Monday, August 29, 2016

By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations



It's heeeeerrrreee!

I'm so excited, I can't even think straight. Let's see if I can organize my thoughts, or if I should just throw confetti at the screen and leave it at that.

So, what's with all the enthusiasm? Well, my dear friends, I wrote a book that will help you celebrate the full moon for an entire year, and I'm so excited to share it with you!

My first Penniless Pagan book, By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations is, well, everything the title implies. It's what you've come to expect from Penniless Pagan — cost-free or nearly cost-free spells that are simple, easy to follow, and effective— all squished into one easy-to-download e-book! And the best part? There's thirteen BRAND NEW previously unpublished spells just waiting to be unleashed! Thirteen, you say? Oh yeah, I have you covered even on a blue moon year! ;) And at $7.99, that's just .61¢ a spell!


Full Moon Energy-Cleansing Carpet Powder

But Michaela, what if I'm too busy to read through a spell and then cast it? I've got that covered too! With a super simple BONUS ritual (bringing the spell/ritual count up to 14!), I'll have you honoring the full moon before your microwave burrito is fully nuked. And since many spells offer several variations, you can even reuse the same spell for a different outcome! For example, if you're feeling spunky one month, you can use the Moon Dust Fire Spell Pouches to increase your intuition, and then use the SAME spell the next month for wealth and abundance. Pretty swanky, hm?


Moonlight Herbal Sacrifice


Most spells can be completed in under 15 minutes, but none take more than 45 minutes. And because this is the Penniless Pagan and not Moneybags Pagan, most spells can be cast with materials found in your own backyard! Annnnd because I want to make your conjuring experience go as smoothly as possible, I've included tips and tricks for your casting pleasure, including an herbal substitution guide. This guide details common household herbs and their magickal intentions so you never have to worry about having the right herbs on hand!

Okay, Michaela. You need to slow down, take a deep breath, maybe have a sip of water.

*clears throat. Smooths skirt* 

You know what? Rather than getting myself all worked up, why not let you have a sneak peak of the details so you can get on your way to a year of full moon spells!


Full Moon Dream Drop Wishing Well



Spells include:

Full Moon Dream Drop Wishing Well
Lunar Water and Goddess Salts Footbath (Featuring 3 variations!)
Full Moon Blessing Baubles (Featuring 3 variations!)
Moon Dust Fire Spell Pouches (Featuring 3 variations!)
13 Moons Blessing Chain
Simple Three-Fold Moon Spell
Full Moon Pet Protection Spell
Moon Beam Blessing Braid
Moonlight Herbal Sacrifice
Moon Goddess Spiced Potion (Featuring 3 variations!)
Full Moon Energy-Cleansing Carpet Powder
Falling Leaves Spell
Emotional Release Meditation
BONUS: Simple Full Moon Ritual

By the Light of the Moon also includes:

-A Letter to Readers

-13 Magickal Household Herbs and Spices: A Quick Guide for Spell Substitution

-A Horse of a Different Color: 13 Colors and Their Magickal Properties 

-Save Some Money, Honey! (Money-saving tips)

- Pagan Lingo Glossary

-And advice on how to conjure successful magick!


If you're looking for easy yet effective ways to celebrate the full moon, head on over to Amazon (Click here for UKAU, or CA), Barnes and Noble, or iTunes and pick up an e-book copy! Looking for paperback? Click here

And remember, EVERY sale helps keep PennilessPagan.com a helpful and FREE resource for people who are looking to worship nature without spending a dime! So, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your support! It means so very much to me! =D

Now go cast some magick, my Pagan friends! ;)


Are there any topics you'd like to see the Penniless Pagan turn into a book? What are some of your favorite Pagan Books? 


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, August 22, 2016

Happy People Burn Out Too: Emotional Rejuvenation Bath



A few weeks ago, I found myself in an unusual position for a usually happy person. I'd wake up in the morning, stumble into the bathroom, and begrudgingly open my eyes to blinding sunshine. I didn't need to open the frosted window to know there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The mountains that sit just a few miles from my home were (and still are, and usually are) shrouded in a toxic fog of pollution and dust, sometimes so thick you literally can't see the mountains at all. On this particular week, not even a hint of silhouette lingered behind the thick miasma of particulate. My allergies, something I only acquired since living in the desert, don't appreciate the haze, but it's my lungs that truly despise the abysmal air quality. They burned as I took a deep breath, all the while suppressing the disturbing mental image of what the arid, dusty air has done to the healthy pink tissue. With a groan I returned to bed, throwing the covers over my head as I attempted to convince myself it was time to get up and embrace the day. 

But for a couple of days a few weeks ago, I simply couldn't. Just the thought of trudging downstairs and beginning my regular routine was too much for me. I couldn't even bring myself to write, which was unsettling to, you know, a writer. I've spent the past five years of my life writing (much of it under varying pen names), not because I hate it but because I thrive on it. Yet every once in a while, always during the peak of the summer heat, I hit a proverbial wall. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't want to get dressed. I don't want to do anything except eat leftovers and read books.

Sounds like depression, hm? It's not. It's emotional burnout, and I'm guessing you've encountered this a time or two as well.

For most people this happens during the winter. The bitter temperatures, mounting snow, and scant amount of daylight leave people weary and worn-out. Your mood shifts for the worse, you struggle to feel inspired, and you dread getting out of the warm embrace of your bed only to be met with frigid room air. 

But it can happen any time of year. Maybe you've watched the news for, oh, fifteen minutes and have now lost your faith in humanity. Maybe you're stuck at a job that makes you miserable. We've all experienced it at one point or another, especially those who are caregivers (whether mothers, doctors, nurses, caring for an ailing loved one, etc.).

You don't WANT to feel this way, and yet you do. You're a happy person; you enjoy your life. And yet no matter how you struggle to see the bright side, you only seem to feel blah and ho-hum.  

Yep, emotional burnout is a bitch, Michaela. Now what do I do about it???

Magick, of course! (Well, magick lite. Your energy is low, after all!)

While there are other ways to replenish your weary soul, an Emotional Rejuvenation Bath is a relaxing way to recharge and reset after a bad day, long week, or an exhausting period in your life. Utilize dimmed lights or candles, play some relaxing music if desired, and give yourself at least twenty minutes (the longer the better!) to quiet your mind and disconnect from the world.

Emotional Rejuvenation Bath


Dissolve the magnesium flakes into warm, running bath water. Add the essential oil. Before getting in, take a moment to envision yourself feeling refreshed and revitalized upon getting out. Soak as long as desired.

Soaking in magnesium will make you feel sleepy, so it's best to use this recipe just before bed. Add a drop or two of lavender oil to your pillow to help you sleep peacefully!

If you're prone to UTIs or aren't a fan of baths, simply use this mixture in a foot bath! Adjust measurements as follows:

2 Tablespoons Magnesium Flakes


And remember, if you're feeling a little burned out, go easy on yourself! Take some extra "you" time for reading. Don't berate yourself for skipping dinner and ordering takeout. And make sure to eat a nourishing diet. If you're under stress, your body is under stress as well! A diet rich in vegetables and fruits helps us combat the taxing effects of stress and emotional fatigue. 

Sending you love, my friends!

What do you do to pamper yourself when you're feeling stressed? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?


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, August 15, 2016

Healing the Weary Soul



Soul-weary, it's my term for emotional burnout. It's what I feel after, oh, ten minutes of hearing the news. We've all experienced it—the feeling of emotional fatigue and lack of inspiration. You're a happy person, but the world has a way of beating down your door, shoving garbage in your face, and making you feel sad and alone. It's even more troublesome if you're particularly empathetic. 

Aside from booze and chocolate cake, what does a person do about it? Here are my personal tips for handling soul-weariness. 


Disconnect

This is THE most important part of rejuvenating the soul, in my opinion. We are in constant connection with everything—news, social media, your nosy mother-in-law. We are addicted to our phones and all the overstimulating tidbits they send our way. Don't believe me? Watch other diners next time you're at a restaurant, particularly couples. If one gets up to go to the bathroom, I'll bet you a Popsicle the remaining patron will be checking their cell phone before their date has even crossed the room. 

We can't just BE anymore. We have this subconscious drive to be engaged, and it's not healthy. I'm not immune. Recently, on an electronics fast, I found myself reaching for the TV remote with no purpose in mind. 

And I found THAT very disturbing.

If you're feeling burned out and world weary, disconnect. Trade the television for a book, preferably one made of paper. ;) Skip the radio and listen to silence. Turn your cell phone off, or at least set it to vibrate. It's okay to miss a call. Up until fifteen years ago we did it ALL the time. Make a conscious decision to disconnect from anything that distracts you from you.

I recommend doing this for an entire day, though I understand that's unrealistic if you have children. But even just an hour will do you some good. You'll be surprised by what you discover about yourself when you don't have outside forces distracting you.

Go to Nature

For me, nature is not right outside my door. Well, I guess it is, but it's not what you imagine. It's hard caliche (clay) soil and some pathetic-looking scraggly shrubs. So when I'm feeling soul-tired, I take a drive into the mountains. It's the one blessing of where we live—we're just a mere 70 miles away from evergreens and clean air. Of course, it'd be better if it weren't 70 flipping miles away, but I'll take what I can get!

If you're feeling emotionally drained, take a walk. A REAL walk. Get into some trees, get your bare feet in the grass, sit in silence and just be. If you do nothing other than turn off your cell phone and spend an hour hidden in the silence of the forest, you've taken marked steps in rejuvenating your soul. As they say, a witch goes to nature to heal!

Meditate

I meditate at least twice a week, but my aim is to do so daily. Even just five measly minutes can have a powerful effect when it comes to meditating. And if you're feeling too flustered or scattered to sit in silence, it's even MORE important you take a few moments to do so! I prefer chakra meditations (this one is great for beginners) but mind-focusing techniques are also invaluable. As the saying goes, control your mind or it will control you. Our mind is the physical connection between our body and our higher self. Like any other organ, it needs to be cared for and nurtured. Constant stimulation and noise does not do a mind good. Embrace silence. Seek darkness. Meditate and center your mind. You'll find you're more alert and focused if you meditate regularly. 

Essential oils

When I'm feeling the beginnings of an emotional burn out set in, I rub my feet with Revitalize essential oil from Starwest. It has uplifting essential oils, like lemon and sweet basil, and it works while I sleep. When you're feeling worn out, it's nice to have something that does the work for you!

You could also put a few drops in a diffuser and use it while you meditate, adding aroma and purpose to the room! ;)

Other essential oil options that help us balance, focus, and find rejuvenation are peppermint, sage, clary sage, rosemary, and citrus oils. 

Listen to your body

If you're feeling soul-weary, it's only a matter of time before your body catches up. Before I began listening to my body, I'd keep pushing, pushing, pushing myself to do more. I'd drop into bed exhausted, chastising myself for not doing one more load of laundry or for forgetting to make a grocery list. I could feel the fatigue in my bones and in my chest (which I eventually came to understand was my heart chakra), but I'd ignore it. "Rest is for the weak! Be strong!" I'd tell myself.

Foolish girl.

I started to notice a pattern. On days when I felt as if I was dragging myself—body and soul—through the day and didn't take the time to rest, I'd inevitably end up super sick the following day. Sometimes it was a migraine, often it was respiratory infections, but I'd nevertheless find myself on my ass, too sick to even enjoy the time off. 

Don't wait until you get sick. Take the time now. Take an afternoon to read. Call out of work and binge on Netflix. Skip making dinner and treat yourself to a meal out, sans dishes. My mother calls these "down days." And you know what? That woman rarely gets sick!

Listen to your body. If you want to do nothing but stay in bed, do it. If you want to spend an entire day reading (my personal retreat), curl up with a favorite novel. One day is not going to derail your life plans, but it could mean the difference between feeling refreshed tomorrow and waking up sick!

Set boundaries

Boundaries are a necessary aspect to a healthy life and will look different to each individual. As someone who works from home, this means not allowing myself to check e-mail or social media "one last time" after my established work hours. For a mother, it may be limiting laundry to one day a week. Johnny didn't get his favorite shirt into the wash? Oh well. You're not a servant. You may be a mother, but you're also a human being who needs self-care. Establish boundaries and stick to them.

In many cases, this may come in the form of limiting time with other people. We all have that one friend who is in a perpetual crisis. Many of us have relatives that seem to suck the life out of us through the phone line. Pay attention to what drains you and limit it. If you're taking a day to yourself, avoid it all together!

Take a walk in the dark

I don't know whether it's the quiet or the actual darkness, but something about taking a walk at night feels like a giant bowl of chicken soup for my little Pagan soul. Winter is my absolute favorite time to take evening strolls. While everyone is inside avoiding the (moderately) cold weather, I'm outside basking in the solitude and frosty cheeks. Of course you'll want to exercise safety (I go with my husband), but if it's something you can do I highly recommend it!


Surround yourself with happiness

Listen, I love me some Orange is the New Black, but when I'm feeling soul-weary and marginally depressed, the last thing I need is to watch a chick shank another inmate. If I recognize the symptoms of burnout coming on, I make sure to surround myself with positive things that make me happy. Even though I adore Dean Koontz and horror movies, rampant murder does not feed the soul. So I switch to cozy romance novels and sugary-sweet TV shows (Like Cedar Cove or Hart of Dixie. Doesn't get more fluffy than that!).

Books, music, TV/movies, people, conversations—if you walk away feeling sad or dark, it's time to change the proverbial channel. Right now is a time to nourish and rebuild. Surround yourself with pleasant, enriching things and avoid the rest for a while. 

Remember, it's not selfish to take care of yourself! Nourish your soul, my friends!

What's your go-to when you're feeling soul-weary?


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, August 8, 2016

Pinterest Gone Pagan: 5 Minute Simply Sweet Love Spell!


Summer lovin’ had me a blaaasst!  Ah, I love Grease. The real one. The John Travolta/ Olivia Newton-John Grease. Not a fan of the remake. Or the sequel for that matter. I’m a Taurus, which means I’m a purest. It’s just how we roll.

Side note, I first watched Grease on laserdisc. Considering I was born in the 80’s and had my first AOL screenname by the tender age of nine, I’m not sure why we had a laserdisc player, what with our new fangled VHS player that RECORDED. Remember how cutting-edge you were if yours could record??? Still, I always think of that ridiculously large cartridge when I hear my favorite musical. That, and my husband in his diaper belting Hopelessly Devoted to You. He was three, hence the skivvies. But my father-in-law made sure it was played at our wedding, at which point my slightly inebriated husband sang along at the top of his lungs, this time in a tux.

Let me pause on that fond memory for a moment….

Okay, back to my point—love spells! Nothing says summer love spell quite like strawberries and ice cream. Using Dinner, Dishes, and Dessert’s recipe for strawberry milkshakes, you can whip yourself up a love spell and a decadent treat in under 5 minutes! (You can find the pin here.)

Now, if you aren't aware, love spells should always be casted for QUALITIES in a person, not a specific person. It will backfire if you direct a spell towards a specific individual. How do I know? Because I did it. And it backfired. And young Michaela learned her lesson the hard way—do not cast against another's freewill. 

Therefore, while you're sipping this tasty drink, I recommend focusing on the characteristics you desire in an individual. Intelligent. Compassionate. Funny. Loves animals. Collects beer glasses. Book nerd. Horticulturist. Whatever it is you find attractive in a mate, think about that. 

So, what about this mouthwatering milkshake makes it a love spell? Well, let me show you!

Strawberries are a perfect love fruit, not only for their red color and sweet taste, but also for their heart-like shape.

Sugar ensures a sweet romance. And while Erin adds an extra helping to her recipe, there is an adequate serving of sugar in the vanilla ice cream to help manifest a syrupy happily-ever-after for your spell, so feel free to skip it.

I chose Erin's recipe for the added vanilla, because vanilla is used in spells for passion and love. I'm the kind of baker who triples the recommended amount of vanilla, so she won my heart with that brilliant addition!

A quick spin in your blender, a modern-day cauldron of sorts, and you've got yourself a love spell drink. Enjoy it outside in the sunshine and let yourself daydream about the perfect partner finding their way to you!

What's your favorite summertime treat?

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Monday, August 1, 2016

3 Ways to Celebrate Lammas (Lughnasadh) Without Spending a Dime


Lammas, or in my house Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sa), is a celebration of the first harvest. It's a time to honor the wheel of life, to recognize that nothing in the world is constant. 

In the Southwest, it's a Sabbat that is sort of out of sync with the meaning. Of course, this place is essentially always out of sync with the natural patterns of nature. Here, August is brutally sweltering and there's no sign of the heat relenting. It doesn't really begin to cool down until November. But growing up in New England, August was the month when summer's hold began to slacken and the nights hinted at the impending fall. 

As a teenager, I spent those summer nights with my best friend, often sitting on her front stoop, staring into the darkened trees that lay beyond her house, talking of the future. What would the new school year bring? Where were we planning on going to college? What would adulthood look like? We didn't know at the time, but we were innately following that wheel, recognizing that we were once again upon the brink of change.

Fortunately, not everything changes. Sixteen years later and Kelly is still my best friend, despite having spent thirteen of those years on opposite sides of the country. She's my "sista from another motha," as she says. 

...I corrected her, "It's 'sista from another mista, kel.'" Then I promptly urged her not to let the entire world know what colossal dorks we really are.

That's the thing about Lammas, while celebrated in the summer, it feels like an autumnal Sabbat because it's a time for reflection. Now is the time to appreciate the warm, sunny days while we still have them, knowing the wheel is turning towards darkness and chill. It's about appreciation for what we have and reverence for what will change. A cyclical thanksgiving, if you will.

But it doesn't have to be somber. After all, there's beer! Here are three simple (and enjoyable) ways to honor Lammas (or Lughnasadh) without spending a dime!

Eat a pasty

These pasties are not the same things Cinnamon wears down at the local jiggle joint. A pasty (pah-stee) is essentially a hand-held meat pie. And who doesn't love meat on the go?

...Wow. This post just doesn't want to stay in its lane.

Back to food. Wheat is the quintessential food of Lammas, and pasties are a nice, rustic variation of plain old bread. Of course, you could simply enjoy a fresh slice of cibatta slathered in butter. Oh, let me enjoy that fantasy for a moment.

Regardless of how you prefer your wheat, Lammas is a time to ignore the carb count and chow down. It's a celebration of the harvest, after all. And here in America, that means amber waves of grain, baby! #USA

Have a beer

This is my husband's favorite Sabbat, and it's strictly because of the beer. But in the vein of harvest and grain, beer is actually considered a ritualistic food. If you're like me and choose not to drink, apple cider or cranberry juice can also be used to honor the day.

Visit a farm

Again—Harvest. Food. You catching a theme here? Lammas is the perfect time to visit a local farm or farmers market and see what's in season. Check out the mouthwatering selection of handmade pies, jams, and whatever else they have to offer and take your treat to a nearby park for a picnic. Yum yum!

Of course, if you're not into eating (weirdo) there are plenty of other things you can do to celebrate Lammas. Make a corn husk doll (you can generally find dried corn husk sheets in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store). Go for a hike. Take a stroll through a cornfield ala Signs. Whatever you do, just make sure to enjoy nature and be present in the moment. Because that's the lesson of Lammas—change is coming, appreciate the now! 


Do you call the first harvest Lammas or Lughnasadh? What do you do to celebrate?


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