Sunday, September 30, 2012

Menu Plan

This week's Menu Plan is as follows:

Monday:     Mom = Hot n Sour Soup (Veggie Version from my favorite Vegetarian Slow Cooker book)
                   Boys = By request, Pancakes

Tuesday:    Spaghetti and Meatballs (Sshhh, the guys ate it up last week, no clue they are Veggie Patch!)

Wednesday:     Mom = Pasta with Veggies
                        Boys = Chicken Pasta

Thursday:  Going to try to talk E into going out, no Shaun tonight.  He's going to Grandma's.

Friday:     Fish  & Chips Friday (Yes I still eat fish. It's one of the few protein's that doesn't make me sick.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pagan Blog Post - I want to be a Traiteur

Now did you read that right?  I spelled T-R-A-I-T-E-U-R.  not  T-R-A-I-T-O-R.

Traiteur is a Cajun word that means "treater".  Some would probably be more familiar with the word "healer".  It is a system/tradition of healing that is not highly publicized.  Maybe because most common folks would see a traiteur and instantly think about faith healers.  Some people believe and some do not.  Majority of the people I personally know (non-Pagan) do not believe in the power of healing by touch or spirit.

I have always wanted to be a healer.  Mostly I practice upon myself and those close to me.  It has mostly been simple things such as toothache, headache, muscle cramps, stomach ache, etc.  My research has expanded into what the normal world would label as "Alternative" Healing.  I am ok with being "Alternative"  when the mundane world's approach doesn't work, I do look for alternate ways to heal myself and make myself better.

As most of you who read my blog regularly know, I have kidney disease and now Lupus.  When we had no clue about the Lupus, my doctor and I were at lengths trying to keep me off of dialysis.  So far to date, with his help as well as my own, we have succeeded.  For those that know what a creatinine level is what known to be the reliable factor in measuring the kidneys function.  A normal woman would have anywhere from 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams per deciliter.  When I was first diagnosed my levels were at 12.2 Grams so in the same measurement it was at 12,200 milligrams which is high. My doctor prescribed various medications and after months of his treatment the number only lowered to around 9 grams (9,000 mg).  I began my research, there was something I could to do help heal myself.

I began my research with Crystal Healing, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, as well as began to study a form of  healing called Chios Healing Energy.  Its very similar to Reiki to me.  I am still learning about it as well as Reiki itself .  I also have been cleansing and aligning my Chakras as well.  My main focus primarily has been about Touch and Nourishment.

If you research Traiteur yourself, you will find they are a majority of Christian based healers.  To date, I have not found another Pagan (besides myself) labeling themselves as a Traiteur and I use the term very loosely as I still have a problem seeing myself as one.  My main practice has been on myself only and will most likely be that way for some time in the distant future.  I plan to create my own system based off of my spirituality of being a daughter and priestess of the Goddess.  I will include all forms of healing I can possibly learn and want to use every source I possibly can to defeat my illness.  Whether its magically supported or medically supported I believe combing the magic and the mundane in healing can yield great results.  

I can remember vaguely instances where my grandmother would heal me.  I have memories of not feeling well and she would pick me up, sit in her chair and rock me.  She would put her palm on my forehead and also sing to me in Cajun French.  The pain would always go away after a few minutes of being with her.  I think she had the gift though she probably would never fess up to it because she was very humble.  I can remember the smell of the food from her kitchen and even on my most nauseous of days, would want to get out of bed and eat what she cooked  specifically her catfish coubillion which is a spicy fish stew.  I want to utilize whatever healing traits I can find within my being to serve myself, my family, my friends and my community.  I want to be like my grandmother.

So yeah I want to be a Traiteur.  I am going to be a Goddess Traiteur.

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

Monday, September 24, 2012

R for Remembrance

Samhain is quickly approaching.

One of the major things that happens here at the Hearth of the Hunter (aka my home) is that our family's altar turns into specifically a larger version of our Ancestral Altar which is out all year long but take primary the focus on a much larger scale.

Being sick this past year has made me focus a lot more on when my time comes how I want to be remembered.  These past few years I was blessed by the Goddess to make friends with a wonderful woman I consider a sister.  Her name is Nora Cedarwind Young.  She has been a mentor to me, a friend, and someone who has taught me many things.  One of the things she has taught me is what I am going to share with you know.

Nora Cedarwind Young, ConVocation 2010
Photograph by Crystal T.

You see, Nora is a Death Midwife.  Her business is giving those who want them the tools to learn about dying with dignity within their home.  Teaching their family members what needs to be done to preserve the body, what forms are legally necessary plus many other important and valuable tools.  For more information about what it is she does, please visit her website Thresholds of Life.

One of the main exercises that Nora taught me is how do you want to be remembered?  When I first met her I was no way sick, and never thought about what would happen if I died.  In her class I took at PSG in 2008 when I first met her transformed my life.  Every year, during Samhain, I sit at my dining room table and pull out a notebook that contains my thoughts on what I want done when I die.  This includes many information such as my wishes to be an organ donate, what items I possess to be gifted to those I love, right down to what music I want performed at my burial to whom I want to perform it (you reading this Wayland Raven???).

After I review what I have written in the past, its time to make any corrections in my wishes that may have changed since last year as well as my yearly writing ritual of writing my own Obituary.  Yep you read that right, I write my own Obituary.  Every year things happen in our lives, some good (like the possibility of more children) and some bad (being preceded in death by a loved one).  Accomplishments can happen that one might want to be recognized for should the Goddess call me back into the Earth that we might want others to acknowledge us for when we pass on into the Summerland or while we are gone until we return again.

One of the websites I like to use look at when I prepare for my yearly writing is  There is a section that talks about a life using only six words.
One of the phrases I like is “I coloured outside of the lines.”  There are even a few books about the subject as well on Amazon.

This year for Samhain, I hope you join me in creating a new tradition for yourself if you are not doing it already.  In addition to honoring your Ancestors, write your own Obituary and honor yourself as well.

Blessed Be from,
Crystal T.

Pagan Blog Project - R for Reality

I know I am a few weeks behind in the Pagan Blog Project.

I have been busy with everyday life, being sick, starting a new medication routine that involves a lot more trips to the hospital than I wanted.    This past year of being sick and passing my "anniversary" of being told I had Kidney Disease has been sort of life altering.

It has brought me to thinking about death more than I choose to do so, but had to come to the reality that it could possibly happen much much more sooner than I expect.  I have responsibilities that need to be taken care of should something happen to me.

Every day I wake up, I thank the Gods I am alive!  I am grateful for another day to spend with my children, my husband, my family and friends.  I try to live the best I can each and every day.

Long ago, I wished I lived in another reality, one of that of Charmed to live in a beautiful home, or that of Samantha where I could wiggle my nose and my home be suddenly spotless or dinner prepared and set upon the table.  Ok, I admit, I still want Sam's ability, especially when I am having a rough day.

My reality is that the children need to be woken up each and every morning and prepared for school.
Healthy meals need to be prepared, beds made, diapers changed, dog fed, and the list goes on and on.
Some people just don't realize how much work a SAHM (stay at home mom) does on a daily basis.

I don't have the time to always hold a formal ritual in my home.  I have a very demanding three year old that gets jealous when I pet the dog too much. LOL  (For the record, he wants to pet the dog, not that I am spending too much time with the dog.) LOL

So I have been trying to incorporate my spells into my everyday chores.  There are a number of blogs I like to read that include domestic witchcraft.  Of course one of those well known blogs is that of Mrs. B.  If you don't know who she is, her blog Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom are fantastic.  You can read them by clicking HERE.

Another one of my favorite blogs I like to read are that of Dawn Marie Howard.  She used to have the blog named Domestic Witch, and in the past year or so has changed it to her own name. If you scroll thru her entries under "Witchery" you will find wonderful information.  She is also the owner of a shop called Sightly.
One of my favorite entries is when she writes about Sigils.  I have taken that practice into my own home as well as my kitchen for an added boost to always create meals made with love.

These are but two wonderful and knowledgeable women that have taken mundane aspects of being a housewife, homemaker, and mom into something magical.  They have inspired me to bring my magic into my everyday reality.

I know do cleansing and healing spells everyday when I am taking a shower.  I imagine the illness or negativity being washed from the top of my head down my body into the the swirling whirpool of water as it leaves the tub's drain.

I make a linen spray for when I iron my DH's shirts made from Bergamot, Jasmine, and Musk for prosperity in the business place.   I also use other linen sprays made specifically for the master bedroom as well as a Monsters Be Gone spray for the boys rooms that are sprayed upon the bedding. (I also think having Princess Leia has helped with keeping the bad monsters away also!

For the life of me, I don't understand why he takes off the pillow cases every day!

These are just a few examples of how I have brought my magic into my everyday life.  Being sick I want to honor my craft and practice it daily as much as I possibly can.  Doing so, helps me to live a magical life in my everyday "Reality".

I hope everyone had a blessed Mabon!  Bring on Samhain and complete this year's Turn of the Wheel!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday's Supper - Dinner at the Table

So here it is Sunday and I am trying to figure out what to plan for our menu for the week.  It's been raining the past two days so I do not want to go grocery shopping in the rain.  I want to be a good Housewife!  However, I have to also deal with reality...I hate shopping in the rain!

One of the things that DH and I strive for is to always eat at the dining room table for our nightly meal.  We started it when we first moved in together back in 1996.  I was amazed to the fact that whenever we went to his mother's we always had dinner at the table as a family.  My family back home we really never ate at the table.  I can remember doing it as a child, but once I "grew" up, it was no longer a requirement.  We were always so busy that sometimes being able to just eat at the same time was a treat in itself being under the same roof.  Whenever DH and I began a family of our own, this was one of the things we both wanted to start as "our" family tradition.  Another thing I had to get used to is that I guess in the "South" people tend to say "Supper" over "Dinner".  That was something I had to get used to. LOL  So whether or not you have Sunday Dinner or Sunday Supper, I hope you have a good one!

Looking on hand in our freezer and pantry we do have enough things to get us through the entire week.

Here is my current and tentative plan:

SUN:     Boys Menu - Baked Chicken with baked potatoes (even loaded!), cucumbers
              Moma's Meal - Sauteed Mushroom Onion blend and a Baked Potato with Dayia,
              Bacos, and Earth Balance Butter, cucumber salad

MON:     Spaghetti & Meatballs (Shhh....The meatballs are vegetarian, don't tell the guys!)

TUE:      Taco Tuesday! (The boys get the meat version while Moma uses "Match" substitute for hers!
              (Goddess that brand of meat substitutes are AWESOME!)

WED:     Pork chops in the slow cooker
               Moma's Meal:  Salad with whatever items she has on hand.              

THU:     Chicken and Rice
              Moma's Meal:  I eat the rice and make a stir fry with peapods, bamboo shoots, mushrooms,
              carrot and broccoli.      

FRI:       Fish sticks and Mac n Cheese for the kids
              Tilapia for Mom and Dad (Fish is one of the few proteins that does not make me sick,
              so i still enjoy it once a week!)

SAT:     Don't know yet...Moma needs to go grocery shopping!!!

So anyways that is the plan for this week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sacred Birch Society - Mabon Celebration

This past weekend I was privileged to lead the Mabon Rite.  I made the focus of balance apart of this year's ceremony.  Participants were asked to wear both black and white if at all possible to give a visual effect of balance.  We also had a larger number of men join us this year which helped with the balance of the Masculine to Feminine energies.

Photo Courtesy of Etain Butterfly.

Please excuse the weird expression on my face.  I can only come up with I must have been talking when Etain took this photo.  With my current health, I chose for a simple altar compared to the amount of items I normally would haul to ritual.  For cakes and ale, it was cinnamon rolls with fresh apple cider from one of the local cider mills here in Michigan.  It was also the first time we had a "garage" sale or swap that I think went rather well and hope we can do more in the future.

Mabon definitely is one of those Sabbats that I just adore.  It's never too hot, nor too cold temperature wise.    The state will soon turn to color and the trees will look like different colors of fire from all the yellows, oranges, and reds plus all the other wonderful colors in between.

I long for the beauty of Autumn, come on crisp cool breezes, vibrant colors, the final harvests, the ability to wear long sleeve shirts without sweating your butt off, and putting the extra blanket on the bed to help stay warm at night.

I hope you have a wonderful Mabon and vibrant Fall as the wheel turns again.

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

Mabon Bounty

A few weeks ago, my friend Tiff shared her bounty with me from her share of her CSA.  She had plenty to share and gave me all of this bounty.

She baked a few loaves of bread and gifted me with one of them as well.  That loaf did not even make it until the next was devoured during that night's meal.  In the photo above we have cucumbers, cantaloupe, green onions, green beans, the bread, a lot of kale, lettuce leaves, onions, chard, dill, and basil.

Then she gave me all these tomatoes as well!

This ended up being my dinner that evening.  I made a massaged Kale salad using a honey ginger balsamic vinegar.  I then made a tomato, basil, onion with mozzarella pearl salad, cucumbers with fresh cracked pepper, and then garlic green beans finished off with a rice pilaf mix the boys love.  The first three items were of course raw.  The green beans I needed to cook.  I did not like their taste raw.

I am so grateful to have people like Tiff in my life.  She is a good friend to me and I appreciate everything she has done for me and my family.  I am definitely blessed to have met her.  Thank you Tiff if you are reading this.  Please know your friendship is cherished, even if I don't express it enough.

This Mabon I am so grateful for many things in my life, especially being ALIVE!  I hope you have a wonderful Mabon and Harvest!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vegan MoFo Coming to the Cauldron !!!

This year I plan on participating in Vegan MoFo.  Well considering that I am still trying to keep up with the Pagan Blog Project, I will be "inspired" by Vegan MoFo.

During the month of October, I plan to post at least 20 entries devoted to Vegan Food.  Not vegetarian, but Vegan.  This means I am going to have at least 20 meals that will include nothing from animal. As of today I still currently use Honey (my major vice) and occasionally use milk and cheese.  I know my downfall will be the use of honey in my that is why I am going to be influenced by Vegan MoFo.  I won't be focusing on the drinks, just the food I eat.  I am taking little steps here....

What this means is hopefully there will be more posts about food should that be the reason you visit this blog.
Every Monday in October, I will post about the meals I eat that are not only Meatless, but now for October, also Vegan.  This is going to give me a crash course in what Vegan is and also reading more food labels!

So if anyone knows which brands are Vegan, please by all means, comment below and let me know your favorites so I can start the planning process for October meal planning!

If you want to know more about Vegan MoFo, please visit their website by clicking HERE.

If you know what Vegan MoFo is all about and wish to formally participate, you can do so by going HERE.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Quill pens


Many times I  have heard the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword".
This famous phrase is coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839.

To me words hold a large amount of power.

My very first BOS that I used was written by the power of a quill.  I lost it in Hurricane Andrew back in the 90's.  Now afraid of putting all that effort into something I have these past few years gone paperless and its stored on my laptop.  The really "REALLY" important stuff I still hand write in a journal of the things I want to keep "forever".

However my quill is one of those items I have packed away that I wrote about in my previous post.  So it has not been used for a number of years. When I used it, it was a very important tool I used within my Red Tide Magic.  I want to get back to my roots of what I used to do.  Handwriting spells instead of typing them on the laptop.  Putting pen to paper and actually creating something physical for my magic to manifest.  I also used to make paper a long time ago which I want to get back into making as well.

As I go through my boxes in the basement and take inventory, whenever I find my quill one of the first things I am going to do with it is make a list of goals I wish to manifest.  I know it is packed away with a few sheets of the paper I made years ago.

Writing down my goals will help me manifest them.  I will put my list upon my altar and look at it for a daily reminder whenever I do my daily meditations.  Looking at them everyday will be a reminder of what needs to be accomplished.

Lastly, whenever I find my quill I will update this entry and post a photo of it.

Happy Friday!

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.

Quest for a Pagan Paradise

For many years, I have had this fantastic dream of owning my own "Pagan Paradise".  I wanted a home settled on a huge amount of land in the middle of nowhere.  The problem is, my husband works in Detroit and I am a stay at home mom.  With a single income, our "Paradise" will not happen anytime soon.

With my health issues I have encountered this past year, our medical bills have risen quite high.  One of my prescriptions that is necessary for my kidneys costs $847 per month.  That is for only one prescription!  I take 12 different medications.  I am also getting ready to start a new one called Benlysta and I have no clue what that one will cost.
Photo taken in my back yard few years back. This is the smaller of the two trees that need to come down.
Its not as pretty now as it was when we first moved here in 2004.

So my idea of 80+ acres secluded from most of the "world" will cease to exist.  My quest for a cabin in the woods will have to wait until probably retirement (if we can even afford it then).  Over the past few weeks I have been trying to go through boxes of my books, tools, all sorts of items I was waiting to use until we found our "dream house".  Statues of the Gods and Goddesses that I own that were packed away for safe keeping.  Totes and totes of books that were in storage because I simply don't currently have the shelf space for any of them.
One of the items I was saving was my Triple Goddess Statue my husband gave to me for my birthday in 2011.

She's too freaking beautiful to be in a box.  She will be going onto my new altar in my bedroom.
The artist for this beautiful piece is Mickie Mueller and available at Sacred 

So these next coming weeks, I will plow through my home, open every box I have put away for those "rainy days" and take inventory.  Over the course of while these treasures have been in storage, I may have an immediate need for them (like quite a number of Coventry Creation Candles I purchased last year at ConVocation) and some items I purchased in Salem over a decade ago that are still in their original wrapping that I no longer have any need.

The books will be sorted into the ones I know I want for my library, ones I want to read prior to their departure and ones I know I no longer need.  Many of these items will either be sold at the upcoming SBS "Barter, Trade, & Sell" after the Mabon Ritual.  Some will be given to friends I know want them, and the rest will be donated to the Tempest Smith Foundation for their raffle for the 2013 ConVocation.

Thanks to the help of my Coven sister Katherine, she has already helped me in the process of sorting through some of my goods.

Why am I doing all this?  It is apparent that we will not be moving into our "dream house" anytime soon.

As I look around my surroundings, yes my home may be small to some, but it is indeed my home.  I live in a neighborhood that is very close to the one I grew up in (however the neighborhood I grew up in was predominately family).   I trust my neighbors around me with my life and that of my children.  There have been many occasions where I have needed the immediate help of a neighbor and they gladly gave it.  Should I need to wake them in the middle of the night, I know they are willing to help my family should I need to be rushed to the emergency room.  It's already happened.  There are four families around me that I know my children are safe with should I have to go to the hospital as well.

Should something happen to my car, I live in a community that I am within walking distance of my family doctor, dentist, grocery store, pharmacy, and general merchandise should I need their services. I could not get more "greener" living in an urban area by being able to walk to all my necessities.

 I live in a good community.  I am happy here.  When we bough this place we thought it would be a transitional home for just a few years.  However, now as I look at everything in our current situation I can see this being our "30 year home".  Some things need to be changed like a few trees removed that might not make it through the next few years of winter for the safety of our home and our neighbors (they are really really really big trees).

I also want to start landscaping and planting roots literally and physically.  I kept a few old plant catalogs to see what kinds of plants I want to plant next year.  I want not only flowers, but herbs, vegetables, and possibly a couple of fruit trees should I be able to convince my husband.  I would also like the addition of a privacy fence.

I don't know exactly how much land we own, its quite small.  I don't think its even a 1/4 of an acre, but it is ours.  But I do know I am happy here, yes I need to be a bit less of a pack rat, I save a lot of different things for special occasions or hold onto them because someone I love gave it to me (even though I might not like it at all).  I can see I am in a different kind of Paradise.  I just need to change a few things to turn it into my "Pagan Paradise".

My besom is hanging in my kitchen that my mentor Jackie made for me many years ago.

My mini-altar on the kitchen window sill.  You can see the second tree that needs to come down in this photo too. It only shows half of its trunk that is how freaking big it is. 

My favorite stained glass pent that my friend T.s. gave to me is above my kitchen window collecting the sunlight each and every morning as it rises.   I just need to organize and make better use of my space.  I feel a house clearing coming on as well as a new blessing for our permanent home.  Time to make the switch from "temporary" to permanent.  This is not only the house we live in, this is our home.  Now to make it one (instead of looking like someone just moved in with bare walls and more unpacked boxes than what is being used).

So the Quest for a Pagan Paradise is over....I've already found it.  I just had not realized it until now!  That is what I am thankful for this coming Mabon, having a good home, great family, and appreciating the things I do have in my life!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Blessed Be,
Crystal T.
Related Posts with Thumbnails