Friday, April 11, 2014

What Do You Like to Listen to While You Clean? -- 10 of My Faves

Gipsy Kings
Music is a pattern of energy, and it powerfully shifts the overall energetic flow of any area in which it's played. In Magical Housekeeping, I recommend playing upbeat music while you clean in order to help get the energy moving in your house in a healthy and buoyant way. Today, a facebook friend (thanks, Hope!) mentioned that she played the Gipsy Kings while she cleaned, and I thought that was a fabulous idea! Luckily, today was housecleaning day so I got to try it out right away. I made a Gipsy Kings Pandora station, and voila, an energy that was equal parts soothing and scintillating. The perfect accompaniment to the scent of Mrs. Meyers and the springtime sunshine sparkling through the windows.

Since it was so much fun for me to try out a new sound, I thought I'd write a post with 10 artists that I've personally had a good time listening to while I clean. If your musical tastes are compatible with mine, this may help upgrade, or at least vary, your (musical) magical housekeeping practice. Try downloading an album, finding a station, or creating your own (on Pandora or wherever you like to do such things).

And so, in no particular order...

1. Gipsy Kings
2. Daft Punk
3. Django Reinhardt
4. The Velvet Underground
5. The Talking Heads
6. Santo & Johnny
7. Screamin' Jay Hawkins
8. The Rolling Stones
9. Charlie Parker
10. Fleetwood Mac

Please, please - share some of your faves!

The Velvet Underground
Screamin Jay Hawkins/Last FM

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wood Nymph Fashions for the Year of the Wood Horse

In Magical Fashionista, I wrote, "Fashions and attitudes continually seem to move through the planet like flowing tides. This year pencil skirts might be all the rage, and then next year it's micro-minis. Suddenly, it seems like everyone wants to watch movies and documentaries about Paris in the 1920's or dinosaurs or zombies or the Titanic. There is a flavor of the times, a unique zeitgeist that seems to tune everyone to a particular frequency - a fluid emanation that almost seems to radiate outward from the core of the earth. As a matter of fact, in addition to being the invisible catalyst for the kaleidoscopic fashions, ideas, and obsessions that characterize the day, the cycling emanation of earth energies is the basis of Chinese Astrology. Additionally, the Chinese five-element system teaches us how we can alchemically interact with these energies in order to create greater levels of harmony, balance, beauty, and success."

...And now that we're really getting into the energy of the new cycle (and also into spring, which is the season most naturally aligned with the Year of the Wood Horse), I'm starting to notice the effects of the Wood Horse energy not only on my personal fashion-related tastes and inclinations, but also on the world at large.

Now, let me be clear that I absolutely do not subscribe to the "what's in/what's out" mentality, as I find it disempowering in the extreme: we are the only ones who know what feels best on us when. But I do like to take note of the way the natural energies of the earth and the astrological tide affect my aesthetic and the aesthetic of the world. (For example, I've been wearing a flower crown from ME and Blue a LOT lately - a total representation of the wood element.) So, with this in mind, starting with your natural style - what you personally feel best in - you might see if these style shifts (related to the unique energy of the Wood Horse) currently resonate with you.

As you may remember from this post, we just moved out of a 2-year cycle of water years, and are now in the initial phases of a wood cycle. So, while the water element is still present in the way that it nourishes and supports the wood element, and while all elements are present within you and around you at all times to some extent, you might notice yourself more frequently (but of course not always!) being drawn to...

Wood accessories rather than metal or glass accessories.

Flower and leaf shapes rather than teardrops, circles, paisely, or asymmetrical shapes.

 Stripes rather than waves or polka dots.

Green, aqua, teal, and lighter blues rather than deep blues, white, cream, and black.

Sporty and minimal cuts and shapes rather than drapy and flowy cuts and shapes.

* Please note that the bold print denotes things related to the wood element, while the alternatives mentioned are more related to the previous cycle's water element (or the metal element, which supports the water element).

...So, now that you have a sense of the turning tide, can you see this in the fashions that you've been drawn to lately? Can you feel the shift?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The President's Hat: The Magic of Fashion in Action

I love this little novel - The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain - in so many ways. Not only is it a light and fun read, it also clearly and accurately illustrates the large waves of change that can wash through someone's life (and the whole world!) in response to what may begin as a seemingly insignificant ripple. Set in France in the 1980's (and translated from French), it follows the people who find and then lose a hat belonging to Francois Mitterand, and observes the sweeping and positive changes that occur in response to the subtle (yet real!) authority and confidence it confers.

Those of you who have read Magical Fashionista will recognize the principles of magical fashion at work in The President's Hat, and you're likely to find that the narrative helps solidify and strengthen your understanding of these principles. While the characters in the story find themselves surprised by how much change an accessory can really precipitate in one's life, you (as a student of metaphysics) will probably be less surprised, and more inspired to put these magical fashion principles to work for you.

One more thing I love: while somewhat whimsical, this book also illustrates the principles of magic in a way that is undeniably plausible. Magic, after all, is not outside of science. Rather, in the words of author Scott Cunningham, "Magic is natural. It is a harmonious movement of energies to create needed change. If you wish to practice magic, all thoughts of it being paranormal or supernatural must be forgotten. "

Monday, March 31, 2014

Win A Signed Copy of The Magic of Flowers!

Venice Beach is in bloom, and I feel like giving away a signed copy of The Magic of Flowers !!

Here's what it says on the back of the book:

The Essential Compendium of Flower Magic

Explore the subtle and whimsical realm of flower magic with 80 magical species, conveniently presented in this comprehensive, one-of-a-kind guide! From African daisy to ylang ylang and many others in between, The Magic of Flowers introduces you to the holistic and therapeutic benefits of essential oils, flower essences, and the blossoms themselves.

As manifestations of divine beauty and wisdom, flowers offer you countless magical and spiritual ways to connect with them. Because they dwell on the border between seen and unseen, closer to the etheric realm of pure energy, flowers allow you to see into the heart of truth. Tune into their unique vibrations and improve your health, vitality, beauty, success, personal power, and more. Use flowers for aromatherapy, charms and rituals, herbal potions, divine alignment, and to help manifest the conditions you desire. Spark your own transcendent experiences with these mystical beings, who can serve as therapists, healers, and emissaries of the Divine.

Praise for The Magic of Flowers

"With her gentle wisdom, author Tess Whitehurst has crafted a lovely guide to the world of flower and their energies and essences. This enchanting book is both a comfort and a joy!"
- Ellen Dugan, Author of Seasons of Witchery and Garden Witch's Herbal

"I have been using herbs and essential oils for years, but The Magic of Flowers has expanded my horizons in ways I never could have anticipated. This book is a unique and powerful approach to working with nature's most beautiful plants, written in a simple and evocative style. Tess Whitehurst doesn't just write about flowers - she translates their messages into words anyone can understand. This is the only flower magic book you'll ever need."
-Deborah Blake, Author of Everyday Witch Book of Rituals

"The Magic of Flowers by Tess Whitehurst is one of those rare books that I wish had been written years ago. While I've worked with flowers before in flower essences and in medicinal tinctures, I've only added a few to my magical practices up to now - but that definitely changed after reading The Magic of Flowers! Wonderfully researched, easy to read, and full of spells that reach beyond the simple '101' of many books, this book has found a permanent place on my 'most used' reference shelf!"
-Kris Bradley, Author of Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom and Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery

"Thorough, deep, and multi-faceted, The Magic of Flowers is a must for any healer or magical practitioner's shelf. Whitehurst has a keen understanding of flower energies, which she conveys directly to the reader through her words. She has gathered wisdom from her own experience as well as thorough research. This book is more than an encyclopedia, though, as it also teaches the reader to work with flowers directly for beauty, healthy, healing, and magic."
-Clea Danaan, Author of Sacred Land and Living Earth Devotional.

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