Greetings, Blissmakers. It’s been a while since I’ve written a Bliss List post, but Spring is here and I am feeling my energy reawakening with the rest of Earth and Her inhabitants. So, it feels like a good time to share another roundup of things that are bringing me bliss these days.
As always, my primary intention for sharing these things is to inspire you to find your own catalysts for blissful experimentation. My secondary intention is to do what I can to help support and promote those people, places and things that I feel are making the world a better place for everyone and everything in it. I hope you find something to spark your curiosity.
THE BLISS LIST: SPRING 2020
STITCH + WITCH WORKSHOP SERIES
The first Stitch + With workshop of 2020 happened last weekend on Imbolc. I am really feeling so fortunate and grateful to be facilitating these events in Sacred Circle—sharing celebration, creative expression, and communion while connecting more deeply to the ancient holy days of the Wheel of the Year. I’m also finding it to be such a gift going through the deep process of planning and preparing. Being a Virgo Moon, Virgo Rising, Gemini Mars and Gemini South Node I am really into research and learning and delving into the details of things. And, while I’ve condensed my findings into a concise and manageable package for these workshops, I am feeling such a deeper and more meaningful resonance with each holy day as I immerse myself in these processes.
THE BIG SKY ASTROLOGY PODCAST
Over the past year, I have finally jumped on the podcast-listening bandwagon. My current schedule doesn’t allow for an abundance of free time, but I really enjoy listening during my commutes. The aforementioned astrological influences really get off on learning new things and experiencing new perspectives. One of my favorites right now is The Big Sky Astrology podcast with astrologer April Elliott Kent and producer Jen Brown. Kent has a beautiful way of boiling down big astrological concepts into relatable and understandable examples, which really works for me. And the way she and Brown banter with each other is both hilarious and insightful. The episodes are relatively short, and always relevant for me. I highly recommend it.
SWEET HEAT ELIXIR
The Sweet Heat Elixir is a beverage I’ve been enjoying for probably two decades now. It’s not a totally original recipe. I just gave it a fancy name and my own personally satisfying proportions. In my younger days I gave it the somewhat boring name of Good Health Brew, but a year or so ago, I decided this tantalizing bevvie deserved a sexier moniker, and changed it to Sweet Heat Elixir. (I also get a secret little spark of joy knowing the acronym is SHE.) Whatever you choose to call it, it will warm your body and seduce your taste buds. It is a very internally heating libation, so it’s a staple for me during the colder Autumn and Winter seasons. But I have been known to sip on it all year long. It is not only warming, but also stimulates circulation and digestion. I use intuition rather than specific measuring when it comes to this recipe, but a good approximate starting point would be to add a ~1” thumb of sliced ginger, the juice and pulp of half a lemon, ~1/8 teaspoon of cayenne powder, and about 1 to 1-1/2 Tablespoons of maple syrup to a mug. Cover with 8 - 12 oz. of boiling water. Stir, and sip to your heart’s delight, adjusting the proportions to match your personal preferences.
In case you didn’t already know, I eat a lot of fruit. Fresh ripe raw fruit is the main staple of my diet. During Winter it can be a challenge to find quality ripe fruit, so when I’m able to get my hands on some, I get really excited about it. Lately, I’ve been finding some pretty decent pineapples at the market. They are soft and sweet and even aromatic. I’m not sure how long this streak will last, so I am making sure to savor every delicious bite. Mmmmm …
This stunning banded green semi-precious stone is as useful as it is beautiful. Malachite is one of those stones that can positively influence all chakras and gives a truly holistic boost to anything or anyone in its sphere. I won’t list all its wonderful attributes here as that would take an entire post, but please feel encouraged to do some research of your own if you’re so inspired. Currently, I am using it to aid me in drawing old traumas from deep in my subconscious to the surface of my awareness so that I can continue the Shadowcraft I committed to, in earnest, last year. I carry it with me on days when I’m feeling particularly sensitive and/or emotionally fluid. Sometimes I will simply hold it and rub my thumb over it. It feels so soothing and calming. And in the evenings, I’ve been placing it over my heart chakra while I’m in bed reading; then I move it to my Solar Plexus as I ready to drift into sleep. It’s such a magickal stone full of compassion and nurturance. For me, malachite instantly creates safe and sacred space anytime, anywhere. It's a truly benevolent ally.
CREATIVE EXPRESSION THROUGH HANDCRAFTING
I mentioned how much I’m enjoying the prepping and planning for the Stitch + Witch Workshop Series above, but one unexpected benefit from that work has been a return to working creatively with my hands. Well, I suppose, I am always working creatively with my hands, but I’m referring to a more craft-oriented creativity here. I’m making gift bags for every workshop participant, which involves sewing the actual bags as well as creating handcrafted treats in each that are specifically relevant to the holy day being celebrated. For Imbolc, I made herbed candles in tins and an herbal bath blend to be included with other non-crafted swag. It’s felt so good to be using my hands and my imagination in these ancient ways again. I am aware that any time my schedule becomes full or my emotional landscape becomes challenging, these creative pursuits get put on the back burner and forgotten for a time. It’s ironic, of course, that these are just the times when handcrafting can be most healing. Thankfully, I am finding my way back again. So inspired to be rekindling my inner Creatrix.
You probably already know how much I love my tarot cards. I mean, I blog about them, Instagram about them, and offer readings professionally. But, I have actually dabbled in many divination practices, and have ongoing relationships with a few other favorites. One of those is the Witches’ Runes. I was introduced to this runic system about 20 years ago. Then, in 2002, I made my own set. (Creative expression!) I don’t work with them on a super consistent basis—not like I do the Tarot—but I will pull them out occasionally to spend some time reconnecting with them. It’s always such an enchanting and enlightening experience when I do. I think I may even create a blog post in the near future detailing what the Witches’ Runes are, and how I made mine—in case any of you are feeling inspired to work with them, too. Stay tuned.
This last entry on the Spring 2020 Bliss List might seem a little out of place when measured against the rest of the list, but let me assure you that it evokes just as much bliss for me as the others. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to my writing tools. I like a very particular nib size, hand grip, ink type and aesthetic. (Hello, Virgo.) When I found myself nearly out of ink in my arsenal of approved pens, I went on the hunt for replacements. While perusing the aisles at my local office supply store, I spied a colorful assortment of LePens. I remembered liking them when I was younger. In truth, I didn’t even know they were still in production. But I gave them a chance, and I couldn’t be happier. The pens are slender, the nib is fine, the writing is smooth, and they come in a rainbow of colors, which really tickles my fancy. What a gift it is to find such joy in such a tiny mundane package. This is bliss, indeed.
There you have it, blissmakers. I hope you find at least a nugget of inspiration in this list. Feel free to share it with anyone who might be looking for a little inspiration of their own. And if you feel like sharing your own experience with any of these entries, I would LOVE to hear about it. Tag me on Social Media, post in the Blissmakers Facebook Group, or even shoot me an email. Happy experimenting!