Monday, May 1, 2017

Merry Beltane!

It's a cooler, blustery day full of sunshine here in Southeast Ohio, and I'm enjoying it very much! Hopefully your day is just a beautiful and enjoyable.


Monday, February 6, 2017

A Little Kitchen Witchery

A few days ago, the energy in the house was heavy. Not quite oppressive, not quite negative. Not really anything other than heavy. And it seemed the worst in our study/library, where I have my little work corner. I felt like I could nap and there was an odd pressure in my sinuses. I didn’t really want to do anything and focusing for more than a few seconds was really difficult. It’s almost like that build of heaviness that eventually, finally, leads to a thunderstorm, but as soon as I stepped outside, it felt better. So, no thunderstorm coming.

The weather has been bouncing around a good bit lately, though, which might be contributing to some of the disruption, but not all. I wondered if it was just me – maybe my blood sugar is too high, which can make me sleepy. Nope. I even made coffee, because a cup of coffee can help with focusing. Then,  I asked my eldest daughter if she thought the energy was off in the house, and she agreed that it did feel odd. And yes, it did seem worse in the study. So, it’s not just me. What to do?

Incense just didn’t seem like the thing for right now. It felt like the lingering smoke hovering in the air would just add to the heavy feeling. So, I pulled out a white candle, plopped it on the altar behind my desk and lii it up. It helped a little. But it still felt like we needed more.

Back in 2008 and 2013, I wrote a couple of simmering potpourri recipes as part of my Spell-A-Day offerings and I knew that both mixtures could really work on the energy of a place, even if they hadn’t been created with this type of feeling in mind. So, I dug back through all those spells looking for them and then took a glance to see which I had the ingredients for – because, you know, a kitchen witch does her best to work with what’s on hand. What follows is really a combination of both potpourris, which I’m going to share with you here. After about an hour of simmering on the back burner, the energy in the house felt so much lighter, more equalized. And I’ve got enough left to use it again, just in case the need should arise.

Now, I’m going to break it down for those who are wondering why I choose the various ingredients.:

Cedar smoke (and vapors) have a purifying and protective quality. They also make the house smell wonderful.

Rose petals are added in for love. After all, I want a loving household. They also help balance out personal stresses in the household.

Lavender buds, one of my favorite herbs, is added in for its purifying properties. It also helps create a peaceful household, full of love and protection.

Clove buds, in this mixture, help drive away negativity and further purify the home.

Finally, I used a drinking bottle of purified water for the liquid in the pan, although, in a pinch, I’d just use tap water.



Friday, January 27, 2017


Fire in Ice - Demonstration During a Final Friday on the Square in Nelsonville from a few years ago.

Keeping to that vow of posting more, here’s a quick update for the three of you reading this. The general contents for the spell book is pretty much done, although I do still want to fill in all of those sections with notes of things to include when I go to write them up. I’m finding that mind maps are really helpful for this. I don’t have to organize my thoughts right way – just put them on the paper and sort it out later. Anyway, writing on the book should definitely start next month.


All I’ve wanted to do is sleep, and then sleep some more. Maybe even toss in a nap or two in between sleeps. And all of this sleeping has not only left me off kilter, but it’s also thrown me off schedule in my work for a friend. I’m serving has her part time personal assistant and general sounding board/cheering section. Zoni* is an amazing writer, and she’s extremely good and breaking down the “how-to writer” bits into understandable writing. The goal is to have her website and running by the end of the month, which means lots of already written tutorials and such to format and get up on pages. Wix isn’t too difficult to figure out, but it can be a little, um, unwieldy. (Yeah, we’ll go with unwieldy.) It takes nearly ½ hour to get one tutorial up, reformatted, and linked into the proper higher-level pages. So, that’s what’s taking up a chunk of my time now….when I’m not napping.

When I’m doing tinkering work, such as putting up those tutorials, I like listening to something in the background. And since I’ve just listened to/watched Midsomer Murders for, I don’t know, the 6th time, I thought I’d check out some podcasts. This is new territory for me, but I’ve found some good ones, thanks to another writer friend, Jana Denardo*. Right now, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of Down at the Crossroads, which is very much a pagan-themed podcast. I’ve really been enjoying it and it’s introduced me to some great new music.

That’s about it for now. Oh, wait, there’s the pagan study group. We already had a working list of topics to follow, so I’m slowly fleshing that out a bit more so it’s more like a syllabus which I think will make it easier to write up the posts. Look for that in early February as well. The first topic we’ll cover, other than perhaps information on Ostara, which is coming up, is a brief history of modern paganism – myths vs. reality. Hopefully some of you will find it useful and will give me/us some good feedback.

As always, please, leave comments. Let me know how things are going for you. The beauty of not many followers is that I can take the time to get to know you all better. And I really enjoy that.

Brightest blessings,
Laurel


*Follow the links and you'll discover that my writing friends are a very diverse group. That's been one of the best things about being involved with NaNoWriMo.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Reviews: The Diabolical Miss Hyde and


Check out my first two book reviews on Goodreads:





The Diabolical Miss Hyde, a book of Victorian/steampunk crime and horror, with a healthy dose of the scientifically supernatural.












A Case of Spirits (A Charm of Magpies #2.5), also a Victorian setting, with some magic and steampunk tossed in for good measure. This one is a short story.

New Year, New Attempts At (Hopefully) Social Media



Have you noticed that I manage a post or two at the beginning of the year, and then just taper off into nothingness for months? Part of that is because I can be writing things that I want to try to get published or I can come up with, write, and polish posts for the blog. Apparently I have a very difficult time doing both. I'm really hoping to get a handle on that this year. I like connected with others online, and not just readers or other writers. I need to get a bit out of my little isolated pagan bubble and I think this is really the year to reach out even more. So, I'm also on Goodreads, which this blog is now synced to. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to easily do the reverse yet, but I'll try to crosspost any reviews that I write there on here. Don't be surprised when you discover what an eclectic reader I am. (I'm going to post my first two short reviews farther down below. )

Also, I'm going to hopefully be posting more on Oak and Olive. This past year I started a study group for some young pagan friends who finally managed to badger me into it. (Ever notice how you resist some callings for as long as you possibly can? Yeah, it was a bit like that.) Now they are pretty much all out of high school and very busy with the next stages of their lives. Which means we can't really meet with any real regularity. So, taking a page for this socially connected generation, I'm going to be doing the core of the classes online as blog posts. Hopefully, once it gets started, a new one will go up twice a month - at least.

I'm also going to continue, I hope, as a friend's virtual personal assistant. It's just a few hours a week, but I really enjoy the work and I believe in her writing/business goals for the year. And the, there's the book on spell casting that I've started, plus some editing of a short story or two. And the Tarot business, Intentional Tarot, which is getting a bit of a redesign, at least in my little corner of it. I honestly don't think I can do a good job with email readings. I need the give and take of talking with the querant.

So, that's the update on most of my writing/working goals for at least the beginning of the year. What are some of your's. Share and maybe we can encourage each other to keep working on them!

Blessings,
Laurel

Monday, February 8, 2016

Coming Soon

As in, this site will be live any day now, which has me so excited...


Monday, September 7, 2015

Quickie Update

https://pixabay.com/



I'm sorry that the new article wasn't there on Saturday folks. I realized there was no way I was going to have enough American lore on vengeful spirits to do the topic justice. It's going to require a bit more time in OU's Alden Library doing research.

So, I've jumped ahead an episode to what will probably be one of several articles on demon possession. I aim to have that article up by the end of the week. And then things will get really fun, as I have several writing projects that need attention this month that may slow things down even more.

On September 26th, I have a presentation on Edwardian's gentlemen's clothing, at the Athens Public Library. It's part of this year's Steampunk September/Steampunk Spectacle. They have a lot of fun things planned, culminating in a Ball that evening at Athens' Central Venue. You can find out more on my talk here, if you're interested. (And I do get an honorarium for my presentation, so I want to make it a good one.)

And then, come October 1st, I have the deadline for the 2017 Spell-A-Day almanac - 25 spells total. I tend to do about 12 easy, but then it gets a bit harder. The last 5 are always like pulling teeth. Please don't get me wrong, I'm always grateful to the editors when they ask me to write for the next almanac and I truly enjoy the creative challenge. At least until spell number 20 when I'm cursing myself for agreeing to do this yet again. It really is a little like labor, in that I then quickly forget the agony until the next time. And I always say yes when the next time comes around.

I'm going to do my best to get onto that 1st and 3rd Saturday/Sunday schedule and stay there. The Supernatural folklore articles are very important to me and I really enjoy writing them. And while I don't always agree with just writing what you know, I do agree with writing what you enjoy.

So, that's where I'm at. Now, I'm going to ask you to bear with me while I get a busy few months (NaNo and November are looming right around the corner!) and then I'm going to ask a favor of all of you.

Give me some feedback as encouragement. Let me know what you've enjoyed about my articles. Tell me what you'd like to read about. Heck, give me some spell ideas to help me get past the difficult spots! Anything.

 Blessings,
Laurel