The Purpose of an Altar: Intention and Intuition

thought this was a good reminder from DailyOm

 

The purpose of having an altar in your home can be as simple as reminding you to take time for serenity each day.altar.JPG

If you didn’t grow up with an altar in your home, having an altar now may seem like an exotic and unattainable idea. Yet having an altar does not have to be complicated or difficult, nor does it need to be based on a religion or a set of ideas that don’t seem to relate to you. An altar can be a simple, personal expression of what you want to focus on right now. You do not have to build anything or take up a lot of space. You do not have to buy anything new or follow a complex set of instructions to create your altar. All you have to do is have a general understanding of what an altar is and the willingness to allow yourself access to this wonderful, ancient tool of transformation.

At its most essential, an altar is simply a raised structure that serves as a resting place for meaningful objects. It focuses the eye and provides a place for contemplation and, if so desired, ritual. All of these elements can be quite simple. One idea for a simple altar is a pot with a bulb planted in it, set on a box. This altar to growth can act as a reminder to you that all living things bloom in their time. A simple ritual might be to write down dreams you would like to see come to fruition on scraps of paper. You might place these scraps of paper in the box, or under the flowerpot, or in an envelope you prop against the pot. As the flower grows, so will your dreams.

If you look around your home, you may find that you have already created altarlike arrangements without even really thinking about it; this is something we humans do quite naturally. A candle, a decorative box, and a vase of flowers are just a few of the common household objects that lend themselves naturally to the creation of an altar. Simply add intention and intuition, and you have created your first altar. Remember that it isn’t necessarily about the objects you place at your altar–it is the time you spend with it daily, taking the time to be with it for your sacred time.

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ritual: clear clutter for clarity & creativity

I’ve been using some of this Virgo energy to clear clutter and deep-clean my home…found this online, very fitting!

Ritual: Clear Clutter for Clarity and Creativity

Tess Whitehurst-Clear Clutter for Clarity Ritual(This ritual was originally published in Llewellyn’s 2011 Spell-A-Day Almanac and on the Llewellyn Spell-A-Day blog. It’s best to do it when the moon is waning.)

Light a yellow candle and a stick of cedar incense.

Hold your hands in prayer pose, close your eyes, and focus your attention at your third eye (above the center of your brows).  Relax and set your intention by envisioning/feeling perfect clarity and creativity in your life.

Now, clear clutter from your home. Box up or discard clothes you don’t wear or that don’t make you feel good, papers you don’t need, gifts you never liked, and everything else that’s just taking up space. Drink lots of water while you do this, and take as much time as you need (even taking extra days if necessary).

When you’re finished, take a shower. Then light a bundle of dried white sage. Move the smoke around your body and home.

Finally, stand in a central location with your hands in prayer pose and say the following nine times:

Clear, creative, joyful, free.

magical home items

some other new witchy haul items from Starry Eyed Supplies!

  1. “that witch gives serenity” spell cauldron candle

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    Designed around the divine message of Serenity; the energies within are for serenity, peace of mind, aiding in meditation, inner thought and discovery, peaceful dreams and sleep, personal recovery and inner peace, helping you to walk your path and discover who you are in a calm and peaceful manner.

  2. starry pillar – Avalon by Starlight

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    The “Avalon by Starlight” pillar has been created to take you to a place of deep healing, to be immersed in the healing waters of Avalon by night, reflected in the light of the stars.
    This energy is for deep healing and working with the shadow self, for healing of deep seated illness, memories and negative emotions.

    To aid healing the mind and the body. Can aid with depression, fear, anxiety and pain.

    ‘In the clear cool darkness, step into the lake of Avalon, submerge yourself in the healing water and let all hurts wash from you. Look skyward and see hope reigning up above – the majesty of an inky black sky lit by stars. Hope returns to you as starlight bathes the lakes waters. You are whole and healed once more.’

    Take yourself into a peaceful journey to Avalon and let the whispers of this Sacred lake soothe your soul.

  3. healing salts of Avalon

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    These salts have been created to encourage healing energy in all areas such as physical healing, emotional healing and spiritual healing.  

    The spell salts contain all natural ingredients and are designed to used as a spell within the bath – add to a sachet and pour under running water or simply add a spoonful to your bath.

    The salts have been imbued with a quartz crystal – which is included within the spell salts as well as this beautiful jar that will make a gorgeous addition to any bathroom. This large jar is over 500g total weight and will last many moons (depending on how much of the beautifully scented product you add to your bath!)

    Simply soak with these incredible bathing spell salts to find yourself surrounded by the healing waters of Avalon.

  4. meltkin – ‘smudge a smidge’

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    Starry Meltkins are beeswax pumpkins with their own individual style and scent.
    These are an alternative to candles, flameless candles that can be melted to give off a wondrous scent and their own magickal intention.

    Smudge a Smidge is a cleansing sensation that has been imbued for purification, healing, cleansing the aura, banishing negativity and embracing positive energy.

magical home: “heart of the river” candle

using this right now, from Starry Eyed Supplies!

as we move into autumn, I am slowly doing shadow work, and know this energy will help!  healing is weird, and it’s tough to even identify things that are so very ingrained!der

Heart of the River candle

for emotional and spiritual healing, and connection to higher self/Divine

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-beeswax spell candle (locally sourced)

-herbs, resins, and crystals are rolled into the beeswax for energy

“This particular candle blend is made to combine the energies of the Ogham Fearn or Alder with deep healing of all kinds, but especially those related to the emotions, the heart and the heart chakra, or those difficult emotions which cause spiritual and creative blockages.

The Ogham Fearn combines Fire and Water energies and helps us to heal ourselves as spiritual warriors. It assists us in finding the underlying causes of our own behaviour which is damaging to us, then to take personal responsibility for our actions and finally access to our own deep personal healing. This potent combination of fire and water energies is interwoven into the magickal fabric of the spell candle to help you overcome difficult emotional situations and soothe depression and other illness which takes it toll on you emotionally.

Additionally, the Heart of the River Spell Candle will help you reconnect to your higher self as well as spirit guides and deity, by strengthening your energy links and healing and reinforcing your aura. The Celts believed that water was a conduit to Spirit, that offerings left to the Gods in rivers were of the utmost importance and that the realm of the Gods could be accessed through points betwixt and between Earth and Water, such as rivers through caves.

This beautiful spell candle reflects that belief and helps you call on your higher self, spirit guides and Deity for aid in healing of all kinds.

 

 

feng shui at home, #2

…continuing my feng shui updates at home, I wanted an element of travel.  that fit into all of the front three areas for us – I learn a ton by traveling and experiencing new cultures and places (knowledge and wisdom sector), we hope for abundance from our careers to travel more (career sector), and the travel sector is, well, the travel sector!

so, I added this small chalkboard globe to my altar space – with a little elephant nod to wes’s home in africa!

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feng shui at home #1

I am on a mission to improve the qi in our house – it’s already lovely, but I am excited to make things flow even better!

piece 1: in the front center of the home, we have the career sector.  a great item to put here: a fountain or other water element to bring abundance and flow.  so we picked out this great little piece – the Hand of Buddha statue to create this abundant flow in our careers and home!  this is on my “altar” chest in the middle of our home as soon as you come into the front entrance.  as this is also the water element area, I love that the antique chest itself is painted this water-y blue.

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I use a couple of grids, but this one is really simple!

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more to come on the other items I am using to bring great energy to the house!

House-Witchery: 13 Easy Ways To Infuse Your Home With Magic (And Attract More Of What You Want)

LOVING this new site I found – galadarling.com – I like this post from her.  It’s a little late to post, but we’re still in clearing energy time, so that’s still good.

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As summer ebbs away, and fall flows towards us, we release the things we were holding onto, and make room for new opportunities. October is a special month. The Equinox marks the beginning of the rest of the year: three months to hunker down, focus on what you want to create, make and do, and start to see the results.

Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I like to do a so-called “spring” cleaning at the start of every season. Your home, after all, is the place where you spend the majority of your time: it’s where you create and dream. It makes sense to spend a day getting your home ready for the next few months.

Start by cleaning your home in the conventional sense: vacuum, dust, clean your mirrors, and do a couple of loads of laundry. Once you’ve cleared all the muck, emptied your garbage bins, and cleaned out your fridge, it’s time to move onto cleaning in a more metaphysical way. Here are some of my favourite ways to do that!

“I release the past with ease and trust in the process of life.” — Louise Hay

altar

DECORATE YOUR ALTAR
This is the perfect time to give your altar a super-clean, as well as a bit of a makeover. When you do this, it allows you to refocus on your dreams. Take everything off your altar, clean it up, and then be selective about what you put back. Choose candles which reflect your hopes and desires, burn some fresh incense, and place your favourite crystals just so. As we get closer to Dia De Los Muertos (November 1st to 2nd), it’s also a beautiful time to put out photos or mementos of those who have passed.

OPEN THE WINDOWS
It may be getting colder, but keeping the windows open — as well as turning on a fan or two — is a great way to keep the energy in your house nice and buoyant. Fresh air is refreshing and cleansing, and it gets the energy moving. If the air in your home is stagnant, that will affect how you feel.

GET A SALT LAMP
When Tiffany was in town, she introduced me to my new favourite store: HomeGoods. In the lighting aisle, she glanced at me and asked, “Do you have a salt lamp?” As soon as I said no, she thrust one into my arms. I’ve been using it every day since, and I absolutely love it. You can buy salt lamps on Amazon for under $20, and they’re wonderful. They purify the air, emit negative ions, and naturally clear the air of allergens, so they’re great for people with asthma or allergies. I’m obsessed with mine, plus, the glow is so soft and relaxing!

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BRING NATURE INDOORS
Few things will make you feel as good as walking into a house full of fresh flowers! They really brighten up a space, and if your budget can swing it, a fresh bunch of blooms every week is a fantastic gift to yourself. If arranging flowers isn’t your strongest area, Real Simple has got your back. Alternatively, you could buy some plants and station them all around your home. They increase the vibration of a space, and look beautiful, too.

USE A SPACE-CLEARING SPRAY
You can easily make your own (all you need is a selection of essential oils and a bottle of vodka!), or if you’d prefer, you can buy one. The Australian Bush Flower Essences Space Clearing Mist is super-potent, and it contains angelsword, boab, fringed violet, lichen, red lily, calendula, echinacea, chamomile, aloe, arnica, sandalwood, cedarwood, eucalyptus and lavender. Meow! Bad vibes begone!

LIGHT CANDLES
As soon as I wake up in the morning, I light the candles on my altar, meditate, and then start working. The simple act of lighting a match and sparking a candle reminds me of my intentions for the day, and sets an atmosphere of happiness and calm. You can use any kind of candle you like, from devotional to Diptyque, but I recommend choosing a candle in a colour (or scent) that reminds you of your intentions. If you want to stick with the cleansing theme, this clearing candle made by Magic Hour is beautiful as well as effective, and poured around a citrine crystal.

PUT DOWN THE SEAT!
Men are notorious for leaving the toilet seat up, but in Feng Shui it’s believed that if you don’t close the lid of the loo as well, you’re flushing away all the good energy. The same concept applies to dripping or leaky taps: always make sure they’re fixed or turned off, because a dripping faucet signifies financial drain, or that your money is literally running out!

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VISUALISE YOUR HOME FILLED WITH LIGHT
Ideally, we would all live in light, bright, beautiful spaces with huge windows, but this is unfortunately not reality. While you may not have sunshine streaming into your home, you can easily fill your home with divine white light by simply visualising it. It’s easy: see your home filling up with a bright white light, expanding and filling every corner, every dark space. When your home is saturated with this divine light, it will provide energetic healing for everything and everyone who enters. Another beautiful option is to literally bring more light into your home by hanging rainbow makers or prisms in your windows. They cast beautiful rainbows on the wall, floor, ceiling… Such a treat.

CHANGE UP YOUR ART
When you look at the photos, paintings and objects hung on your wall, ask yourself: does this make me feel good or bad? Is it enhancing my energy or draining it? Surround yourself with positive artwork, and be ruthless!

CLEAN YOUR FRONT DOOR
If your front door is looking grubby or missing its number, do something about it! For easy house-witchery, make sure your entrance-way is clean and clear. Wipe down your door, including the number, the bell, and the door-handle. This isn’t just about being hygienic (although, of course, it’s a nice bonus!): when your door is clean and clear, love, money, and other good things will be able to find their way to you.

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MAKE NOISE!
In ritual, sound — whether it be chanting, the ringing of bells, or the beating of drums — is used to clear and change the energy of a space. You can do this in your home, too, by clapping your hands. All you need to do is walk around the house, clap, and listen to how it sounds. If a clap sounds heavy or flat, the energy in that area is stagnant and stuck, but if it sounds crisp and clear, this indicates that the energy is flowing well. In the area where a clap sounds heavy, stay in that spot a little longer, and keep clapping until the sound becomes clear. You can do the same thing with bells, singing bowls, drums, or even a tambourine, if the mood strikes!

SAGE, BABY, SAGE
Burning sage in your home is a fantastic way to clear out stale energy. You can buy sage sticks all over the place, but I recommend using Etsy and supporting an independent business owner! Another great option is to burn Palo Santo, which smells amazing. (I’m a little in love with this Palo Santo burner, too.)

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TAKE A SALT BATH
Your house might be clean, but that doesn’t mean much if you’re frazzled on the inside! One of my favourite ways to relax and change my energy is to have an Epsom salt bath. You absorb the salt through your skin, increasing your levels of magnesium (which calms you down, increases your energy, reduces irritability, and even aids concentration and sleep). It’s marvellous stuff. I buy huge bags of lavender Epsom salts and pour ample amounts into the tub every week, and it really helps make me feel happy again. P.S. If you don’t have a tub, I love these tips for turning your shower into a sanctuary.

I hope these tips help you to transform your home into an enchanting and wonderful place.

Taurus Full Moon: The Money Fountain

Also from MoonCircles.  I need a fountain in my house ASAP.  Amazon Wish List to the rescue.

“This summer’s Venus retrograde delivered much needed slow down time -to enjoy the bounty and beauty of summer, to get firmly reacquainted with pleasure again- which also coincided with diminished clients, and therefore less money. Like others who run their own business, I’ve learned to ride the cyclical nature of cash flow like a surfer waiting for the next wave. There’s no point in fighting it, falling into abject depression over lack, when the next wave will eventually come. I use down time to realign my energies so the money can find me again. It is called flow, after all.

So I gardened. Inspired by a trip to a local Victorian house, circa the Great Gatsby era, where I saw a moon garden worthy of F. Scott and Zelda, I had to attempt to replicate my own version. A moon garden of silvery greens and white blooms designed just so that when the full moon shines, the garden lights up the shimmery moonscape, setting everything aglow in a silver-white cast. It took a little cash to create, but not much. A tour from the master gardener of the house yielded gifts of succulents, volcanic rock, and bags fresh redwood chips. “Ask and you shall receive” is more than a motto for my second house Neptune. So is “have faith”. Along with: “Isn’t this an utterly impractical way to pay the bills?” Over the years I’ve learned to dial down the anxiety and just trust my intuition.

Because every Cancer truly needs both a Moon garden and the sweet gurgle of moving water throughout the day, we built a fountain, too, decorating it with sea glass and shells I’d retained from a trip to Baja several years ago. I relaxed deeply into a new daily routine of twinkling water at my every turn. And several days later, a funny thing happened -people suddenly wanted to pay me money for my services again. After two months of finding my flow at a very slow drip, my hands were busied, and not with dirt, flowers and fountain assemblages – but with new clients.

What happened? I asked Google. Google told me that, according to Feng Shui, I had added the most powerful symbol of prosperity and abundance, a fountain, to my home. Not only that, I had placed it in the North, next to the front door. North rules the career and life path sector… and the door, well, people and their money were now walking through it. Coincidence? Magic.

Money is often a source of fear, insecurity and craving for humans; so many people in this world hunger for things and opportunities money allows. Yet we are provided for in endlessly creative ways, and in my experience, the Universe rewards our attempts at co-creativity. It may take work, but not too much. Taurus Moon wrote the lazy (wo)man’s guide to happiness. If there were such a book it would certainly read: To have more of what you want and need, start with what you enjoy. It’s a Venusian credo, to be sure, but for those who successfully practice bliss, joy, relaxation, creativity, enchantment… it’s not wishful thinking, but thinking from a more intelligent place. It’s what I call thinking with your Venus. 

Taurus has special resonance with abundance, the natural world of our senses, and the animal longings of our bodies. Like animals, we are each unique in the particular comforts that bring pleasure. From a twinkling fountain, to biting into a cold, crisp autumn apple; from the smell of homemade caramel bubbling on the stove, to a deep kiss from a lover or a lick on the nose from a pup, right now we can relax into simple pleasures.

Taurus Full Moon heightens our love for pleasure, creature comforts and abundance. This can bring up our longing for material security –and its lack. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try taking inventory what you do have (for instance, I had a swath of unused land). Then, from a perspective of abundance, ask: What can I do with the resources I already have? Fix that broken clock you’ve been meaning to fix. Get your oil changed. Polish your silver. Appreciate the satisfaction these small fixes bring. With Venus and Mars in Virgo already lining up for a rendezvous on November 2, the God and Goddess of Small Miracles are standing by. Co-conspire with them…then watch how your garden grows.”

Things that Sparkle (literally): new Alex & Ani pieces

For my recent birthday (big 32!), I ordered a few things from Alex and Ani.  If you’re not familiar, check them:  http://www.alexandani.com/our-story

“We create meaningful, eco-conscious jewelry and accessories to empower the light in you. We share a passion for the well-being of our planet, our communities, and our individual paths.  ALEX AND ANI products are infused with positive energy. Ancients referred to this precious energy as “chi” and “prana,” whereas modern science refers to it as vital force. It is the natural energy that supports life.

We embrace the power of positive energy as our core company belief. Each product is infused with positive energy in three important ways. First, the products themselves are manufactured (and infused) with positive intention in carefully selected American factories. Second, the symbols featured in our designs carry their own energy and are accompanied by thoughtfully crafted and meticulously researched meaning. Last, each design is positively intended to empower the wearer and reflect the unique qualities of the individual. Some pieces carry sentimental meaning; others are talismans of protection, power, or intention. The beauty of each collection is that you are the designer. Mixing symbolic pieces with your own alchemy makes ALEX AND ANI completely and uniquely yours.”

Jewelry with meaning and energy!  Love it.

So, I collected these gems, as they felt right:

OM earrings & bangle

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This cool Mayan-design piece, in bracelet form…

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These crown chakra energy earrings…

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Fun, right?  I love everyday items that I know have meaning, even if just to myself – but these being designed with these energies in mind makes me even happier!  Wearing some for Litha this weekend…

3 Sacred Aromas To Open Your Chakras & Cleanse Your Aura

Another great post I had saved from MindBodyGreen – link here.

Lavender-scented products used in spa treatments.

Lavender-scented products used in spa treatments.

Whether it’s the smell of soil after a rain shower or freshly cut grass; the enticing aroma of flowers or the misty odor of the sea, there are some fragrances which can suspend us for a moment in time. Sometimes even our imagination takes flight — to our past memories, or sometimes to our favorite place or fantasy.

There are certain aromas that can trigger the release of neurochemicals in the brain like serotonin, helping us heal physically, mentally and spiritually. Aromatherapy works on this same principle.

Since time immemorial, sacred fragrances and essential oils have been used in religious and spiritual sanctuaries to purify the space and connect with the higher self. Aromatic herbs contain vital energy and exceptional vibration, and are key tools to use on our spiritual journey.

By experiencing the relaxing effects of these aromas on our body, mind and spirit, we can begin to access the divine. Add oils to your bath or maybe just soak your feet after a long, stressful day. Get a long, soothing oil massage. Take steam from a bowl of hot water mixed with drops of oils or powdered herb.

You can also use an aromatic lamp or diffuser to receive the calming effects of sacred aromas. Some herbs are even available in the form of incense, and you can make an arc around your body with the smoke, to cleanse the aura. Even the flowers of aromatic herbs are used in spiritual practices.

If applying oil to your body, be sure to do a skin patch test first to check the sensitivity of the oil on your skin. Mostly, oils are used in diluted form. Incense sticks or cones and powdered herbs should be all-natural and contain zero synthetics.

Here are my three favorite sacred aromas to help you on your spiritual journey:

1. Lavender

Lavender is gentle, loving and caring. It is used to gain inner peace and positive energy. It purifies the space and helps in meditation. If you are in need for comfort and looking for clarity during emotional turmoil, lavender is the magic potion. It opens our Crown Chakra as well as aligns it to other chakras.

Hang lavender flowers at your front door or place dried flowers in your spiritual zone for peace, luck and love. Put drops of lavender oil on your temples and the back of your neck to ease headaches. Put two drops on a cotton ball and put it inside your pillow case for a more relaxing, restful sleep. Research shows that lavender fragrance is beneficial in treating insomnia and depression.

2. Jasmine

Jasmine is the holy flower of Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love. It is considered an aphrodisiac and hence, good for nurturing love. It is associated with the Sacral Chakra.

Jasmine fragrance is helpful in creating tranquil atmosphere to meditate in, and also for stimulating Kundalini energy, helping us access a higher consciousness. It is believed that wearing it as perfume or carrying the flower with you attracts love and wealth. Adding few drops to the bath before going to sleep is believed to give you future visions in dreams.

Some research shows that jasmine is also beneficial in reducing depression and helps upsurge the positive emotions. Inhale a few drops of oil in water to clear any respiratory irritations. Put few drops in a diffuser to fill your room with energy that lifts your spirits. Have a cup of jasmine tea for calming your nerves, staying young and reducing cholesterol.

3. Frankincense

Frankincense holds the wisdom of universe. Using it calls upon angelic protection and spiritual enlightenment. It has power to cut cords from the negative past and connect you to your divine self. It keeps you grounded. Burn it while doing pranayama breathing exercises.

It’s a miracle herb. It can help fight cold and respiratory disorders, has anti-aging properties, relieve you of menstrual cramps, reduce pain due to arthritis and much more.

There are hundreds of such magical potions. Use your intuition to help you judge which ones suit you best. Make these herbs a part of your life! Let these sacred aromas heal you and enhance your spiritual experiences by raising your vibrations.

I have incense for all three of these – I think I am feeling some frankincense tonight as I do my nightly in-bed reading ritual time!  Any other favorites out there?