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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gardens as a Sanctuary


Our yards are extensions of our homes.

They are what greets your visitors, identifies your boundaries, and provides you with nature, recreation, vegetable growing potential and refuge from our chaotic worlds.

They always have been, since the beginning of time.
Gardens have become our sanctuaries.  We ritualistically tend to them and that custom has become part of cultures all around the world.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Upcycling, Rebirthing, New Life.

Upcycled metal filing cabinet | Sleek Modern Planter 

AFTER:  reimagined as a planter box

BEFORE: old metal filing cabinet

The art and philosophy surrounding re using consumer goods is a lifestyle choice. I believe that society simply doesn't need too many more new things and I think, we ought to re imagine purposes for products.

 Creative solutions save you money, give you a sense of pride and reduce landfill overflow.

Earlier this year, I put a shout out on social media that I was looking for old metal filing cabinets.  I only got one, but one was all I needed.  I took the inner components & drawers out and spray painted the exterior.  Then we (Hubby helped) laid it on it's side, inserted a plastic box and filled it with earth.  Now, I have a fantastic planter box that we will allow to rust over the years because I rather like the look of an aged patina.

Our entire cottage interior had been completed with up cycling in mind.  In fact, one photo in particular has made a few rounds on Pinterest.

Upcyling is resourceful, it brings new life to unused items and when used creatively and attractively, becomes an accepted custom and environmental belief that generations can cherish.

Using Hardi Plank siding as a tub surround

Using end pieces of wood to craft an entire wall

Re using metal shed walls behind woodstove

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Alchemy of Salt Water Cures

Before adding Water to Salt Water Cure
Salt has a long history of use in rituals of purification, blessings and magical protection. Many cultures and areas of metaphysical study, such as Feng Shui use the reaction of salt with metal and water - as a cure for negative energies. 

Within the art of Feng Shui, we learn to use shapes, colours and actions to heal chi. By actions I mean, sound, flame, light intensity and movement.  It’s the alchemy of the reaction. 

Most people have been advised to have a fish tank, but don’t know specifically that, its the fish MOVING the water in the tank,  that is the cure, not necessarily the fish. In the case of hanging a wind chime, do know that it isn’t the visual existence of the decoration, it’s the sound of the chimes when they are moved.  If there is no wind - one must ritualistically tap the chimes for the sound.  No sound - no cure. 

A person who has knowledge of Flying Stars in Classical Feng Shui will be able to advise you where and when to place a salt water cure.  For example; 2016’s Year of the Fire Monkey will have an undesirable energy that will emanate from the North East.  If its presence interacts with your home’s natal chart poorly,  it can bring the potential for great disharmony.  Till February of 2017, most homes will benefit from a salt water cure in the NE section of their home.  However, don't be too alarmed as the NE is where the most "healing advantages" come from until 2014 and it is a good Earth Element. 

I have tried several variations; glass bowls, plastic bowls, 6 pennies, or 6 I Ching coins. I’ve used plain table salt, kosher salt, rock salt & sea salt.  I have tried to make the cure look decorative with domes or plants and one year, crystals.  Every year’s outcome has looked different.  Each "masterpiece" was based on the perceived nature of the other stars (still/active/natal)  & time energies that the particular annual negative energy - that is present - will encounter. It’s a fine balancing act that teaches you to be creative. One definite requirement is to not have anything jagged, triangular or fiery red in colour. Absolutely no lit candles.  But nothing is absolute as each element (fire, water, earth, wood, metal) should exist in each room to complete a cycle of production. 

It is said that the salt water cure is most powerful if left exposed aiding the intended foaming reaction- the salt will expand and crust over your bowl. That “alchemy” creates a scientific state that affects the ions in the air thereby purifying.   Keep it activated by adding water when it is dry.  

Decorative Dome is actually an additional cure 

This year I took a large copper bowl with a corroded  patina.  In it, I have placed a glass bowl with a layer of kosher salt in it.  On top of that, I put a circle of 6 I Ching coins.  Then I poured enough water to cover it and topped it with an open - free form - metal dome hood.  

The dome shape is actually an additional cure and it supports the combination of identified Feng Shui energies that are present in my home. 

In a few weeks the reaction will start and I will be sure to replenish the water.  I will not dump it out until next year and then…. I’ll make a new one and place it where the negative energy is expected to fly.  

Flying Stars Feng Shui is a fascinating, energy philosophy practice that employs many age old rituals. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice; Give Back

Fire.  Candlelight. Honour. Give the Ashes Back to the Earth. 

After the fire~ scattering ashes as fertilizer

The shortest day of sunlight,  called the Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs every year. 

The apposing hemispheres experience the Earth’s tilt at the same time, that is to say, that while the Northern Hemisphere is at it’s shortest daylight producing capacity, the Southern Hemisphere is at its longest - and vice versa.  

Solstice, derived from Latin, means “Sun standing Still” and that connotation, has prehistoric attachments to ancient monuments like Stonehenge.  Archaeologists have discovered that its alignment creates a perfect sight line at the time of the winter solstice sunset (in one particular direction) and then it reverses and aligns perfectly (in a different direction) during the Summer Solstice. 

These Solstices shift slightly in date and time. 

I recognize the Solstice as an Earth Cherishing date that we should adapt into a more Celebratory ~ Green Awakening Observance.

Because Man is a creature of habit and ritual, many customary tasks, were historically done to coincide with such environmental shifts, till eventually,  Winter Holidays - were created.  The Feast of Juul, is the pre Christian Scandinavian Festival that eventually evolved into Christmas.  People set fire to Juul or Yule logs to symbolize the heat and light of the returning sun. 

During these age old Solstice Customs, a whole tree was brought into the house and the log was burned till nothing but ash remained.  The ashes were then collected and either strewn on the fields as a fertilizer or kept as a symbolic & magical medicine. Our ancient ancestors celebrated the restoration of the earth and I think we ought to do more pro active, 
replenishing customs

Sun recognition rituals are as important as all the other light worshipping practices that make up December’s blended Holiday Cheer. 

The ceremonial use of lights, exists in many religions; Kwanzaa symbolically recognizes historic struggles & hope, Hanukkah honours a re established foot hold of power after assertion and Christmas is the date chosen to celebrate the birth of a great Spiritual Prophet. All coincide around the original pagan practice of acknowledging the shift in seasonal year, or rather - The universal light that we call the sun. 

During Winter Solstice, I plan to recognize the Earth’s courageous journey and will try to give something back, even if I can only do it symbolically. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why We Love Halloween

My Daughter... and her "friend"
Our Family Loves Halloween.  We always have. Our kids grew up eagerly anticipating yet another October 31st.

For over twenty five years, I have made an attempt to make our house "look" like something else.  I do themes.   Now that our children are young adults,  my Husband and I sit on our porch, enjoy a little wine and hand out treats to visiting neighbouring children.  We buy for a couple hundred kids.
As the years go on, I see less and less of my neighbours participating, maybe because - there's only a handful of families, in our block, that currently have young children.

Still I love the Celebration.

All over the world, people have always honoured and celebrated Festivals of Dead,  the ending Fall seasons and to some degree, Wiccan tradition.   It isn't supposed to be scary. It's supposed to be reverent.

So why do we mock the dead?  The ending and haunting of life and scary tradition?

Because it's fun! It's simply fun.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day

Minding my Babies along the Beach

Every year there is a day set aside to honour one’s own mother, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influences of mothers in society and we’ve only been recognizing this role and day,  for just over a hundred years.  It’s a huge commercial time for those that chose to participate that way.

Our family unit does not go all out for Mother’s Day. Just a simple “Happy Mother’s Day” is it. 

I’m a mother. 

I have a mother, but she didn’t raise me. I had a grandmother who I now, vaguely remember and I do not have any other maternal bonds. I do not even have a friendship with my mother in law, but I did witness many friends who have had magnificent relationships with their mothers and I too, have great gratitude towards my birth mother for giving me life. 

I have many fellow mom -  friends that I cherish. I’m glad for the learning I have received from them. I have come to personally think the role of motherhood is a self sacrificing yet graceful period in a woman’s life that tests humility and strength. 

When I became a mom, I vowed to become a “good” one. My main goal was to make my children feel cherished, supported and confident. I’d like to think I achieved that, but my kids are young adults now and they simply are not at a stage in their life to validate me. They’re busy, they’re trying to be on their own and both of their parents are foreign to them. 

I’m not complaining, I’m honestly acknowledging that a day of recognition and commercialism can never replace what you ought to feel naturally in your heart. 
That’s the distinction of motherhood.  No expectations. Loving even when love isn’t returned, recognized or fawned over. 

That’s how moms are. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A bit about Easter

Forcing Fosythia. Ponder the word; forcing. 

Yes, Easter is a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Easter eggs are a symbol of the empty tomb and the White Lily is the reverent symbol that adorns the chancel area of all Christian Churches. 

Yes, early Roman Catholics did adopt ancient Eastre spring equinox fertility rituals; the egg, the bunnies, the mere birthing of spring as a way of merging early Pagan tradition with Christ Worship. 

But does it matter?  Today, great masses of people celebrate the commercialized holiday that Easter has become. When our children were little, they got new runners, sidewalk chalk and searched for Easter eggs. We had a big meal and invited extended family to join us. 

I respect the story of Jesus Christ, I honour all great spiritual prophets, but I think I lean a little more towards the non faith-based devotions of mankind and Mother Earth.  That’s just a personal choice. 

Easter is sacred to me because we dine together, I still give my teenage kids chocolate eggs and we have come to know that spring has sprung. We no longer are close to extended family, but it's okay because we concentrate on just our family unit and how our young adults will bring new relationships to the family. Our family. 

Easter feels like the whole world has growth & potential again. We collectively can put the onslaught of the past winter and issues behind us and rejoice. This holiday is about new hope.  I do believe in a higher, divine and ethereal Spirit.  What I call it, is unimportant - what guidance it gives me is invaluable. 

 Easter is simply about rebirth.  Mine, yours, Mother Earth's & the spirit of Jesus Christ - for those who identify with it. .

 The afterlife, noetic sciences have been around for a long, long time.  Not all metaphysical phenomena is spooky.  Easter is proof that it’s quite divine, for Jesus Christ came back from the dead.

Happy Easter.  Happy New Birth.  Happy Family Time!