My Best Christmas Present

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I’ve been pinning a lot to my Christmas/Yule board on Pinterest trying to get myself in the spirit. I know it is still a little early (another week and then some until Thanksgiving) but after everything I’ve been through this past summer and fall I am ready for the magick to embrace me.

Christmas was when I really believed in magick. That’s when I knew that all magick was real because you could not fit all of it into one day, you had to extend it for the entire season. And truthfully it never seemed long enough (at least not when I was a child – ok, I’m still a little bit of a child when it comes to Christmas).

I was lucky because my mother started right after Thanksgiving throughout my childhood as she always believed that the build up to Christmas was better than the aftermath. As far as she was concerned take Christmas down once it was over, though she let it stay up until New Year’s Day for my brother and me.

How I loved the anticipation! The Christmas music, decorations, first snow of the season, how everyone seemed to feel more good-natured, Christmas pageants at school, knowing I would see all my relatives for the holidays and all the wonderful, delicious, incredible food! Wait, I’m thinking with my adult mind – obviously as a child all I cared about was PRESENTS!

The best Christmas gift I ever got was my dollhouse, a real wooden dollhouse that my father built for me. He built two additions for it too and my mother hand-sewed all the wee little curtains, linens and bedding for the beds. It was a most spectacular dollhouse (which I still have in storage), with  two children’s rooms, a nursery and an attic playroom. It was a Colonial era dollhouse, like the house I grew up in during my childhood in Connecticut.

I never tired of that dollhouse. My mother even helped me decorate it for Christmas and we hand-wrapped tiny little gifts and she even decorated a dollhouse size Christmas tree with pearl garland and gold beads. I loved to replicate events in the dollhouse according to the season. My little doll family would have a huge Christmas dinner all painstakingly arranged by my little hands an the fancy dining room.

To this day I am a miniature enthusiast, though I mostly collect  1/6th scale minis from Japan. That part of my childhood wonder is with me still.

How lucky I was to have parents who worked so hard to make my dream come true that Christmas and all the holidays of my childhood?

That’s why I look for the magick now, because the magick was made real for me then.

Black Friday is soon

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I’m trying to cope with the fact that Thanksgiving is almost here and can barely get my head around that and already the Black Friday ads are coming to my inbox fast and furious. I always have a little to-do at mysticspells.com myself that lasts from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Unlike some retail outlets however my sales are not starting on Thanksgiving. Actually my sales will be starting RIGHT NOW for my mailing list members! How cool am I?

Here’s the skinny on my Black Friday Deals:

  • All spells less than $300 are 25% off the posted prices.
  • All spells $300 and up are 50% off the posted prices.
  • All readings will be on sale (with posted SALE prices).
  • My Yuletide Money Spell will be available at a special low price.
  • Payment plans will be available for ALL SPELLS.
  • Every purchase between now and Cyber Monday become eligible for the super offering of my YEAR OF FREE SPELLS contest!

Veteran’s Day

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All I can is thank you. To pagan vets and all veterans on this day and every day, I honor your service to our country.

Mother Christmas

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I am already starting to feel Christmas encroaching. It began before Samhain was even here and now the shopping channels (who literally started their madness in JULY) are hawking their wares and reminding me it’s only blahbiddy blah many days until Christmas.

I’m not in the best shape ever. Well, actually that’s not completely true. Since the summer I’ve trimmed down (a jolly hospital stay will do that to you) and I am in fighting form. My diabetes is under control. My infection is long past. My wounds have healed and although I am not mobile (without my knee scooter) and the future for my foot reconstruction is uncertain without Obamacare, I’m in general. feeling pretty darn good.

It’s just that lately I have been the force behind our holidays. It begins with Samhain and I go full-tilt until New Year’s Eve. I decorate, plan menus, shop, cook, do more shopping, wrap, more decorating, more cooking, yet again more shopping. How can I possibly sit this one out?

I’m already feeling estranged from Christmas to a point that I started pinning on my Christmas board on pinterest to help me keep the spirit. Then I proceeded to get stressed. How do people do all these crafts, bake all these cookies, buy all these gifts, keep a perfectly spotless house while having guests and decorate like  they have Christmas elves come in the night and transform their home? Even when I had mobility I could never keep that kind of pace. And now? Call the budget caterer (known as Publix).

I do love Christmas (doesn’t everyone) and was lucky to have grown up with the QUEEN OF ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS – aka my mother. She was like all these uber-Christmas pinners that I am so jealous of. She set standards that I frankly gave up on ever coming close to many years ago.

I used to actually commission her to decorate my Christmas tree. For years I did this. Sandy (my husband) would come home after work and the tree would be done, marvelouslyand beautifully and he would be in aw. My mother would be there smiling and he’d look at us both and simply say, Thank you Terry for decorating our tree. There was no way to hide it. Her perfection with the bead garland alone was a dead giveaway. Sandy once said there was never a Gen-Xer alive who could use bead garland properly on a Christmas tree.

In the last few years Mom helped with the decorating (supervised) and I carried out her instructions. This year it will be her milieu once again.

Now that I am actually looking forward to, because the truth is, aside from cooking (all of which I learned from her), the decorating, wrapping etc is not my forte. Once you’ve had the perfect Christmas tree, house, cookies, presents, centerpieces, mantles, wreaths and candles in every window its simply best to let the one who makes Christmas a true holiday, do her thing.

I’ll be wheeling around following instructions. And I will never touch the bead garland.

 

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

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Yesterday (and today) is Dia de Los Muertos. I love this holiday right after Halloween. Here is what Wikipedia says about it.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.[1][2] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

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Quelle Night!

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Samhain night, that is! Or Halloween for you lay folks out there.

Every Witches New Year (which is what Samhain is) my mother and I celebrate with what we call a feast-ival. Our dinner (feast) is our party and then we have a ritual honoring our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. I like to usually dress up in some witchy finery but since I still not completely mobile, i just kept to the witchy stocking and my favorite Samhain bracelet.

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We had a lovely, delish feast consisting of antipasto salad (from Mike’s Italian, a cute little Italian place that we’ve been going to in Ocala for years) and bread with dipping oil and balsamic vinegar. For those of you keeping up with my health I rarely ever eat bread (let alone white bread) since I am diabetic and have to watch my carbohydrate intake and white flour in my diet but tonight was special and I always pull the insides out of bread and only eat the crust.

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Following this wonderful antipasto (done the old world way with two kinds of salami, provolone, giardiniera, prosciutto and melon, cappocola and mortadella) we had a few sugar-free chocolates (from a box of candy Mom bought me for the holiday, thanks Mom!) and later had a dessert of granny smith apple slices and sugar-free caramel dip.

The ritual was brief because I wanted to follow it with a healing ritual and I had two spells to do later at midnight.

I wish our neighborhood did trick or treat or perhaps its that all the kids are too old now. I would have loved to give out candy though I admit I was glad to not have the temptation of all that sugar.

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos), which I like to celebrate (at least on the altar) so I might post later about what I do for that. I will be casting tomorrow too, though I am taking the day off.

Blessed Samhain to all and Happy New Year to my witchy family all over the world.

Samhain Celebration

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I can smell Samhain in the air even though we do not really have much of a Fall season here in Central Florida. I know it is coming though and as the nights get cooler I start to get ready for the wonder of that Witches New Year. I’ve got the eco-friendly logs I burn for the firepit, herb bundles good to go, candles made and at the ready. I’m back casting outside in nature once again, without having to deal with pesky mosquitoes and staggering summer temps.

This year I will decorate minimally since I am recovering from my foot injury and hobbled somewhat by that (put plain and simple I cannot walk without my knee scooter – but I am hell on wheels otherwise!) though I am eager to celebrate this Samhain in the most festive way possible because after dealing with illness over the summer and a variety of difficulties regarding that – it just feels so great to be able to enjoy the sabbats, especially when everyone else is enjoying them too (even if they do not realize that Halloween is Samhain!).

I have found some great diabetic-friendly recipes online and there are wonderful sugar-free candies by Russell Stover (yes they make sugar-free Halloween Peeps – I mean for real!) and Hershey’s, plus I recently discovered that Pillsbury makes sugar-free brownies and other dessert mixes. Kudos to Hershey’s for also making semi-sweet sugar-free chocolate chips. This will really make the holiday festive with cupcakes and other goodies. Unfortunately one of my favorite things is candy corn but I have yet to find that in a sugar-free version.

There will be pumpkins, there will be sugar-free Twizzlers (I know, right?), there will be sugar-free mini candy bars in decorative witchy delights around the house.

I will stir my cauldron on October 31st and who knows what magickal things I will produce?

In the spirit of this month long celebration (I am making it a month – I deserve it!) I am keeping my BIRTHDAY SALE going at mysticspells.com so check out the GREAT prices.

I will update you too on the plans for the big feast as soon as I have an idea of what it will be. I am currently pinning lots of cute things on PINTEREST, so check that out too. I think I may make a Samhain board since there is so much.

 

The witch is back

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Well my dears it has been a tough time for yours truly during the past 7 weeks. I was in the hospital for nearly three weeks at the end of July and first part of August, got some troubling news about my diabetes (complications arose with my right foot which is severely dislocated) oh and almost died from septic shock. So yeah, not the most sterling time in my life.

The good news is: I am healthy again!

My foot and ankle unfortunately are not as easily fixed as the rest of me and I will have to have reconstructive surgery as soon as possible. For now I use my knee scooter to get around as I can put no weight on my right foot. It will be like this for a while, before and after reconstructive surgery. So it will be another few months ahead that I have to deal with this.

Thank you all for your kind concern and caring messages of support during this time. You all cheered me up so much with your cards and flowers and Facebook messages. I also thank you for purchasing spells and readings (so many readings – thank you!) last month to help me out since you know I do not have medical insurance.

I am back to witching full-time again, so please celebrate the autumn equinox with me by checking out my BIRTHDAY SALE. My birthday is September 29th (I will be 45 years old). For Mabon this year we are going out (since I’m still not cooking) and then will have a little fire in the fire-pit and toss some herbs in for luck and abundance.

I will surely update again around that time so check out my offerings at mysticspells.com and enjoy the cooler weather of this fine September.

Do you tell?

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A couple of days ago I had a lovely conversation with an older lady about Jesus. She went on a bit and we discussed his presence in her life and her love for him and the help he had given her through difficult times. At no time in this conversation did I tell her I was a witch/Pagan/Buddhist.

There have been times when I wear secular jewelry that you can easily surmise what my spirituality is (pentacles and malas etc) but I had nothing to indicate my beliefs.

It wasn’t that I am not proud to be a witch, to be Pagan, to be Buddhist. I am of course and thoroughly comfortable and happy in my skin of being who and what I am in every way and equally happy to see someone else embrace the love of their spiritual choice too.

I didn’t want to distress the nice lady (possibly) by saying that I was a witch. Or even Buddhist. Believe me I have had Christians come calling to the house and stood there explaining the tenets of Buddhism in the heat and while I do not mind giving a glimpse into my faith, it’s not my ideal way to spend my time.

I can usually tell who will be horrified, shocked or confused by me telling them I am witch so I just keep it under my hat (witches hat). I do not want to trouble old ladies or people going door to door about Jesus. There is no need.

I’m open to debate on this though. Pagans are welcome to weigh in (as well as non-pagans). What do you think?

Witchcraft Medicine

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I’ve been practicing my share of  Witchcraft Medicine lately as I have been recovering from my medical crisis that happened in late July. Things are moving along, I use a “knee walker” (a great alternative to crutches) to get around which keeps me walking and upright (and is incidentally pretty good exercise) and I have ten more days of antibiotic treatment left. I have more energy and strength now and keep working my healing spells concurrently with traditional medicine .

There are many herbs which can be used in teas (and I make use of them believe me) to help reduce inflammation. I have also been having green tea to help settle my stomach from the harsh antibiotics and that definitely helps.

Getting my energy back has been very important and I am happy to report that I have been feeling so much better this past week – able to do more and move out faster and my casting has been more spirited too. I know other witch-sisters and brothers have been sending healing energy my way and – I feel it.

It may yet be a couple more months staying off my foot but I feel quite certain that the best possible outcome will be achieved and I will be back in perfect working order in no time.

Meanwhile this upcoming month is my birthday month and I usually do some great sales – plus  this is semi-milestone birthday of 45. Not quite crone-dom yet but – wow – the witch is aging!