Joy

Beating the January Blues: Excerpts from Every Day Magic Edited by Lucya Starza

January, 2019

January blues refers to that unsettled and unhappy feeling after the holidays are over. The joy and excitement have come and gone, and now there is nothing to look forward to. Of course, Imbolc isn’t so far away, so as a Pagan it’s probably a bit easier to cope with! But winter depression and SAD can affect anyone, so it’s important to keep an eye on your mood at this time of year and try and do something positive if you feel yourself becoming anxious or feeling low.

Here are some excerpts from a book I contributed to which has magical tasks for every day of the year. Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days is a collection of 366 ways to observe the cycle of the year. These ideas can help make a grey and dismal January as magical as you need it to be.

Click Here or Book Cover for Amazon Info

January the First: New Year’s Resolutions

Resolve to enrich your spirit each and every day in many and varied ways. Aim to watch the way the seasons change; meditate a little; whisper prayers; light candles for peace, hope, joy, love and good health; dance and sing; learn about the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world and celebrate the forces of nature, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Be open to inspiration. Be blessed. Lucya StarzaI

January the Fourth: Janus

January is named after the Roman God of beginnings and endings, Janus. At the start of the year, cakes made of spelt flour and salt were traditionally burnt on his altar as an offering. Bake spelt bread (there are many traditional recipes online), then make an offering of a little to Janus. Tell him all the things you want to change and ask for his help. Light a candle in his honour. Ravenwings

January the Fifth: Focus and Control Pouch

Braided string, 6 inches in black, blue and yellow

Almond

Cedar

Bay leaf

Nutmeg

Carnelian

Cinnamon oil

Pouch

Purple candle

Before preparing the pouch, apply cinnamon oil to the candle. Light it to aid focus and meditation. Leaving the oil on your hands, continue the work. Affirmation: ‘I am strong. I will focus. I remain calm, and use wisdom.’ Repeat this as you place the rest of the items into the pouch. Tie it with braided string. Laeynarrie Auvresti

January the Sixth

Twelfth Night Wassail

Recite this to an apple tree and offer it cider and toast:

Wassail

Old Apple tree, old apple tree,

We have come to wassail thee.

Thirteen fires we bring to thee,

Ancient Mother apple tree.

Here’s cider-toast to break thy fast,

Now winter lessens here at last.

We wake the spirits with the gun,

Then sing and dance, have lots of fun.

Oh apple tree, oh apple tree,

Do blossom well we beg o’ thee.

To bear and to bow apples enow.

Hats full! Caps full! Three bushel bags full!

Barn floors full,

And a little heap under the stairs. Elen Sentier

What do you do to keep yourself joyful in January? However you spend this first month of the Gregorian year, may you be warm and merry in some small and special way.

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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 Click Here for Amazon Info

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways Click Here for Amazon Info

Book Review: The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

November, 2018

Book Review

The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

 

The Giggles and Joy Children’s books are a series of three books that focus on spiritual life lessons for kids. Each book consists of 8 poems that cover a variety of different topics. The books are written by Ariane de Bonvoisin with Carlie Sutcliffe. They are beautifully and creatively illustrated by Ellie Cross.

These books are amazing and now a personal favorite in my home. They teach kids that positivity, joy and happiness are something to experience every day.

 

 

Giggles and Joy

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the first book in the Giggles and Joy series. It features 8 poems on topics of “kindness, gratitude, having a bad day, home, prayer, planet Earth, self-belief and the physical body”.

One of my favorite features is that even though Giggles and Joy talks about prayer, it is in a universal way, that does not align prayer with a certain religion. For a home like mine, where I’m Pagan, my mother is Christian, and my son is undecided, this is a perfect fit.

Planet Earth is one of my son’s favorites. He loves saying “thank you” to our planet Earth. He also enjoys the illustrations that accompany not only planet Earth but all of the poems in Giggles and Joy.

 

You Are Loved

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the second book in the Giggles and Joy series. It also features 8 poems. These poems cover “love, navigating change, this beautiful life, courage, grown-ups, self-confidence, and adventure”.

Picking a favorite from this series is difficult. The poems are beautifully written in terms that are easy for children of all ages to understand. I will say that “The Moon Loves You” and “Change” are two of our most read poems. My son has always had a special attachment to the moon so this one gets read almost nightly.

Change quickly became one of our other most read poems when we had a situation shake up the home. It was nice to have a poem that could be read to my son to help him. It taught him that change can be scary, but change can also be fun and exciting.

 

Being You

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the final book in the Giggles and Joy series. The topics for these last 8 poems are “what many kids are facing in the world today, what is true self-worth and how to nurture it, the importance of telling the truth, how to feel safe inside oneself, the magical effect of deep breathing and the adventure of being free to really be yourself”.

Take a Deep Breath” is one of my son’s favorite poems from Being You. It incorporated the deep breathing technique that he learned in school. It also has illustrations of dragons, which is his favorite beast.

 

All in all, I give the Giggles and Joy series a double thumbs up. By far, one of my favorite poem series for children. If you are looking for a positive series full of lessons, look no further. These poems are fun to read and listen to no matter the age.

 

Amazon Links to :

The Giggles and Joy Gift Set on Amazon

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

 

 

 

Book Review: Confessions of a Bone Woman – Realizing Authentic Wildness in a Civilized World By Lucinda Bakken White

May, 2018

Book Review

Confessions of a Bone Woman – Realizing Authentic Wildness in a Civilized World By Lucinda Bakken White

This is a “coming of age” tale, the story of one woman’s rediscovery of freedom, joy and ultimately, herself. Lucinda Bakken White excavates her soul from underneath a lifetime of meeting expectations and fulfilling the demands of parents, peers, career, marriage and children and life as a “powerful socialite.” How does she do that? By excavating the bones and feathers of “roadkill” and creating art from them. She finds her life in the death and resurrection of the wilderness animals she roamed among as child.

Bakken White tells her tale of innocence lost and reborn using animal archetypes to describe herself at different points in her life. She moves from being a wolf, secure with her place in the pack, to a wolf among lions, changing her “skin” to meet the expectations of society and family. Her description of how she gave herself up, piece by piece and bone and bone, is worth reading. From the perspectives of both parent and child, it is an accurate description of how we are trained to conform, to be other than who we are and to take off the “skins” of our true natures to wear designer clothes. We become disconnected from the rhythms and cycles of the natural world and we fall out of balance with ourselves.

(Bone Altar)

Bakken White hears the call back to herself in dreams of Wolf and feels the pull to work with bones when she finds a buffalo skull that appears to her as a portal to other realms. She becomes “ravenous for bone” and finds that animals, dead and alive, communicate with her like her dreams do. Encounters with animals become an invitation to communicate with forces greater than herself and force her to stay aware and connected, pulling her back to herself and out of her superficial preoccupations. She finds herself working with carcasses of animals, preserving them, honoring the lives of the spirits that had once inhabited them and ultimately making sacred their presence here on Earth. Bakken White writes about digging into decaying carcasses with her fingers to get through what is dead to the bones, the structure of a life; she realizes that by digging through decay and going inside, with persistence and without horror, she can pull out and restore that which gives her life meaning.

Now as a woman coming of age and fully inhabiting her Elderhood, Bakken White works with other women to examine the masks they wear. She writes that in “looking back, I realized that bone by bone the animals I found were a metaphor for my personal process of discovering, unmasking and reconnecting the scattered parts of my true self.” But rather ending the book by identifying with the archetype of La Loba, the wolf woman who sings over the bones, Bakken White’s last chapter is called “Skunk.” Skunk is confident with herself and owns respect!!

Click Image for Amazon Information

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About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

InterWeavings

May, 2012

May is all about Joy!

So far we have looked at the first four of our year of values. January’s simplicity, February’s love, March’s order and April’s Faith moves us into May’s joy!

Joy can seem very superficial but to feel deep contentment and grounding is joy at the core of our being. Do you sometimes feel guilty for being happy when so much heartache surrounds us? It is easy to join in the chorus of “woe is me” when everyone around us is complaining. And with the terrible economy and job losses there are serious issues facing us and those we know.

Fear is quick to steal joy. So is negativity of any kind. If we believe in the rede of Harm None, doesn’t that include harm to ourselves? I think so. I also believe that thoughts held in mind produce after their kind. I can choose how to interpret the life I lead day to day.

I have to force myself to refrain from reading the political and financial news these days.  I feel strongly about this country and the upholding of the constitution. It is what gives us the freedom to express our beliefs openly in our daily round as well as in publications such as this.  I believe in being not only a good steward to our Mother Gaia but also a good steward of our finances. There is doom and gloom everywhere! We are at a point where our family is prepared physically and financially to thrive. I do not want my joy stolen from me each time I listen to the news or read an article. I have done everything possible to be a good parent and partner and I choose to walk each day in peace and joy!

May reminds me that there is a larger world of spirit that envelops us all. Beltane is perfect for celebrating the incredible life force rising!  Joy just bursting out all over!

  • Welcome
  • Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns
  • Tarot Talk
  • Going Shamanic Radio
  • The Road to Runes
  • for food with springs abundance showing is wonderful.

    Cooking with fresh vegetables is a must now that the farmer’s markets are starting. Just eat dandelions and sweet violets in a salad. Our yard is filled with wild food! Planting gardens of vegetables and flowers with dirt under our nails connects us further.

    To remind us of that energy an altar outside is lovely. A touchstone visually as you approach your home. It can be as simple as smooth river stones stacked on a window ledge with a teacup filled with violets. An altar could be a grouping of flowering plants with sacred symbols drawn on their pots or a bench on a porch with candles, flowers and little figures of baby animals. It is a way of leaving the world behind us as we enter the sacred space of our home. Joy fills this place.  It is also a reminder of peace as we leave our sanctuary for the day

    Spend the month of May finding joy in the minutia the day. You will be a joy to others and feel it returned three-fold.

    Blessed Be.