Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Herbarium: Honeysuckle

Folk Names: Goat's Leaf, Woodbine
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Earth
Powers: Love, Money, Protection, Psychic Powers
Magical Uses and History: Unlike many other herbs, honeysuckle does not have much history or lore behind it. However, one folk legend says that teen girls were forbidden to bring the flower into the home because it was thought to induce erotic dreams.

Despite the lack of history, honeysuckle is often associated with money spells. Burning honeysuckle incense, placing the flowers around a green candle, or simply putting the flowers in a vase attracts money and prosperity. Furthermore the scent is said to uplift the spirit and make one more generous and more faithful. Growing near your home, it brings good luck and wealth while warding off thieves. If it grows over your door it is said to keep fevers at bay.

If you wish to induce psychic powers or dreams, rub lightly crushed fresh flowers on your forehead. Honeysuckle oil or burning honeysuckle incense works just as well.

Honeysuckle can be used in a number of spells including:
     Protection Spells
     Money Spells
     Love Spells

Medicinal Uses: Honeysuckle has been used to treat inflammations, including sore throats and mouth sores, and for general infections including cold, flu, fever, and urinary tract infections. In Chinese medicine it is used to treat arthritis.

Preparation and Dosage: Flowers, stems, and leaves can be used to make a variety of remedies. To make an infusion, boil 2 cups of fresh flowers in one quart of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and return the tea to the pot. Add 1 cup of honey and stir until mixed. Drink up to 3 times a day. For a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters internally up to three times a day. Externally the flowers can be applied as a wash for skin rashes, inflammations, and sores. To make a wash use the infusion recipe without the honey. Honeysuckle is not intended for long term use. While the flowers are low in toxicity, the leaves and stems are not. Symptoms of poisoning include drowsiness, extreme tiredness, dilated pupils, and photosensitivity. DO NOT USE HONEYSUCKLE BERRIES.


Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review: The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington

Book Review: The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington

I recently finished Scott Cunningham and David Harrington's The Magical Household. I gave this book 5 starts for a variety of reasons. However, as before, I would like to start off with what I didn't like. First of all the book is not a spell book, although it does contain some spells and rituals. My copy is not entitled The Magical Household: Spells and Rituals for the Home as some newer copies are named. Instead mine says "Empower your home with love, protection, health, and happiness," and that is exactly what the book is about. Furthermore, the book is a compilation of knowledge, folklore, and traditions. It is really just a listing writing in paragraph form. Many of the sections do not go into depth, requiring you to do more research.

Book Review: The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington
Despite the two things I did not particularly like, I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I learned some new spells and traditions that I plan on implementing in my home in the future. The chapters on the indoor garden and mystic garden were very helpful. The authors outline different types of plants and what they do. Furthermore they note which plants you should probably not bring into the home and why. I'm not going to lie. Anything about gardens peaks my interest to begin with. I adored these chapters. The chapters on protection and household purification were also helpful and introduced me to some new ideas. This book also contains a chapter on moving, something most other books do not cover. It is a short chapter, but a helpful one nonetheless if you are moving.

The book is very straight forward and easy to read. Despite it not going into depth, this is still a great book for novice and skilled witches alike. I strongly suggest everyone purchase this book, unless you are not superstitious. The book is filled with a lot of ancient lore, which I find fascinating, but may turn off those who are not superstitious.

Remember, if you are looking for more book reviews, please read my Knowing Thy Craft post! I am about to begin reading The Elements of Ritual by Deborah Lipp, so keep an eye out for that review in the next month or so.

Fit Witch Week 5

This week was a little crazy. I had one of my root canals done and finished although I am not out of the clear yet. There was still infection under the tooth and we are worried the tooth may in fact be cracked. If it is, I am going to lose the tooth entirely. Not something I am looking forward to considering how much time we have spent trying to save the tooth. Because of everything that has been going on this week I have not been able to write the history and traditions of Midsummer post. Very disappointing, but I wish everyone a happy Litha anyway and hope you are all out enjoying the warm weather (scorching hot here in Georgia) and longest day of the year. I can tell you all I want to do is sleep! Haha!

Anyway, what did my workouts this week look like?

WEEK 5 June 15 2015, - June 21, 2015

June 15, 2015
Rest Day
June 16, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 15
June 17, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 16
June 18, 2015
Rest Day
June 19, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 17
June 20, 2015
2 mile run
June 21, 2015
3 mile walk

Not too much this week, but enough to keep me slightly sore. My butt hasn't been this sore in such a long time!

Are you trying to make changes and include for exercise in your schedule? If I can do it, you can too! Remember, you have to stop making excuses. Sometimes when we want to work out the least is when we need it the most. I did not want to drag myself out of bed Saturday morning to go for a run. I was tired, my tooth was sore, and I was very stressed out. Running changed everything. So stop making excuses and be the change you want to see.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fit Witch Week 4

Late once again. I was out of town this past weekend and will be out of town this coming weekend as well. Things have been pretty crazy in our house, but I am still managing to workout everyday. Last week was a great week for HIIT. It is getting crazy hot out in the afternoons here in Georgia so I skipped running last week. I had planned to run Saturday, but after Friday's workout there was no way I could. I was too tired.

So what did I do?

WEEK 4 June 8, 2015 - June 14, 2015

June 8, 2015
June 9, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 2 & 3
June 10, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 4 & 5
June 11, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 8
June 12, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge Day 9 & 10
June 13, 2015
Rest Day
June 14, 2015
Active Rest- Swim

Pretty good if you ask me! I was trying to catch up on the challenge as you can see. This week I won't be able to workout as much, but I am going to try and do what I can!

How much did you workout last week? Did you try the weight loss potion? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mercury Retrograde

I apologize for not posting much the past couple of weeks. As you may be aware, Mercury has been in retrograde. While I know scientifically speaking, the placement of the planets probably do not affect our day to day lives, it is hard to ignore them when they actually do. My husband, a non-pagan and atheist, never takes stock in anything pagan, but after being with me for 5 years and listening to the affects of astrology after certain events, I think he at least has some belief in it.

This year Mercury retrograde is affecting all the air signs, meaning my family is experiencing it in full force. Both my husband and I are air signs; he is a Gemini and I am a Libra. I'm not going to lie, this has been an interesting year for us, but a good one.

But what is Mercury retrograde? 
During this three and a half week period, Mercury passes us. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, making its orbit much shorter than that of Earth. Three or four times a year, Mercury passes us, causing powerful gusts of "wind" that disrupts how we feel on Earth. According to the principle "As above, so below,"  the orbits of the heaves and human activity on Earth are connected.

So how does Mercury retrograde affect us?
Mercury rules of all types of communication, including everything from listening and speaking, to learning, researching, and reading. It also rules over negotiating, buying and selling, and formal contracts and agreements, including deeds, wills, leases, mortgages, contracts, etc. Codes are also included in this, including computer codes, and transportation, shipping, and travel.

When Mercury retrogrades, its resting or napping, meaning we don't have the full benefit of a wide awake planet. All of the areas ruled by Mercury therefore tend to get scrambled or spin out of control. Miscommunication are extremely common, leading to disagreements and fights. Contracts fall through or take longer than expected to come to fruition.

So what should I do or not do during Mercury retrograde?
Since Mercury rules over communication, this is not a good time to do anything involving it. Don't start a new blog, magazine, website, or advertising campaign. I know many bloggers, including Marietta over at Witchy Words, who don't post to their blogs or post very little. Hey, sounds like me! I posted what, two posts during Mercury retrograde? This is also not a good time to sign contracts or even try to reach a new agreement, including closing on a house or signing a lease. Same goes for verbal contracts. The environment during this period is fluid and confused, so even if a decision is made, it will likely change when the retrograde ends. Simply put, don't make any important moves while Mercury is in retrograde.

When does Mercury retrograde occur?
Here is a list for this year and the upcoming years.

     September 17 - October 9 in air Libra
     January 5 - January 25 ends in earth Capricorn
     April 28 - May 22 in earth Taurus
     August 30 - September 22 in earth Virgo
     December 19 - January 8, 2017 in earth Capricorn through fire Sagittarius
     December 19, 2016 - January 8, 2017 in earth Capricorn through fire Sagittarius
     April 9 - May 3 in earth Taurus through fire Aries
     August 12 - September 5 in early earth Virgo through fire Leo
     December 3 - December 22 in fire Sagittarius
    March 22 - April 15 in fire Aries
    July 26 - August 8 in fire Leo
    November 16 - December 6 in fire Sagittarius
     March 5 - 28 in water Pisces
     July 7 - 31 ends in water Cancer
     October 31 - November 20 in water Scorpio
     February 18 - March 9 in water Pisces and ends in air Aquarius
     June 17 - July 12 in water Cancer
     October 13 - November 3 in water Scorpio through air Libra

Now I have mentioned that communication becomes jumbled during this time. People often fight with each other because of miscommunications or because things come out wrong. I see tons of people blame their poor judgement and communication on Mercury retrograde. Just because it is in retrograde does NOT mean you are not responsible for your actions. It's also NOT an excuse to be a complete ass to others. Do NOT blame your mistakes on a planet. Step up and step back and take responsibility for your own actions. There is no excuse for your ill behavior during this time. What Mercury in retrograde does mean is that normal and civil discourse is difficult during this period, therefore taking more time than usual or being misunderstood. It does NOT mean people treat each other like dirt. So stop will all the nonsense. Astrology explains events, not your poor behavior.

I'll get off my soap box now and share some good news. My husband and I have been pursuing something pretty big. I'm not going to reveal what as of yet as we have been keeping it a secret from the majority of our friends and family, but after months of waiting we finally received some big news the moment Mercury retrograde has ended. I didn't even realize Mercury retrograde had ended because I was so excited by the good news. It actually hit me this morning. Haha! I can't wait to share with everyone what is going on. If you happen to be one of like the 5 people that know, please continue to keep our secret. =)

So, now that Mercury retrograde is over, go out and pursue some new goals! Keep an eye out for my upcoming posts on Midsummer lore and traditions, herbarium post on honeysuckle, and a new book review!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fit Witch: Week 2 & 3 Check In & Challenge

I'm really sorry I missed posting an update last week. Unfortunately I came down with viral tonsillitis brought on from being on antibiotics so long. Thankfully I recovered quickly, but it destroyed my workout schedule for week two. However, this week I have been able to workout 5 days, albeit not as hard as I would like, but at least I am back on track!

WEEK 2 May 25, 2015 - June 7, 2015

May 25, 2015
3.58 mile hike
May 26, 2015
BodyRock HiitMax | Workout 46- Torch Fat Workout
May 27, 2015
Rest- onset of infection
May 28, 2015
May 29, 2015
May 30, 2015
May 31, 2015
 WEEK 3 May 31, 2015 - June 7, 2015
June 1, 2015
Rest Day
June 2, 2015
BodyRock Fat Burn Challenge | Day 1
June 3, 2015
Run 2 miles
June 4, 2015
Rest Day
June 5, 2015
Run 2 miles
June 6, 2015
Run 2 miles
June 7, 2015
Yard work 1.5 hours

Not to bad if I do say so myself! Getting back on track and hopefully for good!

Since I didn't post last week I am hoping you guys continued to drink enough water because I have our first potion this week! You may have seen this it on Pinterest and thought it is too good to be true. Well I tested it and it does in fact work. However, if you haven't been staying properly hydrated, your results will not be lasting. So what is this potion? It's Jillian Michael's 7 Day Detox Drink. I modified her recipe slightly and still had excellent results. The detox works by helping you loose excess water weight. Many of us are carrying around lots of unneeded water weight and you can shed those pounds AND keep it off if you do this detox for 7 days and remain properly hydrated henceforth. If you don't remain hydrated, your body will start storing water again. Women, we struggle with this around that time of the month, so if you are looking to prevent the water gain, you can do this that week.

Jillian Michaels Modified 7 Day Detox

     32 oz water
     1 dandelion root tea bag
     2 tablespoons lemon juice
     1 tablespoon "sugar free" cranberry juice

Brew your tea in one cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add tea and teabag to remaining 24 ounces of cold water and mix with lemon juice and cranberry juice. Enjoy!

Remember, this is only 32 ounces, so you will need to continue drinking plain water throughout the day. And yes, you eat as you normally would while drinking this. This is not a starve yourself detox. This will simply help you shed water weight. Be prepared to be hitting the bathroom often. If your pee is not clear throughout the day, you need to be drinking more water.

You can buy dandelion root tea at your local grocery store. I bought Traditional Medicinals Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Herbal Tea from my local Kroger in the organic section. I also picked up Kroger's Simple Truth 100% Cranberry Juice. I put sugar free in quotations because in reality, NO juice is sugar free. I want you to find a pure cranberry juice with NO added sugar. You can use fresh lemon juice or bottled. I have done this twice and used fresh lemon first and bottled the second. The results were the same, so pick whatever makes you comfortable.

So does this really work? Well, see the results for yourself.

I'd say yeah. I don't own a scale so I can't say if I dropped the promised 5 pounds Jillian Michaels says, but my pants were looser and my belly flatter. I know it is hard to tell in the pictures, but I can see the difference up close. I don't carry a lot of excess water weight to begin with, so I haven't seen as dramatic results as others have had. A simple Pinterest search will show you other people's results.

So the challenge this week is to complete the 7 day detox. Simply brew this tea every day and consume enough water to stay hydrated. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your results!