Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's!

Happy New Year, Charmers.  I hope you enjoy the night whether you're smeared in glitter getting into drunken arguments with your date at the club or at home Eating a Prosperious New Year.

Personally I slept ridiculously late today due to being out late last night and watching the epic cinema tour de force Dead Snow with friends and participating in a White Elephant gift exchange that amazingly didn't end in bloodshed.

I'm listening to Lady Gaga's station on Pandora so I can get ready to get slizzard tonight as I will be drinking with my besties in a hotel suite tonight where we will drink cosmos from a jug like the Goddess intended and eating far too much pizza.

Whether you wake up tomorrow bright eyed and bushy tailed or crawling out of bed feeling like you want to die, there's still plenty of time to join the Experiment.

How will you be ringing in the new year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Glorious Things You Have to Look Forward to From Me!

Alright Charmers, get excited.  Since 2012 is the year to kick ass and take names, I will be producing the following for your enjoyment:

* The completion of the New Year, New You Experiment

* The continuation of the Experiment right after Valentine's Day into a free 14 week eCourse

* Limited Edition Magical Perfume Blend "Man in Black" which will be designed for those who like a more masculine blend.  It will come in a labeled 5ML amber bottle and it will be consecrated to bring you confidence, financial success and make you more attractive than you already are.  It will have some citrus notes, green tea notes, woodsy notes and warm spices.  More details will follow, but there will only be a dozen made and it will be $20 on the first day offered, $25 after that. (Launch: Next month, tentatively)

* Limited Edition Magical Perfume Blend "Goddess of the Hearth" which will be designed to promote all good things needed in a hearth - financial security, happiness in romance and friendship and protection.  This will be an essential oil/carrier oil mix that will be consecrated.  It will contain lavender notes, white thyme notes and parsley notes.  It will come in a 5ML amber bottle More details will follow, but there will only be a dozen made and it will be $20 on the first day offered, $25 after that.  (Launch: Next month, tentatively)

(My Erzulie Limited Edition Solid perfume sold out within a month and I was told not only did it smell nice from a few parties but that they were also "knee deep in penises" so there's some positive feedback)

* I'm relaunching my Goddess Dollies line.  They will have dresses that are nicer than anything I own and their bodies are made from cotton blends.  They're appropriate to keep as soft representations of your patrons but also to sleep with and cuddle with.  Their hearts are stuffed with materials that are appropriate to them.  My first three I will be launching will be Hecate, Yemaya and Kali.  I will only be launching one at a time and their clothes/hair/etc will change with each dolly I do.  So if you're in love with a particular version of a dolly, snap it up because the next one will be somewhat different.  They will be $40 each.  (Launch: Next month, tentatively)

* Short book on a practice I'm working on and basically the importance of glamour in magic.  I'm looking to launch it (tentatively) through Amazon in both paper and electronic Kindle versions.  It will be professionally edited and illustrated.  Tentatively, the paper version will be $8 and the electronic version will be $6 and will hopefully be out by end of summer.

* Post book, I will likely make the New Year, New You Experiment into a full 52 week course but we'll get there when we get there on that as it's the most distant in the future.

[New Year, New You] My Heart Opened Like an Oyster Shell . . .

Pleased to meet you!  Charmed, I'm sure!
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

Right now to be completely honest I feel more like a modern Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe (. . .who had so many children she didn't know what to do) and not a Prada either.  I've been sick for real since Dec 23rd to varying degrees and not exactly rocking a super sexy look (my yoga pants, a tank top and my old man cardigan have been my uniform) and it's been a challenge trying to balance everything.  But it's been awesome so far and I'm really jazzed that everyone's so into this.

So jazzed that after I mapped out the rest of this Experiment (you're welcome ;p), I then went and mapped out a continuation of this experiment that's definitely going to be free, definitely going to be fourteen weeks long and likely to be through email.  So while the first part will end on Valentine's Day, there will be a second part which will take you to May which will push you past the first hard part of the year.

It's not too late to join us in the Experiment, you can start on week one now and still be relatively in sync with your fellow Charmers if that's a concern.  And if you started and fell behind, that's okay!  Just pick up where ever you left off.  Even my husband-elect has fallen behind and I still love him just the same.

Speaking of your fellow Charmers, even if you're not doing the Experiment, you can still observe other people's progress and cheer them on!   If you join later, I will add you here and if you were grievously forgotten, poke at me and I'll fix it.  Now, a la Patti Stanger, Meet my Charmers!


The Unlikely Mage

Jack Wren


Monsignor Scott Rassbach



The Were Owl

Simon Tomasi


Mr. Black

Andrew Bwatt

Satyr Magos


Willow Silverhorse

Serenity Raven


Katie K

Ocean Delano

Michael Seblux

Rose Weaver


The ocelot



Rufus Opus


A Green Branch



Blue Flame Magick


Jason Miller

Vagabond Anne







Pallas Renatus

Witch in the Suburbs

MG Ellington

Forest Rose


The Forest Witch


Sister Krissy Fiction

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[New Year, New You] Supplemental: Jason's New Year, New You Reading

From Jason Miller:

All this New Years New You talk has really got me going, and I want to do whatever I can to get you going too.
From now until the Perihelion (January 3rd) I am offering the STRATEGIC SORCERY COURSE FOR $100
That is $50 off.
But wait! That’s not all!     (I have been waiting all my life to say that…)
Take advantage of this offer and I will also give you ONE FREE TAROT OR SYBILLA READING about your new years projects. I am on fire with readings over the last few months since I found my old Sacred Rose Tarot that I bought in college and for once am having a good time reading for people.
So to recap: order by January 3rd and get the Strategic Sorcery Course AND one free Tarot Reading.
Every week someone from the course writes me with results that they have been getting from the course work and how it is changing their life, and I really want to make it accessible to those who are getting into the NEW YEARS, NEW YOU vibe.
To take advantage of the offer write me at with STRATEGIC NEW YEAR in the subject line.

[New Year, New You] Weekly Writing Prompt: Something You've Been Putting Off

The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

Please remember to leave a link here to your blog entry with your response to this prompt or an update on your own Experiment.

Deities: Beaver, Uzume, Sehkmet, Ullr, Demeter, Saraswati

Phase of the Moon: The Waning Crescent Moon right now.  Use this phase to focus on banishing laziness from getting shit done that needs to get done.

Days of the Week: Tuesday, Saturday

Inspirational Music for Your Brain Meats: On the Radio, Regina Spektor (No, this is how it works/ You peer inside yourself/ You take the things you like/ And try to love the things you took/ And then you take that love you made/ And stick it into some/ Someone else's heart/ Pumping someone else's blood/ And walking arm in arm/ You hope it don't get harmed/ But even if it does/ You'll just do it all again)  

Let's face it, Charmers, the critical component to success or failure in your goals is your ability to do shit you don't want to do.  I can promise you that your goals are crammed chock full of glistening gems that you would rather claw your own eyes out than address.  If you liked addressing these things, your goals wouldn't be goals, they would be called Items I Am Already Doing No Problem-o.  

As O-Ren Ishii once said, Now's the fucking time.  Stop being a slag, stop complaining, stop coming up with amazing awesome reasons as to why you can't do it right now and close your eyes and grit your teeth and just do it.  Do it now before everyone else starts making their half assed efforts towards radical self change in a week or less because once you jump this hurdle, the other hurdles become much easier.  Now when you're most tired, now when you least want to.  Now is the time you show the universe how magic is done.

I believe in you, Charmers.  

[New Year, New You] Supplemental: I Can Change One Thing

Lyn has a great free journal work book available through her blog, Witch Blog that will help you change one thing in the new year.  Check it out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

[New Year, New You] My Response to Goals

The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

Please remember to leave a link here to your blog entry with your response to this prompt or an update on your own Experiment.

My Larger Goals for 2012:

Grow my magic focused writing

Grow my crafting business

Work on personal magical practice

Work on body love while working on eating and exercise habits

Enjoy our year of engagement together

Pay off my credit card debt

Do more fun things

Bite sized pieces for between now and Valentine's Day:

Magic focused writing:

Have a powwow with my PEH, Gordon, and a few others about how to go about getting my first booklet out.  (mostly done)
Investigate small occult presses, Kindle Direct and Amazon direct (done)
Write and submit an article monthly to Witchvox (done for this month)
Come up with a premise for said booklet (done)
Start writing a short course and test out a delivery system for it (Jan)
Investigate costs related to using my own illustrators and editors (in progress)

Grow my crafting business: 

Release my first magic/fragrance oil for boys (thanks to AIT!) before Valentine's Day
Release my Goddess of the Hearth essential oil blend before Valentine's Day
Work on my Goddess Dollies next week since I have some extra time
Work on restocking my wares
Figure out my craft show "bunny trail" in Jan for restarting in March

Work on body love while working on eating and exercise habits:

Dress well as I am right now (a constant work in progress)
Focus on what I'm putting into my body
Start exercising two to three times a week regularly and sustainably (next week)
Love my body right now as is (a constant work in progress)

Enjoy our year of engagement together: 
Plan something to do for Valentine's Day to celebrate the egregor of love together
Start being more list conscious again (next week)
Do new things together for our dates
Get dressed up for each other

Personal magical practice:
Start japa'ing every day (next week)
Start evening practice (next week)
Finish Spare Oom (next week)
Do our first rit together (next new moon)

Pay off credit card debt:
I'm already consolidated, so it's just a matter of continuing the work I started and paying off minor credit cards.  

Do more fun things:
My bff and I currently have plans to go to a goth night in a couple weeks
Spaghetti taco night was fun
Keep my eyes open for new and interesting things to do and not settle into hibernation mode

Magical things:

Do magic so that I have things to work on.  Write enchantments.  Meet with Certain Spirits

Grow Craft Business
Outsource to Jow for prosperity work as he does a good job with it for my crafting.

Body Love
Continue meeting with Certain Spirits

Engagement Enjoyment
Menstrual blood in Jow's marinara.  Our Spare Oom magical practice jamboree which will make us closer or stab each other to death.  Good marriage prep.

Credit Card Debt
Continue my own prosperity magic which I've gotten lazy about.  Poor honeypot.  >:\

Do More Fun Things
Continue glamoury rituals pre-fun things.


"Horse and I" Bat for Lashes through Pandora.  Well that's terrifying.
(Got woken in the night, / by a mystic golden light. / My head soaked in river water. / I had been dressed in a coat of armor. They called a horse out of the woodland. / "Take her there, through the desert shores." /They sang to me, "This is yours to wear. You're the chosen one, there's no turning back now." / The smell of redwood giants. /The banquet for the shadows. /Horse and I, we're dancers in the dark. /Came upon the headdress. /It was gilded, dark and golden. /The children sang. /I was so afraid I took it to my head and prayed. /They sang to me, "This is yours to wear. You're the chosen one, there's no turning back." /They sang to me, "This is yours to wear. You're the chosen one, there's no turning back." /There is no turning back. /There is no turn. /There is no turning back. /There is no turn. /There is no turning back. /There is no turn)

Housewives Tarot, Four card spread

The Hermit
Two of Cups
Five of Pentacles
Knight of Pentacles

Basically, I need to be able to balance everything for everything to work right and to make sure that I get enough down time and don't get discouraged by potential financial problems (maybe a loss of a job, an appendix, my car, who knows) and to use my ambition wisely to fuel all my projects not just the fun ones basically.  Things may not go according to plan but I need to keep pushing anyway.

Spirit Consultation

Me: So . . . what's holding me back here?

My Muse (bored): The same thing that holds you back every night, Pinkie.  You get afraid and you freak yourself out and you stop yourself before you get to awesome.

Me: So how do I fix that?

My Muse: Stop doing it.

Me: Your divine helpfulness never ceases to amaze me.

Me: What's holding me back from losing weight?

Spirit: You're afraid to be empty.  And alone.

Me:  What!  Where the fuck did that come from?  I guess it must be right if I managed to get startled by the answer.  I didn't think I was lonely but I guess I do a lot of things including eating to be not lonely?   And I guess while I never spread my legs to fill me up a la Amanda Palmer's "Runs in the Family" I guess I do open my mouth a lot to fill me up.

Before I start eating something now, especially if it's something questionable, I remind myself that I'm not empty and that seems to help a lot.  The gym is just a matter of routine, the food stuff gets more complicated and spiritual/psychological which I am carefully unwinding.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[Recipe Monday] Spaghetti Tacos

All the cool kids are doing it.
Maybe it's Monday, maybe it's not.  The point is that it's Solstice which means traditional celebration is needed.  Now it's not quite as much of a high holiday as Rex Manning Day but important nonetheless.

This year I have chosen to celebrate it in a manner that is cross culturally traditional for all cultures all over the world.  All cultures.  Which means guzzling white zinfandel, eating spaghetti tacos and watching iCarly with my bff and Jow as thirtysomethings are prone to do in their own company.  

It's not too late to join the awesome, here's the recipe we came up with:

Spaghetti Tacos
1/4 box linguini
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 package ground beef
1 package hard taco shells
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the ground beef in a deep frying pan and add half the packet of taco seasoning. Drain the grease. Add the crushed tomatoes and the rest of the taco seasoning and simmer on low heat on the stove top. Bring water to a boil in another pot and add the linguini with a little salt and olive oil and cook for 8 minutes and then drain. Put the linguini into the hard shell taco and then the meat sauce and then the mozzarella. Nom!

Happy Longest Night everyone!  Keep it sexy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[New Year, New You] Weekly Writing Prompt: Goals

You wish it was Avon calling.
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

Please remember to leave a link here to your blog entry with your response to this prompt or an update on your own Experiment.

Many of you have already started to set goals for yourself which is awesome.  If you have not yet, this is the prompt for you to do so.

What do you want to accomplish in 2012 using both magical and mundane means?  

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't generally plan my activities around moon phases/days of the week but I know some of you are into that so I list my recs here for those of you who do.

God/dess/es: Athena, Bhramari Devi, Thoth, Var, Daikoku, Rat

Phase of the Moon: The Waning Crescent Moon right now.  Use this phase to focus on banishing your negative attachments

Days of the Week: Wednesday, Sunday

Inspirational Song for Your Brainmeat: What the Water Gave Me, Florence + the Machine (‘Cause she’s a crueler mistress/ And the bargain must be made/ But oh, my love, don’t forget me/ When I let the water take me)

Most of you have set the larger goals, but now is the time to do a few things:

1. How are you going to accomplish these large goals in your daily life?  You need to start breaking it up into bite sized pieces.  Our particular Experiment goes until Valentine's Day.  What can you reasonably expect to accomplish by then?  How will you do it?

Example: I want to be more physically fit.  What days will you go on the gym?  What's your Plan B if you can't get to the gym that day?  Do you want to be able to run for twenty minutes without feeling like you're dying?  Then how much time will you spend on the treadmill on Week 1 and how much on Week 2, etc?  Will you be modifying your diet/water consumption/alcohol consumption?  How?  What will you do when you go out with friends or go to parties?  What's your plan for when you get bored with the gym?  What about when you're snowed in or sick?  Really get into the meat of what you're trying to do.  You're going to fuck this up sometimes and that's okay.  But you need to start laying down real ground work because the more you you flesh this out, the more it becomes real.

An aside: While not the example given, many people want to write books.  I strongly suggest looking at my PEH, Gordon's eBook crash course and Penelope Trunk's advice today.

2.  What magical acts (rituals, spellwork, whatever it is you do) can you do to help you accomplish this goal?  If you are into Planetary magic, you may want to consider looking into the Gates work that RO does to help you accomplish your goals.  Thinking strategically in magic isn't something that comes naturally to a lot of us either.  Check out Jason's books on Strategic Sorcery if that's something you need some guidance on.

Continuing with our example of wanting to be more physically fit, you may want to consider taking yoga as part of your regime.  Not power yoga or sweating yoga or all the other ridiculous crap we add to make it more efficient.  Spiritual yoga led by a knowledgeable teacher.  Do ritual work to feel more present in your body.  Enchant to really make your body into a temple.  Put orange essential oil on to make you feel peppier and more able to do your work with a tiny spell rhyme attached to it.

3. Use your preferred method of divination to figure out both what you can do to make sure these goals will happen and also to figure out what road blocks keep you from this.

4. Consult whatever inner or outer spirits you may work with as to what's blocking you from achieving your goals.  If you're the meditative type, when meditating consult your spirits there.  If you aren't the meditative type, when you are just about to drift off to sleep when your mind is relaxed, ask what's preventing you from achieving these goals.  In terms of "who" you're asking, you can ask personal spirit guides or god/dess/es, your Younger Self, Talking Self, and Higher Self or even personifications of the traits you're either trying to emulate or discourage.  Whatever works for your personal cosmos.

That should be more than enough for you to try to figure out over the holidaze.  Get to work!

[New Year, New You] My Response to Making Way

Apparently my Muse likes pin up girls.
I blame all the American  Horror Story.
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

I've been reading and commenting on everyone's responses to the first prompt, Making Way and encourage everyone to get to know your fellow Charmers whether or not you're doing the Experiment yourself.

I think it's a good idea for me to post my own workings with the prompt before posting a new prompt so you can see what I'm doing instead of me just handing down proclamations (. . .which I'd frankly prefer to be doing because I'm exhausted all the time right now but share share and all that's fair) as well as any observations from reading everyone's work.

In terms of general observation on everyone's work, the pattern I've noticed the most personally is that most people were good on two of the three items and the third one was invariably reacted to as ". . . shit."  But you all did some serious reflecting on your troublesome third aspect and started figuring out ways to deal which is v. v. good.

Clean House
For me, at the time of writing the prompt, my house wasn't too messy but as the week wore on and all the holidaze prep paraphernalia and a few days later I was feeling like a big ol' hypocrite because I was surrounded by mountains of clutter and feeling more and more stressed out.

We made plans to clean and decorate but, you know, that's hilarious like a reliably funny sitcom to our god/dess/es overlords so needless to say that even though Jow and I generally get along disgustingly well, we totes got into it on Friday (My bff (scandalized) : You yelled at Jow?  Me: Yes.  AND WAIT UNTIL HE COMES HOME!  She: Um . . .wow) when we were supposed to clean/decorate and have a romantic night in.  Now lest you think we're mice, Jow and I both have fearsome tempers and used to have Epic Battle Royales with our exes but we both got sick of living like that and do a lot of conscious work to not be like that anymore.  And for both of us, we're much happier not living life at a tsunami level of constant rage.  But once in a blue moon when our buttons get pushed in exactly the right sequence, it's on like Donkey Kong.  So we spent our Friday night sifting through that and eating shitty food from Applebees that made us both feel ill because we're not used to eating shitty food anymore.

This time of year is particularly difficult because if you were raised with Christmas (and possibly Hanukkah), there's this egregore that this is the most wonderful time of the year doing battle with your actual experiences of some of the most magical holidays and the holidays where your alcoholic father was in a horrendous rage and made everyone cry for Christmas (insert your own trauma here).  In fact, it's been proven that it's impossible not to be depressed this time of year.    Once you really sit with that, dealing with the holidaze becomes easier.

So yesterday we cleaned our house, I cleansed with my cleansing incense, we hung evergreen roping that makes our house smell bizarrely like the McKittrick, we cloved oranges and arranged them in a bowl with Miss Martha ornaments, cinnamon sticks and a particularly prancey reindeer.  We put out a poinsettia that I didn't kill unlike its mate and a basket full of pinecones.  We decorated a ridiculously tiny bonsai evergreen with garland and ornaments.  We listened to A Darker Shade of Pagan and drank mulled red wine that I made and ate clementines and chocolate cherry bread and had the best night possible, given the crushing weight of the holidaze.


My computer's post it notes have been having post it babies.  But I feel like I've been using my time as wisely as possible as it's being spent dealing with holidaze related errands and work when I'm not working.  Also, I'm doing this Experiment which is time consuming and alternately wonderful and terrifying.  I have not been screwing around the intertubes much as there's just no time for it.  I'm going to work on getting through the new year and then restructure from there.  Things are getting checked off my to-do list slowly but surely (there's a finished quilt and 12 jars of ginger peach jam in my fridge so I think I'm doing okay).  While I'm a terrible gossip and reality show whore, I found my Platonic Euro Husband's link to an article on Not Listening v. useful.  I've frankly been much happier with just news snippets, Jezabel and articles I read off of my Facebook/Twitter feeds verses the full court NPR/CNN barrage of despair.  Yes, everything's horrible, I know, I know.  I've been better for not rubbing my face in it on the regular.


This holidaze season has the heightened excitement of both being engaged and being without a few people who were close to me.  My Senior Druid's description of the holidaze ("I'm laughing!  I'm laughing!  I'm crying!  I'm crying!  Oh god!  Oh god!") is particularly apt for me this year.  It's been a hard adjustment, I miss them but we're all better off without each other.  For me the hardest rock to lay down wasn't the wrongs that had been done to me but to forgive myself for the things I did wrong to make those relationships toxic.   As the adult child of an alcoholic, my reaction to a toxic situation is to bathe in that fucker and figuratively drink myself sick on it because that's all things I understand.  I tend to want to just let that relationship keep getting less and less healthy and more and more mutated until all it is is an exercise in emotional cutting.  I'm trying to stop doing that, I'm trying to stop engaging and learn to give myself a clean break and release old fetters but it is not a natural impulse.  But I've been doing a lot of work on that since my divorce and even more work on that since the fall.  Because I need to, otherwise I'm so full of word vomit (I could hear people getting bored with me. But I couldn't stop. It just kept coming up like word vomit.)I don't know what to do with myself and I'm so full of toxic yuck that I can't do anything productive because everything I do is tainted and reactionary.  So I'm working to get off the merry-go-round with the understanding that I'll get back on it sometimes because it's in my lizard brain to do that.  But working at it and being vigilant is important and forgiving myself when I'm not stronger than it is even more so.

Monday, December 19, 2011

[Retro Recipe Monday] Party Sandwich Loaf

From The General Foods Kitchen Cookbook:

Party Sandwich Loaf
4 colored sandwich fillings
1 unsliced loaf of sandwich bread
4 packages of 3 oz cream cheese
Red Food Coloring

Prepare colored sandwich fillings.  Remove crusts from the bread.  Cut lengthwise into 5 long slices.  Butter each slice.  Spread each of 4 bread slices with a filling. Place the bread slices on top of one another in order listed.  Top with remaining buttered bread slice, making a five layer loaf.

Soften 3 packages of cream cheese.  Blend in 2 tablespoons of the cream.  Spread over top and sides of the loaf.  Soften remaining package of cream cheese.  Blend in remaining 1 tablespoon of cream. (Note: I'm assuming they mean the cream cheese?)   Tint a delicate pink with red food coloring.  Place pink cream cheese in a decorating tube and garnish loaf.  Wrap loaf loosely in waxed paper.  Chill at least 3 hours.  When ready to serve, place loaf on a large platter.  Garnish with lettuce and ripe olives.  Slice and serve.

For red filling: Combine 1/4 pound minced boiled ham and 1 minced pimiento.  Add mayonnaise until consistency desired.  Season to taste.

For yellow filling: Combine 3 minced hard cooked eggs with enough mayonnaise to make consistency desired.  Season to taste.

For dark filling: Combine 1/4 pound mashed liverwurst and 2 teaspoons grated onion.  Add mayonnaise until consistency desired.  Season to taste.

For green filling:  Combine 1/3 cup minced sweet pickle with 2 tablespoons minced parsley.  Add mayonnaise until consistency desired.  Season to taste.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[New Year New You] The Process

So, there may be some confusion about joining The Project and such.  You can join anytime you like, even in the last week.  You will likely not get as much from it if you wait a super long time like that, but who am I to say?  Maybe your mind will be blown and you'll transform into a new person, I'm not omnipotent.  But if your brain is exploding from holidaze madness right now and you need a few weeks to get your shit together, no one is going to say OMG!  LOOK AT LUCY COME LATELY!  WHAT A FAILER TO TRY LATE AND AT ALL!  It's always better to try than to not try at all if you ask me.

If life happens and you miss a week or two and you know in your heart of hearts you're doing everything you can do just to tread water due to Life Happening, that's fine too.  This requires radical self honesty.  Are you really treading water or are you being a lazy slag?  Only you know the answer to that.  But the point is for you to get as much out of this as possible.

I know it's human nature to get intimidated and competitive with other people's goals, Lordess knows I'm guilty of that too.  But if it's not driving you to be a more awesome you and instead is making you eat your stomach from the inside out with misery and perhaps shame, remind yourself that everyone is a special unique snowflake with special unique snowflake goals and life circumstances.  The goal is for you to improve your life by hook and crook and bell and book.  What is challenging for you may be a breeze for someone and what's a breeze for you may be challenging for someone else.

If you don't get a chance to do the first prompt until next week or three weeks from now, don't feel like you can't do it.  You can always add your input to the page, people are still trickling in.  It's not like I gave you a ten minute meditation to do to start, I asked you to hit the floor running.  This may take a few days to do.

I encourage you to check out other people's responses to the first prompt to get an idea of where everyone is coming from.  If you aren't able to participate in the experiment for whatever reason, you could still fill a very important role by encouraging your fellow Charmers in their transformation.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[New Year, New You] Quick Note

I just wanted to let you all know that I've been reading all your plots and plans for The Project.  It's been really exciting reading everyone's ideas!  I encourage you to check out what everyone's doing, the links are all there.

As you likely saw, the first prompt is up.  I also want to remind you to post links to your updates in the comments, even if they're not related to the prompts.  That way we can all keep each other in the loop about our progress and of course, more contest entries.

Good luck to everyone on our first week!

(Somewhat) unrelatedly, is anyone decent in French?  I have a question.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

[New Year, New You] Weekly Writing Prompt: Making Way

What?  Like it's hard or something?
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

She (kicks the bed hard): Get up.

Me: Ugh.  No.  I feel like booboo.

She: What did I say?  Didn't I say this was going to be hard?  Stop whining and crying about your widdle sniffles and your pwerious auto-immune system problems and get to work.

Me:  I don't wanna do this anymore.

She: Bitch, you haven't even started yet.  You do not want to mess with me about this, especially this early in the game.  Get.  To.  Work.


I started a spreadsheet to keep track of everyone's entries.  The writing prompts will be happening on a weekly basis.  To keep getting entries in the contest and also to show everyone what you're working on, respond to each prompt with your response (and a link to it) or a link to your status update on your own personal projects. 

So, whenever I see the opportunity for success, I do what every sensible person does, I try to actively ignore it as best as I can and when that doesn't work, I do things to actively self sabotage it.  Getting back up from failure for me is easy, succeeding makes my blood run cold.  So, seeing all you lovely Charmers wanting to take place in this experiment that was completely initiated by me my muse, predictably made me want to hide under my bed with my new blankie and a bottle of St. Germain until it passes.  My body was more than happy to comply, my godson/nephew was spreading all his High Octane Baby Germ Farm cooties to Jow and me and today I feel like crap for the first time in a long time.  I tried to go back to sleep, but my Muse was not having any of it.  Tired of waiting for me to get my ass in gear I suppose.

Making Way

Let's start at the very beginning/ it's a very good place to start . . . 

Suggested Deities for this Working: Ganesha, Janus, Kali, Eostre, Bridget

Moon Phase: Waning (and She's waning right now)

Day of the Week: It can definitely be argued that Wednesdays are a good day to make changes as it's a Mercury day.  So don't be a slacker.  Saturday would also be a good day if you need a little time to get your shit together.

Suggested Inspirational Music: A Little Bit of Arson Never Hurt Anyone, Matson Jones
(And I've got people to see/ And places that I need to burn down/ And secrets that I need to burn out of my head)

You can't start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.

Let's start with the easy part.  Time to clean your house.  I know people get irritated when I say that but as a magic user, the way energy flows in a dirty cluttered house verses a clean organized house is very, very different.  If you do your work outside then you can disregard this part.  If you're an indoor dwelling creature like me, you can't.  Sorry.  If you are feeling really resistant to this part, take some time to journal and figure out why it aggravates you and then consider doing it anyway to see what it feels like to be in a different environment. If you don't like it, I assure you that it will go back to its natural habitat easily enough. You can totes hire someone do do the actual cleaning part.  Groupon often offers a first time cleaning service at a reduced rate so you can pay someone to do all the super tedious tub cleaning parts. If you would like to learn how to clean your house all by yourself, FlyLady is a good start because she has pretty realistic expectations of working full time/what you can do in a day and how to organize it/what reasonably clean is vs Miss Martha clean if you can put up with all the purple puddles and whatnot (you'll see).

Before you really start scrubbing things clean however, you need to start getting rid of junk.  If you are feeling clingy to your items, watch three episodes in a row of Hoarders and you won't be feeling so tight fisted anymore.  Are there books you have that you haven't looked at in over a year?  They've got to go.  Clothes that just need a small repair you'll never make/will fit if/you haven't worn in a year?  Bye.  Is your kitchen full of expired dry goods/refrigerated stuff?  Toss.  Do you have small appliances, pots and pans, electronics and other assorted space consuming items that you can't remember the last time you used?  Got to go.  Anything that is gently worn can be donated and this is a particularly nice time of year to be making donations.  There are organizations that benefit things like disease research instead of a religious agenda if that bothers you.  I personally like donating to Lupus because they take books and my grandma died due to Lupus complications.

Okay, so you decluttered and did whatever you had to do to get your residence clean.  Awesome.  Time to magically cleanse too.  All of this can be done as a sacrifice to the god/dess/es of your choice because it is a sacrifice for most of us to do all of that.

Is your time being well spent?  How are you supposed to really work on all these projects of yours if your time is getting siphoned off on unproductive things?  Only you can really determine what is a productive use of your time, but if it feels more like an obligation than something you really want to be doing and you are able to gently and quickly cut ties with that activity/acquaintance/whatever, do so.  Now's a good time to get rid of things that are dead weight.

It's also a good time to look at your schedule and make sure you're spending your time well.  Sometimes, spending your time well does indeed mean watching five hours of Toddlers and Tiaras and drinking port.   Everyone needs down time, but figure out how much down time you need per day so you're not a snarling beast and give it to yourself strings free.  If you don't, you won't be able to accomplish anything.  If you're just being lazy and screwing around (which is also in our nature), shut off the television, stop checking your smartphone every two minutes and get LeechBlock and do whatever it is you're supposed to be doing - spending quality time with your family, working on your business, making alchemy happen, going to the gym, etc.  In an ideal world, I think you should be able to find an hour a day to work on whatever project you want to work on.  I don't think that's crazy - eight hours to work, eight hours to sleep, seven hours for down time and whatever other unavoidable things you have to get done (like commute, errands, those kids of yours, etc) and then an hour for your special projects.  You can rotate your projects.  Maybe you can't go to the gym every day or meditate every day.  That's okay.  Dedicating at least an hour a week to it is probably more than you're doing now.  You should probably not have any more than seven projects going at a time anyway for your own sanity.

Just because someone hands you a big rock doesn't mean you have to carry it.   We all have baggage to deal with (such as forgiveness issues and toxicity).  What's weighing you down?  Light a candle to your deity(ies) of choice and really do some journaling about it.  Explore the issue(s) with a very close friend.  Do your best to let go of it, even if you do need to sometimes need to occasionally revisit it.

What I've done:

* As regular readers know, Jow and I have been having an on going discussion about what to do with our Spare Oom and we've made a lot of progress with figuring out how we want it to look and what we want to do there.  To do this, we destashed something like 200 something books, both to sell and donate.  I've also donated a sizable chunk of my wardrobe.

* I recently did a big house cleaning, so our house is in pretty good shape.

* In terms of time, I've done a lot of hard work to really give myself the freedom to do the things I want to do.  My work schedule is set up so that I have Mondays with Jow and my evenings and weekends were devoted to my crafting business as well as socializing.  Come Jan my schedule will be even more stable and I won't have an excuse not to write or go to the gym.

* In terms of big rocks, I realized it's a big stumbling block for me that I am afraid of success because it's had some really negative repercussions in my romantic life and subconsciously in addition to my usual fear of success, it's gone a step further because I was afraid that if I was too successful, I could lose Jow.  Naturally, we've talked a lot about this and the underlying issues there and anyone who knows Jow knows what a supportive pony he is but my fear is that I've thought previous relationships were supportive and hindsight has shown not so much.  I've also been contemplating relationships that became toxic as well as dealing with the holidays, my relationship with food and contemplating my future.  Lots of big thinking.

Monday, December 12, 2011

[Retro Recipe Monday] Southern Eggnog

Firstly, thanks to all you Charmers who've already signed up for New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  There's always this awkward moment (and by moment I mean several hours) when you've put something out into the universe like this and you're wondering does everyone think I'm crazy/crazier than usual?  I will be doing our first prompt sometime this week, possibly tomorrow.

Onto the business at hand!  I thought we'd get back to our old friend The General Foods Kitchen Cookbook for some Christmas abominations.

If you get brave and decide to make any of this, as always, I'm happy to include you in a Recipe Monday guest spot.

Southern Eggnog

1 package (3 1/4 oz) Jell-O Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peach brandy or Grand Marnier
1 cup whipping cream

Combine pudding mix, sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk in a 2-quart saucepan.  Add slightly beaten egg yolks and blend well.  Then add remaining milk; mix well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full boil - about 10 minutes.  Cool.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks will form; fold into cooled pudding mixture.  Add vanilla and brandy; then chill several hours.  Just before serving, whip the cream.  Spoon onto eggnog.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Serves 12.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation

Yeah. . .She's not this classy.  Trust me.
My muse and I have an on-going disagreement of sorts.  Well.  I do.  She is indifferent as usual to my thoughts and feelings.  She clomps into my bedroom, heels in hand, cosmo and cheese fries on her breath.

She (poking me hard):  Hey.  Get up.

Me: What?  It's bedtime and we're not talking friends --

She: Whatever.  I have an idea.

Me: Your ideas are disorderly and often inconvenient.  I'm going back to bed.

She: No, you're not.  I'm going to keep poking you in your brain pan until you listen.  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening --


She: So it goes like this.

So, you're supposed to be, like, magicians, occultists, witches in the woods and the kitchen and on the soccer field, right?  Workers of wonder.  Dream weavers.  People who get shit done.  Isn't this the year to make your own luck?  You're feeling especially awful with the nights that never end and run over by the holidaze and you can't drink joie forever before needing a meeting.  So now's the fucking time.  Don't wait until that stupid glitter ball drops and you're already making drunk and/or sentimental mistakes, start now.  Start now when it's hardest.  Start now when you feel so weighed down with emotions better left to glittery and not so glittery vampires and when you feel like you could sleep forever.  Now is the time you need to wake up.  Get up, get up!  Don't miss this moment.  Create magics great and small, mundane and mystical.  Find everything you've been looking for, mysteries revealed in every form of divination and song and when you fuck it up, when you are too tired to try, bring each other up from bloodied knees to get back up smiling.  You are all made of stars and you have stardust in your veins.  Do something about it.

Here is what you'll do.  You'll write prompts.  You'll explore.  You'll fall down.  Sometimes you'll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know.  They'll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words.  You'll keep sewing yourself into who you'll want to be and you'll tell them, sometimes too much, because that's your way and what's needed.  You'll find how far you can really fly when you've made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments.  Besides your words, you'll give something made from your hands.  

Here is what they'll do.  Form a community of tealight hearths and stories high bonfires.  They'll whisper their stories, spirials of success and failure.  You'll learn from each other, make each other laugh, piss each other off.  You'll get things done together and alone.  You'll be afraid together, so knees up.    

Here's how it will work:

There's a prize.  Of course there's a prize.  I will do a random drawing and whoever wins can chose  one item from my shop and I will ship it anywhere in the world for free.  The Drawing will take place on Valentine's Day.  

I will put everyone's name in a hat and have Jow chose a name from the hat.  If you are a fiber freak (yarn, Dream Ambassadors, felted soap), I will even hand dye that item in the color of your choice.

You get one entry when:

* You add the "New Year, New You" button to your blog
* You blog about the "New Year, New You" experiment to spread the word about it
* You blog in response to any of my "New Year, New You" prompts (one entry each time you do so!)
* You blog about your own "New Year, New You" experiment (one entry each time you do so!).  You are captain of your own ship, if you're ass deep in your own experiments in making yourself stronger, faster, braver and more magical, that certainly counts.

You must leave me a comment with the appropriate link so that I know you have done these things.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last Sale Day at La Sirene et Le Corbeau!

Thanks to all of you Charmers for buying things at my sale so far!  Besides the terrariums, Dream Ambassadors, hand poured beeswax candles and handspun hand dyed yarn, I also offer an array of oils full of magic-y goodness:

Aurora's Mojo Hand Feeding Oil (Hand Infused Apothecary Style Oil)
Using a blend of dried herbs that include ginger and boneset this oil works to promote the prosperity, protection, attractiveness, luck and courage aspects of your mojo hand's spirit as well as working as an offering to the spirit as well with tobacco and rum. This oil is made with a high quality carrier oil and comes in a five milliliter amber glass bottle and is sealed with a cork and red beeswax. It has been made and consecrated using traditional methods.

This oil can be used on pulse points but can also be used for spiritual purposes such dressing candles, dressing mojo bags, dream pillows and poppets.

Rowan's Rose Love Drawing Oil (Hand Infused Apothecary Style Oil)
Using a blend of dried herbs that include rose and damiana to promote drawing a potential partner to you and increasing your attractiveness to prospective partners or your currrent partner(s), this oil is made with a high quality carrier oil and comes in a five milliliter amber glass bottle and is sealed with a cork and red beeswax. It has been made and consecrated using traditional methods.

This oil can be used on pulse points but can also be used for spiritual purposes such dressing candles, dressing mojo bags, dream pillows and poppets.

Britania's Basil Money Drawing Oil (Hand Infused Apothecary Style Oil)
Using a blend of dried herbs that include irish moss, honey, basil and cinnamon to promote drawing money and prosperity to you, this oil is made with a high quality carrier oil and comes in a five milliliter amber glass bottle and is sealed with a cork and red beeswax. It has been made and consecrated using traditional methods.

This oil can be used on pulse points but can also be used for spiritual purposes such dressing candles, dressing mojo bags, dream pillows and poppets.
High John the Conqueror Oil (Hand Infused Apothecary Style Oil) Using an olive oil carrier oil, this oil is infused with High John root for bringing success to your endeavors. It has been made and consecrated using traditional methods.

This oil can be used on pulse points but can also be used for spiritual purposes such dressing candles, dressing mojo bags, high john root, dream pillows and poppets.

Lucy's Lavender Healing Oil (Hand Infused Apothecary Style Oil)
Using a blend of dried herbs that include lavender and agrimony to promote healing for chronic conditions such as lupus, fibromyalgia, depression, insomnia and anxiety, this oil is made with a high quality carrier oil and comes in a five milliliter amber glass bottle and is sealed with a cork and red beeswax. It has been made and consecrated using traditional methods. I use a mortar and pestle to cold press the herbs by hand.

This oil can be used on pulse points but can also be used for spiritual purposes such dressing candles, dressing mojo bags, dream pillows and poppets.

Until 11:59p tonight, get 15% off at La Sirene et Le Corbeau with the code CYBERMONDAY.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sale at My Shop!

 From now until 11:59p Monday, get 15% off at La Sirene et Le Corbeau with the code CYBERMONDAY.   All orders shipped on Tuesday!

Tiny terrariums, luxe soft hand spun hand dyed yarn, handpoured beeswax candles, Dream Ambassadors and Apothecary oils! Spread the word. ♥