Friday, October 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday 10-25-13

Hello lovelies! I'm sorry this is a day late! Jonno (my best friend), Trevor, and I have been having tons of fun together since Jonno arrived from the UK last Sunday. I hate how fast the week has gone, though!

So here are my gratitudes this week!

- My best friend being here and making this one of the most enjoyable weeks I've ever had in my life. I SO wish he could stay here longer!

- Having a venti pumpkin spice latte on a SUPER chilly evening in Toronto.

- Snuggling under cozy blankets on cold nights when the furnace is pumping.

- My new laptop.

- The people in my life who dearly love me. They make me feel so amazing and radiant.

- Finding my rainbow moonstone ring that I lost back in July! Thanks for discovering it, dear hubby!

- Completing crochet projects, and at the same time learning new techniques that I'd previously been too lazy challenged to try.

- Finishing my costume for Hallowe'en!

What are your gratitudes this week, goddesses?

Love and light,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10 Ways to Deal With a Mercury Retrograde

So what is Mercury Retrograde, anyway?
You may have heard some people griping about this, whether in passing or online.

A few times a year, Mercury goes into retrograde, and that seems to be a dreaded houseguest in mine and my family's households. This houseguest barges in uninvited, puts rings on the coffee table, eats all our food, sleeps all day on our couches, and hogs the bathroom. They leave abruptly with a big mess behind them, and while we have to clean it up, we're better equipped to deal with them next time!

All of the planets' movements affect us in different ways. They all go into retrograde, but Mercury seems to impact people so much more than any of the others. Even folks who don't believe in astrology notice the crazy effects of a retrograde!

Mercury is retrograde from October 21st to November 10th this year.

So what happens during a retrograde?
I don't know about you, but during a retrograde things tend to turn a little chaotic in my life. I feel more irritable, more prone to depression and severe bouts of anxiety, and I just don't want to see or deal with anyone. I kind of turn into a hermit during this time.

You personally might find yourself confused, feeling cloudy in the head and frustrated, being super cranky or being on the receiving end of someone who's super cranky! Your computer and other devices are more likely to go goofy on you. A Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the ass to some people, and it usually is to my family and I.
However, there's good in a Mercury retrograde as well. It's a good time to step back and re-examine areas in your life that might need work. Lovely new perspectives are revealed, and we can reach AWESOME breakthroughs! It's a great time to tie up loose ends, too. Finish that project you've been working on for ages!

I've got a list of ten great ways to cope with a retrograde, all from personal experience!

10 Ways to Deal with Mercury Retrograde

1. Back up your data! You ought to be doing this fairly frequently as it is, but if you've been procrastinating, now's the time to do it.

2. Finish projects you started a while ago but haven't had the inspiration to finish. Write that book! Finish your beautiful knitted sweater! Write that letter or email you've been meaning to send! Join that e-course! Paint a piece of furniture!

3. Get together with old friends or family you haven't connected with in a while. Reminisce, bond, and laugh lots! Listen to stories. Tell your own. Share fun memories! Remember loved ones who are no longer physically with us.

4. Be very wary when purchasing big items such as a car, iPhone, or that lovely new laptop you've been eyeing. Make sure you triple-check everything and get a warranty!

5. Take things with a grain of salt. People might be a bit more edgy, confused, or just plain meaner than usual if they're affected by a retrograde. Don't take stuff personally!

6. A retrograde can cloud your mind, making you feel uncertain or confused. Enjoy some mind-clearing tea (I love anything that has ginseng in it! Tetley makes a lovely blueberry-gingseng tea) that not only tastes yummy, but relaxes you too! This is an opportunity for you to embrace yourself and take it easy in whatever way you can.

7. Read the small print on contracts and other important paperwork. Double-check any information you're given, such as reservations, baggage allowances, and times.

8. Now is a wonderful time to accept, forgive, and forget. Retrogrades encourage us to tie up loose ends, and releasing old bitterness towards someone is a huge relief. Take a deep breath... gulp it in... meditate... write an angry letter and then burn it... you will feel loads better!

9. Step back and allow this retrograde to nudge you in a new direction. See what happens! What can you learn from this new situation?

10. Remember that like with many other things, you can easily slide through a retrograde if you're prepared for it. Go with the flow!

Love and light,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday 10-10-13

Sorry this is a little late, goddesses! But better late than never, right? Haha!

- Soft kitten paws hugging my legs.

- A home that's steadily getting nicer looking by the day as I deep-clean and declutter!

- Walking into Michaels and seeing all the holiday stuff up and smelling wondrous cinnamon and bayberry wafting through the store.

- Pumpkin spice Timbits. That is all.

- Having such a nice nature walk with my MIL yesterday.

- Getting happy mail yesterday!

I won this beautiful Yemaya candle from A Witch By Any Other Name on Day 3 of the Samhain's Sirens festivities! Isn't it beautiful?

And I won this Hard Candy cosmetics package a while back and it arrived along with my Yemaya candle! Woohoo!! I can't wait to wear the nail polishes!

- A bit silly, I know, but I got a pearl pink Nintendo 3DS! FutureShop had a one-day special to trade in two games and get the pink 3DS for $26. Woohoo! You guys probably know by now how much I love pink!

- The pleasant, cleansing feeling of donating items I'm no longer needing or attached to.

- Fulfilling wishes on a group on Swap-Bot =)

- The smell of dry leaves during the day and burning leaves in the evening. I heart this!!

Love and light,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lovely Things 10-9-13

Hello my goddesses! I hope all is well in your world. I'm preparing myself for the next Mercury Retrograde that starts on the 21st of this month and lasts through to November 10th. What can you do to prepare? Check back here next week when I share with you!

My MIL and I went on a lovely nature walk today. It was gorgeous, 19* Celcius, with a cloudless sky. We smelled the dry leaves, took lots of pictures, saw ducks and we saw landlocked Atlantic salmon swimming upstream. We ended the day at Tim Horton's with lattes and pumpkin spice Timbits (heavenly!). It was a perfect Wednesday and I'm going to show you!


Love and light,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Making Your Ancestral Altar

Hello lovelies! I hope you've had a nice weekend. Mine was very grey and rainy, but full. My husband's family had a reunion yesterday, and most members were there except some who live in London and in Australia. It was good to see them on such a nice occasion, as last time we all met up it was for Trevor's great-aunt's funeral in 2011. Yesterday I had my cleaning job, then came home to rest and reflect on the week and write this blog post. I didn't get a chance to photograph my ancestral altar until this morning, however, so I apologize for the late posting!

Today I want to share with you my ancestral altar, which honours my mom and dad. Having an ancestral altar is a Samhain tradition that I brought into my life last year, and is now a yearly tradition. As the Veil thins between our world and the next, it's a very powerful spiritual act to create a sacred space for the dead. This tradition has most notably been observed in Mexico's Dia de los Muertos, however cultures around the world have created altars and shrines in their homes for their loved ones who have passed beyond the Veil.

You can create an ancestral altar without buying anything. You can be creative, or not. You can make it wonderfully elaborate, or not. Your ancestors all had hardships and struggles of their own, and they know what is in your heart as you honour them. They don't care what you can or can't afford for the altar. Your intention is all that matters.

Any place that won't be disturbed makes a good place for an altar. The top of a bookshelf, a corner, or a small table would do. You want your altar to be in a dedicated space where it will be respected. You can place your altar at the beginning of October and let it stay up for a month, or you can place it for three days. It's up to you.

For offerings, you can represent the Elements. To do this, you can represent Earth by placing a little container of soil, or a stone or a small branch. For Water, leave a cup of water or tea. For Air, a feather will do nicely. For Fire, a small candle or incense will suffice (just remember to NOT leave it unattended!!!!).

In Mexico, you will often see bright, beautiful marigolds used to decorate altars and cemetaries. They are symbolic of the sweetness of life. Buy a little pot of marigolds and place on your altar, or make your own from fabric or paper!

What is considered most essential for an ancestral altar is a skull or skeleton. Sugar skull figures are perfect for this. As a matter of fact, I want to paint the skull on the altar to be a sugar skull. However, this is your altar to honour your loved ones the way you want to, and you can place whatever feels right to you or what you're drawn to.

If you feel drawn to, place some things your ancestors loved! My dad loved to watch baseball (he was a big Yankees fan), so there's a baseball on my altar. There is red thread because my mom was into all kinds of crafts and her favourite colour was red. You can put photos of your ancestors, or even just a bit of fancy paper with their names and dates of birth and death if you don't have any photos of them. Decorate your altar with leaves, pumpkins, acorns, and other symbols of the changing seasons.

So what do you do once you have created your ancestral altar?

Sit. Meditate. Pray.

Give thanks.

Talk to your ancestors. Tell them how much you miss them. Talk to them about your memories, the good times, your hopes and dreams and what's troubling you. They will hear you because they love you!

If you need to, ask them their forgiveness.

Do oracle readings and ask your ancestors for guidance. They will provide it.

Above all, honour and love the memory of your loved ones who have gone before you. They have helped to create the gorgeous person you are now! They are still with you, even from beyond the Veil. Reflect on all they have done to enrich your life. And when it is done, thank them for coming to visit. Wish them well.

Same time next year, Mom and Dad.

Love and light,

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday 10-3-13

Hello lovelies! Here are my gratitudes for this week!

- Learning more at my dear friends' pool. Putting my face and head underwater was something that scared the crap out of me for my entire life, and I did it! I practiced for much of the time we were there. I think this will go a LONG way in me learning to swim.

- The pool taking away the dull, constant pain in my left sacroiliac joint.

- Trevor's schedule changing so that he's off on Tuesdays. It's nice to have him home during the week! His work is slowly teaching him how to become assistant manager :)

- Finding gorgeous autumn decorations on clearance at Canadian Tire. All their Christmas stuff is up already, eek!!

- Being completely and unconditionally loved and treated like a goddess.

- One of our fluffy tabby foster kittens LOVES to get up on my shoulder and chest and rub her little face on mine. It's the sweetest thing and I love it so much! Maybe not SO much when she does it when I'm trying to eat, but still!

- 16 sleeps until my best friend arrives!!!! I can barely contain my excitement any more! EEEEEE!

- Buying super-fun crochet books. I don't usually purchase crafting books for myself, but I can't wait until Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet and Twinkie-Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies get here!

- My stretch marks are fading. I guess that means I'm doing something right! ;)

- It's October, my most favourite month of the year.

What are you thankful for this week? Share your list here! :)

Love and light,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October is here!

Shout it from the rooftops! October is here! October is here!

I Love October by D. Sharon Pruitt

This is my favourite month out of the twelve. There's fall fairs, our cat rescue's big yard sale where we make lots of money to pay our rising vet bills, Thanksgiving, the Toronto Zombie Walk, and of course Hallowe'en. And anything in-between! This year, October is even better with my best friend flying in on the 20th.

My altar is decorated for autumn and Samhain. It's a bit cluttered still, but I feel everything on it is supposed to be there.

We have everything from my sweet bag of crystals, to my Rumi oracle deck, to my mini book of shadows, to my Samhain mini besom that I won in last year's Samhain Sirens giveaways, to my goddess spirit doll that my mother made me, to elemental representations and even a dream catcher hanging just out of sight. I'd like to hang some prayer flags above the dream catcher. I want to add a nice box to store my incense, something with a sacred triquetra, a decorated athame, and a little mortar & pestle (Kensington Market has all but the athame!). I'd also like various bird feathers and an abalone shell to conduct smudging with. I absolutely love my altar!

I'm working on a small ancestral altar that will honour my adoptive parents through the Samhain season. My dad passed in December 2009, and my mom in late November of last year. I will likely post an entry about it, along with lots of info on making your own ancestral altar, on Friday.

I'm also about to start working on some adorable cross-stitch patterns to hang on the wall this month. I just have to get to Michaels to get the floss and Aida cloth!

The amazing Samhain's Sirens is up and running again for a full month of witchy loveliness. Be sure to go check them out, learn something new, and enter all the giveaways! :-)

See you lovelies tomorrow for this week's gratitudes! :)

Love and light,