Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Esbats

Simple Full Mon Esbat & Update

The last few months have been pretty chaotic and upsetting, but things feel like they’re finally settling down into some semblance of normal again. Tonight was the first full moon esbast I’ve really been able to sit down and devote some time to since Yule. My mother got sick towards the end of last year, and died in January. Through the last couple of weeks of her life, we knew she was going to die, but we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. In any case, that has been the source of a lot of rumination, contemplation, questioning and general introspective inquiry for me over the last few months.

It’s also been an interesting time for talking to my children. They’re not little anymore, so discussions about in-dept spiritual concepts have a much different flavor to them now than they used to. It’s interesting to see how their ideas about death, dying, the after;life and spirituality are unfolding and what they think about those concepts. It’s also interesting to me how very different they are from each other with regard to their thought processes and general spiritual ideas.

I have been working on creating a little outdoor space in my yard lately; I repainted some old patio furniture and bought a lovely bright umbrella for the table. It’s been nice to have diner outside, and gives me a pretty, dedicated space to meditate and/or commune with nature, especially when I feel like going outside at night. This evening was one such occasion; I brought my esbat journal and affirmation cards, incense and tea to my little spot and just bathed in the moonlight. Then I took a walk around my yard and mentally mapped out some future plans I’d like to implement for outdoor living spaces. The moon was so pretty and bright – I love walking around outside under the full moon!

I have been meaning to re-plant an herb garden, but haven’t followed through with it for various reasons. After my mom crossed over, it seemed like a good time to make those plans blossom. As part of my grief self-care and healing process, I have been buying plants and herbs. I love green growing things; I’m not super great at keeping them alive past a certain point, but I really love them. It’s been healing, because my mom had quite the green thumb and also loved her plants, so it’s almost like sharing this with her. In addition to garden basics like basil, thyme, oregano, lavender and catnip, I added several variations of common varieties, like lime basil and purple basil; hot & spicy oregano; several varieties of mint (spearmint, sweet mint, peppermint and chocolate mint); and other staples like lemon balm and be balm, succulents, bell and jalapeno peppers, and quite a few greenery plants and flowers as well.

When my mom died, my aunt brought me a cabinet that belonged to my grandmother. She had been keeping it for my mom (who inherited it when my grandmother died). My grandmother collected all kinds of dolls, and the cabinet is where they lived. I re-purposed it into my herbal and apothecary cabinet, with the top housing my living room altar. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a full altar in a public space in my house; my main altar is in my bedroom. Right now, it’s just a generic altar, but I’m planing for it to become more of a family space. I’m sure that with time, it will take on a life of its own as we add to it.

I spent some time the other day making honey incense. It’s been a long time since I’ve made incense; I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the process. It’s really easy, and can basically be customized with either what you have on hand, or for specific purposes. I made a prosperity and protection blend for Beltane. This has a lovely sweet scent, and doesn’t smoke a lot; it just kinda smolders, which is nice if you have allergies.

Homemade Springtime Prosperity & Protection honey incense

1 tsp comfrey leaf
1.5 tsp lavender flowers
1 tsp orange peel
.5 tsp fenugreek seed
2 white sage leaves
.75 tsp. frankincense powder
1 tsp copal tears
honey (aprox 1.5 tsp)

Grind all dry ingredients. I put everything in a mortar and grind with a pestle until the larger bits are about evenly sized, then move to an electric finder and give everything a spin – just enough to get a rough sand-like texture. Then pour into a small bowl and add honey, sparingly. You inky need enough honey to bind the ingredients together so they’ll hold the ball shape. Roll and place on parchment paper to dry in a cool, dark place. You can use them immediately, but the are better when dried and aged. Burn by placing a ball onto a lot charcoal disc.

I’ve also been spending time with my cards. I read with the Medieval Scapini Tarot,  and have been experimenting with different ways to read. This was a year forecast reading, which I’ve never attempted before. It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the coming months.

 

Brightest Blessings,

 


Litha Spring Cleaning

AA016479 Litha, or Midsummer, is the mid-point of the year – the Summer Solstice – a time of balance and transition from the light half of the year to the dark. One of my favorite myths is that of the Oak King and the Holly King, and Midsummer is the counterpart to Yule (or Midwinter). At Litha, the Oak King is slain and the Holly King rises up to lay claim to the latter half of the year. That’s not really relevant to this post, because although I love the retelling of that story at the vital points during the year, this Litha is all about housekeeping.

I have been remiss in my home-blessing duties; however much I try to re-frame ‘chores’ into ‘home blessings’ or ‘creating sacred space’, the fact is that I am just not a great housekeeper. There are always more interesting things to do than scrub the cabinet fronts or clean the ceiling fans… and so every once in a while it gets so bad that to not take the time to do some deep cleaning is just… well it’s just time to clean. And so this is where I have found myself now,coming up on Litha.

I really felt the need to ‘brighten’ things up – it felt dark and gloomy, and I know it’s my lack of attention to the space that’s allowing those energies to pile up, so I started in our living room. I went through an intense decluttering phase a few months ago, and though I did very well with cleaning the stuff out of the places it was cluttering up, I never got so far as to actually take the things out of my house. So they’ve been sitting in a corner, sucking up space and energy. Much of that’s actually, truly gone now, either out into the proper closet/storage spaces or tossed out into the rubbish bins. A few things made their way into the car to be taken to new homes, but the end result is amazing – so much brighter and cleaner and ‘light’ feeling! Sadly, even knowing how amazing ‘clean’ feels doesn’t help motivate me to be a better housekeeper much of the time… but I digress.

I also spent some time in the kitchen, enlisting the kids’ help in deep cleaning everything from the ceiling (and fan) down; cabinets, appliances, counters, organizing drawers, floors… all of it. Our table sits in a corner, and the actual corner tends to be a catch-all spot (for my things, especially) but even that’s now clean and tidy. There’s a little left to do; we’re supposed to clear out the living room and get a new sofa and coffee table soon, and I have a feeling paint will soon follow, depending on the colors of the new furniture, but even just those few changes have really shifted the feel of the space.

Litha and the Full Strawberry Moon both fell on Monday, so I did a simple ritual with the kids. I bought new Goddess and God candles and a new working candle for my altar, and changed the decor to reflect the warmer colors of summer. We also did something new; we set up a family altar in the living room. We have had a shelf with a smaller, less conspicuous altar space in there, and directional candles have always been at the cardinal points of the room, but now there’s an actual, dedicated altar there too, and set for Litha with deity candles and a family offering bowl. After our morning routine, we tidied things up, then smudged the house inside and out and laid new salt barriers on the windows and doors, walked the boundaries and left offerings for the border spirits. Afterwards, we spent a little time on Intentions and spellwork for the waning half of the year, celebrated the Moon, and had strawberry shortcake with sweet red wine.

How are you celebrating Midsummer this year?
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New Moon Names – Part 1

new moon names

Most of us are familiar with the various names for the Full Moon, but when I went looking for the names of the New Moon, I was a little surprised to find that there weren’t any. It seems odd that such a notable recurring event wouldn’t also have names to mark the passage of time, especially pre-calendar. I’ve talked before about non-traditional elemental associations and since this is one that I am making up, I thought I’d share my thought/creative process. For each month, I looked up several things, ranging from the history/origin of the month’s name and the deity(ies) they were associated with, as well as properties and other associations that go along with them. I also considered my own personal feelings and insights. Since this is a slice of my personal practice, how I interpret the months and times of year as the cycle turns plays a role in how I chose their names.

Because it’s the first of the year, let’s start with January. Even though, for many Pagans (myself included), January isn’t the beginning of the magickal year, it’s still ‘a’ beginning. I orient myself in the years’ planning starting in January, so for me, it is a beginning. Because I typically print of create my Moon Calendar by calendar year, and because my almanac runs from January through December, this is a logical starting point to me.

The Latin word for January is ianua, or door, since January is the door to the year. January’s deity is the Roman Goddess Juno. There’s some contention with that; apparently Janus was the original deity associated thought to be associated with January as He is the God of Beginnings and Transitions, but more recent research suggests it was, in fact, Juno. Because I am a woman, happily married and mother, the association with Juno speaks to me more. She is generally thought to be linked with protection of the state and of women, love, youth, fertility and vital force, marriage, and other complex roles. In particular, Juno’s name is associated with the Latin words iuvare, “to aid, benefit”, and iuvenescendo, “rejuvenate”, which could potentially connect her to the renewal of the new and waxing moon, which suggests that she may have been revered as a moon goddess. I like that idea. The word for January, or door, fits because in a way, Juno – and thus, January – can be seen as the guardian of the new year. She holds the doors to the year ahead, and as a gatekeeper, creates the way for the new path. For me, January is a time of beginnings – it’s when I reset my calendar, I’ve filed away things from the previous calendar year and get ready for the new year ahead. It’s a time of starting fresh, of making plans and setting goals and intentions – it’s sloughing off the previous year and starting anew. Because of those ideas and concepts, I’ve decided to call January’s New Moon the Renewal Moon.

Because of the potential length of this post, I am breaking it up into several parts. I will come back and edit the list below with the links to the other posts as I make them. For now, subscribe and you’ll get future posts in your inbox!

  • January – Renewal Moon
  • February –
  • March –
  • April –
  • May –
  • June –
  • July –
  • August –
  • September –
  • October –
  • November –
  • December –
  • Black Moon (2nd New Moon in a month, also called the Secret Moon or the Finding Moon)

Do you have names for the New Moons? I’d love to read about it!
Brightest Blessings,
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Pagan Parenting Part II: Beliefs

Introductionpaganparentingseries -2017

This is Part I of the Pagan Parenting Series. Raising children is hard enough, but when you factor in being part of a religion or spiritual belief system that falls outside the mainstream, there’s an added layer of difficulty. In addition to criticism by the mainstream, there is also a decided lack of resources for Pagan parents that deals specifically with the particulars of raising children in an Earth-based belief system. In the interests of full disclosure, I developed this series based on a discussion centering on the book, Circle Round: Elements of Spiritual Parenting, but you may find the self-assessment questions relevant even without the book. I looked for the original discussion, but could not find it to link. If this sounds familiar, and you have a source, please let me know and I will update the introduction with a link. However flavored by the original discussion, I have put my own spin on it for publishing here. In this series, I invite you to explore some of the topics and issues of concern centered on raising children as a Pagan parent.

Part II: Beliefs

All children eventually ask hard questions about the natural and supernatural world. What do we say when they ask about heaven or hell? Reincarnation? Deity? Do we pass our beliefs on to our children as ‘truth’, or do we want them to come to their own conclusions? Asking yourself these questions and others along these lines can make the difference between being prepared to answer or being blindsided when you’re not expecting them! As parents, it can be hard enough to answer those kinds of questions when you’re part of a mainstream religion, but when you fall outside of the norm, how do you answer? It can be very difficult to decide how much information is age-appropriate, or how much is ‘too much’. It can also be hard to find ‘traditional’ information to pass on to your kids.

Over the years, we’ve relied on literature, mythology, philosophy and religious studies to round out the kids’ knowledge base. Most Pagans I know personally don’t indoctrinate their kids into their path in the same way that other religions tend to assert you should. That presents problems for some; how do you teach them without forcing it on them? I think that has a lot to do with just exposure, and how you present things. My kids have always been welcome to attend Circle events and Ritual with me, and we’ve also taken them to other church services and allowed them the choice to attend, participate or opt out. We’ve always been open about XYZ being ‘one way to think about things’, or ‘this is what Mommy believes; this is what Daddy (or Auntie or whoever) believes’ with the approach that belief is a personal thing, neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’. Your approach may differ based on what your goals are.

One thing I know about my own beliefs is that they’re ever-evolving. There are ideas and concepts that I ‘like’, but don’t necessarily ‘believe’ and figuring out how to explain some of those things to my children has been challenging. Fortunately, if you’re interested in sharing your beliefs as a Pagan, or person on a more Nature/Earth-based spiritual path, there are some things online that can help to explain, or at least give you a starting point to start teaching your children. I have found it helpful to have a starting point, and for us, that was defining what it is that I believe in; what goals I am trying to attain as a person. Since we are somewhat secular, I was drawn to the 15 Guiding Principles of Secular Paganism as a teaching tool. I also appreciate the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, and the Golden Rule as it is explained in other various religions. If you’re more traditionally Pagan or Wiccan, then The Witches Creed, The Wiccan Rede, or 13 Goals of a Witch might be more fitting, or have attributes that you want to include in your children’s education. As an eclectic practitioner, all of these have value for me.

In my practice, gratitude and mindfulness are two concepts that I am deeply attached to and so I try to incorporate those ideas and ideals into my life on a daily basis. While this doesn’t involve ‘giving thanks’ to a deity figure,  it does involve being mindful of the good things in my life and focusing on the positive. Depending on your feelings about and/or interpretation of Deity, you may include prayers, devotions or other ‘little rituals’ that are meaningful for you and your child(ren). We have Goddess and God and Sabbat candles in the kitchen that are lit almost daily, and directional/elemental candles that are lit for various reasons. Other things, ‘traditions’ that are rooted in belief and practice have their place as well: decorations (besom, Witch Balls, altars, ritual sweeping, smudging, etc.)… those things are just part of ‘our house’ and are normal for my kids. Other facets of your belief system will depend on your personal interpretation of your path and what religion and belief means to you. I like the Four Centers of Paganism as a model for understanding, and teaching as well. Defining where you stand, and how you interpret your path can make it easier to articulate and demonstrate to your kids.

In conclusion, I think the important thing is to prepare yourself for those hard questions, and not to leave your children out of the process of discovery. Whatever your approach, and whatever their path, the journey towards a personal style of spirituality and belief is interesting and full of self-discovery. Whether they agree with you, or take off on a completely different spiritual path, they’ll make it their own just like you have.

Here are some books and other resources that I’ve found both interesting and helpful at various times over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I am not affiliated with the authors, publishers of distributors; the links are just for ease of locating them if you think they may be of use to you. Please feel free to comment with other books and resources you’ve found helpful, especially if they’re specific path relevant (i.e.: Druidry, Asatru, etc.)

Paganism For Kiddos: A Kids and Parents’ Guide to Pagan and Wiccan Practice by Jessica M. Hauptmann

Raising Witches: Teaching The Wiccan Faith To Children and Family Wicca by Ashleen O’Gaea

Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker, Anne Hill, & Sara Ceres Boore 

Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson & Maura D. Shaw 

The Pagan Family: Handing the Old Ways Down by Ceisiwr Serith

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths & D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

Be sure to check out the other parts in this series:
Part I: Values
Part III
Part IV

What are your thoughts on sharing your beliefs with your children?

Brightest Blessings,
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Celebrating the Blue Moon

Ever hear the phrase, ‘once in a blue moon’? Well, get ready, because Friday’s Esbat is awash in the energy of the Blue Moon! In actuality, blue moons (using the most common understanding of ‘the second full moon within a one-month calendar period’) aren’t anything super special in a mystical sense; we wouldn’t have them at all were it not for the calendar we use. But we do have them, and because of the rarity (the next one won’t be until 2018), that makes them a special thing. If you keep track of such things, upcoming Blue Moons will be on:

31 January, 2018, 31 March, 2018, and 31 October, 2020.

Looks like Samhain 2020 is going to ah-maz-ing, right?

There’s a second definition for Blue Moon as well that is much more uncommonly heard, but is the ‘real’ definition, which is truly much more rare:

the original definition is that a Blue Moon is the third full Moon in an astronomical season with four full Moons. A normal year has four astronomical seasons – spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter – with three months and normally three full Moons each. When one of the astronomical seasons has four full Moons, instead of the normal three, the third full Moon is called a Blue Moon. more here

The ‘real’ definition is slightly more complex, and can understand why the more simplified version caught on (even though it’s technically a mistake). If you’re a stickler for technicalities, the next Blue Moon as defined by astronomical season will be next year:

21 May, 2016; 18 May, 2019; 22 August, 2021 and 19 August, 2024.

Regardless of which definition you prefer, this is still a Full Moon, with all the bells and whistles that come with celebrating one. I love the Full Moon Esbat. I absolutely adore being outside when the moon is full. The night feels so alive and everything is soft and dreamy with a beautiful moon-lit glow. The moon at its fullest is so bright – I love the feeling of being out; bathed in it. It’s a great time for cleansing; I set out stones and crystals and jars of water to make Moon Blessed water and re-charge the stones and jewelry that I wear. Everything gets cleansed and grounded and waits for the next part of the cycle.

Traditionally, the Full Moon is a time of culmination and completion. What was started with the New Moon this cycle finds its apex of energy at the Full Moon, before winding down over the next two weeks and starting the cycle anew. I find the Lunar Cycle ideal for short-term goals; a naturally occurring 4-week cycle that grows, peaks, wanes and starts again feels to me like a natural timetable and guide for such things. The two-week span between the Full Moon and the New Moon is a time of rest, reflection and preparation for me. While I don’t adhere strictly to traditional correspondences for spell work, there are some things I am fairly meticulous about and my interpretation of the Esbat Celebrations is one of them.

BlancaBS - 'FullMoonBath' watercolor

‘Full Moon Bath’ by DeviantArtist BlancaBS

I don’t know if anyone else does this; I’ve never read it or heard it being done and haven’t heard of it being part of any established tradition, but I use the Black and Blue Moons in a similar manner as the traditional Lunar Cycle. The cycle begins with a Black Moon, and reaches culmination at the Blue. In my opinion, for the least amount of confusion, you should use the same definition for both, i.e.: if you’re using the definition of Blue Moon to mean the 2nd Full Moon in a month, then your definition of Black Moon should be the second New Moon within a month. That’s my personal preference for this type of longer-term planning, and so with this Blue Moon, what was set into motion with the last Black Moon (March 30, 2014) reaches its climax. The next Black Moon of this kind will be October 30, 2016 (which is the night before Samhain – so cool!!), with culmination expected January 31, 2018. I will have the months between now and October of next year to rest (energetically speaking), reflect on my intentions and results, and plan and prepare for the next long-term goal.

As for effectiveness, I can say that my life has undergone some fairly radical changes over the last year and a half, and those changes are in line with the goals/plans/intentions I set. I am not naive enough (or ‘faithful’ enough?? Is that even the right word??) to think that ‘it’s all because of spell work’. I do make choices that are in line with my goals, and live my life in a proactive way – my actions match my intentions. I believe that hard work and a life in harmony with realistic goals set make a works of difference in what a person is able to achieve. But there’s an element of luck or fortune or favor there, too. Call it what you will, but hard work can only take you so far and the extra ‘spark’ – wherever it comes from – helps.

The next Black Moon of the other type (3rd of 4 within an astronomical season) won’t be until August 21, 2017 (with the Blue Moon May 18, 2019). I haven’t personally used this type of moon for this purpose, but I feel like it would probably work as well. If you’re into long-term goal-oriented spellcasting, consider giving the Black/Blue Moon cycle a try to see how it works out for you. I’d be interested in hearing from you if you do (or have done this before).

Brightest Blue Moon Blessings,

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Plans Gone Awry – an Update and Next Steps Toward Sacred Space

plan_b.jpgSo you may have noticed that I made plans and included a time frame that I didn’t stick to. Unfortunately, Life doesn’t always check with my notebook to make sure it’s a good time for a curve ball. Knowing this, I will ever make goals, and just try to remember that it’s okay to be flexible about meeting them. I think the most important part is that my goals aren’t abandoned – just occasionally postponed (at least, that’s how I am choosing to think abut it).

To re-cap, I was on my ‘step 2’ of my ‘Sacred Space‘ plan that I outlined earlier this year. While I didn’t make the deadline for completion, I am happy to say that I have completed not only that step, but also skipped ahead an completed the living room as well (step 4) and bits of the office (step 5)! We some major repair work to do in one of the bedrooms, which was the main thing that threw me off, schedule-wise. Several weeks worth of home improvement really transformed a space that was feeling very negative into one that is just lovely and so peaceful to be in. I’m so glad we were able to finally do the repairs needed, and that it turned out so well. Finishing that space also helped me clear out some of the clutter I was holding on to, including the boxes in my living room. I was also able to clear the hallway. There is a feeling of peace and space now; I was right about thinking that the clutter there was stopping up the energy flows in our home. It felt so good to finally be free of that clutter. I didn’t realize how much it was weighing me (and my kids) down. It’s made me eager to move on to my next steps. I’ve been skipping around a bit, so I really need to refine what needs to be done still.

I definitely still have some work to do on my wardrobe. I have been really drawn to the practicality of the ‘capsule wardrobe‘ idea, and found a style planner and closet organizer app called ‘My Dressing’ that I am going to try to see how the concept works for me. I am working more now, and so my ‘at home’ style isn’t really cutting it anymore. I’m also a larger size than most style bloggers, but have found a few who have created plus-sized capsule wardrobes, like CraftyMinx and FullFigured&Fashionable which helps. I’ve recently bought some pieces that feel more ‘grown up’ (which is funny to see – I didn’t realize that’s how I thought of them until I’d typed it out). I have discovered that I really like dresses, so my plan is to add a few more pieces from Lane Bryant and Torrid to my regular wear over the next few months.

The next major part of my plan is my kitchen. As a Pagan, the kitchen is the Hearth – the center of family togetherness, and I am really looking forward to getting that space in order. What’s funny is that it’s not necessarily ‘out’ of order if you’re judging my looks. Our kitchen is rather small and plain – nothing fancy; perfectly serviceable in every way… and yet something’s missing; rather, it feels ‘overstuffed’ to me. While I’d love to do a complete overhaul, that’s not in our budget. My original thoughts, with planned changes include:

Step 3: Kitchen – What’s my goal here? The kitchen is the main entertaining space in our house. We have a rather small house and the living room is oddly shaped, so the kitchen has become the ‘hearth’ of our home. I like the overall feel of our kitchen; Hestia’s presence there is strong. But like many spaces in small houses, the kitchen does double-duty. We have tools in there that are better suited to the hall closet, so I’d like to re-organize so that everything in the kitchen is dedicated to family, togetherness, well-being and health, and entertaining. Practically speaking, I need to make better use of the spaces I have (limited though they are).

  • clear pantry & organize (with labels)
  • clear cabinet under pantry of tools & declutter/reorganize
  • junk drawer
  • under oven cabinets
  • under stove cabinets
  • under sink
  • drawers
  • add art

I’ve removed the ‘time frame’, as it’s somewhat irrelevant. We recently did some deep cleaning, so everything ‘feels’ fresh right now, which is nice. Now, it’s time to tackle the unseen spaces!

Something else that’s come about as a result of some of the purging I’ve done around the house is the creation of small devotional spaces. I have always had my main altar in my bedroom, with smaller (mostly unnoticeable unless you knew what you were looking at) altars in the kitchen window and on my desk. I’ve added to the kitchen altar and created altar space in the living room as well.Not only is it a reflection of my personal beliefs, but an assertion of them in my home. I’ve been hesitant to have outward symbols of my convictions visible in the past, but as I get older it’s become more important to be visibly more ‘me’ rather than try to conform or preserve someone else’s sensibilities (when in my own home). That probably seems like old news to many, but it’s been a discovery process for me.

In other news, tonight New Moon, so I am working on setting intentions for the coming cycle. Last cycle, my intention was with my mental health in mind. I’ve re-established my meditative practice as a priority (rather than ‘fitting it in’), and started working on creating a deck of affirmation cards for myself. Art is part of my path, so that’s been very fulfilling for me. This cycle, I am working on my physical health. I recently discovered the mandala dance and found it to be a beautiful (peaceful, welcome, grounding, centering) addition to my morning routine.

new moon prayer

 

Wishing you a Blessed Esbat Celebration tonight,

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Full Worm Moon

I haven’t done many Esbat posts, so with the full moon coming up tonight, I thought I would talk a bit about the Full Worm Moon. March is the beginning of Spring (with the New Moon falling on Ostara this year), and so my theme this month is ‘Awakening’. Much like the ground is coming alive with the promise of new life, I feel like I am ‘awakening’ a more proactive part of myself – part of me that’s been sleeping.

With my housekeeping purge on-going, I feel energized (except for yesterday, when a nap won out over finishing up in my closet), and like I’ve accomplished something – or maybe something big is on the horizon.

As the Moon’s energy wanes, it’s a good time to send things away – in this case, that’s in the very literal sense of releasing hold on possessions and items that no longer serve a goal or to make my spirit happy. In other ways, it’s a release of the stagnation that the end of winter always brings.

Today, I’ll be taking down my altar, cleaning everything and setting it back up. That’s the last task in my ‘Step 1’ of my plan for March’s ‘Sacred Space’ blog. I am also going to set out a couple of jars to make Moon Blessed Water, and charge my crystals. It’s been a while since I’ve taken care to fully celebrate the Full Moon Esbat. I’m looking forward to marking it in a memorable way.

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To recap, I have given myself a challenge – to spend the month of March cleaning, purging and minimizing the spaces in my house. I set several dates and steps, and gave myself a timeline. This is the first step, and updates. Here’s the challenge:

Step 1: Bedroom – What’s my goal here? This is my personal space. I don’t share it with anyone (other than my husband), and my kids don’t often come into my room. My altar and cabinet of curiosities (herbs, oils, books, etc.) are all kept in there, and I want that space to be inviting and refreshing for my spirit. Practically speaking, I also need to move my clothes from the laundry room into my closet (which is currently full of old crafting supplies). Here’s what needs to be done:

  • clear out closet
  • remove craft supplies & confine to one box
  • create space for clothing
  • clear off bookshelves (get rid of hard copy books that I have in digital form)
  • clean out trunk & organize herbs onto shelves
  • clear nightstand drawer of clutter
  • go through bathroom closet (de-clutter makeup, beauty supplies, etc.)
  • TIME FRAME: 4 days (March 2-5)

I am adding:

  • go through clothes & cull things that don’t fit, that I don’t like; hang what’s left
    • tops
    • bottoms
    • smallclothes (bras, panties, socks and other ‘small’ things); assigned to baskets on a shelf in the closet
    • at home clothes (yoga pants/tee shirts/swimwear)
    • outerwear (coats/jackets, etc.); remove to laundry room for now with plans to move them to the hall closet next week to free up space in bedroom closet
  • sort shoes & cull; put what’s left in the closet (and work on finding a shoe-storage solution that works in *tiny* spaces)
  • sort purses/bags & cull; put what’s left in the closet (neatly)
  • clean, re-set altar

Tuesday, March 3 update: I’ve cleaned out my closet! It’s empty! I was a little ambitious with my expectation that I could get my craft stuff down to one box; I forgot just what was in those boxes (keepsakes and a quilting project that I am saving for sometime when my kids are out of my house). I DID get my sewing down to one box (not including thread and notions – but I am working on it), and took an entire box of crafting supplies out and put it in the office to be sorted and put away in the correct spaces.

I took all of my clothes out, and am going to be sorting them tonight and tomorrow, and getting things on hangers. I also covered the shelves in fabric, and added baskets for my smallclothes to go into. I am also leaving space for my collection of purses, shoes and work supplies that should rightly be housed in my closet.

This part of the project was honestly the most overwhelming – the part I was dreading. But I got it all out, and threw out FOUR garbage bags (kitchen-sized) of junk, which included a lot of old sewing projects and fabric I’ve been hanging on to, and a pair of black heels that I have never worn because they hurt my feet (but they’re SO pretty!!). I’m pretty impressed with myself.

The more I get rid of, the more I WANT to get rid of!

I will edit this post to reflect what Friday holds; for now (late Wednesday night, when I am posting this), I am going to focus on work tomorrow, then work on the rest of my bedroom in the evening, and will be in celebration mode Friday.

Thanks for reading!
Brightest Blessings,
RH_med small