Spirit branch offerings- April pink moon

We tied and crafted two new offerings for our spirit branch tonight. 

My offering was green and gold and used yarn, embroidery thread, aventurine beads, and a piece of jade tied to a turmeric root for healing.  I annointed it with some healing oil and lit a healing candle once it was attached to the branch.

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Bear and I also created an offering together to bring some passion back into our marriage.  (We tend to get derailed by our hobbies and my pain level, and sometimes we just forget that we’re total perverts for each other.)  This one used 3 strands of yarn, a purple velvet pouch, a garnet (good for passion AND our birthstone), damiana, jasmine blossoms, and two rose petals taken from my bouquet, which also hangs in our bedroom.  We annointed it, and each others’ hearts, with some fire of passion oil and lit a seduction candle.

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Tomorrow I’m planning on making us some Damiana tea and finding some time for hot Bear and Goat nookie.  🙂

Writing Rituals and NaNoWriMo update

NaNoWriMo is going pretty well so far. As of right now, I’m about 3500 words behind on my goal word count for today, but that can be easily made up. Also, I’m going to use this blog post as part of my word count. That may not be strictly legal, but I’m writing and being creative, and goddammit, I need a bit of a mind cleanse.

So far, I’ve written about a faerie infestation, the breakdown of a polyfidelitous relationship (something I know well), and a foray into the Akashic Records, which is something I’ve always been fascinated with.

I’ve also been watching endless YouTube videos about NaNo and writing in general. One of my favorite channels is this one: KatyTastic.

She’s very young, but also fabulously geeky and enthusiastic, and she gives some great advice. I’ve really been enjoying watching her videos, even though her style is kind of opposite of mine. She’s a planner, while I sit down and have absolutely no idea what I’m going to write. Any time I try to make an outline, I end up blowing it off 1/4 of the way through in favor of the newer, neater idea I just had. It’s just how my brain works.

One concept I’ve been fascinated with is the idea of writing rituals. I’m a very superstitious, ritualistic person, and I love the idea of surrounding myself with things that help me get my brain into the right space for creativity.

The idea is that when you create a ritual, the more specific the better, the order that your neurons fire becomes connected. So, for example, if you always light a candle, wear a specific piece of clothing when you write, drink a particular drink, etc., eventually your brain will make the connection that once you’ve done that thing, it’s time to write. The reason is in the way that neural pathways are created. Once a series of actions or sensations become connected through repetition, the brain actually coats that neural pathway with thin layers of the material that our brain is made of. That makes that pathway stronger and more efficient, and creates a bit of a shortcut for us.

Human Brain Evolution

Human Brain Evolution (Photo credit: hawkexpress)

This is something that’s true of spiritual ritual, and it seems obvious that it would apply to a writing ritual as well.

A few years ago, I put together a creativity altar on my nightstand. There was a motivation candle, elemental incenses based on the section of the story I was writing (I’ve divided my books into 5 sections, one for each cardinal element), and several tumbled stones that help to enhance creativity and imagination. It’s covered with a nice layer of dust these days. (I’m not the best housekeeper in the world.)

However, I’ve dusted off the motivation candle and found a nice glass candleholder to carry it around in. That way, I can move it between the living room and the bedroom depending on where I want to write. I think I’ll finish burning that, and then make my own candles with a blend of essential oils that aids in memory, concentration, and motivation. It’s time to dust the plate that the altar rests on and rededicate it as sacred space.

Here’s what I intend to do:

The motivation candle is nice, but I’d really like to personalize my own. I’ve always loved making Dixie Cup candles, and I have plenty of wax, oils, wicks, etc. The oil blend I’ll use is rosemary (mental acuity), cedarwood (grounding and centering, ‘getting down to business’), and cinnamon (passion, action, motivation). I’m going to just leave them white, or maybe mix in a touch of pale lavenderish blue. I may even add some dried rosemary. Haven’t decided yet.

Candles

Candles (Photo credit: magnuscanis)

I also intend to make a beaded necklace with blue topaz and sodalite. I’ve created necklaces to honor my patron deities, and they’re fabulous meditation tools, similar to the Catholic rosary or Buddhist prayer beads. These two minerals are especially good for communication and thought, and also finding your life path and clearing obstacles (both things I usually need a lot of help with).

Topaz-k-182d

Topaz-k-182d (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve also created a new wallpaper for my desktop with a flame and Dante’s invocation of the muse. I may or may not recite it before I write. There may or may not be special music or a special song as well.

At any rate, hopefully the combination of all these things will help me to create that sacred space that clears my mind for writing. It won’t be as practical to burn a candle at, say, Starbucks, but I can certainly keep a vial of the oil in my pocket so I have the sensory memory, wear the necklace, listen to the music through earphones, etc. There are ways these things can be adapted.

I’ll post a picture of the altar when I’ve had a chance to reset/rededicate it, probably on the days leading up to the next full moon on the 18th.

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One thing I’ve been taking very seriously that has been helping is my coffee.  I really only drink coffee when it’s cold out, otherwise I’m a Coke Zero kinda gal.  But when it gets chilly and I have writing to do, I get really serious about my coffee.

Previously I had some crummy store brand coffee, and it just wasn’t doing it for me.  So our store had Starbucks on sale, and I got some lovely Sumatra.  However, when I got it home, it was whole bean.  Since my coffee grinder is filled with sticky frankincense, and other spices and resins that render it uncleanable, I had to go grab another grinder.

It was SO worth it.  The difference is incredible.  The dark roast beans mixed with the freshness of the whole beans just DOES IT for me.  You may have noticed that I’ve had a few cups today, in fact.  😉

Coffee beans.

Coffee beans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Things to let go of.

Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m working on a ritual that I’ll be doing on the new moon on June 8th.  I’m feeling bogged down in everything lately, and I need to let go.  I need to clear my brain so that I can move onto bigger and better.  I’ve internalized a lot of anger and sadness about a lot of things, and a lot of the people I’m angry at are dead.  That serves NO purpose, and I need to clear myself to improve my health and my life in general.

I plan to write these things down, and really spend some time with them.  They each will get their own piece of paper, and as I write them, I’ll focus on them, dwell on them, really feel the emotions tied with them.  And then I’ll burn them at the new moon and do whatever it takes to release them.

For each piece of paper, I’ll put a small piece of black tourmaline in a bag to wear around my neck.  (Reminder to self: sew aforementioned bag)

This is my list:

1. Having to struggle to get through college where my sister’s way was paid with no problem.  I also want to let go of the hurt of my mother denying that I had to pay my own way, and telling my father (when he could have helped me) that I spent all my money on booze and partying when I actually spent every dime on books, gas, and an occasional meal at school.

2. My mother doing her best to make me feel worthless.  She takes her own feelings of inadequacy out on me, and projects her own problems onto me, then gets angry when I argue with her.  This happens once a year or so, usually around my birthday.  And then she doesn’t understand why I never want to celebrate my birthday anymore.  The fact is that I don’t want to celebrate it with HER.

3.  My father not being there for me as a kid, then turning his back on me as an adult.  Him not friending me on Facebook, and choosing his church/Tea Party friends over me.  (Actually, I let this go at Samhain, and it really does feel much lighter to me.  I’ll throw it in again this time for good measure.)

4.  My ex making me feel worthless.  I mostly did what it took to heal myself from that, namely dating around and proving to myself that I could get as much attention as I wanted, but it still pops up unexpectedly sometimes.  It’s time to let it go.  She’s out of my life for good, and I need to get the pain out of my life too.

5.  My sister’s sense of superiority since she’s had a kid.  She told me a few weeks ago that she really thought I was starting to grow up.  She’s 5 years younger than me, and has always had people to take care of the tough stuff for her.  I never have.  I never even asked for help.  I just took it for granted that I had to work hard for everything that I got out of life because my family’s help always came with guilt or strings.  I don’t really have a relationship with her anymore, since everything I say gets back to my mother, which means it goes to my aunt and uncle, her best friend, my grandmother, and anyone else who strikes up a conversation.  Neither she nor my mother have any boundaries when it comes to sharing private details of my life.

6.  My stepmom not returning my calls or making any move to keep in touch after my father passed.  She was my stepmother for 23 years, and I honestly thought that she loved us.  I never realized that she really just tolerated us for my father’s sake.

7.  My grandparents’ closed-mindedness.  I was never able to come out to them, partially because they’re very opinionated, and partially because my mother told me I would kill them if I did.  They never understood why I kept them at arm’s length, and most of that was because I couldn’t share 90% of my life with them.  I never introduced them to my partner of 7 years, because my mom thought she was just too lesbian.

8.  The general unfairness of all my health problems.  I have to wonder how different my life would have been if I’d been able to participate in sports or go for any length of time without surgery.  I try to be grateful for what I have, healthwise, but it’s tough sometimes.

9.  My willingness to settle professionally.  I’m 38 years old, and I just keep spinning my wheels.  My salary has degraded to 1/4 of what it was when I first graduated from college.  The job I’m in now actually physically hurts me, but I feel too tired or too hopeless to change it for myself.  Is it fear of success that keeps me from pursuing something that I might love, like finishing my novel?  It just seems like every time I follow my bliss, I end up disappointed and disillusioned.

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I also made an oil for spiritual purification, and I’m going to use that to annoint the tourmaline as I put it in the bag, annoint the bag periodically, and annoint myself during the ritual.

Spiritual Purification Oil

Fill a small bottle 1/2 way with sweet almond oil.  To that add:
13 drops rosemary oil
7 drops eucalyptus oil
5 drops lemon oil
5 drops lavender oil
3 drops peppermint oil
small pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt
3 small pieces of sage

Amethyst would also be good to add to this, but I don’t have any small enough pieces to use.

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English: Amethyst

English: Amethyst (Photo credit: Wikipedia)