Category Archives: Tips

Shedding what you no longer need

campics 032Harvest always bring to mind a season of culling and clearing space. Not only do you reap whatever you’ve sown for the year, you also need to clear and prepare for the coming Winter.

As a homeschool mom, this means cleaning out textbooks and other school related items, but I also take stock of the emotional and spiritual things I should shed. This is especially true when things aren’t working for me.

This year’s goals have varying results, but I recognize some didn’t come to fruition because I didn’t apply myself. Even the weight loss demands more rigorous exercise I wasn’t willing to do. Either case, I know the reasons why my ‘crops failed’.

And that’s okay. Know why? Because I learn from those mistakes. I adjust my life accordingly, or I take time to meditate and question as to why I’m not applying myself. Is it fear? Laziness? Do I even want it badly enough?

Fingernails[5]Growing out my nails took almost two years to get them to the length they are. I slipped a few times, adjusted my habits, but most important of all- I recognized that it wasn’t the actual biting of my nails that was the issue. It was the anxiety I had that caused the nail biting.

Once I worked through that, it became easier.

I can tell you right now one issue with the weight loss is that I don’t really like exercise, well…more to the point, I don’t like getting sweaty. I also like to eat, not so much to eat until engorgement, but I love flavor and texture, and food is connected to social events as well.

So I started walking.

Look a turtleWalking my dog ends up being enjoyable, once I get my butt out the door. I see the changing season, I meet nice people along the trail, I gain the happiness knowing my dog is enjoying herself.

(She doesn’t, in fact, see the turtle in the photo, but she gets real excited when it splashes in the water.)

I also picked smaller portions, so I can still enjoy food, just less of it. (And I refuse to buy Nutella because I recognize I would eat the whole jar by myself).

We see our limits, adjust for changes, but forge ahead to find that success.


Manifestation Box (or basket)- Get a box or some container to keep on your altar and decorate as you wish. You can find paper mache or wooden boxes very cheap at craft stores.

You can paint, glue, or stick paper on it to make it yours own, but while doing so, vision your energy flowing through it, empower the materials even if its just cardboard. Make this your manifestation box, to put in things you want manifesting in your life.

Get scraps of paper and a pen to keep at your altar. When in need, jot down things you need, or things you need to gain your goal. For instance, if I want to lose weight, I might wish for weight loss, but I also need to wish for resolve, motivation, health, energy, and strength so I can meet that goal.

Periodically, you’ll need to clean out the manifestation box. You can do this by casting circle and ceremoniously burning the paper as a way of sending that energy back to the universe. You can also glue seeds on the paper and bury them, sending energy back to earth but also getting the added bonus of growing something (like flowers or fruit/veggies).

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Harvests that fail

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Harvests are just around the corner. But not all grains, fruits, and vegetables will be ready to harvest at the same time. and not all harvest will bear fruit…or whatever it was you planted.

Our goals are much the same; bearing nothing but disappointment for our efforts despite the best efforts put out to the Universe. Sometimes these things happen.

The first step is to take stock of one’s actions. Did you do enough, make mistakes, or even pay enough attention to your goals. An example would be to lose weight- did you exercise, keep track of your diet, and do what needed to be done to see results? If not, was there something you could do to adjust your efforts, try harder, for instance, that can help?

The second step is to take stock of the environmental factors. A goal of employment might not bear fruit if the job market is suffering. Perhaps a goal of an herb garden didn’t have the best soil to grow, or not enough sun, or too much sun? You can learn from this, try next year.

The third step is to recognize that some goals need their time to come to harvest. Some goals require more time, more focus, and even more help from others  to bear the fruit of success.

Remember- a failed harvest, or goal, does not make you a failure. You learn from it, and try again, providing the goal is important enough to you.

My own goals this year vary with success. Some goals I recognized I really didn’t want to do the work involved. Other goals required certain elements to succeed that I didn’t have. Other goals show results, but not the abundance I hoped for. I must adjust and move on.

I find myself taking pride in whatever goals I do accomplish, however small. Even goals I didn’t plan on, but spontaneously took up the last minute, earn me self-respect.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down the goals you’ve set for yourself this year, and what you should differently to accomplish them. Take note of effort versus yield. Give yourself kudos for successes you didn’t plan for.

Thoughts to the harvests

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We’ve passed the Zenith of the year (Midsummer) and must look to the Harvest holidays that soon approach.

Pagans celebrate three harvests in our solar year;

Lammas (or Lughnasadh)- August 1- also known as ‘loaf mass’ celebrates the harvest of the grains. This also celebrates Lugh, the mythic  Sun king, with fairs and games.

Mabon (autumn equinox)- September 23 2014, celebrates the fruits, such as apples and grapes, and the abundance in our lives. This holiday is named after Mabon son of Modron, which is mentioned in the Arthurian legends.

Samhain (October 31) celebrates the end of all harvest, when crops and herds are harvested for the winter months. Preparations for winter should be completed by this time. Samhain is also recognized as the Celtic New Year, with this day belonging to neither the old year or the new, where the Veil between the worlds of mortals and the dead/Fey is thinnest.

034I walk my dog every day down by the Potomac River, and I get to see the gradual changes of the season. I see fruits forming on Blackberry bushes, tomatoes in my back yard, and young Canadian geese full feathered and growing fast for the Autumn trek to the North.

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Our Concord Grape arbor is lush with fruit, not quite purple. When its ready, we make jelly and juice, and once we gave the harvest to a meadary which made a special mead for that season.

Not all pagans have literal gardens/harvests. There is also the symbolic crops we plant in the form of goals and dreams. Like gardens, those goals and wishes need tending, sometimes weeding, and occasionally, you might find some things just don’t come to fruition.

Failed harvests, whether real or symbolic, offers a lesson to learn to do better. I re-evaluate the goal, ask myself if I really wanted it in the first place, and face the facts if I gave enough effort to help it come to harvest.

Sometimes its because I didn’t put enough effort into it, while other times, its just how Life works. Either case, don’t let it drag you down- learn from it, and do better next time.

Its this attitude that helps me accomplish goals, even if takes much longer than expected.

What ‘seeds’ have you planted this year? Are you seeing results yet? Post in comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down what you’ve done to help the wishes and goals come to harvest. What more do you need to do? When do you hope to see the end product of your goal?