Introducing – Shadow Rose Herbs & Co.

Shadow Rose Herbs & Co.

Websitehttps://shadowroseherbsco.com/

Shophttps://shadowroseherbsco.patternbyetsy.com/

So for the past few weeks, I have been working on and building up a new “business” venture. I say “business” because while yes, I will be selling herbal remedies, it is also something I am creating to hold space for those of us with deeply rooted trauma and to facilitate that healing.

Shadow Rose Herbs & Co was born a few weeks ago when I wrote down a list of 8 different business names. I then showed that list of names to a handful of people and asked them to pick the one that stood out the most and/or fit me the most. Every single person picked Shadow Rose. It, ironically, was the very last name on the list. It was the name I had written down after about 10 minutes of just staring at the list waiting for the last name to come.

My relationship with the rose has been tumultuous. I used to love the look of roses when I was a child, and the very first flower my partner ever gave me was a singular white rose. When we finally got to go on our first official date, he brought me a dozen white roses. But, the moment he walked in the door, my mother grabbed the roses and said “oh are these for me??” I was made fun of for liking roses – “you just like them because everyone likes roses.” I decided I kind of really hated roses.

But, the rose has continued to show up for me. Dried rosebuds was the first dried herb I ever purchased. It was the first thing I knew I needed to add to start creating my dried herb pantry. Then two months ago, I attended the Red Tent and the entire ceremony was about roses. That’s when I finally started giving in to the incredible depth of beauty AND darkness roses hold.

Whenever I started into creating a new space – whether that be a new blog, business idea… – the name is always first for me. The name is the foundation on which I start building. A month ago, 4 different people asked me multiple times why I wasn’t making and selling the herbal remedies I was using on myself and for my family. This came after several other people had asked me the same thing last year. With my health finally being a place where it’s not at the forefront of my mind, and my job has cooled down as well, I felt like it was time to start really pushing forward with opening an herbal shop.

So why the name I chose?

I was struck by how much darkness and shadows roses hold. Sure, you have the beautiful bloom and almost everyone just sees that, but have you seen the thorns? Have you see how intensely protective the rose bush can get? The thorns make it impenetrable, impossible to enter to the center of the plant. It is said there is lore of the rose being a symbol of carrying secrets. The rose holds a lot of history in legends and lore from many cultures.

The Shadow part of the name has to do with the darkness of the thorns but also symbolizes the darkness and shadows I carry being the survivor of childhood sexual abuse and childhood trauma. That is a massive part of me and one of the things I hope to do with Shadow Rose is create a safe space and products for supporting healing that kind of trauma.

Rose is to present the beauty and light that the blossoms bring to anyone who sees the rose. The vibrancy of different shades and sizes of roses. The rose is a multi purpose herb – the petals and buds are incredible to work with, but when the rose blooms die and form rosehips, this is another part of the plant equally beneficiary.

Roses aren’t just about beauty. Roses represent love, faithfulness, warnings, darkness, shadows, perseverance; roses are good for soothing and support heart grief, and bring peace with their scent.

I am still working with a sister on creating the logo for Shadow Rose Herbs & Co, but I do have an Etsy Pattern shop up and running, and a few products already ready for purchase!

Revisiting The Wheel of The Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc

In this post, I’ll cover the second 4 Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, and Imbolc. Feel free to go back to my previous post! Quick note first though; Beltane came up really quickly for me, and I wasn’t able to pull anything together for the actual day. The following weekend however I did a Beltane ritual with an incredible group of women. We did a ritual fire jump, and included a shedding and reclamation ritual as well. It was so beautiful and amazing to be celebrating such a fiery and powerful Sabbat with such fiery and powerful sisters. I have come to the conclusion that Beltane is best celebrated when you’re in a group instead of by yourself. Because of the incredible shifting that happens on Beltane – the move from sleeping and slowly waking up to Spring to turning it up to full blast and wildly celebrating fertility and new life and igniting the fires of passion that will carrying us into Summer – you need that joined community passion and excitement to bring life to the rituals.

Mabon – Fall Equinox, September 20-23

Mabon is my substitute for Thanksgiving. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anymore, and damn it feels good to say that. Mabon, however, is a wonderful celebration of that last shift from Summer to Autumn heading towards Winter. It’s that time of year when the last harvests are starting to come in, the planning for the winter months has started, and it’s really a time to celebrate all that you have been given. As the days and nights are equal in length and hold a balance, look to restore that kind of balance in your life.

Some of the ways we have celebrated Mabon is creating a huge feast and inviting friends over to celebrate with us! This past September, I made a butternut squash soup, round roast, and a homemade pumpkin pie. It turned into a great evening celebrating and enjoying the company of friends. I can’t wait to plan this year’s Mabon celebration.

Here are some ideas for what you can do to celebrate Mabon!

  • Go apple picking
  • make a Mabon altar
  • cleanse your home for the fall
  • have a thanksgiving-ish feast with friends/family
  • take a few moments to yourself, or with your children, and write down the things you are grateful for

Samhain – sunset on October 31st to sunset of November 1st

Samhain – pronounced sow-en – the official beginning of winter season, the “darker half” of the year. Samhain is often associated as being a festival of the dead, and is considered one of the times of the year when veil or doorway to the Otherworld is opened and supernatural beings and the souls of the dead may come through and visit our world.

Samhain is actually the opposite Sabbat to Beltane. Beltane is the other “veil is open” Sabbat, but for some reason isn’t as associated with a festival of the dead as Samhain is.

In honor of the doorway being opened, Samhain is a really good time to honor your ancestors and spend some time looking over the past year and setting goals for the winter. Samhain is also the time to be aware of what you need to shed and what need’s be let go of that is no longer serving you. Allow the changing of the seasons to guide you.

Something that’s helpful to consider as we move into the darkness of Winter, especially when SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a factor, is how are you going to fill your home/space with light and warmth as darkness and death happens outside? Winter is a season for hibernating and allowing for rest and rebuilding strength for the return of the light at Imbolc.

Yule – Winter Solstice – December 20-25

The longest day of the year has arrived and with it means we are that much closer to the light and warmth returning! Yule, being in the middle of winter, is a time for gathering with friends in the warmth of your home, and celebrating being together. Ironically, the majority of Christmas traditions have their roots in Yule. Including, but not limited to, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, singing songs, drinking mulled wine, and reaffirming hope of Spring returning.

With having children, I am hoping to be able to plan ahead this year a bit more, and include them in some Yule celebrations. Here’s a good article about some things you can do with children.

This past Yule felt really transformative for me. Instead of feeling pressure from extended family to be there and attend their Christian church Christmas celebrations, we were able to do our own things and be at home and be together. My oldest and I picked out the decorations for our real pine tree and he helped me decorate it. It was so special to be able to do that simple ritual together and have him feel like he was included. He also picked out the other decorations I had around the house and for the first year, it actually felt really celebratory and like we had something to celebrate. My oldest even told me that we didn’t have enough decorations. It really helps having a child who is so eager to celebrate something!

Imbolc – Candlemas – February 2nd

Imbolc – pronounced im-bulk – is the Celtic Goddess Brigid’s Sabbat. Imbolc is the rekindling the Spring fires, the return of the light, and the beginning of life returning. It’s the time for seeds to be started, for the acknowledgment that we are reawakening after a long winter! Brigid is a Goddess of Fire and Light, a Sun Goddess, and is one who holds powerful healing and birthing of life in her hands.

It’s a traditional practice to create a Brigid cross on Imbolc!

I spent Imbolc this year planning out my container garden and trying to figure out which herbs and plants I wanted to plant.


Practicing and celebration the 8 Wheel of the Year Sabbats is a habit to work up to. It’s definitely not going to be an overnight switch. It’s taken me 4 years to celebrate the different Sabbats, and I’m still not where I want to be in terms of what I do for each one. So be patient with yourself if you’re just starting out. It takes time to build up this practice, and what is also helpful, is to find a coven or group of friends to celebrate with.

I spend a lot of time researching and collecting rituals and ways to celebrate each Sabbat on my pinterest board.

Feel free to look around, and maybe even start collecting ideas for your own celebrations!

Rising & Released – Shamanic Initiation

PC: https://www.thaizer.com/festivals/the-mass-sky-lantern-release-at-mae-jo-chiang-mai-is-not-the-yi-peng-festival/

A week ago, I woke up from a procedure that corrected a severe vein issue I was born with and that had been compounded after two pregnancies and multiple health issues. I woke up to my spinal headache being gone, and it hasn’t returned, and I felt like a massive weight had been lifted and intense pressure had been released.

I have been dealing with chronic health issues for more than 2/3 of my life thus far. Through the past 4 years in particular, though, I have felt a drawing to a close, an ending building and approaching. As I began to repeat a health cycle this past January, for the first time, I could feel that the ending was truly here. This would be a year of resolution and I was going to finally have answers with my health.

I had the opportunity to sit down with a dear sister-goddess and she stopped me in what I was saying and asked if she could tell me something. She looked me in the eyes and said “this is your shamanic initiation.” I felt immediately validated while being equally stunned for a few seconds. What she told me has permeated every particle of my being – it completed the shifting my mindset has been doing with my health.

I have felt the shift in my mindset happened over the past year. The shift began to seriously happen when I finally chose the spiritual path I was going to move forward on. Viewing my health struggles as part of my shamanic initiation brought several questions to mind.

  • What if chronic pain is the signal that we are all missing to dig deeper into our spirituality and listen to what the Spirits are calling us to?
  • What if chronic pain/health issues are the outward signs of needing to heal our minds then our bodies?

Now, please, hear me out – I have dealt with chronic pain since I was 10 (or younger…my memory is fuzzy during those ages), I am not making light of chronic pain. I am only speaking from my own experience, and voicing the questions and observations that has given me.

I have been in intensive counseling/therapy for the past 6 years. I have had 3 different therapists, and each one has helped me break through some significant things. But with each year that has passed as I’ve written about what has surfaced, as I’ve processed and worked through the shit that I have experienced, the more drastic my health issues became and then they have been slowly been resolved. Every time a major puzzle piece mentally/emotionally has fallen in to place, I’ve dealt with some of the worst flare ups I’ve faced, but they’ve also resolved and faded, and I have never felt that pain again.

I am beginning to believe that my chronic pain has truly been leading me on a deeper and darker path that I only suspected at the beginning of my chronic health journey. I have always felt like my life has a very specific purpose, but I could never put my finger on what that purpose was/is. I believe I am only just now starting to enter that part of my path where the knowledge of where I belong is coming to me.

When that venous pressure was released a week ago, it felt like that final release on a place on tension that had been building all of my life. I just entered my Saturn Return, and I can feel major parts of my life are lining up and falling in to place. I truly believe I could not have gone through surgery a week ago if I hadn’t done the work I have in the past year. I had to release and process and change my hold on a lot of things. Physically releasing the physical pressure in my body was last thing that needed to happen before I could take the next step forward.

I’m excited about what’s ahead of me. I have started a few things in the past three weeks that I’m looking forward to writing about on here. But for now, I am reveling in the incredible release my body is still experiencing despite aches and pains from having had a procedure.

Revisiting The Wheel Of The Year – Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas/Lughnasah

When the last millimeter of my foot left the ground in Maryland, just over 4 years ago, and when the first millimeter of my foot touched ground in Colorado, I experienced a DRASTIC shift. Being a military child growing up, I’ve lived many different places. But when I came to Colorado, it was and still is the only place that I have ever felt 100% truly at home.

One of the things that shifted was the leaving behind of traditional holidays. I discovered The Wheel of the Year Sabbats and started trying to figure out how to work those into my life. Things didn’t flow very smoothly the first two years I tried to follow the Sabbats. Mainly, timing was just not right.

For the past almost year, I have been able to celebrate and fully dive into the beauty that is worshiping and celebrate the shifting seasons, the Equinoxes, and also honoring age old traditions that hold so much richness and beauty. I’m going to cover the first 4 Sabbats in this post, and then do another post with the last 4.

Ostara/Spring Equinox, March 20th

Let’s start with the beginning of the astrological year – Ostara, the Spring Equinox, which usually falls around March 19th through the 21st. Ostara is the return of the Light and marks a new beginning and a time when things are fresh and new.

I recently wrote about how I celebrated this year’s Ostara here. It was the most gorgeous day this year and I really felt everything magnified by the Full Moon that night. It was certainly a special day and I believe I saw something that the last time there was a full moon on an equinox was about 19 years ago. I think. Don’t quote me on that!

As I’m on a restrictive diet for my health, it is always difficult to come up with substitutes for the traditional dishes served for the Sabbats! But this year, I found a recipe for grain free, dairy free, and sugar free hot cross buns. And oh my, I have made them 3 times now and found that the buns make great sandwich holders. This kind of sweet and savory mix.

Here’s the recipe I used!

Another way to see Ostara is as a replacement for Easter. A lot of traditional Easter celebrations contain traditions and rituals first used for Ostara. Like the emphasis on Spring, the pastel colors, eggs, even the hot cross buns. I did two other rituals during the day on Ostara this year – one being filling a wooden egg with intentions and letting it soak up the Full Moon’s rays that night before setting the egg on my altar to rest for a full month until the next Full Moon.

The second ritual was creating a protection sigil and drawing it under my front door mat. Read my post about Ostara for all the details!

Beltane – April 30th/May 1st

There is a particularly rich magick that surrounds Beltane and it is hands down the Sabat that I am most excited about. There’s a passion and a fire that comes with Beltane, and it’s significant turning point as we head towards summer. I honestly feel like deep magick happens the night of April 30th, and then as the sun rises on May 1st, in comes the celebratory May Day events and rejoicing that Winter has officially and completely ended.

It’s difficult for me to name everything I feel with this Sabbat, but maybe this year I’ll be able to process and really be able to describe why I love Beltane. I haven’t decided what I’m doing to celebrate Beltane this year, but when I do figure that out, I will definitely be sharing!

Litha/Summer Solstice – June 20-23

Litha is the opposite of Yule, which is the Winter Solstice. Litha is celebrating the longest day of the year, the day when we get the most amount of sunshine. This is a Sabbat of celebrating the life and light of summer. I actually haven’t done a whole lot of celebrate Litha in the past, so again, I don’t have a whole lot of examples on what do for this Sabbat!

Lammas/Lughnasah – August 1st

Lughnasah (pronounced Loo-Nah-Sa) is the beginning of the harvest, the time to start preparing and looking towards the return of the darkness as winter approaches. There is a cautiousness with this Sabbat as it is a time split between the beauty and light and vivaciousness of the summer and the coming full harvest of everything that’s been growing. I like to celebrate this Sabbat by creating a fall/harvest wreath for my front door and spending some time in reflection of what my goals are for the rest of the year. Lammas/Lughnasah always feels like we’re turning a corner to me. August is usually the month kiddos go back to school, we start heading into fall activities, and it’s the last ditch effort to enjoy summer.

I used to, before I had to completely cut grains out, make a braided loaf of bread that day as well. This year for Lammas I’ll probably figure out a way to make some sort of braided or special bread.


Something I will be incorporating into the celebrations of the Sabbats this year is creating my own incense blends for each Sabbat and also doing unique tarot spreads. The beauty of celebrating the Wheel of the Year is that there is no requirement for actually doing anything for any of the Sabbats. It is solely up to you for how much you celebrate or don’t; how much you put together, or if when the day rolls around, things just aren’t working, that’s okay too.

There is something deliciously rebellious about breaking away from traditional holidays and returning to the deep roots of this earth.

For anyone wanting to explore more, please feel free to browse through my Pinterest Wheel of the Year board!

Reclaiming the Magick – breaking free of the garden

It’s been almost a decade since I started leaving behind the religion of my childhood. Well, it’s truthfully been a lot longer than that. I never truly belonged to those confining and abusive beliefs. My spirit even then knew there was more than this.

Like I shared in my previous post, I am working my way through a book called The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman, by Danielle Dulsky. The first section is about being a Priestess of the Wild Earth. One of the things that has struck me hard is the talk of realizing the garden – the too-small life, the place that confines and deceives – is no longer the paradise it’s been promised to be. The garden has been put in place by the patriarchy to contain and silence the Wild Feminine, and the strength of being we hold within ourselves. She, Danielle, describes what it’s like to have that first glimpse of something isn’t quite right, or that this isn’t home.

She brings in and introduces the archetypes of Lilith, Inanna, and Persephone-Kore. These are typically called Dark Goddesses, but as one who is full of shadows and lived in the darkness for so long, I see these goddesses as so beautiful and wise and powerful. During my first full initiation into the Pagan almost a year ago, Lilith came to me in a vision and reminded me that she has given me wings to fly with, I only need to open them.

When I was baptized into the Christian belief system at the age of 7, fear tactics were used to get me to say the right words. The man who sexually abused me told me what to say, fed me the right answers, and then was so proud when he dunked me under and brought me up out of the rushing waters of the Rappahannock river. I simply just wanted to belong. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted to feel that the stirrings in my spirit had a purpose. As an incredibly perceptive child, and now very intuitive adult, it was extremely confusing trying to follow the religious path laid out in front of me by people who were narcissistic hypocrites. This was my garden.

Like Lilith in the Garden allowing the wondrous snake to hand her the forbidden fruit and waking up to the dreadful illusions around her, I had my moment of awakening.

Like Inanna and Persephone, I too descended into the depths of hell to retrieve my broken and lost spirit.

I followed the rules. I was the perfect daughter. Both done out of fear of not measuring up, fear of being a disappointment, fear of being rejected. My soul and heart longed for more though. I discovered writing at a young age and by the time I was 17, had written hundreds of heartbroken poems. I am a musician/pianist, and I spent hours releasing all of the energy that had built up through my fingers dancing over the ivory keys. My fingers, my spirit, held immense amounts of magick, but it didn’t fit into the path given to me.

I felt the sorrow and grief constantly caused by instinctively knowing something wasn’t right, that this was not all there is to life. But I never had cause to break free until scales suddenly fell from my eyes, and I bit into that apple for the first time. I actually know the E X A C T moment those scales fell – it was the moment I first laid eyes on my now spouse. My guides told me in that moment, “keep an eye on this one. Your souls are intertwined and you both will need each other for what is to come.”

From that moment forward, we were pounded on by all sides by those who were determined to break our bond and destroy our joined spirits. I had suddenly taken control of the path *I* wanted to follow, and a lot of people did not like that. But it was too late, I had already taken a bite, my eyes had been opened, and the garden had turned into a dull and dirty place. I was ready to leave and start my journey away from the confines of what was determined to break and silence me.

That was almost 10 1/2 years ago, and my spouse and I are still closely tied to one another, our souls having survived absolute destruction and storms determined to tear our very beings apart. But that was the start of my awakening. My reclaiming the magick that beats so strongly inside me.

I am planning on going back through the first section of The Holy Wild and go through the various prompts suggested in the book. For now though, I know I have stopped wandering and I am honing in on my Wild Home.

picture credit – http://stregatree.com/product/working-with-lilith-goddess-of-transformation/?v=7516fd43adaa

Rising in the Fire, Moving on, & Owning my Holy Wild

For almost a year, I have been digging deeper into the spiritual wild within me, and allowing that tiny spark that’s been trying to burst into flames to do so. I am learning so much more about myself, the power I carry, and the way my wounds, scars, and darkness are giving me life instead of sucking the life from me.

I am aware of how much I am shifting, especially this year. I had a break through a month or so ago and suddenly realized how many people have and are still gas lighting me. I realized how much I had been pulled under by their manipulations and this deeply rooted loyalty I have for my friends. I have, in the past, been willing to overlook a “friend” using and abusing me, because I’m there for them, and they must be going through a rough time. But no. Just N.O. That is not okay.

Over a year ago I went through a hellish health circumstance. I lost a lot of people of whom I thought were my friends. One of those being someone who decided that because my health issues were their worst nightmares, they selfishly told me that I couldn’t talk about anything I was going through because it was too triggering for them. Oh, they were so good. I would never go against what someone says is their trigger, and they knew that. But I was made to feel like I was so much less than because I was going through what they considered their worst nightmare, and heaven forbid I even dare to mention anything that I’m feeling or dealing with, it was just too much for them. Oh but, no it wasn’t personal. It sure as eff was!! Just for the record, any time anyone says “oh it’s not personal” you had better be aware it absolutely is. That is a cop out phrase and it is a classic gas lighting technique. It is meant to make the person being told that it isn’t personal feel that they are the only one at fault, they are the reason for the conversation/issue/problems. It removes ALL blame and responsibility from the other party…usually the person who should be blamed and should be taking responsibility for their own actions and what they have done to harm the other.

Yes, I am still quite angry, but I called this person out on their shit, and I was able to walk away despite their attempts to gas light me and shame me and name me at fault for all of the issues they were dealing with. I have learned to see the loyal people and the worthy people who are allowed into my life. I have learned to be brutal and cut those out who are sucking away my life force with their gas lighting and victim blaming of me. I am not the person I used to be, I am not someone who you can take advantage of anymore. I don’t usually put my foot down, but when I do, you had better be sure that’s it, I’m not coming back.

I have made many mistakes, many instances of trusting people I never should have even given the time of day to. But like many who have gone before me, I have learned from my mistakes and as I open myself up to the energies moving within and around me, I am receiving so much more power and ability to protect myself and those I love.

I have been reading, slowly, a book called The Holy Wild by Danielle Dusky.

I’m only a chapter in, and already have underlined multiple sections, but I wanted to quote one part I underlined that was extremely validating and rejuvenating to read.

“This is me, and I have survived my birth by fire. My hair is knotted, and my cheeks are stained with the tears of lost innocence and bitter disdain. I am untying the knots that kept me tethered to a life I did not want, to names I did not want to be called, and to the notation that a woman is an unchanging, steady touchstone for all who need her.”

The Holy Wild – Prayer of the Underworld Goddess Returned: My Muddy Wings Are Wide – Danielle Dusky

I am leaning into a deeply resonating rhythm that is asking me to let go and let my wings unfurl. I have talked before about being of the shadows and holding more darkness than light within me. I am not only fully accepting that part of myself, I am finding so much power and strength within those scars; the scars I once saw as shameful, but the scars I also confusingly knew were badges of courage and strength, but no one would acknowledge that.

I am a WITCH, I am a Goddess reborn, I am a Shadow Carrier, I am a Shaman in the midst of her Shamanic Initiation, I am a weapon against the shame that tries to keep us silent.

I was driving up to my company’s office on Monday and passed by what are called Hogbacks. They are literally MASSIVE shelves of rock formations that have been pushed up in a protective way in front of the foothills of the Rockies. As I watched them pass by, this vibrating thought came to me – those are Gaia’s protections. Those formations are protecting the beauty that exists behind them, She formed a literal wall of protection around magickal land. The next thought given to me was that I am also a protector. I have been given many tools of protection of myself and of those around me who are dear to me. And the only reason I am able to be a protector of others is because of the quote below.

“…this Goddess who risked it all to save no one except herself.”

The Holy Wild – Danielle Dusky

I risked every single thing to save myself and pull myself through the multiple levels of hell I’ve been through. And because of that, I have been given tools to deepen my connection and understanding of the Earth, my connection to the Moon, and the spirits and energies who exist around and in us and I am willing to help bear the burdens of others coming through those hells.

I feel like I am at a crossroads, yet again, and this time, it’s which magickal path is calling the loudest. I finally have time and mental space to give it serious thought and decide confidently on the path that is mine to walk.

Blessed Ostara – Spring Equinox – Full Moon

Welcome to Spring!! And welcome into Aries season.

Yesterday was Ostara/Spring Equinox and I spent the day cleansing my space and preparing a feast for dinner last night. I did four things in particular for celebration of Ostara –

1. created/painted/filled a wooden intentions egg,
2. cleansed my front door and drew a protection sigil under my front mat,
3. made low carb, dairy free, grain free, and sugar free hot cross buns and Greek seasoned brisket for dinner, and last but not least,
4. sat with my Ostara Tarot cards last night to receive the messages I need to keep in mind for this next season.

Wishing or Intention Eggs

I followed Moody Moons’ directions for creating the wishing or intention eggs. I wasn’t able to find fillable wooden eggs in time, so I ended up going with a medium sized wooden Russian doll. Sure, it doesn’t really have the right “egg” shape, but I honestly wasn’t bothered by that.

Above in the picture are all of the items I gathered, besides the little piece of paper I wrote my intentions on, for the wishing eggs.

  • 1 wooden egg/cylindrical wooden container
  • biodegradable glitter
  • spring colored paint
  • burlap ribbon
  • medallion or old earrings

I worked on the egg throughout the day, finishing it as the moon was rising and stuck it in my window that receives full moonlight during full moons. Feel free to check out Moody Moons’ post about what she did with her eggs!

my egg this morning after the full moon last night.

Front Door Cleansing/Sigil Drawing

A few months ago I finally found a string of bells on a rope that is now wrapped around my front door handle. These bells are intended to help protect and make it more difficult for negative energy to enter the sacred and safe space that is my home. But in an effort to increase the protection around my front door, I made eggshell chalk from powdered eggshells and created a protection sigil.

I have struggled with sigils before and felt like I couldn’t draw well enough to create my own. I decided that this protection sigil and ritual was important enough to me that I would try again. So I sat down Tuesday afternoon and started working on the phrase I wanted to use.

I’ll do another post specifically about sigils another time, but for now, here are some pictures of what my process was.

The phrase I chose is “This Space Is Protected.” I then went through it, crossing out every vowel, then took the remaining letters, crossing out all duplicate letters. That left me with the letters “T H S P C R D.”

As you can see in the paper to the far right of some of the pictures, I had started playing with the letters and trying to create a sigil with their shapes. The pieces of paper with the progression of the sigil are when I started realizing how the sigil wanted to flow and I allowed my hands to follow the instincts I was being given. The sigil surrounded by four crystals is the finished sigil. I knew I needed the “S” to be most prominent. The “S” stands for space, sacred, and safe. All things embodying the root of the sigil.

Yesterday morning as the bright sunlight warmed my front door, my 4 1/2 year old and I cleaned and wiped down the front door. I lit a bundle of sage and used the smoke to help clear out the space. As I prepared for drawing the sigil, I unwrapped my eggshell chalk.

Honestly, I will be creating a different recipe for future eggshell chalk. The recipe I had was pretty decent, but the chalk itself was completely stuck to the paper I had wrapped it in. But enough of that, moving back to the ritual!

Note about eggshells – eggshells are considered powerful and can be used for protection charms. By crushing up cleaned and dried eggshells, you can use the powder to sprinkle along your windowsills or doorways, or to dust your hands with before dealing with a negative person/situation/energy. It isn’t a bad idea to keep a small jar of powdered eggshells in your witchery cabinet or shelf.

I took my finished sigil and careful drew it under the space normally occupied by my door mat. My front porch is slated rougher wood so the chalk did not want to show up on the wood. However, it did leave a scratched in sigil and I believe that sigil will be there for as long as we live in this place.

I carefully replaced the mat and my 4 1/2 year old and I stood on the mat over the sigil and held our hands up to our chests as we sent our energy into the sigil to activate it. My kiddo really loved being able to help me out with the ritual and it was a sweet moment as we stood there in our bare feet, the sun warming up our toes, as we activated the sigil together.

LC/DF/GF/SF Hot Cross Buns

One of the traditional foods for Ostara is Hot Cross Buns. But, due to my now extensive food restrictions, I can’t eat a traditional hot cross bun. Off I went to my faithful Pinterest boards to see if I could find a paleo/dairy free/grain free recipe. I found this one, and actually had all the ingredients!


Low Carb Hot Cross Buns – Ditch the Carbs

Icing

Instructions

Low Carb Hot Cross Buns

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs and mix.
  3. Add the boiling water and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Roll into 8 equal balls and place on a baking tray.
  5. Bake in a fan assisted oven at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes until golden on the outside and cooked in the centre.

Icing

  1. Mark each hot cross bun with a cross using the powdered sweetener confectioners/icing mix and water paste.

I actually used a small digital food scale when measuring out the coconut flour and psyllium husks, but there is an option over at Ditch the Carb’s recipe to have US measurements.

I made a few changes – first being, I used powdered psyllium husks, and second, used a mixture of cinnamon, ground cloves, and cardamon for the mixed spice. I also added cacao tidbits into the dough instead of raisins or chocolate chips. I was a little hestitant using coconut flour but I honestly can’t taste the coconut at all! I used up the rest of my Swerve sweetener between the 2 tbsp the recipe calls for, and then grinding the rest in my mortar and pestle to created the powdered sweetener for the icing.

When the buns got out of the oven, they were surprisingly fluffy and while they have a fairly typical psyllium husk kind of chewiness, day old buns actually taste amazing! Just be aware that they aren’t going to taste like normal bread. But if you’re like me and haven’t eaten “real bread” in quite a few years, then these will taste quite heavenly!

Ostara Tarot

A sister-goddess tagged me in a post on Instagram for an Ostara tarot spread and I decided to go ahead an use the layout instead of just laying the cards out as I usually do.

These are the three cards I pulled from my Ostara Tarot deck

For the Egg, I pulled The World.

For The Seed, I pulled the 2 of Swords.

For The Sun, I pulled Justice.

All three of these cards spoke heavily to where I am right now, and even more so to where I’m moving to. There have been a lot of closing final doors, ending what I thought were friendships, and shedding unneeded situations and responses. I can feel the fires within starting to blaze brightly as we have crossed into Aries, are at the beginning of the Astrological year, and many new things are coming forth.

Blessed Spring my loves, thank you for reading.

Next Steps for Healing – The Red Tent

The past three years have included significant health issues reaching high peaks in January. This year, it has been on different. After a bad cancer scare last week, I sincerely hope things are moving forward with more clarity as I try to heal my body.

In the midst of getting scary test results and rushing for CT scans and MRIs, I managed to drag my exhausted body out to a Red Tent session, and it was worth it. I drove home, after that time with my fellow goddesses, feeling so much more at peace and I felt the tension just melt away.

My body was still sick, in fact, later that evening, I got even more sick and got violently ill due to a rupturing ovarian cyst. It’s been a weird paradox being so physically sick, but feeling like I’ve reached an “I’ve come home” level with my spirituality. I was able to reground at the Red Tent, but it left me pondering a few things.

It was only the second Red Tent I’ve attended, but I have started noticing a pattern with women I meet in these circles. There is an astoundingly large amount of women wrestling with healing from some sort of sexual trauma. 9 out of 10 women has experienced some sort of trauma that she is still reeling from or has recently decided to face and is working through the process of healing.

I have felt a calling for a long time to be a safe space and holding ground for my fellow beings who are facing trauma and trauma recovery. But I also know that my health and my point in life right now is not allowing me to be that space for more than 2 or 3 women right now. My mental space is not clear right now either. The Red Tent last Saturday was the first time and place where I finally felt a bit more grounded and able to take a deep breath in a long time.

Being a sexual abuse survivor, my body still carries those scars and the triggers of what happened to me. It’s been a rough journey uncovering those memories a year and a half ago, and then acknowledging and honoring the little one who sits inside of me and still asks the question “what did I do wrong?” I deeply appreciate the incredible space the Red Tent holds for women/beings who bleed who have experienced sexual trauma. That trauma in particular is so deeply intertwined with our womb space and the life force inside of us. Because of the culture we live in, and the disregard we give to beings who bleed and can sustain and make life with their bodies, our traumas are often overlooked, made fun of, or ignored. This tells us that WE are not worthy of being taken seriously, that our traumas and the scars our body holds are shameful.

The Red Tent is bringing back our power and the strength that we hold in that womb space. It is breaking down this myth that to have experienced trauma (any kind, but especially sexual trauma) makes us less than. I would argue though that that trauma experience gives us MORE power and MORE strength. More empathy and compassion. We are stronger and more able to enter the shadows and darkness. The creatures in the shadows and darkness fear us because we are not afraid of them. We do not cower because we know what exists in the darkness, and we have come forth triumphant despite it. Because of our scars, we are able to reenter the darkness and grab hold of the ones lost and broken within it. There is strength in numbers, yes, but there is also strength in the broken, the healing, the bruised, the bloodied. We are the beings who are restoring the Divine Feminine.

If you have a Red Tent circle near you, I highly recommend going at least once. The circle on Saturday evening was full of women exhausted, worn out, and yet we all held space for each other and was so much stronger because of it.

Ending the Year of Reckoning – Entering the Year of Dancing+Triumphant

When I chose a word for the year at the end of 2017, the word Reckoning kept coming to mind. I was slowly slowly coming back up from having horrific memories of my sexual childhood abuse come back and I knew that those memories were the last pieces of the trauma I have been picking apart and healing for the past decade of my life. My healing had reached a massive head and I finally felt I had all the pieces of the puzzle that is my life. I had reached the place of being able to step back and see the massively beautiful chaotic picture.

Reckoning – an accounting, as for things received or done.

Reckoning felt like the right word; a daunting word, but the right word. I knew 2018 was going to be the year I would be facing head on some of the things I have never been able to process before. Right out of the gate, my health took an extreme nosedive and I experienced my first two ER trips ever within the first two months of the year. By March, I was in the middle of my fourth surgery of my life, and by June, my fifth. There’s that book called The Body Keeps The Score, and my body sure as hell was replaying and bringing back all of the scores its kept since my childhood. It is a draining thing, to say the least, to watch your own body seem to just deteriorate and nothing you do seem to stop it. I experienced friends drifting away, people telling me my health was too much for them to hear about. I myself withdrew into the darkness as I struggled to find doctors willing to listen to me as my inner body yelled at me. I was blessed to have an incredibly competent primary care doctor and I found a new gynecologist to help me with my major hormonal imbalance. I was officially diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Hormonal Imbalances, Endometriosis – all this on top of my Fibromyalgia, and some kind of auto-immune issue. Oh, and I can’t forget the chronic Epstein Barr Virus I have, as well as always carrying the risk of having a bad CMV flare up every single time I get sick.

But then August arrived, and I went away for an incredibly intense and awakening magical weekend. I felt, for the first time, like I had truly come home. I mean, the moment I stepped foot in Denver almost 4 years ago felt like coming home. But this? This was a coming home of my full being and a deeply spiritual arrival. I was surrounded by women who were damaged and broken in the most beautiful way. We spent the weekend lifting each other up, holding space for each other, and allowing the magic and spirits to flow through us. It was during that weekend that I felt Goddesses calling to me and since then I have leaned into the magic I have felt in my spirit since childhood.

My journey away from the organize religion of my childhood has been completed. I have found my place, I am wholly content with where my beliefs sit, and I absolutely adore the constant shifting and growing and learning that comes with where I rest now. Every day I feel the stirrings of my magic within me, and I gaze with fondness on my little altar in the corner of my work area. I have landed on a stone that has chosen me as much as I chose it. I am prepping for beginning my own deck garden in the spring, and am gloriously hands deep in herbal infused oils. I long to get back to communing with my Goddesses, but for the time being it’s okay that I have not had space to dive in as deeply as I’d like.

I feel like I have a somewhat okay handle on my own health, and even though there are still days when my body feels like death warmed over, I’m on the right track.

One of the biggest things I’ve done this past year was drastically removing toxic and undeserving people from my life. Toxic people who have been using me and manipulating them all because I made the mistake of letting them into my vulnerable years ago. Undeserving people who have proven they are unworthy of having access to my safe spaces. It has been cleansing and releasing to cut ties with people who have tried to put me down or who have sided with my abusers. I deserve better and I am reaching for better. My life has been so full of backstabbers and people who seem to have no qualms about choosing to side with the people who have broken and abused me. I do not have time or space for anyone who tries to use me or who is unwilling to accept me for me. I refuse to water myself down or hide parts of my life because it’s too messy.

That leads me to the words that have been given to me for 2019 –

Dancing + Triumphant

One of my ex-parents recently tried to push through boundaries I clearly and firmly set up 2 1/2 years ago. Her blatant disregard for my boundaries was not triggering as it was once. If anything I was able to see clearly what she was trying to do, and I felt no self-doubts that I had made the wrong choice in cutting her off. I am stronger – oh so much stronger than I was 2 years ago. I am a fierce warrior goddess who is willing to stand her ground to the last enemy. 2019 will be my year of finally getting to dance through the storms life will throw my way. It is my year of triumphing over the trauma that tries to drown me. It is my year of moving and swaying with the flow of life. It is the year I get to move forward with confidence instead of desperately just trying not to drown. I have learned to release and grow and to allow space for the memories of the trauma I have endured to flow through me. They fucking hurt and threaten to pull me under, but they no longer have power over me.

I have learned to acknowledge and show respect to the equal parts of light and dark that I hold within me. I will always have darkness, and be one with the shadows. But I am also a being of light and a healed/healing soul. This was my year of reconciling with the shadows and welcoming them instead of hating them and feeling lost within them. I am a complete being – a broken, beautiful, whole, cyclical being.

I am excited to enter the chaos of 2019. I have no illusions it will be a pretty year, or an easy year, or a year I get to sit down and relax and throw my feet up. It will be a year of working, it will be a year of learning, but how I’m approaching the work that is coming is very different. I have a different perspective now. And that is a beautiful thing.

Herbal Infused Oils & Rose Water Toner – update

A few months ago I mixed up two herbal infused oils to start the 6 week wait for the herbs to infuse. Since then I have added two more herbal infused oils to my collection. 

One of the things that is recommended for herbal body oiling is to use the oils daily. This is so the herbs can get into your system and build up to help your body’s immune system, or nervous system, or whatever the goal of the herbs are that you used in your oils. Truthfully, I have not been oiling daily, but I do take baths with the oils several times a week now. My favorite way to use the oils I’ve made are to pour about two tablespoons into the bath water with pure epsom salts and then soak for about 20+ minutes. This never leaves my bathtub oily and there is enough oil in the water to cover my body and the epsom salts help with easing the aches my body deals with daily. 

Okay, so the first oil I infused contained Jasmine, Lavender, and Damiana. The oils I used were half Sweet Almond Oil and half Olive Oil. This oil does smell more strongly of olive oil, but the combination of the aphrodisiac of the damiana and jasmine and the calming of lavender makes for a very relaxing bath. I’ve used this oil for a massage oil as well. I honestly wasn’t so sure I would be able to tell a difference in how my body felt when using the oils. I am pleasantly surprised that I can tell when I’ve used the oils and my body feels calmer and less stressed or inflamed. 

The second oil I infused had Calendula, Lavender, Dandelion root, and Motherwort. I used unrefined coconut oil, and while this may have been a mistake, the oil did turn out good. The only thing I probably should have done different was use fractionated coconut oil so it would be in a constant liquid state. I have used this oil primarily when my kiddos take baths! It seems to help calm them down before bed and also moisturizes my youngest’s skin and his eczema. 

I also tried to infuse some distilled water and witch hazel with dried rose petals, jasmine, and lavender. It was supposed to infuse for 2 weeks, and when I opened the jar after 2 weeks, I found mold on the herbs at the top of the jar. So instead of the long infusing method, I decided to use a different method and have successfully made rose water toner that lasts exactly 2 months with me using it every day. 

The recipe I use is to place about 3/4 cup of dried flowers/herbs into a small pot, then pour about 1 1/2 cups of distilled water into it. I’ll bring the water to a boil, then let it keep boiling until specifically the rose petals have lost their color. This usually seems to take about 5ish minutes. Once I feel like the petals have lost all their color, I’ll turn off the heat, move the pot, and let the entire thing cool completely. Cooling completely seems to take about an hour or so. Then I use a fine cloth (usually the $0.79 white and red towels from Ikea) over a fine mesh strainer and pour the liquid and herbs/petals into the cloth and strainer. I’ll use a wooden spoon to gently press all the liquid from the herbs/petals. Then pour the strained liquid into an amber or blue glass spray bottle! I almost always use masking tape and write a label with the date to stick on the bottle, then put and keep the bottle in the fridge. 

I used dried rose petals, calendula, and chamomile flowers for the toner pictured above! As I’m still struggling with persistent hormonal acne, I wanted to add the powerhouse flowers of calendula and chamomile as they are really good for calming the skin and soothing inflammation. Besides, chamomile flowers smell amazingly like honey! 

As I’m still working to heal my body from the inside out, I wanted to create another oil with the specific purpose of balancing hormones. I used a grapeseed oil as the base oil this time, and the herbs I used were Damiana, Passion Flower, Calendula, and Rosebuds. Damiana and Passion Flower are good balancing herbs, Passion Flower specifically is good for calming anxiety and the nervous system. Calendula is also another herb good for anti-inflammatory purposes. When I use this oil in my bath, I feel rejuvenated and calmed when I get out. This oil in addition to some new herbs I’m taking as supplements, my body is feeling more balanced than I can ever remember. 

Last but not least, I made a fourth oil specifically to use on my spouse’s and my face. I have long been using Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil for acne control. Sea Buckthorn is a powerful antioxidant and contains a lot of beta carotene which causes the almost disturbing orange-ish color. I promise, in tiny amounts, this oil doesn’t not stain your skin! As I know chamomile and calendula have some amazing facial benefits, I used those two herbs and infused the oil for about 3 weeks in Sea Buckthorn Seed oil and Grapeseed oil. Once this oil was done, I mixed it with some essential oils – tea tree, frankincense, lavender, and eucalyptus. My spouse and I use this oil on our faces every evening once we’ve washed our faces and used witch hazel as a toner. 

Something I have not been able to do yet and which I plan to do, is to return the herbs and dried flowers used in the making of these oils to Mother Gaia. It’s been too cold outside, but also due to my own health and the chaos of having started a new job, I have not had the motivation to do so. But it is important to me to to honor Mother with the giving of her bounty so I can make these oils. It’s all about honoring those cycles of life and death!