Monday, December 12, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - Turn that frown sunny-side up!

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

Today I drew The Sun... a Major Arcana card that depicts optimism, abundance, and a free-spirited type of joy.  Even though today is cloudy and rainy outside, I am feeling more optimistic and positive than I have felt in weeks, and I hope that you - my readers - will find that positivity and optimism throughout this week as well!
As we prepare for Yule, the Winter Solstice's rebirth of the sun, it's easy to get wrapped up in the stress and chaos of the secular holiday.  Society has twisted the season into a time of greed and mass consumption.  As a housewife it can be easy to be wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season.... we are decorating our homes, planning what gifts to buy for the kids, wrapping and hiding presents in the closets, baking cookies, planning for holiday parties, or just plain running ourselves ragged delivering the children to their holiday parties and events.  I feel that this card is encouraging... no - urging us to take a few minutes out of the chaos to feel the warm glow of the spark of light that resides within us... to really feel the rebirth of the sun that happens within us at Winter Solstice.  It is not just an outer thing that happens to the Earth and the Sun, it is a rebirth and a renewal of energy that is reflected in all of life... including you!
As for me, I am feeling very optimistic.  Money may be tight, but it doesn't bother me.  It will come when I need it, just as the sun will return.  What is most important is family... and sharing smiles and simple moments of delight.
So, go ahead... turn that frown upside down and just embrace the optimistic energy of the season!
Blessed Be!
~ Lady Josephine

The Housewives' Tarot, by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Publications
I claim no ownership of this deck, it's artwork, or the shared message from the guidebook.
If you would like your own personal reading with The Housewives' Tarot, come check out the Domestic Divination section of my website! Have a Blessed week! ~ Lady Jo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some Yule Blogs I'd like to share...

Just a few great Yule blogs I'd like to pass on to you as we begin the countdown to Winter Solstice!

A Yule Tarot Spread!  I'm totally gonna use this one!

Always some great holiday lore over at Pagan Dad!

How do you celebrate Yule in a Mixed Pagan family?  some great tips, ideas, and thoughts from Treegold & Beegold!

It just isn't Yule or Christmas without Dickens.  A little excerpt from the classic novel, plus a recipe!

A beautiful photo essay that reminds you of what the season is about....

just a few sweet posts I wanted to pass along to my friends!  Hmmm, I must be getting in the Holiday spirit!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - Week of Thanksgiving!

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

This week is going to be a busy one for most of us - whether you are a mom, wife, housewife, or even if you're a dad, husband, or single person of any gender.... it's the week of Thanksgiving!  At least here in the United States it means family gatherings, time off from work, kids out of school.... and lots of food to be prepared and eaten!  So for this week's Mommy Time Monday card I have drawn three cards for us rather than just one!  Happy Thanksgiving!  Let's see what the week has in store for us and what advice our Housewife archetypes have for us! (also, my scanner still is not working.... so these photographs of the cards will have to do!)

Card 1; 5 of PentaclesWhoops!  This housewife is off to a rough start... she's dropping dishes and has broken some of her valuable fine china.  This card represents to financial and monetary setbacks that many of us are experiencing right now.  It's been a rough year and the economy has had more downs than ups and this might be effecting our outlook on the upcoming holidays.  The 5 of pentacles often reminds us that there is more to life than money and struggles... and sometimes it's the simple things right in front of us that will bring us the most happiness.  (see classic card meaning and image here)  I feel this card is warning us that some of our plans for a perfect holiday might experience an upset of some kind... after all... Mercury is in it's slowing stage and will go into retrograde on Thanksgiving day!  But this doesn't mean we should hide in the bomb shelter for the next week... just remember that things usually aren't as bad as they seem!  After all... even though this housewife will now have to go buy a new set of dishes for the big day, I'll bet she ends up happier with her new set than she was with the old one!

The guidebook with this card says; "CRASH!  That's the sound of the stock market - and the stack of dishes you just dropped.  The 5 of Pentacles indicates a heavy financial loss.  What you must remember, however, is that in reality you've lost nothing.  Gravity and misfortune may have claimed your tableware, but it cannot smash your mojo.  Your meatloaf is still unsurpassed, and your pimento-gelatin molds are to die for.  Collect the broken pieces, whip out the Krazy Glue, and get started on repairing the damage."

Card 2; Page of Wands
This little messenger looks like he's here to stir up some trouble!  With family gatherings looming in our futures there's bound to be some Fire Energy... and from the look of this card we may have some unconventional mischief to deal with.  But this page is here to bring us some creativity, and a little bit of fun.  Whatever stresses the holidays bring upon us, it's time to take on the attitudes of this Page...confidence, courage, creativity, and enthusiasm.  He may have ripped his dress pants while riding around on that hobby horse... but it was a sight that the family will be laughing over for years to come!  The Page of Wands encourages us to have a positive outlook and try to think outside of the box to find where our true happiness lies.  Listen to your heart and go for it!  (Classic card image and meaning here) While there may be some setbacks and major stresses this holiday (5 of Wands)... we will do best when we take on the energy and attitude of this card.  And, if you have young children around for the holidays (yours, or someone else's).... enjoy their enthusiasm and let yourself join them in play and imagination.... it will make a difference and you will get thru the holidays AND nurture your Inner Child!

The guidebook from the deck says; "The Page of Wands usually denotes a charismatic child with an active imagination and a wellspring of energy.  A fun-loving explorer, he likes being the center of attention.  He may indicate the need to find a creative use for a skill you long thought merely functional.  This card can also herald the need for growth to bring your dreams into reality."

Card 3; 6 of Cups
Ahhh ... a card of refreshment and enjoyment.  There's nothing like enjoying your favorite beverage... and having enough to share with others! (Classic card meaning and image here)  This card speaks of enjoying the simple things... and enjoying the company of others.  A time of reminiscing over your childhood, exploring traditions, revoking memories, and being reunited with people from your past.  This card reinforces the previous card's advice to nurture and release your Inner Child.... despite the stress of the holidays, try to let yourself just enjoy it, and see it all through the eyes of a child again.  Remember what it was you enjoyed about this holiday before you had to worry about buying groceries, traveling, dealing with in-laws, cooking, and cleaning.  There was a simplicity, beauty, and love in the air that you could taste, see, smell, and actually enjoy because you weren't wrapped up in grown up "reality".  So see it that way again... there's no reason you can't.  Find it in yourself to focus on that energy of Giving and Gratitude, enjoyment of the company of others, pleasure in the little things, and take a walk or two down memory lane!  It's going to be the best way to get through the Thanksgiving Week! 

The guidebook with this card says; "The six of cups conjures up memories of days gone by, youthful expeditions, and long-lost loves.  The "coming home" card, it may signal a reunion with a childhood friend or even the rekindling of old romance.  Pucker up and savor the sweet and sour taste of nostalgia!"

I hope you all have a wonderful, enjoyable, and Safe holiday week!  Enjoy!
The Housewives' Tarot, by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Publications
I claim no ownership of this deck, it's artwork, or the shared message from the guidebook.
If you would like your own personal reading with The Housewives' Tarot, come check out the Domestic Divination section of my website! Have a Blessed week! ~ Lady Jo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - The World is Your Recipe Box

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

Well, after trying unsuccessfully for 30 minutes now to upload a picture of this card for you, I now accept defeat by the gods of technology and apologize that you will not get to see an image of this week's card!  I will describe it as best I can, for it's not like the common image of The World card as you will see in other decks.  Behold a simple blue box with a hinged lid... inside you see many file cards and you are reminded of the old recipe boxes that your mother or grandmother had... with recipes written on index cards and sorted by food type.  (You know, back before you could look up any recipe on the Internet) The cards are divided into sections and each section reads; Family, Home, Garden, Money, Auto.  A few cards are pulled out of the box and laid out... one depicting a lovely house with a perfect lawn, one depicting a baby stroller, and another card with a picture of the planet Earth and a Happy Family standing on top of it.

The guidebook reads;
"You've finally got it all - the doting husband, beautiful children, and the gorgeous home, complete with white picket fence and dog.  No more "keeping up with the Joneses."  Now the Joneses have to keep up with YOU!  The World represents a goal that has been realized, or the successful completion of one stage of life."

I know, you're looking around like, "Who, me?"  I know you certainly don't feel like you have it all, and I'm sure you probably feel like your life is pretty far from that perfect family with the picket fence.  But this card indicates that a certain phase of your life has reached completion... another chapter of your book has reached it's end.  Perhaps a certain goal has finally been met, you've learned another of life's important lessons, or you're moving on to another exciting phase of your life.

Let's take a moment to take stock of what we do have, what we have gained, how we have grown, and what we have to be thankful for.  Think back five years ago; ten years ago.  I bet you have many things to be thankful for and many ways to be proud of yourself and how you've grown.  This card is saying, "Congratulations, you've graduated!  What are you going to do next?"  Where we go from here is really up to us.... the next chapter of our book is yet unwritten and we hold the pen and paper.  Or to take the recipe box image from the card on the Housewives tarot.... the next course of the meal is ours to cook and prepare... we have the recipes, we have the ingredients... we've even taken a few cooking classes.... so what are you going to cook next?

The Housewives' Tarot, by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Publications
I claim no ownership of this deck, it's artwork, or the shared message from the guidebook.
If you would like your own personal reading with The Housewives' Tarot, come check out the Domestic Divination section of my website! Have a Blessed week! ~ Lady Jo

Monday, October 10, 2011

Clearing and Healing the Throat Chakra

I had a blank deck of cards that I used to make my own oracle cards with.  I didn't draw pictures but simply wrote different areas of spiritual focus on each card... for example there is one card for each element, one for each chakra, etc.  When I am feeling the desire to have a spiritual focus in my life, but having trouble finding exactly where that spiritual focus should be... I go to my hand-made deck.  Today before work I drew a card to see what my spiritual focus should be for this week.  I got the Throat Chakra card!  So I wanted to write a blog and share with you what I discover about the Throat Chakra and how to clear it and balance it.  First off here is a wonderful guided meditation I found for Clearing the Throat Chakra;

The Throat Chakra is the 5th Chakra and is also called Vishuddha Chakra.  It is located at the center of the throat and glows a clear, bright blue.  The energy of this chakra deals with our communication with others, the communication of our Higher Self with our being, our ability to hear and see Angels or Divine Presence, how we hear and speak truth, wisdom, and self expression of our creativity.  This chakra also deals with connecting our physical body to the spiritual.  It is located below the Third Eye and Crown chakras which deal more with our Higher self, and the lower chakras which deal with our physical being and our ego.  Vishuddha Chakra helps connect body with Spirit and helps us express ourselves as truly spiritual beings.  If you are ever having trouble in matters of communication or have trouble speaking your truth or speaking up when needed, you Throat Chakra is probably in need of balancing.  Alternatively, if you have been overly vocal and have used your words or communication in a disruptive way or untruthful way, your throat chakra will need clearing and balancing as well.

To determine whether you have an imbalance in Vishuddha Chakra you can ask yourself the following questions;
* Do others see me as aggressive and overbearing?
*Do I dominate conversations?
*Do I find it hard to speak up for myself?
*Do I live in a way that is true to my core beliefs and values?
* Do I lack inspiration?
*Do I feel connected to my spirituality?

It's funny that I got this card today, because my personal goal this week has been to avoid complaining, which is directly related to the throat chakra!  Let me tell you, it is hard to get through a day without a complaint!  But with a degree of awareness and self restraint, I think it is possible!  Along with some meditation on clearing the Throat Chakra, it should get easier to speak only positive words.... therefore attracting more positivity into your life!  Also, I am starting a new job and I am having trouble knowing when and how to exert my communication.  I have had a couple times when I should have spoken up and I didn't, and a couple times when maybe I am dominating conversations because I am trying to fit in with my new co-workers.  So I can definitely see how this chakra needs some clearing and balancing right now!

So how do we balance our Throat Chakra?*Well, first of all, listen to the guided meditation I posted above... I think it's perfect!  Maybe listen to it once a day while you work on clearing and healing your Throat Chakra.
* Use affirmations and positive statements.  OFTEN.  Pick daily affirmations for yourself and say them frequently.  Get yourself used to speaking positive words.... and try to avoid speaking negatively and complaining or arguing.  The more positive words you speak, the more you cleanse away the effects of negative words on your throat chakra.  Practice complimenting those around you, and yourself!
* Visualization - Visualize Vishuddha Chakra as a beautiful ball of blue light rotating in your throat.  Visualize clear white light radiating from the ball of blue light and cleansing away any impurities.  You can even use a clear quartz crytsal or any blue crystal or gemstone to physically help clear away any impurities in your Throat Chakra.
* Breathing - Meditate simply on your breathing.  Become aware of the flow of air in and out of your throat.  Practice awareness of breathing slowly and gently for a few minutes, then alternate to pushing the air quickly out of your throat (exhaling through the mouth) to clear away an impurities in the throat chakra.  Allow yourself to make a sound with each exhale... whatever noise comes naturally as you push the air out, just let it flow.  You can also meditate with the Mantra of "HAM" as you breathe and feel the vibration of the sound of HAM resonate in your throat.
* Yoga - use specific yoga poses to clear and balance Vishuddha Chakra.  Asanas that help align your throat chakra invovle many shoulder-opening poses.  Below are listed some Asanas that will help you balance, open, and heal your Throat Chakra.  (You can look these poses up online if you are unfamiliar with them)

Warm up -
Shoulder Rolls (roll your shoulders in circles forward 10 times and backwards 10 times)
Neck Rolls (roll your head gently in circles to the right 10 times, and gently in circles to the left 10 times)
Ujjayi Prayanama (Victorious Breath Pose)

Asanas -
Uttiha Hatasana (Upward Worship Pose) or Talasana (Upward Reaching Mountain Pose)
Ardha Uttanasana (Prepare Pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Chatushpada Pitham (Four legged Table Pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Sarvangasana (Candle Pose/ Shoulderstand Pose)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist) left and then right
and don't forget to always finish your yoga practice with Savasana (Corpse Pose) for final relaxation and meditation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Rainbow

Wordless Wednesday

Halloween Giveaway #1 - Halloween Bow!

My friend over at Treegold & Beegold is having her first giveaway!  She has made these cute little Halloween Bows and you can enter to win one by leaving a comment on her blog!  Check it out, these are so cute and I want to get some for my girls!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Frozen in this moment,
three days have passed
and I didn’t even feel
a single rotation of the planet.

One shot

and I was pulled back
by a force stronger than gravity
to a time
that left me reeling in his wake

A blinding flash
A heat of a love that
burned too hot for either of us
and threw me to my knees
with a great resounding percussion
of drums that silence a beating heart.

Three days I’ve been stuck
in a time that never truly belonged to us,
yet shaped us.

Three days frozen
by a pain that held him captive
for thirty years.
Frozen, yet I know

I will rise again
and find myself moving forward

on wings he showed me I had.

~ wjm
Sept. 2011

Wrung Out

Wrung Out

A twist,
my heart is wrung
like a dishcloth,

Squeezed dry.

A pain too strong and real,
much more than expected…

But it purifies.

…twist and squeeze and
drain the dirty water away.
And then I can dry out in the sun,
remembering the moon.

~ wjm

sept. 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

my brother's letter....

My brother wanted to leave this comment on my previous post, but something is wrong with blogger.... he can't comment and I can't even post the comment for him!  So, I just wanted to make sure this gets posted somewhere!

Dear Shane;
I met you maybe a couple times, I was the little brother who wanted to tag along and hang out with my sister and her friends and be into what you guys were into. Of course I never actually knew you, but I knew that my big sister loved you and I can see now that your love for her was among the greatest in the world. I don't know what darkness tormented your soul, and I don't know what you went through. Some souls it seems have a greater burden to bear than others, a harder battle to fight. Whatever black karma caused your life to be such a painful one, from my sisters words I know that you faced it with the fortitude of a true warrior. You had the wisdom to see that your life was heading in the direction that it did, and the compassion to sacrifice your own desires for the benefit of another. You could have stayed with her until the end, as her love for you was such that she would never have left, and she would have stood by your side and endured the emotional pain of watching you and trying to help you as you battled your demons. You could have accepted from her the most beautiful gift of her virginity, after which she would have been irrevocably attached to you even more strongly. But you saw, whether consciously or intuitively, that her soul was one so bright and so powerful that to take her with you, along what you knew would be a downward spiral, would be to steal from the world a precious gift. Though she would still be alive, her love for you would have caused her pain and would have held her back from her potential to become what she is. She is today a joyful and loving wife and mother of three, to whom she will pass on the wisdom and love which you felt so strongly. In this way, you have given to me the amazing sister I have today, who has been my most valued teacher and my best friend, and for this I thank you with all my heart, and you have given to the world the spiritual guide, mother and teacher that could not have been the same if she had dedicated her life to healing your pain, and for this the Universe is sure to thank you. Finally, you have given to her the gift of not having to live through a boyfriend or husband committing suicide. Her pain and sorrow at your departure is great, even after years of separation, but imagine how much worse it would have been if she had another ten years of memories to haunt her, memories of trying to pull you out of the dark storms of your mind, trying to stop the runaway train of your life, and finally having to lose you anyway. I'm sorry that your life was so painful, but because of the sacrifices you made for Love, and the strength you showed in the face of emotional torture, I know that your soul will be duly rewarded. thank you and bless you.
In Lak'ech,

"A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
how that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
that I could make those people dance
and maybe they’d be happy for a while.
But february made me shiver,
with every paper I’d deliver,
bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.
I can’t remember if I cried
when I read about his widowed bride,
but something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died...
Did you write the book of Love,
and do you have faith in God above,
if the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
can music save your mortal soul,
and can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes,
man, I dig those rhythm and blues.
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
with a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
but I knew I was out of luck,
the day the music died...
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
and moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
but that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the King and Queen,
in a coat he borrowed from James Dean
and a voice that came from you and me...
And while the King was looking down,
the jester stole his thorny crown,
the courtroom was adjourned;
no verdict was returned.
And while Lennon read a book on Marx,
the quartet practiced in the park,
and we sang dirges in the dark,
the day the music died...
Helter skelter in a summer swelter,
the birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
with the jester on the sidelines in a cast.
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
while the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
the marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed,
the day the music died...
Oh, and there we were all in one place,
a generation lost in space
with no time left to start again.
So come on, jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
cause fire is the devil’s only friend.
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage,
no angel born in Hell
could break that Satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
to light the sacrificial rite,
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died...
I met a girl who sang the blues
and I asked her for some happy news,
but she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
where I’d heard the music years before,
but the man there said the music wouldn’t play.
And in the streets the children screamed,
the lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
the church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,
they caught the last train for the coast
the day the music died,
and They were singing...
bye-bye, miss American Pie,
drove my chevy to the levee,
but the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
singin, this’ll be the day that I die...
this'll be the day that I die."
-Don Mclean

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In Remembrance....

This is one of those posts that is hard to write, but I write it because writing is so healing for me.  I have had so many emotions, thoughts, and feelings today that spoken words just cannot justify... yet silence is not justified either.
I write in remembrance.  In loving memory of a dear friend, Shane.  July 16 1981 - August 31 2011
Last night the pain of his life became too much, his depression too deep, and his strength ran out.  Last night he ended his own life.  His last facebook status update was, "I'm sorry."  And I think he was.  He didn't do this to hurt anyone, and it breaks my heart that he reached the point that he saw this as his only remaining option.  My heart breaks because I will miss him.  Yet at the same time I feel a strange peace... a simple knowing that maybe... he will find the peace he could not find in this life.  Shane struggled with depression for most of his life.  I remember in High School when I knew him best, it took great strength for him to go on and not end his life then.  It should be a testament to his strength that he made it this far. 
It is true that I have not been close to him since high school.  In fact, I went several years without hearing from him at all.  In the time that we had reconnected (on facebook) I've only really talked with him three times.  It is true that I do not know what his life was like after high school, what he may have gone through, and what brought him to this choice last night.  I am not writing this to undermine anyone else's pain, or to say that my pain is any stronger than others who loved him and knew him.  I write because these memories are all that I have.. they mean so much to me.  This blog post will be long. 
I actually first met Shane when I was 5 years old.  He was mean to me in the typical way that young boys are mean to little girls.  As we grew up he was a grade lower than me so I didn't think another thing of him until High School.  We laughed over the memory I had of him picking on me as a little girl.
We dated.  We were a couple for probably about 6 months, which is a long time in terms of many high school romances.  He wasn't my first boyfriend, but he was the first one that I loved in a way that I couldn't explain.  I had cared for my other boyfriends and loved them as a very close friend loves another.  Yet with Shane it was the first time I was feeling that overwhelming feeling of "falling" in love.  He was all I thought of day and night.  Even then he was suffering from this great, deep depression that I couldn't quite understand no matter how hard I tried.  I was suffering from my own depression, the beginnings of a clinical depression that I have battled my whole adult life.  But I recognized that his pain, his depression, was a different kind than mine... it consumed him and tortured him in a way that mine did not.
We wrote poetry for each other, held each other close when we could.  We listened to Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails.  I tried to comfort him when I could, and he tried to be happy for me.  He would have moments of happiness and laughter, sometimes even a few days when he seemed content.  But something would always rise in him again, this darkness that would pull him down.  At 15 he was already a pretty heavy drinker.  He drank to numb his pain, to escape from whatever demons haunted him.  I remember he was always telling me that I was too good for him.  That I was too pure and innocent and that I deserved better.  I argued that he was wrong, that if he would just accept my love, maybe he could be happy.  He thought his darkness would consume me and drag me down.  I thought that my light could shine bright enough to overpower his darkness.  It was the one thing we could never agree on.
Being teenagers full of raging hormones, sex became a topic for us before long.  We both wanted to, but I was a virgin and not sure if I was ready and he respected that.  When I decided that I loved him enough and felt that I was ready, he refused.  He did not want to be the one to "Taint" me and "take my beautiful innocence from me."  (He was always quite poetic and rather melodramatic with his words)  Of course, it just made me love him more, that he was willing to wait and never pressured me.  He just took my presence and soaked it up, there was this need in him for tenderness and at least I could provide that.  He would walk 2 miles to my house after dark to sneak into my bedroom after my parents had gone to bed... just so he could lay next to me and fall asleep in my arms.  In the morning he would wake up and sneak out and go down to the river until it was time for the bus to come.  He would meet me at the bus stop and we would ride to school together.
He was so sure that I was going to leave him or abandon him.  He would always ask me why I stayed, and ask me to promise to stay with him forever.  I told him and assured him again and again that I wouldn't leave him.  Whatever pain he had, I couldn't stand the thought of adding to that pain in any way. 
It came as a surprise then, when he broke up with me.  It crushed me, really.  Because he had always been the one to say he needed me so badly, and he had been the one so afraid that I would leave him.  He told me that same thing he had told me before; that I was too good for him, that his darkness was bound to bring me down.  He said he knew he was on a path of self-destruction and he would not make me ride that path with him.  It took me a long time to understand it, but eventually I understood that what he did was the most selfless and loving thing he could have done.  He could have been selfish and allowed me to stay, hopelessly devoted to him.  I wouldn't have left him... I could never have hurt him.  He chose not to be selfish, and in the only way he knew how... he set me free.  Perhaps he was right, perhaps there was nothing I really could have done for him in the long run.  I was young and didn't yet understand that a person cannot truly receive love unless they first love themselves.  Eventually after my pain and anger had eased, we remained friends, and he explained to me again that he just couldn't bring me along with him into the darkness that he could not escape, and that he thought I was just too good for him.
I was still a virgin when he broke up with me, and planned on staying that way.  At first I was glad that I hadn't slept with him, it would have made the pain of our break-up even harder for me, since he would have my first.   A few months later though, I was raped.  I was threatened with a gun and a man I didn't even know took from me what I had wanted to give to Shane.  I remember that among all the feelings that I felt during that time, I thought about what a waste it had been... that my first time could have been an act of love but instead it was a time of fear and pain.  I remember actually being angry at Shane for not taking my virginity when he could have, and I sometimes still have this pang of regret that he wasn't my first.  Eventually I realized that if Shane had been my first, I probably would have resented him for that for one reason or another so I eventually got past that feeling.
When Shane found out what had happened to me, I remember him calling me, wanting to know who and wanting me to give him permission to go kill the person who had done it to me.  I think he probably would have done it.  I didn't want him to go to prison, so I never told anyone who it was that had raped me.  In our small town, word would have gotten back to him if I had told anyone... so I kept it to myself.  I became one of those statistics of the girls who never report their rape to any authority.  I was ashamed of what had happened to me, and I was really afraid of what Shane would do.  I didn't see him much after that, and eventually after I graduated high school I moved away and lost track of him.  But I would think of him often, wondering if he was okay and wondering if he ever thought of me.  About a year ago I found him on facebook.  He accepted my friend request and we spoke for the first time in about 11 years.  He was truly happy to discover that I was happily married with 3 kids and relatively good life.  He told me that he knew that I was "the one that got away" but that he was so happy that I was doing well and had found love and happiness.  I told him that I wished he was happy too, and that I would always care about him.  The conversation was awkward and we only spoke two other times after that... it was always very cordial and polite, general chit-chat.
Whatever his pain, he reached a point last night where he couldn't be strong anymore.  Whatever his reasons, he felt that he had run out of options.  It hurts and I feel the absence of him very deeply, I have felt this emptiness in my heart all day, this big empty hole that will somehow now just become a part of me as much as he has always been a part of me.  He was such a big part of my past, our relationship - though short and juvenile, shaped me and changed me. 
I wanted to write this tonite, as he has been on my mind all day.  I only hope that he knew I loved him.  And I write because his memory is important to me, and always will be.  I will miss him, and I will never forget him.  I am glad that I got to share a chapter of his life.
A mutual friend posted today on his facebook wall this beautiful prayer that sums up how I feel...

"For you, My Dear.. Today I Sing your Passage, Today I light a flame for your Peace. For you, Sweet one, I laugh for your Joy, and I cry washing away your sorrow. Thank you for gracing my life and learning lessons with me in our wake. You are blessed, Loved, and Remembered. Thank you for walking with us for this time..."

Rest in peace, Shane.  You were loved.
thank you for reading this, if you have read this whole thing.  Thank you for letting me share this story.  It is his story as much as it is mine.  Please send prayers to guide his spirit to the peace that he deserves, and send vibes of comfort to his family and friends who are feeling the pain of his loss. 
Suicide is a sad reality in this country.  So often we don't know how to help our loved ones who suffer from depression or mental illness, and the world is ill-equipped when it comes to finding ways to truly help people.  I hope that everyone can someday work together to find better solutions.  Meanwhile, if you are depressed or suicidal, or know someone who is.... please please reach out.  You are not alone, and you are loved... even if you can't see it right now, please know that you are loved!  Just talking to someone can really help1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday 13; this week's accomplishments

It's been a long week.  It feels like it should be the weekend already!  maybe it's because of the record-breaking heat we are having here in Phoenix, or maybe it's that I'm finally settling into some kind of routine and every day does not seem as rushed.  Whatever the reason, I'm tired and it's only Thursday!  I was thinking about this week's Mommy Time Monday post with the 8 of Wands and how we should focus on what ways we are improving our lives and what steps we are taking to move forward, and thought I needed to review my accomplishments of the week.  So I decided to participate in this week's Thursday 13 and make a list...
here it is,

13 things I've accomplished this week
1) I got a lot of laundry done!  It's been one of those "I'm tired of this huge pile of laundry" weeks, so I've been banging out a few loads a day.  My back has been hurting because of the folding, but at least we all have enough clean socks and underwear!
2) The kids started having homework this week.  They didn't have homework for the first week and a half of school.  So we have succesfully implemented an after school homework routine and so for it's working out great and we haven't had any tears or arguements involving homework!
3) I finally got my coupon binder organized.  I threw away all the expired coupons and placed my good coupons in an organized manner so they are easy to find.  Because of this I managed to save about $40 on my grocery shopping this week!
4) I've worked on spending real quality time with the kids each day, other than just doing their homework with them.  We have played board games, cooked meals together, eaten at the kitchen table together for dinner, and read more books.  For some reason before I always felt like I didn't have enough time or energy to do this on a daily basis, but now that I'm doing it I wonder how I ever felt that way before! (Inspired by the book I read, read my review here)
5) I've got a menu planned out for dinner for the next 5 nights!  No headaches about "what's for dinner?"  It's all planned out and I shopped accordingly!
6) I introduced my oldest daughter to the cartoon, "Invader Zim".  I used to love that cartoon and now it's something she and I can enjoy together if we find episodes online.  (This may not seem like an "accomplishment" to some, but have you watched Invader Zim??)
7) I've almost finished reading The Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy to my daughter... just a few chapters left.  It's been a great way to spend time together every night and I've enjoyed re-living this favorite book of mine through the fresh eyes of her youth!
8) I've gone to bed with all the dishes clean and a shiny kitchen sink EVERY night this week!  Yay for routines and motivation, and YAY for having the kid's weekly chores set up so they each have 1 or 2 nights to help me do it!
9) I found time to meditate!  Only once so far this week but it's a start!  And it's only Thursday, after all!
10)  I did yoga on my own, twice!  My yoga teacher is in Romania for the next month, so classes are cancelled till the middle of September.  I need to give myself the discipline and structure to continue practicing yoga even without the weekly class.
11)  I confronted a friend about something that was bothering me.  I'm usually a "don't rock the boat / avoid the drama" type of person, but at the same time I didn't want my feelings to fester or build up.  So I let him know how I felt about a couple things that were irritating me.  It may or may not have solved the problems (yet to be seen) but at least I let him know how I felt and didn't just hold my feelings in.
12) I joined some new groups on facebook and have been making some new online friends.  I amfeeling drawn to connect with more people, especially other mothers.  One of the oracle cards I drew for myself this week said "It's a Team Effort" and reminded me that working with others and learning from others is a wonderful thing! 
13) And finally, the most important thing, and the thing I am most proud of; I got my website launched, set up several new pages, got some discussions going on with members, and really got the ball rolling on my recent inspiration!  I am really so excited about the opportunities to help others that my website will bring me and the work I am doing there!  This has been something on my mind for a few weeks and this week I finally took the steps to get it done and get the ball rolling!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Website Launched!

Hi friends!  I just wanted to let everyone know I have been working on my website, and it is officially launched and "open for business"!
Please come check it out...

Soul Healing & Readings with Josephine

I have many new readings I am offering, plus a percentage of the cost of all readings will be donated to R.A.I.N.N. (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network)  I am really excited about the new site and hope you will come join me!

There are forums available for members and we will be posting about and discussing a variety of topics, I hope you will join in on the fun and Soul Healing!

ALSO - everyone who is a member by the end of the month (August) will be entered into a drawing for a FREE reading! 
See you there!

Lady Jo

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mommy Time Monday; Onward and Upward!

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!
This week's card is the 8 of Wands, a card symbolizing growth, travel, and forward movement.  I know I have been feeling a bit swept away by my own projects lately; it's as if my goals have developed a life of their own!  With Mercury moving direct again (it's been retrograde for the past 3 weeks), we are really feeling the freedom of forward movement!  This card encourages us to pursue those goals and really take "off" with our plans and ideas!

The guidebook entry for this card says; "A homemaker soars through the sky on a broomstick, with her other cleaning paraphernalia traveling close behind.  The Eight of Wands represents a busy time of travel, growth, and expansion.  If a trip is in order, you may want to consider flying!  Take charge of the situation and others will follow your lead."  (Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Books)

The classic meanings of this card (pictured here from the Aquatic Tarot) represent rapid growth and development, or coming closer to your goal.  Aligning your values and priorities, journeying, growing, traveling, and being swept up in enthusiasm.  At this time you should ask yourself; "What am I rushing into?  What new direction or growth am I experiencing?  What do I feel the urge to move onto or work on at this time?  What do I need to tell others about?"
Trust that things are going exactly as planned, and even if you can't see it, things are coming together.  Any synchronicity or "coincidences" you experience at this time are just proof and signs that things are coming together for you... so don't just sit there!  Get on your broom and FLY!  It's onward and upward, now or never!!
A great affirmation for this week is; "I respond quickly when the time is right!"

If you would like your own personal reading with The Housewives' Tarot, come check out the Domestic Divination section of my website!  Have a Blessed week!  ~ Lady Jo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parenting with the 5 Love Languages

I recently read the book 'The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman and it really inspired me to be a better wife and learn how to show my husband love in the way that he will fully appreciate and understand.  For anyone in a relationship I would recommend that book and I think that knowing and understanding the 5 Love Languages can improve all of your relationships!  While I was reading that book I was thinking a lot about how I could apply the concept with my children, and I was pleased to find that there is a book written specifically about using the 5 love languages with children!  I have been reading through this book and it has left me with a lot to think about, and it has definitely inspired me to be a better parent to my three children!e
You can find this book on Amazon!
This book explains the 5 Love Languages in detail, so even if you haven't read the first book you will gain a good understanding of them.  Each chapter goes over a specific love language and how you can express that language to children.
The Five Love Languages are;
Physical Touch
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time

you can read more about each love languages here.

One of my favorite concepts of this book is that all of us have "A Love Tank", and like a car if it is full of gasoline it will run better, but if it low or empty it will begin to have problems.  The Five Love Languages give us clues and tips as to how to help fill the "Love Tanks" of our family members.  With children, when their Love Tank is full they will be a lot more receptive and less defiant.  If their Love Tank is empty or low they will begin to act out as a way of testing whether or not you really love them, or out of fear or anger that their emotional needs are not being met.  Additionally, knowing their Love Language will help you know what you can do to fill that Love Tank!  It's like knowing what kind of gas or oil your car needs for optimal performance... if you keep filling it up with the wrong stuff, you may be wondering why it isn't performing well enough or having problems.  You may say "I Love You" to your child every day but if they aren't receiving love from you in the Love Language that they understand, they may be doubting your words, because they just don't feel it.
Another main point I have gathered from this book is that children need to be loved in all five love languages.  This not only helps ensure that their Love Tank is full, but it teaches them the value of all the different ways to express love and helps them become more balanced individuals.  The difference is you should focus on giving them "an overdose" of love in their primary love language, as this is what will mean the most to them and truly speak your love to them loud and clear.
Figuring out your child's Love Language isn't easy.  The book does include a quiz (also found on this website) but relates that the best way to actually figure out your child's primary love language is to watch your child's reaction to the different love languages as you express them.  Once you figure out what your child's primary love language is, continue speaking all five love languages but make sure you give them "extra" of their primary love language.

Here is a list I compiled of ways to express each of the 5 Love Languages.  I wrote this list with my own children in mind so feel free to come up with your own and add to the list!

Speaking The 5 Love Languages to Childrenexpress your love in these 5 ways every day!

Physical Touch;Hugs, Kisses, Pat on the back or head, Back rub, Back scratch, massage, foot rub, Brush their hair, paint their nails, manicure or pedicure, hold hands, cuddle, tickle, wrestle (physical play), have child sit in lap while watching tv or reading a book.

Words of Affirmation;Specific compliments, "Good Job", Thankyou's and words of gratitude, specific praise for accomplishments, randomly tell them something you like about them or some way you are proud of them, say "I love you" often and with inflection, play the "I Love You because..." game (go back and forth with parent and child exchanging words of why they love each other.)

Gifts;Gifts for no reason (does not have to be costly!), special surprises, gifts and cards on special occasions, make a gift of picture for the child, make a collage of photos of the child or a special time you had together, love notes (hidden in lunch boxes, backpacks, or bedroom where the child will find them), stickers, rewards, hide a gift to be found and give the child clues on where to find it, gift of a movie or trip to a favorite restaurant, make every day items a "present" by how they are given (If you wrap up that new toothbrush or those new socks, the "giving" becomes the focus!)  The gift of an ice cream cone or a Popsicle!

Acts of Service;Help with their homework, help with a project, brush their hair or give them a manicure or massage, make a special snack for them, make their favorite meal, help them learn a new skill, help them study, help them fix things, help them clean their room or help them with their chores.

Quality Time; Read together, watch movie or tv together, play a board game or cards, spend extra time at bedtime to tuck in/say prayers, set aside daily time to talk together, do a puzzle, make a meal or snack together, do arts and crafts or coloring together, do chores together, eat together, take walks or hikes or bike rides together.

Obviously there are so many ways to express each love language!  I really encourage any parent to read the book to understand the full nature of the Love Languages and how they should be used.  I have found it inspiring and I am (slowly but surely) changing some of my own behaviors in order to better fill those "Love Tanks" of my children!

The book also covers how the love languages are important in other areas of parenting, such as discipline, anger, and even in how a child learns.  It has a chapter on Love Languages for single parent homes or divorced parents too.  Learn more here....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mommy Time Monday; Be A Star!

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

What are you good at?  Let's ditch the modesty for a moment and just admit our strengths - to ourselves and to those around us!  If you are a parent you know the value of praise, but how often do you really take time to praise your own strengths and talents?  Take a moment right now to write down a few things that you're good at; things that you are proud of.

This week I drew The Star from The Housewives Tarot.  It's time to allow yourself to feel the limelight!  Go ahead and let yourself feel good about your accomplishments, accept the praise of others... and accept the praise from your Higher Self!  If you haven't been doing what you're good at, take time this week to revisit your strengths.  Are you a good cook?  Take time this week to cook up something fabulous and then soak up the praise as you share the meal with others.  If you're a talented writer, artist, or craft maker, take time to make something special.  You know where your talents lie... take time to indulge in your abilities and feel a little pride in what you do!  It will make you feel better about yourself, which in turn helps you be a better mom, housewife, and friend to all those around you!  Just remember there is a thin line between being Proud and being Prideful... let's not gloat!  But I promise you, if you take time to appreciate yourself and do what you do best, the week will be rewarding!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - Queen of Swords

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

Last week was all about Letting Go.  So many people I know were getting the same messages as I was; "Let Go", "Move On", "Clear The Path", etc.  I think this waning moon phase has been preparing us for the powerful energy of the New Moon in Leo which will be on August 30th.  In order for us to fully embrace the power of this new energy, and the Energy Shift that is occurring, we had to first Let Go of what was holding us back.

Now it's time to take control of our situation.  Having Let Go of what no longer suits us or serves us, we must take control of the things in our life that we didn't need to let go of... but things that otherwise may need some control.  And who better to teach us about control than the Queen of Swords?
Good with words, this house-queen is probably head of the PTO, organizer of the church potlucks, with a perfectly pruned garden and strictly run household.  She knows what she is good at and takes control of those areas of her life with confidence.

The Queen of Swords wants to know, what are you good at?  What areas of life do you need to take control of?  What do you need to say or communicate to those around you.  You can't just let your garden grow as it wants to grow... you have to pull the weeds, prune and trim the plants, water it, and communicate to others what you need help with.

If the Queen of Swords has any faults, it's that she can be too sharp-tongued, cold, or stern with others.  She has had her share of hardships and lessons and can sometimes have little patience with others.  As most mothers and housewives know, it's not easy being right all the time!  The Queen of Swords reminds us that while it's important to maintain control, and that being stern or detached are certainly necessary sometimes; we must be careful not to hurt those we love.

I did a lot of letting go this past week... to the point of leaving my job of seven years!  Now I know this week I need to get my affairs in order.  I need to take care of the things that I had neglected before because of work schedules and stress.  My "garden" has been untended and left to grow wild.  I especially need to take care of things that involve communication.  During this time of regaining my focus and control, I need to watch and be careful that I don't hurt my family and friends with harsh words or impatience, yet at the same time, delegate their roles and assert myself as a leader of the household.  What a tricky balancing act!  No wonder the Queen of Swords has such a bad reputation!

A little further study of the Queen of Swords;
The guidebook for The Housewives Tarot by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum says this about the Queen of Swords;
"This Queen has seen her share of hardships and sorrow.  Never fear - she's pulled herself through the dark days by being as tough as nails, with a cast-iron will and razor-sharp wit.  The Queen of Swords keeps a stiff upper lip and holds her head high in the face of adversity.  Unfortunately, she can also be a total bitch.  While it's admirable to seem impervious to enemies, don't unleash that coldness on loved ones."

The Queen of Swords classically represents the combined force of Water and Air.  When the Queen of Swords is using her gifts and character wisely, she is professional, intelligent, self reliant, fair, and just.  She channels thoughts, is able to speak on the behalf of others, and she makes her point well.  If she is unbalanced or using her character unwisely, she can become Ill-tempered, emotional, dependent, intolerant, and vindictive or malicious.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Oracle - Clear The Path!

Welcome to this week's Tuesday's Oracle! On Tuesdays (When I have the time) I draw an oracle card from one of my Oracle decks and share it with you. Always before I draw the card I pray for guidance and support from the God and Goddess, the Elements, the Angels, and the Fey. I also pray that while this guidance is generally for me, that it may also be something I can share with others, and that this message from the Divine will reach the hearts of others who may benefit from it. Namaste!___________________________________________
This week I am using the Trust Your Vibes Oracle Cards by Sonia Choquette.  I love the simplicity of this highly intuitive deck.  Each card has a simple message that will help you listen to your Higher Self, trust your "Sixth Sense" and trust your vibes.
This week's card;
Clear The Path!
The waning moon (the time period after the Full Moon and before the New Moon) is considered to be a good time to let go of any negative energies, patterns, behaviors, etc.  It must be this waning moon energy because I have been thinking a lot about what I need to Let Go of in my life, and my card readings have been reflecting this need as well.  Check out yesterday's reading... all about Letting Go of what is no longer serving us!  And now here is another example of how important it is to Let Go.... we clear the path for new energy and higher vibrations when we let go of things we no longer need (both physically and emotionally).  This card speaks more specifically about your physical space, and getting rid of clutter.  The pile of junk mail that brings you stress is blocking positive energy from flowing into your life, as well as the cluttered closet, the pile of un-used clothes, the toys your kids don't play with anymore, the books you're never going to read again, etc.

With my obsession with FlyLady, I know you've heard me talk about this decluttering process before.  (and it probably won't be the last time!)  This card is telling us that right now is a good time to be working on some of these decluttering projects.  Along with yesterday's card about releasing old habits, routines, or ideas in order to move forward... now is a time that these old things we are holding on to are part of what is blocking us from moving forward!

The guidebook by Sonia Choquette says;
"You can't hear your spirit guides or feel any connection to your Higher Self until you dig yourself out from under the dead energy that comes from holding on to what no longer serves you.  Everything has a vibration that either uplifts and aids your soul's growth, or bogs you down and interferes.  Let go of everything that doesn't lend a positive, uplifting vibration regardless of it's material value.  Never mind the rationale that you must keep it just in case you'll need it someday.  You won't.
Clear it all out -- your purse, your wallet, your car, your closet, your garage, your personal phone book, and your desk.  Higher energies are trying to move in, but they're blocked at the door.  It's a brand-new day for a brand-new, higher vibration!  As my teacher Charlie once told me, 'You cannot reach for the new until you let go of what is in hand.'

Don't let your perfectionism hold you back.  If you're anything like me, you're thinking... how will I ever have time to clean out my purse, car, desk, office, bedroom, etc., etc.?  I think of all the spaces and places that I need to "Clear The Path" in, and I get overwhelmed, thinking I can never get all that done!  That's your perfectionism, thinking "All or Nothing!"  This is where the FlyLady program comes in handy... as she reminds us to take baby steps, break big jobs into smaller jobs, work for 15 minutes at a time, and always remember that "Progress is Progress!"  Start small and do what you can without physically or mentally overwhelming yourself.  Even if you just do one small area or 15 minutes a day for the rest of the week, you will still Clear The Path to those Higher Vibrations!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - 8 of Cups Type of Day

Mommy Time Monday! Each week I'll draw and post a tarot card from The Housewives Tarot and share it with you. So go ahead, sit down and take some time for yourself, you never know what inspiration and advice The Housewives may have for you!

 Ever wake up and make yourself a pot of coffee, only to realize you don't have any clean coffee cups?  So before you can enjoy your morning cup of wake-up-and-be-human-juice, you have to search the house for cups and wash some dishes... just to get started on your day?  And then, as you're washing that cup... the dreaded sense of DejaVu.  Wait, didn't I just wash these same dishes yesterday?  It's an 8 of Cups type of day.

It's one of those moments when you realize (Painfully) that the system you currently have in place just isn't working anymore.  Something has to change, whether it's your routines, your attitude, or enlisting the kids and hubby to do the dishes once in awhile.... it's apparent that things need to be done a little differently.  When you reach this stalemate, it's important to remember that in order for any new system to take effect, you have to be willing to fully Let Go of that past system. 

It may be time for you to walk away from something in your life.  Because face it, it's just not working out.  It's not that these coffee cups didn't bring you joy (and steaming coffee) in the past... but if they are chipped, cracked, or stained and no longer bringing you joy (just the risk of E-Coli) then it's time to let them go.  Release yourself of this burden.

In my life right now, there are a few things that are just bringing me stress and honestly just not working out anymore.  For one, this summer vacation has been chaotic and completely without structure.  It was fun at first, the kids have enjoyed it.  But I'm getting frazzled with the house a complete mess, the kids living each day without structure.... it's not working out!  It's time for me to pick up the pieces and start adding some major structure to the day... including homework, studying, and chores for the kids.  After all, summer is half over, we might as well get back to living like civilized beings once again!

The other thing that's not working out is my job.  I have worked outside the home as a waitress for all of my adult life... and the past seven years have been with the same restaurant.  In the past, this business has helped me provide from my family in an environment that I enjoyed working in.  This hasn't been true for awhile.  I'm not happy, and I'm not making enough money any more either.  I have already started looking for another job, but I have been frustrated with the lack of responses to my applications and interviews.  This week I was thinking... my attachment to my current job may be part of what is holding me back.  I have to really LET GO, and cut the cords (energetically, etherically, and physically) in order to free myself to go find the next thing that awaits me.  I don't know what that might be, and it's a little scary.  But until I am ready to really let go, I'll just be holding myself back.  This card reminded me that sometimes, no matter how much we have loved or enjoyed something, if it's not serving us anymore, we have to let it go.... but that WE have to be the ones willing to change if we ever want something to improve.

Do you have something in your life that just isn't working anymore?  Is it your job, your routine, a household appliance, a friendship, or even just a bag of clothes in the closet that is never going to fit you again?  If something brings you stress, it may just be time to walk away.  Free yourself.  It might just be incredibly liberating!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unconditional Love

Tonite at my yoga class we were talking about relationships, and how relationships improve if one can come from a place of true unconditional love.  If someone can find the peace, self-worth, and happiness within themselves to be happy... truly happy... they would not need the approval or love of others in order to feel loved; and in turn they could give love endlessly and unconditionally without expecting anything in return.  How wonderful this would be, if we had such peace and love within our hearts that we could just love our partners without expecting or needing something in return.  Just like the next woman, I can struggle with feeling unappreciated.  Sometimes I find myself thinking; "My marriage would be better if HE only _______."  Fill in the blank in any way; Appreciated Me, Talked To Me, Touched Me, Spent Time With Me.  These are expectations we hold of our lovers and friends... we love them, yet we feel unhappy or unloved if they don't do these things for us.  In reality, the love has to come from inside of each of us.  No matter how much your lover, partner, or friend does for you... if you don't love yourself you will never be able to find that feeling of peace and happiness.  So we must begin with loving ourselves, and then be able to love others without expectations or conditions.

After our yoga practice, we decided to meditate on this concept some more.  We asked The Archangel Raguel to guide us in our meditation; to show us HOW to Love Unconditionally.

As the meditation began, I found myself walking through a beautiful forest with Raguel.  The warm sun was shining and everything was green with life... tall trees, green grass, colorful flowers surrounded us.  I could hear the birds, crickets, and frogs.  I could see the rustle in the leaves of the squirrels, lizards, insects, and birds all co-existing in the forest with the trees and plants.  I could feel how in this Eco-system, everything worked together... even the poisonous plants or insects played a crucial role in the cycle of life here... and the feeling of peace and love was overwhelming.  As the Angel and I walked through the forest, I asked him "How do I love others unconditionally?"  He smiled at me and we walked up to a large tree in the middle of the forest.  Archangel Raguel said "Be like this tree."

I immediately saw the answer and knew what the Angel was telling me... and it was so simple and so beautiful, and I spent the rest of the meditation watching the life of this tree... feeling what it was to BE this tree, and exploring the many possibilities of the answer I had received.

Ask yourself, How does a tree show unconditional love?  Let yourself feel and think what it is like to be a tree in a forest with all the creatures who co-exist in your habitat with you.

These are the things I felt and learned;
  • A tree is perfectly happy being a tree.  It does not aspire to be anything other than a tree.  It just tries to be the best tree it can be.  It is happy being a tree.
  • A tree does not need someone to tell it that it is a beautiful tree in order to be a beautiful tree.  It does not need to be told that it is loved by the forest... it knows it is a part of the forest and therefore it is loved.  It also knows happiness without being told by someone else that it is worthy.
  • Many creatures in the forest co-exist with this tree.  It provides shade for the animals, a place for nests for the birds and branches for the squirrels.  It provides oxygen from it's leaves and nutrients for the soil with it's roots.  It provides food for the animals who eat it's bark or leaves.  And the tree never says, "You owe me."  It does not ask for anything in return from the bird who has nested in it.  Yes, the bird helps keep the insects off of the tree... but the tree would not be angry or have it's feelings hurt if the bird did not eat the bugs.  The insects that make their home in the soil around the tree's trunk also help provide nutrients in the soil which help the tree grow; but if the insects didn't do this would the tree be angry and ask them to leave?  No.  The tree does not feel angry at the sky when it does not rain.  A fox sleeps under the tree's shade and then leaves.  Does the tree feel it has been used?  No. The tree is simply a tree... giving and loving and asking for nothing in return.
  • And the miracle is... the tree does not ask for anything, does not expect or demand anything from the forest around it.... yet somehow all it needs is given to it.  Freely, from other creatures who also have no expectations of the tree or each other.  If there is not enough rain this year, the tree does not curse at the sky.  The tree simply has to dig deeper into the ground to find water... it has to work harder to be a better tree.  And even in a drought, the tree is still happy... just being a tree!
Archangel Raguel told me to be like a tree in order to find how to give Unconditional Love.  The answer is so simple and so beautiful.  Love yourself, be happy being you.  Love, love and love others without any expectations or demands.  Be like the tree!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Moon, Meditation & Motivation!

After yesterday's post I was feeling a little lost, needing direction, and searching for my motivation.  My motivation to clean the house was GONE, I was feeling overwhelmed, and just a bit miffed.  I knew I needed some time to meditate, and I wanted to meditate and connect with the Goddess for the New Moon.  I figured after the kids went to bed I would sit in my Living room and meditate and have a small ritual.... but by the time night came my house was still a mess and my living room looked like this;

It was then (finally!) that I found my motivation!  The Goddess!  SHE motivated me to clean up my space.  I knew the energy wouldn't flow right if the room was like this... so I dedicated the time for cleaning to do it for the Goddess so that I could connect with Her, and so she could better work through me!

Guess what?  It only took FIFTEEN minutes to clean up that room!

 This included picking everything up, putting stuff away, throwing away trash, vacuuming the room, AND smudging/blessing the room with sage!  Here's another angle of the Before & After pics I took for my cleaning group.

 Fifteen minutes!  I'm not lying, that's all it took!  I felt so empowered by this!  I was motivated to do it... for the right reasons... not because it's expected of me, not because it's my job or duty, not because I HAD to do it, but because I wanted a clear space so I could commune with the Goddess and the energy of the New Moon!  And that motivation in turn reminded me that it does NOT take long to get something done if I just DO IT!

After that I decided to do a pre-ritual cleansing bath... so I went in my bathroom and of course, I had to clean the bathroom before I could expect to energetically and physically cleanse myself in that space.... FIVE minutes was all it took and; Wha-La!  My bathroom got cleaned too!
After a lovely bath, I went back in my clean living room and had a wonderful time meditating and praying.  I set up a small altar on the floor with a couple candles, my Hestia/Vesta figurine, sandalwood incense, and my tarot cards.  I set out The Heirophant (Taurus), The Empress (Venus) and The Hermit (Vesta) as focal points to underline the energy of the New Moon in Taurus.  (I also put out the Queen of Pentacles - Fixed Earth, and the 10 of Pentacles - Earth, and I used The Celestial Tarot)
 I read this article by Rebecca Brents about the New Moon in Taurus energy, and followed by this creative visualization/meditation :)  I LOVE this New Moon series by Rebecca Brents!  This meditation is so peaceful and positive, I plan on doing it again tonite!
 I followed up that meditation with this purification ritual.  This is from "Moon Magick" by D.J. Conway and it is the suggested ritual for the energy of the New Moon in May.  I haven't included all of the details here, just the basics and the prayer.

Vesta of the Hearth Flame Purification Ritual(Red Candle, purifying incense)

Cast your circle.  Kneel before the altar until you feel recognized by The Goddess, then say
"May I be cleansed outwardly and inwardly, body and soul,
that all things in my life may be made new."

Light the red candle and meditate on it's cleansing and purifying energies, and think about the myth of Vesta, the Deity of both domestic and ceremonial fires.  Keeper of the Hearth flame she was considered very pure, and if a condemned man were to happen upon one of her priestesses, his trespasses would be forgiven and he would be set free.  Come before Vesta in your heart and mind, knowing that she will help cleanse you of any negative patterns you may be repeating, and ask her for purification and renewal with the following prayer;
"Vesta of the Sacred Flame,
Goddess of purification and renewal,
lady who sets the imprisoned free,

Pour your cleansing fires upon my heart and soul
That my life may be made new, my spirit receptive.
Awaken my mind to new opportunities.

Call my soul to greater spiritual knowledge.
Reveal to me your Inner Mysteries
that I may experience initiation anew.
Purify and bless me, O Vesta!"

remain in front of the altar in meditation until you feel the blessing of the Goddess.  How you feel it will be different for every person... a tingle, a warm or cold sensation... anything!  Listen and wait for the blessing of the Goddess.  Once you feel you have been blessed, Thank Vesta and close your circle.  Your purification may be received in different ways.  Within a couple days you may have a change in attitude, a desire to change your eating habits, or otherwise experience changes... embrace your purification as being personally meant for you from the Goddess for your Highest Good!
Even my cat looked more peaceful and happy after my New Moon meditation and ritual!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mommy Time Monday - The Fool

Yep... I got this card again.  Last week I didn't draw a card, but the week before I did, and it was this one.... (see my last post).  So, I'm feeling I really need to dig in deeper to the meaning of this card.

As I shuffled I was asking the Housewives to give me a message to help me with my attitude towards housework.  Today, and thru most of last week, I have been slipping.  My motivation is lacking, and my house is suffering.  I'm having these moments of feeling sorry for myself, complaining that I get no help, that it isn't fair, etc.  It's the same story every week.  Thru the week I work hard to get my house in order... the laundry caught up, the bathrooms cleaned, the kitchen cleaned, and whatever extra organizing I can manage, on top of dealing with the kids, cooking dinners, and trying to get the best possible deals with coupons at the grocery store and attempting to balance the budget and make sure the bills are paid.  Sometimes I get along just fine, happy to do my part, enjoying the blessings of being able to do all these things for my family.  But sometimes I just feel bogged down, unappreciated, overworked, and stretched too thin.

The weekends come and go, and for 20 hours of the weekend I am at work, only home on Saturday night to sleep and then back home Sunday evening in time for dinner.  During my absence, the house seems to fall apart.  No one does the dishes unless they need a clean dish to eat off of, no one clears those flat surfaces of junk, no one does any laundry.  Now I can't say I blame my husband... he works all week and deserves to relax on his 2 days off.  But I must admit I have been growing bitter at coming home to such a mess after I spend the weekdays keeping it clean.

So as I shuffled my cards, I asked; what can I do to change my attitude about my situation?  I am not looking to change my husband, I love him the way he is, and I love the other ways in which he provides for me and our family.  But I don't want this bitterness to grow.

The Fool card indicates a new beginning, an new journey of sorts.  It's obvious that the housewife on this card needs to pull herself together a little bit... she's so scattered and a bit un-organized.  Maybe she needs to prioritize.  Maybe she needs a little help.  So, maybe it's not a bad thing for me to ask for help, and maybe I'm being a fool thinking I can handle all of this myself!  The Fool card often indicates a new attitude, new adventure, new journey.  Maybe I'm just going about things the wrong way and I need to re-evaluate and think of things a little differently.  Not that I want to shirk any of my responsibilities.... but maybe an attitude adjustment is in order here.  I can swallow my pride and ask my husband for help... I just have to make sure I choose my words carefully and let him know I do appreciate what he does... while at the same time re-evaluating my priorities and figuring out just exactly where I want to put my energy and what I need to direct my focus on.... so as not to be the fool running around with mis-matched shoes and a trail of chaos!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Housewives Report 4/18 - 4/22

Weekly Houswives' Report 4/18/2011 - 4/22/2011

The week began and I drew this card for myself from The Housewives Tarot - The Fool.  I could certainly relate to this harried housewife, running around in somewhat of a frenzy, excited about the prospects of her week but just not quite in control.  Like the housewife on this card, the multitude of tasks and responsibilities of the week were just an unorganized mess of plans and emotions.  Once I saw this card I knew I needed to just slow down, simplify, and FOCUS.  Not always an easy thing for me to do!

With the program this week we were focusing on the Master Bedroom.  I figured that focusing some of my energy on renewing my personal space would be a perfect way for me to slow down, simplify, and prioritize.  When my Bedroom is clean and inviting I tend to spend more time taking care of myself.  I sleep better, I meditate more, and I just feel better!

 So... this area needed some work.  This was my bookshelf next to the bed.  Most of my books were either in the closet or in the computer room because there just wasn't enough room for them here.  I had gotten a new book shelf a couple weeks ago, but hadn't brought it in here yet.  I hadn't really decided if it was going to go in my Master Bedroom or in another room.  But I decided my books and tarot cards needed a better home than their present location, sooo....
 Ta-Da!  Transformation!  ALL my "woo~woo" books in one place!  Now I actually WANT to stay in my room... I mean with all my books straightened and easy to find, I've got my own personal witchy library here and I love it!
 My Tarot and Oracle Card collection... now in it's worthy home that deserves some showing off!
And my Tarot Library!   Still growing... but it just makes me so happy to see all my tarot books in one place, happily on a shelf together with my tarot journals!

The lower shelves contain my spiritual books with topics ranging from Astrology, Meditation, Yoga, Wicca, Witchcraft, and other Pagan Paths.

Tuesday night I had my Yoga Class and our meditation on Awakening your Inner Child.  I was inspired to write a couple blogs about that experience...
Awakening Your Inner Child
Peace of Mind
Thirteen Ways to Awaken Your Inner Child
I was also reminded that as a child, our personal space in the world is our bedroom, it is our sanctuary, our kingdom where our imagination can roam and our play and fantasies really come to life.  This inspired me to keep working on my bedroom, even when it began to look like this.... 

But 30 minutes or so took care of THAT problem....

Ahhh!  Feels so much better now, doesn't it?!?!

I ended the week by getting rid of some clothes from the closets and dressers and immediately taking those clothes to my local Goodwill thrift store.  I got myself 1 new pair of jeans for work, and found a new lampshade to go with the lamp I got at a yardsale... so now my Master Bedroom is not only clean and organized, but well- lit also!  The sheets and comforter have been washed today also, so I'm about to crawl into bed and enjoy the scent of lavender on my sheets as I drift of to sleep in my energetically cleansed sanctuary!

All in all, I think this Fool managed to pull herself together and accomplish exactly what needed to be done!  Now I'm ready for the next stage of my journey, whatever that may be!