A bit of writer’s block

Hey guys –

I’m sorry that this month has been so slow, at least on my blogging front.  I’ve had a busy few weeks, doing such wonderful things as attending memorial services, baking, stabbing styrofoam, setting up hydroponics tanks, watering plants, applying pesticides, rescuing caterpillars, playing soccer… you get the idea.  Oh, and a few migraines, unfortunately.

I haven’t been able to drop dairy.  I’m being honest with you here.  I’m dropping the idea for a while, and I’m going to let it settle in my mind.  I’m going to focus on “reducing” instead of “eliminating.”  I don’t think I managed a single dairy-free day, which perhaps speaks to the power of dairy: I would either do it accidentally (SHIT that has cheese on it) or on purpose (I don’t care, I’m thirsty, I need calories… milk works).  I can drop Coke/soda, I can drop chocolate (though not permanently)… but tell me to drop dairy and I just tweak out.  Go figure.

I’ve been trying to balance weight loss with strength training, lately.  It’s hard, because if you work TOO hard… you eat more, or you hurt yourself and spend a day or two being less active.  I had a 2-week plateau but I’m back to losing weight this week.  All in all, I’m down about 5.5 lbs in the last three months.  My weight loss is EXTREMELY slow, but I’ve accepted that.  In the future, you’ll read part two of “Using Wicca To Achieve Your Goals” as a weight-loss journey.  I’m using physicsdiet.com to track my loss, and I would recommend it highly.  It calculates a moving weighted exponential average, and lets you see your trend over time, and not worry so much about day to day fluctuations.  If I were not using this tool, technically I’d be about 10-12 lbs down, depending on the day — but a lot of that loss is water fluctuations and isn’t real.  I’ve lost the five and a half, and I’m confident in that number.  I’m looking to lose at least 20, to get back to a weight that I was at pre-grad school.  I would love to keep losing after that and see where I land, but honestly, I’m going at a tenth of a pound at a time.

On the bright side, I’ve been increasing weights at the gym.  I’m working with barbells instead of machines, in hopes that the free-style will help teach me proper form and I can work on functional movements — lifting, throwing, jumping and the like.

So there’s my health update.  I’ll try to get a Western Winds Open Beltane Ritual posted sometime this week, and maybe a few prayers/chants/songs.  We shall see.

Love and light,

Lynn

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Why the Boston Marathon can’t stop you

I was incredibly busy this week; and saddened, yesterday, to hear about the tragedy in Boston.  Already this morning, unfortunately, I’ve seen some divisive facebook posts from, “Traditionally, the crazy people are on the far right…” to “Why is it when there’s a major tragedy everyone jumps on board to say “my prayers are with them,” but when there are everyday tragedies that aren’t picked up by the media, no one cares?”  If that doesn’t make sense… I can’t apologize, because, well, that’s what they said.  It doesn’t make too much sense to me, either.

Part of the problem with bombings, and more generally, random acts of violence, is that we can’t make sense of it.  The majority of society can’t understand the reasoning, and so, we get scared.  Maybe this latest incident will keep you from running a marathon.  I know that every time I cross campus (I work at a University), every time I go to the mall, or the grocery store… in the back of my mind sits the question, “What if today is the day that some clinically insane person is going to decide to take my life?”

I also know that there’s nothing you can do about it.  Some call it fate, some call it destiny.  Some call it (un)luck.  But the fact remains that no one, save the people who perpetrated the act of violence, will ever have prescient knowledge about pain/hurt/death in a location.  So try not to let it worry you.

I’ve always found that my old high priest’s reasoning about death is most comforting in this time.  They’ve gone home.  They suffered, yes, but they’re home now.  And thankfully, it’s only been three people (at this point) who have made that journey home.  We get to keep the rest of them for a little while longer.

I took a bit of time to come into work today.  I cuddled with my animals,  I let myself doze.  I took a moment to grab some breakfast.  I hope you did, too.  Life is short, and you should value the time that you have.  Because, unfortunately, we never know when our time is up.

This isn’t a new phenomena, and it isn’t the end of the world.  There have been violently crazy people for centuries.  The methods may have evolved (explosives over straight mutilation, for example), but the fact remains that a small percentage of the human race is determined to cause mayhem and pain.

Don’t let this deter you from running.  Or hiking.  Or shopping.  Or cycling.  Or going out.  Or living.  When fear rules your life, the psychopaths win.

Make it the best Tuesday you can, guys.

Blessed Be.

Dairy Free Update (Week 1)

So I have to tell you… I have not gone dairy free yet.  I did have a good reason: I didn’t want to waste food.  I’m on a pretty tight budget, and milk and cheese are expensive.  Now, the milk is out of the house, and I’m good to go.  

In other news, caffeinated soda that I like is ALSO out of the house, so I’m back off of caffeine.  Not completely — I have a 2 liter in my office, but one or two cups of soda isn’t going to give me a caffeine dependence or overuse headache.  

In other other news, I’ve had a busy few weeks.  I’m teaching this week (on Friday), so I might be sort of absent for the week.  I’ll try to get another “52 weeks” round in this week — I think I have the next set typed up, I just have to schedule them onto the blog.  I’ll be stopping that soon and working on publishing the whole set in a year’s guide to the Rede.  If you guys have any feedback on the idea, please feel free to let me know.

Finally, I bicycled to work this morning, and had a wonderful time.  Some dude stopped at a red light and got out of his car to hand me a free-class pass for yoga (no, I’m not kidding).  Then, on the way in, some old man handed me a really cool version of the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.  I love free stuff!  

I always take Christian literature for two reasons.  One, if it is a pamphlet/newsletter/tract, I love reading it.  The psychology of Christianity fascinates me, as does the attempt to reach a wide audience with otherwise crazy thoughts and ideas.  Two, it takes the opportunity away from them to reach “vulnerable” souls.  Every bible/tract/newsletter that I get is one less that is going to someone who is at risk of converting.

That sounds very anti-Christian, and I normally keep a light-hearted view of Christianity, but the truth is that Christianity can be harmful.  Although there are benefits to going to church (like finding a community), there are a lot of costs, too, including shame/guilt and a reliance not on self but “on God and prayer.”  It emphasizes powerlessness, and I don’t like that at all.  Take control of your spirituality!  Take control of your life. 

Anyway, so there’s my Monday update.  Unfortunately, I’ve already been way more productive today than most Mondays, and I doubt my productivity will decrease.  Ah well.  I can be lazy tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

Lynn

How do we bind? (To bind the spell every time)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

Now that you’ve explained to the neophyte how they should cast spells, you must certainly describe how to end the spells.  How do you bind your spells to send them off to the Universe?  How would you describe binding other things?  Do you advise binding people, places, or things?  Why or why not?

How do we perform spells? (To bind the spell every time)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

Imagine you’re standing before a neophyte — someone who has just entered the path and is willing to learn, but knows nothing about spell-casting, either good or bad.  How would you describe the major methods that you use to cast spells?  Are there other areas of magick you know of, but haven’t worked with?  How would you describe those?

Dairy-Free April, Book Updates, and More

Hi all!

So, I may have pulled some of you in from the title, let’s give a quick summary.  My name is Lynn, and I suffer from migraines.  I’ve been trying for the last 2 years to figure out and eliminate migraine triggers.  So far, I’ve found red onions, “fake” sugars like aspartame, sucralose, and stevia, strong smells, travel, fluorescent lights, poor sleep, dehydration all contribute to my migraines.  This year, back in January, I did a gluten-free month, to see if I was gluten sensitive.  There is mixed evidence that gluten may trigger migraines, but I didn’t find any sort of causal relationship between wheat and my migraines.

In February, I tried to eliminate medicine.  It sounds counterintuitive, but often, migraines are triggered by rebound reactions — too much medication, too frequently.  In February, I had 8 total headaches, but 3 of those were during travel, which is a HUGE trigger for me.  In March, to contrast, I had only 4 episodes, but two lasted over 24 hours and required medication.  Of those two, I believe one was triggered by Stevia, which I was tasting for the first time.  The latter was the most recent, yesterday, and I believe it was caused by my dog’s body slamming into my face the day before.  I medicated this morning because I needed to function at work today.  Although I am obviously not working that hard, since I’m blogging.  At work.

The next big things for me to try to eliminate are dairy, chocolate and corn.  No, corn isn’t really a migraine trigger that I know of, but I consume a lot of corn products and I bet that it could make me healthier.  In any case, dairy CAN be a migraine trigger for some people, and I consume a LOT of dairy, so I’m going to try living without it this month.  Or at least, today, which seems to be challenge enough.  So, if you’re interested in a dairy-free lifestyle or just want to watch me suffer without cheese and milk, stay tuned!  This one might be day-to-day: I honestly don’t know if I can give up milk.  It’s a big part of my life.  And I think that substituting coconut, soy, or almond milk may just be creating more opportunities for migraines.

Onto the book updates. During the free giveaway of “Using Wicca To Achieve Your Goals,” over 1000 copies were given away.  There have been several Amazon Prime borrowed books, and several outright sales.  This book is now in the top 100 Paid Kindle Books in the Wicca & Witchcraft section (Number 64 today).  How awesome is that?  I hope it’s helping people, and they’ll soon be leaving reviews telling me how it’s changed their lives.  I’m excited.  If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, please consider taking the plunge.  For the price of a McDonald’s dollar menu lunch (McDouble, Fries, and Drink), you can learn about goal setting in a religious context, as well as support me in my blogging and writing efforts.

This book was originally supposed to be much larger, but the scope was too broad and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to finish it.  As a result, it’s a part of a three-piece series I’m writing.  The first, “Using Wicca To Achieve Your Goals” lays out the basic goal-setting method.

The next book that I’ll be releasing sometime this month, gods willing, will detail how to apply the goal-setting method to weight loss and general fitness goals.  In addition to reviewing the goal-setting method, the new book (tentatively entitled “Wiccan Weight Loss”) will detail the methods I’ve used  and am using to lose weight.  The benefit of this book will be in it’s perspective: I do not ignore my medical conditions while writing.  The upcoming book will tell you how I’m losing weight DESPITE my migraine issues which severely disrupt sleep and eating habits.

Finally, the third book will be “Rituals for Goal Setting in Wicca” (again, tentative title) and will have rituals for each of the eight sabbats, as well as a new moon and full moon ritual, along with a brief overview of the goal-setting methods laid out in the first two books.  I may also include some fragments of ritual and/or spells, meditation exercises, motivation exercises, and the like.

I think that’s all I have for now.  Oh, well, expect some “Blast from the Past” blog posts in the future.  I spent the weekend cleaning out some old journals and binders/collections of papers.  I found some chants I created, I found some interesting thoughts on tarot, photosynthesis, as well as the Wheel of the Year.

Happy Monday!

Why do we perform spells? (To bind the spell every time)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

We know what a spell is, and we know what a prayer is, and we hopefully know what binding is and why we do it.  So why do we perform spells at all?  What do you most commonly use spells for?  Can you improve your spell-casting abilities by evaluating your needs and the effectiveness of your spell-work?