Ripples from a Pebble Tossed in the Reiki Pool

I was blessed enough to be able to take my first Reiki class/ attunement last month.

I have been told in that past that I had the potential to be a gifted healer, and that along with many other influences, led me to this path. I’ve tried some different types of healing before, but nothing really clicked for me; nothing felt like it worked. I pretty much just gave up, and concentrated my energies elsewhere. When a friend of mine mentioned this opportunity, I jumped at it. I’ve been researching healing methods for years, and Reiki is one that I’d always been drawn to. The class was great. Yadira talked to us about the history of Reiki, what it is (and what its not), and explained how to do a self-treatment and a treatment for others. Then she attuned us, and we had practice time.

Trusting my intuition has always been a challenge to me. I’m a very analytical person, and I over-analyze and self-censor quite a bit. I’ve always felt like intuition is just guessing, and that my brain was just making things up. I’m not a fan of the over-analyzy part of my personality, but it’s there, and I deal.
I’ve never been very confident in reading (tarot, runes) for other people, as I’m always afraid of being wrong. Something that Yadira mentioned at the class really resonated with me. She mentioned that if you mention something intuitive, and the person doesn’t really agree with it, then it might be something that is working on manifesting, or that will happen in the future. (I’m really paraphrasing, here, as this is what I got from it). I’ve never really had someone say to me that it’s okay if the person doesn’t agree. My role is to be the messenger. It really clicked with me, and I took that concept with me to my coven meeting, where our main topic was to talk about tarot. We discussed the trepidation that most of us felt when trying to read for someone else, and I was able to explain how I felt about it now. It’s like that’s clicked for me, and that’s a very freeing feeling to have.

I went this past weekend to a workshop that she hosted, where we meditated and practiced reiki on one another. I was able to sense the difference between Reiki I and Reiki II practitioners’ energy, and that was interesting and surprising to me. It makes me really look forward to taking the second class and attunement whenthat opportunity is offered. I don’t really take classes very often. My desire to take a class and my financial ability to take a class rarely line up in such a way where taking a class is possible. I just feel so blessed that it’s worked out for me this time. I’m going to try to go to more classes, as learning from Yadira has made me consider some things that might make me a better teacher myself.

November 2010 Update

November is such a weird time for me. I know I haven’t blogged much, but I’ve been busy, and have been having some issues lately. But enough of that. On with the good!

A few weeks ago, I took my first reiki class, and had my first attunement. Those who know me, know that I’m an open minded skeptic, and while I wanted it to be awesome and work, I had this skepticism that I couldn’t shake. I’m always skeptical about EVERYTHING. It’s actually part of what brought me to my spiritual path. Anyway. Back to reiki… The teacher was phenomenal, and the coolest thing of all, is that it works. Doing reiki is something that I am able to physically feel in my hands, which is amazing, and after coming home and practicing, took a lot of my self-doubt away. I did a hands-on treatment for my husband, and I’ve been doing self reiki very often. Now, I’m just trying to figure out the practical logistics of how I would be able to give a treatment without igniting my back problem. It’s a lot of leaning and standing, and that’s something I need to figure out how to do, so I don’t need to drug myself up.

My niece is so big now, and she's more adorable than ever. She looks like a little person- it's amazing how quickly they grow! I'm going to need to plug my BIL's blog for her in my next post, but I have to wrap this up.

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving, and a short break from work. I need to regroup and figure out what I want from my career, and this might be a good time to do that.

For the LAST time, Wiccans are NOT fluffy.

.... well, perhaps those who call themselves Wiccan- solely because it's fun- are fluffy.*

But anyone who has any concept of the actual religion of Wicca would know better. There is this “Witchier than thou” bullshit that has made its way through the Pagan community, and it sickens me. Guess what? What we do is not more right or more wrong than what your tradition does. There is this strange misconception that Wicca is all about love and light, and harming none. This is incorrect.

The Wiccan Rede is indeed: An’ it harm none, do as ye will. However, the word “rede” means advice. Not law, advice. We are advised to do what we will, while it harms none. Most Wiccans believe in some sort aspect of the Law of Return, or the Threefold Law. This means that what we put out, will come back to us- summed up it means personal responsibility. Can I do something that might affect someone in a negative way and still be Wiccan? This is a question that does come up from time to time. The idea of what I put out coming back to me is what keeps me in check, regardless of the Rede.

Many people think that Wiccans shy away from protective magick that sends negative energy back to the sender. I am Wiccan, but I am also a Witch. I will protect and defend myself, my family and my coven sisters. Period. If I need to be the hand of the Gods and return what another person puts out, so be it. Does this happen often? No. Will I take responsibility for whatever backblow occurs? Absolutely. Will I still honor both the God and Goddess, celebrate the Sabbats and the moon, circle within the Wiccan ritual structure, use traditional Wiccan tools, and honor polarity, both light and dark? Of course. This can be a little different if one is part of a coven, as then we have hive mind and other issues at stake, of course- that’s where perfect love and trust come in (but that’s another blog post).

Generally, I think that Wiccans are associated with love, light, etc. because one of the goals that many of us have is personal growth and achieving a successful life balance. So, maybe Wiccans are more perky than your average Pagan? That doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing shadow work to get to know themselves better. And if they are- it’s none of your business. Our relationships with our gods aren’t your business either.

If you are a non-Wiccan witch and get offended and upset when people automatically assume you are Wiccan, examine that. Why do you feel this way? Wicca is the most widely known tradition of Paganism. Use it as a teachable moment, not a moment to clutch your pentacle (in lieu of pearls, of course), and gasp- “I’m not one of them!” Explain the difference, don’t propagate more misconceptions of Wicca. While Wicca is more structured than many other Pagan traditions, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for flexibility and self-discovery. This is just done with a healthy respect of polarity and balance. This isn’t fluffy- Wicca is more deeply faceted than you might ever think.

*In this post, I may generalize, but keep in mind, my generalization as Wicca and Wiccans, includes only those who are traditional-style Wiccans

Felt Critter!

It’s been awhile since I posted a personal blog. Whenever I feel like blogging about something, it ends up as a tweet or a status update, since I’m so rarely near a computer, lately.

This weekend, I went to Michaels and spent most of the money I had made on my jewelry. I bought candle and soapmaking goodies (candle making is spendy). I also decided to attempt to make a cute felt creature. It ended up looking like a zombie kitty, so I’m calling it a voodoo kitty. These are for things I plan to sell at Pagan Pride Day. The candles will be the most difficult, as I want to match all kinds of intent with scent and color, so I really need to plan those out accordingly. I bought an oil scent kit that I can use with both soaps and candles (along with my EOs, and my other scents I already have), and so I’m looking forward to planning it out and then doing it. I might spend my labor day laboring over candle making.

I’m hard at work on my felt critters. The photo is of my prototype, though I’m going to either blanket or whipstitch the top of the head with contrasting thread, rather than machine sew it- I think it will give it a cuter look. It was very difficult for me to try to move the material as I sewed the edges up. I’m used to sewing in a straight line (that’s all I can do), but for this, I had a lot of stopping and starting and moving and turning- it was very challenging. I also need to work on some jewelry, but that’s easier to do in a group setting, and in front of the TV. As Pagan Pride Day is in September this year, I need to get my crafty ass in gear.

Hitchhiking Ghosts?

So... this week, I've been feeling kind of under the weather. I don't know why, really. I'm not sick, everything else is fine, but I've been feeling really tired, and like, zapped of energy. I've been just wanting to lay down and watch TV, which is very unusual for me. I mean, sure, I lurve TV, but I'm always doing something else while I watch it- researching, crafting, etc. It's just very strange. Mercury isn't in retrograde, or anything, and everything seems to be A-OK astrologically.

However, I've come to a realization this evening. I'm wondering if, while investigating Founders Park uptown last weekend, if I didn't pick myself up a little traveler. It's not something I've ever dealt with before, so I really dont' know anything about what happens.

Over the past week, I'm constantly feeling bumped into, or I feel like I'm in a small wavy earthquake. A few nights ago, when all was silent in the house, I heard a voice in an empty room- a male voice that wasn't my husband or father-in-law. I just figured that somehow, a window was open and acoustically, the sound got in the room somehow, even though it was really late at night. I just stopped where I was, and, whilst I know exactly where the sound seemed to come from in the room, I just waited to hear more. Nothing. Nada. So, I wrote it off.

This evening, during my personal full moon circle, I felt anxious. Now, I lead circle in groups, so nervousness would be silly, as I'm very used to it. And afterwards I realized it's because I didn't feel alone. I felt like something was in the room with me. Not like "the Goddess walks with me" kinda something, either. And at one point that feeling just completely lifted, like it was never there. Very strange stuff.

So, I guess I'll do a little research and see if this sort of stuff fits the "attachment" ghosty profile, or if I might just have vertigo with a side dish of crazy. Either way, it's a new experience. :) Well, not the crazy side dish- that, I'm used to.

Founders Park (07-16-10)

I went to Founders Park Friday evening with Yvonne and Jen from GSLA. It was a whole lot of fun, though it seemed a bit of a slow night. We were dealing with a lot of background noise, from sirens to fiestas. Founders Park is a little eerie, but definitely feels like a park. Shadows are generated everywhere, due to the unique position of the park; there many streets that lead up to the park, so headlights light up the whole park. It would probably be easier on a week night, rather than a Friday night.

I felt drawn to a specific place, and again saw something in my minds eye, but failed to get any response, even on my recorder. However, I was able to find one possible EVP on my recorder. You'll hear me talk, a dog bark, and then a whispered word/name. Be patient, it may take a few moments to load.

To me, it sounds like someone saying Hannah.

Comparative Religion: LDS Church

I'm working on a comparitive religion project, and I'm using this forum for my notes as I research. :)

The LDS Church/ Mormons

Church Structure/Organization

Church is led by 15 apostles, the senior apostle is the president of the church- he chooses two others as his counselors. Together, they form the First Presidency- the highest governing body of the church. The other 12 form the “Quorum of the Twelve.” Leaders called “Seventies” assist the 12 apostles and serve throughout the world. This structure is thought to have come about from the New Testament. A Bishop leads a congregation, and his “parish” is called a ward. Several wards form a stake, and the stake president is the leader of that group of wards. Most members of the church are asked to help out in specific capacities, called “callings.”

Holy Book or Writing

• Bible
• Book of Mormon
• Revelations to Joseph Smith and subsequent presidents of the LDS Church
• Pearl of Great Price- writings of Moses and Abraham, as well as writings by Joseph Smith

Main Ethics/Rules
No alcohol, tobacco, tea or coffee
10 Commandments

Easter/ Christmas
Pioneer Day on 7/24- celebrates the day when Mormons first entered Salt Lake Valley in 1847
Minor holidays may include 4/6- founding of the church, and 5/15- John the Baptists appearance to Joseph Smith

Main Mythology / History
Joseph Smith was born in Vermont in 1805. Fifteen years later, he sees Jesus Christ and God the Father near his home in New York. In 1827, he obtains a set of gold plates from an angel named Moroni, from which he’d translate the Book of Mormon. These are finally completed and witnessed in June of 1829, the year that Joseph Smith is conferred the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist. A year later, the first edition of the Book of Mormon is published. During 1830, the LDS church is organized and six years later the first temple is dedicated in Ohio. As part of the mission of the church is to spread their beliefs, members are encouraged to go abroad. Brigham Young- a missionary- reaches the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. In 2006, church membership reached 12 million.

Key Points
- believe themselves to be a restoration of the original church of the apostles as it was in 1st Century.
- believe in the Holy Trinity
- believe that God still speaks to people, and calls his apostles
- believe in a “plan of salvation”

Interesting Points
Prior to the 80s, they’d emphasized their differences, in the 80’s started to focus on the similarities between LDS and the Christian church
Joseph Smith was murdered in prison after being arrested on false charges

Craft Newbies

Newbies In the Craft

All those who have a Craft practice were at one time, new. Whether it was something you learned from your parents, or a book you happened to stumble across in a library, we’ve all had our moment of newbieness, and most likely an eventual “coming home” moment. I was thinking about it this morning- those who come into the Craft come into it from many directions, and their momentum propels them through the n00b period in very different ways.

She Who Throws Herself in Wholeheartedly
This woman throws herself into her practice with all she has. She reads a few books, teaches herself how to meditate, and within a few weeks, is conducting solitary rituals for herself. She immediately identifies with the term witch. Most likely she is out of the broom closet and proud of it. She’ll make mistakes, as every newbie will, and at first, will probably shrug it off, but will eventually come to learn from them. Main lesson: You will make mistakes, focus on them, learn from them and try again. It’s okay to slow down- think about why you are doing what you are doing.

She Who Studies
This woman reads. A lot. She is surrounded by mountains of books, as she reads everything she can about the Craft. She thinks about doing the rituals, and can effectively work out all of the practical ways a ritual could be performed. She may be slow to embrace the “w-word.” She may be afraid to make mistakes, and because of this has still yet to perform a ritual. Main lesson: the Craft is about DOING. All of the knowledge in the world won’t make you a witch. Practicing will hone your craft- why do you think it’s called practice? You WILL make mistakes –everyone does-, but you will learn from them.

She Who Knows She is Great
This woman wants to lead a coven, even though she is new to the craft. She sees herself in a black robe, arms raised to the sky as her covenlings chant a mysterious chant. She knows that she has the power within her to lead, and other people will follow her and they will accomplish great things. She knows that she is walking in the shoes of a high priestess, and that once she can find enough people to start a coven, they will do great things, and enact many changes in the world. Main Lesson: Being a HPS is more than dramatic ritual and making change in the world. It’s hard work, not instant, and if you won’t do a reality check, the universe will do it for you.

She Who Balances
This woman has read many books on the craft, and after careful consideration, has performed her first ritual. She understands the reasoning behind the words that are said, and spends a moderate time in meditation. She’s a note-taker and while analytical, she understand that there are mysteries that can only be experienced, not explained. Main lesson: Things will not always go as planned, and there will be fallout. Nobody is perfect, no matter how hard one might aspire to becoming the “perfect” witch, your experience will be relative to your own life.

She Who Has a Toe in The Pool
This woman calls herself a witch, loves rituals, and sometimes spells and things of that nature, but she doesn’t like to study or work toward any sort of structure. She’s a free-flowing spirit, and doesn’t care for structure very often, as she feels that it binds her. She always lands on her feel when the winds of change blow. Main Lesson: One can create a focused practice that is structure-free and mutable, but is still a very meaningful practice.

She Who Knows All
She’s read a few of books, tried her hand at ritual a few times and has met with a few local witches in her area. Her spells have even worked. She’s been called to by a specific Goddess and just knows that being Her priestess will become her life’s work. She feels as though she knows a lot and begins teaching other newbies the things she’s learned from her books, though she’s only been studying and practicing a few months. Other people who practice differently, practice wrong. She learned the right way through books and experience, and if people don’t understand the way she practices, well, they just aren’t real witches. Main Lesson: There’s more to the craft than can be found in books, and a few months of experience. Wisdom comes from knowledge and experience, and the mysteries must be experienced. It’s not up to US to decide who the “real” witches are. People practice differently- and the way other people practice are not your responsibility, so long as they don’t affect you.

What type of newbie are/were you? Are/were you more than one type?

July Altar 2010

Just a little slideshow of my personal altar this month. I haven't had an altar up since April, really, so this is a nice change. I've had some mess going on in my back Craft room, so it wasn't possible until this weekend!

White Roses

White roses symbolize purity, reverence, loyalty and sincerity. They are also known as “flowers of light.” A white rose blooming in the early fall prophesizes and early marriage.

There is a version of the myth of Aphrodite’s birth in which as Aphrodite was born, risen from the sea, where the sea foam touched the earth, white roses appeared. Also, other myths surrounding Aphrodite say that she was often adorned with roses, and a rose bush grew within the pool of blood spilled from Adonis, Aphrodite’s murdered lover. Roses were colored red, also when Aphrodite pricked her finger trying to help Adonis. The blood fell upon the rose, staining it red.

In Arthurian myths, the white rose symbolized treachery. There is a fairie name of Rhoswen, which means “white rose.” In Islamic tradition, it’s claimed that a white rose sprung from Mohammad on his journey to heaven and was stained red with his blood. The white rose is also known as a symbol of silence. When Cupid was found toying with a nymph, he offered a single white rose to Harpocrates in his attempt to keep the matter quiet. Harpocrates is now represented holding a white rose against his lips.

Maybe it's in the DOING, rather than the THINKING.

A short, rather shallow, meditation last night led me to do some research this morning. I’ve been feeling disconnected on-and-off for months now, and rather than bemoan this fact, last night I decided to do something about it. I started changing around my altar, which has lately been a place that has accumulated items without a home. I have empty baby food jars, random candles, a homeless statue and other things on there. I started by finding many of the items a home, and then I decided to just light some of the candles.

I worked up another batch of tomato bug killer (in case it works), and set it in the windowsill, between the window and the screen, so that the sun might hit it and cook it. Of course, as it contains tobacco, I labeled the jar POISON, so that I won’t use it for anything I’d ingest. I think one of my problems is that my studio room has changed so much, I have a bunch of clutter that relates to my jewelry business that I’m trying to get off the ground, and there simply isn’t space for this stuff in the closet. Ben says that he’s cleaning out some of his closet, and maybe I could use that space. That would make me really happy. Plus, I’m still thinking about getting smaller jewelry spinners, because the big one is really beginning to piss me off, and it has no home. Anyway, I ramble. Hey- it’s my blog- if I can’t ramble on here, where can I ramble?
So, in the end, I did a short meditation. While doing this, one of the dogs came in the candlelit room and laid next to my chair. I focused on the ‘how’ of becoming reconnected, rather than the ‘why’ of the disconnect. Which leads me to my research project this morning- among other things, a big white garden rose. After the meditation, I made notes in my BoS, and realized that I am no longer used to handwriting. My ‘writing’ in my BoS is awful, unlike the emails I send, nor the blogs I write. It’s because my hand cramps so quickly when I handwrite, now. I wonder if there is a way to correct that. I appreciate my handwritten BoS/journals a lot- there is nothing like being able to go back 10+ years and see your experiences written in your own hand. Even if the quickly worded writing style doesn’t make you happy.

So, in the end- I feel that doing something witchy, rather than just thinking about it, wondering, analyzing it, will help to bring the disconnect I feel to an end. I tend to analyze things seven ways to Sunday before making any sort of move. But I think, that perhaps the idea is to just MOVE. To just DO something, rather than spend time thinking about it.

Craft Specialties

Today, I was thinking about how many witches in the Craft end up with a specialty of sorts. Whether its herbalism, astrology, runes or kitchen witchery, many witches find a niche for themselves by learning something that is very interesting to them. In order to become elevated to a higher degree, in many traditions, one must choose a specialty and study in it. It doesn’t mean you’d be the end-all, be-all when it comes to the subject, but that you’d be a resource to your working group when it comes to needing information.

I never really thought of myself as having a specialty, but I guess that if I had to choose one, it would be magickal herbalism. At least, that’s what I did my research paper on when *I* was elevated. Besides having an affinity for trees, I love being among the plants and flowers. And, I’ve taught a few workshops on it. However, I kind of grew away from it, when I was into reading “Green witch” books. I don’t believe that the trees in nature are God, any more than we are, and I have a difficult time believing that some plants are more sacred than others. So, my viewpoint differed from the norm, and I just have been doing my own thing. Its only now that I look back and realize that it’s ok that I don’t agree with some author.

I think I’m going to throw myself into learning more about specific herbs. After practicing for as long as I have, I know what several herbs can do… and I’ve made all kinds of fun things.. oils, tinctures, ointments, teas, incense…even a compress, once. I’d like to become even more knowledgeable, though. I’ve also been told that I have an affinity for healing. I haven’t had a whole lot of success with that, yet, but I’ve never taken classes. I’d love to take a Reiki class, but they tend to be a little pricey. So, besides magickal herbalism, I think the only other “specialty” I have would be communication and it’s affect on group dynamics. And teaching- I’ve done a lot of training, both Craft, and even at my mundane job. I’m still waiting to feel a pull to a divination tool… I started with runes, but have since moved onto tarot. I think it’s time for an in-depth study.

What’s your specialty?

Tiring Month of May

The only words I have to describe this month is... tiring. Work is crazy, and if I take any time off at all, it ends up resulting in more work for me, than if I hadn't left at all, because I need to figure out what's been done, and what hasn't been done. Political, especially. It will be better once the Lakers are done with the playoffs, so I don't have to worry about sending out playoff tickets, but I know its still going to be difficult, especially starting in September- November. I'm trying to do everything, but I'm afraid that things will fall through the cracks if I'm stretched too thin. My job is such where I can't hand off projects, because it's no longer project related. Everything has to do with some knowledge in my head. It can get emotionally tiring, and by the time I get home, I feel like my brain cells are all fried. But, I am very grateful to have a job, and when its not crazy, I really like it.

Two coven sisters and I are having a joint jewelry show in July (I think its 7/10). That's going to be fun, and I'm working on making a few things for that. Yesterday I worked on two prayer bead malas, a bracelet, a car charm, and a few cell phone charms. My main goal would be 7 pieces per week. I can do one piece per day, no problem. It's nice making things while watching TV.

We had an interesting coven meeting last Saturday. I won't rehash the details here, but you can read it at, if you want.

I'm also looking forward to camping mid-august. Yes, its at the beginning of the political window for the general election, but I'm fine with that. I deserve a vacation every once in a while. Right? We'll most likely be going to Big Bear, which will be fun, as I've never been there before. :) I can't wait!

Impatient Seamstress: Cosmetic Bag

This piece takes about 30 minutes (or less).


Cut a 2 pieces of fabric that are a little wider than you want your finished bag to be. I use the zipper I bought as a measure, because I hate math and would rather just never use a tape measure. I just cut it an inch and a half or so longer than the zipper. I like to just trim the edges down afterwards- better longer than shorter, right? The picture above is before I cut my big piece in half to make 2 pieces.

For height of the bag, just cut it a little longer than you want your bag to be. So, you have two pieces of fabric that are a little wider than your zipper, and a little longer than the depth of your desired bag.

Open your zipper package and remove the zipper from the packaging. I don’t know why they staple it down, I mean- it’s really wedged in the package, so it’s not going to bolt once the package is open, right? Anyway…


If you are don’t know/care what interfacing is and instead are using double-sided quilted fabric like me, choose which side will be the outside of the bag. Now, place the “top” of the fabric against the zipper. The darker print is the right/outside side of my cosmetic bag for this project. The right side of the zipper will be up against the right side of your bag. See how my zipper is facing the outside of my bag?


Pin and sew this. Repeat with the other side. Now you have both “top” parts sewn to the zipper- and it looks kind of like your bag is inside out.


Open the zipper a few inches (this part is important).


Now sew down one side of the bag- my mother-in-law told me to do a little reverse stitch to lock it in at the beginning and at the end of the line of stitches, and so that’s what I do!


Repeat along the bottom. Then back up the next side. Where the stitches cross at each corner, cut a little diagonal- this will help your corners look like actual corners, rather than nubs.


Trim any excess fabric off.


Then, reach into the bag, and open up the zipper as much as you can manage. It’s a little difficult since its upside down, but its doable with a little concentration. Well, maybe it’s just difficult for me because my fine motor skills are lacking. You probably will have no problem.

Once you do this, you should be able to zip your zipper up easily and you will have a lovely cosmetic bag.

Founders Park (3-26-10)

Just a post with some stuff for analyzing. I haven't gone through even fifteen minutes of my audio, and I have a few interesting things to post. I'll add more as I go along.

This was a little over a minute into just walking around in the park. To me, it sounds like a little girl saying "come with me." You also hear a "whoo" sound that is over the "me" part of the phrase and background whispering that was not us.

40-0125-comewithme by barefootwitch

This is from right after we talked about doing an EVP session. Jessica is mentioning a new device she just bought, and we hear a little voice chime in with a "heeheehee." Its really close to the mic, and you can hear how far away Jessica is. And it's definitely not me.

40-1253-Hehehe by barefootwitch

Using the "spirit box," Jess came up with "baby," and then we hear an odd sound that might be a baby sound?

42-1433-Baby by barefootwitch

I'm going to be editing this post with stuff as I find it.

Paranormal Investigation = Séance ?

In the world of Facebook, Twitter and Ning, it’s easy to find information on paranormal groups in your area. Many groups have a fan page on Facebook, as well as a website of their own, and possibly even a public message board. What one finds on the science-minded groups websites is almost always the same. “We don’t do séances, nor Ouija or Spirit boards. We use our (scientific) instruments to gauge levels of paranormal activity.” Now, to someone who is in the paranormal community, we know that there are no devices that have been created solely to gauge and/or prove paranormal activity (except for the Ovilus, etc- but it doesn’t seem as though the paranormal community accepts them, yet). Instead, we use devices that have been used for other purposes- audio recorders, EMF (electro-magnetic field) meters, video cameras. Investigators also use devices using existing technology adapted for seekers of the paranormal, like the K2 Meter. An outside person or client might not understand that, and the technology that we use might seem mysterious to them.

Merriam-Webster defines “séance” as a meeting to receive spirit communication. Séances and spiritualism become popular in the nineteenth century, and the popularity continued on into the twentieth century. Still now, in small “séances” people are using Ouija or other spirit boards- I’ve even seen a pink one at the local toy store. People at séances would try to communicate with spirits on the other side, usually with the aid of a medium. They’d try to get the spirits to speak using raps on the table, spirit trumpets (horn-shaped tube thought to magnify the whispered voices into a range that humans could hear), and of course the well-known spirit board. Communication was also said to be happening with the appearing of objects, or a strange smell- anything out of the ordinary.

In the twenty-first century that we live in, those trying to communicate with spirits will sometimes call in a paranormal investigation team. The team brings in all of their equipment: audio recorders, cameras, meters, thermometers and more. The team then asks questions and awaits the response of the spirit world. Can the spirit finish the “shave and a haircut” knock? Will they light up the lights on a K2 meter (the K2 is based off of EMF technology and an increase in EMF lights up the lights)? Many of these questions are asked, and we hope to hear answers once we review all of our recordings. Investigators also look for objects appearing or moving.

Today’s paranormal investigations are very similar to the séances of yesteryear. One difference being that most investigation groups do not connect their collective energies like those attending a séance might- by holding hands, or touching the same object. Besides that small fact, it seems like both a séance and today’s paranormal investigators use the same techniques. While our ancestors were listening to a spirit trumpet, trying to hear voices not on our frequency, so do we listen to our audio recordings, hoping for hidden words. Both séances and investigations use raps, or lights, or some other physical change as an example of communication. Both investigations and séances look for things out of place- however presently, we have the advantage of being able to view video to do so. Sometimes those on investigations use mediums, even to speak with the dead. There’s no reason to think the ability of today’s mediums would be better than the abilities of mediums past.

It seems as though these two ways of contacting the dead are very similar. Both use physical movement of some sort to gauge activity, both seize the concept of spirit voices unheard by human ears, but able to be heard using a device, and both communicate with spirits using the best technology of the day.

"Paranormal Project" Blog

I'm discontinuing my paranormal project blog. It was kinda silly, really. I'd rather just post everything about my life on one blog. This one! :) So, I'll just post everything here: my pagan stuff, para stuff, life stuff, crafty stuff (I've written the cosmetic bag tutorial, should be up within the next few days), writing stuff, and all that kind of stuff.

Anyway, I've uploaded a possible EVP that I got a few weeks ago here to test a new audio hosting site.

EVP-24-ABORTION ROOM-Whisper (Im Dustin)  by  barefootwitch

A Little Rant for Ostara

I'm taking some time off of getting ready for our Ostara celebration tonight. I've just finished compliling our ritual- in my coven, we all decide on key parts of the ritual, and we all help write it- and I'm getting ready to start my potluck dish.

Ostara is the name of a Germanic goddess of springtime, and the day bearing her name falls on the Spring Equinox, a day where the light and dark are balanced- literally. On the equinox, we have equal lengths of day and night. Ostara is a day to celebrate new growth, reverence for the Earth, slowly awakening from Her winter slumber, and also balance. That's the cliff notes version.

I was looking at all of the #ostara tweets coming out of twitter today, and a few reminded me of tweets I see every time a sabbat rolls around.

"OMG! How did I not realize that today was {nameofsabbat}! I must make last minute plans for this evening!"

The reason that you didn't realize that today was Ostara is because it's not important to you. If it was important to you, then you'd know. It doesn't just come sporadically. It's close to the same day every year. If you wanted to pay attention to the cycles of your environment, you'd realize that spring is on the way. Even if it's still cold where you are, the natural cycles will give you subtle hints. Or, you could just use a calendar to remind you of Her cycles and to tune into them.

Not that this has never happened to me. When I was solitary, and just starting out on my Craft path, I wouldn't realize that a sabbat was basically upon me, and I wouldn't do a ritual just because it was March 21st. I'd use that as a reminder that I should be tuning into the natural cycles of the Earth.

If you don't feel the seasons, and it's not a priority to be aware of the nature around you, or are still learning to do this, don't feel that you HAVE to do a ritual. Circle because you want to celebrate Spring. If you don't feel that its Spring yet, you can wait until you feel that it's Spring in your area to circle (unless you are practicing within a tradition that dictates otherwise). Don't fake it. Do what feels natural.

Ides of March Update

It’s been awhile since I wrote a personal blog about what’s up with me. And if you don’t really care about my mid-march Christmas newsletter, it’s fine- I totally understand. :) I know I missed the Ides - its the 19th, but so what? It sounded pretty good.

Everything is well. My (super adorable cutest baby in the world) niece recently had surgery, and it went well! My husband and I are happy, and both sides of our family are doing well. We went to a fun party a few weekends ago, and I made jello shots. I think everyone liked them.

SCGC – Local Paranormal Group
I know in a previous blog I said that I quit the paranormal group that I was a part of. Well, I didn’t, really. So, I’m still doing that – it’s so very interesting. It’s a mystery, not unlike the mysteries that those who follow a Craft path explore. What turns up on the photos, who is talking on my recorder? It’s so strange- in a sexy good way. I’m lucky enough to have met some really awesome people in this group- it was interesting having non-Pagan friends, as literally almost ALL of my friends are some flavor of Pagan. Experiences with these people have also peaked my interested in another spiritual aspect of my life, which I’m sure at some point, I’ll be willing to share more about. Probably. It seems to have been worth the obstacles I found in my way.

CTM – Eclectic Wiccan Coven
The coven is fantastic. I’m so lucky to be a part of this circle of young women. Well, I guess some of us are getting older. Like me. Are you still a young woman if you are over 30? Oh, eff it. You are as young as you feel, right? Anyway, we’re gearing up for our Ostara (spring equinox) circle tomorrow, and planning our Beltane campout. We’re also hosting a meet and greet next month for those who want to join us, and also a SCSW party- but really most of that ends up falling on the sisters who’s house we’re at for that. Our dedicant is over halfway through our dedicant classes, and we might end up taking more dedicants in the summertime.

SCSW – Witchy Social Group
SCSW stands for SoCalSisterWitches - a witchy women’s social group that we spun off of another inspired women’s group. Any witchy woman in southern California can join. We’ve had quite a few new members and I hope that they’ll come to the party in April!

Crafty Business – Twisted Vine Studio
Well, though I haven’t felt inspired lately, I’ve purchased a few displays. One is an earring display that was MUCH bigger than I had anticipated and now I have nowhere to put it. Suckage. That’s my bad. I don’t’ even have enough earrings made to fill it up. Ha! I was planning on using some of my bonus money last month to pay for my business creation paperwork stuff, but it ended up having to go to bills instead. Well, eventually, I’ll get that taken care of. Until then, I’ll work on marketing ideas, inventory and display ideas. I do have a website, although I’m having an issue with getting the paypal to work. You can add stuff into your cart, and fill out your shipping/billing info, but not actually pay. Hilarious! Oh well. I’ll get it there eventually. I did change the look and I love it now. It matches the earthyness of my marketing materials. I need to re-do the Midnight Artemisia logo, though. If you want to look around (since you can’t actually buy anything- LOL) its at

Other Ventures – Writing, etc.
I’m still working on my Wicca 101 book- its going to be a culmination of my classes- marketed toward study groups, and solitaries needing some structure. I also have an idea of another book, but it’s in a completely different genre and is about relationships. I also might start teaching online classes through my own site, since I installed moodle in a subdirectory of my shop site. If I could make a little money through that, it would be nice, but I’d have to find time first, right?

Wicca - Witchcraft - Paganism

This is a question that I get a lot, so I thought it was blogworthy. This is my opinion, how I view the terms- it's also a very common opinion.

What’s the difference between Wicca and Paganism?

Paganism is an umbrella term used to describe several earth based and/or non-Abrahamic religions. Dianic, Goddess Path, Druidry, Wicca, Asatru, and more all fall within this term “Pagan.” Each of these paths (traditions) have their own holy days, their own way of doing ritual, their own traditional structure.

Wicca is a specific tradition. Those who are Wiccan celebrate the full moon (and sometimes the new moon), called Esbats, and at least eight seasonal celebrations called sabbats-usually in ceremony called rituals, sometimes followed by festivities and feasting. Wicca is often confused with witchcraft, as many Wiccans are also witches, but witchcraft is a practice, like prayer or meditation and many Wiccans do not practice the craft.

Wicca has no central dogmatic authority and each coven/group ( or solitary practitioner) is autonomous. There are many different traditions ( Like denomination) of Wicca. The practitioners of the original tradition of Wicca, called British Traditional Wicca, believe Wicca to be an initiatory religion (meaning one MUST be initiated) and can trace their initiatory linage back to the first high priest of Wicca
Due to the popularity of Wicca, many other traditions have sprouted up, and many solitary practitioners learn about different traditions and practice what calls to them. These solitary practitioners are more predominant than those in covens, and are referred to as Eclectic Wiccans.

The ethical core of Wicca is the Wiccan Rede - " An it harm none, do as ye will ". This advice is what most Wiccans try to live by as best as they can. There is no central book of Wicca (though a plethora of books have been written on the subject), and the practitioner usually keeps a journal of notes and experiences in a book usually referred to as a Book of Shadows (sometimes Book of Light or a Grimoire).

An eclectic Pagan will utilize concepts and ritual from different paths, finding the way that best works for them. An eclectic Wiccan will utilize concepts and will usually honor deities from different pantheon, but they still follow all of the concepts above, and also practice ritual using the traditional Wiccan ritual outline.

What’s the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft?

Wicca is a religious path, described above.

Witchcraft is a practice, like meditation or prayer that can be applied to any path. Most Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan.

Witchcraft is the practice of magick, usually to create change on the physical plane of some sort (including changes in ourselves or other people). This is referred to as low magick or thaumaturgy. This differs from ceremonial magick- which is a different sort of path- and referred to as high magick or theurgy. Many people practice witchcraft and call it their religion- those people capitalize the name and call it Witchcraft, but most believe witchcraft to be a practice that can be applied to their personal spiritual path.

Granada Theatre: Lessons Learned

This weekend I went on a paranormal investigation with the group I’m in; we went to the Granada Theatre in Ontario. It was a very interesting experience. Not so much as in the paranormal activity, though I haven’t yet reviewed my stuff, but in a different way for me. It was a great opportunity for me to figure out how I need to grow as an investigator, as well as recognize the skills that I already possess that make me the investigator that I am. I learned a lot.

1. Just because I heart my Nikon, doesn’t mean that it’s very helpful on an investigation. It won’t take a photo / the flash won’t activate in a dark room. Now, probably there is some way I can bypass it, but why bother, really?

2. I need to become more confident in asking questions in an EVP session. I overthink what I’m going to say, and worried that I’ll sound dumb, or stupid or say the wrong thing. It’s the same reason I refuse to do voice chat and I avoid picking up the phone. It’s something that I probably won’t get over completely, but I need to either remember some standard questions, or just get over worrying about what other people will think. It’s just one fun facet of social anxiety- yay!

3. I also need to stop being afraid of speaking up. Period. I need to mention if I hear a weird noise or something, because here its important, not something to treat as a normal occurance.

4. I need either a K2 or another way to be able to read my EMF meter in the dark. I love my meter, but it’s hard not to be able to read it. I have a workaround in my head- maybe a small unbright glowstick- like the mouth ones for ravers?

5. The ability to meditate has made it easy for me to just sit still, silent and unmoving. Apparently, some people can’t do that?

6. I follow direction well. If someone tells me to be quiet, I will be quiet. I don’t see the reason to have a conversation while other people are trying to have an EVP session – what can’t wait for 10 minutes? I think that might go back to meditation- I don’t feel the need to fill the silence.

7. I’m not sure when I lost complete fear of the dark, but the ability to sit in a completely pitch black old theatre without any anxiety is really awesome for me.

8. My little bag that I made held up fairly well, so that was a little “yay”. The strap didn’t break, even with the big Nikon and the camcorder in the largest pocket. The recorder slipped out of the pocket, though, but it was fixed by using the clip on the recorder.

9. It was fun to use my IR thermometer, but it’s hard to tell where you are pointing in the dark. I need to figure out how to use that a little better if I don’t want to permanently blind my teammates.

10. Thick socks. Always pack thick socks. My feet were ice.

11. I need to practice opening myself up so that I can be more “sensitive.” This was kind of my dry run in this respect, and I did get some impressions (one I had no idea about until afterwards, and the name I got wasn’t the one a psychic had given our guide). I need to figure out a way to practice this. Trying to do this in a group of like eight people –as someone who is trying to get used to it- was a little difficult. I might take a little trip up to Founders or something and see what I can sense. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday. Expand my awareness or someshit. I had a pretty good thing going on at suicide bridge, and heard a voice and saw a dark figure there, and got EVPs when I was in the place I was drawn to. I’d love to go back there again.

12. Also, in regards to sensitivity, I’d like to figure out a way to take notes of what I’m feeling- I guess I could speak quietly into my recorder, but that might seem like ‘evidence’ to another person on their recorder.

And that’s what I learned this weekend. :-D I’m still going to work on that bag tutorial. Also, a cosmetic bag tutorial, too. 

Creative Impulse: Bag Without a Pattern

So, Thursday at work, I was hit with inspiration to sew a bag that would let me have easy access to a few of my paranormal tools when investigating. I mean, men have jackets with an assload of pockets. Women's jeans aren't made to really hold a lot of devices. I was looking at a vest, like a fishermans vest, but they are UGH-LEE! (Wow, just had another idea, I'll save it for later in the blog entry*)

So, I decided to make a bag, open on the top for easy grabbing of stuff. It would have a few good size pockets, one large pocket, and the strap would have something to slip an audio recorder in, so I wouldn't have to hold it, and could use my hands for other tools. Hah. That almost sounded dirty. Anyway. I'm not much of a seamstress. My mother in law taught me how to thread a bobbin, thread my machine and push the pedal and sew! That's pretty much my knowledge base.So I knew that I'd have to make it super easy so I wouldn't get frustrated and frog the whole thing. I'm going to try to post a tutorial with photos when I make my next one (if this one holds up tonight), but I wanted to share how easy this was. It took less than an hour to make the bag part - it has four outside pockets, and one big section in the middle. I use the quilted material, because there is usually a contrasting pattern on one side, so it makes it easy. Plus it's a little padded and thick, so I don't have to use "interfacing?" I think that's what its called. I really have no idea what that is.The quilted material is a little expensive ($20 / yard), but if you wait until it goes on sale, then its usually only $10-$15, and you can make several projects. I have a brushroll and a few cosmetic bags (figured an easy way to do this, too) made from a yard of quilted material.

Anyway, the strap took longer than the bag, because I hit a snag- originally I wanted to have elastic straps to hold the recorder, but that was a total fail, so I made a contrasting pocket instead, which seemed to have worked pretty well. Wide double fold bias tape covers the raggedy edge of the quilted fabric, and voila! I had no idea how to sew on the strap, so we'll see how well I did with that.

*I just had a thought- maybe it would be possible to make a sash with pockets (think girl scout or miss america). I saw some low-key black quilted fabric when I picked this up. It would have to be wide, and the right length...  but could work, and would still be a better alternate to ugly vests for women.

I'll try to get a tutorial put up this week on this project, or how to make a super easy cosmetic bag. Its fun to make random stuff!

Coming This Week...

... my first blog giveaway! I'm pretty excited. And no, its not for something witchy or crafty- not this time. It's for a beauty product that I really like!

And things change.

I've decided to leave that paranormal group this morning. It was dumb of me to stay anyway, I guess.

I just re-read my little ranty blog entry and evidently I was pissed and needed to vent. I'm not pissed any more, nor do I remember being that pissed, but it kind of lets me know that I made the right decision.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I can't still have the interest, or investigate on my own, just that that specific group wasn't a good fit for me, at least not right now. There are several reasons why it was a good idea for me to leave- I should have looked at them as indicators or signs, rather than challenges to be overcome. ‘Cause seriously, sometimes it’s really difficult to discern between the two. The group is great, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a paranormal group, but evidently it wasn’t for me right now. I think the post that the director/leader posted this morning was the clue by four I needed.
It’s a bummer, because I was really looking forward to investigating with like minded people, and helping families in need. But, this is good on several fronts. I’ll have more time to spend with the hubby, and plan on peeling him away from WoW more often to go places on the weekends, which I know we’ll both enjoy. I’ll have more time to be a better leader in my coven, and more time to focus on some witchy projects. I’ll also have time to craft jewelry more often. This year is going to be about me.


Some resolutions for 2010
  • I’m going to craft only when I feel like it- not when I feel like I should.
  • I’m going to start a daily practice.
  • I’m going to run my crafty selling as a *side* thing for fun! Not for the fame, fortune and money, but because I enjoy it. When I stop enjoying it, I’ll stop.
  • I’m going to be okay with the natural cycle of enthusiasm- sometimes I will feel sick of participating in anything. I‘ll know I need to ride it out.
  • I’m going to eat more vegetables, and find a fun way to exercise.
  • I’m going to stop feeling like I *should* do this or that, and instead do things I want to do. Watch more TV. Meditate more, or whatever!


10 Things to Learn Before Calling Yourself Wiccan on a Public Forum

If you call yourself Wiccan on a forum, in a chatroom, on a message board, etc... here are 10 things you probably will want to learn/know. If you are speaking with those who have read at least a book or two on the craft, they will expect you to know at least a little about the religion since you are claiming to be a practitioner. If you don't care whether or not another craft practitioner takes you seriously, then feel free to completely ignore this post. Be aware that this is my opinion. :)

1. Know that Wicca isn’t ancient- it’s only been around about 50 years or so.
2. Learn what the word tradition (trad) means- and that if you don’t know what it means- you are probably eclectic.
3. Learn what a pantheon is.
4. Learn the difference between Wicca and witchcraft… and Paganism.
5. Know enough about Salem Witch Trials to *at least* know that witches weren’t burned there.
6. Wicca isn’t about spells. Well, not entirely. Talk to other Wiccans established in their practices to find out what their main goal is. Answers, of course, will vary.
7. Wicca is the religion, Wiccan is the practitioner.
8. Know that Wicca does not equal Goth. Nor does it equal Hippie. All kinds of people practice Wicca.
9. Learn that polarity means Goddess AND God.
10. Know that money doesn’t buy you a degree or experience in Wicca. Neither does age, or how many years one says they've spent learning the Craft. There is no shortcut.
11. People lie (especially on the interwebz). I can say that I've spent 60 years practicing an ancient tyme craft of the ancient cavepeople. That doesn't mean it's true. Use your common sense.
12. The word "rede" means advice. It doesn't mean law. The Wiccan Rede is advice- not Wiccan "law."

Okay, so that was eleven. I know... but that last one I came up with as I was editing the post.
And I added #12.

TMP Post: Thursday, July 07, 2005

For the record, I don't hate teachers at all. This one isn't all that funny. But it amused me this morning.

maas_1432001: i am m29 form india
ivyfyre: Congratulations.
maas_1432001: ur form?
ivyfyre: Form?
ivyfyre: 1050 EZ?
maas_1432001: thnx
ivyfyre: Is that the right form?
ivyfyre: I always screw up my tax return.
ivyfyre: Are you from the IRS?
maas_1432001: no
maas_1432001: i am from india
ivyfyre: Oh.
ivyfyre: Then why did you ask about my form?
maas_1432001: ya
ivyfyre: Yeah.
maas_1432001: just
maas_1432001: ur doing job?
ivyfyre: Only if my job requres sleeping.
ivyfyre: Do you like to sleep?
maas_1432001: y not
ivyfyre: why?
maas_1432001: but i am woking as a teacher
ivyfyre: I hate teachers

Clue by Four, Please?

Tonight, I went to a meeting of the paranormal group I'm a part of. We had a wonderful and very knowledgeable guest speaker. I took pages of notes and learned a lot. I had a nice time... was more comfortable, socially this time. I do struggle with awful social anxiety and this was the first time I came away from a meeting not weighing the idea of quitting due to my social anxiety. However, there were more cracks about witches/Pagans from an uneducated standpoint, and I'm thinking again that this might not be the group for me. Misconceptions that everyone share in (that I don't have a chance to change) make me completely uncomfortable. An offhand joke here or there during a lecture from a guest speaker- or even from other members during past meetings is making me increasingly uncomfortable.

Todays fare included talking about Santarians practicing at a local cemetary, and murmurs about that being scary shit- evidently they leave the carcasses of goats and shit there? Well, I've known of people who have practiced Santaria and animal sacrifice. According to my research, usually, the animal is honored and treated with dignity and respect, and given all kinds of happy things like tasty food, etc. Then it's humanely killed (way more humane than the chickens we eat) and part of the animal is consumed as a ritual, and then the rest of the animal is used as a sacrifice. They would never leave dead carcasses around- how disresepectful! Don't get me wrong, that path is definitely not for me- but there is a big difference between those who those who are Santarians, and those who practice a darker (or wannabe) flavor of something and call it Santaria. Same thing with Satanaism. There are plenty of people who practice LeVeyan Satanism- and it has nothing to do with the fallen angel Lucifer, or demons, that I've found in my research. No calling up of the dead. Neither is my flavor of spirituality- not even close, but I feel sad for the stereotypes and ignorance floating about out there.

Another comment was made about the show Paranormal State. One comment was in reference to Eilfie, the Pagan in the group. It was mentioned that she obviously didn't know what she was doing. "I mean, she's supposed to be a 'witch' or whatever, and her ritual ended with Amen? I mean, come ON!" I'm not saying she did the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram correctly. Not at all. But much of that ritual is based on ancient jewish/hebrew prayer. So, the word Amen is not out of context at all. There are varied flavors of Paganism- some are Wicca or witchcraft based, some are Norse/Celtic/Roman Pagan based, some are based of the mysticism of ancient cultures themselves like Kabbalah, or even some of the recon traditions. Some are ceremonial magic based. Some eclectic Pagans learn about these different paths and blend them together to create a practice that reflects their personal belief system. Its not all about Wicca or aversion to terminology.

I'm just over it. I can't interrupt a lecture to correct without sounding like an overreacting douche. I can't say that I'm offended without seeming like a oversensitive whiner. The strange thing is that I AM offended. Do you know how difficult it is to offend me? Seriously. I've been told I'm going to hell, I've been told that I should become Christian, that people will pray for my hellbound soul, people mistake my pent for a star of david, I've had the cops called on my covens circles, and I was never really offended. I guess I was okay with all of that (and more) because I know that these people have the best intentions. I guess the difference here is that it's just funny to people. Something for people to be afraid of, or laugh about, instead of wanting to learn the truth about it. Or caring about it.

I guess I'm just spoiled because I surround myself with positive and tolerant people. Those who are ignorant, I have a chance to educate. Even the hardcore Christian friends of mine know that I'm nice, have a good heart, and believe that positive paths are the way to a good life and afterlife. I answer any questions they have, and explain my path. I am blessed to be surrounded by such people. My family, friends, co-workers, coven sisters (CTM), social witchy sisters (SCSW), and my other witchy friends who invite me to their open circles. This includes their significant others, and their friends and Pagan family. I see myself as a good person, with a kind heart and good intentions. Usually. ;) I'm blessed to have friends and family that see past the pentacle and seemingly "weird" religion to see that I'm just like everyone else.

I'm just not used to being around such oblivious ignorance. I don't blame them, either. It's not like I dislike anyone, or anything- ignorance isn't an awful thing by itself- its not their fault... I'm just kinda shocked that it's getting to me. I really like everyone- its a great group, and that's why I'm still sticking around. I want to continue in this paranormal group really badly. The founder is doing an AMAZING job. Seriously. I'm in awe of her organization skills (and those who know me know that I know organizing- LOL), and it makes me want to participate so bad. But when I come away every time feeling upset, it makes me think that maybe this group isn't for me. But who am I to tell people to change? I wouldn't want people walking on eggshells around me, or worrying if I might be offended. Gah-that makes me anxious thinking about it. Right now, it seems lose-lose to me.

I need to realize that not everyone will be comfortable with the idea of Paganism/Wicca/witchcraft- I'm not used to that. I don't know- I really feel drawn to this group. Maybe I have some life lesson to learn within this situation- just waiting for Brighid's clue by four. I'm sure it's on its way.