Faith In Many Forms

Hello, all! I am kind of puzzled. I’m wondering where to go with my faith from here. God is my Higher Power and I feel like They* have given me certain gifts. I am fully aware that some of my worship methods are rather unorthodox (see: magick and witchcraft). The thing is, though, I feel closer to different elements of spirituality when I do different things.

For example, I like to read the Bible. It reminds me to be a better person and teacher. I love reading about Jesus. He was a radical, especially for his time, and an astounding role model. I also love reading my oracle cards. They allow me to provide an act of service in a different way and anchor a different aspect of spirituality. It’s been said that I have a gift for card reading and that my readings are very accurate. I read cards for a friend yesterday and I started crying. You know how you see something so moving it brings you to tears? That was it for me.

Late yesterday evening, I got ordained as a minister online partially by accident. I wanted to see how the process worked and then I was a minister before I knew it. I made a promise to myself and God that even though the ordination may not carry a lot of weight in the world, I would do my best to seek out the spiritual and the holy and be an example. I know that teaching and talking about the Bible is a way to reach some people, but not others. I personally believe that as long as you’re not being a hypocrite and are doing the right and kind thing, you’re good. I won’t always do the right and kind thing. I won’t always say something and back it up with the same action. I want to keep trying to do better. I’ll have bad days. But by keeping in touch with my spiritual sides, I will become a better person.

This includes doing the right and kind thing to myself. I’m horrible at this. I’ve not been eating often enough. That has not been the easiest on my body. I also mentally self-harm when I make a mistake or am sad. It’s a great cause of the deep sadness I get into sometimes – I beat myself up and that makes it worse. That is something I need to work on stopping or lessening.

Unlearning old patterns is going to take some time. I want to become a better listener, both to the messages I get from people and spiritual messages. I know I am loved. I know you are, as well.

Before I go, I want to do a card reading. The question I’m asking is, what is someone not realizing about themselves that is holding them back? What is the outcome??

I did a new reading style, one that I call the Journey. One card for one’s current state, two for the conflicts they will face, and three for the outcome.

Present state: The Stars (2). You are in a state of loss. You’re missing something that is gone, something that left perhaps too soon. It hurts, it aches. You think all is lost.

Conflict: The Wise Masculine (12) and the Blackness (16). You will think you have to be strong. You will think you have to run the show and keep your emotions in check as you face down your demons and cope with the loss. But have hope – there can be no darkness without light, no evil without good. There is a duality in all things. This isn’t permanent.

Resolution: The Ideal (27), the Black Stone (11), and the Knife (6). To overcome your conflict, you will need to start over. Clean house, get rid of what no longer suits you, and be forceful in seeking the truth if you must. Seek truth and hope always.

Love,

E

*Does God really have a gender? I don’t think so.

A Heretic’s Ministry

“I am the heretic among the sanctified, more riddled with holes than holy. I walk amid you and you will never know me.”

“Never Know ME”

Hello, everyone!! It’s been a bit. I return after doing a lot of thinking. This blog has been mostly positive so far. It was very hard keeping up with it because, as I have stated before, I am not a very naturally positive person. It felt like I was putting on a mask every time I wrote. I felt like a liar, so I stopped for awhile. I return with many new ideas, so bear with me as I sort out a middle ground between the real and the positive and find my voice again.

Up until this point, I’ve focused a lot on the more witchy side of things, neglecting the other parts of me. We are not simply one part of ourselves. We are the total of all of our parts. I often forget that. I have a tendency to neglect the other parts of me in favor of one part at a time. Now, I am going to focus on all parts of my spiritual and religious nature. I believe there’s more than one part to it and that they all deserve attention. Allow me to tell you a bit more about these other facets of my religion and spirituality.

Facets

Long before I formally recognized that I was on this journey, I was already on it. My time in the Church was just the beginning. I learned to love reading scriptures, though I never got entirely into the Book of Mormon and other parts of the Mormon canon. I learned that I love to lead by example, and that became one of my life’s guiding principles – a good leader serves. A good leader works with their people. A good leader, as I ended up writing last night, does not sit upon a pedestal and they do not simply hand down edicts. They set a good example for their people, they don’t just say “do as I say, not as I do”. That’s hypocrisy.

The Missing Something

All throughout this time, I was longing for….something. I knew I couldn’t find it in the Mormon community I had been spiritually raised in, but I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere else, either. It seemed – and still seems – that I don’t belong anywhere yet.

See, my beliefs are rather odd, a mishmash of a lot of different belief systems. They’re hard to place into a category where they might belong completely, and that’s baffling for some. I’ve heard people say “but you need to go to church! What about the community? What about the encouragement?” To be honest, I feel like I have to hide my true self in most church circles. I will have to find a place where I belong both culturally and with my beliefs before I can truly feel encouraged.

Kindness

I’m sure that I would get run out of town at the Council of Nicaea for some of my beliefs, hence why I often refer to myself as a heretic and have such a hard time authentically expressing myself in a church setting. But still I search. Throughout all of this, one thing has remained constant – kindness. I try to be kind and lift at least one person’s spirits every day. Some days I don’t know who I lift, some days it’s more visible. Some days I even help several people. It’s what Jesus did. He cared for the misfits, the broken, the outcasts. Those were the ones who needed him. People around me need lifting and encouragement and peace. I would even venture to say that everyone does. Everyone struggles with something.

One of my favorite ways to help someone feel better is to give them a sincere compliment. A sincere compliment can save a life. A smile can save a life. Going above and beyond an expectation can save a life. Listening can save a life. Being there can save a life. Even if you don’t save a life, though, you can make someone’s day better. That can have effects that go farther than that one day, as well.

Church Goals

Another goal I have is to make people feel welcome. I think that that’s an important task for a leader (or anyone) – to make everyone feel welcome and loved. I’m sure that there are many like me. They feel like they don’t belong. They’re hurting. They need a little TLC. It’s my goal to be there for them. If I establish a church someday, that will be my mission – to create a safe place where they can feel God’s love.

That’s my mission. Thank you for reading.

-E

The Past: On Trauma, Healing, and Cleansing


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar.

Mark Antony, Julius caesar by william shakespeare

Hello, friends! I’m listening to Sarah Blasko’s version of “Life On Mars?”, originally by David Bowie. It was recorded shortly after Bowie’s death, and that makes this beautiful song poignant and timely. 

David Bowie

It’s strange to think that he’s gone. I only got into Bowie’s music towards the end of his life through a friend or two. I recorded an album based around his song “Heroes” shortly after some events that changed my life. “Modern Love” became the crown jewel of many of my playlists. I think I love his first album the most. “Letter To Hermione” hits me like a punch to the gut. It’s beautiful in a very sad way. “Did you ever call my name just by mistake?” he sings. 

Don’t we all ask that at some point? Don’t we all ask that or some variation of it at some point and then that leads us down a rabbit trail of pain and hurt? Most of the time it’s best to not go down that path, to not ask that question.

Questions

I’ve asked that question many times, and it never gives me a good answer. A lot of times it just brings me back to where I came from saddled with more baggage than when I started. The anger, shame, and hurt are real. It’s all real. I spent a really long time walking down the paths of “what if?”, even when my life was headed in a positive direction. “What if I mess things up?” “What if he/she/they leave?” “What if I really am as weird/crazy/messed up/selfish/mean/cruel/et cetera as I think I am?” To repeat: going down these paths never ends well. 

Thinking about the past usually goes one of two ways for me – I view it with rose-colored glasses as if nothing bad happened during that time in my life, or I see it as the worst time in the world, thereby completely ignoring the reality of the matter – there’s good and bad in every situation. Every. Situation. The past is as it is. We have to bury it, not praise it. The good is “oft interred with [its] bones” in many ways, as the quote say. It’s over. It’s gone. For lack of a better metaphor, remembering the past is a lot like remembering someone who is dead. You can’t change it, you can’t talk to it, you can’t reason with it if you get angry with it. You can only think about it and remember it. That can get very, very painful.

Flashbacks

I remember experiencing terrible flashbacks when my mind idled in class for many months after I had a series of harrowing experiences during college. I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was that I would relive these experiences if my mind started to wander over and over again. They were utterly terrifying. They began to haunt my nightmares. Over time, the rosy colored glasses I had once seen that time with turned dark with anger. I wouldn’t always come seeking the past, it would come seeking me. It would find me and pounce. I was haunted by a ghost that was never alive, and that made it more powerful to me. It was an event, you can’t banish that. 

Inconvenience

Sleep became just as exhausting as being awake, and it remained that way for many years, actually. I still have nightmares about what happened, though they’re few and far between. The flashbacks are also rare. It seems that I learned to banish the ghost, and one of the ways I did that was by getting angry. Very angry. I was very bitter (and likely very inconvenient to deal with) for a long time. I’ve come to realize that that’s perfectly acceptable when something bad happens, no matter how ugly-seeming or inconvenient that makes me. People should be able to feel their emotions and recover on their own schedule. 

Eventually, I had a realization looking back on the events that led up to where I am today. It took a very long time to first come to the realization and even longer to put it into words: those awful things that happened to me in the past caused me to question everything. I’m incredibly thankful for that. It sure as hell was a painful process, but it was entirely worth it.

Cleansing

In studying witchcraft literature, I have come across a lot written about banishing unwanted things and cleansing that which you use to keep unwanted things away. It seems that these last few years were a sort of self-cleansing as I subconsciously got ready for this moment. Because of this string of experiences, I would posit now that if I’m going through a lot of pain, I am being prepared for something enormous that I am presently unaware of as I was then. 

What kinds of things could I be being prepared for? I know I’ve been asking that quite frequently. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about and putting a lot of thought into my mission in this life. I have thought about this sort of thing for years, but have been unable to remotely put into words until recently. In light of these thoughts and discoveries, it would be fitting to write a mission statement here. 

My mission is to touch one life every day in a positive way.

As I said in a previous post, I can’t always touch many lives in a day. If I can touch only one person’s life, that can impact generations. I will be happy if I’m able to do just that. 

“Life On Mars?” has ended, I’m listening to my album. It’s strange how things like that go. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him…

Thank you for reading!

Ears To The Ground: Listening, People, and Spirituality

Ears to the Ground

Hello, friends! Welcome back to the blog! Avicii’s “Levels” is playing on the speaker, my husband is playing guitar in the basement, all is well right now. I went on a coffee run for him a couple hours ago because he was having a migraine that was exceptionally painful. He says that he’s feeling a little better now. I’m feeling a lot better, though. I was starting to feel a little anxious, so I went on the coffee run. I went to the closest coffee shop and picked up a mocha frap with 4 shots of espresso in it. While I was there, I got to talk to two people who were running the coffee shop. That was very fun, despite my feelings of anxiety.  Thinking about this experience was an important reminder to keep my ears to the ground spiritually.

Anxiety And People

Oddly enough, my anxiety isn’t often legitimately tied to being around people. Sometimes being in crowds triggers anxiety, but there’s usually another thing behind that as a root cause. I also don’t often have proper panic attacks – instead, I have anxiety spells that last around 3 days. Many times being around people makes my anxiety better. 

I have something that I call my secret superpower. I can walk up to a stranger and compliment them without ever having set eyes on them before in my life. I am not afraid of strangers or what they might think most of the time. I try and be friendly to everyone because I believe that a compliment can save a life. That, to me is magical. 

Everyday Magic

I can think of one instance where this happened to me. I was in Idaho and I was having a very hard time. I ran into two of my friends in one of the school buildings doing homework. Studying with them was a girl named Elizabeth. The four of us started talking, and Elizabeth turned to me and said, “You’re wonderful, please keep existing.” I was floored. It was exactly what I needed. Because of her kind words, I will never forget her. I strongly believe in the existence of angels who protect us along with our spirit guides. I left my former church a long time ago, but there is a quote from one of the higher-ups there that sticks with me.

I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. 

Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministering Of Angels”

I think a lot about angels, but not earthly angels as much as I should. I’m surrounded by a lot of them, that’s for certain. I think everyone is an earthly angel at some point, even if we don’t always try to be. 

Listening

I love working for Instacart, a personal shopping company, because it helps me interact with a wide variety of people. I am able to get to learn about them and from them, even if the only interaction I have with them comes while we’re standing in the checkout line at the store. Because I am home a lot in general, though, I have to get my social time via phone calls, Discord chats, and assorted messages. I feel like I am not as valuable of a human being when I’m home alone all day. However, I do get to listen to a lot of people each day. 

I’ve heard a lot recently about having to be worthy of spiritual things. This is heartbreaking to me. I’d like to posit that you don’t have to meet a sort of standard or quota to have spiritual experiences or to experience or use magic. I think that all you have to do is listen. I’ve been in bad spots recently and people seem to know that intuitively somehow. I almost always get a message or call from someone I care about when I’m in the worst of places. 

A Friend’s Intuition

One of my friends has very good intuition. We talk almost every day and she always calls when I need a friend, most times without me asking her to. I’ve told her I’m grateful for her time and time again. She says something like “It’s not much” often in reply. If you’re like her, let me tell you – it is more than “not much.” Calls like that mean the absolute world to me, even if all we’re doing is hanging out on the phone going about our days without saying much at all. Sometimes it’s not words that are needed, but presence instead. You are doing the right thing. 

And to the people who don’t have the energy to help, I see you. You’re valid. You don’t have to always be a helper – perhaps it’s a time in your life where you need to be helped. That’s a perfectly acceptable place to be in, as well. Receiving gifts and help from others is a skill I think we all should learn. I’ve known many people who get uncomfortable asking for help. I’ve found myself in that spot a lot recently. It’s a skill that should be learned and used, in my opinion, one I should get better at using when I need it. Nobody deserves to suffer in silence.

Ears To The Ground

I’ve found that those who have their ear to the ground spiritually will go where they’re needed. Sometimes you don’t help out a billion people. Other times you can. I think you’re doing just as much good helping one person as you are by helping many. By helping one person alone, someone can change generations. I’ve been kind of stressed out recently because I have told myself for so long that I’m not helpful, that I’m useless, etc. that I don’t realize all the ways I do help out already even though I’m home all day most days. Lying to myself is never okay, I’m learning. We are all magical. We all have something to offer, even on our worst days. We all can be angels. 

Thank you for reading!! Be sure to join the OID Discord chat!! 

-E

Card Readings and Reconnecting With Guides

Hello, friends! I finally rejoined my favorite Discord server after about a month’s absence and started getting caught up again. I went over to the Divination section where someone was doing oracle readings. I asked the reader why my guides leave when I get sad. The things that stick out the most from this conversation I had with the other people on the server were:

  • The guides aren’t going anywhere, I could be pushing them away
  • Communication with any being is a two-way street
  • It’s a process to learn to communicate with them because they’re always there when I need them, it’s just me coming and going. 

Then someone said something that blew my mind a little bit. They use their oracle cards to ask questions they would normally ask their guides. Before today, I hadn’t read my cards in about a month, nor had I spoken to my guides in almost that same amount of time. My guides seem to go away when I get sad. It seemed like they were some sort of fair-weather friends, but it’s really a problem on my end, I think. I don’t listen to their guidance when I’m sad because they’re often trying to encourage me. When I’m in that dark place, I don’t think I deserve encouragement. I start to think that their guidance is all lies. It turns out, though, that I’m the one lying to myself.

Lying To Myself

I told my husband last night that I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve to be happy, and he was utterly appalled. I don’t quite remember his exact words, but he said something like, “don’t let anything convince you you don’t deserve to be happy. The world is dreary enough as it is without feeling you don’t deserve happiness.” I agree with him. I’ve spent a very long time thinking that I don’t deserve happiness, and that’s a lie. I’m my own worst enemy. This has caused my guides to back off a lot, or me to back away from them. As stated before, they seem like liars when I’m hating myself, and that’s unfair to everyone involved. 

As a human being, I deserve happiness when it comes. I’ve given myself enough crap for being happy. It does more harm than good. My happiness looks different than others’. I think it’s because I’m happy while people around me are upset/sad/angry at times and I feel like I should join them so as to not incur their wrath upon me. I believed that I didn’t deserve it because those around me were having a hard time and that I should feel guilty about being happy because I wasn’t doing as many hard things as them. I felt like I should be doing more hard things in my life. Because of that, I believed wholeheartedly that I didn’t deserve happiness. 

Deserving Happiness

I still think I should be doing more hard things, but tricking myself into believing that I don’t deserve happiness is completely harmful and disruptive to the process of learning to do these hard things! What is there to work for if I tell myself I don’t deserve to be happy? What’s the point if all I deserve is sorrow? Isn’t there more to life than despair? Don’t joy and sorrow go hand in hand? Missing out on one or the other is missing out on the full range of emotions and killing off a crucial part of the human existence. Happiness is something we all deserve. It’s part of life. 

With that knowledge, I got out my deck of handmade oracle cards and drew three of them – the Atrium, the Deity, and the Ideal. I don’t know if I have ever discussed the oracle deck here, so I’ll do so now. 

My Oracle Deck

My Oracle deck isn’t Tarot, though it works in a similar way. Each of the cards has a meaning. When combined with other cards, their meanings take on new depths. Some combinations are harder to discern than others, but they almost always make sense in the end. I came up with the symbols one night at 2 AM when I was strangely awake. 

The Atrium, the Deity, and the Ideal

The cards in this sequence are the Atrium, the Deity, and the Ideal. I did this reading to try and learn more about a guide who recently showed up to help me with cooking, so as I pulled the cards, I asked them about the nature of this guide. My answer was something like this:

The Atrium represents upward growth. It’s a card of light and hope. Pulling this card means the promise of progress, of a new path, especially when paired with the Ideal, another card of looking up, of hope, of light. The Ideal means that there are high hopes to be had. There’s also an air of new beginnings here, which really stuck out to me considering the discussion of happiness I’ve been having.  Finally, there’s the Deity, which represents long-sight, thinking long-term or eternally, and patience. 

The New Guide

Within the context of this question and the answer the cards gave, I would venture to say that this new kitchen guide is very wise and patient, able to see things I cannot. I think they’re there to help me be happy long-term, not just as I’m hurling insults at the dishes I’m cleaning or cooking something tasty. 

I think they’re also someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of while I’m doing kitchen-type things. I’ve needed somebody like that for a little bit. I think they’re very old, as well. They’ve been around the block a time or two at this point. I think they’re here to teach me how to be a happier person. 

The thing is, I’m sure they’ve been here for longer than I’ve given them credit for because I have felt intuitively guided towards certain ingredients. Somehow I know exactly how much of each ingredient to put in the dishes I make, too. 

I don’t think my guides have left. I think they’re very much alive and well, I’ve just been caught in a self destructive cycle where I haven’t been able to hear what they have to say. I’m coming out of it and learning more about my guides at the same time. 

Thank you for reading!

-E

Order In Discord now has its own Discord server! Join here: discord.gg/EjmZEb5

Plant Rant: Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea

Hello, friends! Welcome back to the blog! Today’s gonna be another Plant Rant day. The next plant in the line of fire is Camellia sinensis, or tea bush, specifically prepared as gunpowder green tea. Before the rant begins, allow me to provide a bit of background. This quote from dominiontea.com will explain it better than I can. 

“Gunpowder tea (also called Zhu Cha) is believed to have been first produced during the Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.) in Zhejiang provenience of China. The withered and steamed green tea leaves were balled by hand into small pellets before being dried. Its English name came from its appearance as the tea pellets after drying look like shiny greenish-black pellets, much like gunpowder.” – Dominion Tea

Upon hearing that I wanted to buy gunpowder green tea, my gun and explosion enthusiast husband replied “I like gunpowder”. I told him that it was tea and I think he was disappointed. I don’t think I will be disappointed, though. I’m not the biggest fan of green tea, but I have ideas for how to make it work… 

First Impressions

My first experience with gunpowder green tea was in 2017 when I spent far too much money on some mint + gunpowder green tea from Teavana in Salt Lake City. I really enjoyed it. It was my first enjoyable experience with green tea that wasn’t matcha. (I have been known to slurp down matcha fraps like nobody’s business. Starbucks makes the best.) 

I am rarely a fan of green tea on its own, no matter how many times I try it. It leaves a bad aftertaste unless I put so much honey in it that it almost becomes green tea syrup. That mint + gunpowder tea was really nice, though, and I remembered that as I sort of lost control of my life and bought a pound of gunpowder green tea for myself yesterday. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it, so that’s why I say I’ve lost control of my life. The total was a little under $30 including shipping, which isn’t terrible for something that should last me quite a while. The mission here is to find a blend that I will enjoy regularly even though I’m picky about green tea. 

Green Tea’s Benefits

I know green tea has several benefits, including caffeine. I’m a little scared to have this much caffeine within my grasp. I am a caffeine addict to the point where Mountain Dew does nothing for me anymore, even if I drink a liter of it in one sitting. We all know that is not healthy. I really should be reducing my caffeine intake to begin with. Going lower-carb has really helped with my energy levels, though. 

I also feel better in general as I eat fewer carbs. My hives are beginning to retreat and I feel better about life than I would if I were gorging myself on pasta every other minute. I’m down to about three small cups of coffee a day, sometimes a bit more. It’s far better than needing 5 or 6 huge ones like I used to. I can see myself leaving coffee behind someday in favor of tea, herbal or otherwise. 

Drinking herbal tea also helps when my chest gets tight from allergies. I call that chest tightness the Stick because it feels like there’s a stick in my throat when it comes around. I love the feeling of drinking hot tea when the Stick comes around. I wonder if the green tea will have the same effect. 

Emotional Regulation

I feel guilty for buying the tea in a way because I wanted to only work with herbals for a long time. I wanted to quit caffeine because I knew it was hurting me. I made it caffeine free for about a month before becoming very sad for long periods of time. It turns out that caffeine helps me regulate my emotions. 

I know that’s not the healthiest way to do things, but as I am becoming healthier, I feel better all around without as much caffeine. I’ve been having fewer sad days. Sometimes I still do have sad days, but they’re largely due to things happening mostly outside of my control. It’s awesome to see the sadness going away for the most part. Someday I’ll be able to regulate my emotions without caffeine. 

The Caffeine Queen

Speaking of caffeine, I don’t know if the tea will do a ton for me as far as that goes, but I look forward to finding a blend that’s actually tasty. If I manage that, I may drink enough to actually be wired. That would be a good time. Combine that with eating fewer carbs and I may have enough energy to get me through the day without wanting to nap, even if I am sad.

I’m actually writing this while caffeinated. They don’t call me the Caffeine Queen for nothing. Tea gives me a different sort of boost that’s softer, while coffee of any sort shoots me straight into the stratosphere. That’s another reason I’m excited to try this tea and blend with it. Soft caffeine would be nice for a change, especially as I’m gaining more energy. 

The Question of Blends

I know that jasmine and mint go really well with green tea, but I really want to try hibiscus and mint with it. The problem with this is that I’m currently out of hibiscus and running low on mint. This is unfortunate. I’ll grab more hibiscus next month. I want to only buy one herb or tea per month just so I don’t go crazy buying herbs. I have a bad herb problem, we all know that! I also want to blend it with lavender. It would be awesome to swap the chamomile for the gunpowder green in Frankenstein’s Sleepytime Tea to make an It’s Alive! tea. The idea of lavender, green tea, mint, and lemongrass sounds delightful. I might throw in some anise, as well. It could be cool to blend it with spices, too. 

Do you like green tea? What’s your favorite blend? Let me know in the comments! Stay cool!

-E

How Do I Write For Myself? A Journey

How do I write for myself??

Hi, friends! I was writing in my favorite notebook yesterday. It turned into me documenting recipes. Some of them became very subjective and very snarky. Because I was sad at the time, I phrased the instructions in a way that would make me laugh. I wrote out several that way and gave them interesting names. To me, that’s one of the best ways to write.

Off the blog, I have a mouth like a sailor, so some choice language went into writing these recipes down. That made me laugh the most because there’s a large section of my brain that is 12, I swear. Oddly enough, when I use curse words in my writing, I find that I am most often writing for my own enjoyment. That’s a sacred thing. I do a lot of writing for OID, that’s for sure. It’s certainly informative, but is it written for my own enjoyment? Partly, but it doesn’t do much to make me laugh. Rather, it’s written for you, friends.

Why Do I Write?

That’s not to say that I love writing on here. It’s not intended for me and me alone, but that doesn’t stop me from loving what I write. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t post anything I wasn’t proud of. Writing here is one of the highlights of my day.

My friend Tori at the Less Than Perfect Life said that she’d like to see more of me in my posts, and I’m still working on how to do that. As I said in my previous post about hope, I’m not a natural optimist, especially when I write. There’s a tendency for my less-than-hopeful posts to become dark and depressing, so that’s why I haven’t spoken about my personal life that much. One of my readers called OID wholesome, and I want to uphold that reputation. So how can I strike a balance between my personal story and the wholesome nature of the blog? That’s the money question.

Question and Answer

I think it’s a matter of reframing my story. That’s something I have a lot of trouble with – telling it in a way that focuses on the good rather than the bad. I remember talking to my guides at one point about the nature of anger and one of them said “those who are angry are still in pain.” I’m getting chills just writing that. Am I still in pain, or have I healed? Before that, he said that I need to love everyone, regardless of whether or not I care about them. There are people who have taught me things and they need to be loved, too. That was mind blowing and very healing for me. I’d been dealing with a great deal of anger and that helped me get rid of some of it.

A great part of the positive side of my story is spiritual in nature. I have gone through a lot of spiritual growth recently, which is one of the things that led me to practice my craft. I have been beating myself up a lot, though, which has kinda put a wall between my guides and me. When I’m hating on myself, anything good people tell me about myself feels like a lie. They tell me good things and look like liars when they’re not. That’s unfair to them and to me. I need to write about and honor the positive sides of myself, too.

So What’s The Solution?

I don’t have a perfect solution right now because I’m still in a really hard place. I think that hard places are the best places to learn and grow in, though, because they’re where self care matters most, I think. I’ll do my best to write more about me, but it may take a bit to perfect it, you know?

Thank you for reading! Stay cool!
-E

The Radical Nature Of My Hope

Hello, all! As I write, I’m listening to Coldplay’s “Everything’s Not Lost” and that’s got me thinking both about beautiful piano parts and the nature of hope. Hope has been hard to come by for many people nowadays, it seems, and is almost a radical concept. I go on social media and I immediately sense despair. As an empath, it hurts like hell. It seems like everyone is thinking about the end of the world.

Social Media’s Hope

The more left-leaning people think about the world ending through climate change, while the right leaning people seem to almost hope for the end in the form of the Second Coming of Jesus. Both ideologies seem to think that the end is going to come across because of corruption at the hands of the other side. Everyone goes on about radical liberals, radical conservatives, but nowadays, it’s almost the most radical to have hope for a positive future.

I learned a long time ago that having hope and being happy is an act of courage. It’s far easier to be sad. It’s something I struggle with almost every day. I’m not a super happy person by nature unless I’m around people. I’m not very optimistic about the here and now. I do, however, have optimism for the future. I do believe that things that will be alright in the end, no matter what’s going on in the world. You may think I’m seeing the world through rose-colored glasses (and I probably am). I think things will be okay, even if life is hard right now.

The Strongest Belief

How can I say this? It’s one of my strongest beliefs that good things cannot exist without bad things, and vice versa. I believe that there must be balance in the universe, and in order to accomplish this, there must be good things along with bad things in our lives. So even if thing suck right now, they will get good again. Everything’s not lost. It never is. Quite literally, what I’m going through isn’t the end of the world. I’m simply partaking in the balancing of the universe.

Practicing Hope

I definitely think that hope takes practice to cultivate. It’s like all good things. There will be times where you lose sight of it. This is very hard, but again, realize that it’s a radical practice and you (and the universe) will be better for it.

So how can I better be a radical and practice hope?

  1. Accept and love myself for who I am. This is my biggest roadblock nowadays. I feel small and insignificant, and that’s not true. I’m a piece of the universe and I need to be extra careful to not insult myself. I am prone to doing that often.
  2. Cultivate patience. This is another thing I struggle with, but realizing that the universe is balanced was a big epiphany for me.
  3. Look for things to be thankful and hopeful for. I like keeping a running list of things I’m thankful for either in my head or on paper.

Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

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Intuition, Empathy, and Synesthesia In Cooking

Hello, fine friends! Welcome back to the blog! Today I have some cool things to discuss – intuition, empathy, my synesthesia, and how they relate to my path of life and the route I want to take with my craft.

I realized awhile back that I follow my intuition a lot while I’m cooking, sometimes more than I follow the recipe! For example, sometimes a dish is in progress and I taste it. I figure out from the flavor that it needs something like garlic, so I add what’s almost always the right amount of garlic.

It’s kind of weird, but it makes for delicious food. Another weird thing is that every dish I make has its own personality. Some foods are more finicky and needy than others, but I’m almost always able to empathize with them in a way. I realized this as I was cooking a scramble last night. I somehow intuitively know what to do to make it taste good.

Intuition at it finest!
The scramble!

Intuition In The Kitchen

I’m a better cook than baker and tea maker, but I enjoy doing all three. This could perhaps be because I don’t have a ton of practice with the tea yet and I don’t have the best audience for baked goods. My husband and housemates are a tough crowd for cookies and the like, but they are far more receptive when I cook dinner.

I am strongly intuitive as a general rule, and that can be frustrating when things don’t come as easily to me as breathing. I have a tendency to quit on activities when the going gets rough or it starts to get difficult. This is a dumb thing to do, I’m aware. It’s one of my spiritual assignments for that reason. Cooking, however, is one of the most meditative activities I can do regardless of how it turns out. There’s something special and almost artistic about cooking a big meal. So where does empathy come in?

Empathy and Cooking, What??

I’m an empath, many people have said. I feel what others are feeling. That can be very good or very bad, depending on the strength of the emotion that isn’t mine. Listening to people talk about things that have happened to them affects me the most. It’s like someone sticks me inside of the memory and I can’t get out, even after the discussion is over. I also struggle with picking up most social cues and have trained myself to function socially by going into situations assuming that everyone feels negatively towards me. That is kind of a backwards way of doing things, but it’s worked in a twisted sort of way for years. Empathy is my saving grace in social situations because I can pick up when something is off with people and act accordingly.

With food, however, it’s a combination of empathy, intuition, and even synesthesia, to some extent. If I’m able to understand what I’m cooking, I can understand what it wants, so to speak, just like I can with a person. The flavors take on shapes, too, which is very helpful. A lot of witchcraft resources talk about casting spells or setting intentions while you cook, but I often forget to do that. For me, the act of cooking is magical. I feel connected to what I make spiritually, whether it takes two hours or ten minutes to make. It’s one of my favorite activities.

Putting Everything Together

How do these gifts relate to my craft? The short answer is, they’re everything to me. All of them are blessings and curses. When they unite in cooking, however, they are great allies to have. Flavors get translated the same way as music does in my mind – in structure, shape, and color. This is incredibly helpful because it helps determine what flavors I like and how well they match. Intuition tells me where to go and empathy tells me what to do while I’m getting there.

I think it’s so important to have empathy and intuition when working with anything magical. You don’t have to be casting grandiose spells, in my opinion. You can if you want to, but I don’t think it’s mandatory. I like what Marie Kondo has to say. To paraphrase: if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Intuition and empathy in my craft are, however, indispensable.

Thank you for reading! Stay cool!
-E

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Blending Tea For Other People: A Joyful Activity

Hey, all! I’m sorry there wasn’t a post yesterday! I was out of the house from 8:45 AM until midnight and I cannot currently post from my phone. I will do better about time management. Let’s not linger here much longer. I’m here to talk about a much more joyful activity – blending tea for other people.

Yesterday was my husband’s and my date/run around town day, and we ended up making it an extended double date with our friends, another couple. They’re awesome. We went to an 80s-themed party that night and I played keep-away with balloons like I was a little kid. I love keep-away. My husband and one of our friends joined in and it was hilarious.

Fireside Books and The Boreal Herbal

Before all of this went down, my husband took me to a bookstore called Fireside Books where I got a book called the Boreal Herbal. It’s all about foraging for and harvesting herbs that grow in our area. I was interested, so I got it. It’s about the size of a small textbook and contains plant profiles, recipes, and other things to do with the herbs you find. I thought it was frickin’ cool, so I bought it.

I’ve started marking up the book and making it my own! Don’t worry, though, I still am creating tea blends with dried herbs. I ran out of chamomile yesterday creating a blend for a friend. It contained jasmine, chamomile, honeysuckle, lemongrass, vervain, and lemon. It was a hit.

Blending tea for a friend.
The blend in question.

Blending Tea Is A Joy

I love handcrafting blends for people. It’s a very special process, one that’s as personal and unique as the person I’m making the blend for. I love smelling the tea blend as it comes together. This last blend was heavenly. My friend she could taste the jasmine sweetness at the end of a sip. Seeing people’s reactions to the blends I make them mean a lot to me, even if their reactions are negative. I really need to start keeping a log of the recipes on note cards as I work on them.

I find that it’s easier to blend in larger quantities if I want to be able to replicate them. Of course, there are times when I just want tea, so I pour some herbs into a pot and they are yummy. If I want to really treat it like science, though, I need to be more careful about documenting recipes as I come up with them.

I’m so glad that I texted another friend a recipe for the blend I made for someone who really enjoyed theirs. It was:

Hibiscus + lemongrass + allspice + cinnamon + peppermint (a tiny bit).

There, now it’s written down. I just need to write down the ratios. I’ll get to that the next time I make the blend.

Conclusion

If you want a recipe of your very own, please email me and I’ll get on that. My email is orderindiscord@outlook.com.

I’m currently out of hibiscus and chamomile, so that might slow things down. Write to me, though!

Love, E

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