Monday, December 22, 2014

Honoring Hestia on the Winter Solstice

Although I disagree with the author's view of what the REAL season for the season is (as most people have their own and not one of them is the only one reason pertaining to all...except for axial tilt), I do like how they honor Hestia.  Three of my reason's are family, fire,and warmth, I don't know why I never thought to connect my Matron...  But that's why I'm on the internet to learn and gain new perspectives.


Although yesterday, I had a candle lit for Odin and the Julbocken (as they're our family's gift givers), I also had a candle lit for Hestia, as we had guests over.  I almost always have a candle lit on Her shrine, as She's about hospitality and creating a sense of warmth.  In a way, I do honor Her.

As for the Winter Solstice, for me it's about honoring the season and beginning of Winter.  It's an important time for celebrating family, warmth, joy, abundance, and charity.  We give donations, make and bake gifts, have a blast with family and friends, decorate our Yule Tree with what matters to us, light the Yule Log, and gives thanks for all we have with offerings to the Spirits, Deities, and Ancestors.

 Odin and Julbocken Came to Town!
 Yule Lunch

For me, Hestia represents all of these things.  But, for me, the Winter Solstice isn't just about Her, besides, She has the Vestalia in June. But it is an interesting idea.  

Blessed Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, and all other Holidays!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Yule and Christmas

I had an idea this year.

When we had kids, we said, "Finally, people will have to come to US on holidays instead!  Hahahahahaaaa!"  Nope.  Doesn't happen when you have different holidays.  We don't celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter at our house.  We have Fall Equinox, Samhain, Yule, Spring Equinox, May Day, and the Summer Solstice.  We've invited family and friends on these sabbats, but most people don't really show up because it's 'weird'.  Many of them aren't willing to learn new things and it's annoying, especially since we're expected to be at their homes for their holidays (which I usually don't bitch about because the main emphasis is family and the focus is largely on the kids having fun).  But the important people come, like my BFF...and those who want a free, good meal, right?  Oh, and one of my other Pagan friends has come over.

This year is going to be different.  See, with two young kids, we don't feel like running around on Christmas Day, we have three places to hit: My moms, My dads, and hubby's family.  No.  Just no.  My oldest son LOVES his grandparents and he throws fit whenever he has to leave them.  Not doing that three times.

AND, as of last night, I learned that I need to cook on Christmas Day, because hubby invited his family to our house.  Why not?  It's our first house.  

I had already planned this, but now it's a must.  I'm going to be running around and having to cook a dinner on Christmas.

On Yule, we're inviting my dad's side to our house for lunch.  Drink some hot chocolate, exchange gifts, then have some lunch.  There will be no "Oh, I can't make it", because listen: We have a lot of driving and cooking to do on Christmas.  Either come to our house, or don't bother with Christmas period.  We're not super heroes.  Get over your problem with our holiday.  It's not that different from yours.  It's not like I'm expecting these people to participate in any rituals!  Just come for fun and food.

Speaking of food, that means I need a plan.

Yule Lunch, Sunday, December 21st

  • Greet: Peppermint Hot Chocolate- I make peppermint tea then add hot chocolate to it.  This year, I may just add peppermint sticks to the hot chocolate.  Haven't decided.
  • Main:  Cranberry Cream Cheese Turkey Sandwich
  • Side: Spinach, Raspberry, Almond, Goat Cheese, Turkey Salad.
  • Dessert: Almond Yule Stump- Using no chocolate, since I have some non-chocolate lovers in the family (nor am I using sponge cake).  Garnished with raspberries, mint leaves, and almond slivers. (I found one recipe here, for an Almond Cake, but I need to try it first).
  • Beverages: Blackberry Cider, Wine


As for Christmas, not as well a thought out plan...but I do have time.   I'm really trying to find a recipe for the meat dish that I can do in the crock pot (I love using my crock pot!).  Because we go to my mom's on Christmas Eve and stay the night.  Have gift exchange and breakfast in the morning.  Then head out.  It would be nice to already have something going or done by the time we get home.  Luckily, my crockpot has a cook timer on it.  I'm just worried about drying the ham out.


Christmas Dinner, Thursday, December 25th


At least hubby didn't spring this on me days before.  Maybe I'll have them bring food, just not desserts because that's my favorite area to bake!  Unless they don't like peppermint....

Then I have my son's 2nd birthday on the 28th!  At least I won't need to cook, just decorate.  Getting his cake from the bakery, then having a meat and cheese tray, a fruit tray, and some popcorn.  

I love this time of the year, but man.....Oh, and I still have to bake sweets for the adults as their gifts... It's busy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kitchen Blessings

I came across 8 Simple Pagan Kitchen Blessings that sparked my inspiration.  Many of the things in the article I already do, as well as a couple things not listed, for the heart of my home.

The use of salt: 
Before cooking, baking, or even cleaning, I usually put in just a pinch of salt to my pots, pans, bowls, what have you, from a full on shake to just a couple grains of salt--depends on what I'm making.  Then I stir counter clockwise to banish any negative or residual energies.  Then I add herbs or whatever's next, and stir clockwise for my intention.

As far as outside, I use a mixture of salt, pepper, and St. John's Wort at the threshold to my house and to my porch to prevent negative energies and people from entering.

Red Brick Dust:
I don't use RBD inside my house, but as protection around my property.

Broom:
I have many broomsticks in my house, but I don't clean with them.  I craft and enchant them for various things, overall being protection, whether it's travel or general guards against intruders.  However, I do have brooms, which are your usually store brought brooms used for general cleaning.  With hardwood floors (that I hate) they're essential.  These are decorated or enchanted in any way.  But this article perhaps has inspired me to do a little magikal arts and crafts with them.

Sometimes, I do sprinkle an herbal powder down on the floor to cleanse and bring in a different, harmonious energy into the house, but my brooms in general aren't cleansed or enchanted.  They're just brooms.  (Modern Broomstick)

In my practice, I don't cleanse and make tools sacred.  I used to, but nowadays, it's just not needed; the magik and intention doesn't come from the tools, but from me.  I use what I have for any and all purposes.  Yet I think I might doll up one of my brooms, maybe it'll get me to sweep more often (hubby does the sweepin and I do the moppin--I hate sweeping!).

However, when my kids are old enough we're going to make sabbat broomsticks.  I don't know if I want to do it for all of the sabbats, or certain ones, like Yule, for example.  Hang them on the tree.  I've been making lots of ornaments this month and I'm running out...but I may have my son help me make a small broomstick ornament this year.

But yeah, so I may decorate one or all of our brooms.  I'm in quite the a&c mood, so we'll see.

Sigils:
Done.  :-)  With decorating the brooms, with our kids being so young, I don't want to have something on there that they might be able to pull or pick off, so I may use sigils or runes on the handle and shaft of the broom.

Egg in the Glass:
Nah.

Law of Attraction:
Check!  I really try not to clean or cook while angry or sad--although being in the kitchen tends to alleviate many of those negative emotions.  I just don't like getting those energies in my food!


I also have things like a sprig of rosemary over my door, a Kitchen Witch doll, an altar, a skeleton key, certain colors, lavender, a Hearthstone Blessing hanging, some Hestia hymns, and awesome stuff that that going on in my kitchen.

Do you have any sorts of blessings or protections in your kitchen?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Settling In: Fortifying & Empowering

We're all moved in.  Still unpacking, only have a few more boxes.  Yet, we have a LOT of safety improvements to make, such as grounding the outlets, getting new front&back doors and storm doors, fire alarms (it's an old house), and smaller things, like a blinds.  We're also adopting a dog, gonna name him ADT so we can keep our security signs.  And purchase 'BEWARE OF DOG' signs, too.  The neighborhood we're in, isn't exactly....safe.  Where we're at, it's a sweet spot, but surrounding us is bad neighborhoods.  Grandma has ADT Security on the house, but it's too expensive and is malfunctioning.  So dog will work.  Dog, more secure doors, locks, blinds, being aware of surroundings, keeping weapons in the house, and, well, magikal fortification.

I have an protective oil blend on the outside of my house, drawn into a binding symbol:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Charged to keep out intruders.

I've also sprinkled a protective powder around the perimeter of my home:
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • St. John's Wort
  • Charged to keep out intruders.

There's also other items of protection, with the sole purpose of keeping out those who'd wish us harm, physical and emotional.  In the weak areas, I've also placed curses as protective measures (no worries about the family setting them off--I know how to craft a curse).  

I've got various protections on this house, against the magikal, human, and spirit.  It's best to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  It boggles my mind sometimes when you come across magik users asking for protection against negativity, I'm always like, "Why didn't you already have protection on your home and self?"  Some just don't think ahead, I guess.  It's just seems like 101.  When you're first learning witchcraft, one of the first things many are taught is how to shield.  Why wouldn't you take similar step to protect you property?

Aside from fortifying your home and property, I've also gotten around to setting up some of my shrines and my Kitchen Altar:

Hestia's Shrine
(Hearth, Home, and Family)

It's not complete yet, I'm still looking for Her hearth and offering bowl.  But I've added amethyst, garnet, carnelian, and rose quartz.   The skeleton key to the left of Her are specifically charged as to the keys of the house, protecting against B&E's.  I've also asked for Her blessings, to give the magik a boost.  Hanging in the picture below is one such key.

Kitchen Altar
Abundance, Good Fortune, Peace, and Protection over the Kitchen


Rice- Good Fortune
Local Honey- Land Health and Abundance
Corn- Abundance
Flour- The Harvest and Baking
Vinegar- Cleaning and Protecting
Tea- To 'Welcome Guests'
Broomstick- To Cleanse the Energy
Egg Shell Powder- Protection
Lavender- Peace, Harmony, Love
Salt and Pepper- Protection
Apple and Grapes- Fruitfulness, Love, Fertility
Mini Pumpkin- Life, Fertility, Warmth, Inviting
Spoon- Togetherness
Skeleton Key- Hestia, Protects the Kitchen from Intruders (Human, Animal, Spirit)


~)O(~

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Understanding and Harmony

We got ourselves a house, and will start moving into it this week.  I'm super excited, in fact you can read it here, if you wish.  It's my gramma's house, she's not able to live on her own anymore and has invited us to stay there for at least a year, while she stays with another family member.  We're incredibly grateful to her.

I've been planning how to decorate the house, especially the kitchen.  I've decided to do it in Lavender, Moss Green, and Wood.  I don't remember the exact lay out of her kitchen, but I'm going to erect a small shrine to Hestia there.  Hence why I picked the colors that I did.  I wanted something fresh, clean, and natural feeling.  And colorful.  I want it to be very inviting, as it's the first room--aside from the mud room--that you'll enter.  I want the house, especially the entrance, to be warm, inviting, and protected.  I'm all about bringing color into her house, because I remember it being very...dark and old fashioned.  I want to modernized it a little bit and open the house up too.

I'm a little apprehensive about moving in, to be honest.  Excited, yes, but nervous.  My gramma lived there for decades.  It has a lot of her in it.  The house definitely has it's own energy and Spirits, both Ancestral and other.  Despite that we often had our family gatherings at her house, she's always kind of been intimidating to me.  At least until our handfasting back in 2010, but I've long since forgiven her for the drama created around that time.

Over the next week, the house and Spirits are going to be seeing a lot of action and change.  So before we move in, I going to have a sit down with the Spirits and let them know what's going on.  Tell them about gramma, if they don't already know, about who we are, and lay down some ground rules.  Let em know that I'm bringing in my own Spirits and deities.

I don't know what they're experience with Sage is, but I'll let them know what it is and what it does before I smudge the house.  I'll do this first.  After our stuff is all moved in, I'll cleanse again and seal the house and property with wards.

Then I'll focus on Harmony and Peace charms throughout the house.

After I do that, I'll have time to write a post about said charms.  Lots to do, spirituality speaking.

I can't wait to unpack my shrines, I really miss them!  And I'm really excited about decorating the house.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!! KILL IT!

As I was writing a different post about 2 hours ago, a pagan post, I freaked out when I saw a cockroach scurry across my carpet.  I then proceeded to brutally kill it with a shoe until I could no longer recognize it.  At first I wasn't even sure I had got it, until i saw something brown and buggy on my brown carpet.  
I freaked!  I keep my house clean--as well as a parent can with a toddler and a two in diapers can.  I really do.  Come on, it's part of my duties to Hestia and my family!
It's one of many reasons why I hate living in apartments, because one person's infestation affects everyone!  Fuckin hate it.  But this is the first time I've ever dealt with roaches in my home.  I've seen them--guys, I could tell crazy stories about some of the roaches in distant relatives homes.  Personally, we've never had a problem with them.  
So i asked FB and found the boric acid is natural, non-toxic, and a major killer of roaches.  Gets on their feet, then they track it back to the colony and boom, within 2 weeks, the nest is gone.  I definitely want some of that!  Plus it's cheap.  But I don't have any right now.  So a friend and a bunch of websites suggested baking soda and sugar.  The sugar entices them in and the baking soda kills them when ingested.  That's two ingredients that I have, so I combined the two and got to sprinkling in my kitchen.  I sprinkled behind and in the trashcan, underneath the hutch, the side of the fridge (for now), behind and the side of the stove, underneath the dishwasher, and beneath the kitchen sink.  
See, our sink is leaking, so there's a bucket under there, it's a possible water source for them.  I sprinkled the crap out of that area and in the bucket.  I also sprinkled the crap out of our dirty dish filled sink (it's 2:45 am right now, I'm not doing dishes).  Then I made a nasty discovery.  
Our dishwasher doesn't work properly.  I've tried different methods and so has our shitty maintenance crew.  It just doesn't drain very well.  Well, I opened it up to find black water and a nasty smell.  So I gave it a vinegar bath.  After it ran, I sprinkled a crap load of baking soda inside of it.  
Needless to say, I went bat shit crazy with the baking soda.  Best to nip this would be problem in the bud, right?  Tomorrow I'm going to have the hubby pick up some Boric Acid and really treat the kitchen, baseboards, cracks, and even the bathroom, although I doubt they're there.  
First we had a fruit fly problem.  Got rid of them with disposal of their food source and vinegar.  
Then we had an ant problem, which is normal for this time of year.  Soapy water took care of them.  
Now roaches?  WTF?  I've only seen one so far and I'm really hoping that I don't see anymore.  According to some sites, you may have roaches and not even know it.  Sometimes in the summer, they come inside through open windows or better weather.  It may not necessarily be a reflection of how clean your home is. 
Later, I'm also going to sprinkle baking soda along the window sills.  
I hate roaches.  Makes my skin crawl.  And I worry about them getting on my kid's clothes, toys, blankets, and bedding, of course.  But hopefully the powders work and I never see another roach in this apartment again.  I just, I really really hate roaches.  Spiders and House Centipedes I can--well, some spiders, I'm pretty badly allergic to Wood and/or Wolf Spiders--live with, but roaches?  Fuck no!  Kill em all.  Unfortunately, like rats, they're survivors.  But in the years of living here, this is the first time I've seen one.  
Do yall have any advice?  Outside of scrubbing my kitchen, bathroom, and overall house, and starving/dehydrating them.  I already plan on cleaning the crap out of my house tomorrow.  With two little ones (one of them being a preemie) I'm not doing toxic pesticides.  I only want natural and non-toxic.  Unless I find out that this is a much larger issue, then obviously, more extreme measures will have to be taken.
Two pests I cannot stand: Roaches and Fleas.  We've already suffered a flea epidemic, due to a coach we received fro friends (getting rid of the coach solved our problem).  We do not need a creepy crawler infestation, too.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Moon Promise

Today's a new moon, to honor Kuan Yin on this day, I've chosen to detox and eat vegetarian just on this day.  Well, every new moon.  Today I made iced Green Mint Tea, Jasmine Rice, and a combination of the rice and sauteed zucchini (I guess, I don't know culinary terms).

Iced Green Mint Tea
  • Fairly easy, I just boiled some water.  
  • Poured the water into a container and allowed the 2 teabags to steep for about 15 minutes.  
  • In another container, I added some honey, crushed ice, and then poured the tea over the ice.
  • Stirred it all together and put it in the fridge.  
  • Honey has a tendency to sink to the bottom as it cools, so I have to stir before pouring.  

Jasmine Rice
  • Boiled water
  • Poured into a container with my jasmine tea.  I used one bag, because I know that jasmine, like rose, is fragrant, and I didn't want the flower aroma to overpower the rice taste.
  • Added equal amounts of rice and popped it in the microwave for 4 minutes or so.
  • Tada, fragrant smelling and tasting rice.

Zucchini & Fried Rice
  • First I poured some olive oil into a hot pan.
  • I placed my chopped zucchini in the pot.
  • Added pepper, garlic salt, and thyme.  
  • I frequently stirred and tossed it about in the skillet, until brown and delicious looking.
  • I sat it on my plate.
  • Without cleaning the pan, I added a tiny bit more of olive oil, then through in my Jasmine Rice and Soy Sauce.  
  • I just eyed it, I've never fried rice.  Tossed it about in the pan.  
  • I added more Soy Sauce and just let it sit for a minute. Toss it a bit more, then added it to the plate.
I tasted them separately, which was delish, then it was mind blowing when I ate a zucchini that had fallen beneath the rice.  So I mixed them after that.  Yum!

*Next meaty day, substituting chicken for zucchini, is pretty good too!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chicken Quesodilla Mouth Orgasms

Mmm, best lunch ever!

Lately I've been getting more creative with my foods, like adding fruit and chocolate to my pancakes.  I know, really daring, huh?  I didn't go to a cooking school, clearly (although I'd like to) and my mom only taught me the basics.  I have a ton of recipes, but generally when make something, I glance at the recipe, unless it's my first time or it's a complicated recipe.

Last night, I made a homemade pizza.  My experiments fails.  It was chalky, oddly enough.  I'm going to try again tonight and tweak it.  I also have a low carb recipe for the crust that I want to try, one consists of eggs and cheese and the other of cauliflower.  One harder than the other, but I'm getting serious about my low carb diet, as I'm recovering from having my son and am...filling out.  I'm up to 307 lbs.  Ugh.  But change is up to me.

Anyway, onto my awesome quesadillas.

Normally when I make them, they're heavy and via microwave.  Due to their weight in the stomach, I haven't made them in a few years.

I don't like veggies in my quesodillas, I'd much rather use seasonings.

I have fajita seasoning, but I chose to make my own, just looking up the basic spices used.

I didn't measure anything.

Ever the Kitchen Witch, I just used what I had.

Chicken Quesodilla Mouth Orgasms

  • 2 Cans of  Chunked Chicken (because I'm lazy)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • A pinch of Cayenne (I'm not a huge fan of cayenne, unless I'm working with spell)
  • Red Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Powder (my love)
And I think that's it.  I wanted to try cumin, because I don't know what it tastes like, but alas, I didn't have any.  So I put a bit of olive oil in my hot skillet.  Added the chicken.  Tossed them around in the oil for a few minutes, then added the spices in no order, and by eye.  Obviously some flavors I wanted more than others, like the Onion Powder, and less of, like the Cayenne.  As it was nearing completion, then I sprinkled in some dried Chives (and wished that I had fresh cilantro).
  • Queso Blanco
I cooked it medium heat, until I was satisfied, then sat the chicken to the side on a plate.  Using the same unrinsed skillet, I poured in a bit more olive oil, put in my tortilla, with half of it touching the skillet.  I layered the cheese, thick.  Layered the Chicken.  Put another layer of cheese on top.  Folded the tortilla and flipped it over.  

I didn't cook it for minutes, tortilla is thin and was laying on a bed of olive oil.  I just cooked it long enough that it took me to fill it on the other side, so maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute.  It made the tortilla nice, brown, and crispy.  

I let it set for a few minutes and dove it.  Crispy, cheesy, moist, flavorful, not greasy or oily in the least, nor was it heavy.  SO GOOD!

Soon I'll be trying to make taco sauce.

Friday, July 18, 2014

PG-13 Butterbeer (Butterbeer Float)

I have a couple recipe books of food and drink from Harry Potter, and I finally got around to making some Butterbeer.  I have an adult version with Butterscotch Schnapps and a PG-13 kind, a Virgin Butterbeer, if you will.

Here's my PG-13 recipe, tweaked from others I've seen:

It calls for Vanilla Butter.  You can find the flavoring in the spice aisle (sometimes--I couldn't) or you can just make your own.  If no vanilla bean--which I do have--do what I did, and just use vanilla flavoring.
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla flavoring
  • 1 tsp. Almond flavoring (or walnut or any other type of nut flavoring)
  • 1 stick Butter
I made enough for more than one serving.

Melt them together in the microwave.

  • 2 scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in the glass.
  • 1 can of Cream Soda, pour it in with the Ice Cream.  Stop when the foam gets to the top.
  • Add 2 tsp of the Vanilla Nut Butter to the cup (or to taste, because it can be overpowering) and stir.
  • Add more Cream Soda
  • Stir
Tada!  I don't know what it's actually supposed to taste like, but I liked it.  I may add less of the extracts next time, maybe take away the vanilla extract, since I use vanilla bean ice cream.  I'm actually going to try that later tonight.  This is my first time making it, so I still need to tweak it.

I bought reddi whip for the topping, because other recipes call for heavy whipping cream, but that's doin too much.  At least for tonight.  I'll try the heavy stuff later (with real vanilla bean), but yeah, I bought the reddi whip for the topping, but I didn't need it, because when the ice cream and soda combine, foam is born.  

Cool, so I just re-made it and it tastes better--it's not as overpowering:

  • 1/2 tsp of Almond flavoring
  • 1 tsp of Butter
Melt it together, give it a stir, add it to your Cream Soda and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  Mix and Enjoy.  


Yeah, I know it's not exactly real world Witchy, but its fun.  And who says that you can't make it Witchy?  I will be exploring this myself.  I've learned that Butterbeer is fairly versatile.  Then again if you haven't have the Universal kind or go by-the-book like me, then you can be fairly creative.  I mean really, the popular ingredient is cream soda, and you can make that yourself:



Here's others:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sunburns & Weeds

Still around and very busy, juggling a 18-month-old and a 2-month-old!  Plus I'm trying to keep up with my daily devotionals, house work, the Pagan Blog Project, and overall sleep.

Had a fun 4th of July weekend.  Was out in the sun sun sun, having fun fun fun with my kids, while hubby played baseball with his family.  We put sunblock on our kids and I on myself (hubby claimed he didn't need it).  We've used this genetic brand before, but man it did not work this time.  I looked as bad as my husband!  At least my oldest didn't burn as bad, he was just a tad pink.  And my youngest didn't burn at all, due to me having him in his carseat on the stroller the entire time.

Mommy and daddy were red!  So I went home and tried a solution that I had seen around the internet a lot, and that friends had also advised.  I took an Apple Cider Vinegar bath to take the sting out.  I added nearly two cups to my bath water (because I didn't know if I was going to have a reaction to it, like I did with the diluted vinegar a couple months before).

The problem I faced was that I'm 6'2.5 and weigh 300lbs, and my apartment tub isn't exactly big or tall person friendly.  I actually got stuck in the tub and got water all over my floor!  So I wasn't able to soak my burns for 30 minutes, like instructed, however, I did get around to cleaning the floor.  Next time, I think I'm just going to soak some towels or rags in the APC and try that.  Because my friends swear by it, that it takes the sting out of sun burns!

And I will recommend that you use aloe lotion afterwards, because the vinegar will dry out your skin.  That and lotions feels amazing!

I'm not ruling APC out just yet.  And I'm still going to experiment with cleaning.

Another solution I tried was the Natural Weed Killer, comprised of vinegar, a squirt of Dawn dish soap (or any dish soap), and 1/4 cup of salt (although I used a 1 cup, because I can't read apparently).  I made a little bit first, and you should make sure your squirt bottle works before hand, otherwise you'll be pouring like I was, and tried it out on some weeds and morning glory.  I did it in the middle of the day, so the sun could bake the plants (normally, if you water your plants, you should do in the morning or evening, depending on plants, since some don't like having wet roots at night, or so I've read).  The next day, the weeds were wilted and brown and I was happy.  So I made a larger batch, pulled the weeds and morning glory, and doused their stubs and roots with my vinegar solution.

Of course, it's not as powerful as say Round Up, but I'm not into poisons, especially when it comes to areas that my kids might be playing.  And I don't think that the Spirits appreciated it.  If I have to repeat the process, I'm okay with that.  The only thing I can grow and keep alive are weeds, but my garden needs to be managed, looks like a jungle out there!  That and it feels good.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Divine Decluttering

The rampage continues!  Now that my energy is returning slowly but surely, I'm looking around my house deciding what to sell, toss, and to donate once again.  It's not so much about bragging rights or because I have too much, it's about stuff just sitting around collecting dust.  The last time I checked, I wasn't a hoarder.  There's no reason for us to have a lot of this stuff if it's not going to be used.  Give or sell it to someone who can use it, or at least find the value that I no longer see.

It's funny, you see those memes that ask the question of  "if you could give your young self a piece of advice, what would it be?"  Mine would be to save your money.  To really ask yourself whether or not you need the DVD, CD, or replica sword.  Where's it going to go?  What purpose will it serve?  Save your money, put it towards something useful.

Our first major hauling was selling our CDs, DVDs, games, and books.  It felt great!  And we made some money on them.  Then came the "hey you're pregnant, need to make space!"  Round 2 of decluttering began with stuff.  Donating and tossing.  Then we had to get rid of a flea infested couch.  Then our second couch broke.  Which was fine because we needed to make room for more of my son's toys, since he got some large toys for his birthday.  The only problem with that is now our apartment isn't very....guest friendly.  We have a recliner, a rocking chair (that's on it's way out), and four dining room chairs.  Not very inviting!  But there's room for improvement.  And I do miss having a couch...

Round whatever came with this third pregnancy, and I've got a second wind now that my son is born.  I'm just looking around at my bookshelves, at my dishes, and other places and deciding.  What needs to go?  What don't we need?  I'm even looking at my Anne Rice collection and have decided to only keep my favorite books, and she's my favorite author.  But the books are just sitting on the shelves, taking up space.  Might as well sell em to Half Priced Books!

I'm looking at my books, at my kid's toys.  My son has a lot of toys.  A lot of large toys.  My kids have a lot of stuff period.  Now not all toys, but I'm going to go through their stuff and donate what's not used as often.  Make some more space.

After their toys, will come my art stuff.  Then I'll probably go back through my clothes.  Then my CD's and games.  I have a lot more crap than my husband has.  But it'd be nice if he participated, too.  Right now, I'm just concerned with getting stuff out and into someone else's hands.

Minimalism.

I have another friend who's also minimizing the material aspects of her life, too.  She's a single mom of four, and has found that's it's easier and better spiritually and financially.  I agree with that.  Her kids don't mind the change either.  It's freeing when you're not being controlled by want, desire, and capitalism.  I'm not a fan of capitalism, an opinion that was enforced when I worked in retail.  Every night, I was restocking shelves of crap.  Crap that most people didn't need.  Yet due to commercials and such, they spent their money on this crap.  I just didn't see the wisdom in it.  Save your money and better your lives instead of getting deals and stuff that's just going to rule you.

Eh, it's not for everyone.  You work hard for your money, spend it as you see fit.  For some, it's a stress reliever.  For others it brings them joy.  Hey, to each your own.  Me?  I'm focusing on getting rid of what I don't need and not re-purchasing it later.  I'm going to work on paying debts and working towards my goals and dreams.  Bettering my family's lives through minimalism, in a way.

~)O(~

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vinegar Burns

One of my friends has a sunburn, and I've been reading how a vinegar--particularly apple (cider?) vinegar--bath will help to take the sting out of your burn.  Some of my friends swear by it.  Perhaps one day I'll try it, when it's needed.  I'm usually pretty careful about the sun, I do have fair skin after all, and with a toddler, I tend to carry sunscreen on me all the time now.

The bath got me thinking about another home remedy involving the miracle cleaner, vinegar.  I'm sure you've seen the meme about how vinegar socks helps to bring down a fever.


Last week, my oldest was teething and spiked a high fever that his medicine wasn't bring down.  All he was wearing was a diaper, took out the extra blankets in his crib, tried the cooling bath--it all failed.  So I tried the vinegar socks.  Now I didn't have apple cider vinegar (will be stocking up on that soon enough), all we had was white distilled vinegar.  I was desperate and wanted to give my baby boy relief.  I soaked his socks in half/half vinegar and water.  It worked.  His fever decreased, although we did have to do it twice.  

I was satisfied.  We monitored him all night and his fever never came back.

However, the next day, we noticed that he had a rash around his ankles from where the lip of his socks rested on his leg.  That was the only place he had these marks.  We washed his legs and treated the rash (although looks more like a burn) with neosporin.  It's healing, but it was a bit worrisome.  Didn't seem to bother him, but then he was teething like crazy last week, was also going through a growth spurt, and had his world thrown upside down with the early birth of his little brother.  

I've read that undiluted vinegar can burn your skin, but this was diluted.  So I dunno, perhaps a toddler's skin--my toddler's skin--is too sensitive for vinegar?  

So yes, if you use vinegar on your skin, or around younglings, be sure to dilute it, and try a tiny bit on skin.  I have sensitive skin, perhaps I should've tried it on myself, but like I said, I was desperate and stressed.  We had just been discharged from the hospital and home from visiting my newborn in the NICU.  My toddler spiked a high fever, was miserable, and I just wanted to give him relief.  But in the future, I know better!  Despite that it was diluted, I probably won't use vinegar on my son's skin again, and I'll definitely be more cautious in the future regarding myself and my family.  

If you have a vinegar burn, we're using neosporin due to not having any aloe.  But I've read that aloe's best for treating it.  


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Equinox is Upon Us!

And I couldn't be happier.  Many bright blessings to you and yours!  I'm glad we finally had a real winter for a change, but that season can happily see its way out now.  I want warmth and picnics and hikes and playground adventures with my family and outdoor arts & crafts!

But first, time for three days of decluttering rituals...aka cleaning, donating, tossing, and smudging.  Let's throw open the blinds and let some sunshine in!  Open up the windows and let the house air out!  Let's make some more room for my son's little brother (coming soon!).

I've got a lot of cleaning to do....scratch that, WE have a lot of cleaning to do.  I'm 7 months pregnant, gonna need some help with the chores.  Here be my To Do List:

...I just realized that some of my cleaning is going to have to be at night, after my son has gone to bed.  Ain't no sense in cleaning up his stuff when he's just going to go behind me and put it the way he wants it.  It's a great tip, btw, if you have young kids, wait until they're napping or until bedtime before you clean!  They're going to mess it up in the next couple of days anyway, but if you're like me, I can only take so much clutter on the floor.  We do have to walk through it afterall.

Okay, now the handy-dandy List:

  • Light candle/Dragon's Blood oil burner for Hestia (and to clear the energy of our space)
  • Baking Soda the carpets
  • Dust (from top to bottom)
  • Swiffer the tile floors (although I might just make my own vinegar cleaning solution...)
  • Get on son's level and see what needs to be proofed
  • Locate all of the toys
  • Reorganize the DVD's and CD's (now that my son doesn't bother them anymore)
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Declutter the fridge and freezer
  • Organize baby feeding stuff and food shelf
  • Clean the ferret cage
  • Wash ferret's beds
  • Sort baby clothes and put them all away...preparing for baby Vincent's arrival come May-June
  • File the mail
  • Clean the table
  • Collect, do, and put away the laundry
  • Clean and declutter bathroom (definitely with vinegar solution)
  • Wash mats
  • Disinfect loofa, plungers, and toilet brush
  • Clean and declutter shelves and cabinets (I don't drink alcohol anymore, so might as well dump our stash)
  • Wash windows
  • Freshen up our bed and pillows
  • Clean and declutter baby room
  • Gather and drop off donations
  • Toss out trash
  • Vacuum
  • Smudge the apartment
I'm sure I'll find other things to clean and such, I usually do.  There's a lot to do, our primary chore being to move things out of my son's reach, aka more baby proofing.  He's taller now, things that were once safe are no longer, as I learned today.  

I wish I could put his laundry into his drawers, but he keeps pulling everything out of them!  I'm either going to have to find a new home for his clothes (the closet is out) or use ghetto baby proofing techniques: ducktape.  Works for our kitchen cabinets and drawers!

Might not be able to accomplish this in three days, especially if some of them are nice lets-go-to-the-park days.  But I've got all Spring, well at least until Vin comes.  And I won't be doing this alone.

* Mar 23 - Got the boy's room, bathroom, and backroom done!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tough Day in the Kitchen!

First, my vegetable soup tasted oily and greasy, I think it was due to the hamburger I added, although I rinsed it.  I dunno.  I strained it once, added water, some bouillon cubes (because I didn't have anymore beef stock), salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder.  Let it cook for a little bit.  Tried it, not as oily, but still tasted fatty.  I strained again, added water, the same (minus the bouillon cubes), and a can of tomato soup.

While that cooked, I made cake pops.  Le sigh.  The cake pops themselves turned out fine, however, I had an avalanche of spices from the cabinet fall on me, dropped an egg (has never happened to me before), found out that my "microwave safe" mixing bowls WEREN'T microwave safe at all when I burned the crap out of my hand on them, AND despite following the directions to a "T", my white chocolate wafers skipped melt and went straight to burn.  However, the burned chocolate was melted.  Da hell?  So I had no frosting OR chocolate coverage for my cake pops.  At least, hubby enjoyed them.  I was too frustrated for that.

I burned myself on my crock pot lid and the pot itself, and my tongue while tasting.  Despite having been cooking for over 24 hours, the fresh carrots and potatoes I had used still weren't done.  Thought that was odd.

I was feeling pretty hopeless by this point.  Like a total failure, course hormones don't help the situation, nor does having a low blood sugar.  I was so irritated.  With everything.  Even my son who kept getting into the trash can where the burnt chocolate was.

While pouring the soup into a container, I got some splash on me, luckily it wasn't nearly as hot as it could've been.  Still hurt though.  Then I burned myself on the hot dish water.  And to top it all off, I had a bunch of clean, wet dishes fall--but I was quick enough to move out of the way.  Surprised it didn't wake up my son, to be honest!

And I'm proud to say that my vegetable soup, from scratch (roughly) and without a recipe, was finally a success.  A tasty, flavorful success.  Not quite like mom's, but close.  I've learned a thing or two, broth wise, and next time instead of hamburger I'm going to use beef shoulder or something.  And add corn and beans.  At least something good came of this tough day.

It's unusual for me to have that many issues in the kitchen.  I think it's time for a cleansing to be honest, so I may do that tomorrow.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Modern Cauldron Recipes

Lately, I've been cooking a lot with my crock pot, and no, it's not due to whatever challenge or foodie fad is going on, I'm doing so because I love soups, stews, chowders, and chilis.  And I think foods slow cooked for hours on end have the best flavor.  I am a lover of flavors!

And, over all, it's easy.  Just toss in your ingredients, turn it on, stir it once in a while, tastenadd, and eat!

Last week, I made some pretty rockin Beef Stew; oh it was divine.  The best I've ever made...partially because I slow cooked it for nearly 24 hours.  

(Now I'm not too much of a....measuring kind of gal.  I measure the first and/second time I make something new [including reading the recipe], but after that I go solely on memory and taste; so no measurements.  Sorry!)

Majority of the box of Beef Stock
1-2 cups of Water
4 small Potatoes, sliced and cubed
Baby Carrots, whole
Onion Powder (I'm having a touch of sensitivity to fresh onions this pregnancy)
Garlic Salt
Pepper
A chunk of beef (as it cooks, it gets tender; as it gets tender, I shred it apart), thawed

Combined it all and slow cooked it on low for near 24 hours.  It was sooooo good!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I really like to make things from scratch, however Red Chili isn't exactly where my strengths lay.  However, I found the secret to great chili: Don't Let My Husband Help!  Why?  Because he adds waaaay too much cayenne pepper!  He likes his chili hot, whereas I like to enjoy what I'm eating.  I like flavors!  

This time, instead of having him help me with the hamburger (I hate cooking ground meat and I'm not sure why), I put him in charge of buying the ingredients.  It's a curse, I think, because he bought pre-made chili....that stuff is awful.  I tasted it and yuck!  But I was optimistic!  I knew I could fix our mystery chili problem!  

2 cans of Canned Chili
1 29 oz can of Tomato Sauce
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder 
Garlic Salt
Oregano
Paprika
Chili Powder
1-2 cups of Water
1 lb. Hamburger, browned before added
Lots of CHEESE (which I add towards the end)

Many hours later, and perfection, with more cheese and crackers..  Even better the next day.  Normally, I don't care for meat, unless it's turkey, in my red chili.  But it was good.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Here's a recipe that my SIL gave me yesterday.  She makes it and loves it.  It came on, when I was talking about my love for Mexican Hot Chocolate.  

Cocoa Chili
2 lbs beef
1 64 oz can tomato juice
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cup chopped onion (I usually just use the whole onion lol)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (usually use the whole pepper too)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
Salt & pepper
Brown beef & drain. Combine all ingredients in big pot... let boil on high then let simmer for 1 hour 45 mins 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night, I started on one of my favorite chilis, White Chili:

(This is only my second time making this recipe, so there are some measurements.)

3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I shred as they get tender)
3 15 oz cans of Great Northern Beans
8 oz. Sour Cream
2 cups Water
1 cup of Medium Salsa
Salt
Pepper
1 25 oz can of Corn
2 lbs 1 lb.  of Queso Blanco (white cheese), cubed, sliced, or shredded.

You can add green peppers, tomatoes, and other peppers and herbs like cilantro if you want; but since the salsa I bought already had these ingredients, I didn't feel the need to add anything else.  Although I may next time!  Oh, and some recipes call for turkey instead of chicken, and spicier cheeses, like pepper jack or a mild/medium queso.  Let your taste buds be the judge!

You can eat it as is; instead of crackers, use tortilla chips.  In the past, we've wrapped it in tortillas.  Use it as a dip.  Eat it with rice.  It's food and we've eaten it in a variety of Spanish/South Western inspired ways.

It was nummers, but 2 lbs of queso is far too rich!  And next time I'm going to add more salsa and MORE beans!  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later this week, I'm planning on making some delish vegetable soup, it'll be my first time making it (and without a recipe) so fingers crossed.  I'll be trying to go on what my mom's looks and tastes like from memory.  AND I'm going to make some homemade bread!

There's something about cooking in a crock pot (using my wooden spoons) that just feels so Witchy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Doorway

This year I'm going to use the Pagan Blog Project to talk about things that I don't normally talk about.  Things which are and aren't new to me, but are new for my blog.  Often I mention that I'm a Kitchen Witch, and I talk about Hestia, my working altar, giving protection magiks, house Spirits, the giving of offerings, and things of that nature, but I don't really talk about the hearth and home, which are just as important to my Witch practices as Ancestral veneration is in my Pagan practices.

So continuing on with that plan, I've taken an idea from Tess Whitehurst's Magical Housekeeping.  Overall, it's an okay book, I found it to be a little...eh....fluffy and too love and light, I just don't care for her style of writing, but that doesn't mean that I can't take anything away from her book.  The author does have some interesting points in it, such as your door. 


The door?  Seems pretty mundane, but in many places, doors--and like structures--are important in magik.  Leading from world to world.  From ignorance to knowledge.  Providing a safe haven.  Many of us are sure to protect our homes by locking our doors and windows, as well as adding powerful charms, amulets, runes, and sigils of protection to keep out unwanted people, energies, and entities.  We may even look to other doorways, like mirrors, spirit entries, and such, and are sure to keep them secure. 

I like big, old, double doors.  I'd like to have one of a tough old wood, like oak.  I'm attracted to some of the more ornate and artistic ones, the classy doors and the ones with pretty windows, but when it comes to protecting my home and family, I want something durable with strong locks, and no windows.  Windows are breakable.  Breakable means intruders can enter.  I'd rather not have that happen.  (Although they could just break any house window, but symbolically, door windows just seem like a invitation for negativity...and windows on/around your door isn't exactly gonna work against some zombies...)

In her book, the author talks about the magik of making it inviting, allowing good energies to flow.  Keeping it clear, beautiful, lively, and "entrancing":  "It is a magical tool for drawing blessings [...].  It also dictates the quality, quantity, and vibration of energy that enters" (50). 

As a devotee of Hestia, one of my duties is hospitality.  Making sure my guests are comfortable in my home.  Making my home inviting.  I like to provide a clean and organized home for my guests.  Cleanliness is important to me, I'd hope that they also feel part of it.  The air smells fresh, there's plenty of light, there's lit candles, there's plenty of seating, they know where the bathroom is, as well as everything they need to make themselves feel at home.  I'm attentive, polite, genuine, and so on. 

The inside of my home is in order, heck maybe even the garden!  So why not my door?  Yes, I have sigils of protection physically on and above it, but what about something visual.  I almost always notice a person's door, especially if it's painted a different color than the rest, if it's of a different make, or even if they've done something to dress it up, say hang a wreath, a swag, or a sign.  I appreciate a beautiful entrance.  It's very inviting.  Yes, I do judge a book by it's cover when someone's gone out of their way to paint such a picture.

If you're able, Whitehurst suggests painting your door (51):

Royal Blue: Water, Whimsy, Otherworld
Red: Protective, Energy, Blessings, Celebration
Green/Teal: Wealth, Prosperity, Enhanced Health
Black: Powerful, Strength, Career Alignment

I recently saw a teal door and wondered if it had significant meaning, other than being the resident's favorite color.  Of course, door color meaning may change depending on faith, region, type of house, realty, literature,color psychology, military, and other factors.

What Does Your Front Door Say?

Or if you don't have the chance or want to paint your door, you can decorate it with a wreath, a swag, and any number of decorations that hang or stick.  Most of the objects you can make yourself, customize, purchase (of course), and all you can charge with specific intentions, be it for filtering, protection, or attraction.

You can simply buy or make your own doormat.  Something beautiful, perhaps naturally made.  Maybe something with a pretty picture or just feels nice against bare feet.  Some don't.  Some just feel awful.  And others shed.  What's the point of having a doormat outside if you're just going to track the mat inside?  Personally, and I believe I share this with Whitehurst, I'm a fan of river stone doormats, be them real or a pattern. 

One of my weird little quirks is that I like doormats.  I'm an odd person.  Doormats, windchimes, swags, bottles, spoons--different things.  Anyway.

Be sure to keep your stoop/porch clean by sweeping.  Decorate if you want, say you have one of those stone geese.  My aunt had one that she always dressed up.  I don't know how many of yall remember that trend, but it was an epidemic.  Lots of people did, and some still do, have those geese sitting on their porches.  Personally, I'm a fan of gargoyles.  They're meant to be protectors of the home, so why not?  Perform some protection magik, giving offerings if you want, turn it into an anchor or a scapegoat, and voila!  Your own "guard dog". Although I've also seen stone dragons, owls, dogs, and fae in and around some porches.  But then what more ambiguous than a pink flamingo?  Aside from being tacky.

Decorating my stoop, I don't usually do unless it's fall and I have some gourds, wheat stalks, or a broomstick (that I won't miss if it's stolen).  I've seen others hang crossed broomsticks on their doors.  Keep it free of debris and ice, if you can.  Also might want to think about clearing your gutters, because if it's raining harder on your stoop than what's falling from the sky due to overflowing gutters, well, might be time to do something about it.  Can't clean it yourself, make a report to you landlord or rental office.  I'm only mentioning it because during the fall it was raining harder on my stoop than on the rest of my window world.


Wanna talk about porches?  I would love to have a slightly elevated, railed, covered, wrap around porch.  Love those!  With part of it screened, overlooking a deck and a beautiful natural view, with a connection to my kitchen.  I love big porches.  My heart belongs in the country.  Nothing more inviting than a big ass porch that you can feel safe on, with comfy furniture, wrapped in a blanket, drinking some tea, and just relaxing.

Sorry about that, moving on.

Say you still live with your parents or can't or don't want to decorate your front door, you can decorate your bedroom door or the door to your sacred space, magik room, etc.  As long as you're able to, you can decorate in a variety of ways, with signs, hanging things from your doorknob, or using curtains of cloth or beads to create a sense of magic to your room.  When I lived with my mom, I always had a dog choke chain with a lock and key which was empowered for protection against nosy parents and siblings.  I also had hanging a butt load of key chains, certain ones were also enchanted with specific intentions.

I hope this post wasn't too boring for ya, Door Magik isn't something that I'd say is exciting but hey, another form of magik to think about.  If you have fun decorating your door and your enchantments work, it's a success, right?

~)O(~

Saturday, February 8, 2014

An Inspiring Friend

One of my friends is going natural nuts and I love it!  So far, she's made a lot of stuff, including make-up, butters, and coconut oil.  Here's a link that she posted on Facebook, that helped her:

How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil

~)O(~

Friday, February 7, 2014

Annoying Household Chores

Daily Prompt asks:
What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?
As a Kitchen Witch and Hestia Devotee, cleaning is very spiritual for me, however, doesn't mean that I enjoy every little aspect of my weekly/monthly/quarterly chores.  Tasks I loathe are:
  • Cleaning the oven- It's a small space, low to the ground, and I'm 6'3, 290lbs.  It ain't exactly easy for me to get down and in there.
  • Cleaning the burners- Despite that my husband has showed me how to dis- and re- connected the burners so I can access the thing underneath, I'm always afraid I'm going to do it wrong and cause a fire.  I hate electric stoves.
  • Cleaning around the toilet.  I don't mind cleaning the top and the bowl, that's easy.  Once again, it comes down to my size and the cramped space between the sink and the tub.  That and it's just nasty.  Dusty, dried pee, condensation.  Not my cuppa.
  • Cleaning the tub. It's easy enough to dampen it, and sprinkle it with some cleaner, but after it's ready to be scrubbed, it's just hard on my knees and back.  Size and cramped space once again.
One of these days, I'm moving into/having a home that's better for tall and large people.  These average sized houses ain't cutting it!
  • Cleaning the ferret cage.  Ferrets are stinky by themselves!  But then who enjoys cleaning their pet's cages?  We all appreciate it, yes, but it's still nasty and annoying, especially when he leaps and clings to the poop bag, or tries to tear into it.  I love him, but he's frustrating sometimes.  "Hey!  Whatcha doing?  I'm "helping" you!"
I don't know that there's one chore that I hate doing the most, however, I hate when I'm the only person doing the cleaning.  You're a grown ass adult, you're responsible, pick up your damn clothes, take your dishes into the kitchen, clean up after yourself.  I am not your mother.  Clearly, I'm talking about my husband.  Ugh, and he does this thing that irks the crap out of me.  He'll throw his clothes beside the laundry basket!  Beside or around it!  Are you that bad at aiming?  Even I can make the basket and I'm awful at aiming!  Or he'll drop them in our bedroom floor, when the laundry basket is maybe 10 feet away in the hallway.  If I toss it, he'll whine, "Hey, that was clean!"  And I'll retort, "It was on the floor, it's dirty."  If it's clean, why didn't you put it where it goes?  It's not rocket science, buddy!  Which is kind of funny because he does the laundry and puts it away....most of the time.  (So you don't think he's a complete oaf, he also takes out the garbage, is involved with our son [not just mommy], and cleans/cooks when I ask.  He's a good man and dad...he's just lazy with his laundry and dishes.)
  • Picking up after my husband is my least favorite household task.  Why?  Because he's a responsible, grown ass man, and I am not his mother.  Shit gets old.  I hate picking up after other people.  The only people I do it for are guests, those who ask nicely, and my son because he doesn't know how to do it yet.  Other than that, expect nagging and defiance.

Cleansing the Self

Cleaning the self is just as important as cleaning the house.  If you're not happy, how do you expect to make your family happy?  Or your guests to feel welcomed in your home?  Faking it only works for so long, my friends.  

Last Friday, I wrote a post on giving your house a spiritual cleansing, so this post is going to be over few of the many ways you can give yourself a cleansing as well. 

Ways you can cleanse, not just your physical self, but also your spiritual self.  Cause let's face it, from our own emotions to mental illness to those we pass on the streets to the energies of a place, we can pick up some nasty, dirty, clingy energies which can really put a damper on our moods and connection.
  • Maybe ya just need to take a shower or bath?  How many times how I been feeling yucky or down in the dumps, only to hop in the shower and come out feeling like a million bucks?  Water is a great cleanser!  Often doesn't get the credit it deserves in our community as being a body and soul cleanser.  But if you need an extra oomf, add sea salt to your bath, or various herbs, a couple drops of oil, or even milk (and honey).  Sometimes I'll add a tea bag of lavender, chamomile, or green tea leaves to my bath, and just soak.  
  • You can also add stones/gems/crystals to your bath, but do your homework because some stones will break down in tap or salt water, and I believe some can even become hazardous when wet, or so I've read.  Same goes for ingestion of liquids that have had stones soaking in them; they can be potentially hazardous.  I cannot stress enough to do the research and ask experts!  Back to bathing safely: Depending on the energy needed, I've placed gems into a bath, charged the water with said stones and intent, and soaked it all in.  Favorites for me are amethyst, clear quartz, and rose quartz.
  • Add some charged waters to your bath, like say you've made Sun, Rain, Storm, or Moon Water?  Add it.  Though you might want to be cautious of any pollutants that may exist in water gathered from nature.  Just sayin.  
  • If you're able to, charge your water with the light of the Moon or of the Sun!  If it's possible, that is.  Not everyone has a window in their bathroom.  Or they have one of those high ass windows where there's just no point in having one.  Once, while bathing in a luxurious tub, I had access to a window, but the moon was just out of reach, so, no shit, I used a serious of mirrors.  I was kind of bored and just wanted to see if I could do it.  It worked.  I laughed at my odd success dropped an item that I charged in the Moon's light into the water instead.
  • Draw the Moon, Sun, or Earth into yourself.  Theirs is powerful when utilized correctly.  Don't forget to ground, though.  
  • Grounding can work.  Once when I was really stressed and overwhelmed--crowd anxiety--I grounded and got my center on, and it calmed me considerably.  I was able to conquer my fears, if only for a moment.  It cleansed the anxiety right out of me!
  • Smudging yourself.  Yep, take an herb you know is safe for you to use and won't mess with your breathing, and simply fan the smoke over yourself.  Spiritually Cleansed.  You can also do this with incense smoke, but I wouldn't recommend smoke from an oil burner....more of a chance you'll seriously burn yourself.  
  • Meditation.  Simply get in your zone of peaceful harmonious meditation.  Visualize yourself being surrounded by light, it can be white light or whatever color you need to give you the right type of energy.  White purifies, orange energizes, red increases passion, pink is loving, whatever.  The colors may mean something different to you and that's just fine.  Personally, I like to bring the light into myself, flowing through me.  Inhale, bringing the light inside, exhale seeing it leave with any nasty energy clinging to it.  I do this several times until the energy is clear of nasties.  
  • Chakra cleansing.  Once again, get in the zone, however you do it.  I usually start at the base chakra, seeing it spin and work on opening it.  It's not a easy as it sounds.  Not always, though for some, depending on method, it can come easy.  It took me a while to do this.  A long while.  I still have problems getting some of them to open, but I don't force it.  I just move onto the next.  It'll take time.  A lot of patience and practice.  When I've reached a moment of satisfaction, I do a run through of purifying energy, like above, then end the session.  You can use various ways of helping to achieve opening your chakras.  Don't limit yourself and do the research.  There wasn't a whole lot of research available to me at the time I started.  I've learned, tried, and failed a lot.  Once upon a time, I was able to get them all to open, but those days have passed, I've got a lot of work ahead of me.  
  • Clean your house or your room.  Sometimes a simple clean up, physically and spiritually, works.  Or if cleanliness stresses you out, take a page out of Tallahassee's book and wreck it until you're happy!  I like things clean and orderly, clutter and disarray overwhelms me, but not everyone is the same.  
  • Take a walk.  Go to a park, be it the city or out in nature, different people have their different comfort levels.  Personally I hate the city, but I know people who love it.  An urban sprawling cityscape is their connection to the divine or self.  Get out of your house or out of your normal habitat; stagnation can be a real downer.  Stuck in a rut?  Do something outside of your comfort zone.
  • Stones: wear em, put em in bags, satchels, charms, jewelry, whatever.  Charge em to promote protection against bad energies or people.  Empower them to bring your courage, peace, or healing.  Same thing with oils or scents, anoint yourself or spritz on some perfume or cologne.  Clear your space, your mind, and your body. 
  • Make Over! Beautify yourself.  Maybe it involves some things mentioned above?  
  • Exercise, yoga, run, go shooting, slap some paint on a canvas, get that shit out of you.  
  • Get back to doing your daily rituals, or create some.  Be them morning prayers to maintenance shrines or altars to whatever.  Whatever connects you to the spiritual and/or magikal.
  • Venting can also do wonders for ya.  Whether you're writing in a journal, typing on a blog, expressing yourself through artistic means, praying, talking to a friend, a deity, a spirit, a clerical member, family, a stranger; do what you gotta do to get out of the funk.  Best to not let that anger, disappointment, sadness, nastiness build up, because most likely it's going to explode and it ain't going to be pretty.  Explode outward or inward.  Neither are good.  

There are a ton of different ways you can cleanse your body, mind, and spirit.  Just try em.  Don't limit yourself.  Think outside the box.  Do something new.  Be spontaneous for a change, if it's not normally your thing.  But don't be dumb about it, don't wanna end up on Ridiculousness.  Gotta do the work.

** Once again, I am not an expert in anything.  Research, research, research.  Seek out professionals, cross-check, whatever.  These are just my experiences.  Don't get all sue happy and come after me if something happened to your ill-informed ass; not that that would happen, but hey ya neva know. **

~)O(~