Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This Week's Reads

Man, I hope the grammar in that title is correct...

I neglected to write about this week's reading adventure.  We have 6 more weeks of story time at Bryant park.  This was the book we received on the 21st:

Ana sat for the entire thing, which is was awesome.  I think it's because the cover reminded her of Dino and his little blue chair.  I think he'll get a real kick our of it when he sees it.  Unfortunately we weren't able to pick him up this weekend due to the birth of his other baby sister.  Poor kid, surrounded by little girls, all with 'A' names too.  Actually, a really bizarre anecdote from several years ago, long before I became pregnant with Ana.  Dino's father told me that he and his wife would like to use the name Anastasia if they ever had a girl.  I had that name, specifically Anastasia Selene picked out from when I was about 16 for my kids!  Granted I think this was about the time that Fifty Shades of Gray was popular, so many baby girls were being named Anastasia.  I still to this day don't know how to feel about him saying that to me.  Weirded out?  I don't know.  Anastasia is a Greek name and I have an aunt that goes by Thea Tasia.  Anyway, I didn't plan to write about this specifically, but it's one of those memories that just sticks with you.

Ugh... memories.

This is the book I chose this week, which is so far very interesting.  I love historical fiction.


I have yet to finish it.  But, I have a list of titles I want to check out next.  Including a book on Traditional British Witchcraft, which I've been meaning to read about for some time.

Our Saturday at the library and story time was lovely.  We ate soup and a sandwich from Pret a Manger in the park and Ana laughed as tourists, who don't know they shouldn't feed the pigeons, were attacked by said pigeons after feeding them some French fries.

The weather was beautiful which was especially good for all the protestors out and about marching near us.  I wish I had taken pictures, the signs were so creative and many were beyond hilarious.  There were tons of kids there and I realized too late that I could have made some money months ago by knitting pink pussy hats.  Even men were wearing them.  There was an alleged pink yarn shortage reported throughout the fiber art community.  Oh well, I wouldn't have been able to make them quickly enough anyway with my fingers becoming stiffer as the Stellar fades.

Oh, and for those keeping track, just me I suppose, no Shadow did not finish reading his book on Obama and I returned it.  He said he read some but when I inquired as to what it was about he was unable to tell me.  Well my dear, next time stay away from political books.  

To be fair, the books that Shadow is truly interested in cannot be taken out.  They are research only in the main branch.  Many of the books I have wanted to look up, including books on witchcraft and Greek orthodoxy, are research titles only as well.

Yesterday, after collaborating on the blog post, he suggested we write a book.  Many people have suggested I write a book.  I have in fact written books, they're just not published.  Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm not good enough, or that some of my work is too dark.  I've been banned from websites for posting stories containing rape. 

A book on witchcraft would of course, be different.  Most books are geared towards the solitary, there aren't many dealing with couples magick, and sex magick is mostly centered on "The Great Rite", which leaves out non heterosexual couples.  The release of power with an orgasm is possibly the main focal point, but how you get there, the build up of sexual energy is up to you regardless of which body parts you possess.

That is definitely something I would write about in a book as so many LGBT people come to Wicca because we don't have a Bible saying that where you stick your dick is a sin.

Anyway, it's an idea to contemplate.  Certainly I won't be able to truly devote my energy to it until my health is under control.  Writing a blog is one thing, but composing a meaningful work that you can be proud of is a whole other story, hence why I haven't written or posted any short stories and my novel "The Priest" is on hiatus.

For right now, I think I'm fine with relaying my day to day activities, you know for all those people who Google me that I no longer talk to (even my ex, has admitted to looking those people up and Lord knows he's probably read this blog).  I mean really, the jokes on them, I'm homeless, have another baby out of wedlock, can't work because my autoimmune disease is running rampant and I do old lady things.  Furthermore, only one was allegedly pagan, and according to my sister, he had stalked me in real life!  Therefore, for all you Christians, you're commuting a sin by reading about the life of a witch. 

But really, I'm fine. 😝

Blessed Be
)) O ((


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

For Those Just Starting Their Path



I've been studying Wicca and Witchcraft since I was 13 years old.  Even as a teenager, I received emails or messages, asking how to start out, what to read, what to buy, I need spells, help me, teach me!

When you've trotted down this path as long as I have, you know that you're in a constant state of learning, but early on, you quickly find what works for you and what doesn't.  I have been doing picture magick for as long as I can remember, I also used to "read" my cereal as a child.  I still do these, because they work, period.

I'm one of those new age hippies who believes that magick is innate in everyone, it's just a matter of what form you chose to use it in.  Christian prayer is a form of magick, the many rituals of Judiasm are magick, we just don't call it that.

When a witch does a spell, it can be likened to a prayer.  I'll use Greek Othodoxy as an example, since I grew up Eastern Orthodox, and many of the prayers and rituals and items we use can be traced back to ancient times.  If I go to church, and my knee hurts, I will leave an amulet of a knee at the altar.  That is the part of my body I want to heal, so a metal knee amulet is the representation of my intent.  In the church, it's simply a healing prayer, incense and candles are still used, and words are spoken about my painful knee.  The same things translate to witchcraft, I have an amulet, in my case, a drawing of my knee, a candle, incense and I will ask Asclepius instead of Jesus or His father to help heal my knee.

See?

It's the same damn shit, just different named Gods.

Shadow and I like to say that all paths lead to God, She or He just has many faces.

You don't even need to be religious to cast spells.  Don't confuse the two.  I'm not religious in the least, but I do quite a lot of spell work.  I am a Wiccan Witch, but not all Witches are Wiccan.  Shadow is not Wiccan and simply says he is "of the old religion".  Witchcraft, is just as it sounds, a craft, one must practice it, hone your skills.  I can tell you what works for me and Shadow, but it might not work for you.  Teenagers, especially don't like to hear this.  They want spells and they want them fast, the impatient twats!

So, then, do your spell.

But wait, you don't have any supplies, no herbs, no incense, can't burn your moms expensive Yankee candles, cause she might kill you, you can't order an athame cause you're a minor, blah, blah blah.  You don't need any of that.  And yes, this is coming from a person who as the other half of a couple owns a very extensive altar set up.

It's all smoke and mirrors (sometimes literally).

Right now, my stuff is packed up sitting in a basement in stinky old Jersey, and I am still doing magick, I don't need any of it, because as I said, it's innate in me.

I can simply use my mind to manifest what I want.  If I want my knee to stop beating the crap out of me, then I think to my knee, stop it, I need to walk, and imagine it engulfed in blue healing energy, while the nasty inflammation drips out as a black sludge back into the earth to be filtered.  (It also helps to have a man with large strong hands to massage it, but don't go out searching for manly witch yet.)

See?

I didn't need to go to church or my altar, I didn't even need to light a candle or speak any words out loud.  No one ever needs to know that you have just done a spell.  I can go right now and take the E train and in my mind's eye, perform an entire ritual to make apartment hunting easier for myself and Shadow.  I promise you, with practice, it'll become second nature.

Now, for all you seekers out there, looking to find out the truth, and want all the "secrets and ancient knowledge", I give you this, go to the library, or online if your prefer, and READ.  I've been studying my craft since 1998.  I'm always reading, whether it's a printed book or perhaps someone else's blog. Just take in the information.  Here are some of my favorite resourses:

This is one of my all time favorite websites for study: www.sacred-texts.com
If you're looking for pagans in your area: The Witches' Voice
Shadow recommends: Crystal Links

Here are some books to start you off with:
Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
Wicca: A guide for the solitary practioner by Scott Cunnigham
The Witches Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
Drawing Down The Moon by Margot Adler

Hell, take the time to read Silver Raven Wolf as well.  I'm not going into the controversy about her, but either you love her or hate her.

Look up Gerald Gardner, THE grandfather of modern Wicca.

Or, better yet, I highly recommend this video on YouTube, a documentary by an actual professor who is British, so you know he knows his shit:



Go forth and be the witch you've always wanted to be.

Blessed Be!

)) O ((

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Having Fun Isn't Hard, When You Got A Library Card

These words of course, are the very wise lyrics to Arthur the aardvark's beloved library song.


This is one of the most important cards you can carry in your wallet as a low income resident of NYC, I just got mine last Saturday, and I am very pleased. There are tons of programs, online material, events, and most importantly: books that are available to me.  It's invaluable, but you have to take advantage of it!  It's all free!  They even have a toddler class for my daughter, which is pretty sweet, especially in a city where toddler classes can easily run into the thousands.

I checked out one book.  I haven't read a book since the summer of 2014 before I became pregnant.  I suffer from terrible pregnancy brain.  It happened with Dino and again with Ana, and it lasts well past the year they're born, when I am still nursing, and thus hormones continue to mess with my concentration.  I can follow a knitting pattern no problem, but ask me to read a book and I found that I was reading the same sentence over and over and was unable to retain the information that I read, even if it was my beloved Shelock Holmes.

This is the book I took out, and have finished reading.  I really enjoyed it.  It was an excellent departure from reading "literature", where there is more that meets the eye and professors want you to discuss it.  I, being the voracious reader that I am, was the only one who was able to finish reading any of the books as I had a very long commute to and from the Village.




That is a baby foot.  

I have a fondness for Murder, She Wrote.  I drink tea and knit while watching it.  I'm quite the old lady.  I once saw an interview where Rupaul admitted to watching as well before he turned in for the night. I saw him driving in SoHo, with the most fashionable of hats on in a vintage car.  That is the epitome of true class, being proud of who you are, and indulging in simple mystery tv shows.

This is the book that Shadow took out:


I don't pretend to understand politics.  I read the inside of the jacket, and I wasn't going to try to re read it to even attempt to comprehend what the premise is.  Shadow, has yet to start reading it.  I'm not even going there...

Just outside the library in Bryant Park, we came across a free program that will allow kids to skate for free after they attend all the story times each Saturday for 8 weeks.  Dino already has two stamps.  We also received a free book.  A nice hardcover picture book too!  It's all sponsored by Penguin and Random House and all totally free.


Finally, I leave with you a picture of my two beautiful children at story time, who enjoy reading and books as much as their dear mother does.  We will continue to go to story time, and the library together and see what other free programs are available to my darling little monkeys.








Friday, January 13, 2017

Resolutions for Knitting

In coming to the shelter, I have naturally had to pair down my possessions to only the most basic of daily items.  So along with toothpaste and organic coconut oil (seriously I need to write just about that, but it'll get x rated), my daily necessities include knitting implements.

I've been knitting since I was 5.  I was a precocious child, or more specifically, my mother needed to shut me up.  For 20 or more years I've been collecting various knitting accoutrements.  I have vintage or perhaps antique needles given to me by my son's grandmother on his father's side (is that the best way to say that?), as well as bamboo, aluminum, laminated birch, plastic, interchangeable, straights, double pointed, and just soooo much stuff that goes with all of that.

Obviously, I could not bring all of that with me, and the reality is, a knitter (some of whom would perhaps stab me for writing this) does not need all that stuff.  I've managed to create a small pouch of basic items that will not only get me through international security and TSA, but fulfill all my knitting needs.



 What you are looking at is, a basic set of Denise interchangeables, scissors and crochet hook from a broken The Knit Kit, a few locking stitch markers, and a tape measure from Lion Brand, which I have an abundance of that I've never had to pay for.  

That's it.

As for yarn, I've had to downgrade my "stash" as well.  Basically, I no longer have one.  First of all, I had to throw out the few balls I had left.  They were wool, and they had been eaten by carpet beetles while living at my parents house (apparently the damn things eat wood too, there weren't any carpets there).  Second, and this is where the resolution part comes in, I'm no longer going to buy yarn just to add to a stash.




I wrote a comment addressing this on the Lion Brand blog, and I've mulled over it even more.  I'm going to choose my projects with a bit more care, and buy the yarn specifically and only for that project, cast on and finish, then, not buy more yarn until I have finished the previous project.  I've been doing this since November, and it works very well.  

I use the needles and immplements that I have and don't need more.  Not needing that huge box of things is very freeing, no extra anything, and it's pretty cool.  

I'm not missing out on anything, I just finished a sweater, from a vintage pattern nonetheless.




All those things aren't necessary. 

Now, the only yarn I have on hand are 5 balls of Paton's Glam Stripes, that I managed to snatch up at the Dollar Tree.  I'm making my daughter a pinafore as they were all the rage in the Beatrix Potter books worn by cats and Jemima Puddle Duck.

So, can I still to my resolution?  I have been thus far, and will continue to do so.

This experience of living at the shelter is such a great time to learn how to live with less. Much less, and more importantly, learn to appreciate the things I have and not take them for granted.  The one thing I learned by living in Greece was that Americans simply have too much stuff, and look at us, we're unhealthy, over weight, and all we seem to care about is that golden American Dream that seems to more often lead to heart attack and stroke than it does to a beautiful house and nice car.  

I'm not giving into it anymore.  I've already thrown out more than half my possessions, and once we get permanent housing, I plan on throwing out even more, because I don't need it.  I'm going to sit down with Shadow and perfectly curate a collection of personal belongings that is not only meaniful, but useful in our day to day existence.

With that said, I'm going to enjoy a cup of green jasmine tea and continue my knitting.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Creating Sacred Space, When You Have No Space

In our old apartment we had a small entry hallway where we placed our altar table.  All of our religious items and a good quantity of our crystal collection was arranged on this sideboard from IKEA.  A picture of it appears at the top of this blog.  We loved it, and it was the center of our daily practice as well as more advanced magical workings.  Now that we are confined to such a small space that is temporary, we can't set up anything so elaborate.  We can, however place a few important items around our space to make it feel more like home.


This is a wire wrapped pendant with black tourmaline and selenite.  It was above our door before, and we brought it to hang above our doorway here.  Selenite has protected us from buglers.  My old apartment where I used to live with my sister was the only one out of six that had not been robbed.  There, I kept selenite on all the windowsills and the door.  Where I and Shadow lived, we also had never been broken into.  So selenite on your door is a must in our book.  This particular piece was
wrapped and blessed by Angel who sells healing crystals in Union Square.  We love choosing our
crystals from him as his prices are excellent and he practices Santaria, so he's very much on our same wave length.

Another item that I have been using for years is The Witches Calendar:




As you can see, we keep our very "muggle" appointments written down, but it also gives us a lovely witchy visual to look at each month, as well as dates of moon phases and other important witchy info.

My next little item is a little paper pendant passed out by one those Tibetan monks strolling through Manhattan these days.  Yes, I know they're not real monks.  They are the equivalent of the Times Square Elmo.  Most are simple Asian men asking for donations as they try and aggressively slip you a pendant or bracelet.  (I have miraculously been given both.). Still, I display it, because it depicts the Buddha, and one needs tranquility in a shelter.






What I wish we did have was a mini altar.  I was going to make one before we packed, and place it in the diaper bag to keep where ever we wound up.  I have all the components to put one together.  But these will do for now.  We know that we're protected physically and spiritually, and we can also be mindful to not let "shelter life" drag us down, as many couples experience a sort of breaking point when faced with such uncertaint and helplessness.

So, if you have limited space, or are in a dorm, or roommate situation, try and think of which pieces from you collection mean the most to you and display those, or if you have more time then I did, create a travel altar with tiny items you feel connected too.  It can fit in an old Altoids tin.  For ours, I would have included, a small coin sized Goddess pendant, a small quartz point to be used as a want, a small silver pentacl charm, and a tea light candle.  Simple and basic, nothing more.

Blessed be!

~)) O ((~









Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Place We Fell In Love




We took our lovely Dino boy to The Met today, and I mentioned that it was there, in one of the Egyptian wings, that Shadow and I fell in love.  I don't think I've written about it before, so here it is:

We were friends you see, and he had asked me, as a born and bred New Yorker to show him around town as a recent transplant from San Fransisco.  Our common interest was our religion, so as Wiccan's it was only natural to make it a day at The Met.

I never intended to fall in love again.  I didn't want to, and was in no way, shape or form open to it.  Yet, it happened nonetheless.  It was sudden too.  Shadow was pointing out a particular artifact (I don't even remember which one), and I remember feeling this overwhelming energy and the desire to kiss that man right then and there.  Well, about a week later, when we were hanging out again, he told me that he didn't want to alarm me, but had suddenly felt the need to kiss me at the museum.  I promptly said "shut the fuck up!", and removed my journal from my bag, turned back a few pages and showed him the entry from that day.  So, we kissed.

The rest is obviously history, and perhaps some time, I'll write about the African fertility statue that we both touched shortly before conceiving our little girl.

~)) O ((~

So... we had fun at the museum, as a family.  Dino loves the armor and swords, and even wanted to look at the furniture.  Ana followed her brother around, looking up at him, hardly believing he was there as he showed her the different things to see.

The weather was terrible today, and Dino wanted to play out in the snow.  While we sat down to coffee and snacks in the cafe, he watched and children sled down the hill in Central Park.  It sucks that he can't be here with us, I could have taken him to play in the park down the street, but we have what fun we can with the little time we have.

I'm happy that they both seemed to have a good time, it's been a long time since we were at The Met, Dino usually requests dinosaurs instead of mummies.

))O((

In other news, I have been sent back to Wellness, no special job program for me until I get better.  A supervisor saw that I had an outbreak of psoriasis on my face, said "you didn't have that last week" and thus, back to medical I went.  Now, I saw a new doctor, who advised that I see a homeopath




ASAP, and sent me directly across the street to imaging for a bone density scan.

I'm an old lady and it's not fun.

Initially they told me, that I'd be a great candidate for one of those nice cushy city jobs or perhaps even a call center, maybe for dispatch, 911, or 311. That would be cool.  Something different.

But no.  Stelara doesn't work the 3 months it should, so now I have to find a new rheumatologist. And an eye doctor before the medication I'm on destroys my vision.  Great.






I feel as if I'm in a catch 22, on the one hand, I suffer in pain and work my ass off full time so I can afford a homeopath and on the other I get better with conventional (and starting to become dangerous) medications and go back to working part time only so that I don't get worse and stay relatively stress free.  I don't know what to do.

Before my wonderful little boy came, I got better with the help of an acupuncturist, and I was in great health for years.  After Ana however, all hell broke loose.  After speaking with so many doctors in various fields, a few have said the same thing, that after working full time, and going to two different schools, then pregnancy, I finally experienced burn out.  Every psoriasis website I have ever gone to says that psoriasis patients need to take it easy, that too much stress can make us sick.


I was feeling great during that year.  It was my first full time job, I was biking and walking everywhere, I loved my classes at NYU and got a 3.8 GPA and scholarships, and I felt it was all easy. My job was easy, too easy really, school was a breeze as well.  The class at Rutgers for work was an out right joke, but I'll save that for another day.

After all that, it was too much.

I think I have now realized that, my body just can't handle it.  I should have just stuck to working part time, then perhaps, I could have maintained my previous healthy baseline.

I need to get back to that, I'm tired of medication, injections, and still feeling like I've been run over my a steam roller.  I'm exhausted for no damn reason and it's not fair.

I'm going to make my appointments on Monday, and hope things can go well from now on.  I'm home now, and I'm happy, but I want to be in good health for myself and my children so I can enjoy my home city to its fullest.

Ciao!

Monday, January 2, 2017

She Stole Her Dolly!

Ana's dolly was kidnapped by a child down the hall named Jaylie.  We thought she was a nice little immigrant child who spoke broken English.  Apparently, we were dead wrong.  Jaylie has stolen before, dolls, toys and money.  One parent who happens to be in a wheel chair even tricked her to see if she would steal four quarters off his bed, and sure enough she did.

Ana loved her dolly.  Grandma ordered it for her from www.novanatural.com, an excellent website feature Waldorf dolls and toys.

We were told by three separate girls that they saw the doll in Jaylie's room covered in purple marker.  Poor dolly.  Who would treat a doll with such cruelty?

I get it, she's five, she might not know any better, or more likely, she is neglected and does it as a way to placate herself.  Her mother leaves her out of the room, for hours at a time and she wanders around the halls knocking on doors looking for someone to play with.  Her mother might also be grooming her to steal.  Unfortunately, it is very common.  Mothers send their children to a room to play and ask the kids what's in the room, what do they have and other questions, this way next time time go, they tell them specific items to steal or wait till the families are gone and break in.  Shadow happens to think that her mother may be on drugs, but some hardcore stuff, like heroin.  She's always asleep and always in pajamas.  We never see her unless it's to come out and yell at Jaylie to come back in.

I tried to ask Jaylie to bring the doll back, that Ana misses her doll, and that I wasn't mad at her for taking it, but that if she's a good little girl, like I know she is, she will give Ana her doll back.

She started whining in even more broken English (a sign of the true groomed child) that she didn't have it.  She made up some cockamamie story about a black boy that took it.  Great, not only are you lying, you're a racist too.

Even if I do manage to get the doll back, I fear that it may be ruined.  Especially now that she knows we're on to her.

I've been looking at other dolls to buy Ana.  I think I may go for a Corolle doll.  They make ones that she could bring into the bath tub.  Now, we don't let Ana out with her good toys.  She can push her stroller, but she brings the cheap baby doll that was given to her by Toys for Tots.

Alas.  I just want to avoid conflict, some of these people are like inbred pit bulls.  Their brains don't function when you tell them their kids did something wrong.

Oh well.