Sunday, 27 September 2015

Ritual baths for self love.

(background by: manvspixel@Deviantart)

Happy Sunday my unique unicorns! This Sunday was a particularly beautiful one to me, the sun just seemed to shine in a way that made me feel so connected and in awe. It was completed with a sunset so lovely that, whilst I usually wait until after dark to commune with The Morrigan and give my thanks for the day and affirm my devotion, I had to give thanks and share my awe of the sunset with the spirits and my Matron and I know she appreciated my intent. When it came to bath time I decided that with this beauty in the air I had to cast a ritual bath.

Ritual baths are a wonderful way of casting a glamour spell and generally make everyone feel wonderful. I think that anyone who is a magick practitioner should be taking a ritual baths, just as a way of practising self care alongside their ritual practice. They really are wonderful. Everyone has to keep clean and take regular baths, so why not incorporate your magick practice with your hygiene routine and allow that time to become more spiritual and more contemplative? I really find that ritual baths just make me feel like I'm more grounded and more connected to my spirituality and generally puts me back into a good vibration.

My favourite type of ritual bath uses the following:
  • A few drops of lavender essential oils.
  • Dried lavender flowers.
  • Dried Rose Petals
  • Dried Jasmine Flowers.
  • A cup of Epsom Salts
  • A cup of milk.
I light a few candles around the edge of the bath and put on some relaxing music, or sometimes I like to listen to a podcast or audio book (the celticmythpodshow is my favourite at the moment!). I get in the bath, take a few moments to ground and centre myself or even do a 10 minute meditation session. I then say a few words, usually something that comes to me at the time, to infuse the bath with self-love, happiness, positivity etc. As I say the words I swirl my hands around the water and visualise the water beginning to glow with cleansing light and as I swirl my hands around I feel the light flowing through my body and filling it up with good energy. I will then sit in the bath for around 20 minutes while I listen to my music or my podcast or audio book before I wash. I don't let my top-half get wet, as I follow the Japanese Half-Bath idea of allowing my body to cleanse through sweating etc, until after I have soaked for 20-30 mins. After this I wash and then get out of the bath.

Post-bath care is also a good thing to remember to do. I think it's all part of allowing that energy to really get into your core. Afterwards I like to try and air-dry myself as much as possible, or at least just pat-dry my body so that the smell and goodness of the things that were used in the bath, like the oils etc, aren't just rubbed off my skin. After I have done so I use some body butter all over my body and imagine that I am rubbing the energies I have absorbed from the bath deeper into my soul as I moisturise. After moisturising I wait about 5 minutes before getting dressed so that the body butter is absorbed into my skin fully.

If you want to do a ritual bath of your own, I really suggest looking up herbs and flowers etc that are connected with love, positivity, happiness etc. I find that Camomile is another really great flower to use in a ritual bath centred around self-love and inner calm etc. One way of getting camomile into my bath is by using camomile tea-bags. I use two in a big bath and put them under the hot, running water and leave them to "brew" for around 5 minutes before I get into the bath, though I tend to leave them in the whole way through and take them out when I get out of the bath (before emptying it of course!).

I hope this has helped and that some of you go away and have a ritual bath this evening! Let me know if you have your own ritual baths and what you like to use in your baths. I'd really like to have other ideas ^_^

Much Love

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Sigil Magick and Self Love Manifesto.

I have a couple of things to talk about in this post so bare with me as it may be long!

First up I want to talk about Sigil magick. I'm a complete n00b when it comes to sigils but I have been reading up a little on chaos magick recently and sigil magick is one of the most simplest forms of chaos magick so I had a go with them last night. I carved a sigil into the side of a candle and let it burn. My understanding is that as I continue to burn the candle each day the power of the sigil will get stronger and stronger until it is burnt out when it will begin to manifest. There are other ways to activate a sigil, one of the most popular being that you light a candle, one with a corresponding colour to your desire would be best but any will do then, write the sigil on a piece of paper pouring your intent and desire into the ink as you write it on the paper. Focus your mind on what the sigil means to you and then light the paper with the candle flame and put it into a fireproof dish and let it burn out. It would probably be a good idea to let the ashes blow away on the wind outside. I personally am going to bury what's left of the candle that I can't burn out when I'm done with it. Letting it go back to the earth helps it work with the energies of the earth to manifest.

The sigils I used were one to help me get over my anxiety and depression and another to help me stick to my diet and exercise regime. I will see how this progresses over the next few weeks.

Anyone else who is a big fan of The Four Queens will know that this month has been Self Love September and I've found it to be quite an eye opening experience and one that has really made me want to continue the positive changes I've made into the foreseeable future. Anyways, she made a blog post about her self love manifesto and invited us to write a manifesto of our own. So here goes mine:

I will allow myself to feel proud of my achievements.
I never let myself be proud of the things I've accomplished and always think I could have done better or that I've not finished everything I want to achieve therefore I can't be proud yet but I am going to feel proud of what I've achieved and not compare it to anything.

I will not compare myself to others.
I have a big problem with toxic comparison and I am forever feeling like I'm in competition with everyone but this will be no more. If I begin to compare I will remind myself that I am me and they are them and we are not in competition. They will never be me and I will never be them and that is all good.

I will not hurt myself to keep other people happy.
I care so much about other people and what they think and feel that I put myself out to make them happy but I will do this no longer. I will still care for others and make them happy but I won't do it at the expense of my own happiness.

I will take care of and respect my body.
I've been riddled with eating disorders and substance abuse since my early teens. My bulimia in particular destroyed not only my body but my mind and soul too. I am in recovery and I need to take care of my body, I need to respect it, feed it good nutritious food, water it as needed, give it fresh air and exercise and give it the care and respect it deserves. It's been through a lot, especially with what I put it through and my particularly difficult pregnancy and labour and it's still standing and that's pretty fucking awesome. My body is awesome!

Give myself time to relax and not feel guilty about it.
I'm a full-time primary carer to my son, I'm self employed and I'm taking a distance learning degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and so I am constantly on the go and rarely get time to myself. I've decided that I will make time to relax and not feel guilty about doing so!

Challenge negative self talk.
I am always talking negatively about myself and from now on I will challenge my negative self talk and ask myself why I'm thinking like this, what are my reasons? And turn the negativity back into rational thought and positive beliefs about myself. Along with this I will also challenge other people's negative self talk when I hear it. Anyone I hear talking themselves down will have my correcting wand coming over them to hopefully have them challenging their own negative talk in the future!

That is all I can think of right now but major points that need addressing in my life. They are all things that I need to think about in order to be able to promote self love in myself and in others.

Have you guys been following self love September? If so have you got a manifesto? Even if you haven't been following self love September I challenge you all to come up with one for yourself and stick to it. This time next year you can come back to it and see how well you stayed within your boundaries and how you have changed.

Much love

Friday, 25 September 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The World

Upright: The world comes at the end of The Fools Journey and a very positive card in general. It is one of the only cards that would be able to definitely answer a "yes or no" question and the answer would be a resounding yes. When The World comes up in a reading it almost always means that there is a great deal of positivity and success on its way or that success has just been had.

There is one thing to consider when The World comes up in a reading and to highlight this I will refer back to the Death card and its main theme, change and rebirth. If you think about life as a cycle and The World itself spinning around in a cycle from day to night to day again in a perpetual cycle, you will understand that, while the world indicates success and the completion of goals, this card also indicates that the cycle is about to start again and there will soon become a time when you will be The Fool again.

If The World card comes up in a reading it's time to feel proud of yourself and relish in your successes. You'll notice that other people will recognise these successes and will want to be around you to relish in your victories too. You may find yourself being rewarded with awards or promotions at work etc that will confirm the fact that other people are recognising your success too. The World card can be connected to fame so you may even find yourself becoming a bit of a star!

The World is a big motivator to go out and create your own world. You've gained enough experience and skills along your path that you're able to use them to create your own success and build your empire. All these things you have gained are not due to good luck or chance but through hard work and careful planning. You have got to where you are today on your own merit; you have persevered through the hard times, through Death and The Devil and you are now finally at a place where you can create and own your world. You should feel proud of what you have gone through and how far you have come.

There could also be a very literal meaning behind this card in that it may be telling you to take over the world, not in a Pinky and the Brain way but to travel, expand your business internationally, move or work overseas, anything that sees you seeing the world and taking advantage of all it has to offer. Exploring different cultures and seeing what different parts of the world have to offer you will be an extremely positive endeavour for you. The World could also be telling you to to get back to nature and explore The Worlds bounty in that respect.

In a relationship spread this card could be revealing to you the positives of a long distance relationship or of meeting a prospective partner who comes from a different part of the world from you; maybe even a holiday romance? In general these relationships will be built to last and likely to be extremely happy and positive relationships.

Balance is another big theme with this card. Life is in balance. Your hard work and perseverance is balanced out by success. You are at completion but on the edge of a new beginning; nicely balanced between the two. You probably feel a sense of being whole, a sense that everything is just... right. You can feel the good vibrations flowing and your own energy field is vibrating at just the right level. You are bound to be feeling grounded, you can feel your roots connecting you to the earth and feeling the energies of the earth and everything connected to it coursing through you. You could be feeling very alive right now.

Another big part of The World is the message of learning life's lessons. The World shows us that with the lessons of self discipline and responsibility the World is your oyster and as long as we learn from these lessons we won't be trapped in a cycle of making the same mistakes over and over again, we would be trapped in a cycle of success.

Reversed: The World in its reversed position indicates a resistance to change. Perhaps you're scared of changing or you've just reached a point of stagnation in your life and are finding it hard to move forward. You feel like you're stuck in a cycle of boredom and increasing frustration. The only way that you will be able to break out of this cycle is by a change of attitude. The World reversed calls for you to begin thinking positively and giving yourself credit for your own strengths in order for you to work through your issues and achieve your goals.

You may believe that the world owes you something and so you do not change because you don't put in the work, simply believing that you are owed the opportunities and they will just fall into your lap. You may be being too stubborn and fighting against the changes presenting themselves in your life instead of going with the flow causing you to never come across positive changes because your perception is that they are always negative.

It could mean that you are doing as much hard work as you possibly can but that it's all directed in the wrong place and thus you are not getting anywhere in your life because you're striving towards and empty end. You need to listen to outside points of view and different perspectives in order to be able to find success. You may need to look back over your past mistakes and see the lessons that you might have missed.

There could be a sense of an anti climax when it comes to the success you've just achieved. You've worked so hard towards a goal that you've coveted for so long that now you are here it's not as good as you'd made it out to be. It may be that you've pursued this dream for so long that you've now changed and the dream doesn't matter that much to you anymore. You could find that you've achieved you goal only to find that there's now an even bigger climb ahead of you, but that is life, to keep success going you have to keep working. On the theme of the work you need to keep doing after reaching your goal in order to continue to succeed, you may find that you've reached your goal but now you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and you can't keep up with the work required to keep your success going.

The World reversed could also indicate that the world you've created for yourself isn't a safe place to be. You've surrounded yourself with negative self talk and thus have body issues that are plaguing your mind. You're finding it hard to get yourself out of your cycle of negativity and looking down on yourself and your body. You've started to put too much weight on your distorted view of your personal appearance and it feels like your whole sense of worth is being placed on how you look and how you fit into the societal ideal of beauty. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The Hanged Man

Upright: The Hanged Man is an interesting and complex card. After the motion and activity of the Wheel of Fortune which directly contrasts the sudden stop and standstill of The Hanged Man, justice has tied him up to force him to contemplate what has happened. This card is all about suspension. The Hanged Man also reminds us that sometimes, no matter what we do, life will do as it will. It doesn't matter how much we push and pull at it, it will do whatever it wants and we merely have to go along with it. This can make us feel powerless but The Hanged Man is really here to remind us that sometimes we have to stop, stand still and focus.

Sometimes struggling against what life throws at you is pointless and we should save our energies and just wait it out; let it go. Resistance will only serve to deplete our energy and won't make any difference to the situation at hand anyway so why not just let it go?

When we take a closer look and analyse the image of the man we see that he is not scared, he is not worried or upset, he is calm, serene, in a state of tranquil contemplation at the situation. You could even go as far as to say that the glowing halo around his head could represent the lightbulb going on in his mind as he surveys his life and contemplates his situation. He is learning valuable lessons from his situation, lessons he know he needs to learn to be able to continue along his path without too many roadblocks that could have been prevented had he only stopped and reflected on his experiences. 

The Hanged Man is a person who once often felt like he was the victim, being punished by life but now, from his new viewpoint, he can see the lessons he must learn and the positives behind the experiences. He is taking advantage of his position to go deep within himself and look into his subconscious and develop his higher-self. Here he is able to undergo a period of wonderful self-development and enjoy a time of tranquil improvement of his inner self.

Another underlying focus of The Hanged Man is sacrifice; the sacrifice of our own wants, dreams and desires in favour of the bigger picture or the needs of someone else. Here there can be a clash of feeling as though he has been sacrificed by others for their own desires, or that he has sacrificed himself for the greater good. There's a paradox of victimisation and martyrdom. This is where this card can be connected to giving and helping others and foregoing your own desires in order to help those you care for achieve their own, or even to volunteer work.

If we examine The Hanged Woman as it appears in the Manga Tarot deck we can clearly see the presence of the element of water here. The fact that she is standing on her head to meditate under the waterfall makes us really think about the spiritual development and sense of enlightenment that this card brings. 

The Hanged Man draws your attention to the fact that your life is just not going the way you planned, no matter what you do, and trying to force things will only do yourself and your plans harm. It's time to step back and look outside yourself at the bigger picture. Stop, look around and just allow life to continue and go along with whatever it throws at you. You need to adapt to the changes that life is going to make and look at them objectively and not in a negative light. Such is life and you just have to live with it. Getting upset and angry at things you cannot change will only make you feel worse; you can either get upset and angry about it or you can grown and change and learn from it. 

Learn to enjoy this time of suspension. Enjoy being able to allow life to take its course. Time spent going within and reflecting on your experiences will allow you to get in touch with your spirituality, your higher-self. There is a sense that you will be experiencing insight so deep that the world around you seems to disappear for a moment, all that's left is you contemplating that insight. This idea that the world disappears from around you signifies the fact that this card is also showing you a sense of sacrifice; to receive you must give, even if it's the fact you are giving yourself up to the world, opening yourself up to the forces of nature, to gain truths and different perspectives.

People can find The Hanged Man because it symbolises so much paradoxical thought in our lives. It's a very contradictory card at it's core and symbolises the paradox of life. It presents us with truth by hiding it within the opposites. To uncover these truths we must let go and surrender to our past experiences and learn lifes lessons. We must reflect on what has been and see where we might have missed valuable experience we need to progress. At this point in our lives we can only move forward by standing still. 

 Reversed: A big theme of this card when it is in it's reversed position is obsession with the material concerns, to the point that your spirituality and higher self is compromised.  Your need for control has clouded your vision to see that there is no winning here and so you are depleting your own energy reserves by fighting a fight you cannot win. You have lost your ability to listen to your inner voice because the noise of your fighting is drowning it out.

Your inability to heed the warnings and learn the lessons that are coming your way in life has seen you repeating the same mistakes over and over again and this will continue until the lesson has finally been learnt. Imagine that The Hanged Man is beating you over the head with these lessons until he finally knocks some sense into you!

The reversal of this card could also mean that you are so tied up with other things right now that you are unable to sit and contemplate for any period of time. You desperately want to be able to stop and reflect upon your life but you're so busy that you cannot afford such luxuries. 

Hanging on to things that have already passed could be another problem associated with this card. For example you may be holding on to a relationship that is clearly not working, but instead of trying to fix, or getting out whilst you still can, you are holding on to your own detriment. The reversal of this card sees you fighting against your inner-self and this fight is exhausting you. It's bringing you down and making you unable to see the positives in life. Instead of reflecting on the good parts of your life and the lessons learned from the mistakes you have made, all you can see are the negative connotations to your downfalls instead of trying to see the glass as being half full.

The reversal of this card is crying out to you to stop. Take a breath and really dig deep inside yourself to find inner peace and re-establish your higher-self.