Crafts

Wreathing the Wheel

July, 2019

Watching the Summer Skies

Summer is a great time to get outside, go camping, and watch the stars come out. This is something I like to do at least once a summer, and more than that if I can manage it. This year, my interest in stargazing has a new dimension: I have been studying astrology, and am now watching stellar bodies with renewed interest. In the interests of getting serious about learning the ropes of astrology, I decided to make some bullet journal spreads as a reference to help me study.

Natal Chart and Astrological Reference

One of the things that most new astrology students do is to study their own natal chart, which captures the positions of the planets and stars at the moment of a person’s birth. I’m lazy and didn’t want to do all the complicated calculations to figure out the positions myself, so I used the natal chart calculator available at Cafe Astrology so that I could focus my efforts on making my pages look good. As I usually do, I used a ruler, protractor, and mechanical pencil to sketch out these layouts, and tried to fit in the information as densely as possible. When I felt certain that I liked how it looked, I used my set of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to ink the spreads. I also used “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need” by Joannaa Martine Woolfolk as a reference, along with a handful of astrology websites. 

The right side of this spread is completely dedicated to an exploded reading of the planetary positions in my natal chart, complete with the names of the positions and some basic keywords. The center figure started as a basic circle drawn with a protractor, and I used a circle template to add the concentric inner circles around the central point. Most of this was drawn with the 180 degrees of the circle divided into twelve equal 30-degree angles; the houses don’t perfectly match the division of the signs, but were drawn in by hand using the computer-generated chart as a reference. The positions of the planets, houses, and signs are all included here, along with the ascendant line and the midheaven point. In the lower left corner of the spread, I added the aspects in my natal chart.

I wanted to add a lot of basic reference information as well, so that I could refer back to these spreads over and over again. I included several lists: the signs with their symbols, associated elements, ruling planets, dates, and keywords; and the houses, with keywords and their native signs, as well as a list of the symbols used. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a newbie to astrology, so hopefully experienced astrologers will excuse any mistakes made in these spreads. While I did spend a fair amount of time inking these spreads, I won’t lie — the majority of the time that I spent on these spreads was spent on research, which is pretty unusual for a bullet journal spread.

The 2019 year calendar was difficult to fit into a small space, but I used the Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Calendar as my reference for most of the included planetary transits. My calendar simply includes which sign each planet is in during each half of each month of the year, along with the moon’s path and phases. Below this, I added the year’s meteor showers and eclipses. After filling out the symbols on the facing page, I found I still had a lot of space left — so I decided to add the constellations of the zodiac and a big more art here. These spreads are now basically full of information, though there’s room to add a few additional notes. I may be a beginner, but I feel like I’ve now got a great reference to help me move forward with my studies, something I can come back to again whenever I have astrology to do!

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Pixie Witch Kitchen

July, 2019

Rosemary Scones with Blackberry Jam & Lemon Drizzle

Lammas and Lughnasadh are just around the corner on August 1st. Lammas is known as the first harvest. These scones will be a great treat to share in your rituals or even with yourself if you are a solitaire. They go great with a cup of hot herbal tea or, if you live in California like I do or somewhere really hot, make that an ice tea, please.

I saw a cooking show that made scones and added rosemary to them. The thought of that sounded really good. I made them but they were just to dry for me and needed something sweet. I looked up different recipes for scones and saw some had added jam to them after they baked. Hmmmm why not add it before kinda like thumb print cookies right? So I tried it and ohhh yessss it’s what they needed. You can use any flavor of course even orange marmalade.

I make a certain type of banana bread that I use a sweet drizzle on, so of course I thought lets try a yummy drizzle and it was even better.

I have a sweet tooth can ya tell? So I ended up with this amazing scone. It’s not like a biscuit at all but not quite a cookie either but it IS amazing. So here we go…..

In this recipe I picked three magickal ingredients. Ok they are all magickal right but lets just focus on three today. Lemons, Blackberries and Rosemary.

Lemons

Lemons yum who doesn’t love lemons? Wait what did I hear someone say I don’t? I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that hee hee. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, it promotes hydration, helps with tummy-aches and helps prevent painful kidney stones.

Lemons are also used for protection so make sure to save some of your lemon peel, dry it out and add it in your spell work, protection bottles and medicine bags.

Lemons are ruled by the Moon and its element is Water.

Blackberries

Blackberries are also packed with vitamin C, high in fiber and a great source of potassium and magnesium.

Blackberries represent an abundant harvest and are used in magickal cooking and spells for Prosperity.

Blackberries are ruled by Earth and of course its element is Earth.

Rosemary

Rosemary is great to reduce muscle aches, boost up your immune system, helps digestive issues, helps your memory and helps hair growth.

Rosemary can also be used in making your own incense to give peace of the mind, it also releases psychic, spiritual and physical purification.

Rosemary is also used for smudging.

Rosemary is ruled by the Sun and its element is Fire.

Recipe

Makes 12-14 depending on your cookie cutter size.

For the Dough

2 Cups Flour and extra for dusting the table

1/2 Cup Sugar

1- 1/2 TBSP Rosemary chopped up

1/2 TSP Salt and a pinch to toss over your left shoulder for luck

2 TSP Baking Powder

6 TBSP Butter cut up

1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

For the Topping

1/3 Cup of Blackberry Jam

For the Glaze

1/4 Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (you can use store bought if you don’t have any fresh lemons)

2 Cups of Confectioners Sugar

1 or 2 TBSP of Water

Now to start baking these delicious treats. I like to burn incense or burn a little sage before I start. Then I like to go to my Kitchen Witch Altar and ask my Kitchen Witch to help me with what I’m making. I haven’t given her a name yet and I’ve had her for many years. It was a gift from my sweet friend Jenny. It actually belonged to her mother and was passed down to her and then me. I believe she was made in the late 60s. So shes a huge part of my Kitchen Witch altar

Get all your kitchen tools ready. I used 2 bowls, a rolling pin, baking sheet, parchment paper, mixing spoons I love using wooden spoons for doughs. Measuring cups and spoons, knife and cookie cutters. You will notice I used a Moon, Star and Witch Hat in this pic BUT it was to small and it made a mess of the scones. I’ve always used bigger cutters but I thought it’d be cute, well it wasn’t haha and in this case size matters so please please nothing to small. I’ll add a picture of what they looked like towards the end of this article. Try and stick to 3″ or bigger. Remember these are scones not cookies.

Now get out all your ingredients

Now preheat your oven to 350 F

Don’t forget to line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Its time to chop up your Rosemary. Mmmm doesn’t it smell wonderful? Chop it up nice and fine.

Now in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, butter, baking power, salt and rosemary. With a wooden spoon mix it really well. I like to go clockwise.

You can use a food processor at this point if you need to. Sometimes its much easier especially if you have a hard time mixing by hand as I do at times.

Slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream. (if your using the food processor please dump it into a large bowl now)

Now stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough ball.

Next step is very important haha. If you wear a lot of rings like I do TAKE THEM OFF now. Nothing is worse then trying to get dough out of all the grooves of your rings.

Now mix the rest and knead the dough.

Form a ball.

Now the fun part, I really love rolling out the dough and cutting it out. So dust your work surface with flour and roll out dough 1/2″ thick. You can do half at a time or whatever your comfortable with and what space you have. I usually split the dough in 3 and do it that way. Its very important though to make sure its 1/2 ” thick.

Next grab them cookie cutters and cut out your shapes.

Fill your cookie sheet, they don’t really spread much so you don’t have to leave a lot of space between them. Here is the tricky part if you have long finger nails like I do, you need to make an indentation in the middle of each to hold the jam. I’ve tried my knuckles on my finger it works most of the time until I thought hey wait a sec how about using a measuring spoon. Tada it works great!! So simply press the back of the measuring spoon into the middle of each scone.

Now drop in about 1/2 a TSP or a tad more to fill each indentation. Doesn’t it look yummy?

Now place in the oven and set the timer to 10 mins. It can take from 10-15 mins depending on your oven. Mine took 11 mins.

When the edges start to turn golden its time to take them out and let them sit 3-4 mins before you remove them.

Now carefully remove to a cooling rack.

I let them cool off for about 45 mins before I add the glaze. So go grab something to drink and clean up your mess and get the next ingredients ready. They should be cooled off by now.

The glaze is simple. Add the 2 cups of confectioners sugar in a medium bowl and add your lemon juice. Stir really well and add a bit of water to make it a drizzle.

Now use a fork and drizzle all over the scones. You can add as much as you like. I like a lot but I don’t want to over power the flavor so I try to hold back.

Guess what? Your finished. Yep you did it. Now the hardest part of it all. Let them rest till the glaze is dry, it depends on the temperature of your house. I usually give it a couple hours just to make sure but the good news is you don’t have to wait that long to try them. Store them in an air tight container.

Oh I almost forgot to add the picture of what happens if you use small cookie cutters. I bow my head in shame with these but they still taste great but not very pretty are they?

Hahaha lesson learned and it saves you from making the same mistake right? Hmmm maybe I did it on purpose, yep that’s it. Ok I had no control over it but the Universe did it and I’m sticking to that story. Wink Wink.

A little about me. I’m 45 years young and live in California. I was born in England but came to the California when I was 5 years old. My mother who is no longer with us was a magickal cook. She wasn’t a witch (or was she I always wondered) but her cooking was amazing. So the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and it must be why I love to cook and bake. I love making my own recipes and adding magick to them. I am Pagan/Wiccan and honestly I feel I was born a witch. I finally came out of the broom closet in 2008 but I always knew I was. I was just scared to tell people, but now I know there is no reason to be scared. I am who I am and I’m very proud of it. I started a Kitchen Witch group years ago on Facebook and now I’m honoured to be your Pixie Witch here. Some may say Pixie where does that come from, well I’m 5’1 and barely 100 pounds with long long red hair. So my friends started to call me Pixie and it stuck. So here I am Pixie Witch.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. This is my first article with you and I’d love to hear from you guys so please leave me a comment and tell me what ya think. Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Sarah Mascorro AKA Pixie Witch. I’m 45 years young and have been married to my soul mate for 27 plus year. We have 2 boys and live in good ole California. I was actually born in England but came to the states when I was 5.

I’m Pagan/Wiccan and have been practicing over 10 years now. I always knew I was different but didn’t figure it out till 2008, that’s when I came out of the broom closet. I’m a Witch and I’m proud of it. When I say different I mean I just didn’t fit in with what others did or believed in. I’m sure you all totally understand that feeling. Now I know though I’m not different, I’m me and there are so many others like me.

I hold rituals at my house with my circle for each Sabbat and we do a lot of witch crafts together. I love to do all types of crafts not just witchy like I make dream catchers, wood burn, make soaps and bath salts. I love to cross stitch and make latch hook rugs. I have a small page on Facebook that I sell my goodies. You can FIND THEM HERE at Pixiewitchcorner.

I love to cook and bake. My mother was a great cook & I picked up her talent. I love to make my own fun recipes and add some magick to them. I mean cooking is magickal right so why not add a little extra to it. I started a Kitchen Witch Group on Facebook over 4 years ago. If your on FB come check it out.

I love to spend my time with my hubby & boys. We love to be out in nature especially the beach & the forest. I belong in the forest, I guess all pixie’s do hee hee. My friends call me Pixie due to my size I’m 5’1 and barely 100 pounds with really long red and silver hair hee hee.

I collect stones like hag stones, labradorite, amethysts, quartz etc… I also collect witch statues, Goddess statues, owls, crows and the Moon. Oh & sea glass I cant forget that. Do tattoos count? If so I have over a 100 of them I’m about 80% covered.

Another hobby is photography. I love taking pictures of nature such as flowers, animals, trees, mountains, the ocean and my favorite of all the Moon.

I love to unwind two ways one is with a great book, usually witchy or paranormal ones catch my attention the most. I do read & research a lot about the human body and diseases due to my families rare health issues. The other is going outside under the stars and Moon. What a great way to end the day looking up at the dark beautiful sky.

That’s pretty much it, you see what you get hee hee. You either love me or hate me. Hopefully you all will love me haha.

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

July, 2019

Finger Labyrinths

(https://www.etsy.com/shop/DadsSawdustFactory)

Merry meet.

A labyrinth offers a sacred space for introspection. Shaped as a circle, it holds magic. It is a tool to facilitate healing, self-knowledge and creativity by inviting you to reflect, release, receive, return and respond.

Labyrinths date back 4,000 years, are found in most major faiths and exist around the world. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path in and one path out. No dead ends. No wandering, lost. Walking the path, you head one way and then the other, turning right, turning left. As you do, your awareness shifts from one side of your brain to the other and back again. This makes it suitable for meditation.

Because it is not always possible to walk a labyrinth, making a small one you can navigate with your finger means you can use it almost anywhere anytime.

Making one can be as simple as printing one found online. You can get more crafty and use the template along with wood, clay, fabric or plaster to define the design. Other options include gluing flat-backed glass mounds, beads, small stones, shells or other natural objects on either side of the path your finger will follow.

A multitude of printable patterns and tutorials to make them are easily found by searching “making finger labyrinths.”

As with a life-size labyrinth, begin by reflecting on what you would like to resolve. Is there a situation – spiritual or physical – you would like to better understand, something for which you’d like a solution?

Slowly, deliberately, trace your way to the center and pause there long enough to receive a bit of wisdom, an answer, a clue. Let all your senses gently explore the situation: when and how did it begin, how does it make you feel, what are the effects? Hold no attachments and no emotions, remain open and allow space for insights to come to you – if not consciously, on another level. Accept answers without judgment or analyzing – even if they don’t make sense. Let it settle.

As you trace your way back out, ask for the help you need and remain open to ways to make this happen, carrying that resolution you felt in the center back out of the labyrinth with your finger. Bring any deities, tools or answers you were given, leaving behind that which no longer serves you.

When you reach the end, which is also the beginning, offer gratitude for the awareness and the strength to make changes.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

***

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.

Wreathing the Wheel

June, 2019

Wreathing the Wheel: June – Summer Solstice and Project Planning

The month of June contains my favorite of all the quarter days: the summer solstice. This day is high noon for the year, a time when transformative, fiery powers are at their peak, warming the earth and helping plants grow to their fullest. Litha is about action, so this month I’ve decided to get serious about planning some of my personal projects. While there are many different types of projects, I’ll be using the example of this column as our template.

Here’s a basic, five-step road-map that can be used for both cyclical and linear projects, from the start of an idea to complete fruition. This can also be the basis for your planning spread, although obviously some projects may require you to add or eliminate steps. I’ve tried to make it as general as possible, so that this road-map can be used for event planning, project planning, spell work, and much more!

1. Brainstorm Your Idea

I often do this first step in a sketchbook, as especially with complicated ideas, it can easily be too much for a bullet journal. However, this column’s a slightly simpler example than a long-term, complicated project would be, so I’ve made a layout to include this part of the process as well. My method of brainstorming is a bit like Scrying: I like to make a word cloud out of short phrases, symbols, diagrams, and keywords that inspire me in my project, as well as short lists as I start to discover the structure in this cloud. I also like to highlight certain words with colored pen so that they stand out from the cloud after I’ve finished this first brainstorming step.

2. Refine the Idea: Vision, Mission Statement, and Goals

My vision board conveys the most important parts of the brainstorming results, and my ideas about how the finished project should be realized. My mission statement is a short sentence which concisely expresses my primary goal. While these may seem silly in the context of a simple article, they can be very important for long-term projects, as a mission statement will help remind you of what you should focus on if you get distracted. I also include a list of practical goals here to help give my idea some more structure and formulate the next phase of the plan.

3. Define the Project Needs: Resources, Education, Materials

With a complicated project, this part of the spread could easily be expanded to include a list of articles and references, a bibliography, and even a complex budget for my project. In the case of this article, this section is fairly redundant, since I already have all the materials and resources that I’ll need, but it would be a great way to track research progress for a longer project. If your project involves a budget or financial goals, this part will become much more important, and doing the exercise of writing it all out may even help you realize whether your goal is truly attainable — and affordable.

4. Project Road-map and Action Steps

For this article, I broke my trackable progress up into two phases: a structural phase which reflected my development of the article itself, which I call the project road-map; and the actual steps needed to bring this idea to fruition, from sketching the layout to e-mailing the column to my editor. And when that last piece of this road-map is done — so am I! But there’s still room in this layout for one more section…

5. Reflection and Response

Ideally, you’ve been using your road-map and your whole layout not only as you plan, but also as you work on your project. You may find that you need to expand or rework some of these items as you refine your idea. You should also track your progress as you accomplish your goals to help keep you moving forward. When your goal is accomplished, you can even journal a short reflection, or note others’ responses to your project, as a way of reviewing your own work. This is a great way to bookend your project and make sure that you don’t miss recording the results of all your hard work!

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About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

May, 2019

May – Blessed Beltane

Blessed Beltane! May your fields be well watered, may you never thirst, and may you never hunger. This time of year, makes me happy as I watch everything coming from the earth in full bloom while love and kindness are awakening from the long winter scowls and slowly turning into deliberate smiles. We are all warming up! Finally. And, along with the warmth returning, the Green Man emerges. The King Stag comes in search of the Maiden. The need fires burn and the flames of passion are fanned. It’s time to sow the seeds we have carefully nurtured during the dark days from Samhain to Yule and planted at Imbolc.

As Beltane approaches, I find myself drawn by the Divine Masculine. I have only one Matron who I venerate, yet the pull toward being thankful for the Divine Masculine has its place in my walk. I chant the masculine chants to pay homage to that Divine Force and I place move my athame to a focal position on my Beltane ritual altar. I seek and strive to find balance, reinforcing my connection to the Divine Masculine and the beauty and the commitment of The Great Rite.

The first week of May, I wanted to convey the spirit of the Divine Masculine and utilize this space to journal every day about the aspects of the Divine Masculine, the Horned God, the King Stag in my everyday life and workings. It was a layout that I challenged myself to complete without influence of others. I did not rely on graphics that I found on the internet. Instead, I carefully birthed the Greenman. He looks here in my first week layout as the Greenman who resides in my heart, the one who beckons me to sow the seeds that I have nurtured.

Of course, May Day/Beltane, really the entire month of May, would not be complete without a dance around the May Pole and the beauty of the fae. Spring and the planting season, to me, are a combination of fun, frivolity, and making merry. The happier I am when my hands are in the soil, the happier the energy I am putting into my crops. Seed work this year has been difficult and this layout is helping me to see that even flowers grow through dirt and “difficulty” is not “impossibility.”

As mid-May approaches, I am drawn toward the growth of the seeds that I have planted, which brings my thoughts to the Great Rite. Love blossoming, seeds being planted, new life emerging. All of these acts of love and commitment are in some form a symbolic “Great Rite.” I utilized washi on the bottom that reads “HELLO” and in my view, the inflection when reading that washi tape is everything! It varies from “HELLOOO?” to “HELLO!” and I’m practicing noticing the smaller details more and more…hoping this makes me use the latter more than the former!

This Spring is a busy one for me, spiritually, as I am doing things that I had previously only dreamed about doing. I am facing the stark reality, in my Crone years, that in this life we have one of two things…we either have results or we have reasons. I am reflecting on a lifetime of reasons and a lot of results. It is not time to put those results into action and have them far outweigh the reasons. This final layout in May is not devoid of graphics because I’m being lazy, rather, it is devoid of graphics because I plan to do that on the last week of every month to utilize this space to pull the energies from the weeks prior into the final week and keep track of my accomplishments. This is the beauty of using a planner as a working BOS, I can change it up to suit my needs.

I wish you all a bountiful harvest!

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs

May Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium

May Cover Page – Repurposed Birthday Card

Miscellaneous Washi tapes: Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

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About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

Wreathing the Wheel

May, 2019

Beltane, the Maypole, Interweaving

For May, I’d like to talk about Beltane and the processing of weaving. If you’re familiar with the Celtic holiday of Beltane, then you already know that this holiday is often celebrated with a decoration that serves as ritual, dance, entertainment, and more: the Maypole. While the exact symbolism of the Maypole is disputed, it is generally considered to be a magical appeal for fertility, power, and transformative forces coming together. In the Tarot, this process may be symbolized by the Lovers in the Major Arcana, or the Four of Wands in the Minor Arcana: different forces coming together in a celebratory act to create something entirely new.

For the monthly spread for May, I decided to use a simple Maypole theme to help me consider and incorporate this theme into my month. It’s very easy to accomplish a beautiful look with very little effort with this kind of a theme — just pick out your favorite rainbow-colored set of pens, and have fun making curls! But I also wanted to consider the theme of the Maypole and extend it in a more contemplative and spiritual way in my own life. This exercise may seem like an odd one for a bullet journal — especially since bullet journals are usually geared towards organization and lists — but I wanted to explore the idea of interweaving themes of life with the interweaving ribbons of the Maypole. If you’re looking to journal spiritually, you may enjoy doing a similar type of exercise.

While I’m only working part-time, I have a lot going on these days: I do freelance art and design, I write articles for my own blog and PaganPagesOrg, I’m designing a Tarot deck and writing a book to go with it, I’m growing an extensive garden with various types of seeds, I’m making herbal medicine, I’m learning sewing, I’m studying chemistry, I’m cooking lighter, I have a new puppy I’m training… lately it seems that I’m doing a lot of things, but they’re all going in different directions! 

For this theme, I decided to list out a bunch of the different things that I’m trying to accomplish in shorthand: train the new puppy, make sure he gets nails regularly trimmed, bathed; work on my Tarot deck, book, drawing… etc. What your list contains will certainly be unique to you, and there are lots of different ways to organize it, but I decided to use color symbolically in this theme: health concerns are blue, money matters are orange, my gardening goals are green, and so on. Many different types of color associations could be used in this way, and they are all sure to be beautiful! 

This felt like an unusual exercise for me, because it felt like anti-organization to take all the themes in my life and scatter them to the wind in this way. But it also helped me see my own activities in a new way, and I would encourage anyone who wants to see their interweaving lives to give this a try. If nothing else, you might gain a new appreciation for just how much you have on your plate!

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About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

April, 2019

April – Spring Has Sprung!

Dance by the Light of the Moon! Or, just dance; that is my motto. I made a blingy April Divider because where I live in New England April can be an extremely fickle month and is often than not true to the old saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” Since I can always use a reminder to dance this divider will be sure to elevate my mood and will serve to help me keep the colder wet air of April from settling in and causing late season shivers. I am just hoping that the April showers this year are beautiful falling rain drops instead of more snow.

As I said, the old saying that April showers bring May flowers is a prevalent theme this month, along with kindness. In my walk, it is important that I take the time from my life and my ego to be kind to everyone with whom I come into contact. All too often there are work related, environmental, of personal stressors and we can all become myopic and involved in our own little worlds. When this happens and we are overwhelmed by our own situations, we often forget the niceties in life, how to smile at a stranger, to say “please” and “thank you” to others, or even to take a moment and put our cellular devices down so that we can be present with our families, loved ones, and friends.

The first week in April spread reminds me to be kind, both to myself and to others, it reminds me that when things become stressful that it’s ok to take a moment and gather myself before inflicting my stress on another person. We all need reminders like this from time to time so that we can be the best people that we can be. Never giving up hope, always being present and deliberate in our thoughts, words, and actions. It is a real joy in my life to find that a kindness that I may have done elsewhere is returned by someone else or even carried on and given to another person. That one small ripple in a pond is everything. We live in a circular universe and, in my thought, I believe that I get what I give so I try to be deliberate and give my best. Sometimes I miss the mark so this is a reminder to me that even missing the mark is ok, because “Every flower must grow through dirt.”

One of my favorite childhood memories is of me and my mother clipping roses from magazines and decoupaging a small wooden purse with these beautiful vintage roses. I cut so many of them out that there was an overload of paper roses all over the table. My mother selected the ones she wanted for the project we were working on and let me use the rest in a collage that I made on a poster board. I treasured that poster board well into high school. I’m not sure whatever happened to that poster board, but these vintage roses reminded me of that day, of the love that my mother has for me, and of the beauty and promise that Spring brings into our world.

And, of course, Spring wouldn’t be complete without a few days of day dreaming while basking in the warmth of the returning sun, making a crown of dandelions for my hair, or opening the sun roof and taking a long ride down the twisting and turning New England roadways and taking in all that Spring and fresh air have to offer.

April isn’t all gloom and doom here in New England, we have some really great days here and I generally take the time in April to begin my fairy garden. This is generally the week that I begin planning and planting my fairy garden. Fox Glove and snow bells are among my favorite blossoms. I can see tiny little fairies wanting to live in those blooms. I begin to clean up the statuary that is in that portion of my garden, weed, spring clean, and put the offering bowl where I place shiny coins, crystals, and baubles for the fae. I think this is a particularly sweet time to have young children around. Their imaginations are so vivid and colorful. I love to ask them…”If you were a fairy in my garden, where would you live?” Oh, the stories we tell.

What would April be without a good murder? LOL! Of course, I am talking about the murder of crows that returns to the field across the street from my home every April. They are only around for a few days in that field and it is always around Beltane. I made this weekly layout as an homage to my Matron and to the Crow. I sit on my front porch every April and I listen to them calling to one another, and in each response, I can feel the community that they are sharing. One will land on the field and another in the top of the Sycamore tree that seems to be the stairway to heaven, its so tall, and they call to one another. Before I know it, the trees surrounding the field are filled with crows and they are all calling to one another. It is literally one of the most beautiful times of the year to live here and to be able to witness their community.

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs.

Luna Dashboard and Custom Shaker Cards by Suzy Meza.

March Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium.

March Cover Page – Shoot for the Stars – Recollections® “Constellations” paper pad & Miscellaneous Washi tapes: Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

***

About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

Wreathing the Wheel

April, 2019

Wreathing the Wheel: Mistakes, Messes, and Accidents

This month, I’d like to take a little departure from talking about the specifics of bullet journaling to talk about a related topic that I am very passionate about: making mistakes.

As an artist who works a lot with pen and ink, I’m familiar with the unforgiving nature of the medium. It’s very easy to make a small stray pen mark simply by dropping the pen, or (the horror!) even a long mark when my cat decides that she really wants to play with my pen too, or something jostles my drawing surface. From a mistake that lasts a millisecond, hours of work can feel ruined when this happens. I’m a perfectionist as well, and I like everything to be beautiful, precise and clean… in my opinion, my attention to detail is what makes my art interesting (to me).

But it becomes necessary, when working on an ongoing project like a bullet journal, to accept that some things just won’t work out how you expected, and to tell yourself it’s worth it to keep going with the hobby you love, even when you are confronted with mistakes. With stray pen marks and similar mistakes, there’s little you can do to hide them. Sometimes they can be hidden in designs, but sometimes the design is already finished when you mess it all up. It’s a sinking feeling, but I try to just take a moment and remind myself that this mistake is an accurate representation of my life — and after all, this is a journal! Isn’t part of the purpose to accurately represent what my life was like at this time?

But what about when the mistake is big? Like really, REALLY big? What if it’s the whole book?

This was my first 2018 bullet journal. Notice anything odd?

As you can probably tell, I put a lot of work into this book, and I was fairly upset when wine was spilled on it (although not as upset as the person who spilled the wine, bless their heart). The wine soaked through quickly, and it’s on almost every page. This happened when I was halfway through the book — I couldn’t just toss it, and I wasn’t ready to start another yet.

Instead, I decided to celebrate the accident. In Japanese pottery, the method of Kintsugi (meaning “golden joinery”) is used to repair broken pottery with precious metals. The underlying thought process behind this is that the breakage becomes a beautiful part of the object’s history, and appreciated in its own right. Borrowing from this idea, I used silver and gold ink to “repair” some of the places in my journal that had been washed away by the wine, to try to make them even more beautiful than before. Another way I have thought about doing this would be to repair pages with embroidery, but there are many techniques one could use — gold or silver plating, decoratively placed washi tape, or even pasting a picture over a mistake — anything, in short, that transforms the mistake into something new, and uncommonly precious. I’d encourage you to start showing some love to your mistakes today: it’s a way for us as artists and craftspeople to embrace the reality of craft and indulge in the unpredictability of traditional media, and it can help us grow and learn new techniques as well.

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Wreathing the Wheel

March, 2019

March

I’ve been working with astrology a lot in my craft lately, and it’s starting to work its way into all my designs! Here, I’ve added the planets associated with each day of the week in a flow of stardust — this is pretty, but it’s also a way of labeling the days and reminding me of the planetary associations.

This March, the full moon is on Ostara, the Vernal Equinox. It brings with it a great potential for manifestation of personal works. To harness this power and celebrate the season, I’m making a renewed effort to spend time on my garden. My husband and I moved a little over a year ago from a large house that had a lot of garden space to a townhouse with fairly little garden space, and I haven’t done much with it yet. I brought several potted houseplants and a few garden herbs, a few of which are in the ground already — carnation, spearmint, rosemary, and valerian — but there’s room for plenty more

At right, I’ve made a detailed listing of the plants I’m growing or planning to grow, with notes about what type of soil they need, how much sun they should get, how often they should be watered, how large they are likely to get, and any other care information that seems relevant. There are a few spots to add plants, but since I don’t have much space, I’ll probably do so slowly

At left, I have a log to track my progress and schedule important dates, and a small map of my garden in the middle of the spread. Because I have such little space, I have to have the plants spread out into several different locations, and it’s important that I don’t confuse them. Some of the plants I’m growing need to be treated carefully and grown inside a terrarium due to their toxicity; some will do better outside than in. In this case, organization is extremely important!

The final step in this process is to carry the theme forward through the rest of my journal so that I can return to this intention on an appropriate schedule and don’t forget what I’m doing or get lost in my plans. With most of these plants, weekly observation should be sufficient for me to determine their needs, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done to get everything set up, and I’ll need to be very careful when I’m starting my seeds. I can’t wait to see what grows!

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

March, 2019

Ostara – New Beginnings

My March divider is a reminder to myself to “Never Lose Your Sparkle” and I made every effort to bling the reminder as hard as I could because sometimes the mundane aspects of living actually dull my shine. It is my belief that every time I get out of bed, I am presented with the opportunity to shine; to potentially be the light that someone else sees and reflects in their own lives. Kindness is free, presenting someone with a smile is free and in March, I intend to be deliberate in passing along a lot of free smiles and kindness. I am also trying something new in my working Book of Shadows. I am trying a new dashboard idea that my friend Suzy Mesa made for me. I am using a wet erase marker on the back for reminders that I do not necessarily have to do today but need to be done in relatively short order. The dash board moves with my weeks and can be erased. But she is too cute, and I needed to share this with you!

Of course, there are always the weekly inserts for my Tarot Tracking, and each coordinate with the respective weekly layout.

March ushers in the first day of Spring, the Spring Equinox, or Ostara (whichever you celebrate) on the 20th of the month. This is a time for new beginnings, a time for fresh starts, to nourish the seeds that we planted on Imbolc. My seed has begun to emerge from the bulb, a small and happy little green sprout peeking up from the tightly closed bulb; nevertheless, there is life emerging and a healthy seed is one that is well-tended, well-watered, and well fertilized.

As a daily reminder, I speak my seed work to the bulb, I repeat it three times, and I work hard at manifesting the seed into a sprout that will eventually become a stalk, then a leaf, and, with hard work and dedication, it will produce a healthy and plump bud that will burst open with intention and volition. Spring will begin the work of manifesting the seed into the healthy harvest that I hope to bring this year. Completion. That is the work at hand for me.

Ostara also marks the day when most everything is perfectly balanced. The Spring Equinox brings balance to night and day. Darkness and Light are equal. Balance is present. The seeds are beginning to rise up from the soil, and the hopes planted at Imbolc are becoming realities. The animals are beginning to stir in their dens and readying themselves for mating. In Celtic tradition, one of the symbols of Ostara is the Hare, which is sacred to many lunar Goddesses such as Hekate, Freyja, and Holda; however, the Goddess most associated with the Hare is Eostre, the Goddess of Spring.

Another of the symbols for Ostara are eggs. The egg represents promises and new life, as well as fertility. In some traditions, the egg is symbolic of balance as well. In those traditions, it is believed that all of the energies such as male and female; God and Goddess; and light and dark, manifest as balance in the egg as the yolk and the white. The Sun God, represented by the yolk, is in balance with Maiden Goddess, the white of the egg.

There is a very special tale about the Goddess and the Hare and how the egg became a sacred item during Ostara. It goes something like this…

The Goddess was coming to the forest to visit the animals. The were all very excited for Her visit. They decided to throw Her a party and to bring Her gifts as a show of their love and respect.

(Luna Dashboard and Custom Shaker Cards by Suzy Meza.)

During the preparations for the party, the animals were excitedly running around, gathering gifts. As in any other society, there are animals who are better off than some and had greater and more opulent treasures to offer to the Goddess. The Hare seemed very excited to see the Goddess, but he knew he had nothing to offer. He hopped to his den and he looked around, but after a very harsh and cold winter, he had used all of his food sources and had nothing to offer Her. Until, that is, he noticed that he had one egg left in his den. He took that egg and he shined it and then he set about decorating that egg the best way that he knew how. He poured his heart and soul into making that egg as beautiful as he could. When it came time for the party, Hare quietly watched as the other animals approached the Goddess and laid beautiful treasures at Her feet. Hare became nervous that his egg was not going to win favor with the Goddess because it was simple, but it was all that he had, and he made it everything that he could with his decorations.

(Luna Dashboard and Custom Shaker Cards by Suzy Meza.)

So, after all of the other animals had gifted the Goddess with their opulent treasures, Hare quietly hopped forth and laid his beautiful egg at the feet of the Goddess. When the Goddess saw the egg at Her feet, She recognized Hare above all of the other animals in the forest, for they had given the Goddess only what they wanted, but Hare had given Her all that he had.

All of the animals in the forest are special to the Goddess, but none are more favored during Ostara than the Hare. In our lives, when we give of ourselves, in service to our Deities, we should be mindful to give all that we have in order to manifest in our lives those things that are in our highest and best good. As with anything else in life, we must work toward manifesting what we want in our lives by focusing on things such as light and kindness and, whenever possible, we should emulate Hare in every aspect of our lives as we strive to find the balance in our own world.

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs

Luna Dashboard and Custom Shaker Cards by Suzy Meza.

March Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium.

March Cover Page – Shoot for the Stars – Recollections® “Constellations” paper pad & Miscellaneous Washi tapes:

Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

***

About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

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