I am currently listening to New World Witchery and Cory and Laine are recounting adventures in New Orleans. I, unfortunately due to work being extremely nuts was not able to share my thoughts via sound bite, so I thought I would review my own journey to NOLA here.
This trip was combined with a visit to my mom's place in Florida. So, passing through NOLA first, arriving a couple days ahead of PPSM4 made me able to spend some great time with some wonderful friends and meet new friends too!
The first portion of the journey was spent exploring cemeteries and the city. This was my fourth visit to New Orleans so I'm fairly familiar with the general territory but not since my first visit to NOLA over 20 years ago have I been to a cemetery. St. Louis No. 1 is amazing and a must see but I have always wanted to visit Lafayette No. 1 as this was the location that Anne Rice envisioned as the resting place of the Mayfair family in The Witching Hour and subsequent books in the series. And not far from there the mansion that inspired their creation. I visited both this trip.
I ate more beignets this trip than I ever have! LOL. At Café DuMonde one rainy evening it was lovely, warm and foggy and little did I know that the warm weather we enjoyed the first couple days would give way to some chilly temps by the time we all got down to visiting! I revisited beignet land with Velma, Kathleen and a friend, then again with Velma although we didn't have beignets the last time. We ate at the Gumbo Shop, had breakfast at The Camellia Grill (if you are ever in NOLA check this place out!), went to loads of art galleries and of course, magical shops. I had my very first taste of Absinthe at the Old Absinthe House and was just as enchanted by the making of it as by the magical way it made me feel. LOL, tipsy. So, amazing food, great people, a ghost tour and lots and lots of walking were all a big part of the journey.
What I love about New Orleans is that you can do something different every time you are there. I wonder if I will ever get to do everything I want to do in New Orleans? I'm not sure, but I marked some stuff off the list this time for sure!
Below is a link list of our generous sponsors and contributors to the fabulous bag of super swag that Cory put together. Thanks to everyone that contributed to this wonderful experience!
So the pendulum sways.... While in New Orleans recently we happened upon a lovely rock shop. I was fiddling around touching various gemstones and I lost myself in thought and being mesmerized by all the shiny things (captain) ;)....
And a glittery little pendulum caught my eye. I normally am drawn to stones of watery color. You know, greens, blues, even purples... But this was a beautiful, earthy orange colored stone, almost the shade of say, Georgia clay or the Grand Canyon. And in it were flecks and sparkles that glistened and glinted off the shop lights. I picked it up and let it rest in the palm of my hand. It felt good and solid. The shape of it fit my palm nicely. I had thought that on this trip I might find a new pendulum. I have one that was a gift to me from my Reiki Master. I keep it in a sachet in my truck so that it will always be with me during the day and use it with the horse that I lease or when away from my alter/home. I have another that I am making myself to keep downstairs in our basement for when I do my morning ritual and I have been wanting a third to keep on my main alter upstairs. It would seem that I had found my new pendulum. I considered this. I don't like to make hasty decisions on things like magical tools and most of my stuff is handmade by me or I have received as a gift at one time or another.
So, I spoke to it. I introduced myself and explained that I had some questions for it. Most people already think I'm nuts so I don't suppose any of this embarrassed them anymore than normal. I asked it to show me various things. Things like how it would tell me yes, no, or even let me know that it either could not or would not answer me. It told me these things readily. Hmmmmmmm.....
It was only then that I even looked at the label where it had rested. Goldstone. Hmmmmmm again.... Attributes? No clue. So, I trusted the stone and my answers and thought about the adventure of getting to know it as I made a beeline to the counter to purchase my new pendulum.
I have since found some very cool information on Goldstone, also known as Aventurine Glass, including an awesome blog entry by C.L. Matthews:
House of Daedalus Blog
It is a lovely, lively little pendulum. By far the most outgoing one I have. I think my Goldstone must be like Christmas lights, always twinkling and lifting my spirits. Right now it is resting on my main alter, beside my handmade counting beads and on top of my wooden box that holds my tarot decks. Can a stone be happy to see you? Everytime I get it out it seems happy, like if it could speak it would say hey howya doin' today Gilly? LOL. By contrast my traveling pendulum is more....about the flow. I feel like it says peace be with you and like that peace radiates from it.
Interesting these different personalities. Once I finish making my morning ritual pendulum I will be interested to see what personality it has.
Sometimes things are so unclear to me. Last night I had the weirdest dreams about being forced to marry our football coach. LOL. I was sort of irritated by the whole prospect. Probably because we suck and I don't like to hang out with losers.
But, after that nonsense I had another dream in which a woman came to our house and she wanted to do a study on trees, faeries and also take the dog out for me on a daily basis. If someone showed up at your place with this list of tasks would you be a little suspicious? Well, I was not and we went about going over all the places that the faeries live on our property, other animals I talk to on a daily basis and whether they would be helpful to her, etc...
At some point I woke up a little earlier than I intended but couldn't get back to sleep and started thinking about my love of dreams and keeping track of them, interpreting them and whether they sometimes have or don't have a damn thing to do with deep inner travel so much as they have to do with what you had for dinner that evening.
For instance, I watched football on and off all afternoon and into the night. Why wouldn't I dream about football, (although marriage is a bit much). I dream about zombies a lot. I mean, A LOT. But, I watch zombies A LOT. So, that stuff makes sense. I almost think that sometimes your first dreams of the night are leftover static from the day while your brain works through and works out those sorts of things and then as the night gets deeper so do your dreams.
So, as to last night's journey, as we enter the dark season, I am thinking was to remind me of the daily magic in my life. Because having had a severely long "dry spell" things seem to be following me around at night and knocking on the doors of my memory, tugging on my shirt sleeve so to speak, and whispering to me to not forget...
And also, reminding me to not forget to let the dog out?
The name of the holiday is Imbolc. Oh, you forgot there was a holiday coming up? We often do. I notice mostly that those of us in the colder zones of the
country tend to let this one pass right over. We are all too busy staying warm, cursing subzero, etc. This year, don't let it go by without at least a nod to the little holiday that reminds us we can indeed tough it out for just a little while longer.
Imbolc's roots are based around those very first signs that winter's hold is getting ever so slightly less tight
on the world. You would not know that here right now as the last few days have seen single digits and the nights have dipped to below the big O on the dial. Our water froze two nights ago. A problem we did not deal with even one time last winter if that tells you anything about the difference from year to year.
What can we do to give simple thanks to the constant changing of the seasons and the subtle shift in our lives even if it is mostly not noticeable? Well, if you feel like getting out there you could take a walk. Maybe after work if you are on a day shift sort of schedule because you will note that the days are just ever so slightly longer now and you'll still be able to get out there and enjoy some light. You could look for other tiny signs of the coming thaw and just acknowledge them. You could plant seeds indoors for herbs later. You'll nurture those seeds just like the sun will begin to nurture the earth soon. You could bake bread and think upon the harvests that you'll have in the coming seasons. You could light a candle, say a prayer for those
that are living in the harshness of winter's chill. You could build a fire and meditate on what you have accomplished so far this dark season. You could take that day to further work on whatever you are focusing on this season. It is still the time of inner work afterall.
There are lots of things you can do even if you are not into a full out ritual celebration. Be creative. Write some poetry - it doesn't have to be good! Feed wildlife on that walk if you take it. Make your pets something special and bless them for the coming spring. Sit down and come up with your goals for the season to come. Write them down and put them somewhere until the Spring Equinox. Bless them so that they will grow in your mind and heart and plan to read them on Ostara and begin your outer season work.
So, now you have over a week (as I am posting this on January 23rd) to think about NOT forgetting Imbolc this year! Good blessings to you and stay warm.