Journal Preparations

If you know me, you know I love to journal. Love it. I have been journaling for nearly 30 years. It is, in my experience, one of the most magickally healing processes I have ever encountered. To journal it takes more than words written upon a piece of paper. It takes courage. You have to show up for yourself. You have to show up in your Truth. You must be willing to be transparent, vulnerable, and nonjudgmental. It’s about completely disrobing and allowing all your parts to be seen and held, in sacredness, where there is the safe mechanism for you to divulge and let go.

Release and surrender are huge parts of journaling, as are manifestations and moments of brilliancy and inspiration. What manifests within a journal can be profound. What we heal can be profound. Who knew “just writing” could be so therapeutic, right?

In my nearly 30-years of journaling what I have uncovered is just how many journals I have been through. They are of varying sizes and styles, some more creative than others, some more painful than others. They all have their own theme and vibrations associated with them. And there is both delight and mock horror to how much space they take up in my home. While differing to many degrees, they all share the same process of how they are created. I shared some of these in an older entry on journaling, but this particular preparation is one that I haven’t shared before until recently. It is a simple process, and yet it brings me much simplistic joy.

I shared on Instagram a picture on one of the ways I cover my journal:

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I love yarn (that’s a completely different post!), and this is a great way to use up scrap yarn. Why do I create a holder for my journal as part of my preparation? Because…

  1. It’s practical. It’s a holder! It houses my journal.
  2. Most of my journals don’t have pen holders, and several years ago my then-toddler found my journal pen and destroyed the clip that was attached to it (momentary pause for the horror my journaling pen was subject to and the loss of its limb). I can keep my pen in here with my journal. Holder benefit #2!
  3. Did I mention that it serves as a fantastic holder? Well, it does. I keep something sacred in this holder as well that I either hold while journaling or have it laying out near me during journaling. This could be a small pocket Goddess, a stone or crystal, my Moonwheel calendar, or other sacred tool gifted to me.

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I create these journal holders/covers/sweaters so I can protect my journal — either from general wear and tear from use and taking it from place to place, psychic energies that may interrupt the vibration of my magickal tool, and because when we treat our magickal tools like sacred companions, it is helpful to create a sacredness around how you ‘carry’ that tool. This is just one way.

What if you don’t knit or crochet? You could lovingly ask a friend who does if they’d be willing (happy bribery could benefit in your favor, too… libations… chocolates…) For years I used those bandanas you can find in local craft stores if my journal is small enough. For the larger ones? I’ve used scarves. In fact I have a purple one in particular that never gets used as a scarf, its sole purpose is to cover my larger journals that a regular bandana is just too small for. Altar cloths work well also, or even finding fabric and wrapping it around your journal. The point is that it gets the same treatment as other magickal tools, like your divination tools, for example, that many wrap sacredly. Why not your journal?

Aside from the practical uses a journal covering can provide, it also sets the tone from going from one activity into the next one, shifting our mindset that we are preparing for spiritual work. Depending on your daily activities, this can be beneficial in preparation for your regular practice. I know it’s been beneficial to mine!

Like any other tool, smudge it, cleanse it, consecrate it, then love it! Happy journaling!

Abundance Comes In Three’s

Everything comes in three’s is the belief many of us have, and even the experience to back it up. We have beautiful moments that come in three’s, and even hardship that arrives threefold that sometimes feel denser than the lovely experiences we may have just had. Our good friend Awareness reminds us to pay attention to the cycles of life and how we respond to those cycles.

Lammas has arrived, the First Harvest, the time of grain and celebrating the abundance we are taking into our hearts and homes. We begin the first signs of Fall, giving way to Summer’s end and preparing for what the darker half of the year will bestow upon us. It’s certainly a great time for introspection, to curl up with the bounty of our harvest and share that bounty with our tribe.

Everything is abundant and thriving, if only we take time to see, acknowledge, and hold gratitude for it. I’m a true believer in abundance everywhere — how we view that abundance and how we label it determines our current path. We either have an abundance of beauty or we have an abundance of struggle. We can certainly teeter between both pleasure and suffering, though with honest reflection I think tend to find that many of our scales are not as balanced as we might think.

I don’t know about you, but the second half of the year for me is always filled with various events or social gatherings or family celebrations. It’s a wonderful time that recharges my heart chakra, and it’s a reminder to sink into the abundance of what I have and not drink from the fountain of lack.

Don’t we all have some kind of lack story or scarcity mentality that lives all cozied up like a hobbit in our minds? Perhaps even burrowing into the belly and poking us with fear and stories of “not enough”? I know I have them. My lack hobbits are more like slimy gremlins that have tendencies to throw wild parties that quickly get out of control (I blame my 80s obsession here). It happens. They stir up a mess, though the beauty is that they uncover a hidden component that asks for healing and nourishment. In this case, I sometimes don’t mind the gremlins… sometimes… I mean… they are rather slimy, but their maniacal laugh does amuse me now and again.

My belief is that if we can honor the Harvest season with what we do have instead of worrying or clinging to what we don’t have, then we are better equipped to nourish ourselves instead of withhold from our psyches. This is why for the next three Women’s Circles I am focusing on the ABUNDANCE of the Harvest with three rituals for the Three Harvests. While there is benefit in cycling through all three, women must trust what feels appropriate for them.

In these rituals we will be focusing on:

  • Synergy Of Prosperity: Knowing ourselves and understanding the world (our world) relative to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual prosperity. We’ll be working with the beautiful Quartz Crystal or other stone found in nature during this ritual.
  • Mala Manifestation: Working with the art of manifestation as the natural wisdom from the Divine Feminine Principles — that which is inherent in our Blood Mysteries. We will be working with a 40 day practice immediately following the ritual with our sacred malas. You may even feel called to create one specific for this working!
  • Moon Magick: Our final abundance ritual culminating with the divinatory art of tuning into the rhythms of the Lunar energies and aligning with our Sacred Muse — She Who Inspires.

I’m looking forward to this journey of claiming, gathering, supporting, nourishing, (all the magificent “ing’s”!) and deepening the bonds of gratitude for that which is bestowed upon me and my sisters.

What are you gathering this Harvest? May it be bountiful, and may it sustain you deep into your roots, centering you in limitless grace.

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When The Planets Become Chatty…

As I type this the Sun is barely poking through the clouds. There may or may not be evidence that the cloudy and rainy days are on hold. Not that I terribly mind, but in New England this has been a week of cold temperatures (colder than April, dare I say!) and the gentle fog sweeping the atmosphere has been calling to curl up with a good book, cozy blanket, then abandon all for one more nap… or is that just me? Apparently we have another few days of this. I’m taking it as days to fine tune projects that are kicking off this month. I start two apprenticeships next week, my Outer Temple class where we’ll focus on a year of Earth magick and practice, and my Wise Wombyn Rising where we’ll awaken and heal. For those interested in WWR and are unable to attend this year, I will be offering it again in 2018. Keep an eye out when I open registration in the Summer of 2017!

As many know, we’re in a retrograde disco dance! As of April 28th we’ve begun this planetary shift with Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, AND Pluto. Five planets! Apparently this hasn’t happened in 10 years, so you can imagine the planetary party that is happening in the Universe right now. (Am I the only one picturing celestial streamers?!)

I’m not an astrologer, though I do my best to pay attention to these patterns for my own personal growth. There’s plenty to read online on these influences and how they may effect you based on what’s in your natal charts. I find this highly insightful, not only to my own understanding of myself and my patterns, but in navigating connection with others. If we’re mindful of these retrogrades (mindful, not frightened), then we can hold that awareness with a gentler approach to our communication with ourselves and each other. This has always been my intention whenever Mercury turns retrograde, after all, Mercury is the planet of communication. Now we’re needing to pull even more patience from the well, even more compassion, even more gentleness with these five planets. I know I am already feeling the effects of doing the planetary hokey pokey for far too long in one place (let’s agree to nod to my cheesy planetary dance metaphors!)… are you noticing these effects for yourself as well?

I will say, however, that I’ve always believed in the beauty of healing through these retrogrades. I’ve encouraged in the past to focus on those first two letters: RE, and claim, or REclaim these energies at this time for self-development. When we do this, we are, in essence, REclaiming our power and not falling into patterns of blame — either towards ourselves or to an outer influence, such as planetary retrogrades — and we encourage our own sense of healing and inner balance.

When feeling stuck, bewildered, stressed out, come back to these RE words and rest in your intention to REcenter. During this time we are asked to:

  • REmember that any potential challenges will pass and, above all else, please, REmember to breathe.
  • REfocus our efforts to completing what has been laying dormant in our lives. This is an invitation to clear out what has been weighing us down, or to give ourselves permission to fully set it free once and for all.
  • REturn to what serves you, to what feeds and nourishes your Spirit. We all have tasks that can sometimes take us away from, well, us. REturn to something that brings you joy so in the midst of this wondrous work you’ll be doing and the delicate planetary dance you’ll be navigating, you’ll have something to anchor you into calm and center.
  • REaffirm your intention. There are days my intention is so clear, it’s like a brilliantly cut diamond. Other days I am needing to REaffirm and assign a mantra to it so I can stay clear. Hey, we all have those day!
  • REstore your energy. Know when to rest. Self-care is essential at all times, though I find it particularly helpful when navigating these planetary influences. Rest is a delicious word, I promise!
  • REclaim your truth. This is a great time to REmind yourself of what you really want, to be radically honest with what serves you and what doesn’t, and lean into gentle permission. Don’t wait for someone else to REflect these truths to you (though REflections offered to us can be beautiful medicine as well); REclaim them for yourself.
  • REbirth into you. Let these planetary retrogrades, whether it’s one or five, offer you a mirror into what needs clearing and healing. These are potent opportunities to emerge anew.

These are some of the ways I have navigated the planetary tango ***cheesy metaphor alert continues***. The key to all of this is to be gentle with ourselves, because from there we’ll have this memory stored in our cellular being and will take that gentleness to all sentient beings. Add to this list of RE words for yourself during this time and become one with everything you are endeavoring to embody. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that popped into my Twitter feed last night:

“What you seek is seeking you.” — Rumi