer work sucks for people.

All people. The human kind of people. Because it jacks with posture. We were meant to frolic in the woods, not live on iPhones.

With that said, I took a week off from the computer, focused on physical activity, and I felt 80% better! Good news for my body! Bad news for the blog.
The answer is simple: I need to slow down. Which is the exact opposite of what I had been doing up until last week. You see, 2018 is the year my husband and I have been waiting for. In a mere 6 months, his contractual obligation to the government is over. We get to pack up everything we own, move clear across the country (treeeeesss!), change careers (farming!), and squeeze in a cross-country trip in the process. A trip we've spent the last 5 years scrimping and saving for. It's truly a chance of a lifetime, one I'm super grateful for and don't intend to squander!

In order to make sure you wonderful Pagans were supplied with spell-tacular goodies while we are on the road, I've been doubling up on work, furiously writing posts and trying to squeeze out one more book before we hit the road. 6 months. All while dealing with the logistics of a cross-country move. That's kind of a crap load of work. Which is a legit unit of measure, by the way. I think it's part of the metric system. But I had it allllll scheduled out in my adorable little day planner. Post-its and all. That shit was tighter than a pair of jeans from 15 years ago. 

And the Universe laughed and laughed and threw in a road block. Because apparently it has something else in store. Probably healing. Because you know what would really ruin our hard-earned road trip? Not sleeping due to nerve pain. I'm a horrible person when I'm tired. Really. Like, even I can't stand me. Have you seen how much swearing has made it into this post? And that's what I didn't edit out. =/

As a side note, I know I'm most definitely not the first person to deal with pain, especially poorly-timed pain. So I'm guessing you can relate. If you can, keep searching for answers. Because healing comes in many forms and it's different for every single person. Your body was meant to heal. Don't give up because someone tells you it's impossible! But that's a topic for another post.

With that said, I made the decision to begrudgingly start posting on the first Monday of every month rather than every other week. It wasn't a decision that came lightly, because I feel like I'm letting you down a bit. But it's something I realized I had to do. Because you can't trade health in the name of work. It's a raw deal, dude! Don't do it. And said book, (that, by the way, was going to be holly and mother-fing jolly), has been put on hold. Not forever, since I already outlined the GD thing. I should seriously just burn my day planner. Is nothing sacred anymore?! *waves numb hands*

But it's time to put my money where my coffee-hole is and actually trust the process, which brings me to the point of this post:

Sometimes we simply have to let go and have faith that the Universe has the map. And the compass. And a really kick-ass nav system. 

Don't get me wrong. A person can't throw in the towel the moment something gets a touch challenging. But if you've been coming at a dilemma from left, right, over the top, around the back, and up the middle and you STILL can't make it work, there's usually a reason. As much as we may fight and despite any tantrums we may throw, no amount of swearing is going to force the square resolution into a round hole. 

Using my own situation as an example, I can't tell you why this puzzle won't come together. Maybe it's as simple as needing time to replenish the creative reserves. Maybe I've been neglecting my own health in the name of work (somewhere, miles away from this computer, my sweet husband is nodding vigorously and he has no idea why.). What I can tell you is I've chosen to trust. That doesn't mean it's not uncomfortable. And that doesn't mean I'm not questioning every single decision I'm making right now. I'm human, a stubborn one at that. But I am working on letting go of the need for complete control. Because the Universe hasn't failed me yet, and I trust it's not leading me down a dark alley just to rob me and steal my sneakers.

I mean, they were $20 at Target. I'm *pretty* sure the Universe can afford that.

Despite technology literally being a pain in my neck, it also helps me track what you most enjoy on the blog. Which—surprise, surprise!—is spells and sabbats. So guess what this blogger is queuing up for you? =D

I want to express how much I truly appreciate your support and readership, which is why this decision was difficult for me. I genuinely love interacting with you! I feel energized by writing spells and answering readers’ questions and getting into very strange positions just to get that perfect angle for a photo. When I say this site has been a blessing, one of the few things to keep me sane during my last couple years in hell the desert, I’m not exaggerating. I'm truly humbled by your support, which is why I’m not too pleased to slow down the process, because I fear a drop in material will kill readership.

*Deep, calming breaths*

But the reality is I can't jeopardize my health. Because if I lose my arms it will be impossible for me to write at all. Or to apply mascara. I'm Irish, man. You can't tell I have eyelashes without it!

So while the quantity may ebb just a bit, quality will remain my focus. Think of this site like a really killer cheese platter. =D

The beauty in being spiritual individuals is that we don't have to have all the answers all the time. Sometimes you simply need to heed the signs, find a little balance, and trust the Universe. Because it hasn't lead you astray (or stolen your sneakers) thus far! ;)

Has the Universe ever shoved you in a direction you didn't want to take? Have you ever left a troublesome path only to find the new option is more appropriate?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Full Moon Energy Spray

Have you ever felt so burned out by a person or situation that you couldn't find the energy to smudge a room despite knowing it would make you feel better? I always feel revitalized after a good sageing (is that a word?). But sometimes I feel so drained I have to garner the strength just to get my ass up and swipe a smudge stick around.

Maybe I'm just hopelessly lazy?

There's a joke between my husband and I that our family are like those little mechanical dogs you used to see in mall toy stores back in the 90s. Remember KB Toys? Whenever I think of that now defunct toy store tucked away in the back corner of the local mall, I think of that table with the clear sides that housed all those noisy mechanical toys strategically placed juuust at the edge of the mall's walkway so that exhausted, overheated (stupid overheated malls!) parents would be reluctantly dragged over by eager-eyed children to watch overpriced gadgets do back flips and bark and croak or whatever the hell they did that made children melt down in toy-crazed need, inevitably breaking the spirits willpower of fatigued parents. Well, those toys are the perfect representation of our extended family. 

Not every member of course. Some of them are sane. ;) But it seems the moment one of the crazier relatives starts with some drama, it somehow sets the others off, proverbially yapping and doing back flips and causing general pandemonium through the damn phone. (We don't live near any family.)

It's even more perplexing because his family resides in Texas while mine is all in New England. They don't chat, nor have they ever even met! Yet somehow if his mother calls with a bomb, one she loving likes to detonate and calmly skip away while we are left with smoke and debris and shit, inevitably someone goes wonky on my side of the nut tree.

I think I'm gonna go with a pecan tree. Those make a mean cookie. 

Now, not to sound cliche, but my mother-in-law is...intense. And in case you feel I'm biased, my husband is the calmest person I've ever met. Like, sloth-level chill. And even he gets flustered by her...quirks. Let me give you one of the lighter examples since dark familial secrets isn't the theme of this blog. 

Many years ago, just before my husband and I got married, we were doing what most soon-to-be-newly-weds do at four in the morning: sleeping.

...Get your mind out of the gutter, my friend! =P

The phone rang and like anyone who has ever had the phone ring in the middle of the night, your rear end puckers, your stomach drops, and you immediately think of your eldest family member with a feeling of dread. With the raspy voice of someone awakened from deep REM sleep, my husband answered the phone, clearly apprehensive of the life-altering news awaiting us. It was his mother calling to break the somber news thaaaaat—she bought a puppy!

Listen, the only thing better than dogs is baby dogs. I will pole vault tables to get to a puppy. Have you read my bio? I adore puppy breath and adamantly feel someone needs to bottle that little exhale of heaven. But you know what I don't adore? People calling me at 4 in the morning. 

"Mom, it's 4 A.M." my husband said, rubbing his eyes as he pushed away the alarm clock that would be screeching in a mere two hours, waking us for work. Her response was what you'd expect from any normal, contrite person who made a flub. Did I say normal? I meant crazy.

"Ohhh. I thought it was 5." 

Because 5 A.M. is a much more appropriate time to ring people. Really. Try it some time. Preferably with an ex from high school you haven't spoken to in 10 years. I'm certain it will go over swimmingly. 

Both sides of our family struggle with the time exchange, especially since Arizona (where we lived at the time) doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time. But let me give you a hint to help you remember the difference between Texas and Arizona time: Don't call me at 4 AM. Or five, for that matter. Unless someone is dead. Then feel free to give me a ring-a-doodledoo. Because if a person calls me and no one is dead, guess who's about to be?

*Maniacal grin*

He politely entertained her insanity while I continued to mutter, "Just hang up." into a pillow. Rude? Sure. But I tend to get a bit edgy when startled awake at 4 in the morning. Maybe if she was calling to tell me she was giving US a puppy I could have mustered some enthusiasm. But she wasn't. She woke me up and she was hogging all the puppy breath. Pft!

A few years later, weeks after moving into our first home, she called to invite herself to stay with us for a couple weeks. Not entirely unusual when you live out of state. What was off-putting was her adding, "And I'm going to invite my brother. We have some stuff we need to work through from childhood, and I know he'd like to see you."

Let me translate for you: an uncle my husband hasn't seen in 15 years would like to visit. So why not overlap that with some family my living room! Did I mention this would have been only the THIRD time I'd even encountered this woman? I'd never even met his uncle. Yes, please go Jerry Springer in my new home. Because family visits that don't involve intense emotional counseling just aren't sufficient quality time.

Needless to say, said visit never happened and my living room couch remained blood-free. But certainly you can see the pattern of...dramatic interactions. Yes, we'll go with "dramatic interactions." And again, these are the entertaining, fluffy examples. I haven't even gotten into the dark crap, because I simply can't put a humorous twist on that warped shit. 

Some people call these types of draining personalities psychic vampires, because you tend to drag yourself away feeling energetically depleted. There have been times I've hung up the phone and can feel the pressure of the conversation weighing on my energetic body like that kid in elementary school that always asked for help getting up but once you proffered a hand they opted not to do any of the work and instead sat there like a sack of potatoes as you heaved them to their feet. 

Please tell me I'm not the only person this has happened to.

The long-winded  point, my dear readers is that sometimes you feel so depleted or weighted by a situation that even the remedy feels taxing. But instead of resolving to be the potato sack from gym class, there's an easy fix!

Go Boy Scouts on that shit and be prepared! ;)

Full Moon Energy Spray is a simple way to clean the gunk from a room when you don't have the inclination to stroll around your house with bells and a feather as you perpetually re-light your smudge stick, getting a serious upper body workout as your waft away your energetic troubles.

Yes, I am being hyperbolic since smudging is generally an enjoyable task. But you can't honestly tell me I'm the only person who has, on occasion, held a smoldering sage bundle by the air intake of the climate control and called it good? If you're out there, dear soulmate, please give me a "hell yeah!"

As with many of my spells, this one can be personalized to include whatever essential oils you have on hand if you don't have a recommended oil. Listen to your instincts and use whatever oils feel uplifting, cleansing, positive, and make you happy. Remember, this is your spell. You do you, my friend! ;) 

So, the next time your mother-in-law calls to announce she's coming for a month-long torture visit, or a disagreement left you feeling drained, simply spritz your Moon Spray in each corner of the room, plus a few in the middle, and take a deep breath of purified energy!

Side note, I do recommend you be very careful about using essential oils around animals*. This is a point of debate, but essential oils are highly concentrated and can be disruptive to animals' nervous systems. Particularly cats. So play it safe and keep the furries out of the room until you're done. =D 

What You Need:
2 oz spray bottle, light-block preferred**
Scant 2 oz filtered water (distilled is even better!)
13 drops grapefruit essential oil
9 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops clary sage essential oil

*Animals can be very sensitive to essential oils, even when applied externally. Unless you are working with a trusted healthcare provider, I highly recommend NOT using essential oils on animals.

**No need to buy supplies! Use what you have on hand and adjust the oil amounts accordingly. If you only have a clear bottle, simply keep it stored in a cupboard to retain the strength of the oils.

How to Conjure:
-Combine all ingredients in your bottle and shake well. You'll want to shake before each use. If you're using a plastic bottle, feel free to toss in a small clear quartz crystal if desired. Because this could crack your bottle, avoid if using glass. 

-Take a few deep, centering breaths before placing your Moon Spray on a windowsill in the light of a full moon (in other words, don't cast when feeling frazzled! =D ). 

-With your palms facing the bottle, envision the cool, tranquil light of the full moon entering the bottle and filling your spray with calming, serene energy. Then say:

With each mist I cleanse and dispel,
Any negative energy. All is well.
With each spray, the room is imbued,
With positivity and blessings,
From the light of the moon.

-Leave overnight in the moonlight. Come morning, give your Moon Spray a good shake and get to energy cleansing! Simply spritz in each corner of the room (towards the ceiling) and give a few sprays around the center. You can also mist doorways to cleanse any junk people may carry in with them. 

There you have it! Next time you're feeling too weary to sage your troubles away, you can mist some good vibes into your dwelling. No matches required! Which may be a good thing when you have in-laws trying to conduct a counseling session in your house. ;)

Enjoy this spell? Why not stock up with a whole YEAR of full moon spells?! Check out By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations! Every purchase supports the blog, so thank you! ♥

What's your favorite way to energy cleanse when you're feeling blah? Have you ever experienced a "psychic vampire"?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Magick of a Blue Moon

2018 is going to be a magical year (and not just because I'm leaving New Mexico!).

2018 boasts not one but TWO blue moons in the first quarter. If you're keeping track, this hasn't happened since we partied like it was 1999. 

Does anyone else smell Curve? Does that perfume still exist? Thirteen-year-old Michaela lived for Curve. And Hanson. And silver hair mascara. The Hanson adoration lives on (Stop rolling your eyes. They really are talented!). The perfume and hair dye, not so much.

In case you're unfamiliar, a blue moon is when two full moons occur within the same calendar month. This astrological treat takes place roughly once every two and a half years. 2018 is really special because I'm getting the hell out of the desert there will be TWO blue moons—January and March (both on the 31st). Two blue moons in the same year happens about four times a century, which means we'd be lucky to experience this four times in our life!

....and I'm about to experience my second? Please hold while I have an existential crisis.

The next time we'll encounter a double-blue-moon year will be 2037, which isn't even a real year. I mean, seriously? Twenty thirty-seven?? Have you seen how technology has changed in the last decade?! People will be cyborgs by then...

A blue moon can also mean the third full moon when four occur within a season, but that definition seems to be waning in popularity.

Ha, moon humor.

Aside from the normal heightened feminine energy of a full moon, a blue moon can represent second chances, reminding us to embrace them while we have them. After all, rarely in life do we get a second go at an important opportunity. This is also a highly magickal time where our connection to the Divine is strengthen as we bear witness to an infrequent celestial event. Now is a moment to connect with spiritual energies (our own and others), embrace heightened intuition, and (of course!) practice magick. 

To help you with your blue moon conjurings, I've complied a list of moon-focused spells as well as a few others to assist you in celebrating this sacred event with simplicity! 

If you're seeking a little abundance, try these helpful spells!

If you're in need of some blessings, cast these bad boys!

Need to remove some funky energy? These will do the trick!

Protection isn't just for the bedroom! ;)

In need of some balance? Whip up a batch of this thirst-quenching moon tea!

Looking for more ways to satisfy your lunar desires? Check out By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations. Every purchase helps keep the blog supplied with loads of free resources, so thank you for your support! ♥

Now that you're all spelled-up, don't forget to mark your calendars for the 31st of January AND March to celebrate the magick of two blue moons in 2018!

...There will be no need to notate when I'm leaving New Mexico since I will be sending a slice of chocolate cake to every person in America. Due to the rising cost of postage, all cake will be delivered in standard letter-sized envelopes. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the condition of said cake upon arrival. 

If you live outside the United States, don't feel left out. The cake is gluten-free anyway, so you're not missing much.

Enjoy your double blue moons, everyone! And don't forget to bookmark this post for the next double blue moon in 2037, when autonomous cars have taken over the world and our sole hope of salvation is Will Smith and his bionic arm. 

Do you have special plans for the double blue moons of 2018?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Monday, January 1, 2018

Healing Tides Anxiety Release Meditation

Before I share with you my first ever recorded meditation, I'd like to teach you just how one goes about recording a meditation. It is, after all, a highly scientific process. But with these 15 steps, you’ll be recording like a boss in no time!  

1. Test microphone volume and wonder how anyone takes you seriously when you sound like a chipper wood nymph. 

2. Wonder why your “S” sound is so GD over pronounced.

3. Realize there is no way for you to correct “S” sound without sounding like a serial killer.

4. Play with cat who decides now is a good time to shuffle papers.

5. Resume recording now that cat is pacified.

6. Untangle cat from microphone cord. 

7. Record cat purring since untangling evidently feels like a kitty massage.

8. Wait for jet to pass. Hope there is no sonic boom just as you finally close in on that last paragraph.

9. Seriously contemplate hiring voice actor.

10. Wait for train to go by. Wonder if the Universe is conspiring against you.

11. Seriously? More jets?? 

12. Make a cup of matcha while waiting. Stare at sun. Contemplate meaning of life.

13. Decide the slow, soothing tones simply don’t work with your 
valley girl voice. Question purpose in life.

14. Embrace your weird-ass voice and go with a more natural cadence.

15. Turn on a heating pad to distract the cat. Give train number four in less than an hour an angry glare. Trade matcha for pumpkin bread. Hope readers won't share in your distain for elfin voice.

Considering my day started with not one but TWO dropped eggs on my kitchen floor (First my husband, then me. Something I've never done in my entire life!) I’m not surprised roughly 18 trains and 942 jets went by while trying to record. Throw in a naughty cat whose antics make me want to eat him alive due to overwhelming cuteness and you have one worn out blogger! 

Nonetheless, this Healing Tides Anxiety Release Meditation is a useful tool when anxiety becomes suffocating. And all in under 5 minutes! My crazy voice instructions mixed with the healing energies of the ocean tide are a healthy, natural way to slow your heart rate, quell your fears, and return your body to a state of tranquility! Grab yourself a copy by signing up for my monthly newsletter. 

Already a member? Check your inbox, because you have a link waiting for your listening pleasure!

Kick back, relax, and get ready for some wood-nypmhy meditations. Hope you enjoy! 

Do you use guided meditations? What topics would you like addressed in future meditations?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, December 18, 2017

5 (More) Ways to Celebrate Yule Without Spending a Dime

One of the most magical experiences I had on Yule happened a few years ago when I was about twenty-eight. At the time, my husband and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, just a few miles from a gorgeous protected piece of desert called White Tank Mountains. In the blue hues of a chilly pre-dawn Yule, we drove through the silent desert to hike one of our favorite trails, the towering saguaro cacti acting as sentries in the stillness of the sacred morning. To the soundtrack of coyotes yapping, we hiked to a precipice that allowed us to overlook The Valley of the Sun. In the distance the twinkling lights of a groggy city stretched across the horizon, but before us was the untouched splendor of the Sonoran desert. The woodsy scent of creosote bushes kissed the chilled December air as we stood atop the overlook, watching in wonder as the cool milky colors of twilight warmed with the nearing dawn.

Quietly, with a cup of hot coffee held between mitten-clad hands (the true desert—not the concrete-laden city—can actually get quite cold), we stood in awe as the mountains across the valley birthed a blessed Yule sun. It was the first time I ever really made it a point to appreciate the sunrise, and I was left breathless by it's ethereal beauty. It genuinely looked like a birth, the fiery blaze of sun slowly materializing from the red dirt mountains in a transcendent progression akin to life emerging from the womb. 

Too early and brisk for most hikers, we were alone with nature, the elegant mule deer and chatty coyotes left to their own devices, thus far undisturbed by the influx of city-dwellers hungry for nature. It was in that moment, as I watched the proverbial birth of the God beside my husband, that I felt the sacred hum of the earth, the beat to which we all live, and the sheer magnitude of life. As physical beings, humans are quite small in relation to the world, and yet we are powerful, gifted with a divine connection to that which makes life worth living. 

I think of that significant morning every Yuletide season, hoping to relive that moment as I once again bundle up to watch the sunrise. For now, nothing has compared to the first time I ever really gave the sunrise true appreciation. But like an adult forever chasing the magic of Santa, I still believe. I still chase. I still experience that gentle vibration of essence as the morning breaks on a chilly Yule day. Like much of life, it's rare to eclipse the first time something truly magical happens, but that doesn't take away from each breathtaking time we try.

As with any sabbat, I encourage you to go outside and simply be. We don't get enough of that in our hectic modern era, and you certainly shouldn't wait until you're twenty-eight to fully appreciate a sunrise. 

...I blame it on the fact that I am not a morning person. It's an unspoken rule in our house that if you speak to me within thirty minutes of waking you'll receive nothing more than a closed-mouth murmuring as a reply. 

If you're in the mood for a more festive approach to Yule, here are five ways you can capture the joy of the winter solstice without spending a dime!  And if you'd like to discover more information about this restful sabbat, check out this post for more details

Make ginger tea
For most people, December is a cold month. Warm up with a hot mug of tea and honor the God by making that bad boy ginger tea. Curl up by the fire and relax. After all, Yule is a sabbat of respite and restoration. Take some time to chill!

Meditate during the sunrise
Too cold to go outside? Meditate in the warmth of your home during the sunrise! Before our phones pinged with constant alerts and we were expected to conquer the world, winter was seen as a time of deep restoration and reflection, particularly during Yule. Take this morning to honor that ritual and do a little self-reflection through meditation. If you're not very comfortable with meditating, you can find many guided meditations on Youtube. 

Leave an offering
Remember those pine cone bird feeders you made as a kid? Whip up one of those peanut butter creations and hang it from an evergreen. Or decorate an outside tree with edible gifts such as apple or orange slices, whole peanut or cranberry garlands, and nourishing suet cut into festive shapes with cookie cutters! The winter birds will thank you! 

Craft with nature
Take a nature walk and collect fallen evergreen bows for a handmade wreath. Or gather up those pine cones for a Yule altar. Honor the sabbat and lift your spirits by bringing a little bit of nature inside during this otherwise barren season. 

Take a few moments on this quite December morning to reflect on the year past. What lessons did you learn? What challenges did you overcome? What accomplishments are you proud of? What heartaches would you like to release? Don't get overwhelmed or feel like you need to start a to-do list. Now is not the time to begin a New Year's resolution pamphlet (which no one on the planet has ever actually adhered to) Simply reflect. Over a warm mug of tea and a sugar cookie, of course!

Bonus: Celebrate!
Don't forget to make merry! Crank those holiday tunes. Watch your favorite movies (Christmas Vacation is one of my favorites!). Indulge in cookies and eggnog. Savor a hearty sabbat meal. Raise your vibrations for those long winter nights, because we all know it's easy to start feeling a little bit The Shinning by the time February rolls around! ;)

Keep it simple or make it grand, just as long as you feel merry and bright, my friends! Hope you have a wonderful Yule! 🎄

How do you celebrate Yule?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, December 4, 2017

10 (More) Witchy Gifts for under $20

Pour yourself some eggnog, curl up by the fire, and turn on the holiday music because we're about to take a Pagan-inspired shopping trip from the comfort of your couch! That's right, Yule is almost here, the sabbat of light that celebrates the return of the sun (representing the God). After today, the daylight hours will begin to extend by roughly one minute per day and The Wheel slowly progresses through winter, promising the return of warmth and life.

Er, but that return doesn't come with a deadline guarantee, so don't put away your wool sweaters just yet. I'm looking at you, Northerners! ;) 

If you're looking for free ways to celebrate or want to learn more about this deeply meaningful sabbat, head on over to 5 Ways to Celebrate Yule. 

If you came here looking for ways to save a little scratch yet still want a beautifully-wrapped treasure tucked beneath your Yule tree, you've come to the right place! While I can't help you with the wrapping (but totally would if I were standing there beside you. I'm like Buddy the elf when it comes to a love of wrapping gifts), I can assist you in finding the perfect gift without going broke. And if you need more ideas, make sure to check out last year's 10 Witchy Gifts for more suggestions! There's a link below, so no need to abandon this Yule train just yet. ;)

Indigo Wild Zum Mist Aromatherapy Spray— $10

Quell those winter blues with the fresh, natural scent of Indigo Wild Zum Mist. Made with essential oils, you can rest assured your loved one won't be pummeled by hormone-disrupting chemicals. With scents like lavender lemon and sea salt, you can easily find the perfect scent for under $10! Know someone prone to colds? Try the eucalyptus! Eucalyptus essential oil is excellent for chest/sinus congestion, headaches, and even arthritis!  

Himalayan Salt Tea Light Holder— $15

It's not really a secret that I adore Himalayan salt lamps. I even recommended them in last year's Witchy Gifts. Then last year, as this bleary-eyed blogger sat with her husband beside the woodsy-scented pine tree, opening gifts to the melodic crooning of Andy Williams, I was gifted a Himalayan salt votive holder. It sits on my desk as we speak, and I use it daily as I write. 

But the reason I recommend the tea light over the votive is that tea lights are self-contained in those little metal cups whereas votive candles aren't, which means they drip as the candle melts. I keep mine on a plate and the world continues to turn, but if you're not wanting to deal with the extra step, go with the tea light. Either way, I recommend these wonderful holders for your spiritual kinfolk! 

Color and Conjure: Rituals & Magic Spells to Color— $15

I met Natalie Zaman through Twitter. With her sense of humor and love for Gifs, we quickly became blogger friends. She's written several books, including Magical Destinations of the Northeast (which I reviewed here.) On Color and Conjure she teamed up with a talented illustrator named Wendy Martin to create a—well, creative!— spell book that combines magic and coloring. What I enjoyed most about this book is the encouragement of creativity. I think imagination is too often hampered in childhood, and I feel people should really embrace and reinvigorate their imagination if they feel disconnected from this important quality. It's in there. Trust me. You just need to nurture it! ♥

While Color and Conjure is great for any age, it would make a FANTASTIC gift for a younger witch, especially teens. As I flipped through its pages, thirteen-year-old Michaela was all over it! Mostly because it wasn't all that different from my introduction to Paganism. To this day I will still draw pictures if I feel that's the best medium for a spell, so Natalie and Wendy have simply given you a hand with that aspect! 

Natalie, who wrote the spells, is adept at weaving information and visualization, crafting (pun intended) a vivid yet insightful prose that will educate and entertain, which is a practical way to absorb information. I've got to say, it's good she takes this approach because there is a LOT of information in each spell. That's just her thing. She's kinda brainy like that. ;)

If, like me, you get too excited to read the damn directions at the beginning of the book, you may find yourself saying, "Where the hell are the page numbers?!" as you look for the coloring page that correlates to the spell. Let me help you out here so you don't look like a dork yours truly as I clumsily flipped through the pages, all man-like in my refusal to read the directions.

...They say that's a man thing, but my husband is all about directions and I bull-in-china-shop my way through life. So, I'm pretty sure they're wrong about that one. 

Llewellyn (the publisher) shrewdly tucked the page numbers away close to the binding so they wouldn't be on your spell once you tore the perforated page out of the book! Very astute, but this occasionally obtuse Pagan took a moment to get with the coloring program! In my defense, once I saw the page numbers were on the other side of the perforation I realized why they did that BEFORE reading the directions. So there. I don't need no stinking directions! Oh, it may take me three minutes longer to than it could have, but I eventually get there!


Because I only recommend products I genuinely enjoy, I can honestly say Color and Conjure is a kick-ass gift. But if you have a youngblood in your midst, this is an incredible present that will teach them highly useful information they can forever apply to their Craft. 

"Exhale" by Iris and Owl Paintings— $15
(Photo from OwlandIris)

I'm very particular about art. I only buy stuff I have to have, and I know the moment I look at it whether it's going to get comfy on my walls or stay with its creator. "Exhale" had me at hello.

Stephanie is a supremely talented artist who is just as adorable as her work. Seriously. She looks like a Disney princess come to life. With an almost steampunk fantasy feel, Stephanie paints beautiful works of art that invoke a sense of dark whimsy. "Lucy" is one of my absolute favorites, but it's "Exhale" that I have hanging on the wall beside me. At $15 shipped, this artist prices her prints at extremely affordable prices. If you've ever bought a print, you may know the quality can sometimes waver significantly from the original. That isn't the case here. In a conversation with the artist (she's very friendly!), she told me she did a lot of research before settling on a printer. Well, her work was worth the effort because it yields a crisp, true-to-color print.

She had loads of fantastic work, so check her out! But "Exhale" specifically really struck a chord with me. The darkness surrounding this beautiful woman who has all the beauty of nature trapped inside her resonated viscerally with me. Because I think art is deeply personal, I don't want to influence your takeaway from this piece. But as nature lovers, I think this breathtaking piece would be cherished by Pagans.

Live the Life You've Imagined Journal—$12

I love Katie Daisy. Her designs are bright and colorful, and her quotes are very applicable to a Pagan's path. I have her 2018 "Love This Life" day planner, which I adore.

Yup, I'm that person that gets excited over office supplies. Tom Hanks can send me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils any day!

The "Live the Life You've Imagined" Journal is cute, compact, and a wonderful gift for any writers in your life. And at just $12, you can snag yourself a pack of pencils and create your own freshly sharpened bouquet to accompany it! 

...You've Got Mail anyone?!

The Celtic Tree Oracle—$20

I learned of this beautiful deck from the wonderful Emara from I don't actually have this deck, but I covet it. I hope Santa leaves it under the tree. Or in a stocking. Or on my front lawn. The drop-off location really doesn't matter...

Being of Irish descent, the Celtic Ogham (the tree alphabet) is something that always fascinated me, and I would love to learn more about it. Plus I cherish trees, mostly because they're leafy (#PhoebeBuffay). For the tree lovers in your life, this is an oracle deck that would make one lovely Yule gift! 

Marble Pestle and Mortar—$10

No witch should be without a pestle and mortar. They come in very handy for crushing herbs or resins and for making spells, like Protection Salt. I suggest having a separate one for kitchen use vs spell crafting, because resins (like dragon's blood) shouldn't be ingested. This bad boy is a beautiful gray marble, which would make a stunning gift for any kitchen witches in your coven! 

Best Witches Keychains—$7
(Photo from FairyFountainGifts)

I love shopping on Etsy because I get to support a small business and the hardworking creative minds behind them. Plus you get the pleasure of gifting a really unique item for an affordable price! 

If you're besties with a witch, this is an adorable gift to honor your spiritual connection. And for a few dollars more, you can personalize this present with an initial charm.

Soapstone Elephant Essential Oil Diffuser—$15

Did you know elephants actually mourn lost herd members? Elephants are highly intelligent creatures that represent deep spiritual messages, including wisdom, strength, compassion, and leadership. 

If you know an elephant fan (you're looking at one!), this beautiful soapstone diffuser would make a meaningful gift. Toss in a small bottle of essential oil (pine would make a great seasonal touch) and you'll have a thoughtful, gorgeous present that will be the envy of any white elephant gift exchange!

Too punny? See, I felt it, but just didn't rope it in...

Aside from the beautiful carvings, this diffuser's bowl actually comes off, which makes for easy cleanup! Pretty swanky, my friends!

Penniless Pagan Paperbacks—$12

Last Yule By the Light of the Moon was only available in e-book, and I got a lot of requests for paperback. At the time I wasn't sure how to get an affordable paperback to you, but I figured it out! And for just $12! 

2018 will boast not one but TWO blue moons. Holy magical year, Batman! Whether you have a moon lover on your gift list or you dance beneath those luminescent beams yourself, this is a great opportunity to support the blog AND give the gift of magick! And since this spell book has thirteen full moon spells, you'll be all set for the lunar wonders of 2018— no repeats!

Every purchase helps keep this blog loaded with free material for readers, so thank you for your support! ♥

There you have it, my Pagan companions. Ten gifts under $20 to imbue the magick of the season to you and yours. Treat yourself to a gingerbread man (very appropriate for Yule!), wrap your hands around a hot mug of coffee, and shop in your reindeer pajama pants. Because everything is better in reindeer pajama pants!

Happy Yule, everyone! 🎄

Looking for even more witchy gifts for under $20? Check out this post!

Do you have an affordable witchy gift suggestion? Leave a comment below!

*Prices may change. Please note all items were under $20 at the time of writing this post. Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Simple Ways to Weave Green Magick in an Apartment (Guest Post by Sarah Fawn Empey)

Hello, my fine Pagan kinfolk! Hopefully you can sense my gusto through your computer, because that was quite emphatic. Strange, really, because I haven't even had caffeine today. Guess hot water and lemon does a body good?
*awkward silence*
ANYWAY, I'd like to introduce a wonderful blogger, tarot reader, and witch named Sarah. She's the fantastic mind behind If you haven't checked her out, you shoooould! She's wonderfully grounded, practical, and insightful! She also runs a lovely Etsy store where she offers some beautiful items that'll make you the envy of the coven. 
Take it away, Sarah!
Hey there! I suppose I best introduce myself before I just launch into writing :)
My name is Sarah and I am a witchy blogger over at, and I am simply delighted to be visiting the Penniless Pagan as a guest author today.
Green witching in apartments is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. This is quite possibly because I live in one. :D
An apartment is a home just as much as a house is. So it can be woven with just as much hearth magick.
Still, when you live up in the sky and just want to dig your hands into the soil, it can be challenging too. That doesn't mean it's impossible though ;) Even though you might not be able to garden directly in the earth you can still weave green magick with potting mix and some nifty window sill or balcony pots!
In this post, I’ve included a few of my favourite ways to green witch in an apartment as well as some tips on how to dry and store your magickal herbs when you have limited storage space.
Indoor Green Witching - Apartment Style
Depending on your apartment you may or may not have a balcony.
If you have a balcony, this presents a perfect opportunity for creating a mini green space. In warmer weather, you can line your balcony with planters or pots and plant to your heart’s content.
This past spring we moved to an apartment with a balcony and I found that basil, sage, green onions and rosemary all thrived quite well - despite being 15 stories up!
In magickal terms that means I grew:
  • protection (basil)
  • an energy cleanser (sage)
  • kitchen witchery (green onions)
  • hearthy goodness and protection (rosemary)
If you don’t have a balcony don’t sweat it. The previous home we lived in was a cosy basement apartment with minimal natural lighting and we still managed to grow magickal green babies.
You can find plants that will thrive just about anywhere. Snake plants, for instance, do quite well in minimal lighting - though they do need some lighting so don't go popping them in a room without any windows.
Now that the season has begun to cool and the plants can't stay outdoors anymore I've brought all my magickal green babies indoors. To maximise light for them and still have space we placed a side table in a corner by the balcony where they can soak up plenty of rays. Then, we put the smaller green babies in window sills.
If your window sills are packed Pinterest has some pretty cool hacks for indoor gardening or green witching ;) Think small stepping ladders converted into tiered gardens or potted plants hung from pieces of driftwood attached to the wall. I don't know about you but I think that those would be delightful projects to check out.
Not sure which herbs to plant? Follow your intuition. Consider which magickal energies call to you. Then do a dash of research to find which plants will thrive in the lighting in your home.
Drying Herbs
When your plants are ready to harvest or prune, you can easily dry them in your home. Then you can store them for magickal workings later.
For the basil, rosemary and sage I used a bit of twine wrapped around their stems and hung them upside down on an artsy sort of stick arrangement we have in our home.
If you happen to have some twigs lying around in your witchy closet arrange them in a vase and then hang your herbs on them for a similar effect.
For the green onions a different approach was needed so for these I prune back as needed. After a rinse to wash off any dust I use scissors to cut them into 1cm sections and lay these out on a plate in the kitchen to dry for a day or two.
Storing Magickal Herbs
When your herbs are all dried out then it's time to store them.
Have a spice rack? This can easily convert into a witchy storage space for your magickal herbs.
Then, uniquely shaped glass bottles from a craft shop like Michael's are another fun way to store your magickal herbs. These bottles also come in a variety of enchanting colours and are perfect for infusing a witchy cupboard with colour magick.
If you don't have a spice rack or space for glass bottles - place your herbs, once fully dry, in small plastic baggies from the dollar store. Then store all the wee bags of your herbs in a drawer or transparent plastic container. This is especially handy if you’re running short on space in your kitchen.
I personally use a combination of all of the above to store my herbs :)
No matter which herbs you choose to plant, with love and care you will soon be weaving green magick throughout your home )O(

Do you keep a magickal garden? What are your favorite magickal plants?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.