May 28, 2013

Summer Living - Where to Find Me

Summer must be here, because the spirit-child of Tenae at The Witch of Howling Creek, Pagan Living, has arrived!  As always, Tenae and her team have created a gorgeous e-zine brimming with party ideas, recipes, articles and more.  

I'm always so tickled to have an article of mine in the magazine, and if that wasn't enough - this time I've been nominated as an "Inspiring Pagan."  Honestly, if I can inspire anyone to get to a farmers market, grow something, learn a bit about local plants in their area, look up a bit of fun folklore, or take note of the moon phases and seasons, I feel like I've won.

I was also interviewed in the latest edition of the Sunday Stew over at The Secret Life of the American Working Witch.  She asked some great questions - thanks Kallan!

I'm currently up to my neck in boxes.  I've decided to move back to the little town where I work, play and garden full-time, and leave the suite in the city that I've been living in the past three years. There seems to be no sense staying here when I spend the bulk of my time in the next town, which is where my heart is.  I am happy to be heading back!

There is, as always, a full to-do list, but I'm taking things one at a time.  Tonight I've got a nice batch of salve cooling in glass jars on the stove top.  It's a deep gold this time - I let the calendula infuse extra-long in the oils and it's just gorgeous.  Mountain Rose has a great page about creating herbal salves if you are interested in making your own.  (Or you can always purchase one of mine.)

As May closes out with showers and green, lush growth, I am gearing up for a summer of garden worshiping, sun tea sipping, and a few road trip adventures - all from a home base that makes my heart glad.  I hope you have delightful plans for your summer living too!


May 19, 2013

It's In The Cards - A Few Great Readers

I hit a bump last week and needed a bit of advice.  Normally, when guidance is needed I try a few things on my own first.  Meditation, a walk in nature, working with my tarot cards, drinking a blender of daiquiris with my bff, you know - the usual.  Often, the act of being quiet and listening is enough to get a clear sense of where I'm at and what needs to be done.  Last week, however, there was no clarity.  There was an underlying sense of I feel this is perhaps where I'm headed...maybe...  Not really enough to go on.  Plus, my last nerve was worn weary from nurturing a sick kitty.  Time to ask for help.

Fortunately, I happen to be brushing e-shoulders with some amazing readers of late.  I put a call out and had an armload of helpful responses.  All of them had the same message (through different divination techniques) and confirmed what I had been feeling.  The encouragement was wonderful and allowed me to take a big step forward with confidence.

After the Sylvia Browne mess of last week, I think that it is easy to dismiss readers as fakes, con-artists or simply people who are looking for a bit of fame (or cash) at any cost.  This is not an accurate picture at all.  The intuitives that I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with have been nothing but professional.  The best readers always stress that your life path is your choice and a reading only shows a snapshot of where you are/where you are heading right now.  Things can be changed.

There are many talented readers out there who have every interest in your well-being and satisfaction in their services.  Most of these people go into business specifically because they feel a calling to help others reach their full potential.  I want to spotlight three people here who gave me a hand last week in seeing clearly.  My case was rare in that I had access to a group of people (many of whom were readers,) and I simply put a call out for a tiny spot of advice.  I was fortunate to get a great response from several people.  I don't recommend though, that you hire out multiple people to read for you at the same time.  Pick someone who piques your interest and get one reading.  Multiple readings by different people are a good way to become confused. Take the advice, glean the gems from the reading, and move forward with your life!

These ladies are my Big-Time Awesome Reader recommendations:
(I could go on, swooning over and complimenting them, but I think you should just check them out instead!)

Bri Saussy - Milagro Roots

Sara Magnuson - Candlesmoke Chapel

Jacquelyn Tierney -

(PS - if you ever get to the interior of British Columbia, I also have two awesome local reader recommendations - email me or message me on Facebook and I'll give you the lowdown!)

May 14, 2013

Does My Shadow Make Me Look Fat?

My 'personal year' runs from September to September.  That month, being my birth month, sets off a new life year for me and is generally a better time for me to look at resolutions, life changes, and charting growth than January is.  September 2011 to September 2012 was an ass-kicker year for me. It was truly suck-worthy.  It was also the year I learned to love myself completely.  Go figure.

I've spent the bulk of my life not particularly liking myself.  I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, and on and on.  Sadly, plenty of people are familiar with this I'm Not Enough type of existence.  I started realizing that there was something wrong with how I saw myself, back in my late twenties but it took me ten long years to really dig all the crud up and toss it aside.  I'm not a therapist and I've never seen one (excepting my best girlfriends and too many blenders of daiquiris to count,) but something happened last year in between the crippling sadness of losing my beloved kitty to an illness the vet could do nothing to help and the financial worries and the moments of fist-shaking at the sky.

I finally saw myself.

I finally saw my strength, my awesomeness, my silliness, my fierce love, my wild imagination, my optimism, my sheer joy at living in the valley where I make my home, and I finally, finally saw my beauty.

All I could think was WHY DID THIS TAKE SO LONG?

It's been a great ride so far with these new eyes, but something funny happened about a month ago. My niece got herself a new phone and started playing with the camera on it.  She started snapping candid photos and texting them to me.  Photos of me.  Photos of me on my cell phone, or chasing the cats around, or eating lunch.  And I was horrified.

Who the hell is that person?!  Do my thighs really look like that?  I really need to do something with my hair.  

And the criticisms kept coming as if they'd never really gone away.

April was another shaky month.  A few things in my life that I've been neglecting or ignoring completely have shown up and demanded to be noticed.  This new development (or old resurgence) was exactly the thing I needed to trigger me to take action and change my attitude.

That person in that picture is me, and she is amazing.  Yes, those are my luscious thighs.  My hair is long and gorgeous and yes, sometimes looks like I've been caught in a tornado, and I love it.

I am taking a firm gorilla-grip on my life and owning my awesomeness.  I might be face-deep in a daiquiri later, but I will get my ass back up again and go out into the world tomorrow, thighs and all, and keep building and creating and bibbity-bobbity-booing this life of mine the way I want to.

I will love myself.  I will love the wild animal of my body, and my delicious spirit, and my crazy mind, and I will create a life of joy and magic.

Bring on the candid photos - I dare you.

May 7, 2013

Witch on the Farm

Last weekend I took a trip out to the country to see the property where The Witch on the Hill is building a home.  The long driveway into her property was edged by a river of lavender.  Only about two weeks ago, she showed up at my door with a huge tub of lavender from last summer's harvest, and the plants will be flowering again soon.

She took me for a walk down the long rows of her cherry orchard.  Here and there, little green pips were showing - cherries in the making!  Every so often there was a random tree - a plum, a pear and I think she said there was an apple or two as well.  A strange little orchard, the trees were not planted well (too close together) but they have been producing a fair crop.  This autumn, after the trees are long past their harvest, she will weed out some of the smaller ones that cannot reach the light.

The tiny trickle of a creek through their property became a torrent this spring, and now that the heat has come, the run off will be coming faster.  They had to add soil and sandbags, and they are hoping that they have done enough to contain the water.  This week will be the test.

The flowers here are amazing.  The previous owners let the land grow wild - they were older and could no longer care for it the way they once had.  But you can tell that there was love here, and an eye for color.  The lilacs are gorgeous.  The second shot is hard to see, but that bush is actually a blue-purple, periwinkle color.  I've never seen that particular shade in a lilac.

Her dear pooch kept us company as we wandered.

It is a bit hard to see, but these white tulips are edged in purple and have a blue center. Amazing!

The orange and yellow tulips are striated, and the purple is mad violet!  I'd love to get my greedy fingers on some of these bulbs.  She has a big job ahead of her, cleaning up these beds and encouraging these beauties to multiply.

Her home is almost finished - she will be in by the summer.  She has many loads of plants to bring from the hill.  Her garden space here will be enormous.

And her favourite part?  She has an in-ground pool!  They just took the cover off and there's a good cleaning job waiting - but the promise of cool water on a hot Valley day is all she needs to put a smile on her face.

I am truly happy to see her in such a peaceful and vibrant place.  There was a sadness in her departure from the hill, but seeing her here, grinning and showing all the wonders of her new land, was a confirmation that this is where she is meant to be.

Transitions are funny like that.  Sometimes you have to get where you are going in order to look back and realize that it was better for you to leave some things behind.

May 1, 2013

A Bright and Happy May To You!

We have been rambling all of the night,
The best part of this day;
And we are returning here back again
And we've brought you a garland gay. 
A bunch of May we bear about
Before the door it stands;
It is but a sprout and it's all budded out
And it's the work of God's own hand.
Oh wake up you, wake up pretty maid,
To take the May bush in.
For it will be gone and tomorrow morn
And you will have none within.

(One of many versions of the May song. Found here.)

Have you stumbled home from your May eve frolicking?  Feeling a little wobbly from all that dancing on the Brocken?  Good on you for having some Walpurgis cheer! 

The basket above is not the traditional May basket - but it's my kind of spring happiness for sure.  Chickweed, plantain and dandelions are awaiting their new incarnations as tea, tincture and healing salve.  

I washed my face in the morning dew before the sun broke over the hills this morning.  (I've got to keep that glow somehow,) and I'm rather happy to see that while April ended with snow on my lawn, May has begun bright and warm with clear, blue skies.  

May blessings to you!