Sunday, October 13, 2013

Darkness Shining Brightly

Dove Arthur Dark Abstraction 1917

As part of Magaly Guerrero's "All Hallow’s Grim 2013… So Good, So Dark", I offer you some of my thoughts on Light and Dark...

 Just the words 'Dark' or 'Darkness' can elicit a wide range of emotions. Feelings of mystery, covert operations, fear, curiosity, uncertainty, sensuality, bondage, depression, death, dying, introspect, a Stephen King novel, Lydia from Beetlejuice, or any of the Addams Family just to name a few.

Darkness, for witches and pagans, simply means an absence of light. Nothing evil there. We understand that without darkness there cannot be light. And vice versa. Each lends balance to the other. Except for clowns. Apparently clowns scare the beejezus out of a lot of people... but that's a post for a different day. ;-)

Night time offers peace and solitude. It can be a time where your mind is able to be quiet, or where you are able to delve into thoughts you had throughout the day that you could not fully concentrate on because of the daytime external noise. Jobs, family, running errands, etc.

Photo: Alexander Binder
We all have a shadow self; a "dark side" if you will. Finding the light within the darkness is an exercise in self-exploration and self-acceptance. Our ability to face and embrace this aspect of ourselves is what can keep us mentally and emotionally healthy throughout our lives.

The beauty about darkness is that it offers us an opportunity to see that which is hidden. We can learn to overcome fears... or have a blast being scared out of our wits. After all, isn't that why horror and spooky movies make the big bucks? ;-) From Bela Lugosi to Stephen King and Freddy Kruger, the successes of horror stories and films make for a fascinating study in the Human Fear Factor.

Meet Dexter!
Are you a person who is uncomfortable in the darkness of your mind? Do you sleep with a light on? Do you pull the covers over your head if you hear a bump in the middle of the night? Take a moment to delve into that brightly lit imagination you have, the one that exists in the dripping-with-fear darkness in your mind. Visualize something of beauty, a rich color that you favor, or a kitten!

Look at Dexter over there to the left. He was a lost little kitten who found his way to our front porch. Scared and lonely, crying in the dark. And a ball of black and white cuteness. Of course, he is named after the lead character in the Showtime series "Dexter". We were so sad that the series had come to an end. And 3 days after the last episode, this little sweetheart showed up. As kittens will do, he is living up to his name - exhibiting an ornery dark side along with a bit heaping helping of Too Cute

See? There really is Beauty in the Darkness.

Darkly yours ;-)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Butthurt Buttheads Beware...

Normally, when you caution someone not to mess with something, or not to test your skillz, they will turn around and do exactly what it was that you cautioned them against. I feel, at times, I'm trying to do a good Samaritan thing... a "kindness", if you will.

It takes a lot for me to get to the point of firing off a warning shot. And let's face it, those of you who know me well, know that I don't suffer fools for long.

So here's what I'll say today instead: Go ahead, play with fire. Go ahead, mess in the affairs of a Priestess of The Morrighan. Please. It'll be GOOD for you.

*uncrosses fingers behind back and prepares the cauldron*

Sunday, April 21, 2013

De Power of De-Cluttering

Stuff. We all have it. Stuffed in closets, sitting on a coffee table, shoved in kitchen cabinets, displayed on mantles, hidden in the sock drawer, batted under the couch by a beloved family pet, hanging on walls, hidden behind the toothpaste and jars of face cream in the bathroom, hoarded in an attic, buried in the garage (or in your back yard if you have dogs hehehe), crammed in a computer desk, weighing down bookshelves, or collecting dust bunnies under the bed.

We collect junk all year round. The "As Seen On TV" avocado masher we just had to have (because we MIGHT want to make that guacamole some day!), coffee mugs from every amusement park we ever visited, popcorn tins from Christmases past, sixteen pairs of jeans we MIGHT fit in again some day, old cell phone cords, floppy disks (remember those??), umpteen pens and pencils, and if you live in my house - 30 different screwdrivers in 7 different drawers around the place. And shoes, shoes, and more shoes. My middle name is Imelda Marcos. (Google that, you younger ones who don't get the reference! LOL!)

For years, I had much of my "stuff" in storage. When I moved back to Pittsburgh from Baltimore in 2004, about a third of my stuff went into a storage unit. Just not enough room in the house we bought. To clarify - this particular "we" was my ex-husband and I. When we sold that house 3 years later and had nowhere to go but 2 adjoining efficiency apartment rooms at a local hotel, over 75% of our "stuff" went into an even bigger storage.

Eight months later, we split up. I left the hotel and moved into a house I rented. My life was
undergoing a HUGE upheaval and change. My stuff stayed in storage. I was starting somewhat "new". But the stuff... haunted me. Fast forward a few years and I have a beautiful new life with a wonderful man. We bought a house, and moved my STUFF here. It filled the garage. It filled the downstairs enclosed back porch. It filled one bedroom closet. And still, it sat. In boxes.

This stuff continued to haunt me. I felt the blockage of energy every time I went out to the garage. I stopped doing that (going out to the garage). It gave me such horrible anxiety to look at all that STUFF. I didn't have the time or energy to deal with it. With owning a retail shop and not always being in the best of physical health, it was just too monumental of a task.

Fast forward to December of 2012 when my husband and I decided that we'd had enough of the harsh Pittsburgh winters, and decided to head south. Our goal was to close the retail shop, clean out the house, and move to Tennessee. YAY! This was going to be GREAT!

The first hurdle was, of course, closing the retail shop. This resulted in a NEW need for storage space to store all the STUFF from the store. Oh my! We accomplished this task on March 31st and then spent a week just chillin' and relaxing at home. We were beat. Physically, mentally, you name it.

Last week we were blessed with the NICEST weather this region has seen since late September. Sunshine! Warmth! A nice breeze! And so what do we do? We finally tackle The Garage. This is where I really wished I had taken pictures to chronicle the "Before" and "After".

If you're like me, you can appreciate the hopeless and helpless feeling of "OH MY GODDESS WHERE DO I START?" But, with my honey by my side, we opened the garage doors and he plugged in the satellite radio to provide some "Music to throw shit out by". And so it began, one box at a time, one bag for Goodwill at a time, one trash bag at a time, we cleared the junk, the shit, the crap, the hoard pile, and WE DID IT! I ended up with 3 plastic bins out of untold tens of boxes that I filled with all the stuff I really needed to keep. Goodwill made out like a bandit. We reclaimed 90% of our space in the garage and back porch, and found that this move to Tennessee was going to be a TON lighter than we had thought.

De-cluttering feels good. Energy is flowing freely, I feel like a huge weight has finally (after almost 10 years) been lifted from my shoulders. Oh, don't get too excited. I still have several rooms INSIDE the house that need more de-cluttering. Just yesterday I went through my massive computer desk and another bag of goodies was filled for Goodwill. This morning I finished cleaning up/cleaning off my desk. For the first time in a year or so, I actually ENJOYED sitting at my desk! What a concept.

This De-Cluttering concept is powerful. We attach a lot of emotion to THINGS. They might invoke fond memories, or cause us a moment of guilt at the thought of throwing them out. These feelings are detrimental to our growth. As I have been going through the house and garage, I forced myself to think about two things; 1: Have I even LOOKED at this item in the past year? Two years? 5 years or more? And 2: if this stuff was stolen, burned in a fire, or otherwise lost to me by hands other than my own, how would I feel? And the overwhelming answer was that I WOULD SURVIVE.

I found MY power in The Power of De-cluttering.  I hope this story inspires you to dive into some spring cleaning and perhaps reclaiming not only some space, but finding a renewed sense of energy once the energy has a chance to flow again.

Until the next Witching Hour,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hoodoo I wanna be when I grow up?

Hoodoo, Conjure, Root Work. Folk Magic. Described in several ways, Hoodoo is a magic system I've grown more and more interested in lately. It just seems to fit. For the past several years I've created many mojo bags, powders, and fixed candles. Without realizing it consciously, I was moving towards this fascinating system of magic long before I put my proverbial finger on what exactly it was.

I've had several people influence me in this magic system. The writings of Dorothy Morrison (who I love almost more than coffee and chocolate) in her book Utterly Wicked was a major one for me. Her recipes for Hot Foot Powder, Goofer Dust, Four Thieves Vinegar, and more are a part of my personal grimoire.

I also learned a lot about folk magic from Silver RavenWolf's Hexcraft, later renamed American Folk Magick.Now, many will say "But Snowy, that's Pow-wow, NOT Hoodoo!". Well... yes, but no, but... Oh, let me explain:

Better yet, let me direct you to a site that I've recently discovered where the information is more clear and concise. Catherine Yronwode (click the link. yes. do it.) of The Lucky Mojo Curio Company has been a Hoodoo practitioner for m-a-n-y years and has this (and more) to say:

"Social conditions in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries were such that books for, by, or about members of the African-American community were very rare. During this time period hoodoo itself was quite popular, but although a great deal of commercial activity surrounded the manufacture and distribution of so-called "spiritual supplies," few attempts were made to collect or describe hoodoo practices."

She goes on to explain how John George Hohman's "Pow-wows or the Long Lost Friend" became a hit with the Anglo-Saxon folk magicians of the Appalachians after it's translation from German to English in 1846 CE.Click on her name above to read more about it. She is a WEALTH of information and I've been peeking at her site a lot lately.

I'm going to take a moment to inject here that I absolutely love and respect Silver RavenWolf. I know there are people who do not care for her works, but she had a huge and positive impact on my path. I learned. A lot.

Now where was I...? Ah, yes. I wanted to give you, my witchy readers, a better understanding of Hoodoo. Tayannah Lee McQuillar of Voodoonola writes:

“WHAT IS ROOTWORK? Rootwork is a form of folk magick that uses the elements of nature to create change in ourselves, others, or our environment. It is an African-American form of shamanism that makes use of herbs, stones, rocks, and other organic material to heal the body or the mind, or to solve a problem. Like all other forms of shamanism, Rootworkers believe that we can use the unseen forces of nature to manipulate the tangible world." ~Tayannah Lee McQuillar (2003)

So... now I have a more solid vision of what direction my path is going. I've already laid the ground work without realizing it. During the time that Eye of Nuit was open, I made countless mojo bags to help people, fixed and blessed many candles, and created my own line of spell powders which were a HUGE hit.  Pictured left here is my first powder, which has recently been packaged in my new jars. 

During the next few months, I'll be redesigning the Eye of Nuit website to include an e-commerce shop where you can purchase my exclusive blends and fixed candles. I do have a few spell blends left, which are pictured below. If you want one, send me a message quick before they get packed up and ready for their move (along with us LOL!) to Tennessee where my Witches Workshop will be housed. 

Until next time!

Wickedly yours,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winding down, gearing up, and being A-mused.

Over the past several months I would say to myself, "Self, you need to write in your blog". Self would just glance at me sideways and smirk. She knows me well. Of course, one of the many issues I have is this strange and twisted animal called "Time". Time just moves along at it's own (warp) speed, not caring if I catch up with it or not. Time is like a bad relationship. It leaves me the jilted lover over, and over, and over, and... ok, you get the picture.

Another issue I have is my muse, Ms. Gabby Sylent. GS is a true Gemini complete with the requisite dual personality. She occupies two large portions of my medulla oblongata. In one corner, she sits there quiet as a church mouse. *reminder to self: locate the origin of that phrase* She doesn't really do much talking, if any. She does create a lot of mental pictures. No words, just pictures. Then, all of a sudden and without warning, she will spring to life and beam herself over to the other corner of my brain. And she WON'T. SHUT. UP.  *sigh*

Writing a blog requires having something to say. I can't just sit here and implant all the pictures that Ms.Sylent gives me into my blog. And the sad part is that Gabby and Time have not learned how to play well together. So when she zips into the dreaded nonstoptalkingwon'tshutup mode, Time just keeps moving away. Doing it's own thing. While Gabby does hers. Never the two shall meet. Or come to some sort of compromise. Or meet at a crossroad. Cross paths, even.

Gabby just interrupted me, reminding me that she has some Very Important Things to do and would I please get on with it...? Honestly, my muse has no room to talk... and a heaping helping of Nerve. Perhaps one day I'll go into my relationship with said Nerve.
So, how many of you know that my shop, Eye of Nuit, is closing after two years of being in business? Raise your hands. Oh no... not too many hands there. <flips Gabby the bird>

Yep, it's true.  After two long years of owning and operating a brick & mortar store front, I have made the decision to close. It's been a long and sometimes arduous journey, but one that I will never forget. Many lessons learned. It's been a rich, rewarding, frustrating and maddening experience.

The doors close for good on Friday, March 22nd. We then have a week to pack up the entire shop: product, furniture, candle making supplies, and more. That stuff will all get moved to a storage unit close to the house until... **wait for it....*

We MOVE! Yep. We're moving. From Pennsylvania to Tennessee. Warmer weather. Small town. Land. Fresh air. Peace and Serenity. A neighbor with a cow. I might raise a few chickens. I'll have what I have wanted for a very long time: a STUDIO! Where I can create all of my delightfully witchy products, my amazing bath and body products, and Candles!

 Don't fret. The online stores will still be available. Eye of Nuit will host Enchanted Moon Alchemy and eventually feature even MORE Wicked-Cool products. Pagan Stuff Cheap will continue to offer you great stuff at even greater prices. And of course, ScentWerx with our line of some of the best candles, bath & body products you can find.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gemstone of the day ~ Fluorite

Fluorite. Beautiful, translucent, and oh-so-handy to carry when you're feeling stressed! Most people look to Hematite when they need a good grounding stone, but Fluorite does the job just as well, if not better!

This gentle healer will detoxify and energize all of the chakras, especially when placed on the Heart or Throat chakra. It allows us to heal from heart based issues, whether emotional or physical. Fluorite will dispel negative energy, especially from the environment, such as electromagnetic "smog" from computers. It then reenergizes the atmosphere. A great stone to have around you if you work in an office to reduce stress or negative situations. It's great also, if you work near a lot of computer equipment!

Fluorite comes in variations of greens, blues, yellow, and purples. Some Fluorite is all green, some all purple. I think the nicest pieces are those that blend the green, purple, and aqua in a stone of translucent beauty.

Magickally speaking, Fluorite is connected to the element of Air. It will bring clarity to a situation, allowing you to focus more closely on the answer you're seeking. Because it's a great "mind stone", it's also great for those who are looking to hone in on their psychic and intuition abilities! Overall, Fluorite is the stone of Mental Clarity.

Last but not least, Fluorite is a great stone to carry or hold when you're studying. It will assist in your mind's ability to retain knowledge. Stock up on some Fluorite before that next big test! You can light a yellow candle (yellow being the color of the element of Air), and set a few tumbled Fluorite gemstones around the candle while you're studying. I highly suggest our hand rolled mini beeswax candles for this. They burn beautifully, and are all natural with a cotton wick.

Fluorite is always available at Pagan Stuff Cheap, or available while Eye of Nuit is still open through sometime in March. ;-)

 I hope you've enjoyed this informational tidbit. I dare say, it's a "gem"! ;-)

Magically yours,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Smoking Crayon

I admit it, deep inside of me is a kid at heart, just crying to come out and play. For so long now, all I've wanted to do is spend time creating fun things with Play-Doh and lose myself in a good coloring book with crayons. No responsibilities, no profit and loss sheets to pore over, no inventory to count and order, no advertising to write, no stress; just... crayons.

During the holidays, two young girls who are very dear to me decided to give me the ultimate gift. A HUGE coloring book, a box of crayons, and Play-Doh! There was also a beautiful necklace and bracelet that I cherish.  But... the CRAYONS!!

Oh. My. Goddess. It was SO cool to open that bag and see these childhood relics right in front of my eyes. Of course, the first thing I did was smell the coloring book AND the crayons. They have a unique odor that just invokes all kinds of warm and fuzzy childhood memories for me. This was... nirvana. And it was all mine!

My first picture was sooooo much fun to color! I haven't used crayons in so many years and was afraid I'd end up coloring worse than a 5 year old. With lots of concentration, I was able to stay in the lines AND do some nice blending of colors. I even gave this little mousie a name and added a few embellishments of my own.

Felix over there might just play a supporting role in the book I plan to write this year. Hmmm...!

Fast forward a few weeks. So last night I'm reclining on the couch with Dave watching  barely paying attention to what was on TV. I grabbed the coloring book and crayons out of the bag that I keep next to the couch, and began working on a cute butterfly looking thing. Yes, this one was a "color by numbers" outline. Don't hate.

So anyway, I wanted to have a smoke. I didn't want to lay the crayon I was using in my lap because it might roll off. So I stuck it in my mouth. I then grabbed a cigarette in one hand, lighter in the other. Something on TV caught my eye... I believe Uncle Si was talking on Duck Dynasty (another crazy indulgence of ours; Uncle Si fascinates the hell out of me!!) I mindlessly raised the lighter and began to flick my Bic at the same moment my brain cued into the signal from my mouth that what I was tasting wasn't the normal menthol of my cigarette filter... but... {GASP} CRAYON!! I dropped that lighter like a hot potato and collapsed in a fit of giggles. And then, of course, I grabbed my phone and posted a status update to the world that I had just tried to smoke my crayon.

The moral of this story is: When life hands you crayons, don't smoke them! ;-)

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Much adieu about nothing...

Many of you have already heard the news. We're closing the store. We're done. Stick a fork in it done. Yup, that's right. Eye of Nuit will be closing it's doors sometime in March, if not sooner. I may, or may not, blog more of the details of this at a later date.The online store will remain (Pagan Stuff Cheap), and there will be an online store set up at the Eye of Nuit site where I will sell various and sundry items that don't go on Pagan Stuff Cheap.

The nice thing about this monumental decision is that I am free to allow my "Give A Shit" to run amok. And believe me, the GAS is having a blast!

Now, onto the redesigned blog! I needed something fresh, something new. I've been selling some of my witchy wares under the Enchanted Moon Alchemy™ name, and wanted to incorporate that into this fresh new blog. But for some reason, since it's a blog, the word "alchemy" just wasn't fitting. So I sat and thought a while. Then the word "chronicles" popped into my head and I said BINGO!!

But then, being the Gemini that I am, I asked myself WHY the word "Chronicles" was so hauntingly familiar. Took me a while. Then it hit me.  The Grimoire Chronicles series by Sally Dubats (my new FAV author!) You can find the first book in the series on Amazon. Please do check it out!

In mundane news, I finally got the ScentWerx site up and running.  It's done fairly well for being so new. We've got tons of Dave's beautiful candles listed, I added some Smelly Jellies, and recently added Shower Gels, and a luxurious Body Mist. In the coming weeks I'll have the silky smooth body lotions, and some OHMYGODDESS sugar scrubs.

I've committed myself (if you stopped here and didn't read any further, please do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just head directly to the asylum) to writing a book this year. After the store officially closes. There's a story that is absolutely begging to be told. And I've promised myself that names probably won't be changed to protect the not-so-innocent. ::evil grin::

One other project I'm taking on this year, and that is learning how to make my own herbal products. Tinctures, salves, brews, and the like. So if you thought that closing the physical store meant I'd just be a lazy housewife, think again LOL!

That's all for now.