Monday, February 27, 2012

WARNING, This Will Be A Rant!

I am so sick of hearing about religion and faith in the damned news. If you are a person of faith whatever that faith may be, by all means celebrate it, but stop using it as a damned badge to get recognized. Every fucking day I have to hear about athletes that pray, and this person's Pastor or Minister, and who goes to what church. Who's Christian, and who's not Christian enough. Prayer in school.. every pointless thing that doesn't belong in the news.

First of all, what happened to News being about.. I don't know News. Stuff like murders, shootings, people going to court for fraud, what buildings have burned down, high profile places that have been robbed, major accidents. Every time it gets turned on I hear about religion and what celebrities are doing. I know there are going to be some people who say well just turn it off. Believe me I would love too. However, I do live with my parents, the T.V. is theirs, and they decide what we watch.

I don't want to confuse anyone into thinking I'm this severely depraved person who wants nothing more than to see tragedy.. I don't. I think it's fabulous if they have nothing awful to report. I'm thrilled to pieces but that news is so slow they have to put on these windbags.. but then these same windbags get on T.V. and try to tell us that the world is going to shit and we all need to turn to Jaay-zus in order to save ourselves. It is? We do? If there is so little going on that they put you on television I highly doubt it. If there is fire in the streets and things are so awful, worse than they ever have been, let me see it.

They want us to believe that everything is so bad, that we have to return to traditions family ("fundamental Christian") values, or things are just going to get worse. They are convinced that the world is just filled with degenerates. Last I knew, studies show that crime rates are low as opposed to the past. Bullies are no longer cool and the small and voiceless are taking a stand. Why is that bad. They think people who have no interest in harming others and simply wish to seek a happy and fulfilling life where they don't have to pretend to be someone they aren't are the enemy. Why?

They want us to go back words in time where politics can dictate what people believe in, where women have no rights, where the LGBT hide and cower in fear of discovery. Why? Why are these buffoons aloud to spread their filth, hate, and misinformation on the NEWS? Does that make any sense to anyone. People boycotted the Dixie Chicks because they didn't like Bush, but people get on the News every day and bash Obama, and that's okay??

Sorry if this rambled or seemed a little disjointed but this shit just makes no sense to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pasta & Sauce

The name of this recipe is a little deceiving. While it does include tomatoes it's not your traditional red sauce with pasta. I got this recipe from my mother and it is perfect for the end of Winter or the early days of Spring.

Ingredients:
  • 6 slices of bacon diced
  • 1 pkg of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lg can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar of Alfredo sauce
  • 1 pound of pasta
  • salt/ pepper
  • frozen peas (optional)
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Saute bacon until fat is rendered.
  3. Add onions, garlic, and mushroom and saute until onions are soft.
  4. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in tomatoes* and simmer 5-8 minute.
  6. Stir in Alfredo sauce and add cooked pasta to sauce, blend well
* Optional- add frozen peas when the tomatoes are added

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Lovers


Until now all of the cards have featured single parties. The Fool (who can be perceived as sexually ambiguous) The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, and The Hierophant (whose gender varies according to decks, The Hierophant is a symbol of a spiritual leader or guide and could be male or female). Now for the first time we see a man and a woman together on a card. I believe the Woman to be the fully realized divine feminine, the combination of The High Priestess and The Empress. Just as her partner, the Man, is the full realized divine masculine, the combination of The Magician and The Emperor.

1 The thing we notice first about Man and Woman in this car is their nudity. This symbolizes innocence and the newness of their relationship. They feel no shame in their bodies or their union. They are free to share their emotions without restraint.

2 The Most prominent character we see besides The Lovers themselves is an angel surrounded by the sun in the clouds above them. We can clearly see that while the Woman is looking at the angel the Man is only looking at the Woman. It leaves us to wonder can he not see it or is he simply placing the responsibility of interacting with the divine on his partners shoulders. This symbolizes his trust in her and the trust they share in their relationship.The Man and Woman also represent the conscious (the Man) and subconscious (the Woman) mind. They are incomplete without each other. She helps to him connect to the divine and he helps her stay connected to the world around them. Together they are in perfect harmony.

3 Between the pair we see a mountain. The mountain represents challenges they will face together in their relationship.

4 Behind the Woman we see a tree that clearly represents the tree of knowledge from the bible. The tree represents a choice between the sacred and profane. It also represents the necessity of putting their new relationship to the test to see how they will come out on the other side.

5 Behind the Man is a tree adorned with twelve flames. I believe this tree is meant to represent the tree of life. In Judeo-Christian mysticism after eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden before they could also eat of the tree of life and become like God. This further suggests that Man is symbolic of the conscious while Woman is symbolic of the subconscious. She is in front of the tree that represents knowing (a nod to intuition) and he is in front of the tree that represents eternal life (perhaps a nod to the practicality of survival).

Key Words: A new relationship or romance. Freedom of emotions. Trust. Perfection. Harmony. A choice between the sacred and profane. Put to the test. Love. Beauty. Deep feelings. Optimism. A meaningful affair.

When doing inverse readings: This would be a relationship in decline, a failed relationship, or an unhealthy relationship. The test which was given has not been met and it has bred bad blood between the two. They are frustrated with their partnership and believe each others to be unreliable. If they are trying to work things out they may be experiencing interference from others or they may be unable to work out their trust issues. They make poor decisions as a couple and no longer belong together.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pagan Parenting in the Dark

Something fairly upsetting happened about a month ago. We took our son out to lunch and a group of old women in blue came in (ironically they were nuns). Well my son immediately hid his face and said they were Witches and he hated Witches because they were scary. Both me an my husband explained to him that just being elderly doesn't make someone a Witch and even if they were Witches he had nothing to be afraid of because not all Witches are bad, in fact a large portion of them are very good. He said oh and moved on. I don't believe in over explanations. I address the stuff that is said or asked and try not to explain more than he can handle.

Well at the beginning of last week he found a toy in his collection of someone with a scary green mask that can be lifted up and down. He told me that the mask made him a Witch and he was mean and scary. I immediately had yet another conversation that the mask was just a mask, that Witches don't really look like that, and being a Witch doesn't make someone mean or scary. He said okay but he's 3. Yet again I am faced with another problem from having to hide my faith. How do I get him to understand that cartoon Witches aren't real portrayals of us if I can't even admit that I am one.

We've taken him to various pagan shops with us and I've tried reading him pagan friendly stories but other than that I am lost at what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions of movies I can watch with him, books we can read or projects we can do to help him understand? If anyone else has faced this problem tell us what you did or how you handled it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rabbit or Chicken with Baby Vegetables

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 rabbit or chicken cut into pieces
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
  • 1 tsp sweet marjoram, dried
  • 1/2 tsp sweet basil, dried
  • 1/2 tsp time, dried
  • 1 can chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
Directions:
  1. Rinse the meat pieces and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.
  2. Wash the baby potatoes and baby carrots.
  3. Add the diced green onions and mix gently.
  4. Put half of the vegetables in a slow cooker. Add the meat pieces and cover with the remaining vegetables. Combine sweet marjoram, sweet basil, and thyme, sprinkle herbs over vegetables and meat. Pour in chicken broth and cover.
  5. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. When done, vegetables should be tender and easy to pierce with a fork, but not mushy. Meat should separate easily from the bone and it's juices should run clear.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Hierophant


As we continue our Tarot journey we come to The Hierophant. He is representative of a very traditional religious leader, or spiritual guide. Whether you see him as a kind and gentle guide or an old bull he is still a powerful character.

1 Upon his head he wears a triple crown otherwise known as the papal tiara. This crown is representative of his position. In this card we see that he is clearly meant to be seen as the Pope. This can mean many things to many people. He can be seen as someone who is a conformist, someone who clings to outdated principals, or he could be seen as someone who offers inspiration. It depends on the Questioner's own life experiences and the cards surrounding it in a reading.

2 We see his right hand raised in a universal sign of benediction or blessing. Once again, depending on the question and the other cards surrounding it in a reading he may be offering his forgiveness or he may be telling you that what you plan to do has his blessing.

3 In his left hand is raised the Papal staff. Both hands hold significance. The right hand is symbolic of his mercy and the left hand symbolizes justice. His holding of the Papal staff further cements his position as the Pope or another traditional spiritual leader. The staff is also representative of ritualism as it is used for ceremonial occasions.

4 At his feet we see a crossed pair of keys. These are meant to be the Keys of Heaven, or the Keys of St. Peter. These keys represent divine authority.

5 In front of The Hierophant we see two acolytes. One is robed in red roses which symbolize romantic love, and the other is robed in white lilies which symbolize purity. These acolytes could be asking for his judgment or they may be simply listening to his wisdom. These acolytes represent The Hierophant's servitude. He must serve the people. His success and power rely on their acceptance of his ideas which The Hierophant is often a slave to. He is known to be someone who is stuck in his ways.

Key Words: Traditional Religious Leader, Conformist, Outdated Principals, Inspiration, Forgiveness, Mercy, Ritualism, Divine Authority, Stubborn

When using reverse meanings: If the right side up Hierophant is a well meaning guide, than the inversed Hierophant is one bred of greed. He is someone who does not believe what he preaches but uses his power and status to further his own agenda. However just as the inversed Hierophant can be blinded by greed he may be blinded by kindness. This type of inversed Hierophant is someone who may believe in false charity. He is someone who gives too much of themselves with no return.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wasn't that Our Holiday?

Has anyone ever seen the Eddie Izzard skit back from when he still dressed in drag where he's talking about flags? In case you haven't you should it's pretty hilarious. A lot of his comedy skits used to be about History and God with the voice of James Mason. Well in the skit I'm specifically refering to he talks about England and it's use of flags to essentially to take over the world. Explorers would search the globe for foreign land masses stick a flag in the ground and claim the land in the name of her majesty. Well inevitably the indigenous people would come out with an obvious "but we were here first" to which the explorer would reply "well do you have a flag?" because that was clearly how you established ownership.
I feel that in a way that's what the Catholic church has done with all of the pagan holidays. Take yesterday for example. Lupercalia was originally a Roman fertility festival. Somehow it morphed into Valentines Day, jumped back to the 14th instead of the 15th and celebrated St. Valentine, patron saint of lovers. I had always thought the church opposed that sort of thing but what's hypocrasy when there's converting to do.
I can't help but see the Pope sitting up on his high horse throne holy chair or whatever he thinks sounds the most pious when he's draped in expensive robes and adorned with gold and jewels, whinning to all of his bishops

"Why will they not stop fornicating? I told them they're Christian now, God finds this kind of display unholy. Not to mention how are we supposed to keep our vows of celebacy with all that cavorting flesh?"
"Well sir, they were here first and they have been celebrating this for as long as them and their ancestors can remember."
"But how are we supposed to have absolete control over them if we can't even stop them from celebrating their own time honored traditions?"
"Perhaps if we beat them to the punch your grace?"
"Yes, Yes we'll move it to the 14th and tell them they've really been celebrating our holiday all along, I think we have someone waiting to be beatified. Valentine or something. We'll make him the patron saint of lovers. That should stop them from honoring Faunus or whatever the hell they're doing down there."

It's good to know however that through historians and others who are actually willing to do the research that we can at least in spirit gain back the traditions stolen from us and our ancestors.
Who's for a little fertility whipping next year?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love & Lust Correspondances

Here's a fun little love and lust themed correspondance chart.
Enjoy!

~ Herbs ~

For Beauty: Rosemary, Witch Hazel, Avocado, Catnip, Ginseng
For Love: Allspice, Apple Blossom, Bleeding heart, Catnip, Lavender, Periwinkle, Peppermint, Tulip, Violet, Daffodil, Clove, Yarrow, Marjoram, Basil, Fig, Valerian, Endive
For Lust: Allspice, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Foxglove, Vanilla, Ginseng

~ Stones ~

For Love and Lust: Unakite, Rose Quartz, Pink Calcite, Amethyst, Hematite, Smokey Quartz, Amber, Blue Topaz, Turqoise, Mother-of-Pearl, Red Jasper, Green Jade, Angelite, Rhodochrosite, Orange Carnelian

~ Candle Magick ~

Red: Passion, Sexuality, Love, Lust
Pink: Emotional love, Promotes romance, Affection
Rose: Romance
Orange: Attraction
Copper: Passion, Relationships
Green: Beauty, this color is also associated with Venus, fertility

~ Gods and Goddesses ~

Bastet: Egyptian Goddess of Sex and Fertility
Geb: Egyptian God of Fertility
Aphrodite: Greek Goddess of Love
Hera: Greek Goddess of Marriage
Eros: Greek God of Passion and Lust
Priapus: Greek God of Lust and Fertility
Venus: Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty
Juno: Roman Goddess of Marriage
Cupid: Roman God of Love
Bona Dea: Roman Fertility Goddess
Bacchus: Roman God of Wine and Fertility
Frigga: Norse Goddess of Marriage
Freyja: Norse Goddess of Fertility


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Emperor


After the Empress comes her male counterpart, The Emperor. While The Empress is Gaia, The Emperor is Zeus, Odin, Jupiter and Cernunnos. He is the All Father and the Godhead.

1 The first symbol we see is the symbol of masculinity held as a scepter in The Emperor's right hand. This symbol compliments the feminine symbol on The Empress Card which is also on the right side. Since the right hand symbolizes power this simply indicates that masculinity and femininity are the predominant traits. He is the ultimate father, brother, and husband.

2 Place on four major points on his throne we see rams. Generally when we think of rams we think of two of them butting heads in a battle for dominance. The stubborn and war-making tendencies of these creatures are all part of The Emperor's personality.

Throughout mythology the head of a ram has been used to represent major Gods including Cernunnos. The ram represents The Emperor's fearlessness, virility, strong spirit, and protective nature. It also further symbolizes his role as a patriarchal figure.

3 The throne upon which The Emperor sits is straight backed and stone. This represents the firm structure of his life as well as his authority.

4 Now we come to the Emperor himself and his attire. Once again somewhat mirroring The Empress we see red, but for The Emperor it merely represents his confidence and worldly power. Paired with the red robes we see armored boots and a golden crown. the crown represents his wealth and the boots are obvious symbols of is strength.

5 In the background behind his throne we see a mountain range rising high above a small stream. The mountains represent stability but also something more. In the mountains we see that The Emperor is cut off. He is a man who rules with his head and not his heart. This is shown by the mountains clear dominance over the stream. The water represents his emotion and passion while mountains represent reason and intelligence. This can make him cold at times and hard to reach emotionally.

Key Words: Masculinity, Father, Brother, Husband, Stubborn, War-making tendencies, Fearlessness, Virility, Strong spirited, Protective, Patriarchal figure, Structure, Authority, Confidence, Worldly power, Wealth, Strength, Stability, Dominance of intelligence over emotions.

When using reverse meanings: When encountering an inverse Emperor we see someone who should be a man but still acts like a boy. He is The Fool on The Emperor's throne. He is immature, weak-willed, and indecisive. He is also unable to control emotions that should be kept in check.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fitness Update

If you read my post yesterday I gave you a mini update of my fitness progress. I had a little chat with my husband explaining what my current goals are and how long I want it to take to get there. I wanna do this slowly. I'm thinking 40 pounds in a year with 20 pounds lost at the half year mark. I think that's reasonable.

I'm trying to measure more by clothing size than weight, scales can be deceptive (i.e. it says I already lost 6 pounds and I'm not entirely sure how accurate that number is) but I'm checking my weight at certain intervals just to give myself a little update on where I am. I know that my weight will probably fluctuate a little but I'm just going to take an average and as long as the number is dropping I'll be happy.

I made a little goal chart and wrote out exactly what I want and how I want to do it using my Drop a Dress Size book. They suggest you plan out your goals using the SMART system.

Specific: Figure out exactly what you want and why you want it.
Measurable: How will you measure your progress
Attainable: Is this really what you want and are you sure it can be done
Realistic: Make sure your goals make sense for you and your lifestyle, not someone else's.
Time-framed: Make a timetable with checkpoints of long and short term goals. Also make sure you have a start and end time for when you want your goal to be met.

It's nice to set yourself up for success and also to see what you want in black and white and make sure it really resonates with you.

The next thing I need to do to keep myself on the right path is do a little shopping. I need a set of 3-5 pound weights and some new sneakers.

Is anyone else on a weight loss journey, share your story and any tips or tricks you've discovered with us.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's Going On

Well for the last couple days I've been having a little bit of a writers block problem and have been struggling with what to post about. Instead of spending forever hoping something meaningful springs to mind I'm just going to give you all a little update about what's going on in my life.

For anyone who doesn't know, my son has a rare blood disorder which prohibits his body from creating red blood cells. He's currently taking steroids to help his bone marrow in producing those precious red cells. Me and my husband joke all the time that he's going to brag to his friends when he's older that he's a vampire. He's pale and for the first year of his life he needed blood transfusions every 1 to 2 months to keep him going. Well on the 30th he had an appointment with his hematologist and he was stable enough for them to drop his dose again. This is incredibly exciting news for us. The ultimate goal is to reduce it to either a manageable amount he'll take forever or best case scenario weaning him off of them all together. Let's hope this is a step in the right direction.

He's been really testing his limits lately. He really knows how to push my buttons and when. I do my best to keep my cool but sometimes I have to just walk away. Is this just a three year old thing? I sure hope so.

We got our tax refund in today (yippee!!) which means we get to pay off some important bills and spoil ourselves a little. So far we got a PS3 for the family and I got a new bed set plus a few small things.

I finally got a round to talking to my husband about my fitness goals. I really want to take things seriously this time. I've been reading this free weight loss book on my Kindle called Drop a Dress Size. It's a great book, it's realistic and it focuses on real health and making healthy choices. It provides a lot of great information and techniques to get you off on the right foot. Especially what it has to say about setting goals. I've been working out every day for at least 30 minutes and have fallen in love with Tiffany Rothe workouts. She's full of good energy and offers a wide variety of exercises. You can find most of them on YouTube and if you follow the weekly workout routine she has posted on her Facebook page you will sweat!

I haven't forgotten about my Witchy Reading Challenge. I'm still reading Honor Bound and so far it's a great book. I've just been so unfocused lately I've been having a hard time reading diligently but I'm over half way through and will be sure to post my review soon so I can start my next book.

In current affairs I'm glad Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional and it scares the crap out of me that Santorum is doing so well in the poles.

I hope the rest of your week is easy and relaxed and don't forget to check back in for Tarot Friday.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bacon & Cheese Bites

Ingredients:
  • 6 slices of Bacon chopped
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup baking mix
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 1/2 tsps parsley
Directions:
  1. Fry onion and bacon together until bacon is cooked through and onion is glossy. Drain
  2. Beat 3 eggs
  3. Combine with onion & bacon mixture, baking mix, cheese, and parsley.
  4. Spoon onto greased tins.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes or until tops are slightly browned

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Empress


The Empress is the second female card we see and is the other half of the female archetype with The High Priestess being the first half. This card is fairly straight forward and probably one of the easier cards in the deck to interpret.

1 Below the Empress's throne we see what is meant to be either a heard shaped stone or pillow with a feminine symbol on it. This represents feminine progress, and feminine influence. The heart may symbolize her caring, and nurturing personality. She is the ultimate wife, mother, and sister.

2 In the foreground we see a field of wheat. This represents fertility and fruitfulness. She is Gaia and the sheaves of wheat are her children. The wheat may also represent abundance.

3 The Empress is lounging on a throne piled high with red pillows and cloth. These represent accomplishment, luxury and The Empress's connection to her senses. The Empress is a woman in tune with her body. She embraces pleasure and isn't afraid to share it with others.

4 In the background you see a forest. The forest is a clear representation of nature and The Empress's connection to it.

5 Running through the forest is a river that turns into a waterfall. The water represents The Empress's intuition and the power of the waterfall represents her ability to motivate and influence others.

Key Words: Feminine Progress, Feminine Influence, Caring, Nurturing, Wife, Mother, Sister, Fertility, Fruitfulness, Children, Marriage, Mothering, Abundance, Accomplishment, Luxury, Senses, In tune with the body, Pleasure, Nature, Intuition, Motivation of others, Practicality

When using reverse meanings: When thinking of reverse meanings for the Empress think of her as someone with manic depression. This sounds strange but helps when interpreting the card. When right side up you're facing the cards manic side. When upside down you are facing it's depressed side. The Empress's inverse personality is someone who has anxiety, lack of interest, lack of concentration, and indecision. She's someone who is infertile and unfaithful in relationships.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Imbolc Round-up

Here are a few links to gather up all the Imbolc goodies from the last month. Enjoy!

Celebrating Brighid

Indoor Fire

Imbolc Mac & Cheese

Elixir of Brighid

What have you done or are going to do for Imbolc? Share it with us.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Getting on the Right Track

Weight has been something I've struggled with since I was about 9. Before then I was pretty average. I had a good appetite but I was really active. I was outside ALL of the time. I played hard, I climbed trees, hiked mountains, ran, rode bikes, you name it, I probably did it. I hit puberty early, and when that happened ... it was like I didn't want to do anything anymore. My activity level dropped. I started to eat even more and before I knew it I was a teenager with a growing weight problem.

I would go on these health ... kicks. For a couple days I would try to eat less and exercise more, but I never had a support system. My parents would do the same thing, get in a healthy mood and try for a week or so but then a big dinner or holiday would role around and everything would go back to normal. Any time I really tried to stick to my guns all of a sudden it felt like I was under a microscope by everyone in my family. They would either tease me, tell me I was doing everything wrong, or give me an endless stream of nonsensical advice that never felt like it would work for me. So I would give up.

Well here I am 25 years old, I still have a weight problem and now I'm a mother. I have to set a good example for my son, it's my responsibility to teach him about healthy eating and exercise habits. What's more is I want to be healthier. I don't want to have to feel self-conscious about my weight. I want to be stronger, and more flexible, and more awake, with more even moods. I want to have pride in myself.

I don't want to keep going on these health binges only to fall off the wagon and be even more disappointed in myself. So here's where I need a little help. If you have any health tips you want to share with me please do!! I'm going to start trying to be more accountable for myself and as I learn more and gather more info for my own journey I'll share it and hopefully it will be of use to someone.

Step 1: I'm going to have an open and honest conversation with my husband about what I want for myself and what I'm going to need from him to keep me on the right track.

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