Sunday, April 17, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Date Yo Self

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Why? Because you're hella cute and totally charming, and you give THE BEST hugs. Seriously.

This post is going to chat about something that I've been working on for a few weeks now.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm in a committed relationship. I've been with my lovely fiancee, Marian, for 6 years total. I am totally, 100% in love and happy with her.

However, I needed...something more. Something that she just couldn't provide for me. Not another person -  I needed to love myself and be happy with spending time with myself and just liking who I was as a person. Most of my time is taken up trying to be an mature older sister, or a considerate lover, or a supportive best friend. I needed to learn how to come to like the person that I was when I was alone, and left alone with all the thoughts that rattle around in my head.

I was getting so bogged down with being there for other people that I wasn't there for myself and I was starting to dislike myself...a lot.

And I don't know about you, but I HATE feeling like I hate myself. It's a shitty-ass way to feel.

So, I started to date myself. You know all those cute little things you do for your significant other when you start dating? The cute texts throughout the day, the love notes, the little gifts to show you're thinking about them, the planning out dates and getting all excited when thinking of spending time with them?

Yeah, all that, aimed right at this chick right here. I leave myself sticky notes telling me how cute I am, how brilliant I am, how amazingly AWESOME I am. I make sure to take myself out on a date once a week - just doing something by myself, for myself. Pretty soon I'll be taking myself to an art gallery since it's not really Marian's thing, but I freaking love them.

If I see something small and nice at a store I'll buy it for myself, because why the hell not?

So, my plums, try dating yourself. Write yourself love notes in your journal, take yourself out on a date, buy the cute thing in the store. You're worth it.

Peace,
Ristoria


Friday, March 18, 2016

You Are What You Eat

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***May be a trigger for some people***


Hello!
Today I am going to talk about eating animals from a spiritual point of view. I have been a vegetarian/vegan on and off for the past few years. I love the vegan diet and the way it makes my body feel, but I like that I’m saving animals from the horrors that are factory farming MORE, since, sadly, that’s where the majority of animals are being brought up.
This isn’t going to be a post about all of that though, and I’m not here to shame anyone for what they eat. I understand dietary restrictions and personal choice. 
In this post I’m going to share one of the reasons – the spiritual reason – why I don’t like eating animals.
The first reason for not eating meat, beef specifically, is because Brighid asked me not to. Brighid is my matron and one night while falling asleep I was visited by her in that place where you're not quite awake but you're not fully asleep yet. She simply told me "Please don't eat beef. Cows are sacred to me." So, the next morning I told my significant other and that was that. 
Everything else is a little more involved. I believe all plants and animals have a soul. Everything has energy. When I eat plants and animals I am consuming their energy. Now, as I mentioned most of the animal products that people buy are from factory farms. Even if things are labelled as “free-range” or “organic,” it doesn’t mean what you think it means. Free range chicken most of the time means that they’re not in battery cages, and are allowed to walk, it’s just in a huge, overcrowded, filthy barns where they walk on their own feces and the dead bodies of other chickens. I digress. 
Regardless of what labels they have, if you consume meat that you haven’t killed yourself, that animal probably died at the hands of machines, in factories, or from people that weren't concerned with the animals last moments. None of those animals died a peaceful death. Those animals were probably terrified. I have watched videos of factory farming and I have heard the screams of cows and pigs and the flurry of feathers from chickens and turkeys.
Which got me to thinking…what if I feel like garbage when I eat meat  because I am consuming the animals last thoughts, last feelings? Muscles that were tensed in fear, confusion clouding the blood that pumped through the same muscles that were now going into my meals and into my body. This energy was supposed to nourish my body and soul, to keep me going. Instead I was lowering my own energetic vibration level with those negative energies.

I have noticed that when I’m vegetarian, and even more so when I’m vegan, that my own energy levels are higher. My body performs better as long as I get the correct balance of foods. I thought that maybe this is the reason why I felt so much better. I wasn’t consuming that fear, and those last emotions that the animal felt.
Again, I’m not saying any of this to pass judgement and I’m just sharing a thought process that I had. It’s food for thought.
Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d love to hear your opinions on the matter.
Love and Light,

Ristoria.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Working with a Plush Familiar

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This article is going to be something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but I had no experience so I held off until now.
A familiar is normally an animal (a real live animal) that you work with when doing magickal workings. They are like a friend and companion with whom you have a strong spiritual connection. Some people believe they give your magickal workings a boost, other people just feel that they’re nice to have around. Nothing says “classic” like a witch working with their cat, right?
I’ve wanted a familiar for a while. I have a spirit guide/animal – the owl. My owl is nearly always present during meditations and visualizations and I know that they’re there with me always, but still. I wanted a being here on thisplane with me. However I can’t have any furry pets. (I do have a fish named Poseidon, but it’s not really the same – sorry little guy!)
So, if you’re like me, and can’t have a cat, dog or other little critter what do you do? I came across this idea of having a plush familiar, a stuffed teddy bear or other animal that resonates with you. At first I thought it was a bit odd – how do you communicate with a bit of fabric and polyester stuffing. Would the plastic safety eyes that most stuffed animals come with really be able to hold the mystery and magick of a real animal? I admit, I didn’t think so. I thought it was nice, for other people, but not for me.
Until Geronimo. Hefty name of a tiny, pink bunny, but it works all the same. My fiancee wanted a stuffed rabbit in time for Easter, so we went off to Target and she found these two cuties – one purple and one pink. At first it was no big deal and we went home with them, and they sat on the couch, cute little decorations for Ostara and then for Easter.
One day, while sitting on the couch, Geronimo fell into my lap. I smiled pet him a little and then put him back. My fiancee was quite drawn to Bucky, the purple one. She chilled with Bucky while watching T.V., playing with is fur since it’s purple with frosted tips, so if you move it just so the color looks like it’s changing.
I found myself doing the same to Geronimo. I stared into his little plastic eyes and I was happy. He’s cute, soft as heck and has a calming presence. I can pet him instead of the cat that I really want, but can’t yet have. Over the next few days I spent more time with him. I snuggled him as I slept at night, much like the teddy bear I had when I was younger. I sat with him on the couch while reading, watching tv or just messing around with his fur some more.
Then we decided to give both him and Bucky “baths.” Into the washer they went and when they came out both had little “wounds.” Bucky’s was on his ear and Geronimo’s paw seam had come undone. I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread so I thought “ok, sew them up, no big deal.” Then, I had an idea to put little gemstones in them before I sewed them up. My fiancee looked at me and said: “So, we’re making them magic bunnies?”
Heck yeah. Magic bunnies. Geronimo’s wound was on his left paw, and I always associate the left to the Goddess. His paw made me think of when I cast a circle and I channel the energy of the Earth into my left hand and out through my right. Geronimo wanted to be a magic bunny.
So, my fiancee went through all her little gemstone chips and found a bunch that would be appropriate for each bunny; in they went and I sewed them up. That night I sat at my altar with Geronimo in my lap and made an incense blend. It felt different. Like I had a little bunny on my lap, being grounded while also lifting my spirits higher.
For the few days after the “wounds” and up to now I’ve been nearly inseparable from this little bun. When I’m at home he gets tucked into the shoulder of my shirt so he can perch on my shoulder without falling off. Yesterday in fact, I had to run to the store and I walked outside with him still on my shoulder until I noticed the neighbor giving me a funky look. He still came on the car ride and then went into my purse for grocery store run.
Right now I’m at work and I brought him with me. Any customers that come in think he’s just a nice Easter decoration on the desk and he’s giving me the boost I need right now.
Every now and then I reach over and give him a pat and it seems to be working. My magickal workings have come easier, spell work seems to be second nature right now instead of me trying to plan out what I want to do.
I guess we’ll see where this goes, but for now I’m happy with Geronimo and he seems to like sitting here.
Love and Light
Ristoria (and Geronimo)

Monday, February 22, 2016

What do you like most about yourself?

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What do you like most about yourself? It's an unsettling question for many of us, myself included. What do I like about myself? Hmmm.

 It's hard to come up with things. I can list off the things I dislike about myself quite easily. Too easily. I'm sure many of you have a running list of things that you need to work on, the flaws that you despise so much. 

We have learned that it's normal for us to dislike ourselves. It's what society makes its money off of. Marina and the Diamonds has a song called "Girls" off her album The Family Jewels and some of the lyrics are more true now than when the album came out in 2010. 

                                           Girls, oh girls, wag your tails to the beat
                                            Of Girls Aloud, oh the journos in heat
          Write such good stories
         Oh their mothers must be proud
         Making money of your insecurity and doubt

It's the damned truth and it's a damned shame. We are taught to pick out the things that we dislike, and to then talk about them and then to have verbal competitions over who hates what more, or who has the worst life, who can bitch the most. 

I want to change that and I want all of us to love ourselves, to be happy with our lives. I want each and every one of us to find our true soul's purpose and to go after it wholeheartedly. 

That's what I like most about myself. I'm endlessly caring. I care about everyone, whether I've known you for years or whether I just met you. I want to help. If I can help you in some way, shape or form I will, or I will do my best to point you in the right direction. I love that I have compassion when sometimes it seems like the world is running out of it. 

Tell me, what do you like most about yourself? Really, truly love about yourself? Comment below, or message me on facebook, or email me at ristoria@thewitchhollow.com Write it in your journal, stick it on a post it note on your mirror in the morning. Spread self-love around like mad. 

Peace, 
Ristoria



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reference: Cursing Stones

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Source

Charging a stone with malevolence is an ancient Celtic method of delivering a curse. 

Charge the stone by holding it in your hands while allowing yourself to be engulfed by feelings of rage, jealousy, anger, or hatred. The stone will store your this emotion. When charging is complete, terminate the process by setting the stone down and consciously changing your train of thought. Reserve the stone for future use.

Should one wish to curse someone or something, hold the stone within your hands, stroking it, while turning it counter-clockwise and murmuring curses.

Source: The Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes

Read more about this idea here.