Personal Quips

A Witch’s Guide to Social Distancing

I’ve been shying away from posting about the pandemic that is rippling across the globe. I wanted to stay positive, and felt the last thing we need is more reminders of the current state of affairs. But as the weeks pass, I’ve come to realize that my daily rituals and witchy beliefs have helped me so much and I wanted to share my experience with all of you.

“Good morning star shine, the Earth says hello”

Morning ritual makes me feel like a human even if I’m not leaving the house all day. I meditate and hit my yoga mat every morning, first thing. Sometimes I free style and find what feels good. I also highly recommend this Down Dog app, which a friend turned me on to. It is being offered for free right now! Also, Yoga with Adriene on youtube is my jam. Don’t take your home yoga practice too seriously, just have fun with it.

After yoga, I always shower, and put on real pants! Well, at least clean pants. I always make a point to brush my teeth right after I finish breakfast. I open all of the curtains to let as much light in as possible. I try to get outside a little bit every day. I have three dogs and I live in a neighborhood with plenty of sidewalks for lunch time strolls and after dinner walks. I know that we all have different routines and preferences. Personally, nothing works better for me than movement, nature and healthy habits.

Spells and smells

Filling your space with nice smells can be surprisingly uplifting. I have some frankincense oil in my diffuser this morning. Sometimes I’ll pick a citrus scent or a floral scent. Nothing like that at home? You can simmer a small pot of water with cinnamon, rosemary, lemons, anything you have on hand to make the house smell good. This is also a good offering for your mediation or spells. A simple spell I like to do is write an intention on a piece of paper and burn it in a candle.

Speaking of making the house smell good, I’ve been doing so much baking! Check out these biscuits and cinnamon rolls. I made a sauce from some strawberries stuck in the back of my freezer and put that on the biscuits for some strawberry shortcake. What are you cooking up at home? I like getting creative with the odds and ends in my cabinets.

Staying connected

My pets have been a great comfort to me. As much as I enjoy conversations with my dogs and my cat, I also try to stay in touch with humans. I also have been putting myself out there online. I took a yoga class through zoom with Healing Within RI.

Other lifesavers have been: books, poetry, movies, coloring and crafting!

I’ve had some zoom chats with my friends, and I try to call and text friends and family throughout the day. Its not always easy for me to point the camera at myself, but this has been a great opportunity to work on that. I’ve been giving tarot readings over the phone way more than usual. I’m working on creating more video content, like this fun “pick a number” reading!

How are you coping with our current situation? Let me know! Connect on Facebook or shoot me an email. A 30 minute phone reading with me is not only great entertainment, but it can reveal some clues and give some insight on how to make the most of your time at home.

Holidays

3 Ways to celebrate Lupercalia (and Valentine’s Day)

What is the difference between Lupricalia and Valentine’s Day?

Lupricalia was an ancient Roman Pagan Festival of love and lust, celebrated on February 15th and dating back as far as the 6th century B.C. King Amulius’s sister broke her vow of celibacy, and as retribution, he ordered her sons Romulus and Remus to be drowned in a river. A servant saved their lives by placing them in a basket and sending them down the river, where they were caught in a fig tree on the bank.

Legend says they were saved by a wolf mother, who they named Luperca. They were later adopted by a shepherd and his wife, who raised them. As men, they killed their uncle Amulius, and they celebrated Lupercalia in February, to honor the she-wolf, and please the Roman fertility god, Lupercus. 

The celebration began with animal sacrifice, and then two priests would smear the sacrificial blood on their foreheads. The blood would be wiped clean with a piece of wool dipped in milk, and the priests were required to laugh while doing so. This represented new life and procreation. The two priests would then run through the village and whip women who got close enough, with pieces of hide from the slain animals. Women usually welcomed the lashes for good luck with fertility. Couples were paired up by pulling names from a vessel or a jar. The celebration ended in feasting and love making!

Source: Catholic.org

Saint Valentine came along much later, in the 3rd century A.D. He was sentenced to death for performing marriage ceremonies with Christian couples in love, during a time when Christianity was persecuted. One story says that while in jail, Valentine tutored the blind daughter of one of the guards, and they fell in love. The night before he was executed, he wrote her a love note and signed it “from your Valentine.”

About 200 years later, the Pope, in an effort to ban the pagan holiday of Lupercalia, declared February 14th as the day to celebrate Saint Valentine. Little did he know that the spirit of both holidays would collide. The color red, which now represents hearts and love, originally represented the blood of the animal sacrifice. Valentine’s Day is more about cards and chocolates, romantic love, and sex, than about Saint Valentine himself.

Both holidays have been overly simplified and romanticized over the centuries, but here are some less extreme ways that you can celebrate Lupercalia this weekend.

Three ways to celebrate Lupercalia on February 15th

1. Have a rose water bath

Source: pixabay

The day after Valentine’s day, the price of roses drops dramatically. Grab a simple bouquet and draw yourself a bath. Add a touch of your favorite body wash, a few tablespoons of epsom salt, and a few drops of essential oil like lavender or rose of course! Pull the petals from your roses and sprinkle them on top of the bath. Light some candles (those are probably on sale too). Turn on a good self love meditation track and sink in. Here is a quick 6 minute session by Michelle Chalfant on Youtube. Maybe grab a box of chocolates at 50% off and go wild!

2. Make a self love altar

All you need is a small shelf or table in your home, in a room that is peaceful, where it won’t be disturbed. Decorate the altar with meaningful items that make you feel loved. Maybe a piece of lace as the table cloth, a pink or red candle, a white feather. You could include a picture of a wolf or a little wolf statue to honor Lupercal. Add some evergreens or fresh rosemary to represent long lasting, unconditional self love. A piece of rose quartz would help you raise the love and beauty vibes. Face your altar during meditation, or just admire it each morning for awhile.

3. Read your cards

You can also do this with a regular deck of playing cards: the old hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds. Here is a list of the suits and their meanings.

First, decide on a spread, maybe a simple three card spread. The first card you draw will represent you, in regards to your love life. The second card will represent the other person (whether you’ve met that person or maybe s/he is on the way). The third card will represent what you should be mindful of in this relationship, or what purpose the relationship is serving in your life. Or the first card is your past, the second is your future, and the third is how you can love yourself more in the present.

Shuffle the deck as you ponder your three questions and ask your spirit guides to help you. Spread the cards out on a table, it can be as messy as you want. Wave your hands over the pile of cards and feel for warmth or vibrations. Pick up three cards that speak to you. Look up their meanings online, and try to be open to the messages that are coming though. 

Need a little help? Contact me for a reading! I’m available for readings via email, phone, or in person. You can also host a Galentine’s Day party with your friends and play with the cards together. You can book me for a party; it’s really fun to get tarot readings as a group. You can book an appointment right through my Facebook page.

May your Lupercalia/Valentine’s Day weekend be full of light, love and self-confidence!

Sources:

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Romulus and Remus

Catholic.org: Saint Valentine

History.com: Lupercalia

Michelle Chalfant: 5 minute self-love meditation

Exemplar: List of playing card tarot meanings