Thursday, August 30, 2012

Preggo Safe Smudges

I ran into a issue a couple weeks ago concerning smudgings and pregnancy.  Normally I smudge the house with sage every 3 months, kicking out negative, unfriendly energies and spirits, and allowing positive and good ones to stay.  I lay down the ground rules and light candles in thanks for those Spirits who remain to watch over us, guide us, and so on.  Spirits can stay in our home as long as they're cool, don't try to scare us or cause trouble.  Respect, both ways.

But since being preggo, I came across a lot of non-safe herbs.  I know most of them were "do not ingest (in large amounts)" and others concerned the oils, in terms of not letting it soak into your skin...or so some sites told me, especially essential oils.  I decided, "Okay, I won't cook, ingest, anoint, or burn them in any form."  Which sadly includes many of my favorite herbs, such as Lavender, Rosemary, and Chamomile.  I'm going through withdraws....like sushi.  And my favorite to smudge with, Sage and Lavender.  Oh, am I having Lavender withdraws, from cooking with it, to anointing myself with it, to drinking it.  It's not fair.  :-(  But I'll live.  It like not having sushi, I will live.  I'll probably drown myself in it when baby is born, but I'll live. 

I couldn't use Fennel or Basil either, as they were on my no-no list.  So for me and my fears, they're completely off limits until this kid is born.  I've read of some mom's who continued to use some herbs regardless, be them either not knowing, not caring (perhaps they used it before with another pregnancy or knew another who did without a problem).  Then again, there are doctors who are against using any type of honey.  And some herbs haven't been researched.   Some experts are more anal than others, as I'm learning.  Just be careful.  I'm not an expert, I'm just telling my experience.  What works for some, doesn't work for others!

Okay, I had to reach into my Witchy File of safe preggo herbs and things for purification.  Really had to revisit old lessons and correspondences.  Apparently I was a little rusty, I mean, if something works, one doesn't tend to go back for other methods.  And found that like many Witches, I had nothing concerning pregnant women.  So...I do now, from both Witch sources, herbalists, and doctor sources.  Yep, I'll soon have added a Preggo Safe chapter in my Pagan Parenting binder (being sure to update when need be). 

These are just a few suggestions (of smudgings and cleansings), there are many other combinations and things you can try.  Concerning herbs or oils, be sure to ask your doctor, midwife, local herbalists, someone who actually knows what they're talking about, and cross check your sources.  

  • Smudge with Rose incense
  • Anoint windows with Rose Oil or Water
  • Anoint/sprinkle with Magikal Waters (get creative, making magikal waters is easy, depending on your method; can be as simple as collecting river water, rain water, or leaving a jar out in sun or moonlight).
  • Sprinkle cleansed water around your home.
  • Place Quartz in each room to draw the negative energies into them (though I was worried that the Quartz may also amplify the energies).  I know that there's several different types of Quartz, as I mostly work with Amethyst and Rose Quartz, but others I'd read about I hadn't worked with, so I wasn't sure, and being pregnant, I didn't want to experiment too much.  I'd much rather wait until after the baby's born before I experimented.  Call me a worry wart!  But having had a miscarriage, I don't want to take any chances. 
  • Use a Rattle to dispell the energies.  But I was worried that the rattle would chase away all the energies, the good and the bad.  Another tool that I own, but I haven't worked with it too much to really get a feel and an understanding.  Then again I didn't work with Sage for the longest time, due to its qualities of cleansing ALL energies.  I was a Sweet Grass girl.  But a friend said that as long as you're firm in saying which should go and which should stay, you shouldn't have a problem with keeping what/who you want.  Rattle might be the same way.  Heck a lot of these methods that I'm nervous about trying are probably that way....
  • Salt each corner
  • Using salt and a broomstick to "sweep" away the negativity.  Or just using a broomstick.
  • Home Wards outside of the home, which I have a Witches Bottle and Mirror Wards, and I was confident in their success, but I was concerned with Spirits or energy that may already exist within.  As in when I set up the wards, I didn't smudge the house before.  
  • Anoint with Olive Oil
  • Place black stones/gems in the home to draw or reflect negativity back.  Using these in combination with other stones to promote good vibes in your home.  (cleanse them once in a while)
  • Have a "sit down" with the Spirits and lay down the ground rules.  Command those unwelcomed to leave with your voice and conviction.  Ask other Spirits to watch over and protect your home from negative energies and Spirits.  (I do this when I smudge)


In revisiting these "safe" methods, I just wasn't happy with any of them.  None of them really vibed with me.  Then as I'm researching, I smell Dragon's Blood.  Spirits work in mysterious ways.  I just kept smelling it.  Had no idea where it was coming from and didn't question it.  It's my favorite oil to anoint with, aside from Lavender, and it's one of the first oils I started working with, aside from Olive Oil.

I googled whether or not Dragon's Blood, or Cinnabar, was safe for pregnant use.  I couldn't find much about it.  Either it hadn't been researched or it was fine.  I mean, I scoured the web to make sure I could use it, like I wasn't going to anoint myself with it or anything, but I just wanted to make sure it was safe. Safe to breathe in and everything. 

Cool, I can use it, then I realized that I didn't have anything about it in my files....WTF?  I'd just always used it for sacred matters, candle anointings, and protection.  So away to the web of knowledge I went.  The first place I went (and cross checked and found very little on) was dherbs.com:

  • Miscarriage Prevention
  • Protection from negative energies and Spirits
  • Purification
  • Space clearing- the resin is more powerful than Sage.  According to the site, if you place the powder in the center of a little mound of salt (on a dish) and light it, the smoke can be used to smudge each room.  "Make sure you actually go outside of the front door.  There you can put out the smoke." 
  • Burn Dragon's Blood Incense; for strong presences, to use it in combination with "Sage, Lavender, White Copal, Frankincense, and Myrrh".

I thought this was pretty darn interesting, especially since I'd caught the "phantom" scent.  I'd thanked whomever waft it my way and dug out my oil burner.  I have resin, but I didn't want to burn any because my fire-safe smudge dishes are packed away; so I made some oil instead.  And I like making/using oil more than burning herbs/resins that I don't have too much of.  Oils tends to last longer around me.  I put the some of the resin in a base oil of olive and let it sit for in a dark place for a day (7 all together after I used a bit).  I thought if smoke from burning herbs was good for smudgings, why not smoke from the herb's oil?  In my 17 years of being a Witch, I'd never thought of it....makes me smile at the simplicity.

I poured the oil into the dish, added some water, and lit it.  Did my smudging, was a happy Witch, and enjoyed(ing) the cleansed positive energy of our home.  (One can add water to the oil to have it last longer.)  I don't burn the oil all the time, will probably do so once a month to every three, or whenever I feel that the apartment needs it. 

I love it when the Spirits aren't shy to give a bit of advice...or aroma...when needed. 

~)O(~

Hm

Weird, not all of the comments are showing up on my posts....  I only saw both when I checked my email.  But I don't have anything "approval needed", at least not what I'm seeing.  And I don't have this problem with my other blogs.

Blogger...what's up? So far, it's only two comments, but come on, I love reading them!  I don't like only seeing 50%. 

Maybe it's a glitch?  Hopefully it'll fix itself. 

~)O(~
Ugh, I'm so gassy this morning!  Totally interrupting my beauty sleep!  Preggo gas?  Or ate too much mashed potatoes gas?  Who knows?  Either way, I'm awake, when all I wanna do is SLEEP!  At least my hips aren't keeping me awake, like earlier this week.  I had hoped, due to having wide "child-bearing hips" I wouldn't have hip pain, but loe and behold, I have.  But doubling up of pillows between the legs really does work. 

I think my mom was right in saying, "Nausea and vomiting goes away in the second trimester," whereas I kept telling her, "Oh, no, I think it's actually getting worse!"  I haven't been nauseous since Sunday and I've only dry heaved a few times--once yesterday.  Thought I was going to lose my subway!  Fingers crossed!

Ooo, was having some serious growing pains yesterday, now the aches are beginning to stretch up into my belly button area, as the uterus grows.  It's pretty exciting and I can't wait until I start to show, though being plus size I probably won't show for a couple months.  I really can't wait until I can feel Little Wren kicking more, even if he/she is doing chin ups with my rib cage. 

My mom, who I think romanticized her pregnancies a lot a bit (though every pregnancy is different), said, "Great, you're first pregnancy is going to be a miserable one."   Yeah it hasn't been a breeze, but I wouldn't say miserable.  I've been wanting this since last summer.  I'm extremely thankful for the little life inside.  I'm looking more to the pleasant surprises than the unpleasant ones....like no matter how much water I drink or fiber I eat I'm still constipated....blah.  I'm eating healthier than I ever have in my 28 years, so that's not the issue, it's just hormones.  Not to mention the preggo brain and the pee sneezes, which will only get worse!  But those are kind of funny....right now anyway...until just blinking makes me pee....I should probably invest in some liners soon.

I can't wait until the hubby can see and feel Little Wren, too!  That way he can see that putting up with my swinging moods (though mostly have been apathy) and crazy cravings have been worth it.  He's really excited too; I'm not the only one who sprung a leak when seeing the baby on the ultrasound screen!  Though he's benefiting from my increased libido (though sometimes, due to cervix sensitivity, sex is painful and not always an option), I've been making sure to show him my love and appreciation in other ways.  Like surprising him with back rubs/scratches, baked treats, and delicious meals.  And telling him how much I love him everyday.  Makes it all worth it, especially when we're cuddling and he says, "I've got my whole world  right here," in his arms.  He's a great man and is going to be a great father. 


In other news, I'm 20 weeks today! Which means not only am I half way there, but there's only one more week until we learn the gender!  Really excited, and hoping that this week flies by.  We're taking bets as to what the gender is, and the odds are stacked against me.  Both mom and hubby are using that "carrying low" wives tale against me.  And hubs thinks he's hot shit since guessing the gender of our newborn niece correctly.  Yep, when he got home late Monday night, he not only predicted that our his SIL was going to have the baby soon, but that it was also going to be a girl.  And a girl it was, as Gabriella Clementine Wren was born at 4:58 am on Tuesday.  Which is funny because the mom was sure it was going to be a boy. 

Well, I feel I've blogged long enough....maybe I can fall asleep now, eh? 

~)O(~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baby's Altar

A couple of years ago, in Witchcraft & Practical Magic, I came across a picture of an altar dedicated to "the stages of childhood" (373).  It had the picture of the infant sitting on a book or an album, with a teddy bear, a pair of booties, and a lit pink candle.  I loved it, and not just because I'm a lover of altars and shrines.  I thought it was a great idea for my own little wrens.

August 2012
  • Wolf Spirit Statue- Guardian; She helped me when I dealt with the miscarriage and I still feel Her watching over us.  Also one of the Lunar animals for January is the Wolf.
  • Ultrasound
  • Bunny toy that I've had for well over 20 years.  Like the Goddess Dream, this little bunny toy was a reoccurring element.  An element I chose over a tiny baby toy I got from my SIL's baby shower.
  • Amethyst- Peace and Healing.
  • Rose Quartz- Love and Beauty.
  • Garnet- Protection and January's Birthstone.
  • Sea Turtle Hatchling- Followed my intuition on that choice. 

I rinsed each stone in running water, then charged them with the energies I wanted for the child, and held them to my bump, focusing the energy into the womb, surrounding Little Wren with it.  I asked Wolf to watch over and protect our growing baby, and charged the altar with protection and love.  While I burned Dragon's Blood oil for its purifying and protective qualities (that and I kept smelling it when trying to think of a safer alternative to sage for smudging our home.  The Spirits know best!).

A fellow Aries and Pagan mom suggested adding Carnelian (a favorite stone of mine) for some added "fire" power for its positive attributes.  A stone I've cleansed and empowered with Protection, Strength, Courage, and Love; qualities for me to draw on when I need them, during this pregnancy, labor, "and beyond".  I may turn it into a necklace later, but for now, it's good sitting between Wolf and Bunny. 

I'll be adding to the altar as time goes by, such as the second ultrasound, any early gifts from family, and I would like to make a tree from clay.   My plan is to use this altar for the stages of Rylie/Lycan's life, adding milestones to the tree through carvings, paintings, and charms.  One day, hopefully pass this altar off to them when they're ready.  Or least give them the trinkets from this altar as keepsakes.  I already plan on not only keeping a scrapbook but also adding the pictures of their altar to it.

We'll see how that goes.  :-)

~)O(~

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dreaming of Goddess


I keep having dreams of a Hestia statue that I've been wanting.... Nothing significant, just Her sitting on a table with flowers and stones and an oil dish of lavender. Surrounded by warm colors of pink, orange, and lavender. In it, this kid in my belly is about 4-years-old, healthy and happy, running about. The dream itself has a warmth and a sacred feeling about it. This is the 3rd night I've had this dream. Wonder what, if anything, She's trying to tell me?
I also get the feeling that it's a combination of Hestia and Mary....like it's the statue, but with the colors of my Madonna picture.  The scene radiates with warmth, love, and compassion.

I walk from one room, following my laughing child, and take a moment to gaze upon the shrine at the end of the hall.  Seeing the details, the sunlight illuminating the colors.  I smile, then wake up.

Hm.
(also posted on The Dreamscape)
~)O(~

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ashamed of the Name?

The hubby asked me something the other night about the name selected for our first boy.  He asked if I was ashamed of it.  I already have names picked out, for both girls and boys.  Each is different in its own way, as I'm not a lover of common or Biblical names.  Nor overly Pagan names.  We wanted names we loved.

For a girl, I've chosen Rylie (rye-lee).  LOVE this name.  And for a boy, we've picked Lycan.  I do like that name, being a lover of Lycanthropes.  To me it's powerful name, one that hubby hopes becomes a football or hockey player: Lycan Wren.  Some big hulking mountain of a man.  A beast of sorts.

It was my first choice until I fell in love with the names Victor and Vincent.  I wanted one of those instead, but caved and allowed my husband to choose our son's name.  Something we both agreed on.  I picked the girls, he should pick the boys.

Anytime someone asks, "Do you have names picked out?"  I give the girl's name, but for the boy, I only give the middle name, saying we haven't decided on the first name yet.  It's not that I'm ashamed of the name, I just don't want to be criticized for it.  I don't want people to try and change my mind.  And I don't want the pressure.  I'd much rather keep it a secret for now.  In the meanwhile, people will give their own names....mostly common and Biblical.  And even though I keep saying I don't want a junior, they keep giving my husband's name.  Annoying.

Shame would mean that I don't like the name, and I do like it.  But as a first born son, I was leaning towards Victor.  Then again, the original boy's name I wanted, hubby shot down right away.  I wanted Nathan and he wanted Nathaniel.  I don't want that name because I have a cousin with that name and I don't care for redundancy as a first name.  But there were names he liked that I shot down as well, like Damein, Dante, and Artemis....which to me, Artemis is a chick, and I don't want to name our kids after deities. 

Eh, it's a compromise.  Who knows if Little Wren is even a boy?  Personally I'm leaning towards little Rylie.  But I guess we'll know for sure on the 6th.  :-)

~)O(~

The Big News is Out!

Glimpse into the Wren's Nest page provides the photo of our, then, 18 week fetus.  I knew I was pregnant about two weeks after my missed period in May.  I'm very regular and in touch with my body.  I had been feeling different and my boobs hurt ALL THE TIME!!!   Not to mention nauseous and exhausted!  Told the husband, first, of course, because we've been trying.  Two weeks exactly to the date of being late, my mom knew it.  "Kris, you pregnant?"  "Kris, I think you're pregnant."  "Kris, you pregnant."  There was no hiding it from her!  Momma was on it!

Sometime in here, I told my BFF, so she'd know why I was moody, distance, and dry heaving all the time. 

Due to having miscarried once, I was nervous.  I didn't want to get attached to the embryo at such an early stage only to have something happen again, yet I was taking folic acid and starting to eat healthier.  In week 9, I took a generic EPT test at home and it was positive, so I started taking Women's One-a-Day Prenatal Vitamins and keeping track of my symptoms.  Normally I'm not a superstitious person--"But you're a Witch?"--but concerning this child, I didn't do or take anything that I had with the first pregnancy.  We changed my prenatal vitamins, no generic antacids (actually I haven't taken any antacids yet), no prego yoga, and it helps that I'm not living in my dad's house, so no stress or breathing in cigarette smoke all the time!  And I'm actually able to eat healthier, too!  With the exception of my mom and BFF, we didn't tell anyone until after the first trimester, whereas the first time, we told very few people as soon as we learned (after our first doctor's appointment). 

My husband and I went to the Women's Clinic and they confirmed it, as well as gave us references to hospitals and clinics that would work with us because we had no insurance.  They also gave us sources to seek counseling for the miscarriage, a step that my first doctor didn't bother with.  Although we didn't attend, as my mood was much lighter, we were grateful for their aid and care. 

As the weeks progressed, I was getting more comfortable with being pregnant, and allowed myself to form a bond with the growing child.  By week 14, I was out of the Danger Zone, for the most part, and really allowed myself to accept and fall in love with the fetus.  With Little Wren.

Last week, in our 18th week, I was super nervous.  I was scared that it was going to be like my first ultrasound, when there was nothing there....  And my mom didn't know know why I was so nervous, because I still haven't told her about the miscarriage.  I'm going to wait until Little Wren is born before I tell her.  Because I don't want her to focus on it, though I know she won't because she's getting another grandbaby, but I just don't want any sadness during this time.

Laying on that table, after being squirted with that hot gel (and it was hot!), fear crept over me when I didn't see anything at first.  Then movement.  When the tech was able to find the fetus, I cried tears of pure joy.  Little Wren was wriggling and moving.  Beating it's arms against the pressure from the wand.  Little Wren was not digging it.  It turned to face us and she took the picture.   The tech tried and tried to get Little Wren to move around and stretch out, but the kid wasn't having it.  She said, "This baby is stubborn!"  In which I replied, "Awwww, just like it's mommy!"

My uterus had untilted.  I have an anterior placenta, which I'm not worried about.  Placenta's move around a lot and anterior means that the placenta is resting in the front, giving me "extra padding", instead of in the back.  The only problem will be if it's a partial or previa placenta by the time I go into labor (I think that's what it's called), but it's when the placenta is covering the cervix.  If that happens I'll have to have a c-section.  Which honestly, I could go either way.  Just as long as we're both healthy and happy.

As for Little Wren, it's thigh and abdomen measured a week ahead in size compared to its head.  Which is funny because when the tech got us for the ultrasound, she took a look at us: Hubby who's 6'3 and me who's 6'2.5 and said, "This baby's going to be huge."   Which isn't surprising because both my brother and I (we're the tallest in our families) and my husband (who's the second tallest in his family) were very long babies!  My niece, brother's daughter, is only 2 years old and yet she's wearing 4-year-old clothes.  Yeah, definitely got a giant batch of kids coming from us, lol!

When I saw that baby moving, I said, "I knew I felt a kick on Sunday."  A kick, a odd thudding, a push from the inside out, that caused me to exclaim, "What the fuck was that?!"  I knew it wasn't gas, I mean, I've got IBS and I know what bubble guts feel like, this was unlike anything I'd ever felt!  It was awesome.

She gave me the print out and I said, "It's kind of creepy.  Looks like a Predator Mask."  Hubby said it looks like the Punisher skull.  Though it kind of resembles those aliens from Independence Day too, sans the armor.  lol

After the doctor's appointment on Wednesday, we told his brother on Friday (hubby'd already told his sister a month ago, when asking if there was anything "cure" for nausea.  Which there's not, I could've told him that!).  Then Saturday, had a cook out over at my mom's.  She and my step dad already knew.  But as my brother was talking about something, my mom said, "Hey Kris, don't you have a picture to show Brandon?"  I shoved the frame in his face, lol.  "Oh wow, is this what I think it is?"

My step dad said that the ultrasound looks like the Gladiator mask.  It was a good laugh.

After mom's we went to his mom's, who was beyond elated.  It was awesome.  Dave had called her before hand, saying, that he had a problem that could put him in some hot water and that he needed to show her something to get her thoughts on it.  He totally had her worried!  He's such a butthead!  But it was worth it, especially when she smacked him.

Over to my dad's we went, and preggo brain is preventing me from remembering how we broke the news to them.  Dave handed them the frame.  It was fun, too, until dad lit up a cigarette.  But you know.  Sunday, my step mom yelled at him about smoking around me.  So it was nice that I didn't have to do it.  Even though it didn't last long.  But it's going to present it's own problems that I'll talk about later.  It was Sunday, that we told some other of my dad's side....during my cousin's wedding, which I didn't want to do because it's their day, but.  I was exhausted yesterday.  I slept through some of the ceremony and more than half of the reception.  But at least people knew why.  lol

Then this morning, I posted the ultrasound on Facebook with a simple headline of "EDA: January 17, 2013."  EDA meaning "Estimated Day of Arrival".  On September 6th, we learn the gender of Little Wren, as well as get to see that everything, bones and organs, are developing correctly.  I'm excited.  my husband and mom want a boy and me and my step mom want a girl.  Fingers crossed that this mommy gets what she wants!  I'm over on TheBump.com, and I'm really hoping that the Chinese Gender Chart really is as accurate as the site claims.  lol  But I'll obviously love the child regardless!

So yeah, look forward to me journaling about my pregnant experience, including hopes, dreams, wishes, and fears.  Up at the top is my Links page, where I provide websites, bloggers, and articles about Pagan Parenting.

~)O(~

Sunday, August 26, 2012

No Conflict in Interest Here!

Also found on my Book of Mirrors blog:

Last night, I had a talk with my neighbor about my path.  Her husband follows Islam, so she's adopted it as well.  She was curious about if there would be a difference in religion between my husband and myself concerning children.

"What is Wicca about?"

"Well, I'm not Wiccan.  I'm just a Witch."

I explained to her how my path is different from Wicca (and how not all Wiccans are Witches and vice versa), and said that Witchcraft (for me) isn't a religion, it's just a Witch's craft.  Many see it differently, many see it as a religion.  To each their own.  As well as different interpretation on what magik is and that I take a more scientific approach to what magik is.  Which I see it as energy.  I work with energies.  Energies of the elements, energies of herbs, of stones, of oils, of Spirits, of the Moon, of the Sun, of myself.  I'm an Animist, I believe that everything has a soul, a spirit....thus, energy.  How I didn't see much difference between casting a spell or praying.  You're both working towards change of some type.  With most Witches, we tend to work with correspondences, items who's energy will aid in our intent, giving the spell or ritual strength and thus, a better outcome.

Kind of like how a Catholic may pray with beads, and/or pray at an altar.  Gives them focus.  The prayer beads are objects of power, a connection to their deity and/or Saints.  Just as a Witch's tools give us focus, connection to our deities and/or Spirits; just as an altar or shrines gives some Witches and Pagans.  Tools connect us to our inner strengths.

She asked what kind of witchcraft I do, and I answered with, "I'm a Kitchen Witch, which means I work with energies in foods and drinks, mostly empowering them with love, good health, and things of that nature.  Outside of the kitchen, I mainly do protection magik around the home and for our car."  Giving a very vague answer, but the point got through.  I wasn't going to tell her what else I do...

"Does it work?"

"I think so.  It's about having faith in yourself, your knowledge, and your beliefs; faith is a major component in any religion.  Wouldn't you agree?"

Seeing that she was getting a little confused between Witchcraft and my spirituality, I said that technically I'm Pagan, which is someone of a non-Abrahamic faith.  Though some interpret it as being "Earth-Based" though others would argue--seeing "Pagan" as I see it, as there are Pagans who don't revere or even give a crap about their connection with the Earth, like some Satanists for example.  I like my definition better.  I told her that Pagan is an umbrella term, like Witch or Christian.

Then she asked about my husband, and I said that he's not a Witch, as in he doesn't practice Witchcraft--he just leaves it up to me.  He's a Heathen--another umbrella term--but his deity, his god is Odin.  I said that I was more spiritual than he is, which is true.  I'm more ritualistic in my spiritual and daily activities, such as wearing my veil (which isn't much different than the coverings worn by some Christians/Catholic, Jews, or Muslims.  For the most part our wearing is similar though, like anything, people will have their own reasonings).  Whereas my husband's more laid back (even compared to other Heathens!).  He has his ways of revering Odin and his own forms of "offerings", in terms of acting in accordance with a code of ethics called the Nine Noble Virtues:


Courage
Discipline
Fidelity
Honor
Hospitality
Industriousness
Perseverance
Self-Reliance
Truth
A code of ethics that we want to teach our children together. 

In terms of our children, there won't be any problems as far as how we'll raise our kids.  We'll raise them Pagan, then as they get older, let them decide what they want to explore and pursue.  If they choose to be a Witch, I'll train and educate them.

We started talking about how many religions are similar and how she and my step mom agree with allowing your children to choose their path.  All in all, a great conversation.  It was great to be able to explain about our paths, so it doesn't seem so alien or fantastic to her.  She was able to see that it was less Hollywood and more grounded.  I'm glad she asked me instead of asking someone else!
~)O(~

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Helping a Friend

A Pagan friend of mine is planning her baby shower.  Well, her and her mom, which I'll call Vi and Lady.  Though they don't quite know the gender of said baby, she's not too much into gender bias, especially with colors.  But her mom, on the other hand, is old fashioned, I guess one could say.  Not to mention, my friend is the only girl in her family, so her mom is super duper excited; totally wants to pimp the baby shower out with pink or blue.  Vi's going to let her mom have some fun with this pink and blue business, because she's the only girl, but as long as she's not walking into a completely pinked out palace fit for a stereotypical princess!

I suggested to Vi that she choose two colors, using pink or blue as accents....so purple and pink for a girl, and green and blue for a boy.  Plus, they go with the overall theme of the baby's room Vi has her eyes set on:  Girl and Boy.  Or to use any combination of those colors, as she'll be finding out the baby's gender early September. 

Vi hasn't run it passed Lady yet, but so far, she likes the idea.  Lady already has location, menu, date, and just about everything else already planned, which surprised both of us!  So of course, Vi's got other concerns, like having her step mom involved (making sure her feelings aren't hurt), invitations, theme, and other things.  This morning, she and I sat down and started planning for the baby shower too, doing things that perhaps Lady hasn't thought of yet. 

Neither of us have ever done a baby shower, though we've been to our share.  

First was party favors.  Being Pagan, Vi really wants some elements of her faith in this shower.  So one of her ideas was giving a Rose Quartz tumbled stone to each guest, with a little something about it, like it's connection to beauty, healing, and love and tying that in with family.  But not in such a way that will scare off the non-Pagans and Witches who'll be present.  Also not overloading it with too much religious stuff. 

Vi's also thinking about setting up a baby's altar at the party, but disguising it so people don't get freaked out.  Including things like the ultrasound, a candle, a letter to the child from the parents, a frame for the guests to sign, some flowers, and things that correspond to the due date and month.  As well as a statue of her Matron Goddess.  It's an altar that she already has set up in her home, sending protecting, good health, and love, and it doesn't look like the traditional altar or shrine.   But it's also very pretty with a lot of meaning!

Which brought up her next issue, Religion.  Some of her family are quite religious and she's worried that they'll, even though it's coming from a good place, she doesn't want any religious gifts.  She's afraid that some of them will try to influence her children with their own religious views, as many hold the belief of needing to "save" their loved ones.  Vi's told them that she's a Pagan and plans on having a Paganing for their child (which is like a Christianing); this obviously upset some of her family.  I had assured her to stand firm and tall; it's her child, not theirs.  Just talk to them.  If they don't want to listen and learn, it's their loss.  It's not her fault that they're choosing to put a religious wedge between themselves and her family. 

As she knows, I've dealt with my own drama concerning religion for my Handfasting.  So I've got some experience in dealing with large family drama and big events.  So I said to just write it down at the bottom of the invitation, if she's that worried: Please no religious gifts.  It's a suggestion and right now, she seems pretty happy with it.  But we'll see. 

Invitations and theme, we'll get to that when the gender is learned.

The next issue is her mom.  Lady is controlling, she and Vi both are.  It's amazing we're all friends, since we're all Aries....   And we do butt heads!  Her mom's got it all figured out...forgetting Vi's step mom and the godmother she's picked.  Her step mom's knows a great cake maker, and Vi really really wants a custom cake, but the problem is getting her mom to agree.  Plus it'll be a way that her step mom (who's childless, so this will be her own baby shower as a mother figure) can be part of the planning.  So I said, "Talk to your mother.  Remind her about your step mom's involvement."  I also told her to see if her step mom wanted to be in charge of the prizes and things, and let her BFF/child's godmother be in charge of the games. 

Planning can only go so far, as Vi needs to talk a lot of things out with her mom.  BUT at least we've hammered out some things.  And I've reminded her that by the time of the baby shower, she's going to be in her third trimester, she doesn't want a whole lot of responsibilities.  Let others help her.  Let others do this party for her.  It's a party for her and her child, she doesn't need to have a say in everything, except for making sure there's food there she can eat. 

Maybe it's because I'm controlling too, but I understand where she's coming from, in terms of not wanting a whole lot of religious things represented, but also wanted bits of her faith in this thing, or to be drowning in one stereotypical color.  AND wanting certain people to feel like they're a part of the festivities.

Vi and Lady will be talking this Saturday, so we'll see how that goes...

~)O(~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baby Book

Sometime last year, I was curious about baby keepsake books. Personally, I love them and wish my mom had kept one for me; luckily hubby's mom kept one for him.  I had googled and googled for Pagan and Witch themed baby books with no luck.  One of my readers had commented, linking me to someone who had actually made one (I've since lost the link and am unable to find it again).  But it got me thinking, how come there aren't more Pagan/Witch themed baby keepsake books?  I dunno.  Perhaps they're just out-dated? Perhaps there's no demand?  No publisher to print one?  Or maybe more and more Pagan parents are just making their own? 

Last year, with my first pregnancy, I had found and bought a typical baby book.  I worked on filling some bits out and was really excited.  But after the miscarriage, it just sits, hidden away on my book shelf.  Serving as a bad reminder to a terrible time.  But I've got babies on the brain again, and I've been looking for sites for my links page for those interested, and once again, I can't find anything.  I'm at a loss. 

I'm a list-maker and a cataloger.  I like order--which I'm sure will change when we have fledglings--and organization.  My Book of Shadows, Book of Mirrors, Pagan Parenting, and Kitchen Witchety Binder's are all neat and orderly, complete with a Table of Contents, chapter tabs, and everything (part of my CDO).  That way when I need something, I can find it.  Easy peasy.  Using my baby book, hubby's baby book, and the Wiccan site as an outline (that I made when I first found it), I created my own baby book outline. 

I think for the next kid, instead of purchasing a book and just filling out the pages, I'm going to make a scrapebook instead.  I'm a little rusty, scrapebook wise, but luckily one of my friends is HUGE into the world of scrapebook hobbies.  She's got the Cricket and a room dedicated and everything.  Needless to say, I've got a "mentor".  That way, I can make my own lists and milestones, with the mundane and the magikal, with an ancestral page, a baby blessing, pictures, and everything (especially if we decide to do a Paganing).  I'm pretty excited and I've already got the plans in motion in my head.  In my head and in the form of written and picture outlines. 

So come on conception!

You know...I could probably check etsy.....I know there are some shops dedicated to Pagan families and kids, so why not keepsakes?  I'll do that later and link yall back.

Blessings!

~)O(~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What The Wren's Nest is About

A new blog that'll be dedicated to Pagan Parenting, through the Wren Family's journey.  But what can a childless hopeful bring to the Parenting plate?  Well, not much in terms of first hand parenting experience, but I can bring links to other PP sites and bloggers, as well as fun crafts and recipes.  I've been compiling a binder of sources, tips, recipes, books, and crafts for some time (in preparation for our own little fledgling).  Now granted most are from the Family Fun Magazine, but what can I say, I love it; they have so many cool crafts and fun recipes.

Luckily, I've got 5 nieces and nephews to try some of these activities out on!

I'll also include ideas, plans, hopes, fears, and dreams (it'll be interesting to see how these compare to reality).  And when I am finally gifted with our own bundle, this blog will be used as a journal.  Including ALL the details; the good, the bad, and the ugly!  I figure truth, no matter how gross, is better than sugar-coating.  I'll also be exploring our family trees, the different cultures, religions, and traditions they held.  I want to incorporate some of our ancestors traditions in with our own, too, instead of letting them be lost in this Digital Age.

Since wanting children, how to raise them in a more Pagan way has been on my mind a lot, especially in the last few years since meeting the man I knew I was going to be handfasted to.  Raising them to be Pagan is very important and honestly, I don't see any other way to go about it, as my husband is a Heathen and I'm a Witch.  Now granted, the rest of our family are a mixture of faiths, predominately Christian, so they'll be exposed to other faiths, including other religions and cultures we plan on teaching them. 

When they reach a certain age, if they choose to explore other religions and Pagan paths, we're fine with it.  If they want to become a Witch, I'll teach them about the different traditions, types, and from my own path. 

And I plan on enriching their lives with heritage, as honoring our ancestors and their traditions is important to my practice - a practice that I wish my family had instilled in us when we were kids.  But celebrating Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving were the only traditions we had (which had very little emphasis on Christianity).  There was virtually no emphasis on our ancestors, at least not until we were adults and had the internet at our fingertips.  My brother and I love to learn about our bloodline, he more focused on the male side, and me on the female side.  And let's be honest, the kids probably won't be all that interested until they're adults, if at all, unless they're like their mom and uncle. 


It wasn't until I met my brother's ex-wife that I was exposed to some Southern traditions, such as the Christmas Pickle, and at Thanksgiving, they passed around a kernel and said what they're thankful for.  Very cool, by the way.  Traditions that won't be incorporated into our own, given that we won't be celebrating those holidays.  Which I'm sure will bring with it it's own family drama and compromises.  But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So that's what this blog is going to be about, roughly.  No doubt it won't be as active, at least until I enter the Mothering phase, but who knows?  I've got a lot on my mind. But I'll go ahead and redirect yall to my post on Aut-yum Leaves (it's a Family Fun recipe).

~~~~~~~~~

I just realized with our address of "Wren's Family Medicine" that some may, at first, think pharmacists?  But I chose it with Wren Medicine in mind.  If you're familiar with me or my other blog, Book of Mirrors, you'll know that working with Animal Spirits and their signs is very important to my practice.  According to Animal Spirit Totems, this is what Wren Medicine is all about:

 "Wren represents a new period of incoming energy, increased activity and heightened alertness in mental, physical, and emotional areas. There is clarity with a creative vibrancy along with activated confidence in the ability to adapt to any situations. [...] Wren expresses an effervescence and renewed vitality of relationships within the environment; work, home, family, groups. He shows that emotional journey includes joy and happiness. You deserve it. It is time to lighten your heart with the creative arts and spending time in nature to rejuvenate. Wren's medicine also includes determination, strength and fortitude and resourcefulness with the art of multitasking. He shows balancing and timing of when to be aggressive and when to be subdued. Listen to your body for indicators. Although he may not always be seen, his song speaks to the heart in order for you to sing your own wonderful song. [...]  His medicine will guide you and provide strength to move forward."

I figured that with "Wren" being my married name, I'd work the bird in there, too.  And I like their message, it's pretty similar to my Mountain Goat Totem, only a lot more happier.  "Determination, strength and fortitude and resourcefulness with the art of multitasking" sound to be good qualities for any family. 

Blessings.

~)O(~