5 Basic Tips for Reiki Students and Practitioners

5 Basic Tips to improve your meditation practice – for Reiki Students and Practitioners of any level!

1. Make time for meditation daily.

Meditation should be a core part of your lifestyle if you are a Reiki student or practitioner of any level. Taking time each day to tune in to your own body, observe your feelings and the flow of energy – this not only helps you be more in the flow of Reiki, but it is also crucial self care for any Light Worker. The type of meditation you do is up to you, and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate! Just find what works best for you and be consistent!

2. Five minutes of meditation is better than not meditating at all!

Life happens, and it would be unrealistic to expect that your life will be predictable every day! So you might set your intention to meditate for 30 minutes a day – but eventually you will hit a day when this just feels impossible! Rather than skip a day completely, just scale back your time. Five minutes to check in with your Energy and get grounded. Heck, even two minutes of focused breathing! Once you skip a day, it is that much easier to skip another day, then the next day and the next…. But if you at least do the minimum, you’re more likely to see this time grow and get back into the swing of things!

3. Fake It Till You Make It!

“I’m just not good at meditating! I get distracted so easily. My mind is too busy, I can’t just turn it off!”  Does this sound familiar? Many people feel this way, you’re not alone! They key is – don’t give up! So what if you got distracted. So your mind wandered. Okay. Notice it, acknowledge that it happened, but don’t beat yourself up. Just resume meditating. Keep sitting there, going through the motions. If you sat on your cushion for 15 minutes, but only really meditated for 5 minutes (and the other 10 were distracted)… its okay! You still sat on your cushion for 15 minutes. Eventually you find you are spending more of your time sitting in meditation, and less of it being distracted. Fake It Till You Make It!

4. Create A Sacred Space in your home.

If you have a certain area that is designated only for meditation and Reiki, you will have an easier time meditating daily. Decorate this area with things that help you feel peaceful and relaxed. Crystals, candles, essential oils, spiritual items, etc. Keep this area clean and organized to avoid excuses for not using it. If you just meditate anywhere in your home, you are more likely to be distracted. Your bed is associated with sleep… and while it is okay to meditate at bedtime, the goal of daily meditations is not to fall asleep but remain awake. If you only meditate in bed you will start to associate meditation with sleep. If you meditate in the same place you pay your bills or do your homework, your mind will probably wander to bills and homework while you are trying to meditate. If you try to meditate on the couch where you also watch TV,  you might start thinking about your favorite show instead of meditating! You get the point. If you have one area dedicated only to meditation, then after using it consistently you train your brain to know, “when I am in this space, it is time to meditate.” Eventually when meditation is easier for you, you can meditate anywhere! But for the beginner who is trying to meditate daily, this tip really helps!

5. Keep a journal.

Write down your experiences. Record your successes, as well as the days meditation was harder. You can also track things like stress levels, health, your diet and exercise, etc. You will eventually start to notice some patterns that can help you understand yourself. For example you might notice meditation is easier for you at a certain time of day, or on days you have had enough excersize. You may find you have difficulty meditating too soon after ingesting caffeine or sugar. Women may discover there is a certain time of the month that your meditations naturally go deeper – and another time of the month that you just can’t seem to sit still for very long! All of these are important clues on your journey of self discovery and energy work. As you understand and notice the natural ebb and flow of energy in your personal life, you will begin to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. This will make you a better Healer and Reiki practitioner, as you will be able to set boundaries for yourself and others. Example, you’ve noticed it is harder for you to meditate the week after your menstrual cycle. Perhaps when your friend wants to schedule a Healing Session, you will know that’s probably not the best week for you to send energy, so you schedule for a few days later. You notice that your Energy is scattered if you have had caffeine within the last two hours. So when you have a Healing session scheduled,  you avoid caffeine for at least two and a half hours before your session. In this way, tracking your meditation with journaling can be extremely beneficial for Reiki Practitioners – not just for yourself, but for others!

I hope these tips help you with your Reiki practice! What other tips do you have? Share in a comment below! Meditation, meditation tips, Reiki, Reiki Tips, Reiki Course, Reiki Student, Reiki practioner, how to meditate

Meditation With Taurus

The sun is in Taurus from April 20th to May 20th and whether you are an astrological Taurus or not, this can be a good time to explore Taurus energy within your life.

Taurus Energy Profile:
Polarity: Yin, Receptive
Element: Earth
Quality: Fixed
Ruling Planet: Venus (Beauty, Arts, Pleasure, Romance)
Astrological House: 2nd House (House of Money and Possessions)
Symbol: The Bull (strong, stubborn, protective, also gentle)
Tarot Cards: The Hierophant (Taurus) and The Empress (Venus)
Key Phrase: “I HAVE”

Taurus Key Words:
Affectionate, patient, stable, determined, practical, stubborn, resistant to change, sensuous, loyal, possessive, materialistic, preserving, established, reliable.

Ideas and Tools for your Taurus Meditation:
You may want to accentuate your Taurus Meditation with some of the following.  These can be placed on your meditation altar or around your bath tub if you are meditating in the bath.

Taurus, Venus, Astrology, Altar, Tarot Cards, meditation
my altar set up for meditation with Taurus and Venus
  • the beginnings of my Taurus Altar.
  • A journal and pen to write down your thoughts or experiences
  • Light Blue or Pale Green Candles
  • Image of a Bull or small figurine of a Bull
  • Image or figurine of the Goddess of Beauty, Venus
  • Flowers: Roses, Violet, Poppy, Honeysuckle or Apple Blossom
  • Incense or Essential oil of any of the above scents
  • The Major Arcana Tarot Cards of The Hierophant and The Empress
  • Gemstones: Emerald, Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine
  • This Taurus Bath Bomb if you are meditating in the Bath
Taurus,  Astrology, bath bomb, Green Aventurine
Taurus bath bomb with Green Aventurine gemstone inside

For your meditation, you can simply relax and think about the energies of Taurus and how you relate to those energies.  Do you relate to any of the key words in the Taurus Energy Profile?  Do you need to be more like a Taurus in some areas of your life?  Or could you perhaps be less like a Taurus in some ways?
Think about and listen to the messages of The Hierophant and The Empress.  The Hierophant cherishes structures and institutions, and he’ll protect these if necessary. He asks us to recognize that life, knowledge, and society is preserved within certain structures or institutions, and he looks to the past and his elders for guidance.  The Hierophant also values money and the process of gaining and saving wealth.  The Empress on the other hand finds value in things that are beautiful, artistic, and sensual.  The Empress is guided by her senses and seeks out things which bring her pleasure.  (Taurus can tend to be self-indulgent and often deal with addictions, cravings, or emotional eating).  What do these two cards have to teach you?  How do these two cards interact with each other and change each other, if the aspects were melded into one?

The energy of Taurus always reminds me of the Cartoon, “Ferdinand The Bull”.  Taurus has that sensual vibe of venus, and would love to spend their day relaxing in the sun and smelling flowers.  They don’t really like change, and will resist changes in their life – especially if these changes result in less time for them to do what they really enjoy.  Taurus isn’t really violent or angry – they won’t instigate conflict (because that’s not relaxing and doesn’t feel good!)  However, if they are provoked, they will react!  And then the offender better watch out!  Because if you have disturbed the Bull’s harmony, family, partner, or feelings of security they will trample you.  (And then go right back to enjoying their nap in the sun, smelling the flowers)

Tarot Card, The Empress Tarot Card, Meaning of The Empress Tarot Card, The Empress Tarot Card Astrology Tarot Card, Tarot, The Hierophant Tarot, Meaning of The Hierophant Tarot Card, The Hierophant Astrology

Here are some questions you can ask yourself and Journal about as you explore the energy of Taurus.
Journal With The Hierophant:
What rule or law do you feel you have transgressed?  How are you holding yourself accountable? Or who around you do you feel has broken a law or rule, and how do you hold them accountable for that? What traditions are you upholding? Why? What traditions or institutions are you rebelling against, and why?  What are you learning or what would you like to learn more about?
Journal with The Empress:
How are you indulging your senses?  Are you over-indulging or becoming dependent on something that feels good?  Do you need to pamper yourself or indulge your senses a bit more?  Who is inspiring or nurturing you?  Are you inspiring and nurturing others?  What creative projects are you working on?

Taurus, Astrology, Taurus Astrology, Astrology Reading, Astrology Chart

Want to take your Taurus Meditations even deeper?  You can order this in depth Tarot and Astrology Reading from me!  Explore the energy of Taurus and Venus in your life – whether you are a Taurus or not! A 7 card Tarot reading detailing how you relate to Taurus energies in your life, such as Sensuality, Money and Possessions, Creative Talents, Patience and Stability, and Jealousy. I will also look at your Astrological Chart to see what aspects of your life are most impacted by the energy of Taurus and Venus. This astrology reading will look at your 2nd house, planets that are in Taurus, the placement of Venus in your chart, and any important aspects to Venus or Taurus. Includes affirmations and Journal prompts for you to use for personal development, and a free bonus of digital coloring pages that you can print out to color as a meditation and creative release.  Order Now!

Don’t forget, subscribers to my Mailing List get a 10% off Coupon for anything in my Etsy Shop!  (Readings, Bath Bombs, Mala Necklaces, etc)
Sign Up for free here! http://eepurl.com/cF0KCP 

Intensive Study Hall with the Planetary Retrogrades

I know that some people are looking forward to the end of Mercury Retrograde, and also feeling a bit apprehensive about the other planetary retrogrades we have going on right now.


Jupiter went retrograde on Feb 6th and will go direct again on June 9th.
Mercury went retrograde April 9th and goes direct on May 3.
Saturn joined went retrograde on April 16th and will go direct again on August 25th.
And Pluto joined the Retrograde party on April 20th and will stay that way until September 28th.

This can all seem like a great cosmic traffic jam at times, but don’t panic!

“Sorry About The Inconvenience” – Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Retrogrades provide us with an excellent time to slow down and dig a little deeper into our lives, rooting out the sources of problems, fears, or setbacks.  Each planet has lessons for us, and the Retrograde brings a magnifying glass to each planet’s lesson while simultaneously slowing down the progress within that lesson.  If life is a school and the planets are our teachers, a retrograde may be like getting an extra hour of study hall with that teacher (planet) to really help us zero in on our failings or issues within that class.  If we pay attention and make the most of that extra time, we should be able to improve our understanding of that class, bring up our grade, and develop a better relationship with that teacher.  So right now we’ve got FOUR different teachers pulling us into study hall for some extra work.  Retrogrades are also a time we can focus on Shadow Work – going within and examining the parts of ourselves that we repress, fear, and hide away.

Study Hall With Mercury

LEAN ON ME, Karen Malina White, Morgan Freeman, 1989, (c)Warner Bros.

Mercury is the most famous, as this planet goes retrograde three times a year.  The Inner planets (closer to the sun) have more affect on our day to day lives so the energy of a Mercury retrograde is strongly noticed.  As the planet of communication, day to day travel, and information, this retrograde has a bad rap for retrogrades resulting in computer problems, car or transportation problems, or missing important details.  As a teacher, Mercury’s lessons are about finding our voice, self expression, communicating clearly, planning efficiently for our travels and tasks, and activating our Throat chakra.  Professor Mercury may be bringing you in for extra lessons during this time to help you with one or all of these important life skills.  It’s a one on one class where you are being asked to do some shadow work and look at why you are struggling in these areas.  Why are you afraid of speaking your truth?  Why are you consistently late to events?  Why do you feel you are not a good public speaker or teacher to others?  Why are you always putting off following up with your clients, procrastinating with your paperwork, and generally lacking organization skills? Mercury wants to know why you don’t have your shit together, and will point out the ways you are self-sabotaging your own life. (these are just some examples of what Professor Mercury might be asking you in Study Hall, and he wants a thoughtful and honest answer.

Study Hall with Jupiter

Robin Williams in the movie “Dead Poets Society”

Jupiter is the planet of Luck, Expansion, and Growth, dealing with our biggest ambitions and goals. Always pushing the boundaries, Jupiter is like the Teacher that has some fun in the classroom, or takes the class out of the classroom to learn in a different environment.  They don’t always stick to the lesson plan, but encourage students to think big, express individuality, and challenge the norms of society.  Your Study Hall with Professor Jupiter is a time when they are asking you why you aren’t successful in your projects right now?  When you started this project it seemed great, you were inspired and motivated, so what happened?  Something obviously isn’t working because you used to love this class but now you dread it.  So with Jupiter Study Hall we’re gonna look at what isn’t working anymore, and see if there is a totally new and different way we can go about achieving our goal.  This might not mean scrapping the whole project and starting over, but you need to look at it again with fresh eyes and a new perspective.  Jupiter is one of those teachers that might ask you to stand on your desk, stand on your head, or take a jog around campus to get your creative juices flowing.  They’re gonna try to mix things up a bit to get your attention and get you engaged again.  This might not always be fun, and sometimes it will be messy, but the Shadow work with Jupiter Retrograde should leave you more focused and more excited about your dreams and life goals.

Study Hall With Saturn

Allen Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter

Yeah, Saturn is already known as “The Great Teacher”, and also “The Great Tester” and the Lord of Karma.  Study hall with Saturn can feel a bit more like detention at times.  Saturn’s lesson’s are about taking responsibility for the choices we have made, and learning life’s deepest lessons that we are here to learn.  There is some real important shadow work to be done here in terms of taking a close look at what we naturally avoid and the lessons held within.  With Saturn in retrograde, we may feel like we have already learned this lesson before.  “I did this already.  I turned it in last month”, you say.  “DO IT AGAIN” is Saturn’s stern reply.  Why are we facing the same road blocks, doubts, or fears again?  Why does it seem like this particular problem keeps coming up in our relationships, our job, or our psyche?  Because we haven’t truly finished with the lesson yet.  We may have solved the circumstances surrounding the problem in the past, but we didn’t finish doing the deeper work.  This is the work that actually shifts how we see ourselves and the world – and how we interact with the world changes once that shift is made.  Only then are we truly free of this repeating pattern of obstacles.  Saturn in Retrograde is urging this shadow work to happen now.  As frustrated and resistant as you may feel – keep in mind the Professor Saturn really has our best interest in mind as he pushes us through the dark corridor.

Study Hall With Pluto

Master Yoda – Star Wars

Ahh, yes, the very old, very diminutive teacher that is Pluto.  Speaking in riddles of the great mysteries of the intangible and spiritual realm, Pluto must be the Professor of Occult Mysteries and Ancient Spiritual teachings.  The far outer planets tend to teach us at a global level rather than a personal level, and Pluto’s movements through the cosmos will very much affect global attitudes and trends.  Pluto in retrograde causes some deep subconscious shifts that can transform us to new levels of power.  I chose the photograph of Yoda for this concept because as Luke finds himself in a murky underground bog learning the ways of The Force from Master Yoda this is a perfect metaphor for a Study Hall session with Pluto.  The skills and changes we learn here transform us, and we must face some fears along the way.  Meanwhile, the Empire seems to be getting more evil and more oppressive every day, and we may wonder what we are doing stuck here in this swamp with our meditation teacher when we should be out there doing something.  Pluto in Retrograde will give us all an opportunity to unlearn something we have learned – to let go of a belief or idea that is simply a construct which has held us back.  Once we complete this process, we can transcend the fears that society has taught us, and go back out into the world – now better able to be the teacher, guide, healer, light worker, or warrior that we are meant to be.

So are you ready to do some Shadow work with the teachers Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto?  I recommend A LOT of journaling, meditation, yoga, and self care over the next few months!  Write it out, dance it out, and follow up with bubble baths and tea.  Get out in nature as often as you can, with a pen and notebook.  Reiki can help greatly during this time, to help clear the energy meridians and chakras to make sure that you are really able to absorb and process the lessons of the great Cosmic Teachers.  Click here to learn more about the Reiki Healing sessions I offer (locally or distance sessions).  A Tarot or Oracle Card reading could also help you identify some of these lessons and how they are manifesting in your life, or some specific advice to help you make the most of your Study Hall!

New Moon In Capricorn and our New Year’s Resolutions

New Moon Blessings!  The moon entered it’s New phase around 1:00 am Thursday morning, in the sign of Capricorn.  I made this graphic to show some highlights of the Moon Cycle we just entered.

Time for dreaming and planning! Dream Big! This New Moon is a good one for your dreams & intentions for the whole year. Especially with things regarding your personal growth and pushing yourself to be your very best. You know that feeling of being motivated to change or better yourself that happens around New Year every year? It is largely from the Capricorn new Moon that happens right around our calendar new year.

Capricorn energy is all about self improvement – pushing yourself to do better, achieve more, and improve your status in life.  Go ahead and dream big and set those lofty goals for the New Year!  Capricorn lets you see your ultimate potential.  However, it is good the remember the Capricorn method of achievement is not one of instant gratification.  “Slow and steady wins the race” seems like a very Capricornian phrase.  Build on your goals and habits slowly.  Perhaps think in terms of what small changes you can make, and then work on adding one small change or habit every couple of weeks.  Give yourself time to solidify one habit before jumping into the next. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and is known as the great tester or the lord of Karma, so don’t expect these goals to go unchallenged!  Capricorn’s lesson is often about flexibility and adaptability.  If one method isn’t working, ditch it and try a new approach.  If one habit isn’t sticking, change that up too.

January is named after the Roman God Janus, who is guardian of doorways. He has two faces – one looking back to the past, and one looking forward to the future. As we pass thru the door from one year to the next, we look back with a degree of honesty about what didn’t work. And look forward and see potential within ourselves and want to push ourselves to be our very best. (a very Capricorn mode of thinking)

But to use the adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” it is good to remember as we set goals that positive changes that stick are made slowly and gradually with great care.
Mercury is still retrograde, but will go direct again a few days before the full moon. That will be the perfect time to begin making changes or starting new things that relate to your goals.  From now until the January 9th, focus on pinning down exactly what your goals are.  Create some positive affirmations or a sankalpa to repeat daily to help you feel good about your goal.  You may even want to create a Vision Board or Dream Board… it’s up to you.

Write down your goals and then write down a list of the small changes you can make to acheive this goal.  Don’t try to jump in fully and make all these changes at once!  Just pick a starting point and be ready for it once Mercury goes direct!  Meanwhile your positive thinking and dreaming is planting the seeds during the new moon.

I found this great graphic at Energy Muse showing how to follow your intention and goal setting process through the moon phase… starting at the new moon and ending at the dark moon (and then repeating again.

Best Wishes for a lovely Moon Cylce and a Happy New Year!

2016 Review

Taking some time in this final week of 2016 to just review what has happened to me.  It’s a good way to refine your goals and begin goal setting for next year – as you look back on what has changed you can clearly see how much potential exists in those 365 days!  We have collectively learned how much the world can change in just one year – from personal losses and changes to more global economic and political changes that made us all pause to reevaluate.

My 2016 has been an eventful year of self growth and outward expansion.  I have made great strides in moving towards my goals in my career!  I wish I had blogged more during the year to record some of the strides I have taken, but I will do my best to share some of these with you now!
In 2015 I had gotten my Reiki 1 degree and began exploring energy work.  I also had taken the Certified Angel Card Reader course, though I hadn’t competed the final exam to get my certification!  I had a lot of goals involving starting a business as a Tarot Card reader and Reiki healer, but those goals seemed so unattainable and far away!  
Then 2016 happened and if I had one word to define this year it would be “Opportunity”.  I completed the CARC course and could finally officially add Certified Angel Card Reader to my 15 plus years of tarot reading experience.  I had to opportunity to get my Reiki 2 and Reiki 3 Certifications – which I DID and am now a Reiki Master Teacher.  I had an opportunity to begin doing readings in person once a month at a shop down town and I took it, thus expanding my experience into the professional realm and readings in person  (Previously had done most of my readings online).  I also had the opportunity to create my official website… thanks to randomly meeting a new friend at the Olympia Dance Co-Op and finding he was a web designer!  So I ventured forth with an official domain of www.Hestiasmuse.com  (which links back to this blog).
Creating a website further pushed me to redefine my goals in the forms of mission statements, pricing, and creative descriptions of my services.  This process in itself was like a crucible, forcing me to really deeply define what I wanted to do and then put it in paragraph form for others to read.  I came out of the end of that experience feeling more whole – and more nervous – than ever before!  
I also spent a lot of time in 2016 working on my etsy shop and creating more of my spiritual mala necklaces and bracelets – and establishing myself as a regular presence at a local Maker’s Market (craft fair).  Learning more of the ins and outs of selling at vending events and how to market myself, both online and in person.  
THEN I had another unexpected thing happen in the realm of business.  My oldest child and I had the opportunity to join Perfectly Posh – a direct sales company selling Pampering products like vegan soaps and lotions and naturally based face wash and masks.  At first we thought it would just be something fun to do on the side and occasionally get discounts on our own orders.  But things took off… before we knew it we were earning bonuses and had a team of people signed up as consultants under us!  I gave it my all and found it very satisfying and rewarding!  Though it did take some focus away from my other business of Reiki and Readings…. but eventually I learned how to better balance the two and even how they work together!  
I learned better methods of self care  and how to try and keep my life in balance between home, work, family, and spirituality.  I still need to work on this!  But 2016 showed me that I CAN find this balance, whereas before I may have felt I was too busy, too unprepared, or not organized enough to even TRY going after “crazy dreams”.
Looking back, I see how 2016 was about laying the groundwork and building foundations for the work that is yet to come!  I am looking forward to where this all will go in 2017, and how I can be of service to others in many ways, as a Healer, an Artist, a Card Reader, and even as a Pampering Consultant!  I do plan on blogging more, and I got a new laptop as a Yule gift from my husband so I think that blogging will be easier and more attainable than it was this past year!  
I used this tarot spread to help me evaluate my past year and think about what goals I want to set for the new year.  You might find it useful as well! Take your time with it and journal about what you see in the cards!  If you want help or an outside perspective, (or don’t read cards for yourself) I am offering this reading for $28.  You can email me at hestiasmuse@gmail.com to order this Reading and I will email you the results! 

Happy New Year, and may you be blessed and find many opportunities in 2017!

Beltane & The Fairy Folk

For the Northern Hemisphere, the Wheel of the year turns now to Beltane – the first celebration of Summer.  (April 30 – May 1)  In the Southern Hemisphere they will be celebrating Samhain and their Beltane celebration occurs on October 31 – November 1. 

Beltane, or May Day is a joyous celebration of life, fertility and growth.  The crops planted in spring are beginning to bud, flowers are blooming, livestock is mating – it’s all about the creation of life in it’s many forms.  It’s no wonder that this special celebration has close ties to the Fairy kingdom and Elementals – as the workings of the guardians of earth, animals, and plant life are so abundantly clear to us at this time.

Beltane is the celebration of the Union of the broadest aspects of nature – the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.  Mythology and Archetypical Fairytales tell of the Union between The Maiden Goddess and The Horned One – as the Goddess (Earth) is impregnated by the fertile seed of the God.  Thus, the overwhelming theme of this celebration is Sex, Romance, Fertility, and Union.

With fires lit across the land, a couple leaps whilst hand in hand, to mark their union and this rite, for they know tonight’s the night! As they run into the darkened wood, and find a grassy glade they should, remember well of who’s around, for bands of faeries all surround, the couple as they consummate, the faeries cheer and seal the fate, of plants and flowers, shrubs and trees, whilst the God’s upon his knees, impregnating the mother to be, from sowing deep his natural seed. And so in time the Goddess will birth, the magic that’s nature, on this Earth.’
 
Quote from Way of The Faerie Shaman by Flavia Kate Peters
 
 
Embracing the powerful flow of the Creative nature of the universe is possible at this time, and in allowing ourselves to truly connect with the Turning of the Wheel we must simply look around at all the new growth happening in nature around us; and then recognize that our own spirit is reflecting that fertile creative landscape.  Ask yourself – what Union within my life am I celebrating?  What growth is happening within me – and what can I do to further help that growth?
 
Connecting with the Faerie Realm can help us re-connect with this part of the Natural Cycle.  It’s easy in today’s society to feel disconnected from Nature.  Get outside, tend to your garden, yard, or potted plants, and express joy and fascination with the miracle of life happening all around you.  It is said that at Beltane, the veil between the worlds is thin, allowing us to more clearly see and hear the Faery Folk.  Spells and Magick or rituals involving honoring the Fae, calling them, seeing them, and working in harmony with nature – all are perfect for Beltane!  Make sure as part of your ritual, or before your ritual, you spend time in nature tending the plants or picking up litter; or even joyfully singing and dancing!
 
 
Beltane Eve Fairy Spell
Perform this ritual at Dusk on Beltane Eve (April 30)
 
“Gather together violets, clover, and St. John’s Wort.*  Violets are a fairy favorite, clover is for prosperity and luck, and the St. John’s Wort will protect you from falling under a fairy enchantment (or being Fairy-led).  Gather these plants together and tie them with a green ribbon.  Take the bouquet to the garden or a place in nature.  Blow the Fairies and kiss, and leave the plants as a gift.  Sit for awhile in the garden or place in nature, and meditate.  Breathe in the air.  Notice the scents.  The different plants around you.  The temperature, the breeze.  When you feel you are fully connected with the nature around you, say:
 
Fairies from far and wide,
I offer you a gift.
tied up in green for luck,
and sealed with a kiss.
 
I can sense you,
if I’m pure of heart.
Bless me with luck and Fairy-Sight
to boost my Healing Art.”
 
Blow them another kiss, relax and wait to see if they reveal themselves to you.  Don’t fret if you don’t see them this night – try again in the morning and evening of Beltane.  Listen to any messages the fairies may have for you – sometimes they have a special mission or task for you to complete before they will reward you with a visit!”
 
(Adapted from an article by Ellen Dugan)
*If you can’t find or access the specific plants mentioned here  – substitute something different!  Trust your intuition to guide you to certain plants that you think the Fairies would like – and add any protective plant you can find for good measure!
 
Celtic Legend of Beltane and the Fey
“This was the Celtic beginning of summer, and also marked an important transition for the people of Faerie, for this was the time when the Milesian Celts landed on the shores of south-west Ireland.  With this, the last of the magical peoples (the Tuatha de Danaan) receded from the world of humans into the Hollow Hills and became the people of the Sidhe.  However, they and the other Fairy folk have not gone very far.”  (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)  Legend holds that the veil between the land of the Sidhe and the Human world is thin twice a year – at Beltane and again at Samhain – and these are times when it is easy to see and communicate with the realm of Spirit and Elementals.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
Welsh Legend of Beltane and Rhiannon the Fairy Queen
“Welsh legend tells how the hero Pwll saw the Lady Rhiannon riding past him at Beltane and, after pursuing her, he eventually won her.  Rhiannon is one aspect of the Fairy Queen, riding on her white horse between the worlds.  As you sit quietly outside on a bank in the late spring dusk, listen for the sound of her horse’s hooves and open your eyes to the shimmer of her sea-blue cloack.  When Rhiannon touches your hear, she will fill it with love and inspiration.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
 

Ritual For Releasing The Past

The days of the Waning Moon (from right after the Full Moon to the New Moon) is the perfect time to think about releasing anything in your life that is holding you back.  This can be a thought pattern or attitude, an addiction, or even a toxic relationship that has come to an end.  It can be really helpful to symbolically enact the release and removal of this from your life with a ritual.  The more days in a row you can perform the ritual the better – your attachments didn’t form in one day so it will take more than one day to release them!  Here’s a simple ritual that includes candles, visualization, meditation, and affirmations.  I’d say start this at least 7 days before the New Moon, but if you wanted to go for longer than that it will work just as well (I’m feeling that magick number 13 would be perfect – a 13 day ritual for releasing the past sounds very witchy and powerful!)

What you’ll need;
  • 2 candles (one black and one white is preferred, but two white candles will work just as well)
  • a lighter
  • a safe place to burn your candles and meditate (altar space)
  • a paper & pen to write your affirmations

Optional;
You may decide to add a few things, but remember it’s your intention that matters the most!  If you feel like you want to add a few things here’s what I would recommend:

  • Black gemstones to absorb negativity and provide protection
  • A picture or other representations of the person/attitude/activity that you are trying to release.
  • A picture or representation of yourself – ideally something that represents you as being free, healthy, happy!
  • Banishing incense or banishing oil
  • A journal to write down thoughts and feelings as they arise.

On the first night of your ritual, think about what it is you want to release or remove.  Think about how the energy of that experience brings you down, and how you will be more free or happy when it is removed from your life.  Define in your mind very clearly WHY you need to release this.  As I said before – it could be anything from a toxic relationship, an addiction, a negative behavior or a negative thought pattern.  Chances are you already know what it is you want to release if you’re reading this!  Just take some time to define and clarify WHY you need to do this.

Take one candle and hold it as you think of what or whom you are releasing.  Send all of those “yuck” feelings of frustration, fear, anger, etc into that candle.  You can inscribe a word or some initials on the candle if you want to.  (helpful if both your candles are the same color, you don’t want to get them mixed up!)  Will call this the “Past Candle”.  Think of an affirmation that helps empower you to release everything that is represented by that candle.  It should be a positive affirmation.  Something like “I release all desires to smoke”, or “I fully let go of this toxic relationship”.  Give yourself time to think of a good affirmation to affirm that you are letting go of this.  Write it down on a piece of paper and set it on your altar next to the “past” candle.

Next, take the other candle, the one that will represent you being free.  Hold the candle and think about all the positives that can come from releasing the past.  The health from releasing an addiction, or the freedom from releasing a toxic relationship, and the happiness from embracing a more positive thought pattern or attitude. You can write a word or your initials on this candle as well.  We’ll call this the “Free Self” candle. Think of another affirmation that empowers you to embrace this new energy.  Something like “I Am Free”, or “My positive attitude carries me forward”.  Place this paper on the altar next to the Free Self candle on your altar. 

All of this is just done the first night.  After the first night you will already have your affirmations and the candles infused with your intentions

Now you’re ready to move forward.  Place both candles side by side on the altar.  Your “Free Self” candle should be on the dominant side (your right side if you’re right handed) and the “Past” candle on the non-dominant side.  Place the affirmations next to or in front of the candles where you can read them.  If you have other representations, place them on the altar too, on the side that goes with the candle of what they represent.  (example; the picture that represents your free/happy/healthy self goes on the side with the “Free Self” candle)

When you are ready, light both the candles.  Sit and meditate again on what you are releasing and why. Light any incense you might have.

Carefully move the Past candle about 1/2 an inch away from the Free Self candle.  As you move it, read the affirmation you wrote out loud.  Focus on the feeling of relief that should occur as you move the candle away and say the affirmation.  Breathe and repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary.

Next, move the Free Self candle 1/2 inch in the opposite direction, away from the Past candle and read that affirmation out loud.  Again, focus on the feeling of relief as you move the candle and speak the affirmation.  Repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary. 
If you want to, and you have them, you can place one or two black gemstones between the two candles, creating a barrier between the two. 

Meditate for a couple minutes on your desired outcome – the relief, the freedom, the positivity.  Inhale the positivity, and when you exhale focus on letting go of the negativity.  You may journal your thoughts and feelings at this time.

When you feel you are done, say a simple prayer.  Ask God/Goddess, or your Guardian Angels, your Spirit Guides, or your Ancestors to support and protect you.  Ask that this releasing of the past harm none, and affirm that this is for the best for all people involved.  Extinguish the candles, but ask that they remain burning on the Astral plane until you return.  Leave everything as it is on the altar.  The next night, you will return and repeat this exercise.  (Light the candles, move the Past candle 1/2 inch away and say the affirmation, move the Free Self candle the opposite direction 1/2 inch and say the affirmation)  Don’t forget to visualize, and focus on the feeling of relief!

Repeat every night until the New Moon.  It should take about 10 to 15 minutes each night, just a bit longer on the first night to prepare.  On the last night, take the affirmation you used with the  “Past” candle, and burn it.  Say the affirmation one last time and extinguish the candle.  Take the ashes of the burned paper, and the extinguished Past candle outside.  Bury them both in the earth,  preferably at a crossroads where their energy will be scattered and carried away from you.  Imagine this like a funeral, and say your final goodbyes to the Past!

Remaining on your altar is the “Free Self” candle and affirmation.  You may continue to meditate with this candle and affirmation after the New Moon, but now you can surround it with flowers, brightly colored gemstones, and representations of your freedom and new beginnings.

Starting Over

Confession Time; I’m a horrible housekeeper.
Ironic, since my Matron Goddess is Hestia – Keeper of the Hearth.  But this is exactly why She’s my Matron; I return to her when I need the motivation to care for my home properly.  She reminds me that caring for my household is a great act of Love – for myself and for my family.

In mythology, Hestia volunteered to keep watch over the Fire of the Gods.  Instead of returning to Olympus with her brothers and sisters to reign and rule, she chose a life of service; keeping the Fire of the Gods lit and tended.  In ancient times it was important to keep the hearth fire of the home lit and ready at all times.  It was the source of heat, light, cooking, and other preparations and activities that went on through the day.  If the fire went out or was untended and dwindled – precious time would be needed to get it going again; time that could have been used being more productive.  One never knew when the fire would be needed, so it was best to keep it steadily going.  As Hestia watched over the Fire of The Gods in this way, she became the Goddess of The Hearth and Home, representing the service of the housekeepers that blessed the household and kept it running smoothly. 

In our modern world, we don’t need to keep a fire lit in our homes at all times.  Yet we do take actions that keep the household running smoothly and keep our family safe, fed, and protected.  Paying the electric bill.  Preparing the meals.  Cleaning and Maintaining the home.  Hestia reminds me that these acts of service are a loving choice I make for my family – not an evil chore that I am tied down to or required to do as a slave, but an act of love.

My modern inspiration is the FlyLady.  She has taught me a few simple things that help me keep going, and help pull me back on track when I need it. 

  • FLY – stands for Finally Loving Yourself.  It’s a reminder that the things I DO are a reflection of self love.  When I care for my home, I care for myself.  When I care for myself, I am free and I give myself wings to FLY.
  • Progress, not Perfection.  My home doesn’t have to be perfect.  The little things that I do are a blessing, even if they are not done perfectly!  I don’t have to be “finished” to have progress.  I don’t have to keep a perfect home to be blessed.
  • The power of 15 minutes – Progress can be made in a short period of time.  You’d be surprised how much can get done in just 15 minutes.  No need to overwhelm yourself with a big job – just do what you can in 15 minutes!
  • You’re not behind!  Just start where you are.  This is a big one for me.  With chronic pain and illness, and living with depression and anxiety, I feel like I’m “behind” a lot.  Like I need to “catch up”.  I need to remember, I AM HERE.  I AM NOW.  What I can do NOW is enough.

These are the things I’m reminding myself of now.  I’ve had another period of falling flat on my face and letting things go.  (But that’s okay too – as Akhilandeshvari reminds me!)  I’m working hard to not be angry, disappointed or pass judgement on myself.  It is what it is.  I do what I can.  Sometimes, what I can do is not much at all.  Sometimes, just getting through the day is all I can do.  And that’s okay!  I live in cycles, as does the world and the whole universe! 

As the Spring Equinox and the New Moon approaches, I’m feeling the call of Hestia, awakening me again.  I’m hearing the words and lessons of FlyLady urging me on.  I’m entering a new cycle, and ready to start fresh.  I know that this won’t last forever.  I’ve come to recognize, embrace, and accept that I am never going to stay “on top”; and that I will time and time again repeat this cycle.  I’ll face this feeling again.  That’s okay.  The point is that when I do have my moments of “Spring” and hear the call of Hestia – I will answer. 

My starting point is the Kitchen Sink.  As I mentioned, we don’t really have a “Hearth” in modern homes.  Even homes that have a fireplace – that fireplace Hearth does not necessarily play the role of center of the home.  So what place in the home does serve as the central focus?  For me, it’s the Kitchen Sink.  This is probably because of FlyLady’s teachings of Starting with the Kitchen Sink.  Her theory is that if you keep your kitchen sink shiny, the rest comes easier.  It’s easier to keep up with the dishes if you’re not letting them pile up.  It’s easier to be motivated to keep the rest of the kitchen clean and shiny if the sink is clean and shiny.  It’s easier to be motivated to keep the other rooms of the house clean if the kitchen is clean.  Then the other things you need to do come easier too, because you don’t have to clean before you cook, or you don’t have to clean up the living room just because you want to sit down and relax.  In theory, if you keep your kitchen sink shiny, the rest will fall into place (it still takes work, but that’s the basic idea)  You can read FlyLady’s Kitchen Sink lesson HERE.

So for me, the kitchen sink is becoming my “Hearth Fire”.  It is the place to focus on, it is the place to start and the place to end.  Hestia is considered ‘The First and The Last” and it was traditional to honor her first thing every morning and the last thing every night.  Incidentally – FlyLady says to shine the kitchen sink first thing every morning and the last thing every night.  So this just works! 
I moved my kitchen altar to the window above my kitchen sink.  So there’s Hestia, and an orange candle to represent the Hearth Fire, right above my kitchen sink – reminding me of her lessons. 

I’ll be working on other areas of my home too, as my health permits.  I’ll be blogging more about my goals, my inspiration, and what is working for me or helping me.  But for now I just needed to get this out there; I’m starting over!

Akhilandeshvari – The Goddess of being Broken

I’m intrigued.  My interest has been sparked by the name of a Goddess that has crossed my path recently.  And as it goes when a Goddess taps me on the shoulder, there’s a lesson here and I’m in the midst of it. 
A few weeks ago, this story came across my facebook news feed.  I read it and I thought, this is so interesting, and beautiful, and . . . wow I can relate!  The article was called Why Lying In A Broken Pile on Your Bathroom Floor is a Good Thing and it’s about a little known Hindu Goddess – Akhilandeshvari – The Goddess of Never Not Being Broken.  She’s an aspect of Parvati (at least from what I can find in my online searching; and in Hindu mythology most of the Gods and Goddesses are all different aspects of each other)  The Goddess of Never Not Broken – the eternally broken Goddess… resides in the state of brokenness.  You know, that raw place of grief or loss where the soul feels so open, like the world and everything can just reach in and touch it?  Yeah we’ve all been there.  Akhilandeshvari lives there.  Riding on the back of a crocodile (fear) through the river (the eternal energy flow of the universe).  Yeah.  Powerful. 
I know that those moments of brokenness have been some of the most transformative experiences of my life.  After all, when we break apart in pain or grief, we have to redefine ourself, rebuild our life – and we usually come back from that place a stronger person.  It’s where that annoying phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” comes from.

So, I made note of this interesting Goddess, told myself I would research her (this was after only reading the article in the link above), and moved on with my life.  Doing my thing.  Taking life in leaps and bounds!  I’ve been in a state of rapid manifestation and big changes.  Empowered.  Fearless.  Taking big steps and making big changes.  I’ve been working on an online class to get Certified as a card reader (Tarot & Oracle).  I quit my unsatisfying retail job.  I’ve been meeting new people and working on starting and organizing a social group for local Pagans in my area.  Experiencing new things.  Feeling so together.  I’m going after my dream, my life purpose!  Amidst all this I also had a chance to get my Reiki 1 certification.  Great!  Adding Reiki to my life just seems so perfect, so wonderful!  And it has been!  The class I took when I received my Reiki 1 attunements was wonderful!

In Reiki 1, we receive blessings that help awaken our inner power to heal ourselves and our loved ones.  We learn that Reiki is a lifestyle, and a big part of the journey is in meditation and working on ourselves.  Focusing on Gratitude.  Learning energy awareness.  Healing and being open to receiving healing . . . on a daily basis.  It’s really all so wonderful!  But if you’ve ever had any kind of energy work done before (or gone through a detox) you know that as you accept that healing – all the negative has to come out.  Things from the past bubble to the surface. 

So here I am, literally lying in a broken heap on my bedroom floor.  I knew that my Reiki teacher had told me that “things from the past might come up, or you might face uncomfortable feelings.”  And I knew that this was just a part of healing – sometimes we have to shine a light on those deep dark places.  But damn.  I mean, This is stuff from years ago that I thought was resolved.  I’m asking “Why me?” and “Why Now?” and “can I do this?  Am I strong enough?  Is it time?  Am I ready?”  All that confidence I had, this blissful cloud of change just dissolved beneath me and I had to realize – changing the outside (the external) ain’t worth shit if the inside isn’t changed too.  And I’m realizing I have to redefine myself, yet again.  Rebuild myself, yet again.  (How many times have I been here?)  And I’m feeling broken and raw and unsure of myself, and then . . . I remembered Akhilandeshvari.  The Never Not Broken Goddess.

So, I started doing some research.  I found another article describing this Goddess

“Pronounced ah-kee-LAN-desh-va-ree, “Akhilandeshvari” translates as “Never Not Broken.” She shows us the power and opportunity of being broken into pieces by heartache, disaster, great fortune, and other life changes and traumas.
However She takes this to the furthest extreme, purposefully keeping Herself broken wide open, allowing Herself to flow with every current, creating and fragmenting and recreating Herself endlessly.
She steadfastly refuses to paste Herself together into a stable form, shunning the limitations that She’d have to abide and the false identities that would hide Reality.
She rides on a crocodile: the very survival-fear that keep most of us chained to the known and routine is Her flying carpet! She is not controlled by the need to keep her identity consistent, or even alive. She dances and spins and breaks herself into shards of light, tossing out new possibilities for herself like flower petals from a cherry tree.  


The Goddess Never-Not-Broken promises that the greatest magick is in the transformative moments: the heartbreack, the uncertainties, the pause before we hit the ground… and what we do with ourselves after we land. “

I found a few more websites with scattered and brief information, much of it the same from one site to another.  But that’s part of the beauty of this Goddess – the simplicity of being broken.  Undefined.  Ever changing.  Defying definition and boundaries by being constantly in the flow of that river, riding the back of that crocodile, breaking apart and finding power in that state.  A strong sense of peace came over me as I read more.  Well, not “peace” . . . but just knowing.  Trusting.  I can do this.  I am powerful, even when I am broken.  I am still connected to all that Divine bliss, even in my moments of pain and doubt.  Yes. Akhilandeshvari has become part of my personal pantheon, and I invite Her to tap on my shoulder and get my attention any time that I forget that being broken is beautiful.

I also found this traditional chant attributed to Akhilandeshvari, it is quite beautiful and I think I will use it for meditation to help me connect with this aspect of the Goddess!
Also –  found some beautiful art inspired by this Goddess – I think an artist of any kind could really connect with this Goddess. . . because as we create something new we often have to break ourselves into pieces, and as we rearrange them and put those bits of ourselves back together in a new way, art is born.

Dragonfly

There is a dragonfly in the living room today! I love these amazing creatures! This one came to visit for awhile, and it’s message for me was simple. 
Dragonflies represent transformation and change – growth that comes with transitions. Dragonfly says: Emerge! Step into who you are! Don’t look back… But feel the love and beauty of the process of becoming!
Dragonflies spend the first stage of their life in the water a larval form called a nymph.  Some may remain in the nymph stage for up to four years! When it is time, the nymph crawls out of the water and then it emerges from it’s former body, taking on the form of a dragonfly. Shedding it’s old body and embracing a beautiful change, dragonfly is now the flying creature skimming over the surface of the water.
My life this year has been a series of trials, changes, and upheaval. There have been good things, but heavily mixed with unsure feelings and worries. I imagine this is how the nymph feels. Under the water, hiding in the depths and shadows, feeling  these internal changes but not knowing what it will become. What lies above the water? Why am I drawn to it so strongly when I have lived here in comfort so long? Why do I suddenly feel too big for my body? 
Here I am. I am still shaky and weak from my emergence and transformation. Still not quite sure how to fly. But I have emerged! I am ready!
This poem is on my refrigerator wall right now; 
For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming, 
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you, 
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled, 
And out you stepped onto new ground, 
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~ John O’ Donohue ~
For whatever reason you are reading this post today – Dragonfly has fluttered into your life at this moment. Embrace the transitions, the changes, and challenges you face – they are just a part of your beautiful emergence; as you step into your true purpose.
Namaste.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaVxcpefX-0&feature=youtube_gdata_player