My familiar spirit.
Familiar spirits were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches in their practice of magic. According to the records of the time, they would appear in numerous guises, often as an animal, but also at times as a human or humanoid figure, and were described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms, vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound" by those alleging to have come into contact with them, unlike later descriptions of ghosts with their "smoky, undefined forms".
When they served witches, they were often thought to be malevolent, while when working for cunning folk they were often thought of as benevolent. The former were often categorized as demons, while the latter were more commonly thought of and described as fairies. The main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch or young witch, providing protection for them as they come into their new powers. Since the 20th century a number of magical practitioners, including adherents of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, have begun to use the concept of familiars, due to their association with older forms of magic. These contemporary practitioners utilize pets, wildlife or believe that invisible spirit versions of familiars act as magical aids. -Wikipedia
I suffered a loss, very recently, and almost immediately wanted a kitten. I've had cats as an adult and as a child; but I wanted this one for many different reasons. I considered a kitten about a month ago but my fiance didn't agree; since I was pregnant I didn't argue much. I just wanted a companion, other than my clumsy dog, to be in my sacred work space with me and provide protection for me as I come into my new powers.
Stella was so easy to adopt, almost too easy which made things a lot easier. We are not sure what breed she is and we're not too pressed about it; she is so loving and calming and everything I'd knew she'd be. She does the normal things kittens do and we find it adorable. She loves our huge house but is getting used to our Blue Heeler mix, Naomi, who is 5 years old and over the moon that Stella is here.
Stella and I spend lots of time in my apothecary. She loves to perch on the counters and watch as I: choose which herbs to infuse, lovingly pack customer orders, arrange my new supplies, light candles in memory of lost loves ones, meditate, cry, mix oils...you know, the things that I love doing and occupy my mind. When she watches me while I work, sitting so proper, it makes me happy. She sits in my lap as I update my website - all the while purring and it's adorable. She, oh so carefully, walks on the counter-tops, vigilant to not knock anything down but curious enough to disturb it. She brings a peace and calmness to me.
Stella and I will have a long journey together. She will be our shop cat and soon plenty others will get to love on her and she on them.
The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round; however, seasonal flu activity often begins as early as October and November and can continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February. There is no "cure" for the common cold or the flu, but there are tools available to increase self-care as you wait for the virus to run its course.
One effective method of self-care is using essential oils as a topical rub or for aromatherapy. Essential oils can help alleviate your cold and flu symptoms, especially by clearing your nasal passage and reducing headaches and body aches. Some oils have antiviral benefits to help treat infections and reduce fever. Inhalation is the most beneficial way to use essential oils for cold and flu. You can inhale essential oils by sniffing the bottle directly or adding a few drops of oil to a cotton ball or handkerchief. This method helps clear your nasal passages so you can breathe better. The oils may also help you sleep better and reduce stress. You can add a few drops of essential oils to:
Onion honey – 1 spoonful as needed
Onion cough syrup
Thyme tea with lemon
Thyme and/or sage inhalation
Herbal Remedies for Respiratory Symptoms
Thyme and Sage tea are lung strengtheners and treat respiratory tract problems. You can use both thyme and sage alone or they can be used together
Thyme and/or sage steam inhalation, teas or honey
Herbal Remedies for Sinus Congestion
Sage tea in Neti Pot
Neti Pot with saline
*Lemon juice squeezed into your sage tea removes the bitterness.
Tea and Infusions! Herbal teas are a great way to treat cold/flu symptoms; not only do you get the medicinal benefits, but they are also soothing, warm, and relaxing. Infusions usually use more herbs than regular herbal teas and are steeped for longer periods of time. I find using a French press to be the best method of infusing and the easiest way to strain. But, any glass jar (mason or recycled food containers) and a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth can be used.
Herbal tea - general preparation:
EarthShine also has handmade, all-natural, chemical free products to help you during cold and flu season. I personally recommend our Echinacea tincture, Headache Healer and Wildflower and Herb Facial Steam:
Blessed be! I handcraft all of EarthShine's products; each product is created with the highest intention of love and positive vibes. When I'm creating our magickal items I'm very focused and specific, ensuring that I first cleanse myself, then the supplies. I also bless our magickal products with earth, air and water once complete.
Intention is the practice of holding in our minds that which we desire in the physical world. The universe is malleable and flowing and is in a constant state of change. I craft several different intention oils for your use. Suggested ways to use our Intention Oils:
Mojo bags are handmade pouches filled with items that grant the owner the properties they desire. They can be created and used for almost any need, want or desire; they are powerful allies in magick.
You may keep your mojo bag in your pocket, book bag, purse, dresser or car. I recommend that you carry it with you when you specifically want it's magickal effects around you. To make your mojo bag even more powerful, feed your mojo bag with an intention oil: put a dab on the four corners of the mojo bag and one in the middle; this helps keep the energy strong.
Self-care Ritual Bath Soak:
Charged for working with goddess energy, self worth and love as well as attraction. A magickal blend of natural salts, essential oils and herbs for relaxation and spirituality. Suggested use:
Air Fresheners and Sprays:
Designed for people who have difficulties being around the smoke of incense and/or want to cleanse a space where an incense isn't able to be lit. Use in ritual or when you want to rid your space of negative energy!
Saturday, September 21st, is the fall equinox, which marks the day when the earth is at equilibrium. Other names for this day include Harvest Tide, Harvest Home, Second Harvest and Wine Harvest. At this point, the world begins its descent into slumber for the winter. Traditionally, this is seen as the time at which the crops are all harvested: perfect for witchcraft, as we approach the latter half of the year and closer to Mabon and Samhain. The name “Mabon” is a rather recent name for the Sabbat, coming into usage in the late 20th century. Mabon was a Welsh mythological figure whose origins are connected to a divine “mother and son” pair, echoing the dual nature of the relationship between the Goddess and the God. Symbols of Mabon are reflective of the season: it's associated with rich, vibrant jewel tone hues and objects that possess grounding, comforting qualities. Vegetables such as squash and gourds, apples and anything made from their fruit, seeds, nuts, and corn are all appropriate for the holiday.
Witchcraft in autumn is the height of witch season as we approach Samhain and the harvest provides an assortment of ways to create autumnal magick. Vegetables such as squash and gourds, apples and anything made from their fruit, seeds, nuts, and corn are all appropriate for the holiday. If you have an altar, honor the new season by decorating it with any of the aforementioned, as well as with baskets to symbolize the gathering of the crops. Mabon is a useful time for practicing protection magic as well as prosperity magic. Any form of divination you partake in will be particularly revealing now, and meditating on the balance between light and dark and this space of equilibrium is also customary. Whether you're celebrating with a ritual, a feast, or simply by spending time outside, this is a perfect excuse to enjoy the season.
As any practicing witch can tell you, the equinox is a powerful time energetically; the start of autumn, specifically, marks the point at which the light begins to wane. For pagans, equinoxes are particularly significant events, and the autumnal equinox is somewhat equivalent to Thanksgiving. This is an important time to give thanks to Mother Goddess and the earth for her gifts. As you celebrate the harvest you've reaped, you simultaneously recognize that the soil is dying, that the nights will start to become longer, and that the earth is slowly going into hibernation. Pagans often also take this time to find connection to Gaia, the goddess of the earth and nature incarnate.
But how should you celebrate Mabon? For starters, Mabon rituals can include decorating your altar with acorns, pine cones, seasonal fruits and nuts, and/or a few of the first colored leaves that drop from the trees. Candles and altar cloths in autumn colors like rusty red, orange, brown, and gold are appropriate. If you have a feast, whether solo or with others, include seasonal vegetables like onions, potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables. Here are a few suggestions:
PRODUCTS MADE FROM CONVENTIONALLY PRODUCED INGREDIENTS CAN HAVE A NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. THE MANUFACTURING OF CHEMICAL-HEAVY HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS PUTS THOSE CHEMICALS, AND MANY MORE, INTO THE AIR AND WATER, AND EVEN MORE GO DOWN YOUR DRAIN IN YOUR OWN HOME. WHEN INGREDIENTS FOR NATURAL HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS ARE FARMED AND MANUFACTURED ORGANICALLY, FEWER CHEMICALS ARE PUT INTO THE AIR AND WATER.
CHEMICALS, ARTIFICIAL COLORS, AND FILLERS IN SKIN CARE PRODUCTS AND MAKEUP CAN CAUSE REDNESS, IRRITATION, AND BREAKOUTS. MANY PEOPLE ARE EVEN ALLERGIC TO CHEMICALS COMMONLY FOUND IN CONVENTIONALLY PRODUCED PRODUCTS. NATURAL MAKEUP, SKIN CARE PRODUCTS, AND BODY PRODUCTS WORK WITH YOUR SKIN INSTEAD OF AGAINST IT.
SAVE YOUR NOSE!
ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCES ARE DESIGNED TO COVER UP THE SMELL OF OTHER CHEMICALS USED IN TRADITIONAL HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS. THE EFFECT IS THAT YOU HAVE A CHEMICAL TO COVER UP ANOTHER CHEMICAL, AND ALL THOSE CHEMICAL SMELLS CAN CAUSE HEADACHES IN MANY PEOPLE. NATURAL HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS SMELL LIKE THEIR NATURAL INGREDIENTS, NOT A COCKTAIL OF CHEMICALS. NATURAL HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS SCENTED WITH NATURAL ESSENTIAL OILS CAN EVEN PROVIDE AROMATHERAPY.
NO STRANGE SIDE EFFECTS!
PARABENS ARE USED IN CONVENTIONALLY PRODUCED HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS AS A PRESERVATIVE TO EXTEND THE SHELF LIFE OF PRODUCTS. PARABENS, HOWEVER, ARE SYNTHETIC AND MIMIC YOUR BODY’S NATURAL HORMONES. MANY PEOPLE WORRY THAT THIS CAN ALTER THE FUNCTIONS OF YOUR BODY’S ENDOCRINE SYSTEM. ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS LIKE PARABENS MAY HELP A PRODUCT DO ONE THING WELL, BUT THERE COULD BE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS THAT ARE STILL BEING UNCOVERED. NATURAL HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS USE NATURAL PRESERVATIVES, SUCH AS GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT, THAT WON’T AFFECT YOUR BODY. AND WHILE SOME PEOPLE HAVE ALLERGIES TO A FEW NATURAL INGREDIENTS (LANOLIN, WHICH COMES FROM WOOL, IS AN ALLERGEN FOR SOME) THE EFFECTS ARE MUCH MORE UNDERSTOOD THAN THE ONES FROM SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS.
GENTLER OVER TIME!
MANY NATURAL PRODUCTS WORK BETTER THAN THEIR CONVENTIONAL COUNTERPARTS BECAUSE THEY DON’T CONTAIN UNNECESSARY FILLERS OR IRRITANTS. AND WHILE SOME UNNATURAL PRODUCTS MAY SEEM TO WORK BETTER WITH THE FIRST TRY, OVER THE LONG-TERM, THE HARMFUL CHEMICALS THAT MADE YOUR SKIN FEEL CLEANER OR YOUR HAIR FEEL SMOOTHER MAY ACTUALLY CAUSE DAMAGE.
There I was, in my office at work, minding my own business, when my assistant asked me if I'd seen this documentary on Netflix called "What the Health". I told her no, I've not, and continued to eat my lunch. She told me about certain parts of the film but it didn't phase me; I continued to eat my food, unbothered. My assistant mentioned to me that she decided to become Vegan after watching the documentary. I was beyond excited for her! She was looking for a lifestyle change and she found it! For weeks she posted lots of yummy vegan food on her Insta and brought to work the best lunches I've ever seen. However, I still was not moved.
Fast forward one or so months. I decide to watch "What the Health" with my man. Y'all, I could not believe what I was watching. I won't write about the film content but I will say I am hard to shock/surprise and I was astounded! Everett, my man, fell asleep and I watched the entire mind boggling, life changing, sad, but informative documentary. After the film ended I stared at the TV for what seemed to be an eternity. Right then is when I made the decision to change my lifestyle and become vegan. I immediately took to FB and Insta to find support and resources so I could maintain this decision. I was up until the wee hours - joining FB groups, following vegans in Insta for recipes and saving recipes on Google. The next morning, Thursday, March 8th, I asked Everett if he wanted to join me in this lifelong commitment. He said yes and I was over the moon that he would do this with me, for I knew it wouldn't be easy!
You may have asked yourself: "did she really turn vegan from a movie?" No, that's not the only reason. Albeit, if it were, that's reason enough. "What the Health" informed me of the many issues the food we eat can cause to our bodies, but I had a stronger reason: my mom recently passed away from Cancer. Her sister, who's in her 60s, was diagnosed with Cancer just months after her sister's passing. HBP, high cholesterol, diabetes and just overall unhealthiness runs in my family. I understand genetics for I work in the healthcare field. I also know that the foods you ingest play a huge part in cell replication, especially the foods that contain carcinogens.
Here we are, 14 months vegan and I have to say I don't know why I didn't make this change sooner! This past 14 months have been eye-opening, challenging, fun, educational and well worth it! I've learned how to read the ingredients on packages (with the knowledge of which aren't good for me), I've learned about approx. 7 different veggies (where have you been all my life?!), how to make a mean vegan stir fry, self-discipline with regard to abstaining from cheese, and my focus has gone through the roof. I've not lost much weight (I'm jelly that my man has though), but that's not an end goal for me. My skin is amazing and my tummy doesn't hurt after I eat like it did before I was vegan.
Some benefits of veganism:
All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products.
Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.
In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. Find out how a vegan diet makes your body stronger, more attractive, and more energetic.
In addition to the health benefits above, following a vegan lifestyle and diet also provides these benefits as well. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, learn other benefits to eating the vegan way below.
I just started this journey and I have so much to learn! I've received sly and just plain rude comments from people, some strangers, about my lifestyle change but I've never been one to entertain a negative Nancy. I do what I do for me, not them. On the flip side, I've received much support from family and that was unexpected and is gold to me! If you're on this journey and need support, hit me up! If you've been on this journey for awhile, I'd appreciate your wisdom!