lydamorehouse: (Default)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
The Lap of Love folks have their own memorial page for pets and so I decided to add Ms. Ball. If you'd like to see a bit more about how Ball got her name and came to us, there's a short bit of a story about her under the "about" tab: You are welcome to leave a "candle" there, if you like. (It all appears to be free.)

But, there's no need to make a special effort. I have very much appreciated all the comments left here for her and in support of our family during this horrible time.

In other news, because life goes on, I've decided to take on a rather unusual project for the next year. One of my Solstice gifts was Llewellyn's Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac. Even though I'm getting a late start, I thought I would attempt to do each daily spell for the rest of the year. I will report on them here, probably a bit like I did with Ms. Ball's update, under a cut, in case my pagan practices aren't terribly interesting to you. But, nearly every year I vow to be "more witchy" and this seemed like a fun project to undertake. Plus, I have long followed the Tarot for Yourself practice of figuring out my personal "year" card, and, by chance, this year I have Temperance.

Aquarian Deck:Temperance

Which, according to Greer (my Tarot book author) means when applied to the year: "Developing health and haling practices, testing and trying out your beliefs and philosophy, creative combinations." (emphasis mine.) Seems like a good year, then, to try something like this.

I should probably put out there, before I begin this, that I'm very much aware that Llewellyn is in the BUSINESS of magic, and so, I will likely be critiquing some of these spells based on how much their ingredients might cost a newbie who might think they need the exact oils, herbs, soaps, etc., and will be offering cheaper alternatives (or practices that involve buying NOTHING.) I have, myself, been practicing witchcraft since the early 1990s, so I will be taking a lot of these spells with the proverbial grain of salt. If there are ones that I feel are ill-advised I will post about why I think so and see if the previous years' almanacs have alternatives that might work better.

But, even so, there's no harm in trying a project like this. I think it will be a fun away to be more mindful in my practice.Test out my beliefs, think about my philosophy. These are good things.

Sunday, January 6.

By chance, my first spell in the almanac that I'm starting with is called "Stone Spell for Reaching Goals" by Ember Grant. "Write your goal on a small slip of paper and fold it in half. Visualize yourself completing your goal... Place paper on your altar or other social place and set a stone on top of the paper. Use either aqua aura quartz, aventurine, or a clear quartz." Then, she suggests a chant: "Success will come with motivation/planning, and determination./Setting forth with heart and soul,/I know I will achieve my goal." Then, I'm to leave the paper and stone on my altar until I've achieved the goal...which, I guess, in this case, will be a full year.

Obviously, I chose to write down the idea of spending a year with the Spell-a-Day project.

I didn't have aqua aura quartz (though you can get a nice shard of it on Amazon for about $15.) I might have aventurine around in bead form, but you can get that for much cheaper (Etsy for 9 bucks.) But, I did have a nice big clear quartz crystal lying around (the bonus of having been a witch for so long, we've simply accumulated this stuff), so I used that.

The stones all have similar properties, clear quartz amplifies intentions, protects against negativity, can be a symbol of new beginnings. Aventurine is more specific to luck, and to boost your chances at success. Similarly, aqua aura quartz is more focused on success, it's a stone "of the mind" that supposed to help amplify your thoughts. Obviously, all of these are good for setting intentions, though I personally wouldn't worry if you didn't have any of these around, as the point of them is to symbolically strengthen your intent.

In an unusual turn of events, I actually liked the rhythm and meter of Ember Grant's chant, and so I read it three times as I placed my intention on my altar.

I should note that I'm lucky enough to be a homeowner with a lovely space upstairs in a room we call the "sunporch." It's heated and is all windows (three sides), the majority of which face east. We have a permanent altar space there, which currently has a statue of Bast and a winter decor. I tend to change the altar cloth and design once a month, or when the moon is full.

Monday, January 7.

I've been reading ahead to make sure I have what might be needed to hand and I noticed that today's spell was a morning meditation. After I dropped Shawn off at work (Mason is staying home to grieve Ms. Ball and recover from the stress of her illness), I stood outside with my coffee to observe the world and to practice a kind of gratefulness that the world continues. The spell today was called "All is Well" and was designed by Barbara Ardinger. It is meant to be a reflection on change, she writes, "While it can be hard to deal with change, it's best to remember that change is always with us...." Then she suggests "if it's not too cold where you live, go outside early in the morning and look around. See the rising sun and know there is always a new dawn." She goes on to suggest that you try to imagine the new promise of spring as it lay dormant under the snow and in the buds on trees.

I was surprised to discover our silver maple tree does actually have buds on the tips of its branches already. Of course, the weather has been very screwy here. Normally, in Minnesota, the temperatures are well below freezing, but today it's supposed to reach 40 F / 5 C. As I stood outside, a crow flew noisily overhead, calling to its companions. A whole gang (murder) of them joined her and they all noisily flew off towards the rising sun, in the east. Two squirrels dashed about, like they do, nibbling on the tips of our red maple at the top of our hill. The air was filled with the usual, hushed morning urban sounds of traffic. The temps were warm enough that I could easily imagine spring on its way.

Then, I came inside and sat in front of my altar for a few minutes, just quietly thinking about life. I was supposed to repeat a phrase from the medieval English mystic, Dame Julian of Norwich: "All is well. All things are well. All manner of things are well..." but I wasn't feeling it. Instead, I just gave silent, grateful thanks for the Goddesses' bounty and that life does continue on, despite setbacks, heartbreak, and grief.

All and all a very positive meditation for me. I tend to like morning meditations as I'm a morning person--which seems very un "witch" like, but there you have it.

Date: 2019-01-07 04:40 pm (UTC)
mephestopheles: (Sad Steve)
From: [personal profile] mephestopheles
I am so so sorry to hear about Ms. Ball ♥ Losing someone as important as a furry friend hurts in ways can't always articulate. My heart goes out to you and yours.

Date: 2019-01-07 09:33 pm (UTC)
ayebydan: by <user name="tiffany1567"> (hp: finl battle)
From: [personal profile] ayebydan
♥ I've been there with a kitty loss. Many underestimate it but it gets you in the gut. I hope you come to remember the best of times.

Date: 2019-01-07 10:12 pm (UTC)
ayebydan: by <user name="pureimagination"> (Default)
From: [personal profile] ayebydan

Date: 2019-01-10 06:16 am (UTC)
evilpettingz00: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilpettingz00
What a nice memorial. :) Also, when I first saw you posting about her, her name immediately made me think of All Ball. :)

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