As much as it annoys me, there is nothing more correlated with improvement as practice. It’s the same for athletics, art, language, or witchcraft. If you want to get better, you have to put in the hours. Every witch is different. Every witch has […]
I am all about podcasts. The first one I ever followed was Welcome to Nightvale, and I’ve been hooked on podcasts ever since. But, I have recently discovered The Black Tapes Podcast, to my absolute delight. Get a drink, and turn out the lights, because […]
Fluorite is one of my absolute favorite minerals. It comes in a wide variety of colors, even within the same crystal. From dreamy, creamy whites to transparent whites, to blues, to greens, to purples, fluorite is an absolute delight to look at. Fluorite is […]
What are metaphors? If you’ve taken high school level English, you’ve probably encountered that term before. A metaphor is a comparison between two things without using the words ‘like’ or ‘as.’
Here is an example. My friend and her significant other planned to visit my house for dinner earlier this month. I asked my friend if her boyfriend was a picky eater, or if there were particular ingredients I should avoid. She laughed and responded, “He is basically a garbage disposal. Make whatever you want, and it will be fine.”
Essentially, my friend described her boyfriend using a comparison to a device in American sinks (composed of whirling blades that’s designed to destroy and take anything shoved into it and make it into pieces small enough to go down the drain). It isn’t exactly the image of a picky eater. Instead, if seems more like the way to describe someone who will inhale food regardless of the ingredients.
In this way, a loyal person might be described as dog-like in a metaphor. Dogs are symbols for loyalty. That is the basis for oracle and tarot decks. What does a rose mean? What does an arrow mean? Some of these images have meanings that are widely understood and common across regional and cultural barriers, but, some meanings are particular to you.
For example: school is usually not a pleasant metaphor or image for me. Many of my school years were very frustrating and quite frankly miserable. So the image of a school has a very different meaning for me than it might have for someone else. Take note of things that pop up in your dreams on a regular basis—and what your feelings about them are. You can do a similar exercise with pictures of tarot cards. The Chariot might translate better into the image of a bullet train or fast sports car these days. What does something like that mean to you? What do you associate with it?
What other exercises have you tried related to personal imagery or metaphors? Let me know in the comments below!
Time for a bit of a strange topic. Information about the dead, spirits and hauntings are common in witchcraft circles, both secular and religious. I have pretty limited experience with the dead, but my experience has lead me to believe that the living are likely to be far more dangerous. And, yes, the living can haunt a home.
Some of you might be wondering what I mean when I say that the living can haunt a place. I mean their energy. Their energy can soak into a home or a building, and it can cause trouble. What makes it worse is that the energy of the living can stir up other spirits like nobody’s business.
My nuclear family is a mess. When I was growing up, my parents had an emotionally abusive relationship with each other, me, and the cousins living in my house. Gas-lighting, manipulation, and many other toxic behaviors were just part of the day to day. I didn’t like being in that building. I especially didn’t feel safe at night, or sometimes even in the day. Several other spiritually sensitive family members confirmed that there was a spirit in the house before I even told them that I had seen it—although it was completely benign.
I started having trouble sleeping when I was thirteen. It stayed that way for years. I would literally wake up in the middle of the night paralyzed with fear nearly every day out of the week. It was difficult to get anything done in school, because there was always this feeling of being watched. Something was always watching and waiting, or at least that was what it felt like. The cats would stare at nothing and hiss.
Fear. Guilt. Self-loathing. Anger. All of that is energy. Those things seeped into the house. Other people reported feeling a sense of dread and other stereotypical haunting ‘symptoms’ like cold spots after a while. My spiritually sensitive family members tried cleansing the house several times while my parents were not home—religion, or faith, or spirituality were not tolerated in that house. But, the problems always came back. Both of my cousins also started experiencing sleep disturbances. What we didn’t consider was that the source was living. It was the family itself, our own dysfunction that haunted that home. We riled up what was already there.
I hear the current residents are doing fine with that house. Since then, I’ve known several people in abusive relationships who reported supernatural activity spike in their residences. Like brings like. If you stir up a peaceful building with toxic energy, it will remember. The other energy there will remember.
My sleep has been a mess the past few years, after nearly a year of peaceful slumber. Why? I started slipping into bad habits, and started unconsciously looking for the approval of the people who I shouldn’t hold onto. It’s taking some work to try and de-program that again. But, I’ve had at least one night of good sleep since beginning Shadow Work again. It’s just another reason to move on from poisonous people. They can haunt you. They can haunt buildings. And by holding onto them, you can, too.
Bad news, everyone. White sage, which is commonly found in sage bundles for smoke-cleansing, is endangered. Yes, those white bundles sold in every new-age and witchcraft store are from a plant that’s becoming endangered. Why? Unfortunately, it’s from over-harvesting. I already own a few bundles, […]
I started taking baths regularly around two years ago, instead of always showering. While I enjoy spending time soaking or playing on my phone, I’ve found that baths are also great for meditation. Usually meditating has a few obstacles for me. First, I’m very sensitive […]
I consider myself a domestic creature—the kind of animal whose ‘wild’ habitat includes modern comforts like fast wifi, hot water heaters for tea, and TempurPedic mattresses. That said, I still try to get a monthly forest bath. One of my goals for 2016 is to try for a forest bath twice monthly. If I’m being honest, I’d probably do a lot better if I lived near a forest and got my dosage daily.
Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), or Forest Therapy, is more or less defined as a leisurely visit to the woods or other more-or-less wild space. In short: it’s spending a little time goofing around in the woods and getting your skin against the earth. But, does this have any benefits? You bet your peer reviewed scientific journals it does! Many of these studies are free to read on Google Scholar, and easy to find with the key-words ‘Forest Bathing’.
And the benefits? Reductions in anxiety, anger, and depression were observed as well as an increase in natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells are a type of white blood cell that bind virus-infected and cancer cells for destruction. They serve as a kind of cleaner crew for the body, and limit the spread of tumors. So, despite their name, NK cells are highly beneficial for all of us. For more information, look up information on NK Cells or other types of lymphocytes.
If you can’t manage a Forest Bath, keeping a picture of a forest or a houseplant can help with depression. Even painting the room green can help.
Multiple days of forest bathing are better than a day trip. So if you can plan ahead and find a suitable location, give it a go. Most months, I attend a LARP event close to my area, and so I end up spending two days forest bathing while doing other things. It also makes for a good time to look for moss, interesting rocks, or sticks for crafting. Have you tried getting into the woods more often? If so, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear anyone else’s opinions on the benefits of forest bathing.