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App Review: Simple Habit – Meditation for Busy People

May 1st, 2018

App Review

Simple Habit – Meditation for Busy People

Once more into the world of meditation apps I wander! This time I’m exploring the benefits of Simple Habit, an app I’ve had for a while but only used very sporadically. Again, I started with the free version then looked to upgrade for more features. The app is normally about $6 a month for the full version, but you can invite friends to get limited time access to premium content, so I bugged my friends and family in order to get access to the good stuff. Just for you guys. Because I loves ya.

The interface is less showy than the other apps I’ve looked at. It’s a dark gray background, with ‘windows’ style blocks displaying the title of each meditation. It’s very easy to navigate, and the lack of ‘flashiness’ lends itself well to a tool that’s designed to be calming and soothing. There’s a search function that allows you to look for key words. It even suggests things you may be looking for help with, such as ‘stress’ or ‘sleep’.

On the home page, there’s a larger block that simply says, ‘Play Next’, which shows the next meditation that’s either been recommended or lined up based on what you’ve already listened to. Clicking on this today opens ‘Simple Habit Starter’. The block disappears, and the screen shows a podcast style interface with the round circle showing how much audio remains, a pause/play function and before you start, a friendly reminder to ‘Take a deep breath’. Again, the colors are very muted, there is no clutter on the screen. It’s as if the app has been designed specifically to avoid distracting you from examining the recesses of your mind, by being as unobtrusive as possible.

Simple Habit Starter’ is subtitled ‘Introducing Mindfulness’. Many of the meditations (possibly all, I haven’t listened to them all so can’t say for sure!) start with ‘You’re listening to Simple Habit; a daily vacation for your mind.’ What a nice idea, that meditation is taking your brain on a little break. Someone called Cory Muscara tells me to get comfy; either sit or lie down. Close my eyes if it feels comfortable. Give myself permission to be here; stopping can feel foreign. There’s nothing I need to achieve. I’m encouraged to focus on my breathing, and the short starter session is over before I know it, leaving me oddly refreshed and keen to explore the other features. Before I do anything else, I’m encouraged to aim for small meditation goals, like a 3 day streak.

What I particularly liked was once the meditation was over, the app doesn’t fling you right back to the home screen, but lists other meditations you may be interested in, to add to your play list. Some are on the same or a similar theme and others are by the same guide. This is a great feature as if you are picking meditations that appeal to you, you’re more likely to be excited about meditation and see it as something to look forward to, rather than something you ‘should’ be making time for.

I did seven ‘sleep better’ sessions, and believe me, I have listened to *many* guided meditations promising a great night’s sleep, so wasn’t expecting anything special. I was pleasantly surprised. Each of the first six sessions taught you a different technique to help you fall asleep. What I found most useful about this was the fact that most of these techniques can be used without the need for external audio input. Once you’ve learned the skill and practiced it, you can simply relax and use the power of your own mind to put it into practice, without having to load up the app every time, which can wake you up further.

Simple Habit is perhaps one of the best mediation apps I’ve found so far. Even when I ran out of ‘premium’ time and was flung back to freebies only, I still found plenty of relevant meditations, from really short ones for busy days, to longer ones for after the kids have gone to bed. The guides are positive without being condescending, it’s reasonably priced and it’s easy to tailor the experience to your own needs. Highly recommended.

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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.

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

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This is a lovely little book, one that can easily fit inside a woman’s bag, or a man’s briefcase.

It is broken down into two parts – The Foundations of Worship and Building Rituals.

Part One is broken down in “Prayer” and “Rituals”. It describes how, yes, pagans so pray, a description of prayer and how to write your own.

Part Two is all about Rituals

— How to Begin

— Home

— Callings

— Praise

— Thanksgiving

— Consecrations & Blessings

— Separate sections for Time of Day/Month/Year/Lore

— Endings

The last section is “Petitioning the Gods” and includes, requests, offerings, healing and society and land.

The book is chock-full of prayers for all occasions. For those who prefer to use the words of others in their rituals and daily offerings, there is much here to choose from. For others, many of these can be the base from which you craft your own prayers.

For myself, I tend to just speak from my heart in my daily prayers. However, I can definitely see myself referring to this book again and again in composing more formal rituals.

This little book would make a nice addition to your occult library.

 

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

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You’ve Got Magick Mail with Inked Goddess Creations!

 

 

Magick Mail can be a recurring monthly subscription box or a one time box deal. Whatever floats your boat. Each month’s delivery is different from the previous and matches that month’s energy and theme. They contain exclusive Inked Goddess Creations handmade products, as well as, products from other small businesses and artists to bring you unique products.

Every box contains an exclusive to Inked Goddess Creations Candle. A DIY kit so you can focus your magick. Three more additional items that fit the theme of the month and information cards.

Magick Mail ranges in price from a One Month purchase for $25 with free shipping, to a Six Month Subscription which makes each box $20.84 with free shipping.

We were curious as to what makes this box so unique and Magickal! Let’s tear into it…

 

The Packaging

The box is adorable. It comes with a Goddess symbol and the words Magick Mail on top. The long sides say Release the Magick Within & the internet address.

The two smaller sides have a variety of style of stars on them. The packaging is fun. However, if you are not out of the broom closet, do not ask for a neighbor or anyone to pick up the package for you or have it left outside your door. I kind of think it is whimsical enough though to not be over the top.

When you open the box lid up you get a cute message from the maker. That message is hidden and for your eyes only when you open the box. It is a lovely touch.

 

The Kitchen Witch Card

The first thing your eyes are drawn to when you open the box is a postcard sized note with the words The Kitchen Witch printed on it boldly. This card introduces you to the boxes topic for the month. This particular month was Kitchen Witchery. I love this idea! How unique! Not just Kitchen Witchery as in herbs, but COOKING, too!!

The card gives a detailed list of everything the box contains and a breakdown of each items value so you know what you are getting for what you paid. The prices look fair and just and nothing seems over priced to me.

Correspondences and meanings of each item are listed. Also, information on the box that the items come in is given. It is made from 100% recycled and biodegradable packaging and tissue paper. Being kind to Mother Earth!

 

Silicone Spatula

This adorable, purple, silicone Spatula comes sealed separately to keep it nice and hygienic. It is sturdy and made of good quality. The handle reads “Stir in Some Magick”. Adorable! The royal purple color was picked intentionally for divine guidance. The Kitchen Witch Card gives you all the information on safety for using the Silicone Spatula and the temperatures it is good for.

 

Reusable Grocery Bag

This is the cutest reusable bag I have seen. It came in very handy while buying supplies for a recipe that was included with the box, that will be shared later in the review. Very roomy. Holds as much, no more, than a flimsy grocery bag.

 

Candle

Great smelling votive candle. It has a thick, solid foundation. The shade of brown is simply lovely.

 

Blank Recipe Cards

Included are four 5×7 inch cards to write your own recipes on. They are on good solid cardstock so they will last. They design in the background is cute. There is ample space to write ingredients, directions, and take notes.

 

Now…the fun parts… I have saved these two pieces for last because they go together.

 

Culinary Blends Sample Pack

There are four sample bottles of Magick Spice Blends included in this Magickal Cooking themed box for you to cook and bake with and add to your own recipes. I think they are pretty large for “sample sized”. Each bottle relates to a different spell. There is Money, Love, Protection, & Healing. The herbs contained in each bottle are written on each label, as well as, allergy warnings. The flavors range from sweet to savory.

 

Recipe Cards with Recipes

Four recipe cards are included with the Magick Mail box. All four tie in the Culinary Blends Sample Pack! Each recipe is from the box creator’s personal cookbook. There is 1 Breakfast/Snack recipe, 2 Meal recipes, & 1 Dessert. All sound delicious. Each recipe comes on a pretty card, professionally printed on sturdy cardstock.

 

SOOOO….How do we know if these recipes are any good?? How do we know if these Magick Spice Blends are any good? Well, we bake…

 

Magickal Baking Fun!

I chose to bake the Lovin’ Double Chocolate Cookies. I used my new bag to purchase my supplies and got down to it. I picked this recipe because, well, I LOVE cookies & chocolate.

This recipe called for the Love Herbal Mixture. I used exactly as much as it asked for, and I KNEW it was a big “sample’ jar, because I have plenty left over to make another batch or something else. The batch of cookies is a large one. I can easily get 21 pretty LARGE cookies from it.

I followed the recipe exactly. Pouring all my energy and Love into it. Here is my batter of Love.

So first taste of cookies is always the dough. If you can eat cookie dough raw and love it, you know you have a good cookie….or just dough that will never become a cookie because you’ve eaten all the dough! Dip one….OMGODDESS!!!! I needed milk! Just for the dough! It was that good! Dip two….more milk. I couldn’t. They had to force me to bake them.

Hocus Pocus and Bam….We have Cookies!!

The taste is a mixture of Deliciousness, choco-chocolate chip cookie, part brownie, love, and heaven. There may be no such place as heaven, but this cookie is it. I think the magick of the Love in the cookie was for everyone to Love the Cookie :)

 

My Overall Impression of Magick Mail…

I do not see how anyone could not love this box. It engages you. It is different from the regular boxes out there that just give you incense, candles, witch supplies, and say, this does this and that. This box makes you DO MAGICK in a fun way. And, you get to incorporate your whole family. You get supplies you get to use on a regular, every day basis to remind you that you ARE a witch. A bag to do your everyday shopping. Recipes to cook everyday meals and treats. To think this box of fun changes every month with new, innovative ideas, now that is something!!

 

Now let’s learn a little more about Magick Mail and Inked Goddess Creations.

Morgan Moss is the inspiration behind Magick Mail. She took some time from her busy schedule with Inked Goddess Creations to talk with us.

PaganPagesOrg: What brought the idea of the monthly subscription box to you? 

Morgan Moss: My kids were subscribed to some monthly kits for science, crafts, etc. They loved getting them every month, so I started looking up subscription boxes that I would be interested in getting each month. The witchy boxes that existed at the time were too expensive for my family’s budget, and I knew I couldn’t be the only witch on a budget who wanted a subscription box. That’s when the idea for Magick Mail was born. 

PaganPagesOrg: How did you begin them?

Morgan Moss: I started with a lot of research, online and with my customers. I didn’t want Magick Mail to be like any of the boxes that were already on the market. My online store had been open for a few years, so I had an idea of what types of products my customers enjoyed. Once I figured out what type of box I wanted Magick Mail to be, and the price that would cover it, I launched it.

PaganPagesOrg: How do you choose what to put inside your boxes?

Morgan Moss: Each month we choose a theme that resonates with that month’s energy. We have a checklist we like to follow to make Magick Mail unique from other boxes out there. Each month we have a handmade votive, a DIY (we want the customer making magick each month), at least 1 handmade item exclusive to Inked Goddess Creations, and several other full-sized and sample-sized products. Many of the products I choose by intuition. I also like to work with other small businesses to get their products out into the world.

PaganPagesOrg: Is yours a recurring monthly box?

Morgan Moss: We have a One-Time Purchase box which does not renew, and monthly, 3-month and 6-month recurring subscriptions.

PaganPagesOrg: Are you, yourself Pagan?

Morgan Moss: Yes. I’ve walked the path of the Avalonian Tradition for about 13 years now, and am an eclectic kitchen witch.

PaganPagesOrg: What are some of your interests?

Morgan Moss: My family is my everything. My husband and I have been married for 18 years, and we have 2 kids, 15 and 13. We are very big into spending time as a family, which we do by watching movies, playing board games and collaborating on items for the store. When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, catching up on my favorite TV shows, and practice regular meditation.

PaganPagesOrg: Did you feel the Pagan world was missing something to make you create your box?

Morgan Moss: I did. At the time I started my research, the pagan subscription box market was saturated with expensive monthly boxes. I wanted something the average pagan could afford, but that every pagan would enjoy.

PaganPagesOrg: Do you sell other types of products?  

Morgan Moss: We do! Inked Goddess Creations has been open since 2013, supplying the tools for your magickal life. Many of our items are handmade, such as Spell Oils, Perfume Oils, Mists, Spell Kits, Witch Bottles and more. Our candles are exclusively made for our store, and we have unique altar items, divination items, a line of Kitchen Witchery items and so much more!

 

How can you get your own Inked Goddess Creations Box , Receive Magick Mail or get in Contact with them? Here is how:

Their Direct Link to Inked Goddess Creations:

www.inkedgoddesscreations.com

Their Facebook:

www.facebook.com/inkedgoddesscreations

Their Instagram:

www.instagram.com/inkedgoddesscreations

Their Twitter:

www.twitter.com/inkedgoddesshop

Their YouTube:

www.youtube.com/InkedGoddessCreationsShop

 

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About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is a Witch of many paths. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMagazine.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can email her at jenniferwright at paganpages dot org.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way.

Book Review

One Year Wiser-An Illustrated Guide to Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia

Mindfulness has been the buzz word for meditation in recent years and getting people on board with slowing down and living fully present in any given moment has been the challenge of many an author and teacher. One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia has captured the essence of what a mindfulness practice is and morphed it into an illustrated journey that resonates with the graphic novel approach. He invokes the art of visual stimuli to engage readers in well-founded content.

Mike uses his skills as an illustrator to bring the practice of mindfulness into a mindscape filled with color and easily relate-able images that any reader can identify with. Another interesting layer within this book is the outline used of working the practice through the gift of the seasons.

Appropriately, Part One is dedicated to Spring…

Spring is about blossoming and letting yourself change and become.

Taking steps with confidence towards a brighter future

and a more sincere self.”

This opening statement sets the tone in preparing oneself for something transformative that is about to happen. Each section focuses on various aspects of the journey towards becoming more mindful in your daily activities and key words that bring your attention to how that presence interacts with technology, smiling, values, forgiveness, and more.

Mike takes us on a journey through the seasons that resonates at multiple levels of understanding about what those seasons are both in the physical expression, as well as the spiritual. There is humor and there are suggestions for practice, all beautifully illustrated and offered in step-by-step increments. And, as is true with all cycles, the final page states…

But, of course the snows of Winter melt, moistening the

earth in preparation for Spring.”

A simple statement that heralds a new journey to begin, now healthier, happier and more present because of the foundations laid in the previous year.

All in all, this is a great book for anyone who has yearned to begin a mindfulness practice, but has hesitated because of a perception of austerity and overly structured practices. And, if you are looking for more supports, check out Mike’s other books:

One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal

Previously reviewed in PaganPagesOrg HERE.

and 

One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book: Unwind With Weekly Illustrated Meditations

For Amazon information Click Image

 

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate and High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. Her path is the fusion of Western Hermetics and Eastern Practices, including meditation and energetic protocol. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org and has authored several books and been published locally and Internationally.

Robin maintains a rigorous teaching schedule presenting locally and at festivals throughout the North East. She writes several blogs, The Magickal Pen being her first foray into blogging and is a writer for Sage Woman blogs.

Her primary blog is The Magickal Pen

www.themagickalpen.com

Her blog at Pagan Square, The Womb of Light, can be found at:

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/womb-of-light.html

For more information about Robin, her blogs and books, please visit her website:

www.robinfennelly.com

Or, Amazon Author’s Page:

Robin’s Author Page

Book Review

The Ultimate Guide to Crystals & Stones – A Practical Path to Personal Power, Self-Development, and Healing by Uma Silbey

 

 

Published by Skyhorse Publishing, and written by Uma Silbey, this 314 page book is hands down my favorite crystal book to date. From the moment the author described how the “Stone People” spoke to her, I was hooked. I nearly leapt for joy when she tells her readers to “hear” how the crystals want to be used rather than strictly going by a written definition. This is something I often tell my readers to do and reading that simply validated my own practice.

This book isn’t the common encyclopedia style book but rather a book that teaches you how to connect, feel and listen to crystals, and not just crystals but also ordinary rocks and continuing that affinity to the earth. Packed full of information, techniques and methods, The Ultimate Guide to Crystals & Stones would be useful to any beginner and/or seasoned crystal worker. Uma Silbey’s approach encourages the reader to make these methods a practice rather than a one time or two time use. By using the author’s techniques not only will you never look at rocks or crystals the same way again, but I honestly feel it will give the reader a deeper connection and a new appreciation for them. I could go on and on about this book, as I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but simply put, the Earth is a rock and Uma Silbey is the facilitator of connectivity to it. So, if you have a love for crystals, including the matrix that surrounds them, if you want to heighten your crystal experience and build a profound connection to these earthy gems, then make sure to add this book to your library.

About Uma Silbey:

Uma Silbey has pioneered quartz crystal, gemstone and energy information to the world through her jewelry designs, books and music for more than thirty-five years. While running her successful quartz crystal jewelry company for the past twenty-five years, Uma also authored four books, including the international bestseller The Complete Crystal Guidebook. With a master’s in counseling psychology, she has trained with shamans, indigenous healers, and medicine people. She resides in Haiku, Hawaii.

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Shiron (Shi) Eddy hails from the Pacific Northwest and shares a home with her husband, a Great Dane and a cat. Her love for crystals and minerals came from her dad who was an avid rock hound in his younger years. Shi happily shares her knowledge of crystals with anyone who is drawn to them, but especially loves to help people connect with minerals that involves their metaphysical properties. When she’s not networking with other crystal and mineral lovers, Shi can be found making jewelry, painting, crocheting Goddess dolls, selling her wares at shows or spending time with family and friends. You can find her jewelry in her shop ShiJewels or follow her on Instagram.

 

Book Review

Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being”

by Opal Streisand

Publisher: Sterling Ethos

Published: Hardcover, February 2018

Pages: 128

This book has beautiful, large, color photos of 40 medicinal plants. That is the best thing about “Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being.” It makes for a wonderful identification and reference for those in the earlier stages of learning about herbs.

For each, Opal Streisand gives the Latin name, an interesting note, the parts of the plant used, and information about the herb and its benefits, along with cautions if applicable. Sometimes that long paragraph includes history. Sometimes herbs get a four-page spread with more detailed information and a second photo.

Nowhere did I learn Opal Streisand’s credentials, so it would seem she is an author researching and writing about herbs, and not a herbalist sharing learning and personal experience. Someone going deeper into the subject will want an additional book by an herbalist.

This book can serve as the gateway, introducing the reader to some of the most commonly used herbs and instilling an appreciation of their many uses. Ancient healers knew the curative powers of the plants around them. That information has been passed down through generations in many cultures and traditions. Herbs are nature’s medicine, and that medicine is just as effective today as it was 200 years ago.

This book will acquaint you to herbs that soothe and heal. You’ll learn that a decoction of burdock was a folk remedy for colds and valerian is a sleep aid that should not be taken with other sedatives or antidepressants.

It’s worth repeating: the photographs are beautiful. They will help to identify plants by their flowers and, in some cases, their foliage.

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

 

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