everyday

Interview with Author of Everyday Enchantments Maria DeBlassie

January, 2019

Interview with Maria DeBlassie

I loved Maria’s book, Everyday Enchantments. You can find out exactly what I thought of it by reading my review in last month’s PaganPagesOrg. So, imagine my delight when the author agreed to have a chat with me about her writing and the themes within the book, particularly finding the magic in everyday life. Read on to find out more about this fascinating author and her wonderful outlook on life.

Mabh Savage: What inspired the book, Everyday Enchantments?

Maria DeBlassie: This book was inspired by my journey back to a happy, healthy, whole self. I was at a place in my life where I could finally explore what it meant to live, and not just survive. I’d finished school, gotten a job, and was finally setting down roots. Then came discovering what it meant to be a writer and a woman. I committed to a year of daily blogging on simple pleasures, everyday magic, and those quiet mystic moments inherent in our lives…that turned into a lifestyle, an ongoing blog, and this book!

MS: Who would you say it is aimed at?

MD: Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the simple pleasures and subtle enchantments that make life delicious. I hope readers see my book as an invitation to pause, refresh, and open themselves to the magic inherent in daily life. We all have a little bit of witch in us. My book is for anyone who wants to tap into that magic and conjure their own bliss!

MS: Do you have a favorite chapter?

MD: I love them all as I read them. Sometimes, when I’m needing more introvert time, I’m drawn to the chapters on reading and writing. When I’m ready to go adventuring, I find it’s the chapters on dancing and dreaming that resonate with me more.

MS: What was the biggest challenge about putting the book together?

MD: I wanted to collapse the space between the mystic and the mundane, which had its own challenges. How do you show that synchronicity is an integral part of your everyday? And how do you explain that a good cup of coffee is pure divinity? These are the questions I wrestled with as I wrote the book. I didn’t want the mystic to be something outside ourselves or beyond our daily routines. It’s always there, right within our grasp, if we take the time to look for it. I think, in the end, I was able to illustrate that.

MS: And conversely, what did you enjoy the most about the process?

MD: I love how writing became an act of self-care and spell-crafting, bringing me back to myself when I’d grown too tired of the world. It allowed me to conjure the life I wished to live: one of abundance, grounded mysticism, and happiness!

MS: Some reviewers have commented on the mindfulness contained within the pages of this book. What does mindfulness mean to you?

MD: Mindfulness is a fancy word for staying connected to ourselves and the universe. It’s about slowing down and letting go of the debris that weighs us down, so we have more room for the euphoric.

MS: Should we all be practicing a little more mindfulness? Why is it so important in today’s world?

MD: We live in a world that asks us to move faster and faster, do more, buy more; in short, overextend ourselves in our addiction to busy. When we practice mindfulness, we can unplug from this ugly addiction and connect to what truly matters. It really is the art of slow living or simple living, where we let go of anything that complicates our lives. Once you unplug, you see how addictive- and unnecessary- all that hustle and bustle is.

MS: Can someone in a thoroughly urban setting, with a high-pressure schedule, still find enchantment in their everyday lives?

MD: Absolutely! I live in the heart of Albuquerque and have a very full teaching and writing life. Both are jobs that never quite end, which makes it easy to get lost in the daily grind- even when you love what you do. I’ve just found ways to put limits on them by carving out self-care time and leaving myself open to the little bits of magic that come my way. It’s amazing how much enchantment you find in your daily life when you decide to let go of negative patterns and unhealthy social norms that say we must always be spinning our wheels.

MS: Each chapter holds a meditative, poetic quality that’s very relaxing to read but I imagine would be potent read aloud. Would you consider doing an audio book?

MD: I would love to! I don’t know quite how it all works, but I am addicted to audiobooks myself in all genres. A few minutes listening to a good story or bit of wisdom on my lunch break or while tending house does my soul a world of good.

MS: What’s on the horizon creatively for you? Are you planning any more books?

MD: My current project is called Tarot Tuesdays, or #TarotTuesdays if you are on social media. It’s a series of 78-word stories based on the 78 cards in the tarot deck and synchronicity. Each week, I draw a new card, learn about its role in the tarot, and, with the help of meaningful coincidences, write my story. I’ll say this about my journey into tarot so far: the magic doesn’t lie. The cards always tell me exactly what I need to hear! I’m so grateful for this new project because it gives me an opportunity to meditate on the magic of these cards.

MS: What are you most optimistic for about the next year?

MD: I look forward to the unexpected adventures and spontaneous synchronicities while delving deeper into the realm of everyday magic. Every year I get a little bit better at welcoming enchantment into my life so I’m excited to see what that manifests.

MS: Do you have a favorite time of the year, festival or season? If so, what makes it special for you?

MD: This is a tough one. I love every season as it unfolds, blooms, then fades into the next. I’m ruled by the season and enjoy experiencing each one in their turn. Right now, I’m loving the long nights of winter and delicate hush that hits around 4pm as the sky begins to fade to dark. It’s the best time for walks; everything is watermelon-kissed before the sun sets.

MS: And finally, as we move deeper into winter, how do you celebrate the holiday period? ?

MD: This is a time for turning inward for me. So much of the mainstream holiday season is about noise, consumerism, and doing more. I like to get away from all that and simply be. I indulge in afternoons reading over mugs of home-made chai tea. I make simple, heartfelt gifts for loved ones. I up my self-care routine and allow myself to rest. This winter solstice season is the perfect time to pause, reflect, and absorb the many ups and downs of your year before slipping into the next. I like to honor that liminal space. There’s plenty of joy in that; I’m all about the twinkle lights and festive holiday cheer. I just like it at a slower, cozier pace, where I can absorb the delights of this more introverted season and recharge with the magic of the solstice.

Thank you so much for speaking to us here at PaganPagesOrg, Maria! You can find Maria’s book on Amazon and all good book stores. You can also follow her fascinating blog, and find her on Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the #TarotTuesdays hashtag to follow Maria’s exploration of the Tarot.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review – Everyday Enchantments by Maria DeBlassie

December, 2018

Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings

 

 

Maria’s book is described as a collection of ‘micro-meditations and celebratory reflections on living life as a wild woman’. How could I not be intrigued? Though far from a true wild woman myself thanks to my urban-slash-suburban setting, I’m always drawn to the idea of being freer, away from the hubbub and city grind. This book holds chapter after chapter of golden, glowing moments from just such a life, and is as compelling as it is calming.

Each chapter is short and sweet in the best possible meaning of that phrase. One chapter focuses on the magic of chamomile, from the point of view of taking the tiny, dried buds and bringing them to life in a soothing cup of tea. Another reflects on the divine powers of the onion. This is true ‘everyday’ magic. Rituals we may go through every day without perhaps realising the power inherent within our actions. Maria encourages us to pause, drink in what we are doing and absorb every moment’s magical potential.

I love the meditative nature of the chapters. Most are written in the second person, a style I normally find a bit jarring. In this book it works really well. This is because it is written in the same way a guided meditation is spoken to you. As you read you can almost hear a gentle voice whispering the words directly into your brain and allowing you to completely visualise and lose yourself in each moment.

I have found this book immensely useful for reminding me to stop and take stock. It helps me enjoy each moment more fully, not by trying to recapture the moments in the book but by following the example of living fully in each minute and being grateful for the enchantment that flows through every second. A thoroughly wonderful book. Recommended for all.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review: The Book of Ceremony – Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life by Sandra Ingerman

November, 2018

Book Review:

The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

by Sandra Ingerman

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work and fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change. The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered.

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life on Amazon

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review – Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation by Stephanie Woodfield

August, 2018

Dark Goddess Craft:

A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation

Author: Stephanie Woodfield

Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Copyright:2017

I decided to do more than just a review of this book. I wanted to work through it. I read the whole book, but I picked which Dark Goddess to work with as I read each section. Ms. Woodfield explains upfront the nature of the Dark Gods or Goddesses as she has come to understand it. I feel that she is right, about how only in the modern times have we picked the labels of Light (Good) and Dark (Evil/Bad). Our ancestors didn’t classify things in such a manner, because to them the Underworld wasn’t seen as Evil or Bad. It was the same as what we see today in the world, but it did have its differences.

Ms. Woodfield breaks it down into three different parts, The Descent, the Challenge, and Rebirth. The first two parts have 4 Goddesses with which to work. The Rebirth is the only part that has 3 Goddesses only. There is a mix of Goddess with which to work. Ms. Woodfield has Devotional Work and Rituals for Greek, Hindu, Inuit, and Yoruba Orisha. There are others as well, and this is just a sample of what she gives.

There is the Descent first. Here you have four different Goddess, and you get to pick which one you want to connect to in your working. I picked Hekate, and she is already a Goddess I relate to daily. In doing the Devotional operations that Ms. Woodfield put in the book and working the Ritual, I deepened my connection with Hekate. Through this working, I also learned some more about myself, and how I see the world around me.

Next comes the Challenge. Here is where I felt the real work came in for myself. You may find that the Descent is where you face your main challenge and this part is more comfortable for you. Here I worked with Eris. For me, this happened when there was a family crisis and working with the Goddess Eris was calming for me. I can see why the old saying of “What a Deity causes, they can also take away.” I thank Eris for helping me through this time of chaos.

Rebirth has 3 Goddesses from which you can choose. They are Blodeuwedd, Scáthach, and Persephone. I had a bit of a challenge here seeing Persephone as a Dark Goddess because I have always thought of her in the role of the Maiden, but she is also Queen of the Underworld. And working with her in this way was liberating to me. I felt that I had a rebirth in two ways.

I found this book to be insightful in that it helped to change and challenge my views on Dark Goddess Craft. Ms. Woodfield has written a book that I think will help others find their way forward with Devotional workings and Rituals. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Woodfield’s writings.

Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey through the Heart of Transformation

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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become an E-Book reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Spellcrafting: Spells and Rituals

February, 2015

Everyday Rituals
Sink

 

Merry meet!

Washing dishes. Folding clothes. Sweeping floors. Making soup. Taking a bath. Setting the table. Weeding the garden.

While you might think of these as mundane chores, they are actually everyday rituals. Birthday parties, Memorial Day parades and bedtimes stories are also rituals. So are ceremonies such as graduations, weddings and funerals that mark stages of life.

The Catholic church in which I was raised was ripe with ritual, and when I rejected the religion, I also rejected ritual. It took me decades to realize its importance and to add it back into my life.

Pagans have no doubt experienced of the power of ruitals as they are performed in connection to a chosen path – working with spells and dieties, the sun and the moon. But there is no need to stop there. The more things you can turn into a ritual, the more connected you become.

I hope this column will inspire you to turn some of your boring chores, mundane tasks and thankless jobs into rituals that can bring much peace and great joy.

One example I like to use is washing dishes. No one I know likes it. Yet I do. I gravitate toward it. Although I have a dishwasher that uses less water, I often wash them by hand. I’ve come to see it as a break from the fast pace of life, a time to suspend the constant chatter in my head.

By approaching it with gratitude and a sense of purpose, it’s fairly easy to stay in the moment. Just standing at the sink, I immediately feel connected to my mother, and her mother, and to all the women back to the beginning of time who cleaned up after their families’ meals. I made a mat of stone tiles that I keep in front of the sink. Standing barefoot on it, I feel more connected to the earth.

The pots and pans, plates and utensils signal an abundance of food that was prepared and eaten, and for that I am grateful. I feel the weight and the texture of each item. I recall its history and celebrate its beauty and usefulness: mom’s spreader, the red spatula that was a birthday gift for a #1 personal year, the pottery mug purchased on vacation more than 20 years ago, the white china gifted to me by a co-worker, the huge beautiful blue and green glass goblets found at a tag sale for $2 apiece. Each item is carefully washed, rinsed and set out to dry. The scraps are thrown away and the sink is wiped down.

Better than a sense of accomplishment, there comes a sense of calm. It’s moments like this – when I am present and mindful – that I know all is well.

It takes some serious effort at first to stay in one place doing one thing with intention, but the rewards are wonderful. Rituals provide a sense stability, of importance and of purpose. They are especially comforting to return to in times of stress, grief or uncertainty. Rituals can affect our feelings, thoughts and behaviors. They can serve as spiritual focal points and connections to a greater whole.

Everything can become a ritual. It can be for any purpose or goal, formal or freeform, long or short, simple or intricate, solitary or to share.

Brushing your teeth is probably one of your routines that qualifies as a ritual. You can make it more magical by doing it with the intention of energizing your smile as a gift to the world. A shower can become a cleansing or a healing ritual. Tending the fire is an opportunity to embody Brighid.

It’s a scientific fact: rituals are effective. As pagans, we have the power to make them magical and fun.

Merry part. And merry meet again.