September, 2014

Merry Meet

September, 2014

mabon22

Welcome to the September Issue of PaganPages.

 

As we enter into fall we wanted you to have a packed issue to read. 

In this issue you will find all your Mabon Correspondence needs. 

as well as…

 

Why-Buddha

An Interview with Author Tom Swiss

 

A Featured article on Gavin and Yvonne Frost entitled The Frosts and Consent Culture by Shauna Aura Knight

 

anh

A Book Review and Craft for the Children’s Book Ahn’s Anger by Gail Silver and Christiane Krömer

 

Child star Tom North discusses with us trauma from his past and how Meditation has helped him overcome.

 

mabon

 

We are also proud to introduce our New Columnists, Poets, and artists.  Be sure to check out: 

The Enchanted Cottage: Magic for the Witch’s Home

 

A Moment for Meditation

 

From the Muse combines poetry and Beautiful Imagery

 

Renee’s Thoughts Worth Catching

 

Finding the Pagan Way

 

 

Looking for a good way to celebrate Mabon or Autumn?  Well Witchcrafting: crafts for Witches has a DELICIOUS recipe for Homemade Applesauce.

apples1

 

 

As a Special Thank you to all our readers, we are offering THIS MONTH ONLY a 25% off coupon for PaganPages Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/PaganPagesOrg).   The Coupon Code for the month is:  POPUP

 

 

In our shop you will find many pagan goodies, supplies, jewelry.   We are constantly updating our stock so be sure to look often!  You will see many great items like:

 

10617379_937807816236448_2145200522_n11

 

 

 

We are currently looking for someone interested in reviewing pagan shops and someone interested in reviewing pagan sites.  If you are interested please contact us at [email protected]

 

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates and info!

 

mabon_card

 

Happy Reading!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From The Muse

September, 2014

lord of the wood

Lord Of The Woodlands

Dawn brings a cold grey light beneath a moody sky
that does not seem to greet the day with joy.
A sleepless night is followed by a solitary walk.
I long for peace,- but expectations are not high.
The glistening grass has soaked my feet,
and chilled me to the bone.
I curse myself for such a choice of routes,
but still I’m grateful for this time alone.

The woodlands beckon me with sheltered paths
beneath it’s softly sighing trees.
Perhaps in such a sheltered grove
My aching mind may find some ease.
So I wandered in that twilight world
that held the dawn at bay,
beneath its gently waving arch of green
that kept the world away.

The woodlands watched me as I walked,
Though lost in morbid thought,-
it’s little voices whispered gently in my ear.
Inviting me to share the home they loved so dear.
Slowly, carefully I walked,
in case I should disturb the woodland creatures at their play.
Watchfully, I carried on, fearful to arouse the beings
who live within the pause between the night and day.

But there He stood, despite my care.
Wreathed in mist, the sparrows nesting in His hair.
As He walked, the flowers bloomed beneath his hooves,
and though I wished to run away I could not move.
Eye to eye, I thought that I would die from fear.
But as I held His gaze, I felt my misery dissolve.
Emotion flooded through me, then they washed away as tears.
For only goodness flowed from Him,
and if He wills it,
I will walk with Him for all my Years.

 

Artwork By: Bill Oliver/Boyso Blue arts

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Witchcrafting: Crafts for Witches

September, 2014

apples1

 

Applesauce
Merry Meet.
For the last seven years, I have celebrated Mabon by gathering for a weekend in sacred space with an ever-growing circle of Goddesswomen. I wanted to share something that has become a traditional craft – making applesauce.
apples2
The apple is one of Mabon’s symbols. It represent the Crone and the harvest. The apple has also been a symbol for life, immortality, healing, wholeness and renewal. For witches, it contains a “secret.” When you turn an apple on its side and cut it open, it reveals a pentagram containing five seeds that stand for the elements and the directions. Apples are a fruit which gives life, but also a fruit whose seeds bring death. And as it was and ever shall be, two halves of a whole, beginnings and endings, all are one.
apple3
Everyone attending brings a couple of apples to our opening circle. The fruits are as varied as those who bring them. They are collected and time Saturday is spent coring and cutting them into chunks, then cooking them on the stove before putting them through a vintage funnel-shaped Wearever aluminum sieve that sits on three heavy wire legs. The sauce is put in jars and returned at our closing circle that everyone may take the spirit of the weekend home with them.
The tradition is easily adaptable to an individual or family craft. 
There are dozens of recipes available. While I add whatever ingredients move me in whatever quantities work for me, here is a recipe that you can use as a guide. 
Merry part.
And merry meet again.
apple4
Crock Pot Applesauce 
4 pounds tart apples, cored and sliced thin 
   (about 12 cups)
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 cup water 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
Mix apples with cinnamon and sugar and put into crock pot. 
Pour water and lemon juice over apples. 
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.  
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Seeing the Signs

September, 2014

Divining With Dice

I have a small Crown Royal Bag that I carry with me everywhere I go. In it is a deck of Rider-Waite Tarot Cards, a white quartz crystal, a rosary and a set of dice. I have a folded piece of paper with seventeen divinatory meanings written on it – from two to eighteen – representing the various ways the dice can fall after being thrown. I copied these from Sasha Fenton’s The Fortune-Teller’s Workbook. Fenton calls this “The Simplest Method” and “the oldest method of reading dice.” (Fenton, 78) They follow along the basic lines of numerology – twos are partnership, fives are strife, tens are success, etc. Generally I decide beforehand how many times I am going to throw the dice – I pick a number between one and ten – and then I throw the dice three or four or seven times – how many times I have decided to throw. I add up the numbers that the dice present to me and then reduce to the lowest possible number. That is number I use for a divinatory meaning. I refer back to the list I have – although I am learning quickly the meanings of the list, since it is so close to the same meanings of the every other number system, including the Tarot.

Sasha Fenton outlines several ways of working with dice. One is making a circle on a piece of paper and dividing it into eight or twelve sections and labeling each section with the various issues that you or your querent are interested in – work, home, money, relationships, etc. Or you could use the twelve Astrological houses. Obviously, this is a much more in-depth reading and I confess that I have not yet tried this! But I will!

In The Fortune-Telling Book by Gillian Kemp, there is a history of divination by dice, which is called astragalomancy, after the word “astragus”, meaning bone. She writes, “The ancients divined the future by shaking and tossing two astragals, the right and left ankle bones of sheep.” (Kemp, 81) This is where the term “roll the bones” comes from – as any Rush fan could tell you – and of course the Rush album “Roll The Bones” has a background of dice! And floating bones!

She also writes about the custom of blowing on the dice before tossing them. Anyone who has been to a casino or watched a movie about playing craps knows about blowing on dice for luck before throwing them. She reports that, “Welsh Romany Gypsies…say it is lucky to blow on dice before shaking them, to blow away evil spirits.” (Kemp, 81) She also writes that you should choose whether to use two or three dice. I have always used two, simply because it’s easier to add two dice than it is to add three but she says that, “Two dice give a prophecy; three dice not only give a prediction but also reveal character traits of the person who rolls the dice.” (Kemp, 82) Casting with three dice is called Cleromacy and if I am reading the chart in Kemp’s little book correctly, it appears to be much more complicated. Since I am still a novice in this particular form of divination, I am going to stick to working with two dice for the time being.

Of course, in this modern technological age in which we live, there is an internet option for divining with dice. Check out www.serenapowers.com/dice.html for information on the history of dice, the many different kinds of dice and how Western dice differs from Asian dice. You can virtually throw the dice, after asking a question, and get a pretty decent answer. www.http://spiritusarcanum.tumblr.com/post/29278618720/astragalomancy-divination-with-dice also has really good information for anyone who is interested in the art and history of Astragalomancy.

In the upcoming months, I will be writing more about this subject, as I learn more about it and I become more adept in this form of divination. Stay tuned!

Works Cited
Fenton, Sasha. The Fortune-Teller’s Workbook: A Practical Introduction to the World of divination. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press, 1988
Kemp, Gillian. The Fortune-Telling Book: Reading Crystal Balls, Tea Leaves, Playing Cards, and Everyday Omens of Love and Luck. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000
www.serenapowers.com/dice.html
www.http://spiritusarcanum.tumblr.com/post/29278618720/astragalomancy-divination-with-dice

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From the Shadowlands

September, 2014

“So You Want to be a Bad Apple”

 

Most people are familiar with the expression that one bad apple can ruin the barrel. This same principle can be applied to people. It’s seen all the time in work situations, or social situations. All it takes is one person to turn a decent job into a nightmare or a fun social occasion into an ordeal. While I have seen situations in these areas, this article is about the bad apple at Festival and how to be one.

First, a pompous name is good. Try for something like Lady Fluffyfairy Twinkletoes Extraordinaire or Lord Mighty Thor’s Son on Earth. You get the idea.

Second, insist on being addressed by this title and as much of the title as you can. It doesn’t matter that your title applies pretty much just within your Coven. However, if you are a solitary, you can make up whatever rules you want.

Third, walk around the festival like you are visiting royalty. Whenever possible, when speaking to others, give the impression that you are looking down your nose at them.

Fourth, never defer to the elders of the community. Just because they have been around and established more years than you are old, and are respected throughout the community, there is no reason for you to respect them. This works real well when you are still relatively new to the festival circuit and have not yet learned who these elders are.

The following applies to camping, as many of these events are camping events.

First, if you chose to cabin camp make sure you have enough people to fill the cabin, because, heaven forbid, the staff may put someone in your cabin that you may not wish to include in your clique.

Second, make sure you have lots of banners so everyone knows who you are and that you are there. The more tasteless or poorly decorated these are, the better. Also, make sure you put up enough so that it is almost impossible to tell there is a cabin there. This will also insure that you intimidate most other Festival goers so they will stay away from your space.

Third is tent camping. If at all possible, find a secluded spot for yourself and the members of your group. You really need to have members of your group. Every pompous person needs henchmen to do his or her bidding.

Wooded areas are a great place for seclusion. If you have wooded areas at your gathering, it will do well to camp there, as it keeps the riff raff from stopping by and bothering you.

If you don’t have wooded areas or don’t want to be that close to nature try for a secluded spot on the Festival grounds. It doesn’t matter if your underlings have to walk a large distance to get to any festival activities.

Barring either of these options, you can always do your best to enclose your entire group’s tents in an enclosure of tarps. Those who camp with open areas in front of their tents tend to invite people to stop by and chat. By making your camping site uninviting, you can again keep down the riff raff and again play visiting royalty by only inviting in those you wish to grant an audience to.

Finally the big bonus is being on staff at one of these Festivals as you will not only be pompous and a bad apple; you will also have power. What bad apple doesn’t crave power?

Lie about your credentials or training. After all what are the chances that any one else attending will know the truth. Besides, you are Lord or Lady Imsogreat, who would dare question you?

Treat those who are your staff as your peasants or slaves, as they are so far beneath you that there is no need to treat them with consideration or politeness.

When you are staff, it is imperative that you remember that your program is THE most important part of the festival. You really don’t need to attend those pesky staff meetings, because you are much too important to attend to mere staff meetings.

Ask a respected elder to give a workshop, then try to tell them how they should do it. Later, do what you can to irritate or tick off said elder. That will always help you advance in the community.

Finally keep one thing in mind, those who dare to question or criticize you must obviously be jealous of your position and, no, they aren’t really laughing at you behind your back.

If, for some reason, you chose not to be a pompous arrogant pain in the rear to all attending, this is a whole lot easier. Keep in mind perfect love and perfect trust. Smile at those you meet and stop to talk. It is amazing the number of truly wonderful people you can meet that way.

For those who choose to take the insane route of staff, know whether they remember to say it or not, those attending really do appreciate all your hard work. Kindness, consideration and tolerance of others will make any gathering a pleasure for all who attend.

This article was based on observations I have made at a number of different open rituals, gatherings and festivals over the past twenty years. The vast majority of people attending these events have been kind, considerate and friendly who added to the event. As in every gathering of people there are those few who stand out for all the wrong reasons. It is my hope that through sharing this when you encounter one of these people you can smile and laugh the encounter off and not let it spoil an otherwise wonderful experience.

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Bardic Song of the Month

September, 2014

This month’s Bardic Song is called “Mabon Song”. It is a simple tune that has 4 lines for easier repetition and the melody line is rather easy.
I wrote this song to instill balancing energy. As you read it for chanting or singing, the words of the Song illicit an idea of finding balance, because the time of the year is also of balance astrologically. Typically written in a minor key, Pagan Songs have always grasped a sense of spirituality for me, which shows in my music as well.
When I am writing Ritual, I always try to include something Bardic, whether it’s chanting, singing or a story to be told or a poem to be read. Bards have a very important niche in our Craft, because they offer us stories.
As much as possible, all songs are created as a single page in pdf format for easier printing and reading. If you play the piano, these songs are simple enough to pick up right away. If you don’t have the musical inclination, a wav file is attached for easier listening and learning.
All songs for this and future monthly articles are published by the Blue Ridge Mountain Clan by Lord Fairy Bottom Educifer aka Wayne Minich, II. Any similarities to other songs is coincidental and not intentional.
MabonSong1
MabonSong2

 

 

 

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Warrior Women

September, 2014

Rafea Anad

 

I first “met” Rafea Anad on a PBS TV show called Solar Mamas, one of a series of programs collectively entitled Why Poverty? She was thirty-two years old at the time, with four daughters (a fifth came along a bit later.) She is a Bedouin and lived in a traditional tent in the middle of the Jordanian desert, close to the Iraqi border. Her village was said to be one of the poorest of all the desert villages in Jordan.
Rafea Anad was given the opportunity to travel to India, to the Barefoot College, to learn to be a solar engineer. This college, the brainchild of entrepreneur Bunker Roy, trains impoverished women, from all over the world, to become solar engineers.
And so, Ms Anad left her four daughters, her home and her husband and headed off to India. The project is intriguing on several levels. Uneducated women, living in abject poverty, are given the opportunity and responsibility of first, learning a trade themselves, and later, training their peers to do the same. Their goal is to provide the entire village with electric power.
Watching the PBS show, I was impressed by the dedication and determination of the women at Barefoot College. They came from everywhere: Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia and many other countries. The women could not speak to each other as they did not have a common language, but they still managed to communicate and support one another. The classes were taught in English, by an Indian man with that stereotypical accent so common in Hollywood movies and silly cartoon shows. It is a wonder the women learned anything at all. But learn they did, and after six months of study, were sent home.
What struck me was the enormity of the change in Rafea Anad’s life. Here is a woman who was removed from formal schooling at the age of ten (for girls to be educated beyond that point is thought to be “shameful,”) who had never traveled before, who lived under the complete control of a strict patriarchal society, and in particular, her husband; a woman who lived a simple, perhaps monotonous, life, who was thrust into a completely new, and most likely, scary, world. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do it.
When Ms Anad returned to her village, she (and her aunt, who had attended Barefoot College with her) installed eighty solar panels in one week. Wow! I just can’t imagine the amount of work involved. And some of the parts and components of the solar panels must have been pretty damn heavy.
Ms Anad experienced great deal of resistance, of course, from the men in her village, especially her husband. They wanted her to remain in her traditional Bedouin role of submissive, meek wife and mother. She had other plans.
The focus, strength and conviction of Ms Rafea Anad is humbling. I don’t know if I could do what she has done. I imagine it must have been excruciating to leave her daughters! What courage.
Brava! for a job well done, Rafea Anad.
To watch the documentary of Ms Anad’s journey, go here:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2296683172/

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Review of Children’s Book & a Craft Project: Ahn’s Anger by Gail Silver and Christiane Krömer

September, 2014

anh

 

Ahn’s Anger by Gail Silver and Christiane Krömer

 

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Plum Blossom Books; First Ed First Printing edition (August 11, 2009)
Language: English

 

 

Ahn’s Anger gave a face to the emotion that humans have the most difficulty understanding and properly channeling. Watching my three children grow and evolve, I have worked to each one, in their own way, how to recognize their anger, and not act on it or channel it in a destructive manner. This book addresses well this emotion and opens space for this conversation to take place with even the youngest of children.

 

I read this book to my wee one and found him asking several probing questions about anger as he processed the story. What a pleasure to share this story with him. Once complete, I asked him to review the story. His response summed it up well, “Mommy, read it again please!”

 

*Child Craft*
In the spirit of the book about anger, I would like to share with you another way to help your child shed this uncomfortable emotion.

As pagans, most of us have studied that power within the Elements. We are familiar with the cleansing power of fire. A ritual that I like to do with my children when they are nagged uncomfortably by this powerful emotion is a Ritual Burning.

  • Always begin by setting up Sacred Space, whatever that may look like for you and yours.
  • First, ask them to write down or draw the source of their anger on a small sheet of paper. Ask them to really channel that energy through their writing implement of choice, and lay that vision upon the paper.
  • Talk to them about the picture or words they have written. Even the act of writing can help them to release those feelings.
  • Next, explain fire safety, perhaps comparing it to anger and how those feelings can get out of control, just like fire, and consume dangerously.
  • After you have told them how to properly conduct themselves around fire, making sure they know only to do this under adult supervision, light a small candle or charcoal in a cauldron or other safe receptacle.
  • Inform those participating that they can choose to hold onto the anger, or they can choose to burn it up and release it. Let them decide, but do not judge their decision.
  • Once complete, snuff out the fire and close the Sacred Space, or let it dissipate as you see fit.
  • Follow up with a discussion.

 

 

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Interview with Author Tom Swiss

September, 2014

Tom Swiss: Why Buddha Touched the Earth

 

Why Buddha

 

Tom Swiss has been a practicing Pagan since 1990, and a student of Asian culture through the lens of traditional martial and healing arts since 1985. He is a karate student and instructor He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and has a keen interest in how technological changes affect societies.

 

Shadowdancer:  How challenging was the research for Why Buddha Touched the Earth?

Tom:  I hadn’t had to do this sort of research since my college days, so it was a challenge to pull out some of those old skills. But the Web made it possible to get previews of books and to search inside (via Google Books, for example) and even to find some rare texts that, decades ago, I might have had to drive across the country to read.
So finding the bricks of the story I wanted to tell about Paganism and Buddhism wasn’t too hard, in retrospect. What was hard — but also the most rewarding part — was figuring out how they fit together.

Shadowdancer:  What’s been the most rewarding aspect of writing and publishing your book?

 Tom: I called “Why Buddha Touched the Earth” an essay in the original sense of that word: a work where the writer makes an attempt, by means of the writing process, to organize their thoughts. I feel like I succeeded in that part at least, and that my relationship to the Universe is more coherent as a result.
Besides all the things that I learned along the way, it’s been a delight to have people I’ve never met give the book good reviews. It’s one thing to have someone who comes to your workshop say, “Hey good job,” that can just be a social nicety. But complete strangers are going to be honest.

Shadowdancer: Do you plan to write other books?

Tom:     I’m currently at work on a novel. It’s not really Pagan related, though it does deal with some masculine archetypes I’ve been working with the past few years.
Meanwhile I’m blogging monthly at Patheos Pagan’s Agora as under the title “The Zen Pagan”
[ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/category/columns/the-zen-pagan/ ], and I’ve got my personal blog at infamous.net [ http://infamous.net/blog/ ], so there are some ideas coming up there that could go into a future book.

Shadowdancer:. Did your interest in karate have any influence on this book?

Tom: It was through karate that I first connected with Zen, so that’s certainly been an influence. And I think next month’s “The Zen Pagan” is going to be about martial arts as magical practice.

Shadowdancer:  Who do you hope will get the most from this book or who do you hope to
reach?

Tom:   When I was writing the book proposal — which is about selling the book, and unless you’re a well-known author often comes *after* the book is written — I thought that the person most likely to pick it up would be the sort of reader who had, say, _Drawing Down the Moon_ on their bookshelf next to something by Thich Nhat Hanh, in other words someone who already had some background and interest on both the Pagan and Buddhist side.
But after talking to someone I met at Starwood who is completely new to Paganism, I think this book serves very well as an introductory orientation, and perhaps the people who will get the most out of it are those just sort of stepping out of mainstream culture and religion.

Shadowdancer: Is there a key message you would like to get across to readers?

Tom:   We are in the midst of a time of change unmatched since the beginning of civilization. In order to build a spirituality suitable for the next phase of human existence, we’re going to need an attitude that regards nature as sacred, and we’ll need to master the tools of meditation, and ritual, and mindfulness, and critical thinking, and ethical behavior…and a robust sense of humor!

Shadowdancer: Do you see the influence of Zen and Buddhism as expanding into Western culture?

Tom:  It’s interesting that while Zen was the first form of Buddhism to make an impact on American pop culture, it seems to be being eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism — when people think of Buddhism they think of the Dali Lama. Now, I’ve got nothing against Tibetan Buddhism or the Dali
Lama, I’d sit down to a cup of tea with him any time. But I do worry that the Tibetan diaspora has put people in teaching positions they weren’t really ready for. Chogyam Trungpa, for example, is a big name Buddhist teacher who did some pretty messed-up stuff.
There’s also a concern that a sort of ersatz Buddhism  is being promoted as “mindfulness practice” in corporate boardrooms and the like, mental training meant to make executives better at exploiting the rest of us and so on, without any of that inconvenient ethical and
spiritual stuff.
But I think that the core of the Buddha’s message is robust enough to survive this nonsense and will eventually flourish in the West.

 

 

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Nelland Living

September, 2014

Healthy Fall Earrings

My goal is to reach my 103rd birthday in the far future. But to achieve that in the best possible condition and state of mind needs some serious groundwork.

One aspect of it is nurturing myself with healing and empowering, all natural essential oils. I have gone one step further than just lighting up an aromalamp at home; I wear them in my earrings. I created the idea of aromatherapy earrings nearly a year ago, and am totally hooked on it now! I craft the earrings myself, and each model holds a special place for an absorbent material for essential oils. You simply add one drop of oil on each earring, and that´s it. By wearing them I can boost my well-being right at the spot, on the go, when I need it the most. Aromatherapy winds me up during the day, no matter where I go. Now I can live life to the fullest, knowing I´m doing my best. (My grandpa used to teach me that as long as I do my best, no one can blame me for anything. Wise words.)

Another aspect of taking care of oneself is beauty. Beauty is a universal matter, that is appreciated in all cultures. I believe beauty keeps the soul bubbly and enhances life force within.

Combining beauty with health-promoting essential oils is a great boost to my everyday life. Dressing to the season/sabbat is a natural way to tune in with nature and the wheel-of-the-year.

Here are my latest pieces of aromatherapy earrings to beautify and enliven me up this fall:

 

Nell1

Small gold-plated hoops, that are great with any look.

 

Nell2

 

This fall I am exploring the country style (which also revives my awesome memories of my exchange student year in high school in Kentucky), and I love to wear the little hoops with a plaid shirt and jeans.

 

Nell3

 

The peak of each fall´s beauty is the turning colors of leaves. Here in red and orange with a “drop of water” in form of a glass bead

 

Nell4

 

 

Or in all orange…

 

Nell5

…or all red.

 

Nell6

 

The leaf-shaped earrings make even this masculine army-green blouse come alive and remain my femininity.

 

Nell7

 

A must to all wiccans/pagans! A classic pentacle with a small glass pearl to make them more chic than the ordinary pentacle.

 

Nell8

 

The same in purple, the color of those who possess great spiritual wisdom.

 

Nell9

 

Also a sophisticated way to show one´s true colors!

 

Nell10

 

Long did I look for a suitable model for the most classic of the classics, golden hoop earrings, that would work for adding essential oil. These beauties do.

 

Nell11

No matter what your style, what you wear, these “basketball wives´ ” earrings deliver timeless elegance to your appearance.

When it comes to selecting the essential oil, this fall I opt for frankincense mixed with a citrus like bergamot. It is like walking through a forest of uplifting bliss.
How about that for taking me one step further to 103?

P.S. I also made a few extra pairs of all the above earrings, and you can get them here.

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