Living with the shadows and what to expect in December 2019

To live with shadows close by is not new to me. All my life, I have felt the presence of something from time to time.

The worst I experienced a couple of years ago. I literally felt that I had to hide deep under the sheets to be safe from whatever went crazy in my kitchen. There was nothing to see, but the kitchen cabinets clattered and rattled as if a gigantic force got hold of them.

Another time I experienced to see some shadows shortly after my mother´s passing five years ago. I sat in a park when a dog walker passed by. The dog barked and snarled at something. When I turned around there was nothing. But when I was alone again, I saw some shadows in the forest.

It was okay, but my hair was laden with electricity.

Three years ago I became the witch I was born to be. I come from a series of very strong women. Who didn´t meant yes when they said no. Who was used to fight for their rights. Who is still strong just here behind the keyboard.

Living with the shadows is a choice that I´m proud of. It is an active choice where you recognize that there are certain things in this world that you are not meant to control. I don´t believe in fate as a concept. But yet I believe that things happen for a reason.

The main reason is for us to learn and grow from what happens to us.

I have no explanation to give to the two experiences. It just happened, and it scared me at first. Today, I feel differently. It meant that I had to move away and that the death of my mother was a tough, but also a beautiful experience. She got peace at the right moment, she was beautiful to kiss goodbye.

It is quite different from the icy cold feeling when something is wrong in our lives. We have felt that coldness quite a few times, but today we know how to handle it. We lit some more candles, draw the pentagram three times in the air, and pray for unity, friendship, and love.

Today, living with the shadows is as natural as breathing. I´m careful not to draw too much energy from myself into my work with witchcraft. I take my occasional breaks here as I do anywhere else. But I give everything I have when necessary.

Shadow work has become essential to me in many ways. One of them being that I get to know myself on a whole new level. Facing fears has always been an issue for me and I have tried to escape it for many years. Today, I´m no longer scared. Witchcraft and shadow work has enabled me to face up to it.

I use a tool as simple as the bathroom mirror. There I often look myself in the eyes. It is a good mentor to trust, for those eyes don´t lie. If they try to, they´ll show. So I trust that look as well as my gut feelings.

To look into one´s own shadows in a mirror is a strong experience at times. But I can guarantee you, dear readers, it is a trustworthy wake-up call. I know immediately if something is wrong in my life by looking in a mirror for a few minutes.

The eyes are said to be the portal of the soul. My eyes have taught me to face up to my fears and to stay true to myself. For the moment, the shadows are yet to answer our questions about my husband´s health. We were told it was not lung cancer this week.

Thank you, dear Universe. It was part of the answer. The rest still awaits us on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. So we are not safe just yet. But the atmosphere is not so stressed anymore, it is quiet and patient. We have to get through this waiting time together.

For changes affect the whole family.

Other than that, we live in a peaceful place where the only shadows are the ones we make out of fear of changes. And, of course, the shadows that belong to the house. They are gentle, make but little noise, and do not seem to have other than good intentions.

Working with witchcraft is also working with the shadows, e.g. in ancestor work. So it is a choice of lifestyle as well as it is a Craft. It is a choice that means business. It has changed the world view here.  We have changed with it.

Today, we went out to buy Christmas presents for the neighbor´s children, however. We saw quickly how small a budget we live on compared to the many, many people that went Black Friday bananas. Scary to see how much plastic we are willing to buy when the Earth is choking on it.

Other shadows there were the customers whose money comes from fast loans at the last minute. That means up for payment in January, where the divorce rate rises accordingly. Here we are debt-free and still use cash money whenever it is possible.

That way we know exactly how much money we can afford to spend and the fun part of it is that it is possible to get good stuff even though it may not be the latest edition. I´m shocked to see close up how people act when there are events like Black Friday. Courtesy no longer exists.

We even saw a crashed car in the middle of the parking lot.

Now, we try to relax and recover from our experiences with people today. Tomorrow I´m going to consecrate a healing candle for my husband. And we are having the whole day for ourselves and will enjoy each other´s company only.

We share some shadows between us, but we have chosen not to fight anymore. We love each other too much for that. That doesn´t mean, however, that we always agree on everything, and we also still have our small discussions. But never in a harsh or spiteful voice.

We´ve been there long enough, and we´ve decided to live our life on our own terms that differ a lot from the more conventional parts of our family. The parts that we no longer share the moments with, because we live separate lives.

Fortunately, we have created our own rainbow family with our sweet neighbors and a few close friends. To live in an extended family is a privilege, both demanding and fun at the same time. Demanding in the sense that there are mutual respect and friendship between us. Fun, for there are three children.

At the age of seven, almost four, and almost two.

Living with the shadows means working with my ancestors. Their shadows are a welcome experience every time it happens. I can often feel them very near me as if they were following me from a distance. And it is a good feeling. It is warm inside, it is comforting to think of them, and it is right in my heart.

So, in many different ways, the shadows play a major part here. But in everyday life, not so much. I just know that there is something I cannot otherwise explain. And I try to avoid conjuring anything that I cannot dispel.

As a gray witch, I know that magick is not only black or white. There are worlds of shadows around us that we humans cannot comprehend. So I´m always careful not to touch more energy than I have to. At some time, that energy will bounce back, and then it is better to be safe than sorry.

I prefer the simple, yet complicated life without more money worries than to get from one month to the next. I probably have a high credit standing in my bank, if I were to ask for a loan. But I´m not, I prefer not to be dependent on more people than absolutely necessary.

Saying no thanks to fast loans may make it a larger challenge to live on a strict budget. But I would rather be free as the soaring eagle than would I owe money to anybody. Been there, done with that. No longer past shadows to diminish my world.

I have made peace with my past. Letting go is a fantastic way to get better fast. It heals to let go of old over-used patterns and bad decisions from the past. To live in the present moment is all what life is about when it comes to the meaning of life.

My own shadow is my consciousness, and that and self-respect rules my world. If I can manage to look myself in the eyes, then I know that everything will be okay if I work hard enough for it. Denial and fear won´t solve the problems and won´t change anything.

What changes you is the inner process of realizing that you cannot control anything but your own reaction to those moments when things happen. I had to learn it the hard way to truly understand that fighting against change only makes things worse.

By facing my own fears and flaws, I have learned many new sides of myself. It´s okay to be thoughtful and sentimental at times. It ´s only natural to be upset when things are not working out as planned. And it´s perfectly alright to allow oneself to feel instead of running in the opposite direction.

There more I do shadow work the more I learn and the more I relax.

November has been a long, wet, and anxious month. I long for the Sun to return with its healing rays of warmth that in the Spring goes straight to the body, mind, and soul. The shadows have come earlier and earlier in the afternoon, and the twilight hour has become so midnight black.

The clock is still ticking, tick-tock. Our answers are now only three days and four nights away. Yet it feels like years and then only a few hasty moments. This week has been one of the quick ones, first, we saw it begin, now, it´s almost over again.

But we are getting through it together. And everything will be fine sooner or later. We´re just getting older and need more care than we used to. When you have to learn at a young age that there is only you to take care of you, you learn it the hard way. Either to get up and fight or stay down and cry.

But once learned, it will always stick with you, the lessons from the school of life. The ones that mattered the most. The ones that you will never forget. The ones that learned you how to survive in today´s world.

Next Friday the blog post will be about how we live as pagans in a modern world. A choice of lifestyle that was easy compared to what the alternative was. To be like so many others. No thank you, dear Universe, let us live the simple life instead where we make our own decisions.

What to expect in December 2019

Last, but not least, here is the blog menu for December 2019:

  • Monday, December 2, 2019:  Planning a novel
  • Friday, December 6, 2019: Living a pagan lifestyle
  • Monday, December 9, 2019: Writing a novel
  • Friday, December 13, 2019: Early celebration of Yule
  • Monday, December 16, 2019: Living a writer´s lifestyle
  • Friday, December 20, 2019: My Tarot guidelines for 2020
  • Monday, December 23, 2019: Family time
  • Friday, December 27, 2019: My witchcraft learning plan for 2020
  • Monday, December 30, 2019: Testing techniques and what to expect in January 2019

This is it for today. I´m tired from today´s shopping trip to the happy plastic fantastic modern world. I wish you a blessed weekend, dear readers, with peace and calm. As I say it, so it is.

Picture of Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Free writing

When things happen …

… drizzling rain on a gray and tense November day and the sound of epic orchestral music makes me think and wonder.

My mood is a strange mixture of nostalgia, high spirit, and quiet worry. I´m waiting for questions to be answered. I´m waiting for the big unknown. I´m waiting for something I fear more than anything.

My husband may be very ill, or he may have to undergo some temporary treatment for the better, but we fear the worst when it comes to our loved ones.

Today´s theme is not about this, for we try not to think so much about it. There´s a little more than a week left to think, worry and fear.

It´s not my favorite ticking clock at all. But in real life things happen. And they happen, while you´re busy doing anything but thinking about changes.

The only constant we need to consider besides fear. To fight or flight, and to change no matter what. To adapt to the current situation, to accept what you cannot change, and to change what you cannot accept.

So today, I´m serious about life. Yet with a positive outlook, I believe things happen for a reason. That things happen whatever we do. Sometimes, it is just the way it is.

As a writer, the show must go on, however. It is also necessary to keep my thoughts busy creating words worth reading.

This natural tension is unintended. Today, I will write my heart out, and it may thrill, it may evoke icy movements down the spine, and it may be my first attempt to experiment with some of the many techniques and guidelines that the genre psychological thriller demands.

I write best under a certain amount of pressure. But real life is about living under constant pressure. And I live with a new friend of mine, name bipolar disorder. We became friends this fall, but that doesn´t mean that I trust this new friend more than I have to.

It´s under strict control, as it should be, and it has been liberating to let go of the fear of it. Now, I know what I´m dealing with, what it takes to get a good life despite it, and what consequences are if I try to escape it again.

It has taken me more than two and a half years to recover this time. Yes, I was born with it. But in those old days, nobody knew. My acceptance came with the way I went to the hospital. It took three attempts where we thought it was my heart that needed care and treatment before I managed to pull myself together and ask for the right help.

A week´s stay in a hospital where there is a crisis to resolve. And a journey to embark on that feels like a roller coaster on the loose.

Now, I save my tears for the time when they are needed. That time may come soon enough, so I try to smile, although today feels like a trip uphill.

Writing plays a major role in my new friendship. As do witchcraft. No matter how high or low a day might be, there is always the writing and a ritual to turn to. It keeps my mind busy, and it draws focus to anything but disorders and other ailments.

It´s better to try to build up a friendship with things as they happen. Being enemies won´t help anything. But complete trust is not the issue here. I only trust it to remain calm as long as I do my work and take good care of myself.

So, how do I get through today with this silent yet roaring fear of mine, lying there all coiled up as if just waiting for the right moment to hit me straight in the heart?

The only snakes here are those we built out of fear. Should I flee or should I fight? I have tried both, and only the fight was worth the troubles. I will also fight this, one step at a time, one hour at a time. Counting down, tick-tock.

I will fight that fear today by taking the little old, wise dog on a long walk with one of my friends for life and cry my heart out. I have fought all my life, I really don´t need this. Tears on the keyboard, need a break, will be right back …

… sorry, dear readers, real-life became very real for a moment. I´m okay, on the outside. Inside is a serious cloudburst of held back tears. Nobody wants to show their vulnerability. And I need to be strong for the sake of my husband and myself.

Once again, my life is changed. We know there´s something going on, otherwise, the hospital would not want to see my husband. The issue is therefore only what it is and what it is not.

It haunts me, I shiver from its coldness, and it makes me want to cry “Stop” to the world. But I know that it is something that we have to face together. That thought is comforting, together.

He is the love of my life. I don´t know what I should do, if … No, I must think positive. The thoughts of mine are crashing in on me like the waves of the ocean hammering into the beach.

The weather does not make anything better today. Getting tired of all this grayish stuff, the icy watery cold, this threatening unknown.

But I´m a born fighter. I won´t and I can´t flee from this. So be it, we´ll fight back with all we´ve got in hand. And then some more. This is only the beginning of something new. something different, something unknown.

Seems like today´s post is about life when it is raw and unpolished. But it is okay to have days like this. And it is also okay for a writer to be personal, direct, and authentic.

And we have to change …

… whether we like it or not. I comfort myself with the thought of our love for each other. It is forever, it is true, it is genuine. And we have been through so much already that we also will conquer this.

Changing the subject, I´m almost through my second month of research for my novel. I´m beginning to feel the story evolve and gain momentum. Now the general part of learning from other authors is leaping into the next phase, research the details.

At the moment, my focus is on the setting and the raw character sketches. I´m also thinking a lot about what themes I would like to include in my novel. It is going to sting, it is going to hurt, it is going to be thrill after thrill.

I have tried to work with a little dialog in my novel. It was fun, however difficult. It is so easy to make mistakes here, so I´m very careful to think more than twice before I write a conversation between my characters.

My notes are growing in size and content. I need to study for one more month before testing the different techniques that I´m getting to know, a little more for every day. In the one-woman writing course that I have designed for myself, there is time to practice, to make mistakes, to learn from them.

My daily writing habit is already an indispensable routine. I begin with the morning coffee and the walk with the little wise, old dog. Then I lit tea light candles and put the central heating on. When I open the laptop and begin writing, it feels like coming home mentally.

Before I know of it, I have worked for a couple of hours. Then it is time for a longer lunch break with my husband and my daily chores. After that, writing until around four in the afternoon. And last, but not least, my evening notes in the living room with my family close by.

My decision about writing a novel changes my life. Gradually, the story comes alive and wants to be written by me. But I wait for I have absolutely no hurry. I would rather spend countless hours and numerous writing sessions preparing the work properly than deliver a pile of bullshit.

For now, it is afternoon coffee time. And after that homework with a seven-year-old who for a while will still my thoughts with her contagious smile and laughter.

Fortunately, we have some basic routines to turn to when life plays rough. Fortunately, we have close friends to talk with. Fortunately, we have a stable and good life.

We will beat this too, I know we will. As the clock keeps ticking, tick-tock, my inner feelings are upset. This is the love of my life, this is too close up, this is anything but fair. Life isn´t fair, I know it, but it knows when to strike.

When you are least prepared for it, it will grab you by the heart and threaten to dismantle your world. When life itself becomes an antagonist, there is something going on. The pain of it all is to wait for the answer to the question we don´t dare to ask just yet.

I wish that I could take it upon myself, that this gut-wrenching waiting period was over. Not knowing what´s going on is dreadful. I can take a lot of bullshit coming my way, but not when it comes to my loved ones. Then I feel lost.

At the same time, I need to be strong and able to cope with whatever life throws at me. Right now, I don´t know where to find such a strength. It will show up, as it always does when things happen. But the waiting process is mean.

So please, dear Universe, help me aid my husband in this difficult time of our life. Let him be safe, let it be something less severe than we both fear, let his recovery be fast and without too much discomfort.

Give us peace of mind. So Mote It Be.

So the theme for today became real-life issues close up. Not exactly what I had prepared for, but writing about it helps. It´s just one of these days, where everything seems out of order, where nothing goes as planned, where the thoughts need to be set free.

But, then again, if you want to write about what hurts in life, you might as well speak from experience. And my novel ain´t going to be for the faint-hearted. On the contrary, it´s going to be a rough ride, to be unpleasant and frightening, and to be scary as hell.

For it is a scary ride, to ride with a roller coaster on the loose. I know that I can write that novel when I prepare myself thoroughly. And it might be a good companion along this unknown path we are about to follow here.

It keeps my mind busy being creative rather than to think the unthinkable things. It underlines the seriousness of life as it is when nothing is left to be said. We have been through a couple of those strong conversations before where even the unspoken hurts and aches.

But this time is different. Now it is not between us but ahead of us. Counting down until Tuesday, December 2, 2019 … the clock is ticking, tick-tock …

… I´m sorry, dear readers, but today has been tough to deal with. I needed to vent a little, I needed to tell about my feelings about this big unknown, we´re facing here.

The world can take care of itself today. I will go to my husband and just hug him. Be with my close family and friends tonight. Let my thoughts run free, allow myself to feel. And then I will write.

Be careful out there, take care of your loved ones while you can. While there´s still time.

Picture of 珂 杨 from Pixabay 

Daily mini-rituals when a budget is an issue

So, you are inspired to make daily mini-rituals, and you have the necessary time for it. But money is an issue, for there is a tight budget to keep. In today´s blog post, I´ll show you, dear readers, that it is still possible to have a daily practice with witchcraft without too many money concerns.

The secret is to plan ahead and to be as creative as possible. We live with a pretty strict budget on a daily basis so every major shopping event needs to be planned carefully. We look for good offers, and we prioritize needs before wants.

I began my journey of witchcraft with a cabinet from the local second-hand shop, a few books and some items from our collection of decorative items and trinkets. Now, three years later, I probably could open my own curiosity shop.

But only about a quarter of it is bought. I love to DIY, so I try to create things as often as possible. I´m also careful not to spend money unless I have to. And when I do spend money, I always look for the best possible buy so that I get the most out of it.

Only recently did I find the perfect athame, before that I used a wooden wand as my athame. And don´t forget that your index finger is always a great choice as an athame. The strength lies within you and not in any bought item alone.

I keep an inventory list that also serves as my more or less permanent witchy shopping list. I check it after each major ritual so that I always have what I need. I only use white candles on a daily basis and save the colored ones for the festivals/Sabbaths and special occasions.

My husband grows sage, rosemary, and thyme for me to use in my work with witchcraft. Most of the kitchen herbs you already know have magickal correspondences and it is both practical and beautiful to keep them on the window sill.

In general, be optimistic and positive even though there always is a budget to keep. Living on a strict budget can be demanding at times, but it also gives you the opportunity to be creative with what you already have. And, believe me, you will discover that you often have more than enough.

I have inherited quite a few things after my mother´s passing five years ago. So I´m both fortunate and privileged. I´m able to live in a big house because we prioritize everything. But I have also learned the hard way how it is to live without much money.

It has taken us more than eights years to come to the point where we are now. I know the feeling of not having enough money and of having to live on the terms of others. But I have never been the big spender anyway. It is possible to practice witchcraft even on a strict budget.

Picture of Borkia from Pixabay 

Be creative and practical before shopping

Living on a tight budget means creativity and practicality. To get everything in balance is not easy, however. You need to prioritize needs before wants, to pay the bills before spending extra money on e.g. witchcraft, and to choose whether you should buy something for the Craft or go to the cinema.

Think witchcraft into mundane matters and see how creative you end up being. Then take ordinary items and make them witchy by adding e.g. paint, rhinestones, and glitter. And don´t be afraid to re-purpose items, it will also stress the environment less.

The following are my own suggestions as to how it can be done without ending up bankrupt:

  • Try first to use what you already have or create something yourself.
  • Use things found during a walk in Nature, e.g. the forest or the beach.
  • Write down a list of supplies for the daily work with witchcraft and prioritize it as you would do with your typical shopping list.
  • Carry it with you always so that you can pick a good offer when you spot one.
  • Plan your shopping so you go to the grocery shop, the second-hand shop, and/or the local dollar store when you are out there anyway.
  • Plan a witchy shopping day when you have saved a nice little sum of money to use with a good conscience.
  • Buy birthday candles for spells. It saves large candles for the bigger ritual occasions, and it makes spellwork easier in daily life.
  • Use tea bags as spell and charm bags.
  • Try to go to local markets and garage sales to see if there should be something useful for witchcraft purposes. Often ordinary things can be as useful as specialties in an expensive shop.
  • Use your imagination. It is the best tool available, and it is often the best way to save money.

Whenever I´m out of the house, I´m on the lookout for items suitable for my daily witchcraft practice. I often pass by several second-hand shops and have found many fine things of good quality there. And with a little moderation, you have the best possible tools to work with.

For when being creative you are also at the same time infusing your work with your personal energy, the strongest tool of them all. And when things become personal, there is a much greater chance that you will use it again and again rather than leaving the bought stuff at the farthest corner of the closet.

Being careful with money has become a common rule here at our place. It has made us able to save up some money to use once a month for whatever we want. Often, we skip the buying and leave the money to further grow.

But every once in a while I plan a special shopping trip. Then I perhaps have about 100 dollars from the savings to use for witchcraft or other purposes. And the key is to get as much as possible for them.

Do it yourself and learn the Craft on a practical level

The word witchcraft indicates that being a witch is as much a craft as it is a beautiful way of living. Making your own tools is a satisfying way of practicing the Craft on a daily basis, for you are being creative with something you love to do, to practice witchcraft.

Witchcraft is not only big rituals and fancy stuff. It is also a craft where you use tools as you would in any trade. You get, so to speak, to be a jack of all trades when you are practicing witchcraft on a daily basis with a tight budget.

These are my own ways of being creative on a strict budget:

  • Use Pinterest to get inspiration and ideas to work with at home.
  • Design and create your own Tarot/Lenormand cards.
  • Make your own runes, pentagrams, and wands from wood found in the forest or at the beach.
  • Use the jewelry you wear for magickal purposes, e.g. rose quartz for calming and reassuring on a troublesome day.
  • Grow your own herbs for witchcraft in your kitchen´s window sill or at your sacred place.
  • Try to produce your own candles, it is great fun and something that children will love to participate in.
  • Create Goddess figurines form homemade salt dough or clay.
  • Craft your own notebooks and Book of Shadows.
  • Buy fabric for altar cloths and ritual robes at the local second-hand shop.
  • Use ordinary items whenever possible rather than just buying the latest fancy stuff.

When I´m in the creative mood, I sit in my creative den with lit tea light candles and a mini-ritual where I say a few positive words and ask the Universe to aid me in my work. I also use incense whenever possible, for it creates a wonderful, calming atmosphere that I love to work in.

It is almost like a ritual in itself to be able to be creative despite living on a tight budget. So I do it as often as possible on the good days where my osteoarthritis allows me to work with creative things, and it can really save my day.

I have been working with DIY for many years, and I´ll never stop to find creative outlets for my inspiration. There is something undeniably satisfying in making things yourself. It doesn´t need to be perfect to fit into my world of witchcraft.

But it has to be made with love and respect, both for the materials and for the intention behind. I don´t rush my projects, I let them take their time and wait. As I wait, when the money is too tight, even though I would love to buy this and that.

When I have to prioritize, I always do it with the thought that there has to be something left for tomorrow as well as today. Often I find what I need in what I already have. Then the money issue becomes less important than I thought.

From daily mini-rituals to a novel

This is the last blog post about daily mini-rituals. We have been through issues with inspiration, time, and money. I have tried to show you how it can be done, so it is still fun and worth the effort to practice witchcraft on a daily basis in a stressed, modern world.

The last blog post this gray and rainy November is about living with the shadows. I live with them daily because I choose to do so. It gives me the mental surplus that we all need to get through the very mundane issues that so often tend to fill out every time of the day.

I also live with other kinds of shadows than the witchy ones. In my novel, there are the human shadows that we don´t want to feel ourselves. But we do feel them, we are all flawed in some way. And thank the Universe for that. I would not wish for a world of perfection, just watch and listen to what goes on.

On Monday, the theme is free-writing. I need a day to write from the bottom of my heart without any strings attached, so it will depend on my mood what the blog post will be about. But I will probably mention my novel, my best choice ever.

After I have decided to go on with it, it has changed my life. It is a major part of my life now. I spend about six hours daily on it, and the more I work with it, the more I love it. I should have done this a long time ago, but maybe it is for the best. I was not ready for it until now.

Being a mature woman and a Crone helps a lot. As do life experiences, of which I can find inspiration for many a novel. Yes, I have ideas for writing for a long time. And I will use these ideas, as they show up in my mind.

Practicing witchcraft on a daily basis has given me the necessary discipline to sit down and stay there until I have finished what I came for. It is about getting certain routines in place, and then to stick with them no matter what.

Allow me to quote the following (author unknown to me at present moment):

“Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is the new wealth. Kindness is the new cool.”

It always makes me happy and content to see these words. They are so full of meaning, they are so simple, yet complicated to attain in life. They hang on my wall close to my writing desk as a reminder of being satisfied in life.

But now it is time to wish you a pleasant and enriching weekend, dear readers. May your creativity blossom, may you find the inspiration, time, and money for whatever your dreams are. May you find peace of mind. So Mote It Be.

Picture of Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

From idea to novel

Acknowledging being a writer

The idea of writing a novel has followed me as long as I can remember. It began with poems, a school novella, and my needs for writing down my life experiences from time to time. I was taught how to read and write before I went to school by my grandfather on my mother´s side.

I have realized now that my true inheritance from my ancestors is found in my ability to write. It took me quite some time to understand that I was born to be a writer. I have been told so on numerous occasions, but I didn´t dare to believe it is true.

Along came an irresistible sentence that quickly became a page. This fall I finally decided to write the novel that I have been wanting to write for so many years. With the decision came also the acknowledgment of how much work I need to do before there is a first draft to present to the world.

So I took a deep dive into the world of the writer. Is is at times a path of loneliness, at other times it involves the people closest to me for constructive criticism. But mostly it feels like dancing to the rhythms of music in the words.

It is like having an inner voice telling you this is the right thing to do, like taming a wild horse, like running across the field in the heat of the moment. It has become both a want and a need for me to express myself through the written word.

The world of words has always fascinated me. The feeling of reading a good book that is impossible to lie down before the last period. And then the hunt resumes, for the next intriguing adventure. At the moment, I´m reading “Mercedes Man” by Stephen King, and soon I will need yet another book.

I have a decent home library that I use often, but I also go to our local public library to find inspiring new writers to read. I read daily for 2-3 hours and write for 3-5 hours. It is like having a full-time job, except that I don´t get paid just yet.

Yes, I´m a passionate writer. I´m more addicted to writing than I would have believed just a few months ago. And this blog gets the credit straight after the main credit that goes to my family, my friends, and my readers.

I´m very proud of having readers. It is a privilege to write for you. It makes me want to do better than last time, every time I write something. It makes me able to write more every day. It makes me bow my head in equal parts of inner terror and respectful awe.

The inner terror is the fear of the white paper, the writer´s block. I have conquered it at the present moment, but I´m also prepared to do something serious about it should it arrive.

Building a writer´s daily habit

Blogging demands consistence, will-power, and determination, especially when excitement becomes routine. But writing on this blog twice a week has given me the ability to keep on writing even on a truly bad day. It makes me able to hold onto a pretty strict discipline on a daily basis.

My writing habit is under construction, but now I have the basics settled. I sit in my creative den after the morning coffee and the morning routine of the little wise, old dog. I write for about two hours before opening any email or researching for my novel on the Internet.

I have no TV in my creative den for it is too big a distraction. I listen to a lot of different music and I´m building playlists corresponding to my mood and the purpose of writing. I´m surrounded by a world of creativity here as the pictures will show you later.

It is too cold at my usual writing desk. And I have yet to re-arrange my witch´s den so it is possible to write parts of a novel in there. I´m not in a hurry, though, I take the necessary time to create the frames for writing a novel under almost perfect circumstances.

Our house used to be a bakery, a kiosk, and a pizzeria. So it is a big house, and therefore, we only put on the central heating in strategic places. We have the perfect frames for being creative and happy. And I´m grateful to the core of my heart.

Right now, I´m writing here in my creative den. With the view to our yard and the changing seasons. It is gray November outside, silent rain whispers about adventures ahead, and the wind is gaining momentum.

There is a storm on the way, I can feel it with every inch of my body, mind and soul. I can also feel that my novel is about the gray zones between good and evil. As it should be since I´m writing a psychological thriller.

From time to time, I will experiment here on this blog with the writing techniques I´m learning to handle. To foreshadow is a difficult task, but it is fun like dialog, rising action, and the aftermath after climax.

It feels as if the time stands still for a brief moment before really bad weather is coming. We have been promised a week filled with rain and wind. This fall I´m inspired by the quick, yet subtle changes in the weather.

It is like it is foreshadowing a harsh winter outside. It sets the mood for some serious writing. And serious it is to create a psychological thriller. One thing is the demands of the genre. Another big issue is its effect on the readers. To thrill is my aim.

Without mentioning my past with a single word, I can from the bottom of my heart say brutally honest that I know what thrill in real life can be like.

My creative den and the little wise, old dog

Research in progress

I have begun working with dialog. It is a devilish game, it sounds so easy, but I can promise you it is not. There is only one way forward, keep on an get it done. Then read it aloud or let someone else read it to you. And rewrite rewrite, rewrite.

I must sound real, but not too real. One hundred percent reality is not the aim of a psychological thriller. But close enough is still hard to attain. It is fun, though, for here the characters really can be challenged.

I hate physical violence, but I dread psychic violence. The way that manipulating people have the ability to crawl under your skin is scary, is intolerable, is scarring for life. It should be treated with much more seriousness than it is today, for it has many victims in its trail.

To write about what scares me the most seems like a fitting way to let go of some leftover baggage from memory lane. And it is time to discuss how we treat each other and ourselves in this modern world where only the jungle law seems to rule when it comes to human behavior.

So I research the psychological aspects of being a human being in a modern world full of stress, fake news and human evil on a daily basis. How does all this affect us in the long run? How do we learn to cope with new sub-diagnoses on everything from a pimple to serious mental conditions?

Are there people who are born evil, or it is a combination of genes and the environment? And how do we deal with them if we run into them in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong way? How do we handle ourselves being flawed by nature?

Big questions, yes, but real enough. Because there are people out there who are bad for us. Yet we search for them and get thrilled to the bone when we meet them. They are searchers, too, but it is in a much more subtle way. And then, you´re attached to them like a trophy.

Bittersweet memories as inspiration, no one is mentioned, no one is forgotten. Indeed, there is a storm on the way. And it´s going to be the roller coaster ride of my life to write it out. Gradually, my characters are lining up in the near future. They are more insisting by now, but I can wait.

There is still plenty of time to get prepared for the drafting process. Coming through the first half part of my research period, I´m beginning to notice the techniques in the works of others and the flaws, too. I now see more clearly what awaits me.

But I´m not scared anymore. I know I can do it well if I prepare myself properly and follow a guideline or two on the way. It is a journey already set in motion by myself.

From idea to novel

The idea consist of four simple sentences, written like the snowflake method where you build up a novel from a basic sentence that evolves into a paragraph, and then one day ends up in a novel. It is a page and numerous notes by now.

When I finish my research I believe that I will have about 60,000 words in my notes. Most of them handwritten. So by now, I´m able to write that and much more. I will try to write as much as possible in hand, for it is by far preferable to writing on a laptop.

It forces me to think more than twice about my word choice, my aim with the novel, and the amount of thrill that I want to apply. I study snappy dialog as much as possible, for in a psychological thriller there must be quite a lot of action for it to balance the psychological effects of the thrills.

I have the raw character sketch almost ready for further exploration soon. The characters need to grow forth themselves, so I wait patiently with any writing about them. I wait until I can feel them with all my senses. Then I will take one by one and let them get to know each other throughout the novel.

I have parts of the setting in place, but everything is yet open for discussion. Mood and atmosphere are developing in my mind these gray November days, place and time will be my next goal to study, and then I need to look a potential conflicts to use on my novel.

My process is very intense right now, for I´m both learning and experimenting at the same time. There are many new ideas and techniques to get to know, but I stick with my genre and choose with great care what to use as learning materials.

I can really recommend “How to write a damn good thriller” by James N. Frey. And, of course, “On Writing” by Stephen King. And I would also like to recommend watching “The Silence of the Lambs” or “Cape Fear”.

In my novel, however, there will not be physical violence. There is enough of that better written elsewhere, and I find the psychological aspect of violence more interesting than fistfights and dirty tricks with weapons. With me, the weapon is only a threat, but threatening enough.

Have a creative and meaningful week, dear readers. Next Monday is about free-writing, so I son´t know until that time what the theme for the blog post will be. I need a writing day where I can experiment and dance to the music of the words without having to consider a pre-scheduled content.

It will probably be some sort of stream of consciousness. I return to it quite often, for I like the way it always sets my writing truly free. No strings attached, except for the love of writing.

The view to our yard

Daily mini-rituals when time is an issue

Time became an issue for me this week. I was busy writing Monday´s blog post, I had a huge amount of notes for my novel to deal with, and then the mundane world hit me with a major anxiety attack on Tuesday morning.

I decided therefore not to celebrate the Full Moon this time and it was a great decision, for it took me hours to get better after the anxiety attack. I have made it a rule not to do any sort of magickal workings when having a rotten day.

But I lit some candles, and I watched the Full Moon or rather watched what was there to watch, for it was a cloudy day and night on Tuesday. But I went to my witch´s den and sat there for a while, just two lit candles, the little wise, old dog and me. What matters is that I did something, however short it was.

Sometimes even with the best of intentions time is an issue. The mundane world takes its toll on us to be effective, smart and yet having the surplus energy to do something for both our loved ones and ourselves.

Witchcraft is by no means a time-saving project to hasten through as if the Devil himself was chasing you. Witchcraft takes it time, it needs to be nourished and taken care of with love, and it is like slow-cooking food.

Often, spells take more time than the usual five to ten minutes to put the ingredients together and say a prayer or an inspirational text. At the moment, I´m working with several spells that need long-term patience for them to work properly. One of them is for this blog to do well.

In today´s blog post, I´ll try to show you that it is possible to have a satisfying life with witchcraft, even though you are busy with other important things on a daily basis. Even with only a little time left for anything but the mundane aspects of life, there are little things that can easily be done.

Personally, I absolutely hate to have to hurry to get things done. It can really trash my whole day. As an early retired, I do have time. But to stay happy and content with life, I need to fill my days with something other than providing for myself.

So I practice witchcraft, write, am creative throughout the day. Yes, a witch has a busy life from time to time. I also need to take a look at the watch now and then. But I have created quite a few mini-rituals that don´t take up much time on a busy day.

The key is to dedicate yourself to do something, also if that something is only lighting a candle or two. Another is to acknowledge that there never will be time enough and to prioritize your wants and needs. Generally, I work with 5-10 minutes or 20-30 minutes intervals.

Think small, think easy

I have a thing with lists. They are easy to make and use, and you get to follow your progress when you strike out one point at a time. What follows is my list of ideas for your inspiration that is easily adapted to your preferences:

  • Think witchcraft when cleaning your home, by e.g. adding some herbs to the cleaning water and saying a prayer of release when throwing out the water.
  • Grow kitchen herbs, whereof many have magickal correspondences, in the window sill. You can use them in food or for magickal purposes, and they are ready at hand when you need them.
  • Cook with magickal intentions and stir clockwise/anti-clockwise to seal e.g. a spell about healing for your loved ones and yourself.
  • Take your dog for a walk, or walk alone and feel the elements around you work together in a delicate balance. Let thoughts and feelings be released through a silent prayer of gratitude.
  • Use aromatherapy for the little extra luxury of a peaceful bath after a hard days`s/night´s work and wear your favorite perfume/have a handkerchief with a few drops of oils in your bag/purse.
  • Pick a Tarot/Lenormand card in the morning and trust it as your inner guidance of the day. This is also a great way to get to know the cards quickly.
  • Place crystals in the window sills and let them re-charge or use them to protect your home. Be careful to choose crystals that can tolerate the Sun´s rays or water, if used in a house plant.
  • Get into the habit of journaling your thoughts and ideas the moment they occur and create a practical organizational routine so that your notes are sorted at once instead of making clutter.
  • Create a portable mini-altar to use outside of your home or when you don´t have the time to set up your ritual altar.
  • Meditate daily over a cup of your favorite beverage, lit candles. and aromatherapy/incense to relax after a rough day. Make e.g. a spell when you are preparing tea/coffee.

These are the ideas I use myself on a busy day. It keeps me grounded, it keeps my love to witchcraft alive, and it keeps me calm in that I know that I have witchcraft with me in whatever I do and wherever I go.

I´m a practical kind of witch who never leave anything to chance. I prefer working with witchcraft several places in my home for my work changes with my mood of the day. When I´m busy, I tend to forget about time.

But time is important for me because it is so easy nowadays to get lost in the world of mundane issues that need immediate attention. Often it is little, annoying matters that end up being the content of the day, and it is due to very impractical solutions from the authorities who state that life is easier with it.

Believe me, it is not. But witchcraft is possible even after such annoyances.

Think routines, think creative

Be creative and practical at the same time and pre-arrange a few setups around your home on a day where you have the necessary time to do it. Then all the daily mini-rituals will be easy in the sense that you will save time to practice witchcraft with little efforts even on the busiest of days:

  • Place candle holders and/or LED candles strategically in your home so that you quickly can arrange a pleasant mood for your mini-ritual.
  • Write down short prayers/inspirational words for the mini-rituals so that you can create a daily routine from memorizing them.
  • Only use a few ingredients so it is always easy to gather them for the ritual and keep them handy in small containers. This can also serve as temporary altars.
  • Write down your witchy supply list next to your mundane grocery list. Often, many ingredient can be found in the local grocery shop or second-hand store.
  • Include your home in your witchcraft practice. A sacred place is what you make of it, and magick can be done everywhere in a home.
  • Place notebooks and your Book of Shadows at a central place you can reach from everywhere of your home, no matter what else you are doing. This way good ideas become reality.
  • Decorate your home with witchy items you have created yourself. This is also a great way to be artistic and creative even on a day with little time for witchcraft.
  • Check out the possibilities on the Internet and then go to the local dollar store or second-hand shop to get good quality stuff for a reasonable amount of money.
  • Use what you already have to create a magickal home and make it an ongoing project only to own what you need instead of owning something for the sake of owning it.
  • Less is definitely more when it comes to witchcraft. Fewer things also make it easier to use symbolism in your magickal workings.

These are the routines and guidelines I use myself on a day with fewer hours than I would wish there were. It keeps me organized, it keeps my mind from wandering off to mundane issues, it keeps me to my path of witchcraft.

I prefer to be as organized as possible, for I´m not at ease with messy details when I´m working with witchcraft on one of the busy days. It has to be easy attainable for it to work for me. It also needs to be the small miracles that make my day for me to be able to maintain my daily practice.

It should preferably not be a task as with the mundane chores. It should be a pleasure, a daily joy to work with witchcraft. And if the basics are sorted out, everything becomes so much easier in the long run. It has worked for me so that I today almost every day practice some kind of witchcraft.

But, like everybody else, I sometimes just relax and let go.

Today´s mini-ritual and reflections about time

Today, as I have been writing this blog post, I have worked with lit candles in the window sill, I have cleared my creative den with white sage incense, and I have been on a long walk with the little wise, old dog in stormy and rainy weather.

Time flies so quickly, especially when you grow older. I once believed that when I got retired, I would have more than enough time to do what I really want. The faith is transformed into the fact that I got retired much earlier than I expected and that time flies whatever you do to try to tame it.

I keep myself busy. for I simply cannot sit still and ponder whole days about my life´s challenges. There has to be some kind of action, life is too short not to be fully enjoyed, and all of a sudden time became an issue to me.

Physically, I can´t do as much as I would like to do due to my osteoarthritis and degenerated disc disease in my lower back. Mentally, I have days where I can only lie down and try to relax as much as possible due to my bipolar disorder and chronic depression.

But still, I´m often busy getting my daily chores done as the first thing in the morning, for I have other important things to do like writing my novel and practicing witchcraft on a daily basis. And then there are all the other interesting creative projects to finish.

Today, it has taken me the whole day to write this blog post. I have taken more pauses than I normally do, for I have had a couple of busy days with anything but witchcraft. I have used the pauses to work with some of my daily mini-rituals.

Now I feel much better having worked just a little bit with witchcraft. It is as if every negative issue this week has gone up in smoke and disappeared with the incense smoke this afternoon. Now the candles have gone out, it is time to reminding you of my next blog post about writing.

On Monday I´ll show you how I came from the idea of writing a novel to actually do something about is in a serious way. So serious in fact that is has become quite a rival to my love for witchcraft. Therefore, I´m happy to have made quick mini-rituals, so I still can maintain a daily witchcraft routine.

Now the time is closing in for a night off from any work, writing, and witchcraft. I would like to wish you a pleasant weekend, dear readers. May it enlighten your dreams so that they may become alive right in front of you and make you happy and proud. So it is.

Now it is time for me to close the laptop, turn off the electric lights and go to our living room where my family awaits me. Thank you, Universe, for everything.

Picture of Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Preparing for nine months of drafting

Going fast through my second month with research for my novel, I´m also getting closer to get to know my characters as types. I´m working on a framework for them, in that I build layer upon layer like an onion.

The time feels short at this of year for me. I tend to have a disposition for winter depressions, so I engage in as much work as I can handle. I don´t need to sit and sob half of the year, and therefore I work my way through it.

Slowly, but steady, I´m preparing myself and my loved ones for nine months of drafting. It will not be so different from now, except that I will need to focus my concentration on writing in certain periods of time.

I plan to work two hours at a time with regular breaks and then take half an hour off for daily chores and doing something completely different from writing. There also has to be time for my loved ones, and occasionally I will take a day off.

I´m excited to the point of wanting to let the horses out and dance across the keyboard to the sound of epic instrumental music with howling bass guitar riffs and intriguing thundering drums. But I control myself, I know there will be plenty of time for that soon, and I concentrate on the learning process.

If I wore a hat, I would take it off in awe and admiration. It is not easy to write a novel. It shouldn´t be, for the road to the destination is a journey of experiences. The feeling of working with the tools and ideas like a big puzzle is impossible to let go of.

It is a want and a need. To write has become essential to me. It is my reward for having being present for my loved ones. It is my reward for having participated in the issues of the mundane world. It is my reward for having done my duties as a human being.

Preparing for nine months of drafting is about much more than “just” creating a world from an idea. It is recognizing that the body, mind, and soul need to be in the best shape possible. Half, if not more, of the workload, is in the research and the physical-mental well-being of the writer.

Gradually, I´m creating a writing habit that fulfills my goals about writing 3-500 words daily in my novel. I´m also aware that there will be days where I can´t write so much or so little. But that is the reason behind my choice of using nine months to create the first draft for my novel.

Living with several mental disorders and physical ailments as well can seem like a huge mountain to climb. I try to immerse myself in life as it is, and my main recipe for success is to engage yourself with a positive outlook. To never, never back down.

Physical preparations

This week I need to clean my creative den and re-arrange it, for it is going to be one of my work stations when I begin the drafting period on March 1st, 2020. And then I pick one place at a time and do the same there. When the cleaning is done, I´ll use my white sage incense to clear any stale energy.

Today, I cleared my permanent writing desk and my working place in the living room. Now I have my late mother´s working bag at a central place with the most important tools to carry around with me, depending on my mood of the day and the time of day.

I prefer writing in natural light in the mornings, comfortable in the afternoons, and as simple as possible in the evenings and nights. So I plan to sit in my creative den in the mornings, surrounded by creativity, to relax, meditate and write in my witch´s den in the afternoons, and the rest of the time either at my writing desk or in the living room.

When re-writing notes, I prefer my writing desk where it is easier to write in hand, but when taking notes, I prefer doing it everywhere else. I seldom sit still for longer periods of time due to the side effects of prescription medicine, and therefore, I have several places to work.

Physical preparations are also to make sure that the necessary tools and supplies are available, so I have been going through my stock of paper, pens, sticky notes, etc, and soon I will have everything I need. I wait for the budget-friendly offers, for the main budget has to remain stable no matter what.

One important issue is the quality of the light at my work stations. The permanent places are equipped with lamps with both sharp and comfortable light. And my findings are often from a local second-hand shop, for the stuff there are usually as good as any expensive items.

And I like the concept of re-purposing things before throwing them away. There is enough garbage going around in the world already, and there is only one way to change that. And that is to begin by yourself and get going instead of preaching.

We sort our garbage, we re-purpose as much as possible, and we use only what we need. Were it not for the condition of my eyes, I wouldn´t mind writing in candlelight alone. But fortunately, today it is possible to get light bulbs with low energy consumption.

Another important issue in my physical preparations for nine months of drafting is to make sure to remember to back up my material. I have before been in situations where a laptop decided to get a life of its own and mess everything up, so I only had some curly notes with coffee stains to work from.

So I have learned from past mistakes. I´m as prepared as possible. It is the second-best part of writing.

Mental preparations

The best part of writing is to feel the words come alive both in my mind and on paper/the screen. That´s when it feels like riding an untamed roller coaster or flying on a magic carpet.

This is the heavy-duty part of my preparations as a writer and a human being. Besides the obvious part of researching my novel, it is a major learning journey that I have embarked on. I learn so many new things on a daily basis that I need some time to relax and stretch my mind.

I meditate at least half an hour daily to be able to concentrate long enough to write in longer sessions. When I meditate, I think of the task before me, of what I wrote the day before, and of the long-term goal with all this.

When I´m not preparing notes, I try to read and watch as many psychological thrillers as possible. At the moment I´m reading “Mercedes Man” by Stephen King, and I´m eagerly awaiting my Christmas present, “How to write a damn good thriller” by James N. Frey.

But I also take time off to do completely different things, for working with a psychological thriller takes it toll on the writer. It is a complex area to work with, and it is necessary to debrief form time to time. After all, it is about trying to work inside the minds of fictive people with serious flaws.

So when I take time off or do something else, I think as little as possible about my writing, to free myself from the sinister world in my psychological thriller. I use my life experiences with many different people, both from high and low places.

For where there is darkness, there is also light. And I know from a life of experiences for better or for worse that people will do their best to stay on the light side as long as possible. But I also know that we all carry the seeds for doing wrong at some point in our lives.

That we are all flawed in some way. Perfectionism is an ideal that I myself have had my struggles with. It is only in my later years that I have been willing to acknowledge that it is an impossible ideal. What lies beyond perfection, boredom because if perfection is accomplished, it can´t be done better.

I believe that there always is room for improvement in the way we act towards each other and other species. Being flawed by nature is often misunderstood as being undesirable, but I believe it is essential to be a human being. How would we learn from our mistakes if perfection were to rule the world ?

Just watch and listen when things go wrong in the world of perfection. It scars people for life, in a way that is undesirable for us all. It is all about the money, the famous fifteen minutes of fame, and “see me, hear me” cries.

What´s the reward being a writer

A writer´s reward is the feeling that I´m contributing something to the world of opportunities that I live in. It is the sensation in the body, mind, and soul that I´m using my abilities to create what I´m capable of creating.

Dancing words play a strange, yet familiar tune of the pitfalls of life and the human wrecks that modern society so often create these years. Abruptly interrupted by a distinctive switch to the positive outlook that is my conclusion about my perception of the meaning of life.

No matter how harsh and how unfair circumstances people grow up with, there is a personal responsibility for us all. Unless we suffer from disorders and ailments beyond our control. The space between these two absolutes is vast and is under recurring research.

That space is what I dream to write about in a novel. I find it interesting and life-affirming to learn about myself through the spoken words and actions of other people. By observing and listening, I get to question my own beliefs and assumptions. It is healthy to look outside oneself from time to time.

Therefore, a writer´s reward is also the feeling that everything will be quite okay in this writing life of mine. It may turn out to be the most difficult and yet the most giving time of my life. One thing is to write about writing a novel. Another issue is to do it in real life, alone, for real.

I´m extremely careful not to let all this exciting stuff clutter my mind. I take a lot of breaks, and today, I took a long nap in the afternoon, just because it felt right. I knew with myself that I would get the post for today done later.

And so I sit here in my living room with a new, old-fashioned lamp with a bow attached to it. The evening is here, the twilight has passed for the day. In my next blog post on writing, I´ll show my journey from idea to a novel with a view into my working process with my characters.

My husband is cooking a late, but delicious dinner, the little wise, old dog chews on his bone wagging his tail, and the three philosophical cats are playing around as they do every evening with us. It is quiet, no cars thundering down the street, only a few young people gathered at the green area next to our local grocery store.

It´s peaceful, a night full of every possible adventure, only the imagination sets the limits. It´s a privilege to write and get new readers. I know that tonight will be one of the great sessions until late at night.

I get rewarded every time I write. It is a pleasure in itself, it is a dream coming true right before me, it is worth every inch of the efforts. May you find such a joy in life, may your dreams come true.

Picture of Free-Photos from Pixabay

Daily mini-rituals when inspiration is an issue

All dressed up and nowhere to go? Do you have the time, can you use what you already have, and has inspiration run away from you? Then it is time to sit down and think about basic setups for your daily witchcraft.

When I have an issue with inspiration in my daily work with witchcraft, I turn to the simplest of ideas, to the littlest of things that make me happy, to the easiest way out of the rut. Today, I´ll show you a couple of ideas to work further with depending on your personal preferences.

I prefer to keep things as simple as possible to be able to stay inspired on a daily basis. I prefer quality to quantity, so this is by no means an exhaustive cheat sheet. I prefer using what´s already available to me before buying something.

I often use my daily walks with the little wise, old dog to get inspired to go back home and work that magick. I don´t believe in the idea of re-inventing the wheel to bring forth a self-confident attitude about the “political correct” way to practice witchcraft.

This will be the first time that I write these things down in full length. I´m an eclectic cottage witch and a busy writer, so I don´t always get things down on paper. But in return, I make small daily routines that are easily adapted to whatever intention I may have on a particular day.

In my blog post “Waning Moon Quarter Ritual” from August 24, 2019, I wrote about my daily tea ritual :

Daily Tea Meditation Ritual

Clear and clean your sacred space. Make a pot of your favorite tea. Pick your special cup and whatever comes in handy and significant to the intention of the meditation ritual.

To, it is to relax and to heal with a good book close by, some calming music, and an inspiring atmosphere from incense/oil burners.

I always bring a notebook and a pen, just in case inspiration strikes for some writing. I also include a small decorative altar cloth, scented candles, crystals, and my aromatherapy blend/fragrance for the intention behind, be it physical, mental, or spiritual.

Make sure to be undisturbed, turn off the cell phone (unless you are going to use it to listen to inspirational music) and the TV. Set an egg timer for 20 minutes, if you need to, more if it appeals to you and you have the time for it.

And sit/lie down as comfortable as you can. This is your time, dear readers, make good use of it. Calm your breath and meditate upon what comes into your mind or what you have planned for the day. Remember to write down good ideas and thoughts.

The goal of this is to relax the mind, the body, and the soul. We live in stressful times, so every attempt to regain energy is of great importance. And 20 minutes at a time is not much time, but it is enough to calm down and do some well-deserved grounding.”

Candles, candles, candles …

I admit it straight up, we are candle people here. Throughout the year, my husband and I use candles whenever there is a chance. We love to sit in the light from nothing but candles, to watch the flames twist and turn with a life of their own, and to use as little electricity as possible.

In my Book of Shadows, there are many correspondences, a big one being candles. I correspond my choice of candles to intentions, colors, days of the week, Moon phase, and nearest festival/Sabbat. But the color white goes with everything, and it is the intention behind that matters the most.

Sometimes just to use what´s available is the better solution, however, for when uninspired, your thoughts will circle around anything but to get in the mood for witchcraft. So grab a candle or two, put the kettle on, make your sacred space comfortable and light the candles.

Sometimes there is magick in the simplest of things to do.

Incence/aromatherapy

As a witch, incense and/or aromatherapy are indispensable in my daily life.

I use aromatherapy as a mild and safe alternative treatment for my troubles as a Crone and for anxiety relief. I use incense to cleanse my sacred spaces and my home and to create moods depending on what sort of witchcraft I´m working with.

I´m extremely careful only to buy safe products or else I try to DIY my way through it. I wear my favorite perfumes, add a few drops to a handkerchief, and make my own rose water with fresh rose petals from the garden and demineralized water.

My husband grows sage for me in the garden that I use for incense sticks. Or I buy coffee beans and add them to a small bowl onto which I place a tea light candle. You can also cut an orange in half and squeeze yourself a healthy glass of orange juice, and then place tea light candles in the orange peel.

If you are into crystals, it is both beautiful and calming work, I mostly use crystals for healing purposes, since I discovered that it made me feel better to be near them. I cannot and will not explain why I believe in the positive effects of crystal healing.

I just know that it works for me and my husband.

Regular pebbles always do well when nothing else is speaking about magick on an uninspired day.

Kitchen magick

Stir clockwise/anti-clockwise when you make dinner. Use well-known herbs and spices which usually have magickal correspondences for almost any intention. And say a meal blessing before you and your loved ones eat.

As simple as that is enough.

To cure a witch´s block

It´s only the imagination, dear readers, that sets the limit. There are so many possibilities today that we sometimes forget the fact that often it is the simplest of things that truly matter in the long run. To get inspired as a witch is about calming down and listen to your inner voice.

I have practiced witchcraft for three years, and I still find new ways to attune to the rhythms of Nature. Due to my bipolar disorder, I have better days and should-have-stayed-in-bed days. I use my ideas on days where just two lit candles behind my laptop are more than enough.

My daily tea ritual has evolved since I wrote about it. Today, every afternoon there is a quick and fairy light knock-knock on my kitchen window. That is my neighbors eldest daughter, seven years old. She has homework, and we want chai tea and preferably at least one lit candle.

Between diligent study, she and I go to my witch´s den to talk and to plan what to do next time we play together. She is to come here tomorrow to learn to paint on pebbles, to draw beautiful talented drawings, and to touch and talk about the content of my daily decorative altar cabinet.

But like everybody else, I have days where there is no inspiration at all. Then I turn to the lit candles and go from there. I make a virtue out of going to my witch´s den at least once a day to meditate for at least five minutes.

Some days, minutes become hours. Other times, five minutes is more than enough. It depends on my mood, my level of physical pain, and my priorities for the day. As a busy writer, there is a tight schedule to adapt to daily life, so my kind of magick is direct, simple, and easy to follow through.

Elaborate setups I reserve for the major festival/Sabbats and the celebrations of the Moon´s phases. But there are little pieces of magick everywhere in my home. I have strategically placed them in every room of the house as a source of inspiration and for protection purposes as well.

To cure a witch´s block is as with writing : keep on doing daily mini-rituals, keep on believing it is worth the effort, keep on being creative with small means. To me, it has become a habit that never fails me, especially on a rotten day.

It took me time to realize that to be a witch it is not necessary to have ll the right tools, all the right texts to read aloud, all the right this and that. The most important tool is the witch herself/himself. The best text is often written on the go. There are no strict guidelines in witchcraft.

And it is quite alright that there will be times when you are practicing less or more than usual. It all depends on your intentions behind the wish to work with witchcraft on a daily basis. To be creative is to be able to see possibilities in the small things of life and make magick with what is available now.

At the moment, I´m only celebrating the big festivals and doing my daily tea ritual together with a sweet and clever seven-year-old girl, whose perception of magisk is even broader than mine, for she knows more than many people already.

Tomorrow, she is coming here to play, to be creative, and to be herself as much as I have energy to allow. It is a great pleasure every time, we get to know each other on a deeper level than I have with most grown-up people.

After a couple of hours with her, I feel inspired for a long time. Her directness and subtle ways of expressing pure joy and true feelings at the moment is half the way to creating intentions for work with witchcraft. She doesn´t know that, yet, for she must come herself one day as a grown-up woman.

Then, and not before, will I teach her, if she asks. It has to come from deep within her heart and soul, for it is not an easy choice of path. There is a lot of work behind the scenes, and sadly, there are still ignorant and hateful perceptions of witchcraft in this world.

For the remains of the day, I´ll write more notes in my research for my novel, and on Monday I´ll let you come close to my preparations for nine months of drafting in 2020. It is getting more serious by the day, and I admit, with a big smile, that I´m a writing addict.

Next Friday, I´ll show you what I do about daily mini-rituals when time is an issue. In a modern stressed world, it is extremely important to slow down from time to time, but it is getting increasingly difficult to find the necessary time between work and mundane problems to solve.

Writing this blog post has already inspired me to celebrate the Full Moon on Tuesday next week. I need beauty, inner peace and mental clarity. Dear Universe, let it be so that these three needs will manifest during and after my Full Moon ritual. So Mote It Be.

I wish you a happy and relaxing weekend, dear readers. May it bring forth the best in you, may it be worth your time, may you find what you search for. Now, it is time to enjoy the company of happy, sweet children with their Friday candy.

Picture of Tracy Lundgren from Pixabay 

Making a dream come true

Making a dream come true, part 1 …

… The view from the kitchen window speaks of a never-ending row of raindrops clacking onto the ground. Wet and watery cold outside, I´m well-equipped with a fresh pot of coffee, pen and paper, and my writing binders and notebooks.

To write about making a dream come true is a privilege in itself. It is part of the path to the process of writing a novel. For I´m actually living in that dream. The dream comes alive the more I write and the more I read.

The big why am I trying to write a novel is an easy-answered question. It has become a lifelong dream, where the right circumstances showed up late, but at the right time and the right place. Knowing that I can do it if I work hard for it, makes it a tangible goal to work for.

I love to write, and I have always written about something. But is has never been as organized as it is now, and I believe enough in myself to trust that it will continue to be a fun and educational experience to go through the process of writing a novel.

Today, I cannot handle any kind of negativity, however. My body hurts, my mind is so easily distracted, and my soul needs sunshine and sitting outside in my garden with a cup of coffee. It is a long path before spring.

I stay away from the news and the world today. What keeps me positive are the feelings I get when I´m writing. It makes me happy to write. And it keeps me alert and curious to see if I this time can catch the magic dragon´s tail of impossible perfection.

My mood may resonate a quiet winter blues, but don´t be mislead, dear readers, for here behind the screen, I´m quite well, thank you. The mood and the tone, however, are under construction, so from time to time, I will try out different techniques and ideas on this blog.

Writing has also a healing effect in that it makes me feel much better after a writing session. It feels like an untamed roller coaster, and that feeling stays with me throughout the day. When done with a day´s work, I always try to relax as much as possible. It demands much energy to write.

My plan is to clean up my creative den and prepare it for my drafting period that is less than four months ahead. Time flies like sand flows through fingers, and now more than ever. As we turned into November, so did I turn to study setting, conflict and dialog.

The first month of research for my dream of writing a novel thundered ahead as a subtle reminder of how much work writing a novel is in reality. It´s my biggest, most cherished, and wildest adventure in my life so far. But I can´t help but loving it, from the first four sentences to the very end.

Already busy planning ahead of time to be able to practice writing daily without compromising the always important family and friends, I´m on a tight schedule from today. The love for writing is stronger than ever before because I´m able to do it as often as I like to.

Soon, a seven-year-old girl will knock on my kitchen window. She comes here every day to do her homework, and I´m happy to help her. She is a true sweetheart who speaks her voice with force and willpower. And she inspires me with the perspective of a child.

She still believes in fairies and knows that I´m a witch as well s a writer and her friend. We are family, we are godparents to her little brother. Her best experience is to sit and talk with me about life´s many diversities in my witch´s den with a cup of chai tea and the right to touch some of the witch´s things.

When we are done with the homework, we usually go to her parents and siblings next door. There I get hugs and coffee, there I feel instantly that I belong, there I can be the me I am. My sanctuary is in my home with the love of my life, and my chosen rainbow family lives close by.

Who could wish for more then, this is the much that I have. Herein lies my true wealth, the instant knowing inside that this is the once in a lifetime moment we only dare to dream about. A dream comes true right before my five senses, so strong a feeling that it makes my eyes pour over with water …

… Sorry, I needed a deep breath or two here. It is extremely rare in modern times to get the change to meet extraordinary people. People are too busy with hunting their fifteen minutes of fame, with being mean on social media, with hunting the golden calf. And for what ?

Peace of mind cannot be bought. Happiness and love do not stay long with the money involved.

We only have a few rules here, to treat each other with respect, to speak the truth, and to stick together no matter what. We have found each other in a world crazier than ever, and we intend to stay together for the rest of our lives.

We have already made history together. We were at the right place, at the right time, just like everything seemed so utterly vain, and the world turned once more 360 degrees around me in such a hurry that I had to stay a week in the hospital.

After we became friends and close family, things began to improve. And now we enjoy each other´s company on a daily basis. There it was, the quiet knock, knock, knock, on my kitchen window, it´s time to leave the writing for a while and enjoy the directness and subtlety of the mind of a sweet child.

Making a dream come true, part two …

… The drizzling rain and the cars in the street, now driving in the opposite direction, heading for children at school, daycare, and the Monday afternoon shopping, together create a wall-paper of sounds and emotions around me.

I´m making my second pot of coffee, paying full attention to my husband´s flu, and writing at the same time. Trying to figure out how to show you my passion for writing a novel, especially a psychological thriller, without telling it, is quite an awe-inspiring task.

There is only one way forward through this wilderness of thoughts, and that is to write from the bottom of my heart that this writing thing of mine is the love of dancing with words, is a burning passion, is what I was meant to do. It took me a while before I truly understood it.

I wake up happy every morning due to a happy life and a satisfying way of contributing what I can and know something about. Writing and witchcraft is my life, only second to my family and friends. When I decided to write my novel, something changed inside me.

It feels as if I have found my life´s purpose, now at last, after so many years of searching for my special place in the Sun. And at the same time, I believe that it will also transform me for the better to write a novel.

For I will be challenged to use all my creative talents, to work with discipline, and to write with a deadline in mind. It might look like a lot of work only for a first draft. But it will be worth every inch of the mountain of work before me.

I have eleven months left to write my novel, and it will be even more disciplined, as the work progresses. Over the next couple of weeks, we´ll clean the house and clear any stale energy with incense. Then I will begin writing in my creative den as well as at my desk and here in the living room.

I have my late mother´s working bag in one of the cabinets upstairs. I intend to use it to store all my notebooks, and writing gear in it and carry it around the house. Then I will have everything handy in one place and will only need to move between carefully arranged writing spots.

When Spring arrives I also intend to write outside in the garden. It will be in hand for I cannot use a laptop outside, there are way too many reflections from the Sun and the skies. But on bad arthritis days, I can use my cell phone sound recorder to record my thoughts and the note pad app for quick notes.

More and more I´m attracted to word counting as a way of beating any signs of a writer´s block. I get my work done, and I write better with goals when they are broken down into smaller tasks. And the best part of writing for me is that it keeps me from feeling miserable on bad pain days like today.

When it hurts physically the most, the more I turn to write as a refuge, safe from the world around me. When engaged in the writing process, I forget about aches and pains, leave behind any regrets, and feel like flying on a magic carpet.

Especially with the sound of music in my ears. Building up useful playlists is of great importance to me when writing. It depends on my mood of the day, but there is always music in my life, whatever I´m doing.

When I look at my setup here, I begin to understand the process of becoming a writer. At times it is like dancing a slow, but beautiful, waltz with life. Other times i`m feeling as if I was conquering the ocean or riding on a partly tamed horse.

It nourishes my mind and soul to write. It soothes me, it pulls out the best of my abilities, it heals some of the scars of life. My kind of therapy, now that I´m standing on my own without any strings attached except for the need for medication for the rest of my life.

So to answer the big why am I writing a novel, I will answer with an equally big why not do it. I´m doing it out of love, because I cannot let it be, and for the pleasure of trying to actually do what I have been dreaming about since forever …

… Writing about this on the blog is my documentation of my progress. As readers, you get as close as possible to my life as a writer. As in witchcraft, I believe everybody needs some private space of their own, so there is something left as the writer´s reward.

I don´t need praises or big words about what kind of style I use in my writing, the reward is the work itself to me. After a writing session, I feel released, as if something bigger than me took away my burdens and transformed them into written words worth reading.

My Muse nods her head and blinks with one eye. She knows me by now, for she takes off from my shoulder without hesitation, but I keep writing, for I know, she´ll be back in a few moments. See, there she is again, this time sitting on the left top corner of the laptop.

To remind me that there is a time to write, and then there is a time to read. Tonight is dedicated to reading, but the pen and paper stay close to me. I never know when I feel a need to take notes, so I always carry some paper and a pen.

And so I have told and shown you how it is, how it feels to make a dream come true. May you be inspired to live the life of your dreams, dear readers.

Picture of Jonny Lindner from Pixabay 

All Hallow´s Eve and intentions for the new year

Deep in the forest …

… there she was, the Light Fairy, dressed in white, with her staff and her lights. The children silenced and gathered around her. She came to each of them with fresh baked cookies. They were between the age of two and seven.

My plans for the Samhain Sabbat changed yesterday. The ritual was postponed. The reason was a sweet and relevant invitation from the daycare to one of our neighbors´ daughters. To gather after dinner close to the forest and the creek with lights and all dressed up was the message.

So we went, three children and four grown-ups, to the forest last night. We were perhaps 60 people with lights, Halloween props, walking in silence to the gathering point in the forest, where the Light Fairy waited for us.

We celebrated the light in the darkness. We sang for the children and ourselves. We felt so alive.

A celebration of the light in the middle of darkness is a true treat. The old trick-and-treat custom was fun and fine. People were friendly and it was cold, it was the last night in October, it was something to remember many years from now. It was pure magick.

I think this was an appropriate way to celebrate the night of Samhain. I decided to postpone my ritual for today, for this experience was a deep one, I felt as if my ancestors stood right next to me, as if time stood still, as if everything could happen.

So today, you get to follow me close to the Samhain Sabbat. As I´m writing, I also walk around in my witch´s den to check if everything is as it should be. I have prepared my ritual altars, decorated with all the good stuff, and finished my notes.

In 45 minutes I will call the quarters, the elements and my ancestors. I will re-dedicate myself as a witch, and I will try to reach out for my ancestors, now that the veil between the worlds is thinnest. I will make a healing candle for my husband´s health, and I will cast the runes to get guidance in my life as a witch.

So right now I´m mentally preparing myself for the ritual and the joy of celebrating a new year. As I look back at the old year, I have come so far. And yet, there is a need to release what no longer serves me. My recovery time is over, I´m as good as it gets.

In about twenty minutes I will light the candles and the sage incense, then sit down in my old rocking chair and meditate a few minutes before my husband and the little, wise, old dog join me there. So Mote It Be.

And now I draw the curtains into my witch´s den …

Intentions for the new year

The past year was a long and winding journey. There were many days with side-effects of prescription medicine and the part that medicine cannot control. Slowly, but steady, it became better from the middle of Spring until I became my own director again this fall.

My intentions as a human being are to take good care of myself to be able to give all my love and all my strengths to my family and my friends, to convert my weaknesses to strengths by seeking a positive outcome of everything, and to work further to control my anxiety.

My intentions as a witch for the new year are to follow the rhythms of Nature and celebrate the Sabbats and the New and Full Moons, to set intentions on New Moons and reviewing the results at Full Moons, and to release negativity at every opportunity and to work with the shadows as much as possible.

My intentions as a writer is to work hard to become a better writer, to write something worth reading, and to write my first draft to my novel in nine months in 2020.

It is a mighty list to aspire to. But if we do not allow ourselves the right to dream big, we will never go anywhere from here. To live in the present moment doses not deprive you of future plans. Just keep in mind that “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans,” as John Lennon said.

I take one day at a time, on challenge at a time, one blessing at a time. It is time for revisions and new plans. From now until the end of the calendar year I take a look a memories and experiences from the year gone by.

The memory of my mother is very clear to me today. She passed five years ago, and it still aches, burns and makes me cry. It was six hours of utter dread, and then I felt in in my heart. My mother crossed the rainbow bridge, and there were so many things we should have tried and talked about.

Then, after three years, my father got cancer, two years of hell went by. So it became my time to go to the hospital, a breakdown, anxiety mightier than me took the best of me and made it worse. It has taken me two years to recover.

Today, I accept that my ailments are my companions for the rest of my life. The past year has been a long preparation to stand on my own again. Many tears, countless hours of cognitive therapy, and new medication.

I intend to never be in such a state again, as I was in 2017. I have felt bad often in my life, but never as bad as this. I couldn´t move, I froze inside. And I shook all over my body, had to take a sedative to be able to get to the hospital.

I try to make tangible intentions, in witchcraft and in life. It is half the way to reaching your goals. The rest is hard work. As most things in life are.

Now the candles are snuffed …

… it is quiet and comfortable here behind the keyboard. We just finished celebrating Samhain. I still feel the presence of my ancestors. It is like time stands still for a brief moment, it is as if I can hear them from far away.

… my husband and the little, wise, old dog sleep in my witch´s den. I left a few candles for comfort and inspiration. I feel relaxed, a bit sentimental, and know from within that a new year has begun. The old one was dismissed and released at the end of the ritual with a burning note.

… in an atmosphere of peace and calm, I sit and reflect upon 45 minutes of ritual. The Tarot cards spoke of a need to release what no longer serves me and to trust my abilities. Therefore, to hold onto my passions about writing and witchcraft is a major goal for me in this new year.

The altar is filled with ritual props and tools. Five candles light up the darkening view to the back yard where trees stand bare and naked from the loss of leaves. From my living room, I can see the old rocking chair where I sit during rituals.

They say rain is coming again. And it is getting colder as well. It is the last month in fall, but already it feels like Winter. It is time for reflections and deep shadow work. It is necessary because I´m going to work much with the flawed human version for a long time in my novel.

To debrief will be necessary, for in my writing I plan to try to look into the minds of my characters and to try to write from their perspective. And they will be far from perfect.

My witch´s den needs re-decorating. In 2020, from March 1st until December 31st it will be my number one permanent writing place. To sit and write by hand in my rocking chair or on the laptop on the couch is my destiny for a long period of time.

But the rituals will still be held there. It is my sacred space, and therefore, I also have my creative den where I keep materials and tools for creative uses. I intent to write there in the mornings and in my witch´s den in the afternoons.

The Nordic runes spoke of releasing old attachments, inspirational momentum, and creative energy. I interpret this a subtle sign that I will reach my goal of writing a novel if only I work hard to get there.

I read a couple of beautiful poems for our ancestors and lit candles for them, When I clapped my hands just before closing the circle it felt as if my ancestors got up from their seats and took off to wherever they may roam.

Now the altar is almost stripped of the good stuff. I move slowly for my husband sleeps, and I don´t want to disturb him. I only need to put away the altar cloth, and then it is back to work with this blog and with my writing notes for today.

The pictures of my beautiful old car and my grandfather are yet to be taken to their daily place. I need to feel my ancestors for the remains of the day. I need to express my gratitude to them for leaving me a great inheritance. The ability to write well, it runs deep in my family.

My grandfather always said that if you are granted a gift/talent you owe it to yourself to try it out. I´m sad that he can´t be here to follow me doing exactly that. But he is deep inside my heart and soul, and I can always reach out to him if I need a mental hug.

Next Friday will be about daily mini-rituals when inspiration seems long gone. When the mundane daily life doesn´t leave much energy to work as a witch, it can be difficult to create and plan little daily mini-rituals that are exciting enough to keep om holding onto.

On Monday I will be back with the big why am I trying to write a novel, why is it a life-long dream, and why do I keep on writing, especially on bad days where everything seems out of order. A passion equally strong and inevitable as my deep passion for witchcraft.

And tonight I will celebrate the first day in my new year with the process of creating useful notes for my novel. I´m working to get fit in my fingers so that I will be able to write parts of my novel in hand.

But first I will express my gratitude for having the means and the opportunities to live the life of my dreams. Thank you, dear husband of mine, for making this dream come true. Thank you, dear rainbow family and friends, for all your love and support, especially when I need it the most and deserve it the least.

Thank you also, dear readers and followers, for believing enough in me to keep on reading. It is a privilege to write for you. Do feel free to comment, make suggestions, share your wisdom.

It is icy rain and a cold evening. Winter is coming soon …

It has been one of those days that may stay forever in memory lane, don´t know where, don´t know when, A beautiful Samhain Sabbat, a fantastic morning, afternoon and evening behind the screen. Today, my fingers danced the waltz and the blues, and my muse was kind to me.

She´s sleepy-eyed now, but rocking along with me. as I wrap up the loose ends and wish you a wonderful, creative weekend, dear reader.

May your dreams come true, may the Sun and the Moon always shine on you, may all troubles be released.

As I Will It, So Mote It Be.

My Samhain altar