Monday, September 26, 2016

Pinterest Gone Pagan: Psychic Awareness Pumpkin Spice Latte



It's officially fall, which means if you're anything like me you refuse to eat any food that doesn't incorporate pumpkin, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

Well, maybe I'm not THAT obsessed with pumpkin-flavored delectables, but I'm damn near close! And since pumpkin-spice everything is all the rage during this wonderfully crisp season, why not turn your morning latte into a spell?

Oh, that's right. I just gave you justification to get your PSL on! But I highly recommend you make that bad boy yourself. The artificially-flavored mutant you get at a coffee shop isn't the same as the warm, rich decadence you can easily whip up at home with magickal spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. Yum yum! 

Today's Pinterest Gone Pagan delight comes from Kristin over at Live Simply. It's a pretty cool site for real food recipes, and I suggest you check it out! If you're looking for her scrumptious Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, click here. Or click here to pin it. 

What makes a tasty PSL double as a psychic awareness spell? Let's start with the best part—coffee!! While we all know caffeine is a stimulant, coffee in particular stimulates the mind, even just the scent of it! And while that lovely frothy foam makes for a heavenly first sip, the dairy also has the magickal property of spiritual enhancement. Creamy and soul-nourishing. I like it!

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (which can all be found in the pumpkin spice) are the key to this recipe! These open up the psychic channels, allowing us to better communicate with our Higher Self. Vanilla, historically considered a sacred spice, helps us connect to the Divine. And pumpkin—the king of all fall vegetables!—lends us some grounding, which helps us better connect with the natural rhythms of the earth (thus allowing us to tap into Mother Nature's powerful energies!).

Of course, working this spell is as easy as making it. While your coffee brews, envision yourself connected with the subtle hum of energy that surrounds us. As you gently stir in the warm spices, imagine yourself mentally attuned to the vibrations of the earth. As you savor your first spicy sip, picture yourself spiritually alert, your intuition awakened and ready to receive the messages of the Universe!

I must say, I didn't need an excuse to have a warm cup of fall, but this definitely justifies my weekly indulgence!

Happy Fall, Everyone! Now go get your tarot cards, make yourself a cinnamon-scented pumpkin spice latte, and discover what this beautiful season has in store for you!!!

What's your favorite fall treat? 

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mabon Altar


It's Mabon week! This year instead of retreating to my mental happy place and pretending it isn't 92* outside while I sip a pumpkin spice latte and day dream of cold weather, my husband and I are packing a picnic dinner and heading into the mountains for our Mabon feast! I couldn't be more excited! Crisp air. Birch trees. Yellowing leaves. Aspen-scented evergreens. If we're super lucky, maybe even a little rain! Ahhhh!

In preparation for Mabon, we took an early trip into the mountains and went on a nature walk. Since I'd spent the last several weeks scrambling to release By the Light of the Moonit was pure heaven to simply amble through the forest with no purpose other than enjoying the gentle turn of nature as the vibrant green of summer transitions into the rich colors of autumn. Hand in hand, we strolled through evergreens and papery birch trees, collecting whatever treasures nature presented us. We used our bounty to make the Mabon altar you see above—crimson serviceberry leaves, earthy brown oak leaves, pine cones, and bushy evergreen boughs. Everything we plucked we gave thanks for, though most of what you see was actually found already on the ground! I threw in some cinnamon sticks and a gorgeous red candle for a little extra something-something. After all, it just doesn't feel like a Sabbat without lighting something. And since I'm not a fan of forest fires, I went with a candle. Nice and tidy! ;)

It's funny how nature provides for us, often times without us even recognizing it in the moment. It wasn't until I got home that I realized the leaves mixed with evergreens perfectly depicted the next transition of nature. I arranged the leaves on one side and the evergreens on the other as a representation of the turning of the wheel, life and nature moving seamlessly from one season to another. 

Taking a long walk and letting nature supply your altar is such a peaceful way to celebrate Mabon. If time got away from you, it's a quick and enjoyable way to honor the autumn equinox. If you're looking for a way to connect with nature, this will most definitely nourish your soul! Commune. Listen. Breathe deep the scents of fall. Relish your time among the trees. Most of all, enjoy the day!

Looking for more ways to celebrate Mabon? Check out my list of 5 Ways to Celebrate Mabon Without Spending a Dime!

Happy Mabon, my nature-loving friends!!! 


How do you decorate your Mabon altar?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, September 12, 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate Mabon (Without Spending a Dime)



It's September! 

Let me just relax into that for a moment...*sigh*

I love September for so many reasons. Apple season. The beginning of fall. Leaves skittering across the pavement. Pumpkin spice coffee. Hoodies! But most importantly, here in the desert, it's starting to cool down! Trust me, low 90's feels pretty nice after a summer of triple digits. This week nature has blessed us with much needed rain, and my little Pagan soul is very happy!

But September also means Maaaaabon! And Mabon is awesome because it's officially the start of fall, which means Christmas decorations!

Wait... that's not right.

Oh, yeah. The beginning of fall means the start of my favorite season...even if stores are trying to rush me through it. Don't think I'm not aware of that colorfully-lit tree tucked away in the garden section, Walmart. I'm onto your shit!

Okay, maybe I'm a little defensive of autumn. But it's always been my absolute favorite season, even if the Southwestern version is just a tad skewed. (Living in Arizona, our Samhain tradition was to go swimming. Swimming....on the 31st of October!!!)

Mabon marks the autumn equinox, meaning daylight and nighttime are equal. After today, the darkness will begin to win the battle, gaining an extra minute or so every day as we progress towards winter. Now is the time when nature begins to slow and the harvests become less plentiful as the God prepares for his transition from the living realm into the afterlife. Though Mabon can arrive as early as September 20th or 21st depending on solar patterns, this year Mabon falls on September 22nd. So get ready to celebrate!

Like most Sabbats that are celebrated later in the year, Mabon is about reflection and letting go of that which does not serve us any longer. It's a chance to slough off the old and prepare for new beginnings. That smoking habit you've been meaning to quit? Biting your nails? Criticizing your co-worker's love for sweaters with cats knitted on the front? Still having pizza for breakfast? Now is the time to address these issues and make changes toward betterment. 

Of course, if you enjoy having a slice of cheese and pepperoni before 9 am, that's your business. You're an adult. I'm not going to lecture you. ;)

The colors of Mabon are just as rich and warming as the colors of autumn—deep crimson, vibrant orange, lustrous gold, and earthy brown. If you're planning a feast, make sure to include all the fall bounties as well as late summer fruits and vegetables. Pumpkin, squash, berries, nuts, and corn are all fantastic inclusions. 

Looking for specific ideas on how to celebrate Mabon without spending a dime? You've come to the right place! Here are 5 wonderfully fall-ish ways to celebrate the Autumn Equinox!

Make popcorn

What's more cozy than snuggling under a blanket with a big bowl of buttered popcorn? Of course, you could always watch a movie, but why not take your treat outside to watch nature instead? Inhale that fragrant autumn air. Really take a few moments to appreciate the breathtaking hues of the trees. Watch the birds and squirrels as they prepare for winter. Simply take in the magnificence of the season. And if you're in a generous mood, leave a few un-buttered pieces of popcorn for the neighboring critters. They'll enjoy the crunchy snack!

Balance your chakras

Being the equinox, Mabon is a time to find balance in your life. But while we tend to immediately think of time constraints as a place to find balance (work versus family time, family time versus self-care), when was the last time you balanced your spiritual centers?

If you're not familiar, chakras are points of energy on the body that have spiritual as well as physical impact. When they are balanced, life is good. When they are imbalanced, we have unwanted manifestations, such as illness and financial troubles. The good news is balancing them is as simple as taking a few minutes for visualization! Like any visualization, chakra balancing gets easier with practice, so don't feel discouraged if you have trouble focusing during your first go around or two. A nice, simple chakra meditation can be found here on Youtube

Get a blanket, find a quiet spot under a tree, and take some time to balance your chakras this Mabon! You'll be glad you did. Bonus points if you plant your feet in the soil and get your earthing on!

Have a pumpkin spice latte

Admittedly, this suggestion is a little self-benefiting. But what's autumn without a warm drink laced with cinnamon and nutmeg? You can certainly buy one at your favorite coffee shop, but why not make one? I'm betting you already have the ingredients on hand. Take the time to really savor the process. Inhale the nutty aroma of the coffee before you brew it. Watch as the creamer turns your drink into a rich caramel color. Savor the first sip without scarfing down the entire drink. Life is a lot more pleasurable when we take time to relish the things we enjoy. Sit outside with your homemade brew, breathe deep inhalations of that luscious autumn air, and simply BE.

Focus on gratitude

With Mabon being a time of reflection and balance, what better way to celebrate than to make a list for all that you are thankful for? Take a notebook to the park and make a list of everything you appreciate—from big things, like your family or health, to small things, like hot cocoa and fuzzy slipper socks. 

Feeling crafty? Make a gratitude tree! Simply find a funky fallen twig that has lots of little branchy offshoots to hold your leaves. Place the twig (or twigs) in a pot of stones so it's standing upright, like a miniature dead tree. Collect fallen leaves or cut your own from construction paper. Write something you're grateful for on each leaf. Tape on a loop of string or thread, and hang the leaves from your twig! Beauty and function— my favorite!

And remember, crafts don't need to be limited to children. It's just my hubby and myself, yet we make a gratitude tree every year for Thanksgiving by adding one leaf a day for each day in November leading up to the big feast! Festiveness isn't just reserved for those too young to drive. Embrace life! Live it with all you've got! And don't forget to be grateful! ;)

Bring in some nature

If you're anything like me, you're just itching to get something decorative in your home this fall. Since it's a touch early for ghosts and jack-o-lanterns, why not take a nature walk and collect whatever beautiful, natural treasures you stumble upon? Colored leaves. Acorns. Gnarled twigs. Pine cones. Cool rocks. Bring a bag and collect whatever catches your eye. Arrange it on a table or counter top when you get home, throw in a candle or two (maybe gold and red) and you've got yourself an instant natural Mabon altar! You can even leave your natural masterpiece up for a few weeks as a spectacular (and FREE!) fall decoration!

Looking for more Mabon altar ideas? Check back next week for my personal Mabon natural altar!

Happy Mabon, everyone!!! 🍂🍁


What are your favorite ways to celebrate Mabon?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Super Simple Spell Disposal Methods (That Will Help Keep You Off the Pagan Episode of Hoarders)



A few months ago, my husband and I had a big fire with the sole purpose of disposing of old spells.

...And I mean OLD. Like, traveled-with-me-across-the-country-when-I-moved-out-at-eighteen old. 

Let's see, when I was eighteen Jennifer Lopez was still making music, people still had landlines, and Friends was still on the air.

Yup, time for some of those spells to go!

Now, some spells you'll want to hold onto forever. Say, a fertility spell that brought you a child. But others, like a job spell from three career changes ago, are okay to dispose of. But how does one dispose of a spell while still remaining respectful towards the energies that helped manifest said spell? Like anything in magick, the key is intention.

The Universe doesn't expect you to hold on to every spell you've ever cast. Otherwise, your house will inevitably look like an episode of Hoarders. But there are inappropriate ways to dispose of a spell. I think we can all agree tossing a successful spell into the trash is not going to yield good results for you in the future! So, here are three easy ways to dispose of a spell that will keep good fortune on your side!

Fire
This is probably the most commonly used method of disposal. It's relatively quick and the ashes can be returned to the earth. Just make sure you're not burning something that can be hazardous to inhale, like plastic. 

The lovely aspect of burning old spells is the ritualistic part of the disposal. Taking time to build a fire. Waiting for the flames to catch. Watching as the spells turn to ash. These steps require time, which not only works as a sort of sacrifice to the Goddess and God that ensured your spell, but it also allows us time to reflect on our spell work. 

Before adding old spells to a fire, I like to say:


By way of flame, return to the earth;
With gratitude and blessings, reborn and rebirth.



Burying
This is the perfect option for a spell that is completed but you don't want to risk reversing, like a banishment spell. If you used natural materials for the spell, simply bury the spell away from your property where it can be returned to the earth but not unwoven. If you're burying a spell that brought good fortune, like protection or health, it is appropriate to bury it on your property. 

Before covering your old spells with dirt, say:

Once again of the earth, but not unwoven;
This spell remains cast; this spell is unbroken.




Cleansing
As much as I try to use only natural materials in my spells, modern life does seep in. I use nylon sachets in my Vehicle Protection Spells and I occasionally use gemstones, which I'd much rather repurpose than bury. 

Cleansing old spell materials is extremely simple! Just hold the items in your hand, thank them for lending their energies to your efforts, and leave them in sunlight AND moonlight for at least one day. This allows the materials to be cleansed and balanced by both the masculine (sun) and feminine (moon) energies of nature. 

Before placing your items on a windowsill, say:


Balance and purity, return to thee;
Thank you for all you've granted me.
But now it has come to wash the slate clean;
Renewed and re-energized, So Mote it Be!



I told you it was easy, right?! If you haven't done a sacrifice in a while, now is a good time to do so. It can be as simple as burning a candle you love with the intention of sacrifice, or tossing a handful of herbs back to the earth (or maybe across a pond?! How poetic!). If you're looking for more simple yet meaningful ways to offer a sacrifice, check out my post on 5 Pagan Sacrifices

Ahhh Pagan house cleaning. Easy peasey. Now as for that stack of newspapers from 1972, I can't help you with those. ;)


What's your favorite way of disposing of old spells?


By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.