Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Magickal Thursday: October 17th, 2013

1 Wand
1 Cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set of glass or crystal phials
1 telescope
1 set of brass scales
Students may also bring an owl or a cat or a toad
(List of "Other Equipment" from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowlings)

I have met very few witches who didn't wish that the world of Harry Potter was true! Unfortunately, it isn't. We don't get a nice little list of textbooks and supplies. The real practice of magick doesn't need any tools, just you, but having a tool can help a practitioner focus their energy.

If you're practicing any kind of magick and are using tools those tools should be used JUST for magick. Tools that go back and forth can build up energy that you may not want if you're trying to do a healing spell. Magickal tools should be kept separate and, again, used only for magick.

Below you'll find a list of common tools and their uses.

Athame--a knife
The Athame represents either air or fire depending on your personal preference or education. It is used for cutting objects for both physical objects, like cords, or energies.

Candles & holder(s)
Candle holders can be used in day to day life, candles, however, cannot be. Once a candle is charged and used for something it cannot be reused. Healing candles can only be used for healing. Protection candles for protection. Being a magickal object, candles should not be just thrown into the trash. To dispose of any magickal "waste" it should be gathered into a box and buried or, preferably, burned.

The chalice or bowl is the representation of water due to the fact that it is the container for water.

Incense & burner
These are the tools that can be used in day to day life.

Alter Cloth
Helpful when you have a multi-purpose space. Placing the alter cloth represents the "working" space while removing it represents the "mundane" space.

Wands and/or staffs can represent air or fire depending on your personal preference and education. It can be used for directing and cutting energy.

Book of Shadows
It's a fancy name for a notebook to keep your work in.

Other tools that can be used are: Oils, Herbs, Divination tool(s) (tarot, runes, scying mirror), gemstones, and salt.

Practical Tuesday: October 15th, 2013

Over the last couple of weeks I've decided that I REALLY wish my brain came with a pre-installed shut off switch. Spending several nights a week tossing and turning, waking up at ungodly hours, and just generally missing out on one of my favorite past-times has taken its toll.

Besides the obvious side effects of puffy eyes, slower reflexes, lower concentration levels, and general grumpiness, chronic lack of sleep can cause and or exacerbate medical conditions. While there is no magick number for how many hours of sleep each individual should get each night, here are some good numbers to go by:

90 - the number of minutes it takes to complete one sleep cycle
4-6 - the number of sleep cycles you should have a night
8.5-10 - the number of hours a teen should be sleeping each night
7.5 - 9 - the number of hours an adult should be sleeping each night

Don't think chronic lack of sleep is all that bad? Consider this, not getting enough sleep, besides the things listed above, can increase the risk of:

Obesity - It might not JUST be our love of fast food that's making American's gain!
Heart disease - Which, of course, lead to:
Heart attack - and
Heart failure - because who needs a heart anyway? *sarcasm*
Irregular heartbeat
High blood pressure

*Look, it's a laundry list of common and rising US ailments! All this time they're trying to sell us drugs when all we need is to go to bed earlier! (I am not recommending you go against your doctor's directions!!!)

So who do you help improve your sleep?

Keep things dark - Melatonin, a chemical made by your body to help you sleep is only created when it's dark. Melatonin supplements can be purchased over the counter (check with your doctor or pharmacist for drug interactions). The supplements have a cumulative effect so the more you take them the better they work, meaning you should take them everyday for best results.

Put away the toys - Electronics, big or small, give off electromagnetic energy which disturbs your own energy patterns. You don't need to leave your cell phone on beside the bed...no, really you don't. If you're concerned about receiving a call in the night leaving it across the room on your dresser.

Limit activities in the bedroom to bedroom activities - This means no TV, no video games, no exercise equipment, etc. "But the TV helps me sleep!" Doubtful (see Put away the toys), it's more likely that the noise is helping you fall asleep and you can get the same effect from a fan or soft music (located across the room away from the bed). Remember, in order to make melatonin your body needs it dark! The light from the TV is not going to help this!!!

Have a routine - Get into the habit of giving your body cues that it's time for sleep. We do it for our kids: tubby time, a bedtime story, some snuggles. All these things tell our mind it's time to shut down. So set up your own routine: do the dishes, brush your teeth, read a book in bed (the book must be for pleasure not work!).

Write it down - If some thought keeps you up or wakes you up try not to dwell on it (easier said than done, I know). Keep a notebook and book light beside your bed. When some thought is bothering you write it down. The book light isn't bright enough to make your eyes dilate in that "OMG my eyes are going to burn out of their sockets" kinda way but will give you enough light to write.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Changing Seasons

Fall has arrived in full force this week. Up here in the Northeast Kingdom our foliage peaked a couple of weekends ago. The leaf peepers are out and driving erratically, though slowly, down all our secondary roads, parking in the travel lanes instead of pulling off onto our narrow shoulders.

The cooler weather brings about changes in my patterns. I prepare for my winter hibernation. While I don't actually sleep through the winter, I do slow down, sleep longer hours, and become rather introverted.

This is the time I start working on my journals, crafts, and other projects. While the spring and summer months I spend most of my time outside, during the late fall and winter I spend mostly inside. As the nights are getting cooler I'm feeling my creative side turning on. I want to paint, write, or sew.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Practical Tuesday: October 8th, 2013

Here we are, into the second week of October and I'm just getting around to posting. I'd hang my head in shame but it's already hanging from exhaustion.

I've been "employed" since the end of June as the Office Manager/Administrator/Receptionist/... by a doctor I've known for 20 years. We've been spending the last 3 months just trying to get things in order so he could open his own primary care practice. During this time I've been working my own hours, whatever days I wanted unless otherwise requested. (Why I wrote it as "employed".)

Over the last two weeks, however, we've become a "real" doctors office. We see patients daily. The phone rings off the hook. I'm still trying to get insurances all in order. I'm working from 8am to as late as 6pm then going home and doing the single Mom thing too!

To top it all my final course for my Master's degree started yesterday.

Yes, I am nuts!

How do I do it all? Multi-tasking, self-discipline, scheduling, and early bedtimes.

While sitting on hold with one insurance company or another I can check my on-line classroom, read a few lines from my textbook, or brainstorm ideas. While my son works on his homework at the table, I fix dinner, do dishes, and help him. We have an hour of downtime where we play with our pets (a cat and a dog), watch some TV or play a game. Then he's off to bed and I spend an hour or two doing homework, laundry, working on this blog, working on Pagan educational activities for the boy so I can introduce him to my beliefs.

I try to be in bed between 9 and 10 and I read for another hour or so. My books of choice...cotton candy. You know the ones, all fluff and no nutritional value for your mind. By the time I go to bed I'm suffering from brain fry so I want something that's going to make me feel warm and fuzzy without making me think too hard.