Friday, June 29, 2012

M is for Mushrooms

Photo by Shmuli

This week let's focus on Mushrooms...

No matter if you love them or don't, Mushrooms play a valuable role in my life in both the magical realm and the mundane.  They are apart of fairy tales and fairy rings and as a newly Vegetarian, I love to put them into many things.  They are my new "meat" and also a snack treat.

Now for my disclosure:

When eating mushrooms, make sure you know what kind you are eating....the safest kind to eat are the ones that you purchase from your local farmer's market or grocery store. 


Why do I need to even write this?  Because someone somewhere might be tempted to pick mushrooms out of their backyard or forest and eat them not knowing specifically what kind they are and if they are safe to eat.  Just don't do it.

There are many various kinds of mushrooms.  Some of them are poisonous and can cause psychedelic effects.  They can also kill you!

Because of their abilities to cause "visions" it is thought that the priests and shamans wanted to keep this little known fact to themselves.  After all, who wants their followers being given the ability to talk to their God, Goddess, Great Spirit or in my personal past experience watched a friend hold a very long conversation with a tree for over an hour.  (For the record it was not me!)

Just a few bits of Correspondence:

Diety:  I was unable to find a specific God or Goddess however I am going to list the Fae here.  Also according to an article written by Patti from, she writes that the Egyptian Gods consumed mushrooms.  You can read the article by clicking HERE.

Element: Earth

Planetary: Mercury and the Moon

Sabbat:  Yule

Intent: Visions, Protection, Creativity, Prosperity (as its nutritional content is high in Copper), Immortality, Strength

I am still doing research so I don't have too much information.  I hope to add to this in the future.

For further reading I would suggest picking up a copy of Magic Mushrooms in Religions and Alchemy by Clark Heinrich.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Magic in Meals

When I first started out this project, it was going to be entirely focused on food.  As always life happens.  I was unable to physically put in the time and effort I needed each week to research the items I originally wanted to write about.  Simply, there are not alot of resources for foods out there when it has to do with Magic.  There are a few cookbooks here and there as well as some books on herbal correspondence. 

The main book I have found that is my current go to is Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham.   There is a second book also by Cunningham called Magic of Food: Legends, Lore and Spellwork.

There are a few other books out there but they just don't meet my specific needs when trying to research correspondence and food.  So I have been creating my own for my magical use.

Why have I even began to take on this project started a few years ago.  I was talking to one of my friends and we were trying to think of how to simplify our spells especially due to the economy.  We simply just don't have the money to purchase many of the items we were able to a few years ago.  The money isn't there.  I don't have the money to burn literally and physically like I used too, this is specifically related to candles.  I just don't have the money for candles anymore.  Majority of my budget goes to food to feed my family.

So our conversation was basically about where could we "cut" corners?  What could we use that we already had an what we could not live without.  That is when I began to shift my focus to food.  It is something we have to use every single day.  We need to eat and drink to survive.  Why not take something we do every day, several times a day and turn it into something magical.

Why couldn't I find the "Magic in our Meals" ?

So I began to research, find books, articles, and I continue to do so to this day.
I have a few binders worth of recipes I have scribbled notes upon with magical correspondences.  There are recipes I only make during specific Sabbats, Esbats, and specific phases of my life (birthdays, funerals, baby showers, etc). 

Why not eat something from the mint family or green to increase prosperity?
Why not use things that are culinary aphrodisiacs in love spells?
Why not make cheese during Imbolc or have Cherry Pie during Beltane?

Shortly I will be traveling on a Sacred Journey to the Medicine Wheel in Wyoming.  I will be gone for a number of days.  I don't know yet if I will be bringing my computer with me.  After all its a magical journey I will be taking with my covenmates as well as a few Sisters of the Craft.  It will also be a mini vacation to get my Goddess on....LOL

Anyways, after I return I hope to return to posting about food for the remainder of this project.  At least I hope I will be able too.

So here is to returning to my roots and what I originally hoped for whenever I started this Pagan Blog Project and "Finding the Magic in our Meals".

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Walking the path of the Labyrinth

I have had the opportunity to walk the labyrinth a few times in my life.  They have been at:

Convocation which is a conference held every February in Detroit, MI
One year they created a night time labyrinth with glow in the dark sticks.  It was simply beautiful walking in the pale glow.

Pagan Spirit Gathering
The people of Circle Sanctuary out do themselves each and every year.  I had a profound experience occur in my life whenever I walked their labyrinth (a positive one of course).

I am also blessed to have access to three close to my home.

The Garden of Healing and Renewal, McLaren Hospital

Indian Springs Metropark has a small painted labyrinth in the Toddler play area.

Ravenswood's Covenstead, my covenmate Katherine creates a wonderful labryinth each and every year on her property. 

One of my favorite books I have read about incorporating the Labryinth into one's spiritual practice is
Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labryinth as a Spiritual Practice by Lauren Artress.  This book has provided me with with great tools to incorporate into my daily practice.  Recently, I found another book that goes with it called The Sacred Path Companion A Guide to Walking the Labryinth to Heal and Transform also by Ms. Artress. Both are very good books and I do recommend them.

Walking the labryinth is very special to me.  Each time I have done it something unique has happened to me.  Each experience though one would think would be the same (you are walking in a similar pattern each time) is completely different than the other.  I have reached clarity for problems I was looking for answers to, calming stressful mind, deciding upon a new venture in my life, plus many other things that have come from my walking labyrinths.  I am glad they are apart of my life.


Pagan Blog Project - L is for Litha (with children)

I was purposefully waiting to post my "L"s when it came closer to Litha.  I promise I will catch up and finish the project with everyone by the end of the year when this wonderful project comes to a close.

I am a mother of two children.  Both are boys and they are 5 years apart.

I have always found it difficult to share what I believe with my children.  I dont know why, it just has been.  I think possibly I don't want to force what I believe upon my children.  I was raised Roman Catholic and had to go to Catechism every week.  While I have very fond memories learning that faith with friends and family when I became older I did not feel as if it were for me.  It was not until I was a teen that I learned that one could change what they believe. 

I am apart of a multi-faith family that believes in different things.  We have Christians, Pagans, Native American "Great Spirit", and at one point also a Hindu (ex-sister in law now).  My mother in law is an amazing woman trying to celebrate or recognize each person's faith into the family celebrations. 

Here are a few things that I like to do with my children during Litha:

 Watching alot of fairy type movies and videos (lots of Tinkerbell and Fern
Gully) when he was younger.

We have made our own Sun dial in our yard one year.

Lots of Blowing Bubbles and sending wishes off in the sky towards the sun.

Made a fairy house and put near our big oak tree.

Have a picnic

Read this book:

Make fresh squeezed lemonade

Make lavender sugar cookies

Make a wish blowing a dandelion

Catch Fireflies in the evening

Go deer spotting at dusk in the woods

Visit farmers markets and let the children choose one veggie and one fruit to
eat for dinner.

We were going attempt to plant a garden this year, but due to my health and now
sun allergy we are forgoing that one again this year. We did plant some
cilantro in a container and its growing (so far) on my dining room table. LOL I
don't have much of a green thumb.

These are just but a few of things I like to do every year with my children...what do you like to do with yours if you have any?

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Litha and enjoyed the Sun!  Unfortunately, I can not remain in the sun for any length of time with out UV clothing because of medical reasons...It really sucks!  I just want to pitch a blanket in the backyard and bask in its glory and feel his warmth!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - K#2 "To Know"

Second in the series for the letter K is.....To Know

To Know is one of the first principles (elements, points, what ever you may refer to them as ) in what most of us know at the Witch's Pyramid or Hermetic Quaternary.  It is also known by many other names as well.  I won't be talking specifically about the Witch's Pyramid but knowledge in general.

Education for me is very vital.  I am one of the girls in school that would be labeled as a geek, because I loved LOVED going to school!  Some classes like History and Chemistry more so than classes such as Gym and English, but I always loved to learn something knew each and every day.  There is the moment in your head when you feel like you just don't get it and you want to repeatedly hit your head against the wall.  Then suddenly, that "light bulb" in your head goes on and you understand what the lesson is to be learned!  Those are great feelings and sometimes happens to us in Magic as well.

In my own use of candle spells, manifest boards, mojo bags, plus the other forms of spell work I like to use a similar feeling has occurred once or twice in my lifetime. 

Can you feel the sarcasam in my words?

It's happened to me quite a lot over my lifetime.  Some things work and some things do not.  In the beginning when I came into the craft more so than the amount it happens now.  Why?  In the beginning I didn't know anything.  I was trying to practice magic without any guidance and was alone in my early years as a teen in Lafayette, LA.  I knew of only one other person that was Pagan (Wiccan to be exact) and frankly I was scared to talk to him about it.  When I finally built up the courage to talk to him, he gave me my very first book, which in turn lead to be one of my staples throughout my life and I still have that book in my library to this day.  (It's in the form of its second copy because the first one I used so much the pages were falling apart, but the same title of the book.)

Before Eric I would cast many spells in the form of "How to find Love" many many many times.  Sometimes it would bring forth a person that would good for me for a time, and other times it led to disaster.  There were people that were brought into my life to teach me that I could love someone since I was a child of abuse and did not trust men for a very very very long time.  Then there were the people the spells brought into my life that I fell head over heels for and we were good together but not meant for one another.  The break up was brutal for me and I went back into not trusting men again.  Again, I had no clue what I was doing, where knowledge comes into hand in casting many of these spells.  I went into a time where I was not going to settle down with anyone.  I was going to dedicate myself to my studies and learn more about the craft. 

Many years later with a better knowledge of correspondence and understanding of things, I thought I would try to cast another "love spell".  This time what I did is I used one of my favorite spells written by Raymon Buckland.  I can't remember which book I saw it.  It was either his Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft which many of us refer to as the "Big Blue Book"  or it was in his Practical Candleburning Rituals: Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose.  I know that the spell I used was not written for love but for "Overcoming a Bad Habit".  To make light of a situation from my past, I dated alot of red headed men.  They (in general) were my bad habit specifically one in particular I was having trouble letting go of and from that relationship no longer trusted men once again.  I used much of Mr. Buckland's principles and also substituted many of my own to also include finding love.  I used a very long long narrow burrow (dresser) to place my many candles needed upon.  The timeframe it took for me to complete this spell was about a month.  Another difference is that I burned my candles (large pillars) every day and meditated compared to a weekly burning of them.  This was very sucessful as the day after I completed the spell, I went to Las Vegas where I met the man I would marry.  This year we will have known each other sixteen years and married for twelve of them.  We also have two handsome boys that are the mirror image of their father!

Our Wedding Day July 2000

Proof to my mom I would have dated him in High School. LOL

2011 right before I was hospitalized and diagnosed with Kidney Cancer.

Knowing the difference and use of correspondence from the first times I was casting spells to now, I am more sucessful now a days in my spell casting.   I have learned that each person has their own personal correspondence that works for them.  Say for example the color red.  Most people think when they see red about passion, fire, and love.  In my personal spells pink is the color that most represents anything love for me in my spell crafting.  For another friend, she has found that Orange is the color that works best for her (and she does not even particularly care for the color). 

Spend some time getting to know your correspondence.  Why do you use the colors, stones, herbs, etc that you use?  Have you tried to use something else in its place because you did not have a particular item and yeilded a greater response with a substitute?  Make sure to keep track of them, you might take notice that your Correspondence can change throught the Wheel of the Year as well with what Gaia makes abundance to us.  This is particularly useful to me within my Kitchen Crafting using my Meals as my spells and finding the magic in them. 

I have received many many emails asking when I will begin writing about Food for my posts again.  I will try to do one for next week for you.  Thank you for the words of encouragement.  I had thought that the interest in it diminished but alas, many of you proved me wrong! 

Blessed Be


Friday, June 1, 2012

Keeping up the the Joneses

So this week, I am writing about "Keeping Up with the Joneses".  Do you know what I mean by that?
It's a phrase that those of us have heard once or twice in our lives.  I have actually heard it quite often and also been accused of doing as well.  If you don't know what it means, its basically comparing yourself to your neighbor to see what your worth is.  For some people it is having the fancier house, car, trophy wife, latest smart phone, expensive clothing, you name it! 

This past week, I was watching the movie "Mona Lisa Smile".  In one of the scenes there is a wedding and one character turns to the other asking if she had heard the phrase and then points out that the couple they are talking about is sitting right there.  This made me think about my past, what I have done with my life, and where I want to go from here.

There is a competitive nature in all people.  To do better, and sometimes better than another person.  Is this wrong?  No, I don't believe so. It gives each person a goal to strive to achieve something greater in their lives than what they currently have.   Now there is a difference in my thinking though.  I think that if a person goes out and furthers their education to better themselves, that is a great financial or intellectual investment.  Now whether it is going to college, trade school, or simply reading more books from their local library to further their knowledge in a particular subject matter then these are all great investments.  I feel if a person goes out and purchases a corvette just because their neighbor or someone they know recently purchased one (and they can not financially afford one) then they are a fool.  However, if that person decided to save their money week by week, or get a better paying job, invested money wisely in something that turned around financial reward and then went out and purchased the car, then it is well deserved and may the Goddess give them the ability to drive it safely and explore the limits of the car within the legal driving laws of course.LOL 

I see and have dressed in many styles during my years of coming out the broom closet to who I am today.  When I first started out in the craft, I was quite teen.  The musical group Cure was big and I dressed similar to their style what I feel has evolved into today's Goth.  I had dark black hair with blue highlights, wore all black with lots of black lace and silver jewelry with as many symbols of the darkside as my mother and my friends mothers would certainly confirm that I could get my greedy hands on or as my allowance back then would allow.   Since being a teen, I have upgraded my silver plated jewelry with longer lasting steel, silver, and even a few gold pieces I have invested in over the years.  I normally don't wear more than one piece of jewelry at a time during my easy going mundane life as a stay at home mom.  These days its normally one of two pieces.  A black leather cord with a steel pent and silver Goddess figure that was gifted to me by my sister and best friend Katherine.  Or its the second necklace I normally wear that is a bunch of various stones on a string that was gifted to me by my friend and mentor Nora that I cherish because she has made such a difference in my life. 

Over the years, my taste have become simplier in life.  Not to mention the fact that I have a two year old that loves grabbing and pulling on my necklaces and earrings.  I have people in my life that love to display their necklaces and they will wear anywhere from one to twenty at one time.  For some people that can be a bit much, but frankly one of my friends can rock twenty necklaces at once!  She sometimes also wears a pent that is six inches in diameter as well.  There are some people that talk bad about "In your face Pagans".  My friend is definitely one of those people.  Do I love her any less, OH HECK NO!  I love that she is comfortable with who she is!  Does she love me any less because I only wear one necklace?  Nope, she loves me just as much as I love her and we will always have each others backs no matter what the situation. 

Ritual items are in the same as well.  There are those out there that think if you don't spend $100 on a chalice, ritual blade, BOS, etc that you are not a serious Pagan.  Not true.  There are Pagans that do not use an altar at all as well as those that can sucessfully use items they already own.  Kitchen Witches are wonder examples of people that can use what they have on hand and don't find it a need to have to spend money.  Another friend uses her favorite Magnalite pot on her stove as her cauldron, a wooden spoon for her wand, a glass from her cupboard as her chalice and so forth.  They are just tools that a person can use in their faith to be an extension of their magic.  The tools themselves are not going to create the magic because the magic is within you!  So whether or not you purchased your wand made of copper and various crystals and stones or whether it is a switch from your backyard both tools will hold the same amount of magic and energy you personally put into it!

In the past I have been accused of not being Pagan enough.  To them I say it is their problem not mine.  They have the choice not to practice with me or not.  The Gods and Goddesses I worship know I love them and that is ok with me! 

If you are new to the craft, please know that you do not have to purchase any fancy tools unless you really want to and its your style.  Also dress with what you feel comfortable with.  Whether or not its of a conservative nature, Vintage 50's (which I would love to be able to dress one day), or a futuristic style that you create all on your own.  Be true to what is in your heart and feels right to you, don't do it because the Joneses told you in order to worship the Gods you need X, Y, and Z, or because I told you so! 

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

New to Vintage & Bunny's Celebrating!

So the past few months I have been expressing my interest to my friends and family my new found love for something old....vintage clothing!

Today as I read thru my favorite blogs on the subject I came across Bunny's Blog "The Musings and Adventures of a Pinup Mama" and noticed that she is hosting a great giveaway!

All I am going to say is that if you LOVE MARILYN like I do, then you will want to visit her blog by clicking here!  There you will find out about Bunny's wonderful giveaway and what it has to do with one of the most beautiful women in American History (at least in my eyes). 

Bunny is celebrating the anniversary of her first PinUp shoot!  I could just hope to be beautiful enough to do this one day!  I would love to be able to pose for a photograph and look like a vixen from the 50's and give it to my husband! 

On that note, I should also let you know should you ever want to have a pinup created via Watercolors, check out Epiphanies Design!  The artist T.S. Lamb is a close friend of mine and brilliant artist.  I am just not in a place mentally to have my portrait drawn yet.  I am too shy and dealing with health issues that I just simply don't feel pretty/sexy enough right now.  I will get there one day though!

So make sure to check out Bunny's Blog and enter the contest for her giveaway!

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

Checking In

Howdy All,

This past week has not been kind to me....nothing has been my friend health wise.  Not my skin, my scalp, my body in general as I have been nauseas and vomitting all week with a 10 lb weight loss.  Not exactly the way I wanted to lose weight.  I have not been able to sleep, eat or drink anything and keep it down.  Yesterday was the first day most of what I ate and drank stayed down. 

My Cilantro Pineapple Smoothie was a comfort food for me, but alas I am out of pineapple.

Today I will be turning to my Basil Lemonade and hope it will help me out with the nausea.  I ate soup from my favorite Chinese Restaurant called China Wok that delivers to my home but I did go pick it up since I needed to run an errand and pick up food for Princess Leia as well.  She has been having a very sensitive tummy too!  I am switching her to Pro-Plan food on the advice of her Vet.

I have had little to no energy and every bone in my body hurting (shoulders and hands especially which is something new to me, but after researching is common among Lupus patients).  My scalp is just a mess.  I am developing discord lesions and they are bleeding as well.  There are three prominent spots on my scalp that are in pain and bleeding.   Here is a photo of one of the spots that is bleeding.

This is the back lower area in line with my right ear.  Eric says its about the size of a quarter right now.  There are a few other spots on my head this is happening as well.  I am also losing more hair.  I decided to cut it and highlight it to give it some dimension and hopes that the thinning is camoflauged a bit.  Here is what I look like since my birthday the day I had it done.

To get support I have recently joined a website called Lupus Out Loud .  After just being there for a few days I am learning about this disease and ways to cope and live life to the fullest.  I sparked a conversation about the Butterfly Rash and Cosmetics.   I received all positive responses from accepting the rash like the color of my eyes to recommendations for some products I have not tried yet.  Later I will be doing another video to follow up to the ones I posted on Youtube almost a year ago (before I was officially diagnosed with Lupus, which now I am).  You can see the video by clicking here for the video of the "before" and then for my first video with makeup for the "After" look here.  If you live with Lupus and wear make-up I would love to know what you have tried that works and what doesn't. 

Hopefully things will turn around for me.  I am just really tired of being sick and tired!

Thank the Goddess its Friday! 

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

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