Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?!

In April of 2016 I took an Aromatherapy Certification course with my girlfriend, Trisha. It was a weekend spent in the home of the people teaching the course. It was an amazing experience and the food? WHOA!! The wife of the gentleman teaching the course could cook like there’s no tomorrow. If you left the table hungry, that was your fault, but I digress.

We met wonderful women during this weekend from different walks of life. One of these women was from Russia. Her name is Nikita and she had a wonderful accent. She was so knowledgeable already on essential oils and helped to explain some things I may not have understood. During our breaks and after the days teachings were over, Trisha and I started talking to Nikita about different things. Nikita was very into the metaphysical side of life which was something I knew very little about.

We were talking about Astrology, numerology, past lives, etc. It was very interesting to me, but nothing I had ever considered myself to be interested in prior to this conversation. I mean sure I’d read my horoscope growing up, but didn’t everyone? I also messed around with energy once as a kid, which I totally forgot about until writing this post. I was a sleepover in probably 5th grade. We played the game “Light as a Feather, Thick as a Board.” Five little girls were able to actually lift another 5th grader off the floor with just our finger tips. That scared the bejeesuz out of me. We also played Bloody Mary that same night. (BTW, not for nothing, but I didn’t sleep that night.) As if I hadn’t learned my lesson enough, one night we played around with a Ouija board. NOT a very smart thing to do when you have no idea how to protect yourself metaphysically. The damn white thing moved on it’s own and told us it was a 6 yr old child who had been murdered. I was done. Threw the board out and never looked back.

To me, this were all just games. Stuff which wasn’t real and kids just played around with because we were the only ones dumb enough to believe it. Adults told us we were silly and just left us to our devices. My mom did read Tarot cards when I was younger. She had a very bad experience with them when I was about 15 and she never touched them again.

Nikita continues on talking to Trisha and I’m just sitting there listening. I had a look of disbelief on my face and plain as day Nikita said “You have the gift. I don’t know why you’re shocked at the conversation.” Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?! You have got to be kidding. And that’s exactly what I said. I shook my head no way and Trisha looked at me and said “Yeah, you do.” My jaw dropped open. We had been friends for about 9 years up until that point and NOW is when she’s telling me this? My head was spinning in disbelief. Trisha repeated what she had said previously. I hadn’t been open to hearing about many things she believed in and she was afraid to talk about them to me for fear of being judged. So.. here we were. She got all into oils and the great beyond was staring me in the face whether I liked it or not. Crap.

This one fairly innocuous conversation was a snowflake which turned into a snowball. One I never expected to snow again much less grow into a snowball. My life was about to change in a very big way. I had no idea.

Blessed Be – Peace be with you
Shelley

**Nikita’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

Creek comes to town!

In December of 2015 I was having hot flashes so bad, I thought my husband was going to kick me out of bed. Covers on, covers off. I ain’t Daniel and this sure as hell ain’t Karate Kid. It was horrible! I didn’t want more medication because I was already taking so many. I had bi-polar II disorder, thyroid issues, migraines blah blah blah. I considered myself pretty healthy even though I was overweight (still am!). But this getting old shit was for the birds. I’d had a hysterectomy when I was in my late 30’s. I was left with one ovary and I was guessing it was time for that ovary to start failing.

Our oldest daughter Creek came to visit with our grandson for Christmas. She saw me going through the hot flashes and started talking to me about essential oils. I laughed at her and told her I didn’t need her Granola/Hippie Mom crap. I’d suffer through it and be just fine thank-you-very-much. She got pretty frustrated with me. I just rolled my eyes at her and asked her how much she liked it when someone rolled their eyes at her? HA! No fun right? She was pretty much like “whatever old woman, just suffer.” I smiled and went on about my business. A few days later she’d had enough of listening to me bitch about sweating and getting irritated as the hot flashes hit me. She sat me down and told me I had absolutely nothing to lose if I allowed her to make something for me to try. I told her it wouldn’t work, but to go for it. I took her to the store and bought some cheap over the counter essential oils. She cringed at the idea, but you work with what you’ve got.

We bought some Clary Sage, Lavender and something else, I can’t remember. (I make my own now and sell it.) I bought a diffuser to put the oil mix in and sat it next to me on my end table in the living room. I wasn’t really pleased with the smell of Clary Sage (not a personal favorite), but she told me to suck it up and just deal with it. I diffused every night after work and every night while I was sleeping. I noticed a difference in the recurrence of the hot flashes after the first couple of days. Then they slowed down much more noticeably and after three weeks, they were gone. That’s about the same time length a pharmaceutical medicine would have taken, but this was all natural. I was shocked!

Now I had to call my daughter and tell her she was right, oh the horror! Her response was “SEE I TOLD YOU!” After she was done with her rightful boasting session, she told me that essential oils do so much more and she really wished I would just listen to her. <insert rolling of my eyes> I responded with telling her I would have loved it if she had listened to me growing up or even now, but does she? No. Not only no, but hell no. We both laughed, but it stuck with me there had to be something about this aromatherapy thing.

The next month I had called my girlfriend Trisha to catch up with her and see how she was doing. Life hadn’t been easy for her and I just wanted to check on her. I mentioned the essential oil thing to her and she started prattling on about how many oils she uses on a daily basis. What the hell?? Was I the only one not aware of this? Trisha was honest and said she didn’t think I’d be open to it so she just never told me. That made me take a step back. Was I really that closed off to new things? The answer was yes. I had become one of the things I never wanted to be: Closed-minded.

I asked Trisha to explain more to me so we decided to get together for a dinner. She lived in Indiana and I lived in Ohio. We were only about 2 hours away from each other so we met in the middle. She spent the whole time talking to me about oils and other things she liked. I thought she was crazy for most of it, but I was willing to listen about the oils. Baby steps man. You can’t expect me to believe in the great beyond when I’m just learning about essential oils LOL. There was only so much my mind could handle.

I started doing research and discovered so much more than I ever thought possible. I signed up to be a Young Living rep and quickly discovered it wasn’t really the right path for me. Yes I loved oils at this point, but not the business model. Through more research and diligence, I discovered you can actually take a class to become a Certified Aromatherapist. I signed Trisha and I up for the class and let Trisha know. It was her birthday weekend and she was all for it!

In April of 2016, Trisha and I became certified through the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, level 1 Certified Aromatherapists.

What happened during that weekend is a whole different blog post.

Peace and Blessed Be.

**Creek’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

From Bitch to Witch in just 48 short years!

You too can change in just 48 years, seriously it shouldn’t have taken that long, but I’m a wee bit stubborn and I don’t really listen well.

I grew up going to the First Baptist Church of Fairborn where my Granny went for many, many years. My brothers and I were put on a church bus every Sunday morning for a long time. We would sing songs on the bus and I’d get to go to Sunday School. No parents were on the bus, but they did have some chaperones. (This was the 70’s afterall.) Every now and then I’d get lucky and actually see my Granny at church and that’s really why I was happy to go. I was baptized on January 15th, 1980 and I remember this day like it was yesterday. I wanted my Granny to beam with pride from the congregation. However, my beloved Papaw was too sick for her to leave the house so she stayed with him. I was 10 years old at the time and didn’t really understand what the commitment meant, but a whole lot of people kept saying they were proud of me. Getting positive attention at the age of 10 was something I really desired so I was happy these people were proud of me.

Shortly thereafter, my mom started dating a man who went to a church near Miamisburg. Now, I have tried like the dickens to remember the name of this church, but I cannot and it’s probably for the better to be honest with you. My mom and I started going to this church with him and his younger children who lived at home. My mom eventually got engaged to this man who was very active in his church at the time. We went every weekend, much to my chagrin. My mom would make me wear a dress (oh the horror LOL), but I agreed on one condition. I had to be able to wear my ball cap too. She gave in and allowed me to do this so I looked presentable. I never did understand why jeans and a t-shirt weren’t ok for Church. Did God love me less because I wasn’t wearing a dress? I was told not to ask such silly questions. I really did like this church because it was much smaller than the last one and the people were much friendlier to us. Everyone remembered my name and I enjoyed class. I even got to help carry candles for service and light them. Man I was special!

Things happen in relationships and my mom and this gentlemen broke off the engagement. The following week my mom and I showed up at the church. I was happy to be able to go, but a little sad because if he was there I wouldn’t be able to sit with him and his children. I loved him. My dad lived in Florida and I never got to see him. He stepped in as my dad and spent time with me. He also had children I loved very much just like my own siblings. Anyway, my mom and I showed up at church and I will never, ever forget this moment for as long as I live. The Reverend came outside with his pasty white skin and thinning dark hair with his robes on and met my mother and I on the church steps. He explained very politely to us it would be much appreciated if we would find another place of worship. It wasn’t appropriate for us to show up there after the break-up of the engagement as it would be too painful for the gentlemen and his family. My mom said she had no desire to find someplace else. The Reverend immediately changed his tone and was very clear. “You are no longer welcome here. Please leave now.” I was devastated.

I had lost another father figure, siblings and now a church. If this is what religion is about, you can have it. I was done. I was forever tainted about Christianity from the moment on. As I got older, I tried different churches. I felt like my skin crawled every time I walked into one. I didn’t mesh with their ideology. One thing became very clear to me, I was not comfortable with being called a Christian.

In my early 30’s, I started researching and found out about Judaism. I took classes with our oldest daughter to convert to Judaism. My husband was raised Jewish so he wasn’t required to take the class with us and the other children weren’t over 13 so they didn’t have to either. When class was done and we graduated, it was time to become official. My husband and I along with all 4 children made our appointments for the mikvah and took our vow to the Jewish culture. Girls went first, then the boys (you never do this together, ever.) We celebrated Jewish holidays, shabbat every Friday, my kids went to hebrew school, all of it. It felt better than Christianity did, but still not right. Eventually I gave all of that up too. It didn’t fit.

Lost. I felt lost. Something was missing. I was tired of religion. I figured I was just different and alone and I’d never find my place.

On and off over the years I’d heard about Pagans and I distinctly remember the Christian view on it. I was so pre-programmed about all of the bad things about being a Pagan, that I never got to learn what it means TO BE a Pagan. The meaning of paganism is very simple and absolutely nothing I was taught: Paganism is term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity for populations of the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population or because they were not militates Christi (soldiers of Christ). It has evolved over the years to now mean simply this: polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion. Pagans pray to and respect different deities of many different pantheons (including Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Ganesha, etc) and they worship nature. Pagans see the absolute beauty in nature. Everything has a spirit: trees, rocks, blades of grass, animals. If it’s in nature, it has a spirit.

I am a Pagan, specifically a shamanistic witch. There are so very many different types of paganism too. The list goes on and on so I was amazed at this! I had to figure out what type of pagan I was (however, I had a little extra help from a friend who clued me in).

I believe nature has many lessons it can teach us about life. There is a balance to everything. The hawk eats a mouse as a way of survival. The mouse has then learned it needs to become much more calculated in its way of thinking so it doesn’t get easily eaten. It finds ways to search for food so it doesn’t become prey. Hawk teaches us that by flying above and looking down we need to be able to see the whole picture before we make a decision. Just because that chicken looks good enough to eat, is it too heavy to carry? Are there predators nearby to watch out for? If you just sit peacefully in nature and watch, there’s so much more to learn. So many lessons which could benefit people on how to treat each other.

This is a religion which makes sense to me. It is absolutely not how I was raised, in fact I was raised to believe anyone who don’t worship Jesus Christ will go to hell. I do not believe that. I believe there is a place in the world for every religion. Everyone serves a purpose to keep the balance in life. You cannot have too much light or too much dark. Yin and Yang. This is the true balance of life.

We each carry light and dark in our hearts. It’s how you harness that energy which will separate you between good and evil.

This is a very short synapses of how I became pagan. I’m actually looking forward to writing about how I’ve healed my heart and moved on to some amazing things in my life.

Thank you for joining me.

Peace and Blessed Be.