Dec 31, 2014

I Love Your Spark

2014 was...interesting.  There were some stellar moments, and some uncomfortable lessons. There was adventure, and wildness and love, and some rather spectacular crashing.  I feel as though I have walked the Major Arcana from Fool to the Tower to Judgement, and today the World card turned over, and the cycle is both complete, and beginning again at midnight.

Today the sun shone brightly on the snow-covered hills, the cattle in the meadows of the next valley were breathing out dancing mist-creatures into the air as I drove by, and the moon has shown herself handsomely and so very near in the cold sky.  Today was rather stunning.  It was a good way to end this year - with the heart-aching beauty of the Valley I love so much.

It is also a good time to say Thank you.

I didn't speak much about the icky bits this year.  I was on my own alchemical journey, churning things up and out, and refining, refining (hello Temperance).  I suppose I didn't share because I thought it was meant to be a lone journey (and there's the Hermit), but these things never are. Because each time you visited Rue and Hyssop, and commented on a post, or read something here via a social media link, or chatted with me on Facebook or Twitter, or bumped into me somewhere out there in the 'verse, you left a little spark for me.

And the sparks - they added up.  And on my darkest days this year, there were sparks like fireflies that lit up my small world. I showed up here six years ago hoping for a little connection, but what I received was so much more.

Thank you, to those who have been stopping by for years, and to those who I've just met. Thank you to the ones who inspire, and the ones who encourage. Thank you to those who do the work, and remind me that the work is where I find the best parts of myself.  Thank you to the ones that bring the magic, and those that share the love, and all of you who leave your little sparks.  You have made my 2014 brighter.

I'm wishing you fireworks, and every beautiful thing that makes your soul sing. For every momentary thought, every good wish, every spark you've gifted me, may it come back to you one hundred times more.

Aside from you, these are a few things that made my heart sing in 2014:

Dec 8, 2014

A Few of My Favourite Things 2014 Edition

We have come upon the final "guaranteed delivery by Christmas" days of the miracle that is online shopping.  I myself, will be pummeling my little post office with an armload of packages that have come to be known as "The Massive Holiday Chocolate Migration," and so I thought I'd share a few of the things that have made my heart soar this year, in case you would like to get those awesome folks on your gift list something special.  There is still time to snap up most of these items - as always, check with the shop proprietors to ensure holiday delivery.  Or just order something for yourself as a "holiday survival" reward!

If you'd like to see what I recommended last year, go here.

Assorted Awesomeness

I love snail mail in a huge way.  There is nothing that makes me happier than finding a hand-written note in my mail box.  I've been a huge fan of Vanessa's postcards for years, and if you've ever won a book from my October giveaways, you will have received one of her cards with your prize.

It may sound odd, but a stack of beautiful postcards might be the best gift ever (if you are shopping for me). There is something perfect and simple about a postcard - just enough room for a fond thought and a good wish.  She has a wonderful selection of art prints and fun labels at A Fanciful Twist too.

Cat Fish Creek Candles is an Etsy shop that was pointed out to me by the lovely Dana, and I'm completely smitten.  A few hundred different beeswax candle designs, ensures that you will find something that catches your eye. Designs range from animals and holiday themes, to food and spiritual symbolism.  As for me - I really need this happy little sheep in my life!

Mischief and Magic

Magic-maker Jacquelyn Tierney created these mugwort sticks from her own beautiful plants and offers them up in two perfect sizes.  I can't think of a better stocking stuffer for a gardener or a witch.

"Fifty-Four Devils: The Art and Folklore of Fortune-telling with Playing Cards" was featured last year, but I'm going to list it here again because the author, Cory Hutcheson, is donating the proceeds of his book until the end of the year to the Peter Paddon Memorial Fund. It is a fantastic book and a great gift for anyone who enjoys cartomancy, and you get the added benefit of donating to a good cause.

Carolina Gonzalez is the proprietress of Camino De Yara, an enchanting shop of charms, magical herbs, and ritual services.  Carolina's products are superb and her selection of herbs is impressive (including rare plants only found in the Canary Islands where she lives).  Because of the distance, shipping from the Canary Islands may not get to you by Christmas, but do bookmark this fantastic shop for your future magical needs.

The Wildwood Tarot is a deck I picked up earlier this year, and I'm lost in it.  I've been using it mostly as a meditation aid, but I imagine at some point I'll get around to doing full readings with it. We are still in our courting phase, I think.

Bath and Botanicals

Adirondack Aromatherapy creates some of the most stunning soaps I've ever seen.  I'm currently scrubbing down with her "Theives" variety, but I'd like to try them all!

King's Road Apothecary is a delightful shop full of incredible goodies created by the talented Rebecca (whose blog Cauldrons and Crockpots is top f*cking notch). Aside from wanting to be her when I grow up, I also really dig the products I've purchased from her.  My current favourite is not even something I buy for me - her "Busted Joint Ointment" helps my mother with the arthritis pain in her hands, and for that I'm a customer for life!

As a last gift,  I'm going to mention my friend Hob's new blog "The Orphan's Almanac" - not just because he is a wonderful writer, but because right now (and for the next 8 days) he is having a "12 Nights of Krampus" celebration, and you can win something awesome each day. Make sure you get your entries in before midnight when Krampus comes and the gift is gone!

*photos are copyright to, and property of, the shops listed below them and are linked back.