Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blood, Guts and Gore = Merry Christmas?

Since we will be traveling to my parents for Christmas I decided to give Fiance his gift early.  I got him a PS3 and the new Modern Warfare game.  I know there is a warning on the game but, until he started playing, I had no idea how violent this game truly is.  The most disturbing thing is that when I asked several of my students in grades 7-9 which game I should get him they all answered with Modern Warfare II.  Clearly, this game is highly inappropriate for kids that age and stores are not allowed to sell to anyone under 17, so who exactly is purchasing it for them?  Do parents not consider these ratings or do any research into the types of games that their children are playing?  I have witnessed students become increasingly violent and apathetic when it comes to others' suffering.  That is not to say that games like this are solely to blame, but they are certainly not helping!  It makes one wonder what kind of society we are creating where kids and adults alike play games of this violent nature to the point where they are no longer shocked and appalled by horribly violent imagery. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stone of the Week: Emerald

Emerald is known as the "stone of successful love".  It increases loving vibrations and helps bring about a happy home.  It enhances joy, faith and loyalty.  Emerald can strengthen both friendships and romantic relationships.  It also promotes truthfulness and calms the emotions while bringing inspiration and patience.  I am hoping that carrying a piece of emerald will be particularly helpful in dealing with the last week of school before the holiday break and in communicating with a demanding parent as it can bring mutual understanding and promote cooperation.
Emerald is known to help with memory and to enhance mental clarity.  It is known as a detoxifyer and can aid with diabetes and problems with the liver and pancreas.  Emerald is also associated with the eyes and can aid vision problems while it promotes clarity.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hurt and Confused

I was dealt a harsh blow today.  I have been friends with this person for a couple of years and a month ago we were making wedding plans and discussing her being my maid of honor.  In just the last few weeks have felt that things have been cooling off.  She has canceled plans at the last minute, doesn't call and doesn't want to talk when I call.  Finally this morning I left her a phone message asking if I had done something wrong and if we could talk.  A few hours later I received a facebook message that basically said "I don't want to be friends anymore".  I am thoroughly hurt and confused by this whole course of events.  Despite claiming a desire to spare my feelings the message contained several comments like "you have been very needy and dramatic, to the extent that I don't want to answer the phone when you call because I know what I am in for" and "At times you can be a know-it-all" and when referring to my recent engagement "Just remember, the shine on the diamond fades and you only wear the dress for one day, so you better be sure of what you want".  I realize that I have my faults, but this friend has never brought up any of these issues before.  I am so devastated by the things she has said that it has left me wondering which parts are true, am I this horrible person that she paints me to be?  How could a friend of several years just up and walk away rather than try to work things out? 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Struck down with the Swine

Despite my best efforts to prevent getting sick it seems I have been struck down with H1N1.  I began feeling sick Monday morning and it all went downhill from there.  On Wednesday I went to the flu clinic set up to deal with the large number of flu cases and was prescribed tamiflu.  It seems to be helping but I am still dealing with a very bad cough as well as an upset stomach (which may be a side effect of the tamiflu).  This is, by far, the sickest that I have ever been in my life and I urge anyone who has not yet done so to go out and get the vaccine.  I am a young woman, without any medical issues and I have been struck down hard.  I can hardly imagine the effect that this would have on someone with health issues.  I hope that by Sunday I will be back to normal and able to get back to my life and to this blog.  Hope all my followers are feeling much better than I am.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Car Protection Mojo Bag


Red cloth bag
Rosemary Oil
Piece of Turquoise
Piece of Moonstone
Piece of Snowflake Obsidian (I chose a piece with just a few specks in order to avoid heavy snow)

Cleanse and prepare all ingredients.  Add them to the bag one at a time.  Ask the goddess to bless the bag and keep both the car and any passengers safe from harm.  Keep the mojo bag in your glove compartment or hang it from your rear view mirror.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Fever!

Hello, my name is PhoenixWitch and I am a Christmas-aholic.  I officially broke out the Christmas music today (I only waited this long in order to properly respect Remembrance Day).  As always, I started with the Kenny & Dolly Christmas album and spent my morning commute singing at the top of my lungs and marveling at how the cheery songs are able to instantly lift my mood.  I spent the rest of the day in an amazingly good mood and was even tempted into visiting Wal-Mart after work.  I am still holding off on putting up the Christmas tree, though I am not sure if I will be able to wait until the month is over.  I think part of my early celebration of the season stems from the fact that I live away from home and Christmas means going home for a couple of weeks.  So not only am I looking forward to the joy of the season and the extended break from teaching but I am also excited about seeing my family again for the first time since last year.

Am I alone in this? Has anyone else caught the Holiday Spirit already?

P.S Looks like I finally got my new background to work.  Look! Its snowing!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A failed attempt at re-decorating

ARRRGGGG! As you may have noticed I attempted to change the look of this blog with a new template.  I spent the last week fighting with it to re-install all of my gadgets and buttons.  I have finally given up the fight.  It seems I simply cannot get everything I need (especially statcounter) to work with the new template, so here we are, back where we started, yet again.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stone of the Week: Turquoise

Turquoise is a beautiful stone that has been prized throughout history by many different cultures and used for everything from adorning tombs and making jewellery to healing magick and ensuring an arrow hits it's target.  Due to it's vibrant color, this stone is associated with the sky and may be help one connect with sky deities.  It is a strong stone for protection and legend has it that a turquoise stone will shatter if the carrier is about to find themselves in immediate danger.  It also absorbs negativity and clears away pollution and electromagnetic smog.  It brings with it wisdom and truth and is said to change color when one is faced with infidelity. Turquoise is associated with the throat chakra and allows the user to release inhibitions and express themselves more freely.  In this way, it also strengthens creative expression. 
Turquoise is known as a "master healer" stone.  It enhances the immune system and alleviates infection.  It can also aid with throat and lung issues such as asthama.  Turquoise is a stone that enhances positive thinking and, as such, can aid in any number of health and mental well being issues. 
Due to the popularity of turquoise there are many people selling imitation pieces.  Usually these are howlite that has been dyed to resemble turquoise.  If you are looking to purchase turquoise be sure that you trust the seller as reputable and ask questions about whether or not the stone has undergone any treatment.  For side by side examples of real vs fake check out  TheTurquoiseChick

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dispelling Negativity with Hematite

 Hematite has the unique quality of acting as a mirror.  Because it reflects what it sees it can also be used to dispel negativity.  This makes it an excellent stone to keep in an area that you feel negativity building up.  I am making a personal effort to leave my work issues at work and maintain a (relatively) tranquil and peaceful home.  In order to aid me in this I installed a key rack with a mirror and placed three small hematite stones on top. Before stepping through the door at the end of each day I take a moment to cleanse myself of the negativity gathered throughout the day. 
You may also wish to take advantage of these qualities to rid yourself of the emotions and anxiety that can trouble your sleep.  Simply hold the stone and allow your troubles to slip away.  You may also wish to light a candle and/or play some relaxing music.

A Return and A Rant

I aplogize for my absence this last week.  I do most of my blogging on the weekend but with my surprise engagement last week I was swept into a whirlwind of dinners, visits and congratulations that left me with little time to keep up with the online world.  But now I am back and better than ever!

I am very excited to have purchased a HP Mini Netbook and am now able to blog from the couch! Oh the marvels of technology!! 

In all seriousness, the real purpose for buying a netbook was to eliminate my frustration with the computers at my school.  Having used my home computer, the one at my old school and the one at my new school to create documents meant that the dinosaur I am forced to use at work would not open 3/4 of my files!!! It is incredibly frustrating to get inspired to work on a project only to discover your processor refuses to acknowledge anything created after the invention of the internet!  So now, I have a machine that can travel with me and actually open all of my files.  I also purchased a printer so that I won't have to deal with the antiquated piece of crap that the school board seems to think qualifies as a printer. 

Times like these always make me think about the parents who write into the paper or call the radio stations complaining about teachers being lazy and unconcerned with their child's education (these are particularly prevalent after a snow day - which, I must note, is simply for the safety of your child and is not a decision made by any teacher, but the board in the area).  I would love to provide those same parents with charts displaying the time I spend after my allotted hours, prepping for my classes, correcting student work, discussing issues with parents and staff, creating the school yearbook and directing the school musical (a task that takes at least 5 months).  I would also love to show them the receipts for each teacher in my school and calculate how much each person spends (out of our own pocket!) on supplies to try and better our teaching.  Perhaps I have lofty ideas about the respect that teachers deserve but I come from a small town where teachers were not seen as the enemy, and were appreciated for the extra time that they provide in order to give their students wonderful opportunities and life experiences.  What has happened in our world that we no longer acknowledge the valuable role of educators in the lives of our children? 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Halloween Surprise

It starts with these:

Wait for it........ It gets better........

Heres another

How well does my man know me to propose on October 31st??!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Halloweeny Goodies

Some more Halloweeny goodies.  The two cute little witches are new, the door hangers are from last year.




Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stone of the Week: Hematite

Hematite is an excellent grounding stone and is a staple of any witch's collection.  It is a protective stone not only for the physical realm but the astral one as well.  Hematite cleans the aura of negative energies and is particularly useful in stressful and negative environments, especially those involving the legal field.  Those who use this stone find themselves strengthened as it enhances their self esteem, willpower and confidence levels.  Hematite can aid those seeking to overcome addictions or over-indulgences such as smoking or over-eating.  Hematite helps organize the mind and stimulates concentration and focus.  As such, it is a useful stone for any workplace. 
As a healing stone, Hematite is associated with the blood and can be beneficial to those suffering from blood-related conditions such as anemia.  It also aids the kidneys and tissues.  Hematite can be used to treat cramps, anxiety and insomnia.  An elixer can also be used for fevers. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Tiger's Eye Abundance Spell

Hold at least 4 tiger's eye stones in your hand and charge them to bring abundance.  Place the stones around a green candle (either in a ring or one stone in each direction - North, South, East and West).  You may chose to anoint the candle with a money drawing or success oil, such as cedarwood.  You may also wish to burn money drawing herbs such as basil or mint (since mint grows and multiplies very fast I find it particularly effective when you need the spell to work quickly).

If you simply need a quick influx of cash try chanting:

Money, money plentiful
Make my wallet mighty full
Money, money overflowing
Keep my cashflow ever growing

If, however, you are looking for more long lasting prosperity I would choose:

My prosperity will grow and flower
Increasing my financial power
Bills are paid with funds to spare
Money both to save and share 

One Holiday At A Time Please!

I love October.  I love the chill in the air, I love digging out my nice sweaters and scarves, I love watching the leaves change and, ultimately, I love Halloween.  I have always loved Halloween.  Even as a kid I would check the tv listings and write down when all my favorite specials were coming on.  It seems to me like those lasted all month!  Now it seems most people cannot wait for Halloween to be over!  The shop have already started to put Halloween merchandise on sale in order to shift it out for their ever growing Christmas stock.  I don't need to see tiny plastic reindeer next to my bloody severed hand, or red and green marring my orange and black!  Don't get me wrong - I love the Christmas season too, but let me enjoy one holiday before forcing me to move on to the next!!  Our consumerist culture simply pushes us to buy buy buy, moving quickly from one holiday to the next so that we do not lose our momentum and stop for even a minute to enjoy the time that we have. 


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stone of the Week: Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Eye is a beautiful stone and most Pagans tend to have at least one piece lying around.  It is a wonderful stone for creating courage and helping maintain one's convictions.  It brings out the inner integrity in a person and allows them to see true intentions (both their own and others), this, in turn, aids them in accomplishing goals.  Tiger's eye is very potent when it comes to protection and many people wear a piece as a talisman against danger.  It is an excellent stone for attracting money and luck.  When placed on the third eye it can also enhance psychic abilities, particularly in those born under and earth sign.  In terms of healing, Tiger's eye is associated (obviously enough) with the eye and can aid with vision problems.  It is also helpful in repairing broken bones and dissolving constrictions.

Tiger's eye is most commonly known in the gold variety but also comes in Blue and Red.  Blue Tiger's eye has a calming effect and can be particularly helpful with those who are over stressed and/or quick tempered.  It can also slow one's metabolism and calm an overactive sex drive.  Red Tiger's Eye has the opposite effect, speeding up one's metabolism and increasing a low sex drive.  It is also a motivating stone that can help overcome lethargy and procrastination. 

I'm a Winner - Mrs B says so!!

I have been entering some of the contests over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom with Mrs B and it turns out I actually won!!

This awesome wall hanging comes from Michele with a Single L Designs  Check out her site for some more amazing finds!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cemetery Excursion

Just last week my very non-pagan boyfriend made a very out of the blue suggestion.  He mentioned that he had read about where Alexander Keith (Nova Scotian politician and brewmaster - the creator Keith's Beer) was buried and suggested that we visit a local graveyard to check it out.  All I could think was SQUEEEE!!!  I love visiting old graveyards, so off we went, camera in two to check out two in our fair city.

First the Downtown Cemetery (the official name escapes me but I will edit if I remember it)


 A monument to the man who founded the first Freemason Lodge in Canada

Looks like someone else had an even better time than we did!

Then on to the Camp Hill Cemetary

Love the detail work on this one:

Here is our good buddy Alexander Keith:

And the grave of Joseph Howe, Nova Scotian journalist, politician and outspoken opponent to Confederation:

A perfect October excursion.  I am hoping we will be able to continue our little trips and explore some of the lesser known cemeteries, who knows who we will find!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Attracting Abundance and Positive Energy with Citrine

Citrine is a fairly plentiful and commonly used stone and so I am really hoping that some of you are playing along at home with our Stone of the Week game. Here are some of the ways in which you can participate with your Citrine stone.

- Place a piece of Citrine in the wealth corner of your home (furthest to the rear and left of your front door). You may also wish to strengthen this by adding rose quartz and aventurine in order to attract not only money but also success.

- Carry or display a piece of Citrine and a piece of amethyst in order to promote happy relationships. Citrine fills you with joy and confidence while amethyst helps calm strong emotions and allows you to get in touch with your feelings.

- Ever feel that your bathroom is has a heavy atmosphere? This can be especially strong for those in apartments like mine with no window. Try keeping a piece of Citrine where it will catch the light and lift those weighty vibrations.

- Feeling out of sorts and down on yourself? Take a few minutes to lie comfortably and place a citrine crystal on your solar plexus chakra. Concentrate on your ego issues and let them slip away. Repeat daily for a few weeks or until you are feeling yourself again.

- Help menopausal symptoms with a Citrine elixir. Clean your stone thoroughly with water and then place in a glass container. Cover the stone with mineral water and allow to sit on a sunny window sill for 1-2 hours. Remove the crystal and store the liquid. Drink a small amount whenever you feel symptoms

Sources: Crystal Energy by Mary Lambert

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'd Rather be Burned as a Witch - video montage

I just discovered "I'd Rather be Burned as a Witch" by Eartha Kitt and I LOVE IT!!!! Give a Listen! 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stone of the Week: Citrine

This week I am hoping for abundance.  I am awaiting word from my lawyer about an injury settlement from a car accident a few years ago.  If I am able to clear enough, I will have a healthy down-payment and be able to start looking for a house.  So I decided to choose Citrine, the stone of abundance, to work with this week.  Citrine not only helps to attract wealth and prosperity but also reminds us to share our fortune with others.  It dispels worry and negativity and brings joy to all those nearby.  It can help one overcome fear and dispel anger.  Citrine also carries the power of the sun and I am hoping it is able to provide warmth because my classroom this year is FREEZING!!
In terms of healing, citrine balances the aura and is particularly useful for digestive problems.  Perhaps something most of us Canadians could use today after gorging ourselves on thanksgiving turkey!  It also increases blood circulation and can be used as an elixer to alleviate menstrual problems.

To begin with my Citrine practice this week, I have placed a citrine crystal in the wealth corner of my apartment (the corner furthest back and to the left of your front door) with the point facing into the house in order to bring prosperity to my home.  I will also be carrying a piece of citrine and taking time each day to "feel" wealthy and to appreciate all that I have.

A Wonderful Week of Celestite

A short update on my working with Celestite.  I have been finding myself obsessed with this stone lately and, as such, have acquired a few large pieces.  During the week I carried a piece of celestite every day and believe that it has helped me lower my stress levels and remain positive during a very trying week.  I have also meditated with the large celestite globe pictured below but I did not see any noticeable difference except that I nearly feel asleep.  This, however, could be due to a hectic work schedule and my poor meditating skills (I'm working on it but it is hard for me to keep up the practice).  Speaking of sleep, whenever I had difficulty falling asleep, as I often do due to constant thoughts about work, I held a large piece of celestite and it definitely helped me to relax and eventually to drop off.  I even had difficulty not falling asleep with the stone in my hand!  All in all, celestite is a wonderful, relaxing stone and has definitely become my "go to" stone for stress relief.

Halloweeny Goodies.

I finally broke out my camera so I could show you some of the more recent additions to my home. 

First, My Altar by Daylight

My Altar by Candlelight

Some of my larger stones.  First, Amethyst




This is my newest acquisition.  A large Celestite sphere.

And here are some Halloweeny goodies that caught my eye on a recent shopping trip.  First,an adorable witch ornament.  I really want to start collecting these so that I can put up a Halloween Tree.

And finally, the cutest little witch doll.  This is Lucy, from Peanuts.  Dressed as a Witch.  If you press on her foot she says " A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality"

What Goodies have you gotten recently??

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Connecting to Energies from the Other Side with Celestite.

Celestite is known for allowing us access to the entities of the other side.  In particular, it is noted for enhancing contact with angels.  In order to strengthen your connection to your own angels, try combining an angel statue or picture with a piece of celestite.  You Might:

- Place the celestite and the picture/statue on your altar and visit it each morning.  Ask the stone to show you the love and protection that surrounds you throughout your day.

- Meditate with the celestite and the picture/statue.  Choose music or incense (perhaps frankincense) that also helps connects you with the other side.  During meditation you may also wish to place the celestite at your crown chakra as it is associated with spirituality.

- Carry the celestite and the picture/statue (if they are not too large) with your throughout your day.  Watch for signs that angels are nearby.

**NOTE: The suggestions above can work with any entity that you like, simply substitute their image.  I do NOT however, recommend calling on a particular friend or relative as they may not be among your personal protectors and you may be pulling them from important work elsewhere.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stone of the Week: Celestite

I am going to attempt to concentrate on one stone a week.  I will begin by blogging a description of the stone, then work with the stone for the week and post any thoughts and impressions.  I encourage any of my readers to try the same, that way we can compare notes!  Since I recently purchased a large Celestite sphere, I thought I would start with this stone. 

Color: Blue and White
Appearance: Transparent, pyramidal crystals as medium to large cluster or geode, or platelike piece
Rarity: Easily obtained but quite expensive
Source: Britain, Egypt, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Libya, Madagascar

Celestite is a beautiful stone that embodies peace and tranquility.  It is an excellent stone for stress relief and can help create a harmonious environment, try placing a large piece in a stressful room (office, kitchen, laundry room etc) for an instant mood adjustment.  These properties also make it a stone that can concur insomnia.  Celestite can reduce anxiety and help heal relationship problems and promote peaceful negotiations.  It provides a connection to the divine, be that god and goddess, spirits, fairies or angels and can be particularly helpful for meditation and astral travel.  Celestite also promotes truth and can be helpful when a situation calls for honesty from all parties. 
Physically, celestite can be used to relieve headaches and relax muscles.  It is associated with the throat chakra and can be helpful with thyroid problems.  It is believe to be helpful with women undergoing menstruation but, if used in this way, should be cleansed after each period.

Important note: Celestite will fade in direct sunlight so be cautious about where you are placing your pieces.

The Crystal Bibe - Judy Hall
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic - Scott Cunningham

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Connective Power of Food

Boyfriend and I are embarking on a new tradition: cooking together.  Up until this point he has only been encouraged to enter the kitchen in order to cook ground beef while I chop veggies (ground beef is the base for several of the meals that I make - don't worry, I buy it as lean as possible within my budget).  But now he is showing an interest in taking a more participatory role in the food that we eat.  Last night we went to the grocery store at around 8:30 and spent an hour picking up some necessities and picking out some treats.  He then decided that he wanted to cook breakfast in the morning (something he has never done in the 4 years that we have been together).  So we picked up bacon, eggs and hashbrowns and this morning we created a wonderful breakfast together (well more like a brunch - boyfriend is damn near impossible to get out of bed before 11 am.

This whole excursion has got me thinking about the connective power of food, in particular, of sharing the entire process of food, from shopping, to storing, to preparing and cleaning up.  The grocery store was fairly deserted so we were able to meander through the aisles, picking out items and playing around.  It was one of the most fun evenings that we have had since the summer ended.  I am hoping that we can make this a weekend tradition and that working together to create something will bring us even closer.  Cooking always brings me back to my mother's kitchen, making spaghetti sauce or homemade soup.  It was always just us girls and we were able to have some of the most amazing conversations over the smell of simmering vegetables.  I am sure that my mother also flashes back to her mother's kitchen and her 6 sisters talking, laughing, sharing and eating. 

I often wonder what we are losing in our ever increasingly fast paced world.  These days hardly anyone cooks from scratch.  Most people prepare meals from pre-packaged dinners which are hyped as being fast and convenient.  How many children have never witnessed a meal created from real, fresh ingredients, or spent an afternoon in a warm, comforting kitchen, stirring a dish while mom or dad cut up vegetables?  What are our children missing out on when we prefer fast and easy to slow but filled with love?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy First Day of October!

Just a quick note to say Happy First Day of October!  I love this time of year, when things start cooling down, the leaves start changing and I can start obsessing over Halloween music, costumes, decorations and movies!  As the wheel continues to change we can look forward to comfy flannel jammies, hot chocolate (gourmet only in my house!) and that first cold, crisp snowfall.  But first, a blessed and spiritual (or wild and crazy) Samhain!!  Let the season begin!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall TV Plans

As my last post said I am using my weekend hours on some very valuable me time and one of the things I love to do is catch up on my favorite TV shows.  So I thought I would write a little about my old (and new) favorites.  I download pretty much everything I watch because a) I can watch it without commercials (saves time and calories - all those food commercials make me want to snack) and b) most of the good shows come on later in the evening here and I am crashing by 10pm (geezzy creezy I feel old).  Currently I am trying to catch up on the last two or three seasons of Criminal Minds, Supernatural and How I Met Your Mother.  Over the summer I watched the entire first season of Big Bang Theory and I highly recommend it.  The Sheldon character is so incredibly strange and neurotic that I spend the entire episode laughing out loud.

As we creep our way into the fall I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with CSI (I only watch Las Vegas - couldn't stand the other two), America's Next Top Model, Grey's Anatomy and The Mentalist.  And then there is Bones.  I adore this show.  I just watched the season opener which featured Cindy Lauper playing a surprisingly skilled tarot reader.  The relationship between Bones and Booth keeps me coming back for more and the incredible character of Dr. Temperance Brennan ensures that this will never be your typical romance. 

With regard to new series, I am thoroughly enjoying and highly recommending Glee: an irreverently funny show about a high school glee club full of "freaks and geeks".  I am also intrigued by Flash Forward "When the world’s population is given a glimpse of their future due to a mysterious global event, it forces everyone to come to grips with whether their destinies can be fulfilled or avoided".  Finally, I am carefully optimistic about the new Eastwick, based on the Witches of Eastwick and starring Lindsay Price, Jamie Ray Newman and Rebecca Romijn.  I was very excited to hear about the series but am a little worried that there hasn't been much press around it that I have seen. 

So those are my tv plans, what are yours?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An apology for my absence and an update of my existance

My life, for the last two weeks, has consisted of nothing but school.  I am currently teaching Grade 7, 8 and 9 Science and Grade 7, 8 and 9 English as well as 8 PDR (like health class).  The only one I have taught before is 7 Science so I am writing new programs for 6 courses and working like a madwoman to try and learn all the procedures of the new school and the names of the students from 6 classes. 

The kids are tough, but I am determined to not let them break me down.  I am approaching each day with a smile and a positive thought (for example: I only have those monsters in 8 English for an hour today HOORAY!). 

The first month of school is incredibly tiring and I am in need of some serious R&R this weekend.  Plans: read Dan Brown's new book, watch hours of brain numbing television and drink at least a bottle (maybe two) of wine.

Hope you all have similarly gloriously relaxing plans,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pagan Fiction

I am a huge fan of Pagan Fiction and I thought I would share some of my favorites for those who haven't encountered them yet.  So in no particular order here are my top five Pagan Fiction books (or series)

1. Bell, Book & Murder: The Bast Mysteries by Rosemary Edghill

This is actually a composite of 3 books:  Speak Daggers to Her, Book of Moons and The Bowl of Night all of which feature the character of Bast a New Yorker and Gardnerian.  All three books have memorable characters and interesting storylines.  I love that the magick they show is realistic and the description of the inner workings of Bast's coven.  A great light read for all Pagans!

2.  Book of Shadows and The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott.

While perhaps not strictly fiction, I chose to include these books because I enjoyed them so much.  They describe the author's discovery of and journey through the world of witchcraft.  Phyllis Curott presents an enjoyable and interesting view of her own path to the Goddess.  I find it very refreshing to read about real-life magick as well as other people's practices and would love to see more books like these two.

3.  The Circle of Three Series by Isobel Bird.

Circle of Three is a series of 15 books.  The books tell the story of Kate, Cooper and Annie, three young girls who are drawn together by the craft.  They feature real life struggles of parental acceptance, loss of friendships and searching for your own path.  I particularly recommend them for teen witches (scary that that phrase always makes me think of Silver Ravenwolf now - but I digress) but they are also a fun read for adults.

4. Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan.

Sweep is another series of 15 books all aimed at teens.  Of the list so far, this is the most fantastical.  The books begin with Morgan Rowlands discovering that she is a "Blood Witch".  The author takes tidbits of real magick (for example the use of crystals) and then expands them to fantasy proportions.  All in all they are a fun read, but I prefer a little more realism and a little more religion in my Pagan Ficition.

5.  Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

I am being very loose with the term Pagan Fiction in order to include this series in the list.  There are 6 books in the series and involve characters like Percy Jackson who are half-bloods (half human half god).  The books are delightful and feature many of the Greek myths and monsters.  I chose to include it because I am a huge fan of Greek Mythology and love to see it being used as inspiration for new fiction.  These series is also very popular with my teenage students (even boys!) and is a great pic for those kids who never seem to get into books.

So those are my top 5, what would your top 5 be??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amethyst can help with anything!

If you read my last post you know that I am a big fraidy cat when it comes to the new school year.  So I ventured out to my new school again today but this time I came armed.  I brought along a spray bottle filled with spring water, sage, rose petals, a piece of quartz and a piece of amethyst.  I sprayed this around the room in order to cleanse some of the bad energy and bring in some positive, calm and relaxing energy.  I then placed a piece of natural (not polished) amethyst in each corner in the room.  
For those of you who don't know much about crystals, here is why I did that:  Amethyst is a stone that emits calming energy and promotes peace and tranquility.  It helps balance energy and is especially recommended for children with ADHD.  Amethyst is the very first stone I was ever attracted to and I wore a large piece of it for most of my teenage years, which may have helped me not get into the trouble that many of my peers did.  I have more amethyst in my home than any other stone and, in my ritual room, I have a beautiful little fountain that cascades water over a pile of Amethyst.  

I feel a little better now that I have taken some action and made the classroom a little more "mine".  I'm still incredibly nervous about meeting all the new people and trying to make connections but at least I have made some progress in feeling more comfortable in my own little part of the school.