The Dirt Witch Chronicles

Earth Based Forum for Personal Growth

Category: Spirituality and Growth (page 1 of 12)

Imbolc – The Halfway Point

Blessed Imbolc candlesSome calendars, such as this one, Pagan Calendar/UK, show today, February 1st, 2015 as Imbolc.  (pronounced “IM-bulk” or “EM-bowlk”), also called Oimealg, (“IM-mol’g), by the Druids.  Others show the date as February 2nd.  The website, The Celtic Connection, has a really good description of the holiday and the symbols as well as the history.

Imbolc is supposed to mark the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  By my rudimentary calculations, that date should actually be February 3rd or 4th.

For me, this is just a point in the year to recognize that Winter is on the downhill slide.  Which means that our wettest winter months are yet to occur.  Here in the middle of the country, from mid-February through March is when our biggest snow storms generally occur.  And today we were lucky enough to have a little one!  It was kind of cool to have great big snowflakes falling from the sky as I sat in my nice warm house sipping on hot coffee.  And to make the day even better, it was Super Bowl Sunday!  I like football too!

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Now, most people around here moan and grumble when we get snowy weather.  Not me!  I love the snow!  I hate having to drive in it, but I love watching it fall and the beautiful and serene landscapes it creates!  And the most important part is that it brings the much needed moisture the trees and shrubs need during this cold and dry part of the year.  They may seem to be dead, but their roots are still alive and still feeding the rest of the plant.  Even in it’s dormant state, the plants are still very much alive.

So, at this center point of the season, the best gardening activities to participate in are the dreaming and planning of the upcoming seasons gardens.  Pull out last year’s garden journal and take a look at your notes, what plants thrived in what areas?  What could you plant in areas that didn’t do so well?  Pull out the seed catalogs and start your seed list.  Are there new varieties to try?  Are you going to be canning, drying, or preserving your bounty?  Or are you planning to only eat what matures and not grow more than you need?  Now is the time to think about and answer those questions.

On the spiritual side of things, don’t forget to appreciate the weather the way it is.  The surprise warm days and the bitter cold days all have purpose.  And they all share their own individual beauty.  It’s up to us to see it. acknowledge it, and accept it.

Today’s beautiful snowfall is tomorrow’s moisture that will assist all the beautiful trees, shrubs, and bulbs to bloom when their time comes!

Have a wonderful Imbolc and may your weather bring you pleasure and joy!

Blessings!

Dragonhawk

Crocus flowers in snow

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New Path Update – Is this all there is to life?

Today is Monday, December 1st, 2014 and I am feeling depressed, lonely, directionless, and forgotten.  Please forgive the rant!  I’m running pretty low on faith at the moment!

Please let me explain why I feel the way I do.depression_quote_depressing_life

Working a “real” job

For the first part of this year I worked in a high end jewelry store.  I liked my job because the bookkeeping was detailed and, at least for me, simple.  In addition to the bookkeeping I got to learn a few other things like maintaining an online store and setting up a blog.  I enjoyed my work.  And because my tasks were so different from everyone elses in the store, I was usually left to work alone which is how I prefer it.  But, with the economy being the way it is and people switching from buying expensive jewelry to saving for a rainy day, sales in the store plummeted.  This caused the owner to panic and his knee jerk reactions became too stressful for me.  So I left.  I left with the intention of getting out of the accounting field and doing something completely different with my life.  Something where I had total control of my time and effort, and I would have to live according to another person’s clock.

The Grand idea!

That’s when I started this page along with my facebook page The Dirt Witch Chronicles.  I had high hopes that I could share the pieces of knowledge that I have with others and my website would pay me.  Not based on a per hour rate, but on a value added rate.  That was the goal.  To make money while staying at home doing what I like to to best, reading, writing, and sharing my experiences.

Grand ideas right?

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Facebook results

After 3 1/2 months I only have 34 page likes on my Facebook page.  I have payed for two rounds of ads that reached over 3,422 impressions. (it showed up over 3,000 times, there is no way to tell if anyone actually saw the ad.) The total cost to me for this last ad was $18.49.  At one point I had a total of 11 new “likes”, but in the end I only have 7 new “likes” on my page.  $2.64 per page like is pretty darn expensive!  When there are millions of people on Facebook to only get 34 out of 3,422 is just sad.  Really really sad.

Bottom line, Facebook is costing me money and time.  No one is really looking at anything I post.  They mainly respond to memes that I forward not content from my heart.

The Dirt Witch Chronicles website results

That brings me to this page.  My idea here was to have a place to share information on herbs, crystals, organic gardening, spiritual awakening, and ideas on how to improve our health through our foods.  That’s kind of a lot to live up to!

Since starting this page I have noticed that there are a lot of other sites on the internet that are devoted to these same topics.  Most are single topic sites.  And they all have articles that are like “Do these 5 things to improve your whatever!”  And they are very effective posts through Facebook.  They get a lot of traffic.

I honestly don’t know how to make this site something that you will want to read.  Most people are so busy, all they have time for are the memes, pretty pictures, short videos, and numbered lists.  Why would anyone want to come to this page to read a rant like this that goes on forever?  Maybe I should call this post, “The 3 things I did wrong in my life!”  I might get more traffic.  I would probably still have an almost 100% bounce rate.

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So now what?

Many of you will probably say, “Hang in there! You’ve just started!  Give it a chance!” And you are probably right.  The key to a successful website is content, content, content.  Of course, if it’s content that no-one reads, is it worth creating?

I keep hoping that someone of like mind will come along and read what I write and will have good, honest, constructive feedback for me.  I’m beginning to think that there isn’t anyone like me out there.

So what do I do now?

The photographs that I have posted for sale with iStock and 123RF aren’t making any money.  We have a brand new digital camera that I can use to create new photos, unfortunately we couldn’t afford to upgrade the lenses with the camera so I’m stuck taking photos in a way that I’m not accustomed to.  And it shows.  So, I have put down the camera.  How can I get creative when the only critique I get is the lighting is bad or the depth of field is too short or the subject matter is uninteresting?  What if I wanted the shadows to have sharp edges?  What if the depth of field was short so that the ugly background wouldn’t show?  What if I liked the subject matter?  Doesn’t matter, these sites criticise based on commercial applications of your photos, not the artistic quality.

Ads on this site.  I signed up with Google Adsense and Rakuten LinkShare to place ads on this site that I can make a commission from.  Easy money right!?  Not so much.  There is a lot of work I have to do to keep the ads rotating and up to date.  Sometimes it can take several hours a day to keep up with all of them!  And I don’t have as many advertisers as I could have either.  How much have I earned from these ads?  Less than a dollar!  That’s it.  What’s the point?

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Now how about what I write?

Crystals and stones.

I like rocks.  Always have.  I find them really pretty and I love studying the energies they each have.  I am a firm believer that rocks have vibrations that can help us to tune into life better.  My articles are written to provide the reader with as much information about the stone as I can provide in one place without writing a complete book.  I stopped writing these articles because I didn’t get any feedback.  Are people reading them?  Do they like the article?  What do they like and what do they not like?  How am I supposed to know where I need improvement if no one ever reads my articles and makes comments on them?  Should I keep writing them in the hopes that years from now someone will notice?

Herbs and plants

I like writing about herbs and plants because I like to grow them.  By doing the research for my articles, I learn about the individual herb too.  How it’s grown, where it comes from, what it can be used for in recipes, medicines, and magickal rites.  I find this all very fascinating.  Question is, does anyone else?  Who reads these articles?  Do they also go to the picture galleries and peruse the many varieties of the herbs that I show?  Is my information too detailed?  Too dry?  Too what?  Again, no feedback means I don’t know how better to present the information so that you the reader will want to keep reading.

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Spirituality and life path changes

This one is more personal.  Obviously.  I am turning 50 this year.  I have spent my entire career working for a variety of companies mainly in an accounting capacity.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s just not what I wanted to do with my life.  But, because I was young and insecure and afraid of everything, I made choices in my life that put me on the path that brought me here.  Is it wrong of me to want to change that path?  To bring some meaning back into my life?  How do I define myself now?  How do I have meaning in my daily routines?  Is working to pay the bills all there is anymore?

Summary

I guess you could say that I am back where I was when I left the jewelry store.  I have no direction, no meaning, no goals, no dreams.  The dreams I used to have don’t fit who I am now.  Especially physically.  I need to be wanted.  To be appreciated.  To know that my life, my words, and my actions have meaning and bring happiness to myself and those around me.  I don’t have that in my life.  And the more I try to create that feeling of contentedness, and connectedness, the more distant everything feels.  Like I’m pushing too hard.  Or maybe I’m overlooking something.

I have even tried to incorporate a daily card reading into my routine thinking that it would help me to focus more on my spiritual growth and less on the money.  The cards kept saying; “What you have been wishing for is just around the corner!”  Which corner?  Each day is a corner.  Each week is another corner.  So is each month!  Which corner?  Why isn’t it coming?  Is it here and I don’t recognize it?  Why build it up to be something spectacular when it comes out being a part-time job for thousands less than what I’m used to making?  How is this succeeding? How is this going to help me feel fulfilled?  How do I get out of bed every morning for the rest of my life knowing that all there is to live for are the never ending bills that must be paid?

 

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This new path includes a new job!

If you have been following this site since I started it in August, 2014, you know that I left an accounting job to change my life and do something completely different.  I thought that would be running this site, piddling in my garden, meditating, and learning how to live my life in a more authentic way.

That is not what the Universe had in store for me!

You see, we still need my income in order to make ends meet.  The problem then became, what kind of jobs to apply for that will still meet my need to be authentic and true to myself at the same time bringing in a decent income?  Believe me, I’ve searched and searched and meditated and consulted the cards and all kinds of things trying to figure out what kind of job would allow me to grow spiritually and still pay well enough to be worth driving to!  I even had a few interviews!

It didn’t take me as long as I expected to finally get a job that will still allow me the time to be creative!  And it isn’t an “Accounting” position!

The position that I found is a part-time position to start out with.  The company is a small independently owned structural engineering firm that is perched on the brink of expansion!  So far, there are the owners, a husband and wife team, and 5 employees not counting me.  My position will be more of an Administrative Assistant rather than a true accountant.  I get to start out working in spreadsheets that have been designed by my boss and eventually I’ll be taking over most of the detail office tasks so that my employers will be able to concentrate more fully on their own areas of expertise!

I am excited about this position because it will allow me to feel like I’m actually helping them.  What I do will be appreciated and will save them time.  That emotional fulfillment means more to me than the actual pay.  I know, sounds a bit crazy doesn’t it?  I mean, I am taking a HUGE cut in pay to work here so that I can feel good about what I do and be appreciated for being me.  The me that is detail oriented, loves to play with spreadsheets, likes to feel useful, and gets to even do a little payroll action too.  Ok, the payroll part at the moment is just tracking hours to the right jobs, but hey, it’s still details!

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I’m going to miss the money I used to make.  But that’s ok.  I’m not making any money now!  Just having a paycheck with my name on it is going to feel awesome!

So, how is this going to help me with my spiritual quest?  It’s only part-time right now.  That means that I will still have time to meditate, garden, and write!  Eventually the position is supposed to become a full-time position with benefits.  And that’s ok too.  I am learning to be flexible and to accept the opportunities that the Universe presents.  This is not an easy thing for me!  This learning to be flexible thing is rather unnerving and scary.  But, that is a really big part of my growth process!

Another part is learning to balance work and play.  What am I talking about?  I need to learn balance, period.  You see, I have a tendency to get a little too focused on things.  Not really obsessive, just focused.  To the point that I have difficulty pulling away from whatever I’m doing to answer a question or a phone call.  Ok, let me say that more simply, I don’t handle interruptions well.  This is another quirk I’m working on.

I guess, with all this being said, I am grateful that the Universe has presented me with an opportunity to begin working for a company that is already successful and poised to be an even bigger success in the future!  My position is only loosely defined at the moment which means that it will be whatever I make it into.  And I am genuinely hoping that this will be the LAST job search I’ll EVER have to go through because this could be the last job I ever have.  At least, that’s what I’m hoping for!

Thank you to everyone who wished me luck and congratulated me on my accomplishment!  I really appreciate the support!

Dee

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Some Thoughts on Weakness and Self Perceptions

This morning I was checking on my LinkIn account to see what jobs might be available.  Yes, even though I am running this website, I still need an income!

Anyway, I ran across this article:  Step Into Your Weakness.

Liz Ryan has this way of writing that puts things out there in a simple, yet not condescending way.  And this article hits home for me.

FearWhen I left my last job, it was fear that sent me out the door.  It was a small company that was struggling financially in today’s lousy economy!  And everyone there was afraid the company would fold.  And everyone there had their own issues and behavioral changes that were associated with it too.  Me included.

And as an empath, I had a very difficult time figuring out if my panic attacks were actually mine or theirs.  I finally realized that it didn’t matter who’s emotions were overwhelming me, I just needed out.

I just couldn’t handle the exponentially increasing negativity that was beginning to be spewed from the bosses mouth.  And the fact that no-one’s ability to support themselves was safe from his arbitrary chopping block.  Everything became a knee-jerk reaction instead of a well thought out plan of action.

When the boss took away my favorite project, I felt hurt and cheated.  I had poured my heart and soul into building their website and getting the blog going.  There was still months of work to be done to get our rankings back, but, it got yanked out of my hands and given to another.  My self esteem plummeted.  My fears increased.  And my ability to bring home a decent paycheck disappeared.

Since leaving, I started working on this site.  I thought that I would be able to survive just fine without a “real” job.  That’s not happening either.  But in the search for a replacement source of income I am finding that I still have perception issues.  I still have insecurities.  And I am finding it difficult to compete with those who are younger, more willing to work for less, and who have a Bachelor’s Degree in something.  Which I don’t.

This article actually helped a little in getting me to focus on what I am perceiving as a weakness.  I have yet to turn it into a positive.  But I know that it will come.  In the mean time, I will keep looking.  That perfect job for me with the right company is out there.  I will eventually figure out where!

Are you going through a period of unemployment?  Are you considering changing careers?  Have you recently changed careers?  What are you doing to get through these changes?  Have you found any sources that have helped you that could possibly help the rest of us too?  I would love to hear your stories on this topic!

Thanks for listening!

DragonHawk

 

Today’s New Moon and Partial Solar Eclipse and what I did with it.

partial-solar-eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse

Lately I’ve been feeling very out-of-sorts and down on myself.  You could say that my depression is in full swing at the moment.  This is NOT a good place to be in at any time, but especially when you are trying to get your new life path off to a good start and resisting the reality that you still need to make money.  Money is the drive that keeps us going to those jobs we hate every day.  Selling our souls and a chunk of our time one minute at a time to some big corporation that could care less about us.  Even in small businesses, if what you are doing doesn’t make you happy, then it’s not the right path.

So, back to this depression.  New moons are always a good time to release outdated ways of thinking from your life.  This new moon however, isn’t just about clearing out your thoughts or your space, but also your feelings.  My depression centers around my lack of self confidence.  My feelings of being old, fat, and ugly.  Unloved and unlovable.  Like everyone else on this planet, I need and crave love.  I would LOVE to be held in my husbands arms!  But because of my age, just the thought of being that close to another live human body makes me feel hot and suffocated.  It’s not his fault.  It’s my hormones.

Then there is this thing about wanting to get completely out of the accounting business.  I only started working as an accountant because I happened to be good at it and it was a way to support my kids and myself when I was a single mom.  But, I really don’t like it.  Oh, it’s not the actual tasks that bother me.  It’s the trading time for money.  Having to be at someone elses beck and call during a HUGE chunk of my life.  I have a computer and an internet connection.  Can’t they just send me the files to work on and I can upload it or email it back?  Why do I have to sit in an uncomfortable office to do what I do best?  And why can’t I just leave when I’m done?

Anyway, that’ the life I’m trying to let go of.  To shed.  To release.

So, I cast a spell.  A spell to release my fears and doubts and to open myself to new creative possibilities.  I figured that with the power of the new moon, releasing my fear and doubt was appropriate.  Then, you add in the power of the solar eclipse.  The celestial example of taking what is hidden and bringing it out into the light.  Thus the request for assistance in coming up with new ways to make money that have NOTHING to do with trading my time for dollars.

Did I use a pre-written spell from one of my many spell books?  No.  I have found that spells are much more powerful when you write them yourself.  The reason is because it forces you to identify what you want and to clarify your intention thus allowing you to actually have feelings when you do them.

How do you write your own spells?

First, you need to identify the goal.  It needs to be simple.  When you are just starting out, only concentrate on one goal at a time.  Make it a small goal.  Something that is easily achievable.

Put it into words like this:

Goal:  To release my fears and be able to ask for a raise.

Then, write a spell asking your deity to help you to accomplish what you are asking for.  You can make it rhyme or not.  You can make it like a poem or just a statement, or just a question.  Whatever feels right to you.

Then do a little research and find out what day of the week and time of day is best for casting this spell.  Do you feel it’s necessary to perform an entire ritual?  I don’t usually.  But that’s my personal choice.  If you are new to spell casting, it’s helpful to perform a full ritual with all the tools at your disposal.  The more effort you put into writing and casting the spell, the more of your energy you will put into it as well.  And that is the key to having your magick work for you.  It must be yours.  It must feel right to you.  And it must be cast when YOU feel it needs to be cast.

Many people will say that I am out of my mind.  Casting spells is serious business and must be done according to the RULES.  Well, guess what, we are ALL beings of light.  We are ALL connected to the Universal energies that govern everything.  My son would say that we are all connected according to rules of Quantum Physics.  And what is right for one person may not be right for another.

How’s my depression now that my spell is cast and the new moon has occured?  I’m better.  And as always, I am surprised at how much better I feel.  I actually have hope now.  Yesterday I didn’t.  So we will have to see how the God and Goddess will help me in manifesting my new life without accounting.  Let me just say this, I know I need to make a living to help support our household.  And I have had to go back to the only thing I’ve known to work in the past, and that is looking for a full time JOB doing accounting in someone else’s office.  Now that I have cast the spell, new opportunities for making a living should start to appear.  I just need to pay attention so that I don’t miss them!

What did you do for the the new moon and the eclipse?  Anything you would care to share?

DragonHawk

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