Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lemons and Lemoncake

There’s an old expression: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. These wise words are sometimes mistaken to mean an improbable optimism, denial of reality, or Pollyanna-ism. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of pessimistic naysayers who chide optimists that they are living in a delusion, and admonish them to stop wasting time pretending nothing bad is happening. They assert that those who glaze everything with sugar would do more to improve their situation if they would just embrace the doom and gloom and stop with the damn singing already.

I think those naysayers have got it a little skewed. Yet, it’s true that it takes more than just ladling sweetness onto a sour situation to make things better.

The world is not full of sparkly unicorns and harp playing forest creatures. Anyone who sits still and ignores a bad situation will only sink deeper, no matter how many affirmations they chatter and how hard they focus on wanting a better world. Some people claim they know a secret and assert mere visualization of what they want will change everything. Here’s a newsflash: Chattering and wanting and denial are not the ways to change things. Done with desperation, these techniques actually reinforce a negative situation. The chatterer is so focused on their desperation that they create an energy/vibration that attracts more of the same.

I think that changing a situation takes a number of simultaneous approaches. And I think these simultaneous approaches work no matter whether the problem is health, finances, love, or employment.

First, know that anger has its uses. Sometimes you have to smash those lemons to kingdom come and yell a little.

Anyone fighting cancer or other illness knows this. If you merely smile sweetly and murmur that things will get better and otherwise act accepting of the way things are now, guess what? More illness.

Get mad. Pitch a fit. Meditate at least daily and tell the illness that it is not welcome, has no part of you, and must leave. I have seen a friend with cancer literally yell at her illness. No comfort here, you damn cancer. No solace here, you damn illness. Get the hell out. If you are scared about finances then take a moment and state out loud what it is you are afraid of and what you want help with. It’s really important to say it out loud. And express your anger about it. You may have done this to yourself; it may have been done to you. You’re mad. It’s OK. Be mad. I had someone dear to me die suddenly and horribly and I yelled a lot. A lot. I still yell sometimes. (FYI: You can scream in your car if you are going down the freeway at 70 mph and no one will hear you).

There have been times when I have been clearing a house of negative spirit and I have had to get really angry and firm and yell at it to leave. Then, and only then would the bastard leave. Roar at the damn thing. You are powerful. You have the upper hand. The vibration you create is one that repels cancer as surely as sage clears out a room.

Second, take positive action. Ask for guidance: what can you do today that will effect your situation? Eat nutritious food? Take a walk? Take a nap? Organize your bank accounts? Write a better resume or CV? Distract yourself and laugh with a comedy film? Listen to music and soak in a tub? After you are done yelling at whatever is causing you discomfort it’s important to take positive forward action. If you are physically struggling, take measures to support your body and healing (eat good food, rest, walk, laugh, hug puppies). If you are dealing with finances, take measures to fix things (send out resumes, call in debts from friends, hug more puppies) or live within the situation (ooh, rice and beans are a balanced protein source!). When you vent your anger and then shift to a proactive state, you direct your energies in a forward motion without denying your pain.

For reasons too deep to get into in this post, when you acknowledge your pain and then shift to proactive forward motion you do your heart a great service. Your heart houses an energy center that reconciles your body's upper and lower energy centers. Your heart works hard for you at the best of times, and in times of stress even more so. So help it out. Vent the negative. Direct it away from you. If you just choke it back down your throat and deny it, the pain literally kills your heart. Is there any wonder we have so much heart disease in this country? Yell. Get it out. Then after you’ve sent the negative away from you, take positive steps forward.

Third, don’t do it alone. Involve a confidant. Ask a friend to be there with you. Now here’s some magic: this is really great if the confidant can physically be next to you, but it works via phone and via social media. And it’s the same for every religion and faith I know: two or more of us together has a synergistic effect on situations. Sit with your friend, literally or virtually, and intend wellness. If you can hold hands or bump foreheads or have physical contact, all the better. And know: Whatever it takes; however it happens; whatever is needed; you will know how, you will recognize what, and you will effect the change you want. Health. Income. Situation change. It’s a bit of a mystery, but doing this exercise with someone else really, really works. Solutions present. Doors open. Paths become clear and less scary.

Fourth (and this is key), be grateful. Be sincerely grateful for what you do have. It might not be what you want for the future but it sure as heck is your present and it’s what you have to work with so be grateful you have the tools you have. The universe loves gratitude. It rejects those who are ungrateful.

1-2-3-4. Wash, rinse, repeat. Do this routine as often as you need to. I think performing this little ritual at least daily when in crisis is optimal.

Will your world change immediately? Well, it could; it might. More likely change will be a process. But every process requires a start. And you can only start from where you are presently.

See you on the road.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Rock We Eat

Salt. It’s the rock we eat. It’s the crystal everyone uses every day. Most people don’t think about it as a crystal, but of course it is. It comes in all colors, all textures, and all prices. And in the 21st century, we are fortunate because it’s so plentiful that we take it for granted. Salt is vital to our human health and society. But there’s a lot more you can do with salt than sprinkle it on food.

It has been used as currency and paid as wages (the origin of the word salary). It was regularly mixed with green vegetables (leading to the word salad). It has been carved out of mountains, evaporated from rivers, scraped off dry lakebeds, and boiled out of brine. It has preserved mummies, provided a tax base, cured meats, manipulated economies, been used as building materials, inspired a Bible story, and influenced trade routes.

Too much salt in your diet will kill you; too little and you’ll die as well. Just as the ocean is balanced in its salinity, so are our bodies. We have to take it in with our meals. We love the taste it gives food. Eat a high meat diet and you won’t have to add much to your plate to get enough. Eat a vegetarian diet and you’ll have to add more than the meat eaters require.

Any magical housekeeper worth her salt (pun intended!) will be versed in the many other, metaphysical, uses for salt. Here are a few. I’d love to hear yours.

Adding salt to bath water makes a soak that not only soothes sore muscles, but draws out impurities, negative energy, and restores vitality. A cup or two in a typical bathtub of water and a twenty-minute soak will change your outlook. Taken four or more times per week and it will change your life. This is especially true if you suffer from any chronic disease such as arthritis, experience muscle fatigue from overuse, or are tense from stress or depression. It’s lovely to use fragrant salts and exotic grains from faraway lands (I’m addicted to Dead Sea Salts and Utah Salt Flat Salts), but the truth of it is, any table salt will do the trick and do it on a budget. When I’m low on cash I get a canister of Morton’s. It’s good for about two baths. Take your soak consciously. It’s a healing calm time for you.

Mix essential oils such as lavender or geranium with some canola oil and pour into a jar full of medium salt crystals. Voila! You’ve got a salt scrub to rival the ones at the expensive spas. (These also make excellent gifts). Use it regularly and you’ll have the skin of a baby.

Salt water is excellent for cleansing most crystals (obviously not the friable ones, or ones set in metal that will pit easily). Placed in the corners of your house, it will dispel negative energy. Sprinkled across your threshold and no negative entities will cross. Several Texas friends of mine maintain a circle of salt around their homes at all times. They swear by it for protection. A Beverly Hills friend sprinkles salt in all the rooms of her house at the edges of the walls, to the detriment of her carpeting. Hey, it’s priorities.

Salt lamps are easily found in shops for not much money now and, in addition to a hypnotic and calming glow, emit negative ions that are very healthful. Placed near a computer, a salt lamp will help counteract some of the electromagnetic smog that is now recognized as causing subtle negative health changes. I have salt lamps in every room of my house, and I will often find my cats dozing in front of one, paws folded in under their chins, in feline meditation.

I have lumps and bricks of salt in various locations of my house as well. I’ve noticed the house has better energy since placing them. Occasionally the cats lick them. You can find bricks of salt in gourmet cooking shops. They are as heavy as marble and have a gorgeous look and feel.

I’m reading a fantastic book on salt’s history. If you’re as curious as me, give it a read: It’s entitled Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky. The book is riveting to any history buff.

And yes, I’ve been to the salt mines. While in the Salzburg region with my friend Doug years ago I donned a silly outfit and descended into the Salzkammergut, a mother lode of salt that fueled entire societies in the middle ages. The atmosphere in that underground cavern was mystical and intoxicating. As we glided on a barge onto a subterranean lake I felt a stillness I’ve not felt since.

So when you next pick up your saltshaker, take a moment. Pour some into your hand and examine it. This is the stuff of stars. This is one of the primary crystals on Planet Earth. You owe your life to it. Use it consciously. Use it magically. Use it gratefully.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I'm at a weekend long workshop on mediumship taught by the incomparable Lisa Williams. OMG what a gift that woman has! There are 300 of us assembled here, and I can only imagine what the rest of the hotel is feeling emanating from our ballroom in the way of vibrations!

There is much for me to process and I'll relate a lot of it here in posts this week, but tonight I'm intoxicated on the energy of my many friends. Some I have met before through Lisa, and many I'm meeting in person for the first time after a year or more of online friendship through Lisa's site and through Facebook. Our little community of witchy woos is a good one and I have never felt as much love in one room as I experienced today.

Which brings me to the notion of synergy. Today we were much more than the sum of our parts. No matter anyone's individual ability, everyone was encouraging and sustaining of an environment in which it was safe to express feelings and beliefs. To look into the accepting eyes of someone who "gets it" is a precious thing.

I'm exhausted and falling into bed now, but had to leave you with this image: Lisa was reading for a lady named Justine, who was in the back of the room. The air conditioner was on the blink and it was stifling in the ballroom. Those of us who were in the path between Lisa and Justine were treated to great whooshes of cold spirit energy racing down the aisle, and this was most welcome!

I write about spiritual based living and use 'magic' as a metaphor for that; today we really had magic racing about - at one point I caught sight of a swoop of energy, sparkles and all. It truly is a magical world we live in; being aware of energy and incorporating it into your life and home makes it more worthwhile.

It's the New Moon, and an appropriate time to start work on projects. It's been the perfect time for this workshop as so many of us seek to sharpen our clairvoyant skills. Here, at the moment of the New Moon, Lisa has given us many new tools with which to work in the coming weeks and months. Thank you Lisa! Thank you, Stephen, for the reading. Thank you my many friends!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Siren Calls

Today I want the ocean.

I’ve successfully battled an upper respiratory virus this week. Did the prudent thing and stayed home and as a result I’m now pressed up against some work deadlines. So I must attend to those tasks.

But I want the ocean. I want her messy fish bits and kelp filled brine to wash over me and take away the last of this little illness. I want to smell the marine essence and hear the scolding gulls. I want to sit in the breeze at the foot of the cliffs, read Julia Child’s My Life in France, and fantasize I’m on the Gallic coast. I want the damp air to seep into my skin and I want sand to scrape against my toes and get stuck in every crevice of my surf slippers. I want to watch the long legged birds race up and back at the water’s edge as they dig out hapless crustaceans from the surf line with their long bills. I want a cold salty face and black sand under my fingernails. I want all these things and yet I sit in my home and take care of business.

So I do what any magical homemaker would do. I take a short break and sit with my bowl of shells and look at them, hold them, and feel their energy. The pyrite sand dollar has a gurgling blurb of peacefulness. I remember each shell and where I got it: Coronado, Playa del Carmen, Carlsbad, Catalina, Grand Cayman, Cabo, Tulum, Marco Island, Cape Cod, Jekyll Island, Old Orchard. I reach in to the jar of Clearwater Florida sand… the beach of my toddling childhood. I press my finger into the granules and feel their roughness. I remember Nana and Great -grandmere Mellie.

And I get up with a sigh, refreshed, and get back to work.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Full Pull

Ok, so I know Luna was Full, from an astronomical and astrological view, at some point mid- yesterday, but I didn't feel the Full Pull until very early this morning. I went outside at 3 AM and felt the moonglow on my skin and sat very still and soaked up the energy for about an hour. Very peaceful and beneficent. The autumn air was perfect and there was just enough of a breeze to demonstrate how the Earth has tilted and everything is different. I had my Stillpoint blanket with me, and I know it's just wool and silk but it seems to make a difference. It's a great blanket.

I went back inside just as the visiting Chinese parents of some neighbors were headed out to do their predawn tai chi. They have been signalling the dawn here for about a month now; outside doing a true sun salutation like mystic statues in the dawn air. Their ritual is oddly comforting to me each workday morning as I move around my kitchen at o-dark hundred feeding cats and getting ready for the commute. Their shadows play against my windows and imprint good energy. I'll miss them when they head home again.

Tonight - going to make more moonwater. Going to recharge crystals. Going to head out again, but earlier tonight.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Time to Ourselves

My Nana was a wonderful woman. As a child I thought she was the source of all happy things. Whenever Nana could be with me she was, and she always made life seem magical. We baked cookies. We wore aprons and she let me sift the flour, spoon the dough onto the baking sheet, and then lick the bowl. She brought me any stuffed animal I asked for, even when I requested a kangaroo with a little joey. My favorite thing of all though was when she spread a bed sheet on the carpet of her parlor and brought me her train case of costume jewelry. I could play with the jewels as long as they and I stayed on the sheet. I stuck her clip-on earrings on my baby earlobes and looped strands of costume pearls around my neck. I remember marcasite brooches and enamel pins. Clunky bracelets of gold and glass would slip off my hands and if any rolled off the sheet, her dog Mitzi would always nose them back on again, as if in some conspiracy with me to keep the magic there.

Even at the tender age of seven months I could already feel the intoxication of crystal energy...

Nana died when I was around five years old. My last living memory of her is of me standing in the parking lot of the hospital and watching her wave to me from a window. She remains my most steadfast spirit guide, and helps me daily.

Back in the time I describe, the time when I was little, Nana would tell me stories. She would pull me, crinoline and all, onto her lap, and smooth my hair and talk in low tones and we would giggle together. One of my favorite tales was of Gran-mere Mellie. Nana told me that Gran-mere Mellie was a beautiful powerful woman who was one of my great grandmothers from long ago. Gran-mere Mellie lived with her husband, my Great Granpa, and they were very happy. She told me how Gran-mere Mellie loved to take baths and always had the finest salts and talcum powders. Through Nana I developed an appreciation for the art of bathing not just for cleanliness, but for relaxation and rejuvenation. Since those childhood times the water and especially the salts have brought me back from the brink time and time again.

Nana told me it was always important that I remember to take long soaks when life was challenging. She would draw me a bath and sit by the tub while I soaked and played with float toys. We laughed at my conjoined toes and she told me that my little webbers were Gran-mere Mellie giving me a sign that I was one of her daughters.

Nana and my Grandpa had separate bedrooms and I remember once I asked Nana why they didn’t share a room. She laughed and told me that all women need their own room and some time for themselves. She told me that she loved my Grandpa, and that he loved her. In fact, she said, he loved her so much that he gave her a room of her own. This struck me as the height of romantic love. I adored her room. She had a collection of porcelain figurines and statues of men and women from the eighteenth century, Louis Quinze stuff I later learned. She had perfume and face cream and dressing gowns and all sorts of pretty feminine, girly things. Her room was in French provincial, while Grandpa’s was in heavy dark oak. She loved anything French. Images of Chanticleer dominated that kitchen we baked in. He now dominates mine.

Nana and Gran-mere Mellie knew what all wise women know: that we women give so much to others that we need regular time to ourselves to restore our energy and our magic.

So this weekend of the Full Moon, I’m going to set my crystals out to recharge. And I’m also going to retreat for a day of silence (and yes, ritual bathing) to rejuvenate.

See you later.