“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ostara Eggs

I know it's a little early to start thinking about Ostara, but when the mood strikes one must follow where inspiration leads. I was visiting 'Jeanne Winters Inspiring Blog' where she made eggs with letters on them. While her blog is from a Christian perspective, with a little tweaking her ideas can be transformed into something meaningful for the Pagan or Wiccan in you.

Rather than boil the eggs, I chose to have the insides blown out. Reinforcements were called in aka my husband (now, I'm not saying he's full of hot air, but . . .) and the insides blown out. Then I pressed on the appropriate letter (make sure you buy the really good sticky kind) and dunked the egg in the color. Jeanne used natural dyes such as boiling up blueberries and such, but I took the lazy woman's way out and used food coloring.

Here's the recipe:

2 teaspoons vinegar
2/3 cup boiling water
pink - use red food coloring making sure not to leave the egg in too long
purple - red and blue
yellow - yellow
olive green - green and yellow

Of course, you can make your eggs whichever colors you like! You could even draw a pentacle or a pentagram with a crayon and then dip the egg in the color. Once your eggs are dry, peel off the letters, place your eggs in a pretty basket and voila' Ostara eggs for your altar or decorating.

Now someone pass me the jelly beans please . . .


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Bit of This and a Tad of That

It's been cold, gray and overcast most of this week sending me into a bit of a hibernation. I guess laying on the couch watching movies and eating popcorn could be considered as doing something . . . couldn't it?

Other than watching movies I was busy putting together a new website. 'Loving Heart Reiki' is the name and it is all about Reiki. I hope you'll pop by and visit and maybe even book yourself a session while you're there.

Be still my heart . . .

Yesterday afternoon I decided to take myself out to see a movie . . . notice a theme here? I'd been wanting to see 'The King's Speech' since it came out (Colin Firth is sooooo dreamy!) and so with a large popcorn and iced tea in hand, I made my way into the movie theatre. This is only the second time I've ever gone to a movie by myself and I have to say it's quite liberating. I get to see the movie I want to see and I get to eat the treats I want to eat. Oh, did I mention I also got Raisinettes?

Anyway, I was engrossed in the movie from beginning to end. I could look at Colin Firth all day, but it wasn't just him that kept me watching. I love to watch anything that has to do with the English monarchy. I'm captivated by them. And learning more about how this young prince was raised was heart-breaking to say the least. And then being thrown onto the throne, well in my view he was a very strong and brave man.

Colin Firth did an excellent job portraying King George VI and Geoffrey Rush was a hoot as Lionel Logue. You could see the mutual admiration between both of these men, who remained friends throughout their lives. 'The King's Speech' is an excellent movie and I hope that Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush win all the awards the movie industry has to offer . . . they certainly deserve them!

And to round out my evening last night I made some more bath salts. I found the most fabulous jar at the hospice store I frequent - it's divine! Give these a try . . . if you like the scent of orange, you'll love these!

Orange Bliss Bath Salts

1.5 cups of Epsom Salts
1 cup of sea salt
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
(I buy my oils from Back to Basics Log Cabin on Etsy)
yellow and red food coloring to make orange
1 teaspoon glycerin
dried orange peels
peppermint leaves

Pour the Epsom Salts and sea salt into a glass bowl and mix well. Add one to two drops of Sweet Orange essential oil. Blend the yellow and red food coloring together and pour into the salt mixture. Blend well. Add one teaspoon of glycerin (make sure to keep this at one teaspoon or the salts will melt). Add the dried orange peels and peppermint leaves (or whatever herbs you'd like) and mix well. Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and dry for about one to two hours. Place them into a pretty jar and enjoy!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bath Salts and Sachets

I believe there's nothing more decadent than treating oneself to a hot bath infused with homemade bath salts or a bath sachet. Once the bath is drawn, you can light a few candles, turn off the lights and delight in the scents emanating from the water and let the world slip away. Ah . . . bliss . . .

The thing I like best about making my own bath salts and sachets is that I can put into them the scents and herbs that I like, making each with its own personality and one that fits with mine.

I made two recipes the other day, one to give-away and one to keep for myself. Below are the recipes I used, feel free to tweak them to suit your own personality.

Rose Petals Bath Salts

1.5 cups Epsom Salts
1 cup sea salt
1 teaspoon glycerin
red food coloring
small handful of rose petals
small handful of peppermint leaves
1 or 2 drops of Lavender essential oil

Mix the Epsom Salts and sea salt together well. Add one ingredient at a time of the Lavender essential oil, one or two drops of red food coloring to color the mixture pink and 1 teaspoon of glycerin (for soft skin - be sure not to put more than 1 teaspoon in or it will melt the salt) and mix well after each addition. Gently add in your rose petals and peppermint leaves (you can find these ingredients at most health food stores or places like Whole Foods). Lay the mixture out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to dry for two to three hours.

Lavender Fields Bath Salts

1.5 cups Epsom Salts
1 cup sea salt
1 teaspoon glycerin
blue and red food coloring
small handful of Lavender petals
small handful of peppermint leaves
1 or 2 drops of Lavender essential oil

Mix the Epsom Salts and sea salt together well. Add one ingredient at a time of the Lavender essential oil, one or two drops of each of the red and blue food coloring to color the mixture purple (I mixed the colors together in a teaspoon before I added them to the mixture - you might have to play with this for awhile until you get the color you want) and 1 teaspoon of glycerin (for soft skin - be sure not to put more than 1 teaspoon in or it will melt the salt) and mix well after each addition. Gently add in your Lavender petals and peppermint leaves (you can find these ingredients at most health food stores or places like Whole Foods). Lay the mixture out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to dry for two to three hours.

Once the mixture has dried thoroughly spoon it into a pretty jar or bottle (I found my smooth faced jars at Micheal's) add ribbon and embellishment and voila' you've made your own bath salts!

Bath Sachet

small cotton drawstring bags (I found mine at Willy Street Co-op, but I imagine you can find them at most health food stores or Whole Foods.)

Mix the ingredients together and spoon them into the cotton bags. Use the ingredients in equal combinations depending on how many bags you want to fill. To fill three small bags I used about 3/4 cup of each herb. You can throw it right into the bath or put some pretty ribbon and embellishments on it to make a nice gift. Mine smelled so good I decided to put one of the bags in my undie drawer!

As you're making your bath salts or sachets it might be nice if you put your intention into the mix. I infused mine with Reiki energy, but any intention you have would work just as well. For instance as you put in each of the ingredients you could say, "It is my intention that this (Lavender) be used to create relaxation and well-being for me."

I found a lovely shop on Etsy that sells essential oils, bath soaps, lip balms and such. All handmade with natural ingredients. I purchased the Lavender essential oil and I have to tell you that it smells heavenly! Not like the store-bought brands. I also purchased a chocolate-mint lip balm and it's all I can do to not sit down and eat the thing. I just purchased the Rosewood Essential Oil and Sweet Orange Essential Oil and I can't wait to use them in some homemade salts! The name of the Esty shop is Back to Basics Log Cabin. Give them a try, I think you'll really like their products!

I hope you enjoy making your own homemade bath salts and sachets and that you delight in the bliss of using them!


Friday, February 18, 2011

One World One Heart Winners

I was thoroughly touched and moved by some of the comments I received on my One World One Heart post. I truly wish that you could all have been winners!

Using the random generator at Random.org to select the winning numbers, please give a round of applause to . . .

#139 - Gale Varland

The First Prize winner of the Reiki Distant Healing Session AND Gift Basket! Gayle will be able to chose between 'Rose Petals' and 'Lavender Fields' bath salts to go into her gift basket. These are handmade by me and are infused with Reiki energy for healing, relaxation and protection (one can never be too careful in the tub!).

Lavender Fields

Rose Petals

Also included is a Bath Sachet handmade by me and infused with Reiki energy for healing, relaxation and protection.

The Second Prize winner of the Reiki Distant Healing Session is . . .

#165 - Janil (Spain)

Congratulations, ladies! I'll be contacting you to make arrangements for your Reiki Distant Healing Sessions.

I have enjoyed visiting all the lovely blogs out there on this world wide trip and have met so many interesting and creative people. Blogging really does 'make the world go round'!

Sending you Reiki love and remember to Live in the Light!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Reiki Room

I completed my Reiki Level II class on Saturday and am now a Certified Reiki Level II Practitioner! Yay! The class was very intensive and I learned so much including three of the Reiki symbols. We also did a lot of distance healing training incorporating the symbols. I am so excited about all that Reiki has to offer and thrilled to be able to put it out into the world to help wherever I can. I also hope to use Reiki on animals and am thinking about volunteering at an animal shelter or sanctuary. One step at a time . . .

I plan on practicing in my new in-home studio and have to say it's turning out very nicely. I infused Reiki energy into everything that went into this room - from painting the walls, to putting up doors and trim and moving in the furniture. It has a wonderful energy to it and I'm looking forward to sharing it with clients.

If you're interested in receiving a Reiki Distant Healing Session, please feel free to email me. Of course, if you're in the Madison area you're welcome to have a session in person! I've set up a PayPal button on my sidebar until I get a website up and running. If you'd like to learn more about Reiki visit my post here.

How a Reiki Distant Healing Session Works

Once I receive your payment, I will contact you via email or telephone (your choice). I will ask you your full name, we will set an intention for the session and I will ask you if there are any areas of concern or areas you would like to focus on. We will then schedule your appointment. At the scheduled time, it is best if you are in a place where you are safe and comfortable. The session will take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour. When the session is complete, I will again contact you via email or telephone and we will discuss the session.

Sending you Reiki love and remember to Live in the Light!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

I am not an idiot . . .

You've seen them in the bookstores. Those yellow and black or orange books that declare you are an idiot and apparently you need a book to tell you so. I jest of course, but why on Earth couldn't they have named them 'The Complete GENIUS'S Guide to . . .' After all, you're buying a book because you don't know everything there is to know about a subject (or you're just looking for some entertainment) and are therefore buying the book to expand your knowledge. Seems pretty smart to me . . . I'm just saying . . .

Feeling better for having gotten that off my chest, I now turn to the real reason for this post . . . a new book I'm reading called, you guessed it, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft. This book is full of great information and whys and what-fors. It covers all the basics like the history of Wicca and Witchcraft, the Wiccan Rede, rituals, Sabbats and esbats and then gets into what magick is and how use it, what supplies are needed, working with crystals, stones, herbs and essential oils.

This book is fantastic for a beginner just setting out on the path and also for someone who's been walking the path for awhile, but for one reason or another has become stuck. What I like best about the book is the inclusion of a Year-and-a-Day study. I've often read that phrase in other books but could never find a source for going about studying for the year-and-a-day. This book has it! It gives short descriptions on different aspects of Wicca which you can expand upon depending on your preferences. It is laid out according to the Wheel of the Year, so you'll be studying on aspects related to Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Since we've already waved goodbye to Imbolc and traditionally the best time for new beginnings, there's no time like the present! Personally, I'm going to begin my study at the next New Moon which is Friday, March 4th - a great time for starting new projects and making new plans. That will give me enough time to read the book and prepare myself for going back to school!

So while I've been on the Wiccan path for some time now, have read some great books, done loads of internet research, have set up my Book of Shadows, done ritual and celebrate the God and Goddess, I feel a new surge of excitement in having a clearly defined course of study. One that I can grasp and make my own in whatever way rings true for me. Yay!

I leave you today with a picture of my two little fellows looking out the window . . . the snow is so high I don't think they can really see anything, although they're determined . . .


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pagan Art Journaling ~ Week 1

Aradia says . . .

"What are your intentions for this project? What do you hope to get out of it? Is it about healing, creativity, community, or something else?

To start off this journey I thought it would be nice to think about what you want for yourself right now - what do you want to nurture and bring into your own lives at the moment. Find a word, quote or image that speaks to you right now and let it be your guiding light/idea/theme for this week, this month, this turn of the wheel, or this entire project."

For someone who basically flies by the seat of her pants on any given day, that's a lot to take in and think about which would explain why it's taken me the WHOLE week to try and come up with answers and then to put those answers into some kind of art project.

At first I was going to do some kind of mixed media, paper cutting, gluing, make it messy kind of project, but then something stirred inside of me and I was moved to draw . . . it just kind of flowed . . . asking your angels, guides, and spirits for help actually works!

I started by drawing the tree, which is a symbol of grounding and connecting to the Earth for me. And then I pictured myself as a butterfly; I've been in a continual state of growth this past year (which continues). Shedding old belief systems, connecting with new beliefs - I'm in a constant state of catharsis and renewal.

The bands of color represent my chakras which, with the help of Reiki, I've been cleansing and opening. The image of the triple Goddess represents my connection to her in all her aspects.

Above the triple Goddess are bands of gold that I sprinkled with glitter. This represents my connection to Spirit.

Note to self - felt tipped pens and water color pencils do not mix when water is added! My chakras are looking a little muddy so I'll have to do some extra work on them this evening!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Spell Against World Hunger

World Hunger is a problem that affects all of us. We've all seen the images on television of poor, starving children in poverty stricken countries and are moved to donate, in whatever way we can, to charities and organizations that do their best to try and help alleviate the problem.

Here at home, most of us are more fortunate. There is enough food to meet our needs and then some. And we are and should be grateful for it.

Being in the depths of winter my mind also wonders to the creatures outside who have to endure long days and nights of below freezing temperatures. Being a bird person, I have feeders outside to help these little winged ones make it through the winter. I realize that they can probably fend for themselves, but isn't it nice to know that you can make their lives a little bit easier?

I found the recipe and spell below in Dorothy Morrison's Everyday Magic. Isn't it wonderful that we really can put the magick in every day?

1 large jar of peanut butter
1 medium bag of wild birdseed

Empty the peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl and put it into the microwave for one minute, checking and stirring the peanut butter every twenty seconds. Remove the peanut butter from the microwave and stir in the birdseed, adding a little at a time. Continue adding the birdseed until stirring becomes difficult.

Turn the mixture out onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper and shape it into a rectangle approximately half an inch thick. Wrap the mixture in waxed paper and place it in the freezer for one hour. After an hour the mixture will have set enough to cut it easily. If not, return it to the freezer and check it every fifteen to twenty minutes. Cut the rectangle into 2-inch squares.

Note that I shaped my treats into balls and then pressed them with the bottom of a glass. I think Dorothy's way is the time-saving method!

Thread a yarn needle with yarn or ribbon. Draw the needle through the center top of a square, cut the ribbon leaving about 8 inches of length, and tie it off. Continue the process until all the squares have a length of yarn or ribbon through it. Return the squares to the freezer and leave them for 24-hours.

The next day, take the squares outside and tie them to tree branches for the birds to eat (or you can put several into a suet feeder like I did). When the last one is tied, open your arms to the sky and chant to the Sun and Sky:

"I feed the birds a festive meal.
I nourish them with foodstuffs real.
And as they find this pleasant feast,
So will my human siblings eat.
Remove the hunger from all life,
So that Your human children thrive.
Give them plenty - fill them up
With nourishing food on which to sup.
Kill starvation, it must die,
This I will - by Sun and Sky!"

Now make yourself a nice cup of cocoa (with marshmallows of course!), perch yourself by a window and watch all the little birds come for dinner!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One World One Heart

The One World One Heart event has sadly come to an end. Please click HERE to see the lucky participants who have won the Reiki Distant Healing Session AND gift basket and the second prize of the Reiki Distant Healing Session. Blessed Be!

Welcome to the 2011 One World One Heart Blogging Event. Our gracious hostess for this event is Lisa Swifka of 'A Whimscial Bohemian'.

One World One Heart is a worldwide event for bloggers. It gives all those who blog a chance to meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world. In the past four years this event has grown to over 1,000 participants with lasting friendships (and even one love connection) formed along the way. Think of it as a GIGANTIC open house allowing you to travel without ever leaving your home . . . going from blog to blog (in various countries) seeing the wonder each one has created and meeting all the fabulous people behind those blogs. As a bonus each blogger participant will offer up a "door prize or prizes" . . . just for dropping by, saying hello and seeing their world. It's really that easy!"

I'm so glad you stopped by today . . . my name as you've probably already guessed is Teresa and I'm a wife, domestic diva, care giver to four dogs and three parrots, and a Reiki Practitioner. I love to garden, craft, dance, make music and magick and most of all I adore my connection to Spirit. It was through Spirit that I was guided to learn Reiki and to share it with people and animals. It is also my intention to share Reiki with the world to bring about harmony and peace.

One of the great things about this event is that we're able to share a little bit of ourselves with those who visit us and leave a comment. By doing so we're not only connecting on a mundane level, but we're also connecting spiritually through our love of blogging.

I've recently become a Certified Reiki Level I Practitioner and will be a Certified Reiki Level II Practitioner by the time this event ends. At that time I will be attuned to do Distance Healing, so what better way to send my joy of Reiki out into the world than to share it with you. Thus, I am offering one Reiki Distance Healing Session to one lucky participant.

Picture is for demonstration only, but yours will be equally fabulous!

But that's not all! Since my aim is to pamper and adore my clients, I'm also including a gift basket which will be full of all kinds of goodies to pamper yourself with including chocolate (what would a pampering gift-basket be without chocolate?), a divinely scented soap, a candle, some tea and a special mug to steep it in, bath salts (which will be handmade by me), a bath sachet (also made by me) and some soothing lip balm. I'll likely throw in some other goodies as I think of them and how best to pamper the lucky winner!

A little bit of information regarding Reiki . . .

REI - higher knowledge or spiritual consciousness
KI - life energy

Reiki is a centuries-old Japanese healing method which had been lost to the world. In the early 1900's Mikao Usui was sent, as part of his early Buddhist training, to fast and meditate at the top of Mt. Kurama. He placed 21 stones around him to mark each day's passing. On the 21st day he was struck with the knowledge of Reiki and the Universal Light Force Energy. During the remainder of his life he taught and practiced Reiki.

Using light hand placements to direct universal life force energy to the body and energy field, Reiki is simultaneously powerful and gentle and can assist in healing illnesses and injuries ranging from multiple sclerosis and cancer to broken bones, headache, cold and flu. Because Reiki works on all levels of our being — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — one can also expect benefits such as improved self-esteem, confidence, clarity, focus and peace of mind. Reiki is used by and for people of every religion.

Reiki works to improve the effectiveness of other therapies. A treatment feels like a warm and glowing radiance and has many benefits for both client and practitioner, including altered states of consciousness and heightened spiritual experiences. Reiki improves the results of medical treatments, reduces negative side effects, shortens healing time, reduces or eliminates pain and stress, and helps create hopefulness. It is extremely relaxing and non-invasive.

Reiki Principles
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, be grateful for your blessings.
Just for today, do your work with honesty and integrity.
Just for today, be kind to all living beings.

Please be sure to comment on this post and leave me your contact information to enter. I will announce the winner at midnight on February 17th!

I hope you enjoy visiting all the fabulous participants of this year's One World One Heart event and that you have a blessed day!

UPDATE: I am now happy to say that I am a Certified Reiki Level II Practitioner! Yay! I also wanted to add that because I have had such an awesome response to this post and because I feel there is a need, I'm going to offer a SECOND PRIZE of a Reiki Distant Healing Session.

Sending you Reiki Love and remember to Live in the Light!