Welcome ~ May This Be a Safe Place

Hello.  My name is Heather Dawnamber.  I am starting this blog, which will grow with me as I finish my degrees, to help others.  My belief in the spiritual world, a world with magick and faeries and those entities who are all around us to help us, also brings with it a belief that we are here to help each other, that my place in this lifetime, on this plane, is one of listener, helper, counselor.  As I talk through my own things I hope that you will come to find you can ask questions, get answers and help and find someone who will listen to you.

I will often use tarot or oracle cards in my guidance.  For myself, for others and for everyday understanding of the world we live in. Please come in and stay a bit.  Ask a few questions and get a few answers.

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Fire Magick

As Fire is both destructive and creative it its nature, it is easy to use, but must be treated with respect. The qualities most often associated with Fire Magick are:  Brightness, Thinness and Motion. It is considered to be continuously Active, with a mode of On all the time.  From the beginning fire has been used to warm our homes, cook our food, ward off darkness, to light our path both from man-made and the sun and of course it fuels the passions within.  We use it in modern times to bring us closer together, to sit within the warmth it provides and bond. Unlike the other elements Fire does not come from a natural state. Fire only happens when it is consuming other elements. Fire is the element of transformation.  It takes the energy of what it is consuming and converting it to another form: heat, smoke, ash, and light.

You can feel this power in its various manifestations on any sunny day, when the Sun warms and lights your way.  When the logs crackle and the smell of smoke is coming off of a burning fire, the manifestation is often comforting. When you gaze at the flame of a fire or candle and you lose yourself into the energy being emitted.

While fire has a destructive aspect, we can control that aspect, and it is in that control that we are able to gain benefit from the element’s energy.  A lit candle helps to limit the power of the flame, as well as call it forth. In addition, candles can add color magick, however that is in another post. While we often rue the destructive nature of fires, especially when they are within the limits of a city, we need to be able to see the positive aspects of those we can.  Often forest fires help to clear the underbrush and make way for those things that have been dormant to come forth from the Earth.   Thinning forests to create new spaces for those things that have not been able to grow for many years.

 

Often times herbs or flowers will be added to a bonfire or a hearth fire as added magick. Fire is often the only way to add those things to the magick we are using.  We need the consuming factor of the fire to be able to access the correspondences of the herb or flower we are using.  Fire is a powerful tool, an instant way to get the will and energy into the world.  As an active element it is an almost instant magick tool.

I use fire magick, in both my hearth and through candles almost daily.  Candle magick (as you know from a previous post) is my favorite for a variety of reasons.  Fire is my personal element and I am very much aware of that.  I feed my fire element daily and I work within my will and intent using candle magick.  I keep my home warm as well as protected using the hearth.  In the summer I am a Sun Worshiper.  I am a Leo by birth, and I have fallen into the path of the Sun and Fire with a whole hearted love.

What element speaks to you?  I will be discussing them all… don’t worry 😀

Pagan, Wiccan or Witch???

Today I wanted to share a little more about some of the things I do on a daily basis (or as close as possible) regarding my beliefs and practices.  However, I realized that before I delved into that perhaps a discussion and personal breakdown of the concepts out there was in order.

Often the three words above are used synonymously.  While most of us who live the life understand those outside don’t know the difference, there are those who become highly indignant or offended when someone refers to them as one of the others. While I am not one of those, I felt that, before I could begin talking about my own practice, I need to clarify what each of them entails and holds.

First, let’s start with some simple definitions (from The Celtic Connection):

Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes.

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This term has nothing to do with Satanism.

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems.

So, as you can see each of these has some overlap, and yet is unique in its own right.  I will try to expand a little bit in regards to Sacred Mists as a school as well as to my own practice.  I want to start by saying that one of the things I like most about Sacred Mists, is that while they do follow a traditional Celtic base, they allow their students the freedom and flexibility to follow their own beliefs as well.

Now, on to a deeper definitions so to speak.  Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. The Modern Wiccan Tradition is attributed, usually, to Gerald Gardner.  He was initiated into a traditional coven and then began supplementing with other “non-traditional” belief systems (Free Masonry, writings of Alastair Crowley and others).  While he claimed to stay true to the traditional pre-Christian beliefs, he supplemented the traditional pagan beliefs creating Modern Wicca.  Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes. All of this holds true for Sacred Mists as well as within my personal belief.  In addition, the Goddess and God are embodiments of all Goddesses and Gods as well as Mother Earth and Mother Moon. So there isn’t any single deity focus.  All historical beliefs and “religions” are called upon depending on  your need, desire, want, area of focus.  Celtic, English, Norse, Egyptian, Japanese…all Gods and Goddesses become available to you. 

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. So this is where it can get sticky.  There are many Wiccans who use natural items in their practice, but don’t necessarily consider themselves a Witch. I, however, am not one of them.  I use stones, candles, water, food, herbs, colors and even nature itself on a regular basis in my daily practice of the craft.  I am a Witch and I will stand by that.   It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This is often where those who practice, or don’t, get offended.  There are many Wiccans who are not Witches, and there are some Witches that are not Wiccan (that is their belief is not necessarily that of following the Rule of Three, or of staying within the boundaries of “white magick”).  This term has nothing to do with Satanism. The last sentence is by far one of the most important.  There is nothing Satan related in Wicca or Witchcraft.  One has to believe in the conventional idea of “Satan” before there can be any relation to him. This is not to say all Witches are good and work only for the good of all.  There are many who practice beyond the scope of what is Grey or White magick.  However, their belief is that what they are doing may be the right things. 

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Here are all the sticky widgets.  You DO NOT have to be Wiccan to be Pagan.  There are many other traditions that you could follow that make you Pagan.  Often people will refer to themselves as Pagan as general term that allows those who aren’t sure of the definitions to understand they don’t follow a modern religion.   Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems. The link here is back to the Nature Based Religions and Beliefs.  Those that are not necessarily monotheistic and have no single deity that is worshipped. 

I hope that these help you understand some of the overlap as well as some of the differences.  I think these are important to see and be able to reference prior to reading about specific rituals, practices or ideas.

 

Keeping Track

So life happens and then well life happens.  In all of that sometimes you forget the things that are important that don’t seems quite as important.  Exercise, eating healthy, getting your thoughts in order and written down.

So now I am trying to catch up.  I have some papers to finish grading, some meal planning and grocery shopping to do, some cleaning that didn’t get done.  In addition of course, the dogs need cleaning up after and the rest of the house needs to be picked up.  There is stuff to list on eBay and a few small things that need looking at.

I did manage to get my Third Lesson in my Third Degree at Sacred Mists turned into my grader, which is very exciting as I loved that lesson.  Lesson 4 is going to take a lot of research so I am reading over the questions, have a few books to dig into and a lot of internet time to get started on. I do love the history questions, and they are so important to where we are now as a practice, but sometimes it is hard to get through.

I am not sure if I am on track to actually start my next step in the summer like I thought.  We are buying a house and taking a rather fun vacation (as the oldest child at home is going into the Navy), so money may not make it possible to start the next step until the fall, however it is still my intent to get a degree in spiritual mentoring. Sometimes we have to prioritize differently than we originally planned.

What do you do when things get out of whack?  I still have my planner and I love it.  I have ordered one that looks just a little different but from the same place (personal-planner.com).  I love that I can customize.  I still have some more to do when it arrives, but I am set for what I need/want it to look like.  It will have all the spaces I need.

My favorite planner stickers right now are the Grumble and Kind (Grumble and Kind).  They are fun and whimsical and the shop owner is an amazingly talented and responsive woman.  I have several others as well that I will detail this week.  I am excited to show off some of the planning when the new planner arrives.

How are you doing?  What stickers are you using?  I have a lot to show you this coming week and I can’t wait!

Meal Planning and Jury Duty

Say what???!!! Do those two things even have anything remotely to do with one another.  My answer, nope…unless you don’t get one done because you have the other.  Mondays have become my meal planner afternoons.  My husband always works Monday so it is the perfect shopping time for all the big pieces needed for the week.  I usually do the planning part either on my prep at work or when I get home in the afternoon.

Today, I was in court until 4:30 (way past my normal be home time), and obviously there was no down time to plan my weekly meals.  In fact, since 10:30, I’ve been in the jury box, going through the jury selection process.  It appears that I will be placed on said jury, which is a 6 court days trial.  I won’t even be home most days by the time I normally start the meals.  This is not normal, nor do I really want it to be.  However, a change in pace isn’t a bad thing.

So then what is a woman to do? Well, tonight, since it is just the boys and I will, will probably be a kids’ choice, tomorrow will be quick and easy and on dad since it is date night, Wednesday is going to be the yummy Costco ravioli in the freezer, Thursday may be surprise night and Friday is dark at the court (yay), so I will find something yummy for the crockpot.  I will do my meal planning over the weekend and then be prepped for next week better (as I will still be on jury duty).

I will also end up behind on my own studies at Sacred Mists and on my work at well…work.  Hard to tell the kids what to do what when you aren’t there to see what is actually being done!

What do you do when there is a wrench thrown into the cogs?  Do you just roll or do you get all thrown off in everything?  I try to roll, but sometimes it isn’t that easy.

Apple Pie and Ice Cream

Somedays are just those kinds of days.  Yesterday’s blog talked about it…so to create a sense of calm to begin today with dinner was a fun meal and dessert was, fresh made apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  It brought that feeling of peace, that moment of sheer clarity when you bit into it. This morning, I am beginning my day with apple pie and coffee.

Things are still a mess, but not quite as bad as I thought.  We put some new furniture in its place last night, which cleared up the common space it had been stored in, I made an attempt at re-cleaning the kitchen and living space, which didn’t take as long since it had recently had a thorough cleaning.  I got a few more essays graded, and will do a few more when I am done here.

On Facebook someone replied tackle it one elephant at a time.  That’s what I did.  Today I will do the same.  Which elephant do I want out of the room first?  Clear it out.  I think there’s a bathroom downstairs calling my name, some glass shelving to put into the barrister’s cabinets we installed last night, and some clutter around the house that will get organized into them.  Yes, apple pie and ice cream fixed it all.

It also brought the rest of the energy down.  The boys all settled, my husband sighed in the peace it brought and the whole of the world that was surrounding us seemed to come into clearer, and not so daunting focus.  All because I took the time to spread the peace and love, with a little apple pie and ice cream.

Dinner was this amazing taco pie (Taco Pie Recipe) that was super kid friendly, which meant even the picky eater ate it.  So much friendly, that he, who hates apple pie, even tried that!  He didn’t like it, which I knew was coming, but he did eat a few of the apples with the ice cream.  I highly recommend the Taco Pie if you are looking for a quick and easy new way to have taco flavor.

Today was just about, being.  Sometimes slowing down, remembering the simple things matter, and can help, is really important.  I am off to grade some papers, clean a bathroom and do some organizing.  If I can sneak a trip in to Costco…well that would be bonus.

What do you do to reset the balance when it is too frenetic?  What life is hectic what foods comfort you and bring you back to what needs to be done?

Behind…always

Do you ever feel like you are never going to get everything on your list done? Like, there is so much on any given day, and whatever doesn’t get done rolls to the next day, but there is already a list there that would have taken the whole day?  I am in that spot.  I do not feel like I am ever going to get caught up or have everything done.  

It seems the dishes are a twice a day chore, which then takes over the spot of something else…and the accomplishment of getting the kitchen all done a few weeks ago, yeah well it is now in the same state as it was before I started.  So, when I wanted to be cleaning another room, I am back in the kitchen re-doing that.

In addition, I brought home real work, not Sacred Mists or housework, but actual essays that need to be graded, and some lesson plans that need to get written (I don’t see any of this happening).  So I am behind in work, home and play.  Feeling completely overwhelmed and like I can’t begin to take a breath, I want to just quit. Yep, you read that right, I want to quit.  

However, that is not really an option, obviously.  I am going to take the time to write the blog, meditate and re-center/ground and then take that energy and begin tackling everything that needs to be done.  I can only do what I can get done, and I need to focus on the fact that I am trying.  I will light a candle, start the diffuser and keep myself sane (I hope).

What do you do when you are overwhelmed?  Do you ever want to just quit?  Don’t!  Remember you are not alone in that.  Come visit and leave a message if you feel that way.  We can talk through it.

Anticipation and Anxiety

Oh yes, the two of them go hand in hand, especially when the wait is prolonged or we want something badly.  One of the things that I am working on now, within my own path and my own life, is controlling the anxiety that goes with the anticipation.  

Anxiety can be crippling.  It can cause heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, headaches…all of which can be dealt with fairly easy.  However, it can also cause complete shut down for some.  The fear of not knowing, literally paralyzes them.  Keeps them indoors, creates scenarios that they can’t deal with.  

There are things that can be done to mitigate some of the crippling anxiety that happens. Deep breathing, slow inhales and exhales, that bring a sense of calm to you.  You can take it further and do a full grounding.  Grounding is giving yourself a connection to the earth, in Wicca/Pagan practices it is a connection with Mother Earth.  You give her your anxiety and she gives you back peace.  When you have this sense of calm within from your deep breathing, feel your feet push the energy into the ground (grounding used to be called earthing), and let go, feel the earth push back the peace and calm.

You can also meditate, if you have some more time.  Take a few minutes, put on soothing music, or find a YouTube or amazon meditation channel, spend some time within yourself, finding the peace that lies at the center.  Meditation is good for everyone at some point, but during a high anxiety time it is one of the best ways to resettle yourself.

Scents also work well.  Candles or diffusers that have a lavender scent to them will help your nerves. As will Vetiver (placed on a cotton ball and applied to your pulse points).  Other scents that work well in a diffuser are Bergamot, Chamomile and Frankincense. All of these are going to help with anxiety and to calm your nerves.

What do you do to help your anxiety when you are nervous or anticipating something?