A Week in Witchiness (or, One Witchy Week): 9/9-9/15

I’ve been a good little witch this last week.  With the New Moon in Virgo on Sunday night, my earth-loving, purifying, refining nature has been out in full force. Here are some of the things I’ve done:

5 ways I’ve been witchy since wednesday

Handpainted eyeball gel manicure | Whisper & Howl

Number 1

 I painted eyeballs on my fingernails.  I am obsessed.  When the paint inevitably peels off, I will be so, so sad.

Number 2

I undertook an Ayurvedic cleanse.  I’ve been taking herbs for a while and they seem to be helping, so I decided to do a Fall Cleanse right as the weather decided to drop 20 degrees!  Unexpected bonus: I’ve lost 3 lbs.

NUMBER 3

Because of the cleanse and its morning practices, I’ve been getting up much earlier than usual and am loving it!  I do some cleansing practices, make breakfast, shower and do yoga all before work.  It’s giving me more time in the evening, since my sadhana is already done, and has jolted me straight into a beautiful morning routine.  I’m getting a little closer to becoming a morning person every day.

Eclipse Healer by Mystic Mamma

Number 4

I taught 4 yoga classes last week, including the New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Virgo class on Sunday.  I love teaching the moon classes.  I get to learn all about what’s going on astrologically and impart it to others along with lots of my favorite poses (chandra namaskar or moon salutations is my favorite sequence).

Number 5

I got a book on Shakti mantras and am excited to dive in!  I’m headed to the beach tomorrow afternoon and expect to be reading lots of yoga texts and doing lots of chanting–along with playing cards and board games and watching horror movies with my Mom and sisters.  I’ll be sure and collect some nice shells for my altar while I’m there.

Bonus

This one isn’t witch-related, but I did get my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe figured out and have started transitioning some pieces in.  More info on my process and results will be coming soon.

What have you done to feel like a wild, weird, witchy goddess this week?

31st Birthday Resolution

After much consideration for the past few months, my 31st Birthday Resolution presented itself to me in July.

For the 31st year of my life, I am GOING FULL WITCH. 

What does this mean, you might ask?  Let me explain.

Three Fates, painting by Emily Balivet

Three Fates, painting by Emily Balivet

GOING FULL WITCH

This doesn’t mean Halloween witch, or Wiccan witch, or Goth witch (although I fully embrace deep, dark lipstick on a regular basis).  I love those things but this is something…different.

This is me being totally open to exploring all the earthy, natural, divine, strange, left-handed, taboo, mushy, divine aspects of womanhood.   Another way to name this would be “Exploring the Divine Feminine,” or “Going Full Goddess,” but witch sounds better.  It reminds me of the many ways that women have been persecuted and disempowered throughout history for daring to practice natural medicine, midwifery, and spirituality based on the sacred feminine.

“Witch” also lends that wild and weird quality that is, semantically at least, empowering me to get a little freaky without reservation and without worrying about being judged.  I’m buying crystals, guys.  I’m chanting, burning incense, signing up for Full Moon Goddess teleconferences, reading all kinds of cards, communing with my spirit guides, setting intentions.  I am absolutely wearing dark lipstick, and I might wear a giant flower crown out in public for no reason at all! (What?!  That’s crazy!)

The point is, I’ve been doing these things for a little while and I keep adding practices and researching different ways of being, and I’m just going for it.  I’m allowing myself to do whatever is interesting in the name of sacred womanhood.  There’s not a religious sect I align with (although I am a yogi and leaning towards the tantric and bhakti paths).  I’m not following any gurus.  I’m going to do what I want, learn, and teach.  If you’re interested in what I’m doing, follow along.  I’ll share anything that I stumble on, fascinating and probably also mundane.

Blessed be, y’all.

 

 

I Once Was 30: A Year in Review, Pt. 2

 

Review

And we’re back!  I wanted to take the time to do this review because I discovered so many new things in the last year of my life and I want to share them with you.  It’s also a nice way for me to take an inventory of everything that’s happened, so that when I feel like I’m not making any progress in certain areas, I can look back and see the strides I have made in other areas.

A Year in Being Me, Pt. 2

March 1st, 2015-August 31st, 2015

March: Baby’s First Capsule Wardrobe!  Having completed The Great Discard on New Year’s Eve of 2014, and having contemplated and researched capsule wardrobes for a month or so, I started this practice on the first day of Spring.  I also started teaching a regular vinyasa yoga class on Monday mornings at Heart of Yoga School, where I did my first Teacher Training in 2012.  I’ve kept this class since then, and also teach a bi-weekly Lunar Yoga class on the evenings of the full and new moons, as well as occasional workshops.

April: Despite Mercury’s being in retrograde, I decided it was high time to start this blog!  I’d been thinking and talking about it for so long, and finally decided what the general idea would be–to write about all of the things I am learning about, with tips and advice from my experience. I was also doing a lot of babysitting and bartending in April.  I had more money, but less time.  And!  I finally got a spot in Mulberry Silk’s Tuesday night social sewing class!  I finished a skirt!

May:  I began taking Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with the incomparable Allison Dennis at Heart of Yoga School in May.  It was a hard decision to make since this course is not cheap (although to be fair, it is very reasonably priced), but this was an occasion when I felt very strongly directed to make the investment.  I am so glad I am doing this!  We meet once a month for an entire weekend of asana and study, to earn an additional certification and dive deeply into our psyches, yoga philosophy, history and practice.  I have made wonderful new friends and deepened my interest in and understanding of practices such as naadi yoga, mantra, tantra, shakti, and so much more!

June: What happened in June?  It was hot.  I fell in love with kirtan.  I started walking more often and I finished a dress.  I began my first Summer capsule wardrobe and it was hot.  So hot.

July: Ditto June.  I started doing acupuncture and that has been amazing.  I haven’t gotten sick since then, and that is pretty incredible considering my track record of sinus infections, gut issues and cold-catching.  Plus, it feels great.

August: And finally we come to August.  Last month, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 Myelodisplastic Syndrome, an aggressive blood cancer.  This news has been devastating.  I love my family more than anything, and this is the worst thing ever.  We’re all dealing with it.  We’re processing.  We’re handling.  I’ve spent a lot of time crying.  It comes and goes, the heart-wrenching sadness and fear.  I was having a lot of trouble sleeping for a while.  Dad started chemo last week and is home now.  I’m going home as much as possible to visit.  My parents live 30 minutes away and my littlest sister has moved back from Maine to live with them and help out, and my other sister lives a few blocks away from me.  We’re all very close.

Anyway, this is how I ended my 30th year, and the reason for my reflection/resting v. mad celebrations.  I am tired.  I’m also grateful, full of love, mostly happy, peaceful, supported, relatively healthy and have, in general, enough.  I’m reading a lot and sleeping a lot and trying to eat well and avoid watching too much TV.  I’m doing my sadhana, castor oil packs, snuggling Devo, visiting family, and sewing.  Everything is what it is, and that is fine.

Next time, I’ll tell you about my 31st Birthday Resolution.  It’s pretty great.

I Once was 30: A Year in Review, pt. 1

Birthday in BedFriends, family, strangers, rejoice!  For today is my 31st birthday!

That’s how this would normally go, but life has recently gotten intense, deep and complicated, so my traditional months-long birthday excitement has been less about CELEBRATING! WITH EVERYONE! and more about reflecting, resting, and planning for the upcoming year.

As you may know by now, I am big on the Birthday Resolution.  I started setting these several years ago and have found it is a lovely way to create some intention and focus for the upcoming year.  I find this much more meaningful than New Years, although I have been known to take any excuse to plan and evaluate (as a Virgo, this is my birthright).  I love a good moon ritual, embrace the solstices, and enjoy any day off that I can dedicate to wardrobe editing, desire-mapping, or guided meditation.

Before I talk about my 31st Birthday Resolution, which I have been setting up for the past month or two, I want to take some time to review my 30th year on this Earth, which was enormous, full, scary, wonderful, and heavy.

A YEAR IN BEING ME, PT. 1

AUGUST 31ST, 2015-FEBRUARY 28TH, 2015

August 2014: 30th Birthday Resolution: Become fiscally responsible!  This mostly involves creating a monthly budget, reviewing spending monthly, and trying to save some money.  More than keeping me on track so that I’m not getting (more) massively in debt, it has made me consider my wants and needs in life and ultimately has led me toward a minimalist path.  I’m taking baby steps, but this Resolution was smart, necessary, and has had far-reaching impacts in my life.

September 2014: My first job out of graduate school began in mid-August, so September was my first full month in my first office job as an arts administrator.  I moved back to Carrboro, to live with my friend Nureena, who is a lovely housemate, and my sweet cat Devo, 1 mile from my workplace and a few blocks from my sister, Jaimie.

October 2014: I discovered, committed to, and successfully followed a life-changing diet, which has been incredibly healing to my poor, injured gut; has eliminated by recurring back pain; given me more energy; and strengthened my confidence that I can commit and carry through big life changes.  When I finally went to see a gastroenterologist in December, she was so impressed with the results from this diet that she wanted to recommend it to her patients!  Big thanks to Jaimie for telling me about it (and my Dad for telling her, even though he doesn’t remember this).

November 2014: Started sewing!  I take social-sewing classes with the most badass women in town at Mulberry Silks.  I thought I’d make a skirt for Thanksgiving…but it’s clearly for Thanksgiving 2015, as I didn’t finish it until March!

December 2014: I started The Artist’s Way (and completed it 12 weeks later!).  This was also a life-altering event.  This book is mind-blowing.  It truly helped me get deeper into my own psyche, to rediscover my creativity, and to relax and embrace life and my inner child.  It got me more in tune with my Self and the world around me.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  I am amazed at how many goals I laid out (discovered, really) in my morning pages have actually happened!  I remember writing that I wanted to be a yoga teacher and a painter.  In December, I subbed my first yoga class since getting my certificate in 2012 and have been teaching regularly ever since.  I also did (most of) The Desire Map for New Years.

January 2015: I took an intuitive painting workshop this month let by my wonderful friend Heather Gerni, which really helped me to find an artistic voice I didn’t even know I had!  Heather is an excellent, nurturing teacher.  This way of painting is all about letting go of your expectations and letting the images arise naturally, painting with your intuition rather than your critical brain.  I absolutely love this and have kept it up all year.

February 2015: A friend and mentor gifted me with membership in the Soul Caller Training circles led by the lovely Amy Oscar.  I wrote a long email expressing my dissatisfaction (venting to my friends) with my job and how I felt unfulfilled and like there is so much MORE out there, creatively and spiritually, and at the very last minute I had an urge to send the email to an incredible woman I worked with in grad school, and she sent me the most amazing response and offered me this training.  It was a truly wonderful experience that helped me to be more in touch with my spirit guides (or, the Universe, God, angels, devis, the True Self, intuition, any other name you could possibly ascribe to this otherness that is also, fundamentally, You).

Coming up next time, March-now!  Isn’t this fun? So much has happened to me in the past year that it is difficult to remember it all–except that so much of it was significant.  I made lots of awesome new girlfriends, creative projects, and diet-modified dinners.  My spiritual world has expanded exponentially.  My cat is still the cutest thing in the universe.  And now, as it is my actual 31st birthday today, I will take a break and do…whatever  I want.  See you soon!