Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wishing You A.....

It would totally rock my world if you gave this a click!
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Monday, March 19, 2012

The Next 3 Days

Are going to be very hit and miss for me on here.

It is finals week!

No Magickal Monday today (sorry).

My dreaded math final is on Wednesday. I honestly dislike math with a passion. Well at least the math that I am being forced to take at the college.

I do not see why I have to take it when the degree I trying to get will never ever use college level algebra.

Sorry for the mini rant. I have a few posts in the works that I may or may not get up until Wednesday night. So bare with me one more week.

Things have just been so hectic lately and moving at such a fast pace that I have put this little blog of mine on that back burner.

Hopefully after finals are over with I wont be so hit and miss on here....

At least until the baby arrives than of course I will be taking a few breaks here and there.

First time mama and all.

Happy Monday!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Only 9 Weeks Left! (baby bump update)

31 weeks! Everyone has told me that the last trimester drags on and on… Well it does not feel that way at all. It seems to be going full steam ahead just like this entire pregnancy has gone. I can’t believe that just a few weeks after my miscarriage I manage to conceive our precious little boy and finding out last September that we were pregnant. Now it is the middle of March and there are only 9 weeks left till I finally get to meet this little boy.
Turtle is a little wiggle worm. Although at times he can pretty much scare the crape out of me by not moving. Thankfully I have an awesome midwife who realizes I am a first time mom and will make late night runs to her clinic just to reassure me that he is okay.
I would post the questions I have been doing here (almost) every week, except I still do not feel like much has changed at all. The only new things that have come up is: heart burn is becoming almost an every day norm, and my right ankle likes to swell up.
What babycenter.com has to say about him this week:

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.
Does it look like I am carrying four navel oranges:
31 weeks31 weeks bare belly
At 31 weeks this is my first bare belly picture. I was kind of nervous to post it. A good friend of mine reminded me that my stretch marks have been earned and I should be proud of my tiger stripes.
Oh and people are finally starting to get brazen about asking me about my pregnancy. I keep getting asked if I am ready to pop and when I tell them that I am not due till the middle of May their eyes get really big. Then of course they follow up with “are you sure there is only one baby in there?” To which I plaster a smile on my face and say “yup!” and walk away.
At least no one has tried to molest my tummy yet (other than friends and family who I’ve let know that it is okay to do so).
Tomorrow, I will post as to why I have been kind of MIA here lately on my blog.
Have a great day!

Happenings of the Harper Household

Monday, March 12, 2012

Magickal Mondays: Reiki Healing

I found this not to long ago and wanted to share this with you. It is written by author: Ariana Athena Firedragon 

Reiki Principle
Just for today, I will not be angry.
“Just for today” is what all Reiki Principles begin with, one day. One day at a time, this makes each principle an achievable goal. You need not worry about tomorrow or yesterday. The only concern is releasing anger today.

Anger is experienced by most people, some more than others. It is when anger has no outlet it changes into resentment that weights on us daily. This transition has the ability to cause great chaos within our own lives and rule our emotions.

Anger is a destructive emotion. “You made me angry,” is a phrase often used. However, like all other emotions we choose to be angry. Choosing to be angry is a conscious choice. We choose our reactions to situations; and we are in control of our path, our choices in dealing with situations and others effects our daily life.

We all know there are people out there that just cause problems. For some reason or another we are stuck into a web of drama and dealing with undue problems in our lives. This recently happened to me, and I was caught in that position feeling like I needed to defend myself. When it happened, I was shocked and it caught me off guard. Once off guard, I took the defense. I replied to the middle man using my words. I was shock, hurt at the middle man’s mistrust, defensive because I knew I did not provoke this, and I was angry.

This one little event ruined my day, changed my mood, changed the way I interacted with others, took time away from my studies, took time away from the friend that supported me while I raged on the phone and most of all it effected my body and my wellbeing. I got a headache, blood pressure raised; it added stress and all this steamed from one little email.

I remembered the Reiki Principles, “Just for today, I will not anger.” I also remembered a sticker I had purchase in last October, “W.I.T.C.H. Women In Total Control of Herself.” So I took a break. I sat in my little happy spot and silently meditated on the issue. It no longer was about the gossiping women, it was about my ability to let small insignificant events bother me. Part of being pagan is, knowing everything is a life lesson. Next time you are in a situation that irritates, angers, pushes your personal boundaries ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” “What is my lesson here?”

To deal with anger you need to really examine why you are upset. Are you really mad at the person that cut you off? Or perhaps you’re mad at yourself for not getting out of the house sooner. This life is full of stresses but it’s in how we deal with these stresses that we truly begin to grow and change, growing closer to our spiritual path.

Releasing anger is just as important as release negative energy before stepping into circle. You wouldn’t go into circle, with anger or mistrust with your fellow pagans, would you? Why would you go about your day carrying anger and mistrust in you? Release it all. Take a shower and visualize the healing water cleansing you all the negativity. Physical activities are a great way of releasing anger. Activities such as going to the gym, getting involved in a sport are a huge release. Also having a good support system to vent and communicate your feelings. Even writing it out in a journal will help.

Don’t be afraid of or ignore your anger use it to help you grow. So together. Just for today, I will not anger.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hi there

Been really busy the last few days. Hence why I am posting this from my phone today. I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I am still here.
I'm 30 weeks today! Only 10 more to go! Where has the time gone? Seems like it was just yesterday I found out I was pregnant and now I'm about to become a mom to my lil man!
Idk how these photos are going to show up but besides a belly bump pic there will also be a few pic from earlier today when I learned how to make soap from scratch.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stepping Out: Saturday

 Saturday I went to my best friends baby shower. I am due 3 days before her. So it was nice to get out of the house and to actually have a reason to dress up! Here are some pics of that day.

Oh and please don't mind the swollen face, I am finally at that stage where everything is swollen! I am so looking forward to it going away after baby boy gets here.

Top: Target
vest and belt : Vanity
pants : Motherhood Maternity

Monday, March 5, 2012

Magickal Monday's: Elements and Quarters

    The Elements and Quarters have been known for centuries to many cultures around the world. They are mentioned in many medieval texts on ceremonial magic. If Pagans used these definitions before the Middle-Ages it is not known with any accuracy. We do know that many ancient cultures used the Elements in religious ceremonies and magical spells and those groups with shamanic beliefs knew of and used the four directions or four quarters of the heavens in their rituals. Today, it is quite common for Pagans, solitary or in groups, to use the astral powers of the Elements and quarters in their work, religious or magical. Element is capitalized to differentiate it in the apprentice’s mind from the scientific use of the word.

 The four Elements or Quarters used by Witches when they cast a circle are based on the four directions of the terrestrial plane. These Elements are called Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The fifth element, Spirit, defines the center of the sacred circle. In ritual and magic, these Elements are associated with the four directions of a consecrated circle, the four directions of the zodiac, and the four directions of the universe.

            These Elements are not the same as the elements that scientists speak about. It is impossible to prove by scientific means that magical Elements exist, as they are astral and spiritual in nature. However, this does not invalidate their existence. The scientific community cannot produce a photo of an atom or an electron, yet they know these exist by the behavior of the substances around them. The same applies to the magical Elements. We know of their existence by t the results we get when working with them.

            When Witches cast a circle, they define and seal the circumference of the circle first with our wand or athame and consecrated by water. Then, they call up the guardians of the four directions, beginning in the east and ending in the north. Depending upon the preference of the solitary Witch or a group, these quarters may be called watchtowers, the Rulers, Lords and Ladies, or Gods and Goddesses. Some use the titles and beings listed in old grimoires of ceremonial magicians. These astral beings are called Elementals, meaning they are connected with the Elements. They have their existence in the Elements and work with the powers of the Elements.

            The Elements should be thought of as states of being. They have force and form that exists on an astral level rather than being physical. Each Element possesses particular characteristics, qualities, and magical purposes that set it apart from each of the other Elements. Sometimes, the Elements are referred to as kingdoms and have kings or rulers. They are both positive and negative energies associated with these Elements and Elementals.

            Elementals can appear to the Witch in any form or shape that they wish. However, they usually will align themselves with the cultural description expected by the human calling upon them. Every country has its tales of elementals spirits. Although the names and descriptions may vary from country to country, the behavior and powers remain basically the same. Elementals take on the physical characteristics and appearance of the country or racial group with which they work. Therefore, someone who is Oriental in the background will no usually see an Elemental with African or Native American features. All Elementals have some human resemblance, with the Earth and Water creatures having the most human-like physical characteristics.

            Elementals exist on the astral levels and are as real in their plane as humans are on the physical plane. They are seen primarily through the “inner eyes” or their presence is perceived by intuitive feelings, rather than seen by the physical eyes. Elementals are alive and able to see, hear, feel, touch, and talk although they do not act in the same manner as humans. They evolve and progress in their own special way, but never become human. Although they do not experience sickness as we know it, they can be injured or killed by violence.

            Each Elemental exists and operates within its own Element, never venturing into the realms of the Elements. As living astral beings, Elementals can control their particular Element. They also are capable of molding that Element into a physical desire when properly approached by a magician and asked to cooperate. They can cooperate with the Elementals of the other Elements, but cannot use the powers of Elements other than their own.

            Elementals will respond to harmonious and friendly thoughts, although they do not ordinarily involve themselves with humans. Some can be very small in size, while others are large. All Elements are capable of changing size at will. If provoked, they can be very mischievous, causing all kinds of problems and troubles.

            Sometimes an Elemental will take up residence in a piece of jewelry, amulet, talisman, or statue. If the item is treated with love and respect, the Elemental will stay and bring good luck. We find this mentioned in old stories about the genie of the lamp or ring.
            The following definitions and correspondences of the Elements are based primarily on texts of European ceremonial magic.

            Earth: The Elementals of Earth are the Gnomes, Dwarves, Trolls, and certain kinds of Fairies (usually without wings).  Although Gnomes and Dwarves are smaller than humans, they look very much like us. Trolls, however, look as if they are made of stone. The Fairies of this Element are the size of humans. These beings are attracted by powders, stones, and salt.

            In ceremonial magic, the king or ruler of this Element is called Ghom, Ghob, or Gob, which may come from the words Goblin and Hobgoblin. Earth is associated with the physical plane and the sense of touch. It is represented by the Hindu Symbol Prithivi, a yellow square. In Wicca, Earth is associated with the North and the color dark green or black.

 Among ritual tools, Earth is symbolized by the pentacle, images and statues, gems and stones, the salt, the cord magic. Symbolic images of Earth are the rocks and gems, mountains, soil, caves and mines. I connect the Pentacles suit in the tarot with the Earth Element. Ritual work with Earth can include surrendering self-will, prosperity, employment, stability, fertility, success, and partnerships. Earth is also connected with the astrological signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

            Air: The Elements of Air are the Sylphs, Zephyrs, and certain winged Fairies that inhabit the breezes and high mountains. Air Elementals are powerful beings that constantly change form. Their basic image is mysterious and wispy. These beings are attracted by oils and incenses.

            In ceremonial magic, the king or ruler of this Element is called Paralda. Air is associated with the mental plane and processes, and the sense of smell. In the Hindu system, it is represented by Vayu, a blue circle. In Wicca, Air is associated with the East and the color Yellow. Among ritual tools, Air is symbolized by the wand and incense. 

Symbolic images of Air are the sky, winds and breezes, clouds the breath, and all vibrations. I connect the Wands suit in tarot with the Air Element, although others believe it should be Swords, and the ritual tool should be the sword. Wands describe the mental actions of Air more appropriately than Swords, which represent physical action. 

Ritual work with Air can include creative visualization, the seeking of knowledge and inspiration, psychic hearing, harmony, herbal wisdom, plant growth, ideas, revealing the truth, finding lost objects or people, and the training of any psychic abilities. Air is also connected with the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Fire: The Elements of Fire are Salamanders and Firedrakes, or small Fire dragons that inhabit the consciousness of all flames, large or small. Fire Elementals are usually quiet small, but can become enormous when a fire gets out of control or enlarges. They are the most mischievous and unpredictable of all Elementals These beings are attracted by candles, lamps, and fire in general.

            The king or ruler is called Djin or Jinn, which may be a reference to the Arabian Elementals known as genies. Fire is associated with spiritual and physical sight. It is represented by the Hindu symbol Tijas, a red triangle. In Wiccan ritual tools, Fire is symbolized by the sword, athame, candles, the incense burner, and burned herbs or papers. Some Wiccan groups believe the wand should be its ritual tool. 

Symbolic images of Fire are the sun, lightning, volcanoes, the rainbows, stars, and blood. I connect the Swords suit in tarot with the Element of Fire, as Fire is logically associated with physical energy rather than with Wands and mental energy. Ritual work with Fire can include changes, perception, illumination, love and passion, will power, destruction of barriers or problems healing, and purification. Fire also is connected with the astrological signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

            The Fire Element must be used with great care by the Witch and magician because it is the most difficult to control and manipulate. Apprentices should never work with the Fire Element alone.

            Water: The Elementals of Water are Nymphs, Undines, Mer-folk, and certain tiny Fairies of the water plants. These beings can assume a very human-like image, even though they stay in or around water at all times. Folklore is full of tales of the Mer-folk and their interaction with humans. They are attracted by water, herbal solutions, and magical elixirs.
  In ceremonial magic, Niksa or Necksa is the ruler of Water. The Element of Water is associated with the astral plane and the sense of taste. In the Hindu system it is represented by Apas, a silver crescent. In Wiccan, Water is associated with the West and the color blue. Among ritual tools, Water is symbolized by the chalice, cauldron, mirrors, and all water or liquid. 

Symbolic images of Water are the ocean, lakes, rivers, wells, pools, rain, mist, and fog. I connect the cups suit in tarot with the Water Element. Ritual work with Water can include healing, emotions, communicating with spirit, purification, the subconscious mind, love and friendships, fertility, marriage, sleep and dreams, and the psychic. Water is also connected with the astrological signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

            Spirit:Although Spirit is the fifth Element it is seldom used, if at all, in magic. It is represented by the center of the circle and the color brilliant white. It has no rulers or beings other than the Goddess and the God. Ritual work with the Element of Spirit can include enlightenment, seeking the life’s path, understanding karma, and the unveiling of the ancient spiritual Mysteries.

            The Celtic cultures were well aware of the Elements and the Elementals. Ancient Pagan Priests and Priestesses of the Celts always included the four Elements in some way in all rituals.

            The old Scottish Gaelic term for the four directions was the Four Airts, or airs. This encompasses the Four Elements and the four winds as well. The Scottish Gaelic colors for these differed from the colors adopted by Witches from ceremonial magic. The Scottish ones were crimson for the East and dawn; white for the South and noon; gray for the West and twilight; and black for the North and midnight. The specific Scottish Gaelic words for the four directions were aiet for the East; deas for the South; iar for the West; and tuath for the North.
Other cultures used different colors to represent the four Elements. The Hindus used a yellow square for Earth, a silver crescent for Water, a blue circle for Air, a red triangle for Fire, and a black indigo ovoid for Spirit. In Enochain (or Qabalistic) magic, the Elements are referred to as 

Castles: red is for East, white for South, green for West, and black for North.
            China’s representations of the Elements are slightly different, since they have more than one designation for each Element. One set of Elements lists Black Warrior, White Tiger, Vermillion Bird, and Azure Dragon, while another set lists North, black, Water, Winter, West, White, Metal, Autumn; South, red Fire, Summer; East, green, Wood, Spring, and Center, yellow, Earth.

            Native North American tribes also know and use the Elements in their ceremonies. The directional descriptions depend upon the tribe and its cultural teachings. One list gives East, yellow, eagle; South, red, mouse; West, black, bear; and North, white, buffalo. Among the Navajo the list is East, white; South, blue; West, yellow; and North, black, while the Cheyenne used red, yellow, white, and black instead. However Zuni list Air, yellow; Water, blue; Fire, red; Earth, white; and center as all colors.

            In ancient Mexico we find still other descriptions of the Elements. The Mayan designation was East, red; South, yellow; West, black; and North, white. The other cultures of Mexico used North, red; Fire, West, yellow, Earth; South, blue, Air; East, green, Water; and again a center of all colors.

            It is important to include symbols of all four Elements in every ritual so that the astral and spiritual energies will be balanced. An over-predominance of one Element will have an adverse effect on the ritual and the participants. Each Element will balance it opposite in the circle. Earth will balance Fire, keeping this volatile energy from causing chaos, just as Air balances Water.

            All magic recognizes that the four Elements must be used to produce a satisfactory outcome from spell work. This means that without the use of the Elements, Witches or magicians cannot create their desire on the astral plane and have that desire manifest in this physical world. These Elements correspond to four distinctive types of astral energy that can be molded by magical techniques into a desired form. Ancient occult philosophers taught that all life is composed of these Elements, and, without them, could not exist. Therefore, no magical spell has the power to create unless you use all four Elements.

            Events in human lives also should contain the equivalent of the four Elements, or chaos will reign. Earth represents the physical body and common sense. Air symbolizes the mental level and study, thought, and constant learning. Fire is the physical activity, while water represents the emotions. If a person studies, takes care of the physical responsibilities, and is empathetic with others, but does no physical activities to bring about a desired result that desire manifestation will be off center and not what one wanted.

            You also look at the elements in terms of personal responsibilities. Earth is taking care of the physical body; Air is responsibility to a job; Fire is spiritual seeking; and Water is responsibility to family. If a person shirks responsibility to family and self, while totally centering on spiritual seeking, that person is out of balance.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

29 Weeks!!!

Wow, I can't believe I've already made it to 29 weeks! It seems like time has just flown by! Officially 11 weeks left to go!

Last night my midwife came by for a home visit where she talked about the birthing process with Matt and I. It was very interesting. A lot of it I have already read or watched on You Tube. Matt on the other hand was full of questions. 

This is getting so real! I seriously CAN NOT wait to finally get to meet my little man!

How far along: 29 weeks!             

How big is baby: Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. 

Maternity clothes: I am in maternity pants and some maternity shirts. I am still able to just wear regular tank tops as long as they are xxl or long in the torso. Otherwise they are almost to short.

Stretch marks: Yes

Sleep: It’s okay. Some days are better than others. So days I get to sleep a lot (6-8hrs) other days my insomnia kicks in from early on in the pregnancy and I am lucky to sleep at all.

Best moment this week: Matt and I did our taxes finally and we are getting back more than we thought. I can’t wait for it to come in – lots of baby shopping!

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Craving: Ice cream (specifically My Fro Yo), hash browns and eggs smothered in Tabasco, chocolate milk

What I miss: Being able to sleep on my tummy; being able to have the occasional glass of wine. Energy.   

What am I looking forward to: Getting my income taxes back!

Milestones: His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. 

Happenings of the Harper Household

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