Thursday, December 29, 2016

ablaze with holiness

Illuminating the darkness -- tables, hallways, entire rooms ablaze with holiness. 

Some dark moon work: I paged through my 2016 calendar planner and wrote down one thing I learned during each month. A lot has gone on so it wasn't easy to limit it to just one per month. 

My next list might be 100 wishes for the year 2017, I'm still thinking about it. It would have to be an offering of love to the world kind-of-thing and not just for me. Although I could probably use maybe ten of those wishes.

The festivities have been everything I'd imagined and more. Happiest of New Years to all. xo

Saturday, December 10, 2016

bottle brush tree crown

About two weeks ago, our orange tree had 88 flower buds -- many have bloomed but there's more coming. What a divine fragrance, we are beside ourselves with joy. The orange tree is on a caddy with wheels in our kitchen so I can roll it around depending on what's going on in there. During the day, it's under the skylight and when I use the oven, I push it toward the sink. When I need the sink, it goes over a ways. If we have people over, off to the laundry room. Really a member of the family. Sort of reminds me of an old Twilight Zone (or Outer Limits) episode where a vacuum came to life and rolled around a house.

The orange tree is the main news in this web log but a very small amount of decorating has happened as well. I seem to have dozens of bottle-brush trees so a crown just seemed like the right thing to do. The snowball lights also went up and the witch loves that. Her batteries are getting old so she's quieted down some.

We've just had a cold snap but the dogs' and my nightly vigils to both front and back yards continued. Between the half moon and the snow, it was very bright out. Daisy always lies down on the snow but Talula never does, must be something genetic.

That's a photo of our fireplace from the outside looking in. Good to change perspectives now and then, see things from another point of view.

This year's last full moon will soon occur -- Tuesday, the 13th. Most days I continue to light my moon candle and take quiet time. I might meditate, draw a tarot card or write down a dream. I feel that the world is changing and the one thing I know for sure I can do is to take care of myself.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

magick with a k

I loved every minute of November.

Under the November full moon, I set out a jar of water and an amethyst cluster to be charged and blessed by the moon.

Moon water is to be used in meditation, ritual or as a wash for sacred objects.

One perfect night in November, five projects were laid out on the sewing table. 

I don't know why I do this kind of stuff. I even blocked the leaf.

In November, Lucia and Aggie's quilt (my grandmother and her sister) grew 16 blue moons. The moons are various fabrics from silk to cotton chenille and everything in between.

A piece of a paper wasp nest alongside honeycomb -- so beautiful -- from our colony of honeybees and some wasps that adopted us again this past year. They love it here.

Altar-making for spell-work: a journal covered with paper from Flow magazine (I think), a new moon candle on my mom's old mirror (see camera in hand) and an intention collage.

Intentions are thoughts and words coalesced and are especially well-done at the time of the new moon -- as the moon grows into fullness, so too will our intentions. On yesterday's new moon I documented my focus a little differently. I began by writing intentions down on an old card and immediately covered everything over with a coat of gesso. Then associated images and more words were collaged around my photo glued in the center. The overflow went on the back. Since it was a recycled card, it stands on its own. Making this was magick with a k.

I wasn't intending to overwinter the patchouli plant this year again but something made me change my mind at the last minute. Being the plant had already lost most of its leaves from the cold, I wasn't expecting much. But look -- she's blooming...and new leaves are sprouting every few inches. So happy.

A skeleton key attached to ribbon, threads, yarn, lace and one big tassel a bookmark makes.

On Thanksgiving we always Yule-craft and visit while we make, we listen to Friendsgiving on Pandora, we cook and some watch football, and there might even be time for games between dinner and dessert. This year we backed metal cookie cutters with card stock and went to town, some creations will be ornaments and others magnets. The youngest maker was four-almost-five years old.

The dogs and I still go outside every night before bedtime. I have to wear shoes now. We make sure the trees haven't changed positions, the yard is free of all rabbits and the moon and the stars still shine. It is dark, cold and magickal with a k.

Be well, be happy. xo

Monday, November 14, 2016

the hermit month

I've discovered a few good things to do in November...beginning with not overdoing it in October. That is key.

Clear and sort -- you might come across at least one project that was left behind last November. With minimal effort, you too could have, say, a new bunting. Pattern here.

Light candles, create sacred space.

Finish the harvest. Long ago at this time of year, the practice was to leave whatever was still growing in the fields, for Nature to do with as she would. It is okay to not collect every single thing.

Fold, fill and label seed packets

Meet a tree spirit by looking closer at tree trunks and watch and listen for movement in the branches. It will happen. Touch trees and plants and tell them how much you love them and wish them well, the same as you would a loved one. Tender loving care is the core of energy healing.

Try to let go and fall like leaves do. I love November so much -- maybe because it's all about relinquishing control. And it's the hermit month of the year so we can do hermit things the whole month long.  

I'm interested in psychometry, the energy in objects. The first time I held the septarian heart at a gem and mineral show, I about fell to the floor. Of course I bought it. It's been on a windowsill for a few months and I am just now starting to work with it. Septarian is also called dragon stone, but I haven't found that much information on its energetic qualities and what I've seen online is contradictory so I guess I will have to form my own understanding. One side of the heart is patterned and polished smooth and the other side looks like plant material inside a pod or under a mushroom cap. Like it's alive. 

Look for true colors...see what the nettles have done in their cronehood. Aren't they gorgeous with their white leaves?

We're in the season of the dark, moving slower, pulling inward. The thought that invisible beginnings are forming now is comforting. x

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Now that the three holy days of the thirteen month in the ancient Coligny calendar system  -- Samhain (Hallow's Eve), Dia de los Muertos and All Soul's Day -- have passed, I am beginning to resume normal life, albeit slower and more intentional. It has been a deep and sacred pause.

And Samhain has really only just begun when you remember that Samhain is the Gaelic word for November -- that means an entire month to continue in the deep. The boundaries between the visible and the invisible worlds are still thin, the loved ones we remembered still near, our connections not yet lost. It is now when we can more easily form questions and seek answers by accessing our psychic abilities and delving into our dreams...a simple everyday coincidence can feel either miraculous or magical. I love the visible work of this time and live for the invisible work of this time.

The little pink 16-square quilt was most likely hand sewn by my grandmother and/or her sister, they made everything together. It feels unfinished. I am sewing moons onto the outlined squares with my grandmother's scissors and pin cushion nearby. I wonder what their intentions were for this cloth and if they would like the moons.

The ancestral tarot layout on our dining room table is from the Gaian tarot guidebook. I am really enjoying the loving energy of the beautiful Gaian images -- also the structure is a little different from a traditional deck and I like that as well. This spread may be on the table for a while because it gives me such a good feeling every time it comes into view.

I am very excited about all the pods on the honey locust tree in our front yard and hope they don't come down anytime soon. The sound of those pods rattling in the wind is spectacular.

Also, one art journal page was made, more flowers were collected for our family altar, pomegranate seeds out for snacking, the eucalyptus dye bundle unrolled, and an invisible blue stone was rediscovered.

Blessings of seeds and stones to you. xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

letting go

I like to collect leaves and feathers and other windfall when I walk the dogs. Sometimes I arrange the items on an old chalkboard. I think everything looks good on that chalkboard, it's like candlelight for people. 

The large catalpa leaf was soft and supple as cloth so I had to see how it would hold up to stitching. I had been thinking about the ritual of leaves letting go and falling from their branches this time of year, slowly building a thick layer on the ground to blanket the earth, tucking in everything that needs to be kept warm through the winter. I loved slowly drawing the needle and thread through the leaf cloth imagining, wishing really, that I could make us a blanket out of leaves. And then after that small success, I sewed a running stitch on the already-dried smaller leaf...and that worked too. 

October's calendar moon cloth is from a past full moon sewing ritual here and the leafy knitted bookmark pattern is here.

Our family was together on the full moon to celebrate our version of the Mexican Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, a time of honor and remembrance. Our altar is set up with candles, strings of lights, and mementos and photos of ancestors and beloveds who have passed. We craft/play/visit/watch football in the afternoon and have a candlelight dinner when dark falls. There is always the same chocolate cake for dessert, a favorite of our little boy, Corty, who passed when he was seven. And we always share memories of loved ones and pass photos around. Lastly, we write something to let go of, something no longer needed in our lives, onto flash paper and then light it, one by one, throwing it up and watching it go poof and disappear as it falls.

Honoring, remembering and letting go, but mostly it's just about being together.