Nov 24, 2011

Another Round of Thanks


Although we Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving back in October, I have always enjoyed American Thanksgiving as an official start to the holiday season.

I've long been a fan of the Macy's parade, and each year I take the day off to watch the parade, bake and decorate my home.  I've been doing it since I was in high school, when my amazing mother would call me in "sick" to the school so I could stay home and enjoy the day.

Out comes the Winter greenery, the twinkle lights, and at my mom's house, her collection of village houses and assorted people and animals.  It's a funny set up.  Everything is mis-matched and in different sizes.  But she loves it.  It suits our strange and wonderful family!

At my house, I like to keep the breakables to a minimum or there would be cat-induced carnage for sure.  This is the first time my latest addition, Beau, will have experienced a decorated tree - so that will be interesting.

So, while I deck the halls and drink egg nog and watch the giant balloons float by on the television, I wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!  Travel safe and find some time to enjoy the beginning of a rather hectic season!

Blessings!

Nov 22, 2011

Mercury And A Wandering Mind


I'm not sure if it's Mercury getting ahead of itself, or just some strangeness in the air, but these last few days have been odd.  I've felt off my game, a little down and generally frustrated at everything.  Luckily, there are more than enough things going on here on the interwebs to keep me distracted.

Here are a few things that I've enjoyed or been mulling over lately:

~ Always an enjoyable and fascinating read, New World Witchery has a post on the lore surrounding walnuts.  I'm allergic to the buggers (walnuts, not Cory or Laine) but can appreciate the symbolism.

~ For years, I have been wanting to head to Caravan Farm to see the outdoor plays the theatre company puts on. This year, the play is "The Gift Horse" which is about a childless couple who is given a child by the Moon. This may be the year I finally get there!

For holiday hayrides or sleighrides in your state or province, check out this website.

~ Incorporating a Nativity scene in a non-Christian household.  My friend brought me back Nativity figurines from Mexico this year and at first I was perplexed.  Until I read Carolina's most recent newsletter at the House of Eleggua.  She did a post on the Nativity, here, but do subscribe to her newsletter where she discusses the symbolism surrounding the figures involved in the Christ story.

~ Speaking of Christ, or technically, his followers, there has been quite a discussion going on over at Twitter today about whether or not you should support a charitable organization (in this case, The Salvation Army) if they openly preach against GLBT rights. 

If an organization does great things with the money donated to it, yet does not operate at a level that speaks to your own morals and values, would you donate to them?  Does the good they do, outweigh the intolerance they may have?  Great points on both sides of this debate!

As we head into the start of the bustling holiday season, I want to wish my American neighbours a blessed Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) and wish you a safe and happy holiday!





Nov 18, 2011

And Then There Was This



So I found this the other day.  And while I'm making a concerted effort to eat more real food and stay away from the packaged/processed items, there is something to be said for the taste of rum first thing in the morning.

Don't let the cute cake picture fool you.  This tastes like Captain Morgan bumped a good shot of his spiced rum into your latte.  Thank you Captain!

Nov 17, 2011

Remember November


"When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old." 
~ Lady Bird Johnson

The first real snow has come to the Valley.  We had teasing flakes last week, but now it sits upon the land - a mere half inch, but here nonetheless.  A snowfall warning has just flashed across the tv screen, and I'm watching the window to see how accurate the weather channel is.  No new flakes...so far.

I was able to get out and walk the river today and that is always a boon to my spirit.  The sound of snow crunching underfoot was meditative and the scent of woodsmoke in the air was sweet.  The horses across the river were playing with each other, and the ducks were paddling around a small circle of pond that was left un-frozen.

I like the first snow.  It feels like a fresh start.  A clear starting point to the new season (even though Winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st-22nd.)  It feels right to put away the Autumn things and start pulling out the boots and mittens.  More candles will go up around the house, and the Yule incense I've been making will be burned.

Over at my parents' house, my mother has been making good use of their Halloween pumpkins, and there are fresh pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cake to taste.  Several of the neighbours have put up their holiday lights and displays already. 

It seems strange to admit that the year is nearly at an end.  I have a good memory of pea-planting in March, abundant lettuce in June and farmers markets in August, but time skips from one quick scene to another, and my mind can't wrap itself around the fact that it's mid-November now.

Not wanting to miss a thing about the rest of the year, I've added some additional items to my to-do list:

~ Be here now.
~ Enjoy the season.
~ Take it all in.

I think that's something I can manage. 

Nov 12, 2011

Iron



"Iron repels evil of all kind...  In addition to providing protection, iron enhances and stimulates the growth of one's personal magic powers, so that you are stronger and better able to protect yourself, requring less outside spiritual protection.  Iron also invigorates general vitality and energy."
From Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judika Illes

Last night I went to a preview party for a local metaphysical shop/venue that will be opening in our area.  The lovely lady putting on the party and opening the venue, gifted me with a large helping of iron ore.  I'd been scavenging for iron nails lately, but had come up empty-handed, so this was a treat!

Iron ore is not pure iron.  It is a rock from which iron can be extracted.  The ingredients in these rocks are usually hematite and magnatite, which are iron oxides.

I'm actually quite thrilled with the little iron ore pellets.  Someone like me, who is gifted in the art of clumsy, is not generally suited for carrying around a nail of any type.  A round iron pellet is a much better idea, and will ensure I don't pierce any body party by accident.

Some uses of iron include:

~ iron in the bed protects from nightmares and spirits.

~ a circle of iron, placed around sore or skin ailments is said to prevent them from spreading.

~ iron can remove the evil eye.

~ water from a blacksmith that has been used to cool iron has healing properties.  People who can get their hands on this water would use it for bathing and other applications.  If you can't find blacksmith water, you can simply put iron in a cloth bag and hang it from your faucet while running a bath.

~ horseshoes, which are considered very lucky, should be hung above the door, using as many of the original nails as possible.

~ a horseshoe nail can be bent into a ring form and worn for protection.

~ iron is also the main (and usually only) ingredient in War Water, used to hex or protect against hexes.


I can see that I'll be having fun using and sharing these little treasures!

Nov 4, 2011

November To-Do's

November is that liminal time between the last of the harvests and the beginning of the Winter.  For me, it's always been a time of floating between jobs, projects and nesting to prepare for the cold months. 

Because we Canadians have already had our Thanksgiving, there is not a particularly festive atmosphere around this month (except, perhaps for those people who decorate for Yule/Xmas early.)  I was joking with a friend the other day, that November is merely my chocolate detox month between Halloween and Christmas.

Still, I feel a renewed sense of energy and interest in accomplishing things on my to-do list this month.  Luckily, I've stocked my to-do list with fun items as well as the usual responsibilities.

Rue's To-Do:

~ Dig out Winter accessories.  Donate boring/blah gloves & scarves and wear bright, fun ones instead!  I picked up a cat-hat a few weeks back, and am already using my awesome fingerless gloves (made by Sarah) at work.

~ Learn how to make Eggs Benedict.  I had a fun breakfast with the girlfriends this morning, and had the most incredible Eggs Benedict.  I'm still reeling from the amazing Hollandaise.  Martha has a recipe I'm going to try.

~ Spend more time with my personal practice.  My meditation time has been sadly brief of late.  More connecting to the gods of my understanding is needed as well.  I found this post by Star Foster, about "worship" in Witchcraft, of interest today.

~ Detox.  All joking aside, I ate entirely too much chocolate in October! 

~ Get outside!  The winds have come, but the sun is still shining here in the Valley.  I'll be spending some time walking by the river this month and enjoying the late Autumn air.

Happy November!

Nov 1, 2011

Spirits of October - Giveaway #3 Winner...


The winner of the book "Spirit of the Witch" by Raven Grimassi is........

Jeanne!

Congrats!  Pop me an email with your mailing address and I'll send it out right away. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Samhain/Halloween last night!