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Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

In the context of this post, Witch means “a person who practices the art of conscious change, aka magick.”  I decided to use the term Witch instead of Pagan, because not all Pagans are Witches, and not all Witches are Pagan.

When I first came home to Paganism and Witchcraft, I daydreamed about hundreds of thousands of others like me all over the world at various stages of their paths, all of them further along than I.  These fantasy Witches were one with the earth – natural healers who treated their bodies and our planet with love and respect, beacons of love in their communities who embodied the Divine with their every word and action.  They lived comfortably with abundance and generously shared their excesses, and they were, above all, happy.

Happy.

Wealth, fame, and success seemed so much more attainable than happiness to me in those days as I floundered in the misery that had been my life for as long as I could remember.

I was afraid of magick then.

I read about it, I heard my friends discuss their successes and epic failures, but I was afraid to try it for myself.  I thought magick was something so special and sacred that it should only be performed in times of desperation.  And so I only tried my hand at it when I was feeling desperate.

My first spell was for healing myself of major depressive disorder.  I gathered all the tools the books recommended – a cauldron, a chalice, a wand, an athame, candles of every color, essential oils, herbs, stones,a censer, incense in both stick and sprinkle-on-a-coal form, water, salt, an offering of cake and wine…I smudged, cast circle with all four elements, called quarters, called the Divine and my angels/totems/whatnot, did the hokey pokey and turned myself about…

At the time, I had no idea how to heal, or what a healed me would look or feel like, so my spell was actually more of a desperate plea to an unfamiliar force for a miracle I couldn’t even imagine.

All my early spells were driven by desperate pain.  Heal me, I begged.  Help me.  Protect me from others.  Protect me from myself.

I released desperate pain into the universe, and desperate pain returned to me.  Over. and. over.

Overwhelmed, drowning in my drama, I totally missed the connection.

The first spell I counted as a success was much less elaborate than my first Wiccan-flavored attempts.  I took a piece of copper wire, threaded it through two stone beads (one citrine, one adventurine,) and coated the charm with bergamot oil.  I held it between my palms, closed my eyes, and envisioned myself being hired on the spot at my next job interview.  Then I put the charm in my wallet.  I was hired on the spot, and I kept that charm in my wallet until one of my best friends was job hunting, and I gave it to him.  He found a job soon after.

I carry a citrine wand in my wallet now.  I call it my happy buzzy stone. 🙂

Anyhoo, after the job spell worked, I got handfasted and legally married and divorced and unfasted in less than a year.  I moved to another state and back again in that same year.  And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

It never once occurred to me that I was being punished for working magick.  The Divine, as I saw them, were above the whole domination/punishment crap.  I knew, even as it was happening, that I was calling all that drama and suffering to myself.  I knew I was damaged, broken, and in my heart I believed that I deserved to suffer, that life was suffering, that I was worthless and helpless and hopeless and all that jazz.

And because I believed those things, I made them real for me.

THAT is magick.

Your beliefs shape your reality.

And that is why so many Witches (and muggles 😉 struggle.

Because beliefs can be difficult to recognize and can seem damn near impossible to change.

If you believe it’s hard to find a job, you’re right.

If you believe money is the easiest thing to manifest, you’re right.

I believe both at the same time.  I find money on the ground on a regular basis.  I find odd jobs with relative ease.  But making a living doing what I love to do the most…I’m still working on believing that it’s possible, easy, and that I deserve it.  I am SO inspired by the stories of others who are living the life of their dreams, like Leonie Dawson, SARK, Louise Hay, and so many others. (I picked those three because their dreams are so similar to mine. 🙂

Many people who have read my Introduction on my author site have asked me, “What was that one tiny decision you made that turned your life around?”

I didn’t know how to answer them then.  But I think I have an answer now.

I decided to believe that I was turning my life around.

I had to laugh as I wrote that.  But it’s the truth.

I decided to practice what I preached, to act on my faith, to choose love rather than fear.

And now…

I’m happy.

I have my moments of stress, angst, and overwhelm, but they are only moments.  Every day I find new reasons to celebrate life.

Life is magick.

How do you discover beliefs that are holding you back, and how do you change them?

That is a whole other series of blog posts.

But for homework, consider watching or reading What The Bleep Do We Know Anyway?, The Secret, or You Can Heal Your Life.

And pick a belief you want to have, make it into an affirmation, and say it a hundred times before bed every night.

Maybe start with, “I deserve love.” ❤

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People of the metaphysical persuasion often raise energy in order to cause willful change.  We call this magick.

We often talk about raising energy with song, chants, dance, burning incense, lighting candles, performing ritual actions, meditation, and even sex.

We talk about infusing magick into our cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, and in adorning our bodies.

I’m sure someone somewhere has come up with the idea of using the energy raised during a workout for working magick, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I thought I’d offer my contribution. 🙂

As I’ve mentioned in other places, I’m on a fitness kick, so I’ve been reading a ton of resources on nutrition and exercise.  It’s actually disheartening how negative people are about taking care of our bodies.  Every single book, even the most positive ones, go on and on about the evil E word and offer alternative ways to think about it so it doesn’t seem like a chore.

I love to exercise.

I’m also very good at coming up with reasons to put it off.

D’oh.

Rather than beat myself up about missing a workout, I’d rather focus on what magick I intend to accomplish at the next one.

My one big goal for 2012 is to feel Radiant.  Not just healthy and happy, but positively glowing and lighting up the people around me wherever I go.

I put on my gym clothes with the reverence some feel before donning ritual garb.  I call circle around myself as I select my workout, and I dedicate the energy I’m raising, the calories I’m burning to the healing of myself and the betterment of the world.  I offer my heat, sweat, and breath to the Divine, and to the Divine Beings who surround and protect me.  And while I workout, I tune into my body, visualizing the vibrant, radiant body that is emerging cell by cell, workout by workout.

I focus on healing now because that’s what I most need.  Later, I plan to focus on prosperity, or love, or whatever I feel I need most…later.  Sometimes I dedicate the energy to healing a friend that I know who needs it.

Daily workout, daily spiritual practice, healthier body, mind, heart, and spirit.

I’m loving it!

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Over the last two days I have performed two readings that totally inspired me.

In the first one, right in the middle of the reading, my client made a decision that completely changed her future!

At the beginning of the reading, she was a few blocks away from the future she really wanted for herself.  The energy felt like a puddle slowly dripping down a sidewalk.

A new message came through for her, and she decided to listen to it, and the second she made the decision, before she told me, the energy suddenly transformed into a ray of light.  She leapt those few blocks in a single bound!  She’s now just a step away from realizing her dreams, and she’s already decided to take that step.  I was crying in Starbucks because I was so happy and excited for her!

I FREAKING LOVE IT!

I absolutely adore when a reading helps a client make a life-changing decision.  I love it so much, it’s inspired me to start Love-Your-Life Coaching!  I’m working on my website, and will definitely launch it in the next week, but y’all heard about it here first!

❤ ❤ ❤

Last night, I shared a meal with a Vietnam Vet who’s been homeless for 35 years, and I gave him a reading.

He wanted to know how he could settle down with his family, how he could overcome his fear of being rejected by his daughters and grandkids.

During the reading, he blossomed.  I watched him waver from excited about trying to fearful several times, but when he left he was determined to try the first step – to develop his faith.

He has to have faith in himself.

So simple, yet so difficult…but I know he can do it.

❤ ❤ ❤

What about you?  What inspires you?  What change would you like to make in your life?  Feel free to email me if you need some encouragement!

Love and Blessings,
Ashley Rae

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The past week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.  It began with plans of my boyfriend and I getting a place together.  Three days later, my (ex-)boyfriend decided we were better off just friends.  I had about one and a half days to cope with that, while dealing with an infected tooth, before spending four days home alone with my three year old, unable to find child care, and thus unable to work.

Even covered in chocolate, he's just so durn cuddly!

Apparently, I needed some time off.  I wasn’t going to give it to myself, so the Universe provided it for me whether I wanted it or not.

I realized that ever since Susan died, I haven’t been putting my money where my mouth is.  I’m always saying that there are 1440 minutes in every day and at least 30 for ourselves, that we can choose happiness instead of making excuses.  But when Susan died, I reverted to an old version of myself, the martyr version who puts the needs of everyone else before her own and forgets she even has needs until she finds herself in excruciating pain and has no one around to help.

D’oh.

So this week, I’m getting back on track to the new, improved, not-a-martyr version of myself.

I found a cute purple dry erase board on clearance at Michael’s for $2.49, and I’m using it to make a check list of my needs and a reminder of my important projects, right there at eye level for me to see every morning and every night.  It looks like this:

I'll make it prettier later...

I’m setting my alarm for about 2 hours earlier than my son usually gets up so I can have a couple hours to myself in the morning to meditate, watch videos for my e-courses, or work on my projects.  I’m taking at least a day a week to focus exclusively on my projects, as opposed to most week days, when I go from home to my son’s daycare to one work to a meal to another work or  to my son’s daycare and two other day cares to pick up my sister’s kids to home or to another work before home…(have your eyes crossed yet?)

I’m also making sure that the things I spend my money on don’t contradict my values.  I’m buying my veggies from local farmers and planning a portable garden.  I’m figuring out how to re-purpose things that I already have to avoid adding more and more to the landfill, and I’m dedicating myself to recycling anything I can.  I’m also keeping a plastic bag on me for picking up trash and recyclables that others leave lying on the ground.  The Earth is sacred to me, so it’s important that I help Her in any way I can.

Baby steps.  Can’t just reboot myself to the most up to date version.  Gotta find my way back one step at a time.  ❤

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What makes humans the dominant species on this planet is our ability to take what we have and turn it in to what we need.

When we are kids, we pick up a stick and use it as a bat, a magic wand, a horse, a phone, a flag, whatever we need in the moment.

This stick is about to become a boat. 🙂

At school, we are taught the “proper” way to use sticks.  We learn that we have to do things the way others have done them, think the way others think, understand the world the way others understand it.  Our thoughts, words, and actions are labelled “right” or “wrong.”  We are rewarded for conforming and punished for choosing differently.

This makes most of us miserable. We self-medicate with tv, movies, video games, sugar, comfort-junk.  Our poor creative muscles wither.  We forget how to adapt, how to find resources, how to tap in to that creative power that makes us God-like.

Most of us don’t even know that we’ve accepted powerlessness as normal, as “real life.”

“Welcome to the Real World,” we say.  “Life is hard.  Life is suffering.”

Bullshit, I say.

Life is love.

Life is learning.

Life is an adventure!

The Real World is the world we create for ourselves with our beliefs.  We can believe what we are taught by others, or we can teach ourselves something different.  It’s our choice.

Even when we feel powerless, we have choices.

We have so many choices, they overwhelm us, numb us, and we end up falling on old habits or doing what we think everyone else does, what we’re supposed to do.

Sometimes power is scary.

If every action we perform, every thought we think, every penny we spend, every word we speak changes us and the world around us…that’s just too much responsibility to comprehend on a day to day basis.

But that’s reality.

Reality is constantly changing based on the energy we give it.

If we are in a bad mood, throwing out angry words, violent gestures, mean thoughts, and spending our money on comfort-junk, life sucks for the day.

If we are in a good mood, practicing random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, being grateful, affectionate, loving, consciously spending money in ways that nourish ourselves and our communities, life is awesome.

Each of us has the power to create paradise wherever we are, one moment at a time.

Each of us has the power to step out of the bully/victim paradigm and choose a new paradigm in this moment.  You can choose a paradigm of unconditional love, or of deep gratitude.  You can choose to live in a world of compassion, affection, and loving acceptance.

"Whoopty doo. But what does it all MEAN, Basil?"

How does someone stuck in a powerLESS-loop take his or her power back?

If you are used to feeling like you have no control, how do you take control of your life?

One step at a time.

Step one for you could be deciding to do one kind thing for a stranger.  You could choose to have an organic apple instead of a candy bar.  Your might choose to laugh.  You could take a day for yourself instead of giving it to others.

You could keep making excuses…or you could make plans, come up with ideas, set goals.

Every step you take towards paradise is one step out of your personal hell.

Every loving choice you make heals you.

You choose.

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Remembering Susans

A friend of mine died nearly three weeks ago.

She was young, beautiful, vibrant, a mother, a wife, and the kind of person who felt like a best friend even if you just met, or rarely saw each other.  Her name was Susan, and her nickname was Sunny.

Susan and her 2 year old, Andrew

Hundreds of people were devastated by her unexpected death.  We’ve already come together and raised thousands for her son and widow.  I helped by donating a few half hour readings by phone or skype to the silent auctions.  I’m also helping by donating 10% of the proceeds from my forthcoming memoir to her son’s college fund.  I wish I could do more.

My mother’s name was Susan, and she was also 32 when she died.  Both Susans were from Virginia.  Susan had her son a year and a day after I had mine, and there are several other crazy little synchronicities I don’t feel up to sharing.  It gives me a link to her even though I didn’t get to know her as well in life as I wanted too.  Most of our interactions happened on Facebook and through our yahoo group for “crunchy-ish” mamas.

In the prologue of my book, which I wrote a year ago, I ask “What if I died young and my children grew up never knowing how much I loved them?”  I wrote my book for my son, in case that happened.  But dear Andrew, sweet Andrew…he’s going to grow up hearing how much his mother loved him instead of remembering it.  He’s going to ache for his loss, having to piece his mother together from the memories of others, even more so than I did.  I feel a kinship with his future self, and a deep maternal love for this baby I’ve only met twice.

At the memorial, most of us were given bracelets in sunset colors with “Mamma Bear” and little bears on it.  I haven’t taken mine off.  I don’t plan to any time soon.  It serves a powerful reminder to me every time I notice it.

It reminds me to be present in every moment, especially moments shared with my son.

It reminds me that life is a gift, to be celebrated, too brief to waste on bullshit.  (Bullshit is herein defined as anything that makes me unhappy, irritated, scared, or distracts me from the people and activities that I love most.)

It reminds me to inspire people with illumination, love, and laughter at every opportunity.

It inspires me to be genuine in my affection, and to have integrity in every thing I do.  I hug with a full heart now.  People at Om Gaia, where I give readings during the week, rave about my hugs and come back for thirds. 🙂

It inspires me to live my dreams now.

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Our very first guest blog, by Sofie!  She submitted her Halo Series to the Heal Your Heart Contest, and her art and story are both so moving and inspirational, I asked if I could feature her as my first guest blogger, and she graciously accepted.  Hooray!

So, without further ado…

Sofie!

“The ‘Halo series’ are a series of photographs that are very important for me.
For me they represent my urgency and power to develop myself, and are an example of what you can achieve if you feel a strong desire to be free, to live the life of an artist, even though your surroundings in the beginning are 100% unsupportive.

I grew up in a family that couldn’t support me emotionally nor creatively. Looking back on my childhood I mainly get a feeling of self sufficiency at an age way too young. I raised myself, using my strong determination and powerful, strong-willed mind and soul.

I had to apply for therapy all by myself when I was 16. From that moment I was devoted to work myself up out of the misery I was feeling and design a whole new life for myself.

As years went by, I started to feel that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to paint, draw, photograph. I found back my expressive nature.

I had hit rock bottom when I had to quit my literature studies in order to apply for full-time group therapy. I felt like such a failure and at the same time a sense of determination came over me; I had literally nothing to lose, so I might as well start painting and drawing and see what would come out of me.

I was talented. In the years that followed I was shaken to the bone, but I was determined to do courses until I was ready to apply for art school.

This was the big dream that I had designed for myself.

And I succeeded; I got accepted to both art schools I applied for, and I started to feel a little proud of myself.

Art school was my big dream and the biggest dream I had to let go. I got good grades all the way through, but I once again had the feeling I couldn’t be free. I felt forced into a way of life, a way to go, and I slowly I lost contact with myself, and my work, and after two years I knew I had to quit.

I was completely stuck creatively after that, and it took me 1.5 years to reinvent myself and my creativity.

And then it happened. While I was frustrated at yet another blocked painting process, a drop of water from my brush fell on my example picture and made its colours flow. It looked so beautiful and immediately I realized I could use this on faces, too. I got home all excited and started searching for pictures I took years ago, before even knowing what I was “supposed to” do. And I made the first work, that a year later would result in my beloved ‘Halo Series’, that would become the center of my  existence and the start of my own business.

A business as the artist I was born to be.

My own work once again was my healer.

The water I used to manipulate my pictures didn’t take any direction and just flowed in its own way. Just like I did when I discovered my creative talent and power for the first time.

The more I let go of the process, the more beautiful my pictures would become. The less I judged my work, the more it would grow and evolve in its own time.

The more I got rid of all my creative scruples and hesitations, the more meaningful my art would become.

This is a beautiful metaphor for the way I am supposed to lead my life in order to be happy and to let my creative veins flow with excitement to discover yet another way to express what’s inside me.

I use my photography to express the way I feel inside, to portray my spiritual view on the world and the people around me, to get across the importance of meditation and looking inside yourself for answers instead of pointing your guns at your environment. The big journey starts within and once you’re on that path it provides you with the biggest gems and jewels you can possibly find in a lifetime.

I think I have found myself a mission, in reminding people to look within for their own personal truth, and internal personal jewellery ;), as well as their pain, to slowly and in their own individual way to learn to cope and heal themselves.
–Sofie

A larger version of this story can be found here.
Check out the ‘Art for sale’ section to get prints!”

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