Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Deepest Thanks!

I work really hard to make my blog a beautiful, informative, and interesting place to be.  However, I certainly don't do it alone!  A lot of wonderful sources have made this blog possible.  Some of the photos are mine, but many pieces of clip art & public domain images have come from the following sources. Lovely clip art of all types! Illustrations, photos, and more.
The Flickr Commons for amazing historical images and other publically available graphics.
Public-Domain-Photos.Com user-submitted public domain images for any purpose.
Public-Domain-Image.Com One of my favorite sites with all sorts of hidden gems.
Kohler's Medical For botanical illustrations.
Reusable Art Vintage art that's truly beautiful!
ARS A government website with public domain images.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Healing Words For a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

Recently I was asked to give someone an update on a friend who hadn't been seen in a year, though who certainly hadn't been forgotten.  My impressions on this subject were that the person in question wasn't so good for this querent to begin with, and that there was quite a lot of secret dealings going on without her knowledge or understanding.

In life, we meet all sorts of different people.  As the saying goes, "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime."  Sometimes, a relationship is born with an expiration date... these relationships can change you for the better or for the worse.  If it's for the better, accept it and enjoy all of the good things that knowing this person has yielded.  Pass along the positivity to others.

Sometimes, however, people can come into our lives, and before we know it, things have turned to chaos.  Not everyone that we meet is going to enrich our lives in the same way.  But even the people that cross our paths who change us for the worse can be viewed as a blessing.  In the short term, an unpleasant person may have stripped away something important from us, or something that we think is important, but in the end, we are left with the freedom to rebuild.  This realization alone can help so much with putting a bad relationship into perspective, being grateful for the thing that we do have, an reprioritizing as we learn what truly is meaningful in our lives.  Such endings give us room to improve and rebuild in ways that we never would have done without such interference.  It may be difficult to believe that such hardships are actually blessings, but hardship can often make people stronger and better in the long run, as well as help people to appreciate all of the good things in life that they still have close to them.

Photo credits:
Thanks to SashaW for her lovely haunting photo, and to CarbonNYC for the gorgeous broken heart pic!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spell Ingredients From Your Kitchen!

Spiritual work does not need to be complicated in order to yield special results.  Incorporating small rituals into your daily life can be a wonderful way to live a magickal life that keeps you in harmony with the energies around you, as well as the energies in yourself as it all grows, changes, and evolves.  

Despite what is said in many books about the countless amounts of equipment that you need, the ancients always used the most commonplace of items in their workings.  Even the legendary witch Marie Laveau would tell her peers to "use what works."  The feelings behind what you're doing are the most important; the items you use are often symbols or offerings that will help the magick manifest.

You can hunt around your local supermarket -- or your very own kitchen! -- for these easy, inexpensive, yet very effective ingredients.

1.  Garlic.  It's cheap, it's tasty, and it is powerful!  Garlic contains a natural antibiotic which helps attack "bad" bacteria when you're sick, which is probably why it is so often featured in home remedies.  You might know about garlic's legendary vampire-fighting properties, but did you know that it's great as an all-purpose negativity buster as well?  Anytime you're feeling overwhelmed with negative energy, or feeling bogged down with the feeling that someone doesn't have your best interests at heart, cook yourself a nice lunch or dinner with lots of garlic added.  (Be sure to chew some parsley or eat yogurt after the meal, to minimize the potential for garlic breath!)

2.  Salt.  Another fabulous all-purpose ingredient that you can find right in your own kitchen.  You don't need to eat salt in order to get its purifying, space-clearing properties.  My favorite way to make use of it is a lovely cleansing bath.  I tend to opt for sea salt or even epsom salts in my bath water.  I add a bit of essential oil for fragrance -- though this is completely optional -- and relax in a warm tub, allowing the cleansing properties of the salt to wash away any negative residuals.  Salt is also wonderful for purifying a space by either scattering, or forming a circle around a specific area. 

3.  Basil.  Basil is legendary for things like purification, but did you know that this green leafy herb can also help attract money and material fortune?  Fresh basil is best, but dried basil works in a pinch as well.  To use it, make a tea out of the basil by putting a handful of the fresh leaves, or a big spoonful of the dried stuff, into boiling water.  Let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes, and then drain.  You may then pour it into your bath water, or drink the tea as-is for a powerful boost of luck.

4.  Rosemary.  This one is a personal favorite of mine for culinary use!  Rosemary has a delectable scent and distinctive taste.  It is so wonderful for all sorts of things -- not just for purity and protection, but for arousing creativity, enhancing the memory, and for bringing love.  You can add fresh or dried rosemary to some hot water, place it in front of you on a table, and cover your head with a towel to breathe in all of the lovely steam (only do this for a few minutes, though. not too long!).  This is a very good way to take in the fantastic properties of this herb.  

5.  Ginger.  Another awesome herb for love and luck, and a great one for your health as well!  Ginger aids the stomach's digestion, and can also help nausea a great deal if you suffer from stomach distres.  Sprinkle powdered ginger around the outside of your home to keep trouble away.  Ginger tea can be quite calming, but is also said to aid you by opening you up to the possibilities of a new love.  You can add ginger to any spell or consumable to add "heat" and extra passion on top of your current magickal workings.  And never underestimate the power of a good gingerbread man!

6.  Chamomile.  Coming soon to a tea bag near you... this lovely flower, as I'm sure you know, packs quite a whallop when you need to calm down and give yourself a little time-out.  It helps to relax you, but did you also know that it can aid your magickal workings as well?  This is another herb that you can sprinkle around your home to keep negativity away.  Add the teabags to your warm bath; the fragrance will soothe you as the herbs work to attract love, fortune, and healing to your life.  You may also want to burn the dried flowers as incense.  I usually just purchase pure chamomile tea bags, and cut open the bags as I need them.  (CAUTION:  Porphyriacs should NOT consume anything containing chamomile!)

7.  Cinnamon.  Cinnamon has long been used for attracting good energy, love, and luck to many a practicioner.  The hot, sweet scent stimulates the senses and stirs the soul with longing.  Wearing delicious cinnamon-scented perfumes can really make a certain someone sit up and take notice!  Try steeping a few cinnamon sticks in some light oil (such as grape seed, or even extra-virgin olive oil), leave it for a few weeks, and then use the oil for cooking or to dress candles.  Cinnamon is wonderful as an incense because it raises high spiritual vibrations.  It draws money and raises protective energies as well.

Photo Credits:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or "LBRP" for short, is a very common ritual for people who need calming, centering, and grounding.  I personally have used it for years to calm myself when I've experienced nervousness or anxiety.  It also works very well for me when I have trouble sleeping.  If you're new to meditation or centering your thoughts, try this.  You will enjoy the sense of well-being that it brings you.

Because so many other people have provided great instructions -- you need only Google "LBRP" to find a version that works for you -- I have chosen to include my favorite version available online.  This is from the RoseMoon Spiritual Centre website, and it most closely mimics the version that I do when I need to perform this ritual.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a tool to assist you in maintaining your own Light, and protect you from the overwhelming sea of emotions and energies flying about the world.

It takes about 40 seconds to do once you know it. Personally I like to stretch it out to take up about a minute and a half. It should be done three times a day. When you wake up, do it in your bedroom.
Before you go to sleep, do it in your living room. On your lunch break at work, do it quietly somewhere, even in the toilet stall.
First we have the longer explanation, then the short form you can read to remind you what to do. The figures can be imagined as female or male, as you choose.
Here we go.

Part 1.
"The Qabalistic Cross"
Imagine a ball of light above your head. Reach up with your right hand and grab the light. Now when you touch yourself with that hand part of the light will go into you.
• Touch your forhead and say "Atah" Let it fill with light.
• Touch your pelvis at the pubic bone and say "Malkuth". Let it fill with light.
• Touch your right shoulder and say "Ve Geburah". Let it fill with light.
• Touch your left shoulder and say "Ve Gedulah". Let it fill with light.
• Hold your hands in prayer over your heart and say "Lee-ohlam". Let it fill with light.
• Feel your whole body fill with the cross of light. Say "Amen"
These words are Hebrew. They are the last part of the Lord's Prayer. "Thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen" Jesus told his disciples to pray using these words. You can read it for yourself in the bible. I am sure that you have seen a Catholic cross themselves. You can use this Qaballistic cross anytime of the day to give you a spiritual charge. It takes about three seconds to do once you know the words and motions by heart.

Part 2.
The Pentagrams
• Face East. If this is not possible pick any direction and just pretend that it is East. East is where the sun rises.
Before you in the air draw a giant pentagram. This is done by using your right index finger, or if you prefer use the whole hand. Start by pointing down by your left hip. Draw an imaginary line from there to up above your head. Next down by your right hip. Now over to your left shoulder. Then across to the right shoulder. Lastly back down to the left hip. Now imagine that pentagram shining in front of you. Electric blue is a nice colour to see it in. If you see it a different colour that's fine.
Take a step forward with your left foot. Just the left. Leave your right one where it is. The size of the step will be determined by your space. take a tiny one in the bathroom stall. Take a Giant one in the living room. Take a medium one in the bedroom.
At the same time you step forward thrust your open hands into the pentagram.
As you do both of these there is one more thing. You have to say a name of God. Here, at the first pentagram you will say "Yud Hey Vau Heh". This is the spelling out of the Name "Jehovah" or "Yahweh". In Hebrew it is not permitted to say this name out loud so we spell it.
Now step back with your left foot so it is once again beside your right foot. Touch your right index finger to your lips like you are making the "Shhh no talking" gesture.
Point your right index finger to the center of the pentagram and make a quarter turn to your right. As you do so draw an imaginary arc of white light.
• You are now facing South.
Do the same thing here. Draw and see the pentagram the same way, enter it the same way but say "Adoni" This is Hebrew for Lord. Step back and make the "Shhh" gesture and then point to the center and once again make a quarter turn to your right drawing an arc of white light.
• You are now facing West.
In the west do the same as the previous to but say "Eh-heh-yeh" This is the name Moses was given when he asked the burning bush "Who shall I say sent me?" He was told, by God, to "Say that 'I am' sent you.". So these words mean "I am".
• Move to the North in the same manner as before; a quarter turn to your right while drawing an arc of imaginary white light.
You can probably guess by now that it's all the same except for the name of God that is spoken. So do the pentagram etc. The name this time is "Agla". 'Agla' is a kind of code word nickname for God. It's made up like an acronym from the Hebrew words "Atah Geburah Lee-ohlam Adonai" You've seen these words before. They mean "Thine is the power forever my Lord"
Do the "Shhh" thing and then draw a fourth and final arc of light to the East, back where you started.
You are now standing in the center of a circle of white light. At each quarter there is a giant electric blue pentagram.
Feels pretty good eh? It gets better. Now we post a guard at each pentagram.
Open up your arms. Stretch out like you are a cross. Call the guards to their posts.

The Guards
• Raphael in the East. Raphael is an Angel warrior with a keen intellect who has many legions at his disposal. He has the power of Air. He likes to wear Yellow trimmed with Purple. His favourite weapon is the staff.

• Gabriel in the West. Gabriel is also an Angel warrior. He can feel danger coming and defeat it before it attacks. He likes to wear Blue with Orange trim. He has the power of water. His legions are uncounted

• Michael is in the South. He carries a flaming sword and likes to wear Red trimmed with Green. He is fast and leathel. His armies are unnumbered.

• Auriel is in the North. Auriel will take the brunt of assaults. He is strong and stout. He carries a big shield to offer protection. He dresses in Browns and Olives. He may wear camoflage.
So. How do you get them in their place? Standing in the cross position call them. Better still, command them firmly: they are soldiers and you are the commander:
"Before me Raphael. Behind me Gabriel. On my right Michael. On my left Auriel." 
Now say "Around me flame the pentagrams. Within me shines a six-rayed star." Envision the sphere of light all around you, and the white light within you filling up the sphere. You are filled with divine light and protected from other energy sources.
Almost done.
Part 3.
Do part 1 again, the Qabalistic cross.
Now you're done.
Here it is in short form, without the expanations.

Short Form
Grab ball of light
Touch head "Atah"
Touch pubic bone "Malkuth"
Touch right shoulder "Ve Geburah"
Touch left shoulder "Ve Gedulah"
Hands folded in prayer "Lee-ohlam Amen"
Draw pentagram
Enter pentagram "Yud Heh Vau Heh"
Turn to right drawing arc
Draw pentagram
Enter pentagram "Adonai"
Turn to right drawing arc
Draw pentagram
Enter pentagram "Eh-heh-yeh"
Turn to right drawing arc
Draw pentagram
Enter pentagram "Agla"
Turn to right drawing arc
Stand in cross position "Before me Rapahael
Behind me Gabriel
On my right Michael
On my left Auriel
Around me flame the pentagrams
Within me shines a six-rayed star"
Grab ball of light
Touch head "Atah"
Touch pubic bone "Malkuth"
Touch right shoulder "Ve Geburah"
Touch left shoulder "Ve Gedulah"
Hands folded in prayer "Lee-ohlam Amen"
Try this three times a day for a month. You will notice a substantial difference! (Most people notice a difference the first or second time they do it.) And reinforce it any time you feel you might be picking up free-ranging energy (see quiz above for examples).
When you’ve become practiced at it, you can do this even subtly in a chair or car, with small movements, or visualize it anywhere: an elevator, the street, the subway....
This will make your life better. Do it. It's magic.
And if you like this practice, check out the Rose and Cross!

Photo credit: Amazing stained glass angel photos by Lawrence OP!  Thanks so much for making them available!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflections for Autumn

According to Wikipedia, "

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long. It may be better understood to mean thatlatitudes +L and -L north and south of the Equator experience nights of equal length.
At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point and theautumnal point. By extension, the term equinox may denote an equinoctial point.
An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location (thesubsolar point) on the Earth's equator, where the center of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year.


Fall is a special time of year; in fact, it's always been my favorite.  There's something about the leaves changing colors, looking so amazing even though they are dying; the crispness of the air; the cozy feeling of getting all nice and warm; kids going back to school and grown-ups' yearly routines kicking back into place; the preparations for the coming winter.  Apple picking, pie baking, drinking cider, jumping in piles of brightly-colored leaves... It all seems very homey and magical to me.  It's a time when all is right with the world!

Autumn is an excellent time to incorporate peaceful reflection into one's life, as well as to find creative ways to express oneself.  I do a lot of cooking and functional crafting at this time of year.  It feels like the beginning of a new year, finally.  Out with the old and in with the new!  The sun is entering Libra, which is a sign of balance and openness.  With the leaves dropping from the trees and our part of the world cooling and preparing for the cleansing winter, now seems to be the perfect time to cast off unwanted elements from your life, and to incorporate new and wonderful things... like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Stunning pics by Pink Sherbet Photography.  Thanks again! :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Positivity Magick That You Can Do Right Now!

Sometimes, we all need help in being more positive.  This entry isn't exactly about spells, but more about actions that you can do -- actions are ALWAYS more powerful than thoughts!  Here are a few constructive ways to help attract positivity and banish negative elements!

1.  Banish physical negativity.  As I said above, negative elements will drag you down so that you won't be useful to yourself or anyone else.  The easiest and best way to counteract the worst of the negativity is decluttering your space.  Get rid of things that you don't need or want, and charge them with positivity by donating them!  You'll be doing three positive acts by completing this step:  eliminating unwanted items in your life, doing good by donating the items, and giving them a new life with someone else.  Win-win-win for everyone!

2.  Next, start focusing on what's right with your life.  Make a list if you have to.  Include all of your favorite qualities about yourself, the people that you love, and talents that you possess.  Realize that you are a unique person, and there are already wonderful aspects of your life that you probably are taking for granted!

2.  Reach out and enhance the good stuff.  Use your list and reach out to these positive aspects.  Do good things for the people you care about.  Pursue an interest that is relevant to your talents.  This doesn't have to be a major step.  Even dropping a nice text message to your friends, or leaving a Post-It on somewhere that your partner will see it, can create warmth and love around you.

3.  Pamper yourself.  This doesn't mean that you need to go into debt buying yourself a new car or an expensive wardrobe!  Take pleasure in the small things that make you happy.  Luxuriate in a warm bubble bath, something special for dinner, or even give yourself the gift of time to simply enjoy great music or a good book.

4.  Do good for others.  Just as our first step is an easy way to help someone else by helping yourself, you take that intent one step further.  It feels wonderful to give to other people.  Choose a charity or cause that you agree with, and donate some time or money to further the cause.

5.  Figure out "problem areas."  If there are aspects of your life or personality that you would like to improve, start by determining what they are.  Can you live with these faults and learn to accept yourself more?  Or is it important for you to change them?  Tackle them one at a time, but don't beat yourself up for not changing overnight.  Things take time.  Be patient and forgiving of yourself.  This will increase your positive outlook -- improving yourself, but forgiving yourself and giving yourself permission to make an occasional mistake in your progress.

Photo credits:  The gorgeous pictures in this entry are courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography.  Check out the website to see tons of stunning and inspiring pics!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dream: Lindsay Lohan's Bracelets

Another weird celebrity dream. I can't tell which part came first, and which came second, so I'll tell it in the order I remembered it when I woke up.

One part was about Lindsay Lohan! Apparently, she had to pay some sort of fine for something, or she was dealing with her legal issues, and was ordered to sell this set of bracelets that she'd been collecting all her life. Tearfully she talked about how her father had been giving her a bracelet every year on her birthday, and they had some sort of "key" that activated speakers inside. She cried that when she turned 18 he was giving her all the keys for them (even though she's been over 18 for some time), and even though a judge ordered her to do so, she didn't want to part with them. Somehow I was given ownership of the bracelets, though an auction or something. She was very upset, and cried, but did give them to me. Then a bunch of rowdy party-girls who looked like they stepped directly out of a Jay Z video came in and when I said I needed help carrying all the purses the bracelets came in (they each came in individual purses, all very elaborate), the ladies snapped into action and we all started piling on these purse straps to our necks, arms, and all around our bodies. There were some pretty purses that I remember... a black one with skulls and fuchsia hearts on it (my favorite, I said) and a yellow and blue leopard one that was pretty and sheer, I told Lindsay she could have it since I didn't feel right about keeping them all.

Then I was at a buffet in a cruise ship or hotel, and a family came to ask if I'd let them sit with me. I said OK, and we sat awhile. The waiters were very attentive but the buffet line was long. I went up to get some seafood lasagna, and remember thinking it looked soooooo good that I took a TON of it and there was a big mound of it on my tray. I confided to the guy next to me that I was in an amorous mood, and he asked if I'd like to have sex with him. Then I was embarrassed, because he was only like 20 and I wasn't really interested. Then I went back to the table and visited with the family. They were all very nice and we had a good time. I don't remember what the lasagna tasted like, though!

Then there was a part where I was in a store kind of like Gabriel's (irregulars) and I was looking at shiny pairs of granny panties. They were pretty and came in all colors - magenta satin, green satin with black lace, silver lame', all kinds of enormous but flashy old-lady underpants. I kept looking and looking, but I couldn't find any in my size. They were all huge-looking, but the size tags indicate that they were too small. I may have bought some anyway just to give it trying them on a whirl.

That's all I remember!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Emotional Vampires: How to Protect Yourself

We've already discussed how to spot an emotional vampire elsewhere in the blog.  This entry will be about ways to protect yourself.

EV's are similar to the vampires of myth in that they feed on people, victimize others, draining them in order to gain strength.  And like the glamorous Hollywood and literary vampires that are deeply ingrained in our popular culture, often they seduce with beauty, impress with real or imagined abilities, gain our trust or sympathy before victimizing us.  But that's where the similarities end.  Unlike the glamorous vampires of legend, these people are really very ordinary.  They don't seek our blood, but our lives, our life forces, our happiness.  Unfortunately, no amount of happiness will satisfy them --You can render them powerless -- not with garlic or crosses.

First, you need to realize what an emotional vampire is.  This is a person who may be intentionally using you, or just "leeching" off of your positivity, or just using you for the benefits of your friendship.  Often, they do not care much about you, instead focusing on their own needs and impulses; respect for you comes later (much later!), if at all.  But not all EV's realize that they're doing this or that they are acting inappropriately.  Some of them are just unstable people who really have no idea how destructive their interactions with people are.  You need to realize that much emotional vampirism is done unintentionally.  This fact alone will help you protect yourself.

Here are a few other tips...

1.  Spot the vampire.  The best defense is a good offense.  Check my entry for how to determine if someone is an emotional vampire.  Knowing the signs will be a huge help to avoiding these sorts of people in the first place!

2.  "You're not invited into this house!"  Like the vampires of legend, EV's are powerless without an invitation to dine on your good intentions.  Don't be afraid to say NO when someone is taking up too much of your time, or asking for favors that make you feel uncomfortable.  Most people know when they are asking for too much.  An EV does not.  Draw your boundaries and stick to your guns.  Save your good nature for people who care for you and will have your back when things get problematic for you.

3.  Minimize contact, control information.  If you must deal with these people, remember that your life is your business.  Handle all personal information on a "need to know" basis.  You don't need to be paranoid; just choose to share with those you trust.  You don't need to behave rudely about it, either, just avoid sharing (or oversharing) any sensitive information.  Try to spend as little time and energy on an EV as possible.  Save the best parts of yourself for the healthy relationships in your life!

4.  The power of positivity.  This WILL help you!  During times when you must deal with an EV, prepare yourself with a "bubble" of positivity.  Meditate and imagine an impenetrable bubble around yourself like an invisible force field.  Imagine that the bubble is flexible and moves with you, but is filled up with a "padding" of positive vibrations.  Imagine that the EV cannot get through your special bubble. Nothing that he or she does can touch you inside the bubble -- this visualization is a very powerful one, and can work in many situations where you need extra protection!

5.  Lastly, realize that an EV is beyond help.  You may be made to feel as though you are the only one who can make them "happy," but the truth is that nothing will ever be enough for them.  And, long after you are a distant memory left to clean up the destruction they have left in their wake, the EV will have moved onto another victim who then becomes their "perfect" savior.  The best you can do is to realize that s/he is someone else's problem now.  Don't allow them back into your life!

Photo credit: (Thank you Denise!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dream: Taco Boom-Box

This was another brief, but strange one. I dreamt that I was back in my parents' house, most notably their bathroom (and my mother's husband was still alive). I was waiting for everyone to leave the house so that I could do some things in the bathroom. I fixed my hair and put on some jewelry, then I decided to wank, using my favorite vibrator which was in my repertoire for years & died circa 2006. Unfortunately, I kept getting distracted by people coming home and bothering me (asking me questions and trying to make small talk) so I never really got to finish. At one point, I even got distracted by someone outside walking around with a boom-box which was blaring an advertisement/warning for everyone within earshot to "AVOID TACOS! DON'T EAT THE TACOS! TACOS ARE DANGEROUS, SO DON'T EAT THEM!" and another person who was competing with the boom-box lady, yelling "YES! Everyone SHOULD eat tacos! Tacos are completely safe and people should eat them!" Apparently boom-box street advertising had become a cool new way to advertise. (Actually that sounds like an interesting idea.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dream: Another School Bus Dream

I don't remember much about this dream except that I was in school (high school) and I had to take the school bus home. Something had happened, though, and I'd either gotten on the wrong bus, or the bus somehow got lost. That's all that comes to mind, but I do remember an element of danger riding on a lost/strange bus.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dream: Burglar

Not much about this dream in my memory, except that it was scary. My husband was out of town (San Francisco?) and I was in the house alone. For some reason I was scared shitless, there might have been someone trying to break in and/or I was just afraid there might have been. In the dream, I either called, emailed, or IMed with my friend Chris and begged him to come over after work and stay in the guest room until Fuzz came back from his trip. He agreed, but then a bunch of things kept happening and for some reason his arrival was delayed. I saw an "outside shot" of our house from outside, the lights in front of the windows flashing on and off on timers or something. (I remember thinking they looked pretty convincingly like several people were inside.) I think Chris did eventually arrive, I remember feeling relieved. At one point I may have regressed to my teenage self living at my parents' house. My bed turned from my current king-size bed to a twin, and the bedframe broke under my weight when I tried to lay on it. The mattress had no sheet, and it was all ripped up and nasty looking. I remember feeling bad and wishing Fuzz would come take me "home" away from my parents' house so I could sleep in our bed together again.  I think he might have come back, but can't remember if we went home or just squished together in the broken-down twin bed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dream: Pissed-Off Aunt

I don't remember a lot about this dream, except that I was staying in New Jersey with my aunt & uncle & cousins. (I don't know if I was younger in the dream, or the age that I am now.) Apparently, my cousins and I had a curfew of 11:15, at which time we had to go in the house. We were swimming, and it was way before curfew but I wanted to re-negotiate with my aunt for a curfew of midnight. She said no, and I got really pissed off -- like extremely pissed -- and so I ran around the yard, punching at the air. At one point I punched the air near an archway made of tree branches. She got super upset and started screaming that I punched at the archway and broke it on purpose. (I did swing my arms and punch around them, but did not make contact.) The tree archway was unharmed, but she kept insisting that I ruined it and demolished the trees. She screamed for her husband, yelling that I ruined their archway even though I didn't.  I woke up around that point.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dream: Black Angel Rabbit

8/4Dreamt of a "black angel rabbit" -- somehow, we were visiting Italy & the home we stayed at had facilities for bunnies. I went for a walk (looked a lot like home) and I saw him. He was a beautiful baby bunny with a broken leg, and he sort of dragged it behind him. It looked like there was green planty things (burrs or edamame?) stuck on his foot. I picked him up to carry him home, worried about predators and cars. He struggled to get away. He opened his mouth and screamed at me, seemingly terrified for his life. I petted him and tried to be reassuring. The bunny was mostly black, with a tiny bit of brown mostly on his head and face. His ears were long and kinda skinnyish, up-ears but a bit on the floppy side like Seamus. He reminded me a lot of Seamus, but looked "wilder" somehow. When we got back to the house, I put him in a bunny "cage" area  without bars. (Phineas and Jarvis were possibly there.) There were lamps and a fake log, as if for turtles in an aquarium, but way bigger for bunnies. They knew they weren't supposed to leave the area despite lack of enclosure, but I worried that they wouldn't take kindly to baby bun, or that baby bun wouldn't know that he needed to stay put. I think we called a vet to look at his leg. Strangers lived in the house, and they spoke Italian. We were definitely just visiting, didn't live there. I also looked something up about "black angel rabbit" or "black rabbit angel" on the internet; apparently (in the dream) there was an anime character by that name. I wanted to name the bunny Angelus.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Emotional Vampires: How to Spot Them

Fortunately, most people are generally good souls.  But every once in awhile, you may run across someone who makes you feel like things "just aren't right."  You may be dealing with an emotional vampire.

Here are ways to determine whether or not you're dealing with an emotional vampire...

1.  Your gut tells you that something is different about this person.  Trust your intuition; it's been given to you for a reason.  If someone gives you chills, or a negative feeling, you can't ignore those things.  If you feel a certain sense of dread when you're in the presence of the potential emotional vampire, or are reluctant to be around this person, you must heed those warning signs.  Even if this is someone close to you, keep yourself open to this possibility.

2.  Determine how this person's interactions make you feel.  Does this person bring you up, as a supportive friend would, or drag you down?  Is the person negative, always dwelling on things that are upsetting to you or to them?  Do you feel as though a dark cloud has come over you when speaking to them or interacting with them?  No matter how positive your outlook before speaking to the person... do you feel negative or bad when they're around?  Do they always bring ANY conversation back to something negative?  If the answer to these questions is yes, you're likely dealing with an emotional vampire.

3.  Determine the frequency, timing, and nature of contact.  Does this person always seem to bother you over small things when you have your own issues to deal with?  (I'm not talking about a normal, healthy friendship where everything is a give-and-take; I am talking about a relationship where you give, and give, and are expected to give some more.)  Does the person accept help or other things from you gladly, even extolling your virtues, but then seems to "disappear" or fill him/herself with excuses when your time of need arises?  Or, worse yet, does this person seem to "kick you when you're down"? Even if they are not an emotional vampire... this type of behavior is unacceptable.

4.  Discern your own feelings before and after contact.  Do you feel drained of energy or positivity when your interaction with this person is over?  Do you feel as though you've nothing left?  It is especially important to figure out how you're feeling before the contact, and then assess your status post-contact.  We all have our good days and bad days... but if there's a pattern to this draining/feeding process (especially if you can determine it over time)... you need to pay attention to this pattern of victimization.

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against emotional vampires.  Check my blog for more information for help in how to deal with them!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Magic Properties of Tea

Tea is traditionally made from the leaves of the tea plant, but it can also be made with various herbs which have been steeped in water.

People in cultures throughout the world drink tea.  It can be consumed with milk, lemon, or sugar.

Different types, styles, and temperatures of tea can be used for different purposed. For a relaxing beverage, try a cup of iced tea.  Hot tea is better for soothing and warming you when you're feeling cold or sad.  Try green tea if you're looking to wake up and be refreshed!  Mint tea helps to cleanse the palate and soothe the mind, getting you ready for the next meal or the next path in your life.  Tea with cinnamon or other spices can make you feel warm when the temperature is low outside.  If you're suffering from insomnia and in need of a sleeping aid, consider giving jasmine or chamomile teas a try.

The emotional benefit of teas cannot be understated.  In times of stress, sorrow, or grief, a cup of tea can stimulate you into action.  It can also help to soothe and warm you when you're feeling ill or depressed.  Tea can also help to energize you and provide an uplifting feeling, prompting good feelings and making even a happy time feel that much nicer.

There are so many varieties of teas, and many of them can be enjoyed in all sorts of different ways.  Find your favorite and enjoy! :)

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