Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I Got Nominated for a Liebster Blog Award!!


My lovely friend Darkwench nominated me for the Liebster Award so thank you very much; I am really surprised and honoured!


What is the Liebster Award? It is (from Darkwench’s blog): "For those bloggers and readers who are unfamiliar with this award, “The Liebster Award" is given to up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. The word ” Liebster” comes from German and can mean the sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, most beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

I am really happy to receive a nomination!

The Rules for this Award are:
-Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you loads Darkwench!!)
-When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
-Pass the award onto 6 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!) You write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
-You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog!
-You paste the award picture into your blog. (You can Google the image, there are plenty of them!)


11 Random Facts About Me:

1) I have two cats with very distinct and mental personalities.
2) I am not a morning person and rarely get up before mid morning.
3) I have a book addiction problem.
4) I don’t like coffee.
5) I love herbs and am a Herbalist.
6) I’m a little obsessive about my pets (neurosis town here).
7) I have auburn hair. Red Pride!!
8) I don’t drink alcohol (I’m allergic).
9) I can’t eat mushrooms because they make me very ill.
10) The smell of lamb cooking makes me feel violently nauseous.
11) I love dragons.

The Questions for me to answer:

1.   Do you have a specific spiritual path? Not really, it’s more of an eclectic path but I would have to say the “umbrella” view of my path would be Green.
2.   Are you happy where life is taking you at the moment or do you want to change something? I’m happy with where I’m heading, there are things I would like to change but that will come.
3.   What is one thing that you are good/great at? Sleeping lol. And reading.
4.   What makes you smile? My cats and cool weather (seriously, our summer has been a nightmare).
5.   What is your favourite food? Mexican. And chocolate.
6.   What types of books (if any) do you read? This could end up being a really long list. To overview it, typically paranormal fiction, in non fiction generally mythology, herbs and witchcraft related topics.
7.   What is your favourite animal and why? My favourite animal has always been the Orca because they are just the most complex yet gorgeously cute animals. Also my cats, of course.
8.   Do you have any ambitions? To be a Herbalist and successful online vendor of artisan witchcraft items. I also want to be an epically fabulous herb grower!
9.   What music are you listening to? You know, I listen to a lot of older stuff now because what it on the charts currently, sucks quite frankly.
10.  Do you like/love nature? I do love nature, there is something amazing about the power of an old tree, especially when it shares its energy with you.
11.  What is a goal that you have set yourself this year (2013)? To complete my Advanced Herbalism and really get my business off the ground.

My 11 Questions

1) What book inspired you the most in relation to witchcraft?
2) What is your favourite herb and why?
3) What season gets you most excited?
4) What is your most favourite place in nature?
5) If you could be any witch in history, who would you be?
6) Wand or Athame?
7) Who is more awesome – Willow or Harry Potter?
8) Dawn, Dusk, Twilight or Night?
9) Tarot, Oracle or Runes? Why?
10) Who is your most favourite fictional witch of all time?
11) If you could get rid of sparkly vamps forever, how would you do it?

My Nominees

Love, Light, & Wine: A Painting, Sipping, Beachy Pagan
Nefaeria of Etsy
Tansy Firedragon's Tome
Adventures on the Dusken Path
Ivy on the Path
Book of Mirrors

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Herb, Herbs and More Herbs


Who doesn't love to get a big box of herbs in the mail? Things are coming along now that the herbs are here, I can start working on new products for my store. I'm quite excited especially since all of the herbs are either wildcrafted or organic!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Girls Now….Girls Then


When I first saw that picture, it resonated with me on a level that surprised me. It highlighted the difference between girls then and girls now. This post is kind of prompted by a discussion on a forum about 50 Shades of Grey (or as I like to refer to it as 50 Shades of Rubbish). Twilight and 50 Shades share some commonalities, given that Shades was originally Twilight fan fiction, the theme of the desperate, insecure, doubting, co-dependent twit and the controlling, emotionally manipulative twat runs through both. I’ll put my hand up and say I don’t mind the Twilight movies, I’ve seen them but I’m not a fan of the books (I’ve read one), I certainly don’t have any memorabilia and to be honest, I don’t watch the Twilight movies until they are on dvd, I don’t get impatient for the next one, it doesn’t impact my life in any way (Harry Potter on the other hand…..hehe). When it comes to 50 Shades, I tried to read it, honestly I did, I gave it my best effort but I got half way through the first book and I couldn’t take anymore. I read a lot, in fact I would go so far as to say I have a lot of reading experience as it were, and this book just did my head in. It was awful, badly written, shallow, linguistically repetitive and one dimensional. And that was just the first half of book one I read. If I start reading a book and I can’t get into it, I will read the last chapter to see how it all ends – with 50 Shades I didn’t care enough to even do that. If you want to have a laugh, read some of the negative reviews on Amazon..hilarious!

So why has this perked up my rant-o-meter? Because of the message it has. Now some say that we shouldn’t see it as a message because its fiction and I would normally agree, as some one who reads fantasy and most of it with erotic scenes in it, I understand the value of escapism and eroticism in literary works. I don’t have anything against BDSM, as most of you probably know, who read my blog, I’m pretty open minded about everything, I don’t particularly have any prejudices (except against Japanese Whalers but that’s a whole other thing) so if two consenting adults with healthy sexual appetites want to enjoy a BDSM relationship then more power to them and have fun. BUT 50 Shades is far from that, Ana (the vapid, idiot heroine) is pushed, bullied and coerced into a BDSM relationship by Christian (the controlling, psychotic hero) in a not particularly nice or gentle way. Considering she spends most of her time over anxious and despairing of upsetting Christian, it’s not particularly healthy. There are some bloggers and commentators who have compared it to the abuse grooming process. My concern is that it has been shown that teenage girls are secretly reading this and seeing it as the norm. It’s disturbing on so many levels, especially if the girl ends up with a boyfriend who has a predilection for violence. I was reading an article by a therapist who treated a couple because the husband was a little brutal in the bedroom and bought his wife this book to prove that what he wanted was normal. Can you imagine the impact this would have on a teenage girl who is in no way emotionally or mentally (letalone physically) ready or mature enough for this?

The problem is this process was started with Twilight. The whole Bella/Edward relationship (taking out the vampire aspect of course) showed an unnatural codependency and control with emotional anxiety and not to mention the whole ‘suicidal because my boyfriend left me’ mentality we see predominantly throughout the second movie. Bella has such a strange dependency on the presence of Edward, so much so that she literally lets him get away with things that are so wrong. He stalks her, acts like she hasn’t a brain in her head and manipulates her. She, in turn, accepts this as normal and has an epic meltdown every time she thinks he’s not happy. This is what the younger generations are growing up on and it is terrifying. There is not a horror movie on earth that could compete with the thought that there are whole generations of Bellas and Anas.

I grew up on Buffy and Charmed, women who were strong and powerful, who loved their men but did not see the men as integral to their continuing existence. The Buffy/Angel dynamic in the picture shows it perfectly. Buffy went out and saved the world, Angel could help and it was great if he did, but she wasn’t dependent on him to do so. She could go out and handle it herself. As did the Charmed Ones, saving the world on a weekly basis without a man to handle business for them. Buffy taught girls one lesson: to be who they are. During season 4 she did have a little conundrum about holding herself back on account of her normal boyfriend Riley, but she ultimately decided that she was who she was and there was no way in hell she was going to be less than for a guy or to make a guy feel better about himself. Buffy, Willow (yes I didn’t forget her) and the Charmed Ones showed that women could own their power and not give it away, that being strong, confident and independent was a great thing to be and should never be compromised in any way. Even Hermione in Harry Potter was a great role model for girls. She was smart and capable and refused to be anything other than what she was. These are the role models for girls not Bella, not Ana. These are the role models that should be pushed yet on television and in books, so many role models are vapid, insecure or trite (and tripe).

I mean let’s be honest, if Buffy met Bella or Ana, she’d smack the shit out of them. Like so many of us want to do.

You know why I think 50 Shades is popular with women? I know so many people will probably disagree with me but I think it is popular with people are not particularly well read. Bear with me, I know a lot of people who read a lot like myself and have had chats with them about this series and all share my opinion, it’s crap, not particularly well written and like me, they struggled to care enough to keep reading and others (like me) gave up and couldn’t read anymore. I think for people who don’t read very much, this would seem titillating and erotic. I find it degrading, but again, reading as I do, most paranormal fiction has erotic scenes in it and they are beautifully written. If you like a little kink, read Forbidden Magic by Cheyenne McCray, the antagonists have some rather graphic three (and four) ways (and the protagonists also have some really hot sex)  but it is well written by an author who knows how to handle writing erotic scenes. The antagonist woman (who is a demon wearing a human suit….it’s complicated) is in complete control and is having the absolute time of her life. Put it next to the scenes in 50 Shades and Shades comes off disgusting, cheap and with a disturbing level of deviance that makes you want to shower. Like I said, in an open, honest, consensual, equal relationship I imagine BDSM is pleasurable and fun but how it is portrayed in Shades is abusive, manipulative and controlling.

There are so many authors out there who write great erotic fiction with BDSM undertones but handle it in a refreshing, mature, sexy way. If teenage girls are so determined to involve themselves in this kind of behaviour then they shouldn’t be looking to 50 Shades, they should look elsewhere or better yet, wait until they are adults and understand the maturity needed to be in a relationship like this. And men if you read 50 Shades and think this is what a woman wants….then shame on you and if you get excited about the prospect of doing what is in this rubbish book…you need help or a swift hard smack upside the head with a heavy object.

Seriously, if I had a boyfriend who bought me home 50 Shades and tried to convince me this was normal for a relationship, I’d hand him Misery and say the same.

‘Honey you get your spanker, I’ll get my Sledgehammer’.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

That Time of the Month

I was reading over some old posts on one of my favourite blogs, Adventures on a Dusken Path and I came across this post. And as I was reading it, I was having a “I hear ya” moment. I hate having a period; it is the worst time of my life each month. I have agonizing pain in both the abdominal and lower back region, I on occasion get severe pain in my right shoulder (which is from a sort of rare kind of endometriosis), not to mention the difficulty breathing, the chest pain, the occasional flu like symptoms (because, weirdly, endo is an autoimmune disease and when some one has a damaged immune system like me, it can make things difficult, especially during flu season) and the skull splitting migraines. I take, on average, every four hours, codeine and two ibuprofen and that only minimally dulls the pain. I become a functioning basket case for a week. Not to mention how it affects me every other day of the month, exercise is difficult because it causes pain, I find myself with shortness of breath, tired, fatigued and also have difficulty concentrating.

And for those who are of the mind to suggest having children might help, I have a pithy phrase of the cursing variety for you, but I’m too polite to write it. I had a gyno suggest to me when I was 18 to start having sex or have a child as this would help ease it. My Mum came with me to that appointment; she damn near tore the doctor’s head off. You see, my endo is hereditary, my mother had two children and the bulk of her eleven surgeries for endo were after she had children, so that “advice” is myth in my book. I’ve had the surgeries, the medications engineered for this (made me very ill every time). I’ve been on the pill since I was 16 in an attempt to regulate and control the pain – it regulated my periods. My last resort as suggested by another gyno was “medical menopause”. I read about the meds for that, it would be fine if I wanted to end up looking like some lumpy, hairy welted thing (the side effects of the drugs were horrendous). So I passed. But where is all this leading?

Like Dusken, I am mystified at the whole spiritual, get-in-touch with your inner goddess, rah rah menstruation thing that seems prevalent. I honestly don’t understand how suffering in agony for a week can be seen as some empowered feminine time? Seriously, you come near me when I’m in pain and the last thing I will be is empowered and feeling all feminine, I might be empowered to knock your head off, but that’s about it. I really don’t get it, I know I certainly don’t get heightened powers, probably too zonked out on painkillers but even when I’ve tried to go a little sans meds, the pain is rather overpowering so I still do not feel this whole ‘inner connectedness’. Mostly I feel like my insides are being ripped out by a blunt fish hook. (Lovely imagery right?). I can’t meditate on the loveliness of being feminine because I am too busy trying not to vomit or pass out from the pain (which I’ve also done several times).

In case it’s not clear, this week would be “that time” for me, so my crazy is coming out in a ranting way. I’m PMS-ing in hot weather which brings it to a whole other level of insanity. Mostly I am going to sit in front of the tv with a book eating copious amounts of junk food which I will occasionally pepper with fruit juice to keep my vitamin intake up. Yeah, yeah, some one who is studying Nutrition should know better but what the hell? If I’m going to suffer, it’ll be on my own terms.

Anyway rant over, but I want to say, if some one gives you a hard time because this time is difficult for you, ask them to go get you a fish hook……

Monday, 21 January 2013

Card #2 The Silver Moon Witch


“The feminine Moon Witch, the mistress of women, turns the tide of time in your favour. The next new or full silver moon will reveal your progress. A full moon magnetises water into waves, so choose your moment to question whether you are swimming with the tide. Happy days will arrive spontaneously. Like the rhythmic moon, increase is followed by decrease in a never ending cycle.”

I like the sound of this card, after a large amount of time of decrease I feel positive about an increase. I feel like I am entering a good phase of my life, as though all things are possible. The things that I want to work on are my divination skills, my business, my herbal interests and just generally putting more magic into my life and making an effort to do so. It’s time to look to the future and see what’s possible.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Card #7 The Treasure Witch


Update on Card: The Treasure Witch has been working behind the scenes; somehow this card has translated from me learning to this card opening up opportunities. It’s been difficult trying to organise things, to put the pieces into place to begin building my future but somehow it is beginning to fall into place and I have a clearer idea of where I’m going and how I might just eventually get there. I’m feeling positive about the future, I feel like perhaps 2013 will actually be a wonderful year for me and I want to hold onto that feeling moving forward because it can only help.

So although I’ve been ignoring this card, she most definitely has not been ignoring me and for that I am grateful. Now to live up to the potential she has provided…..one day at a time.

Conclusion

Usually I do the conclusion on a separate day but I’m trying to catch up so I’ll post it together. Things are falling into place for me, to a degree. I just need to buck up and get a move on with everything else. I’m in a good place right now I think, now it’s just time to put it all together and feel positive about where I’m going and what I’m doing.

I have come to believe my path is going to be one giant experiment and I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. Perhaps that is the lesson of the Treasure Witch, treasure everything and everything is a treasure.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Quiet Time

I've been fairly quiet on the blogosphere but hopefully soon I will have some updates (especially on my Witch Cards which I have woefully neglected) as well as a couple of interesting articles and whatnot. Today is rather lovely and cool (for a change) so I am taking advantage and doing some work in the garden!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Experimenting

Here are some photos of the things I've been up to lately. Mostly I've been experiementing with new ideas for my store.


Ancestor Oil infusing in the sun, I  used DB Resin to give it a nice red glow, I was thinking of a whole 'representing the blood of the ancestors' ideal.


Unfortunately it sort of end up being a bit mud brown but I can work with that, after all the land is also our ancestor and mine were quite involved in the Australian land as they came over here in the First Fleet (yes they were convicts), however most ended up being farmers and landowners.



This is my Ancestor incense. I think if I put it in my store it will be slightly more ground down that this, but I like burning herbal incense. It really has a strong evocation during workings.



This was the base for my Faery Ointment I made on Litha. I love looking through it, it is almost like a whole other world inside the jar.



This is the finished product. It wasn't quite set yet when I took the photo but it is now a lovely pale butter yellow colour.



This is my Flying Oil. Not sure if I am going to make it into an ointment or leave it as an oil as yet.

So this is what I've been up to lately. I am also drying a whole heap of Catnip for my website and will be drying copious amounts of Wormwood once I prune the tree. When it's cooler.....much cooler!


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The New Year

I am hoping that 2013 becomes a much better year for me, that things come together in a happy, positive way. I’m not sure what the coming year holds for me, I’m considering doing a twelve month forecast tarot reading but I think I’ll wait and see. I wasn’t going to do any resolutions for the year because I had thought that the ones I made for 2012 didn’t come to anything but I had actually written them down and so I went back to check.

My Resolutions for 2012 were:

Finish Clergy track before 28th birthday (Done)
Begin study for Herbalism course (Done – Finished)
Begin building on Spiritual study through different avenues (Done-ish)
Reach out and meet new people (Does online count?)
Begin saving for the Dragon’s Eye Tour (Not Done)
Begin growing my own proper herbal medicine garden (Started-ish)
Begin growing my own proper witchy herbal garden (Started)
Scout potential homes with adjoining business premises (Dreaming)

So I didn’t do too bad on the whole, but I think for this year I want to write out goals more so than resolutions, resolutions sound so resolute (yeah, I did that) however goals are things one wishes to attain but does not feel the pressure of having to achieve it as with a resolution. So what are my goals for this year? I’m not sure really, but I do have a few – maybe I’ll end up with a 13 Goals of the Witch – Country witch style.

My Business: Although my website is for all intents and purposes up and running again, I’ve only got a few select dropship items in it. My dream is to fill it with handcrafted oils, unguents, ointments, incenses, curios, bones and banefuls. I also want to address my herbalism passion and perhaps sell herbal items outside of the magical realm. My eventual and long term dream is to grow all of the herbs myself but for right now I am going to purchase herbs/roots/resins that are either organic or wildcrafted.

My Blogs: To contribute more to them. My tarot and herbal blog don’t get as much attention as this one, and my By Bone and Bane blog will start to get more attention as I grow on that fork of my path. I want to devote more time to my other blogs, my herbalism one is important to me, I’ve just let it lag.

Bone and Bane Work: I really want to walk this path seriously this year, to explore it fully and properly and get to know why I feel called to this area and to see where it takes me.
Buy/Acquire a Yew Tree

Meet Pagan folk in my area: I want to start meeting other Pagans and perhaps begin to create a circle or coven. This is a little tricky but I have some ideas. They’re not fully formed yet so this is something I will continue to work on.

Write My First Book: I have an idea of where I’m going with this so if and when it happens I shall let you all know!

Seriously get my herb gardens going.

Be more financially secure.

Practice more, even if it is something really simple each day.

Save for another overseas trip (likely Dragon’s Eye Tours).

So this is where I’m at for goals for this year, hopefully I can accomplish some if not most of it.

Here’s looking to this year with hope and the best intentions moving forward.

And now I might go and strain my Ancestor oil (I meant to write a post about it, will get there soon).

I’m Dreaming of a Yew Tree


Yew has been figuring in my mind lately, I’m an Oak girl – always have been and have a strong attachment to the Oak in our yard but Yew has been demanding a look in lately. Not sure why, it could be that it wants in on my ever growing list of tree potentials (I have seeds for Elder, Hawthorn, Rowan, Blackthorn and a couple of others) that fit in the realm of traditionally British. I have a feeling it is more than that but I’ve not yet truly explored what it could mean. With Xmas and the New Year not much time has been allotted to the research of Why.

Perhaps it is simply echoing my intentions to walk the Poison Path, after all the Yew is a great tree of poison antiquity, it could be echoing my interest in spirit work or baneful herbs. I’m not sure yet, but I do know I feel the need to acquire one and soon. This is something that will require more reflection and understanding but for now I leave it to unfold however it shall. Perhaps this dream I had (20th Dec) figures into it. I think it came because that night I had been straining my infused Wormwood oil and hadn’t used gloves so some of it must have soaked into my hands before I washed it off.

The Dream:

I kind of went in and out of it as an active participant, but the dream was in an old house, big, but not some stone monstrosity - I actually think it was wood. There was a group of us (one looked like Mel Gibson but I think this is mostly because I watched Braveheart the other day), anyway everything was fine if not a little spooky then people started getting possessed by a spirit or force and went completely mental, running around trying to kill each other with knives. I can't remember exactly what was said when each person got possessed but I think it was something about dying and not being here or staying here. We all left, me being one of the last as I was being stalked by a possessed person. When I escaped I noticed a truly ancient tree on the property, the trunk was in two leaving like a doorway through the tree and in my mind (in the dream)

I recognised it, or felt it, as Yew (I've felt really called to Yew lately) and I have an image of some one in black top hat and tails coming from within the doorway. I ran through a field that was dark, misty and sort of gray scale and in the long grass was bits of cutlery. I picked up two butterknives and decided to hide up a tree. The trees around me were either green or skeletal.


From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_baccata

Fast forward to however long and the group of us are past the possession and living elsewhere but the group wants to return to the house. We go there to see it and I feel something from the Yew, like a shiver. We decide to work some magic to find out what is in the house, I feel myself go back in time to the sitting room of the house and there is a man tied up, he's probably my age-ish (28) but he is tied up, he has long blonde hair and he has been beaten. He has words written on him but I can't remember what they are. He is all scratched up and I touch him, feeling his wounds. I think he is being punished from having an affair with the daughter of the man who owns the house (she looks like Lemon Breeland from Hart of Dixie - don't ask me why...) as I touch him I wake up but somehow think before I wake up that modern descendant of this daughter needs to come back and help this man somehow and deal with the pain and possession in the house. I remember right before I woke up looking at the tree and seeing mist within the doorway and it still being grayscale.

The tree itself kind of looked like this.

So there is my dream...yeah, it’s a bit weird I’ll grant you.