Flu Season Tips

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Merry meet all,

I know it’s been a few days since my last blog post. I have been brutally ill from a flu bug that nearly bit the very life out of me. It was the most horrid flu bug I have ever had. I ached all over from head to toe, and thought I would die. I spent 3 days in bed. I won’t go into more gross detail but I also had to go to a dental appointment first thing in the morning, first brutal day of the flu. I almost fell on the floor while I was there. I am here to give you some much needed survival tips on how to combat the flu and emerge a victor.

First things first…

Time. If you suspect you have the flu and feel the commonly known symptoms of the flu, cancel major appointments and important business meetings and travel plans. You can’t go anywhere if you are too sick to move and you risk infecting others with the same illness.

Provisions. Stock up on plenty of fresh ripe lemons, organic honey, toilet paper and Kleenex boxes, food that is sources of protein and vitamins such as colorful ripe vegetables, meat and shellfish, and beans and grains. These foods are rich sources of Vitamins A, D and B. These foods also contribute to boosting your immune systems. That is necessary to healing from the illness. Ginger and ginseng are also good for you.

Rest. I spent 3 shameless days in bed feeling like the world was going to end. I really did believe it. I was dizzy when I stood, my eyes burned, my back felt broken, I couldn’t help but sleep, and I sniffed and coughed uncontrollably. If that is not enough, I could only remain awake for 15 minutes at a time between long sleep intervals. So it is a good idea to cancel those meetings and travel plans and just stay home. No one else wants your cold. It is a hard cold fact of life.

Treatments. Get plenty of rest, don’t think you will be staying home watching videos or finishing your adult coloring book. If you have the flu as horribly as I did, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the sleep you need. Take the proper recommended doses of Tylenol or Ibuprofen at the right times. Stay hydrated. Take plenty of steamy showers to loosen up the mucus in your sinuses. Blow your nose often and keep the wastebasket near your bed. Extra tip: Line your wastebaskets/ cans with a plastic bag so it is easy to remove when full. Grocery bags are perfect for that. Keep a tray or a table near the bed but that is not in your way but makes it easy for you to access something if you need it in a hurry. Unplug the phone and internet, and close the curtains. I could barely stand so I welcomed the solitude. Fill the kettle early on in the day.

Health Boosters. I steered clear of Red Rose tea and only drank a bit of coffee. I drank a LOT of organic honey and lemon tea. Not Neo Citran- which is pure artificial sweetener, the real stuff. It was a savior scent from heaven, that concoction of awesome goodness. I cherished every drop. I lost my appetite but I still forced down a few healthy meals: an apple, pasta + brussel sprouts, seafood chowder,  lentil soup, sweet potatoes. These are the foods that give you your much needed health back.

A plan. Do go see your doctor. Your doctor can and will advise you if you have influenza, a viral infection or pneumonia. They can give you medicated pain and fever relief. If they do an x-ray, those will tell the doctors more about your condition. Try to take a cab or arrange a ride to and from the hospital. Try to avoid using the metro transit, if at all possible. People might be sick on the bus or you might infect them. 

Spoiling. This is the perfect time to spoil yourself. Go ahead and if you can handle it, have that spa day or staycation. I took hot showers. I also enjoyed a 20-minute soak in the tub. I added sage leaves I crumbled in my fingers, salt, Epsom salts, and clove essential oil. I exfoliated and scrubbed my finger and toenails. I made a natural mask for my skin of olive oil and honey, which I put on my face for a few moments than washed off after. I felt great. Go get lots of herbal teas for colds and keep them handy. Avoid alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine. Read a nice health magazine. Recover in a clean apartment and bedroom. Change your bed linens once you are back on your feet. 

This is how I did it. I am finally on the road to recovery. For a while there, I wasn’t sure if I was going to live. But I must have some stoical endurance in me to have survived. With some luck, you will too. I hope you enjoyed reading my post and now have lots of ideas to guard your health. 

More tips: Do keep your room clean. Put some flowers in a vase. Dim the lights. Listen to soft low volume music. If you can handle it and won’t choke, sleep with a lozenge under your tongue as you sleep. Don’t choke. If you think you would choke, don’t do it. I managed to remain alert enough to not swallow the lozenge. Keep lozenges or a glass of water nearby instead as you sleep. Don’t have flashy lights or throbbing techno music booming in the background. Put off collecting the mail or throwing out the garbage. Just stay home. Your aching senses will thank you. Think Enigma, world music or Enya. Meditation can help as well as breathing exercises. Have plenty of Kleenex or toilet paper at hand. 

Good luck!

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Imbolc Rite )O(

Imbolc celebration

 Merry meet all,

Imbolc heralds a promise of spring’s return. This post tells how to perform a ritual to honor Imbolc.

Prior to the ritual, take a warm meditative bath. Concentrate on purifying yourself of any lingering negativity. Smudge yourself and your home with cleansing incense like lavender, frankincense and sage.

Dress your altar and make sure your ritual area is clean and inviting. You will need the following items: candles, a bowl, ash, sand or salt, seven candles (ok to use tealights for this), matches or a lighter, your altar area.

Settle the tealight candles into the ash/salt/ or sand in the cauldron. Light the first candle. It is now ok to say a prayer or chant something.

The light returns within and without/ In the chill of winter I now seek life.

Light the second candle. Say aloud:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the third candle. Say:

This light is a boundary, between positive and negative.
That which is outside, shall stay without.
That which is inside, shall stay within.

Light the fourth candle. Say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the fifth candle, saying:

Like fire, light and love will always grow.
Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.

Light the sixth candle, and say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one. As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun,
cover me in your shining light.
I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am
made pure.

Concentrate on the glowing candles. Visualize that the energy from the candles is healing and empowering you. Try to think of what needs  healing in your life, personal or not. Let the candles burn down and close the circle. Feel charged by the ritual. Dispose of the candles by casting them outside. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch

Credit to Abut.com for ritual information.

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Imbolg Customs

 

Merry meet all,

Imbolg has many traditions and customs. One of the most popular customs is the Corn Dolly. The doll can be kept on a Bride’s bed to bless the home with fertility and fortune. If you created a corn doll at Lammas, then you can use the doll more often. Dress the doll in the corresponding colors of Imbolc, red, white and even green. This act shifts the corn doll from Crone to the Spring Maiden. You can also create a corn doll in oats, rye or wheat.

To make a corn doll, bind together an ear of maize or a sheaf of oats. Choose straw or sheafs in good condition. Soak them in lukewarm water. Let dry. When it is ready, drape the doll in white clothing, lace handkerchiefs or white cloth and lace. You can add ribbons or  beads. Concentrate on your intention as you make the doll.

When Imbolg is over, use the doll to bless your garden and grains. Find her a place of honor to rest for the coming year. Or ask her for her blessings in your kitchen. I would consider putting a loop on her head and hanging her in your kitchen at a window. Then she can bless your kitchen all year.

BRIGIT’S BED

Make a Brigit’s bed near a hearth fire. First clean your home thoroughly and smudge with lavender and sage. Decorate the home with white candles, ribbons and flowers. Make a small bed for her to lie down on. The bed can be a wooden box with a small piece of cotton on it. Put a corn doll man next to her or a broom.

Say or chant a blessing on your Bride doll. Place white and  candles near the doll and bed. Leave offerings and a chant a prayer to ask for her favor.

Have a merry Imbolc

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch  )O(

 

 

 

 

 

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Brigit, the ancient Goddess )O(

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Merry meet all,

The Celtic goddess Brigid is typically honored in the beginning of February. Brigit is an ancient Goddess with mysterious origins. She became hugely popular in Ireland and Britain.

Brigit is one of the Tuatha de Danaan, or people of the Goddess Danu.  Legend tells that Brigit was the daughter of the Dagda, the Lord of Great Knowledge. Other legends tell that she was Dagda’s consort, not his daughter. Brigit is a triple goddess: smithcraft, poetry and healing. She has been compared to Minerva, a Roman goddess and Vesta, a virgin fire goddess.

Brigit is revered for her healing powers. She is a goddess of fire. She is famous for her healing springs and wells. The Druids linked Brigit to the late winter arrival of light and the early promise of spring. Brigit’s connection with the growing season also gives her a role as a fertility goddess. She was a patroness of domestic animals and crops. Brigit is the one who sparks the “fire of the poet’s heart, of the healer’s hands and the fire used by the smith.”

Brigit is knowledgeable about healing herbs. She was a patroness of many healing springs and wells. She is a goddess of smithcraft. Smithcraft was viewed as pure magic, the ability to make to transform stone or ore-bearing rock into tools and weapons. She held sway over poetry and creative arts. Poetry was an oral tradition held by the Celts. Much of their history is lost in the mists of time because the history, family lineage, and mythology  is all orally kept. The bards told of all that in their songs and poems.

Brigit continues to inspire her followers today. Light a candle or many candles in her honor this Imbolc. Ignite the flames and follow a tradition kept by our ancestors. Blessed Imbolc

 

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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The History of Imbolg

Ewewithbabylamb

Merry meet all,

Imbolc springs to life soon in February. Imbolc is the next turn in the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is the first of the three spring Sabbats, the other two being Ostara and Beltane. It is one of the great Celtic fire festivals.

Brighid is often honored during this time. She is a goddess of fire and fertility. Imbolc is a time of magical energy related to new beginnings, the goddess and fire. Life stirs within the soil. The sun brightens and the days slowly grow warmer. In the Irish Gaelic,  Imbolc is called oimelc, meaning ewe’s milk. At this time, the cows and ewes are nursing their calves, a common precursor to spring. Imbolg also means “in the belly”. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas,  the Feast Day of Saint Brighid, Le Fhelle Brid, Imbolc has a Celtic connection. Brighid is a triple aspect Goddess. She is a keeper of the sacred flame and a guardian of the hearth.

To our ancestors back to the Paleolithic times, the winter season was a true horror. Imagine dealing with glaciers, frigid winds and cold, and scarce food. The wind howls and you hear the ghostly voices of your ancestors. The wind cuts like wolf fangs, its so cold. The clan chews on the last of the mammoth meat, starvation is close. Any sign of spring then was a sign of survival, a cry to the soul. The Crone was valued then in the clans, but she finds it hard to keep up as they hunt for elusive oxen. The Crone was the wise woman, the one the clans turned to for hope, wisdom of how to survive and store food. She knew the early signs of the coming spring.

The Maiden doesn’t transition and emerge till the cold fierce time of the Crone is passed. Winter even in our time is still upon us. If you listen closely to the wind, it might whisper messages to you. Be sure to heed them. The Crone’s cloak of darkness and snow still hovers over the earth. Spring is a few weeks away. Soon the ice shall thaw to leave room for crocus and tulip bulbs. A common symbol of spring is the Bear who awakens from hibernation. When animals emerged from hibernation, it was a favored sign of spring. The idea of the goddess in bear shape was a reality through the Paleolithic times in Europe.

Bears are protective of their cubs which made the bear a popular mother figure. Sheeps and ewes correspond to spring.

I shall post more about Imbolc in the future. For now, stay warm and keep posted.

 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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My Fleece Jacket )O(

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Merry meet all,

I have sewn myself a fleece hoodie from the Mccalls pattern 6614. It seemed simple enough to sew. Oh sure. Oh yeah real easy.

 I bought a fabulous mauve/ violet/ blue/ purple color of fleece fabric on discount. I bought a heavy purple knit fabric for the contrast material- hem and cuffs. I also bought a deep purple felt fabric for the hem and cuffs decorated with spiders in black.

The pattern called for a separating zipper, two pockets and a lined hood. I had remnant fabric for the lining of the hood. Thank the Goddess I owned other jackets of a similar pattern which I studied to understand how the whole jacket came together.

I cut out the pattern pieces, read the instructions a few times over for comprehension, and matched pattern piece to fabric piece. Here is where scotch tape and in good condition sewing pins come in handy. (Throw out any pins that are bent. They will never serve your garment.)

Every sewing pattern is unique. Every garment on earth is unique. No two are the same. This is a fact. But it is also true that the standards of a sewing pattern are the same in every pattern. It is the effort that you exert that determines the outcome of your garment. I have read many many sewing patterns. I have discovered time and time again its one thing to read them and another to comprehend the instructions. I thought it would be easy. Nope.

I began by making pockets and adding them to the front pattern piece once I understood how they are  made. Then I stitched the back pattern piece to the front piece. I made the two sleeves and stitched them to the jacket. Here is where it got tricky…

The pattern called for cuffs to be added to the sleeves. I cut out the pattern pieces and tried to sew them the way the instructions said to. It may as well have been written in ancient Latin. Right. I cut out the pattern pieces in the purple knit fabric to make them fit and gathered the cuffs. Nope. I cut them out of the same pattern and made the cuffs my way. I pinned them onto the sleeves which I hemmed earlier. I pinned the cuffs on right sides together then on the right side of the fabric up, I turned them out. Then I added the hem and stitched on the purple/ black spider fabric to the hem. The felt fabric is even glittery which adds a cool touch.

I exchanged the deep pink separating zipper (26 inch) for a black 24 inch zipper. I sewed the zipper on the jacket following the instructions. Right. The pattern instructions said to sew the zipper on face down. Well when I was done, it was still face down. I seam ripped the zipper and ironed the fabric. I stitched it on again with the zipper tabs exposed and the zipper on upside down. I seam ripped it again. By this time, what with my patience at an all time LOW and my painful excema making my work painful, I suffered.

Jacket in progress:

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I stitched the zipper on again. I then sewed on the facing. I made the hood and stitched it to the jacket. Great. I thought i was done. The hem of the jacket was uneven. The top part of the pockets was uneven. Oh heck.

Enter my wise all-knowing Mother. She made the top part of the pockets even. She also made me seam rip the zipper a FOURTH time. So I did. I didn’t own a zipper foot so unsurprisingly the zipper was easy to remove- again. She sewed in the zipper the way she always does- perfectly. She basted the front openings of the jacket on the wrong side. With great skill and patience, she pinned on the zipper on the wrong and right side. The pins were placed vertically. To this day, I have no idea how she does it. She removes the pins as she sews. She had centered the zipper on the wrong side of the fabric on the basted seam truly on the seam. Then once she stitched in the zipper, the zipper tabs weren’t exposed. The zipper was sewed in professionally.  I plan to buy a zipper foot in the future. It allows for more precision. The hem of the jacket is now neat and even. I don’t know how she does it.

She insisted on redoing the facing on one side. She removed the earlier stitching I had done. But the facing came undone after she hand stitched it. I have to sew it again by machine. I didn’t have the instructions with me so she thought she was right. I had to sew in a stay stitch on the facing and hem one edge. I was right. She’s a bit hard headed sometimes. But now except for the facing and fixing the hood, I am done. I have to add a strip of lace to the hood lining. The lace will conceal the exposed seam.

I am happy with the jacket. I don’t know as of yet if I will use it again. But it is a great pattern. Patterns can be modified if need be to suit the seamstress. Just make sure you note the modification on the pattern, the instructions paper, or in a notebook for future reference. Store the pattern pieces once done with them in the pouch of the pattern package or in a large Ziploc bag with the pattern package. Label everything. Store it all in a space that is easy to find. I keep all my patterns in a clear plastic big organizer. You can iron the pattern pieces then store them. It makes putting them back in much easier. 

I learned a lot from this project. I am proud now to wear the fleece jacket. Everyone needs one. Moms do too.

https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6614

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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New Year, new Me

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Merry meet all,

Happy New Year to my readers. I am excited to start out a new year. The next spoke in the Wheel of the Year is Imbolc. I love Imbolc because it represents change and the return of the light – and the spring season. The Goddess Brigid is associated with Imbolc (meaning ewe’s milk.)

I plan to accomplish more writing this year. I plan to finish editing my novel and hand it in to the editor. I hope to publish my novel. That is my biggest goal. I have others but that is the big one. I want to make more clothing, work on my garden, find better employment and of course, shower my furbabies with love.

I plan to be more aware of who I am spending my time with. I suffered a lot of negativity in 2016. I like to interact with PLEASANT, happy positive people. This should go without saying but you would be surprised at how toxic people can be. I refuse to accept that or any of the toxic crap from last year. Whole new game plan now.

What are your goals or resolutions for the new year? I bet they are not that different from mine or anyone else’s. Start the year on the right foot or striped toe and buckled shoe. I bought a cute necklace at the local witch shop. Its a copper witch hat. I think its the sorting hat from Harry Potter. I stocked up on tealight candles. They are just as awesome and practical as votives! I know how to make my own candles but I am out of wax.

Soon as I can buy a huge chunk of wax, I want to make my own candles. I made a beautiful purple candle. It is small but beautiful. I just bought a pot from the thrift store I will devote to candle making. This means I will never get wax in my cooking. The pot is cute and looks like the type of pot a witch would devote to candle making. I lucked out.

Photo of Candle:

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I also hope to commence studies at Sacred Mists witch school. I will contact them at the end of the month. I might fare better there than at the other school, probably much better. I can’t wait to enroll!!!

I look forward to what 2017 brings me. As I type, my dear kitty  sits nearby, ears pricked. Have a wonderful new year everyone!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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The Ouija Board! Is it really a highly efficient path to hell?

Is the Ouija Board a dangerous spiritual tool or Just a Toy?

Source: The Ouija Board! Is it really a highly efficient path to hell?

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Altar Decoration for Yule

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Merry meet all,

Winter is upon us. The chill of winter bites at us as we travel to work or holiday shopping. Be inspired by the winter colors for your altar decorations. Blues, silvers and whites as well as red, greens and golds correspond with winter.

Add solar symbols to your altar. The Solstice is about the return of the sun. Pine cones, evergreen boughs, sprigs of holly, a Yule log and or antlers. They all represent the Winter Solstice season. Candles in winter colors, antlers, mistletoe, a bowl of snow, bells and sun wheels reflect winter.

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Burn a Yule log. Be sure to supervise to avoid a fire. Check your smoke alarms that they are well functioning first.

Evergreen, fir, spruce and pine are popular woods to use for a ritual or altar decoration. Their scents invoke those fresh earthy scents. Cinnamon, allspice, clove and nutmeg are earthy and spicy. Nuts and dried fruits can be added to an altar or a gingerbread house!

The altar cloth can be a white color or blue and silver. My altar cloth is sheer and has a snowflake print on it. It is reversible and switches between silver and gold depending on which side faces up.

Then once the altar is dressed and assembled, smudge it with sage and an altar cleansing potion. Be sure to clean the altar area beforehand. Enjoy your seasonal winter altar. Have a merry Winter Solstice.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Ornaments for Yule

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Merry meet all,

Yule is a few days away. In this post, I want to show you how to have a wonderful Yule that won’t stress you out. 

I made my own ornaments this year. Tinsel, wrapping paper, a tree, gifts and food- it all adds up. With some effort, you can make your own decorations at a significant fraction of the cost it takes to buy them. 

I showed how to make salt dough ornaments in the previous post. Be sure to poke a hole in each ornament. I used an awl to reinforce the hole in the ornaments. You don’t want to poke hard enough to break the ornament but enough to be able to wind thread through with ease. Tie a knot in the thread. Add glitter and paint each one. I used blue, silver, red, gold, yellow,  and green. Let them dry between coats of paint. Clear liquid nail polish suffices as varnish. When the holiday season ends, store the ornaments in tissue or waxed paper in a plastic container. The ornaments should last till the next season. 

Hang the ornaments on the tree with care. I hung them high enough that my cat can’t get to them but also where they wouldn’t get tangled or broken. Take pride in your creations! Your friends might ask you on where you got them!

I used acrylic paint for decorating the ornaments. Stripes, solid colours, dots or stars are good ideas. If you have a pentacle press you can press the pentacle down on each cookie before you bake them, adding a witchy image to the ornament. Keep in mind it might be coated over if you paint them. You could imprint a leaf design on each one and leave the cookies with a natural look. Use unbleached flour for the brighter colour if you want that look. 

Be creative. Stock up on Yule/ Christmas cookie cutters. Try to collect yule oriented cookie cutters, not just Christian. Stars, sun symbols, moon, tree and animal cookie cutters are perfect. If the ornaments can correspond with the Yule season, that is even better. 

If you aren’t that savvy in making your own ornaments, then the local thrift store is one option. Brew some yule simmering potpourri and listen to Yule carols as you make your own ornaments. Have fun. 

Btw, I live in an apartment. I can’t have a real tree. I have a tall Goth tree I am using for a Yule tree. It’s perfect. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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