Long ago, the telling of ghost stories didn’t stop on Halloween, but would continue during the dark, cold winter months of Northern Europe. Disguises and costumes didn’t expire in October either, but would be worn until at least January. Harvest time was over which began a time of feasting, debauchery, and libations. At the same time, stories began all over the world about monsters, demons, and goblins (Most famously, Krampus) told to scare children into being on their best behavior during the boring winter months when they were most likely to get into mischief.
Most likely in an effort to quiet the rowdy evenings, trees were brought inside by candlelight to bring nature indoors, and wreaths were made as a symbol of the spring yet to come. Bonfires were lit to bring in the light, and Yule logs were burned as a ritual to cleanse the past year and welcome the new.
Telling ghost stories around these winter fires is a tradition that dates at least as far back as Elizabethan England. This folk custom is even mentioned in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “A sad tale’s best for winter, I have one. Of sprites and goblins.” And also in Christopher Marlowe’s Jew of Malta: “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”
The most famous of all Christmas ghost stories is of course Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. It is the famous story of the selfish, greedy Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghosts of his past, present and future on Christmas Eve. What was most genius about Dickens’ particular ghost story is that it brought morals and values to the otherwise rambunctious drunken holiday season.
The Winter Solstice (Yule) on December 21st marks the darkest day of the year, and the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But it also marks the moment the light begins to return, and the days slowly become longer. Modern Pagans spend the entire evening around a blazing fire, telling stories, and singing to make certain that the light will return and the sun will once again rise. “After the longest night, sing up the dawn.”
All modern religious celebrations of the holidays have the common theme of bringing in the light. Remembering and recreating our family and cultural traditions are most important this time of year. And we are always thinking of, and missing the loved ones that are not here with us to celebrate. I believe the veil stays thin throughout these darks months, and I believe our loved ones and ancestors are most near to us.
This year I encourage you to bring back the age old tradition of telling ghost stories. Light a candle, tell your children stories of your ancestors, and share memories of your loved ones on the other side.
For more ghost stories and tips on how to connect with your own loved ones, check out my book, Ghost Stories & Hippie Sh*t. Available on Kindle, Paperback, and Audiobook. There’s still time to add it to someone’s stocking.
A deep understanding of the connection between mind, body, and spirit has been known in eastern medicine for millennia. Traditional forms of medicine such as Ayurvedic from India, Qigong from China, and Reiki from Japan are all based on the connection of the energy in the body. Healing and balancing this energy impacts your health and vitality; and also mental power and spiritual understanding.
The chakras are 7 swirling colorful energy centers in the body that contain specific types of energy:
The 3 lower chakras are the root (located at your pelvis), sacral (below your bellybutton), and solar plexus chakra (at your sternum). Each one corresponds to physical aspects of your body and connection with yourself and your needs.
A strong root chakra is literally and figuratively the foundation of our bodily existence. Our sacral chakra controls our desires (sexual and otherwise), and our ability to create and procreate. In conjunction with the solar plexus chakra, the seat of our willpower and personal power, we can satisfy our desires and achieve our worldly goals.
The 4 higher chakras are the gateway to the mind and spirit. The heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras. Moving the energy up from the three lower chakras through the solar plexus chakra can give the heart chakra a good energetic massage, improving circulation and enabling you to ‘listen to your heart’, leading to better relationships with others, and yourself.
The throat chakra enables you to speak from the heart- a place of truth and authenticity. The throat chakra links the heart and third eye chakras, so it allows you to also speak your higher truth and wisdom as you tap into your intuition and spiritual beliefs. The crown chakra is the culmination of your spiritual accomplishments. It also allows you to connect with the universe and for the universe to send healing energies to you.
Moving energy from the lower to the higher chakras will connect body, mind and spirit into a balanced and unified whole that can transform your life. Let me teach you how! For more information about my upcoming online class Sea of Colors: Rock your Chakras in 7 weeks, Click Here! And be sure to join my email list so you’re the first to know when it’s released!
By now, almost everyone has come across the word “Chakra”, but what are the chakras and why are they important? If you have been struggling in certain areas of your life and feeling ‘stuck’ or out of balance, it’s time to get to know your chakras…
The chakras are energy centers associated with a certain area of the body, and particular type of energy in each. The 7 chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the pelvis through to the top of the head. Each chakra has its own color and type of energy.
The world Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit. Most illustrations of the chakras make them look like a round ball at each location, but this is not accurate. They are not solidly placed on the body; they actually spin from front to back like a whirlpool. They send out and also attract energy in order to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellness of the body in balance.
What are the energies contained in each chakra?
The Root Chakra (Red)- Stability, having life’s essentials, such as food, water and shelter, and family. A balanced one means prosperity and ease. Imbalance triggers hardship and greed.
The Sacral Chakra (Orange)- Passion, creativity, procreation. Balance gives confidence and sex appeal. Imbalance creates timidity and the feeling of being stuck in a rut.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (Yellow)- Willpower and personal power. Balance gives the energy and motivation to achieve all your goals. Imbalance means a lack of ambition or momentum.
The Heart Chakra (Green)- Love, compassion, empathy. A balanced heart chakra gives you harmony in all your relationships, especially your relationship with self. An imbalanced one closes you off (“a broken heart”) and makes you feel rejected.
The Throat Chakra (Blue)- Communication, speaking your truth. A balanced one helps you with all your spoken and written communications and allows you to tap into your authentic self. Imbalance results in lying, gossiping and being a bad listener.
The Third Eye Chakra (Indigo)- Intuition, wisdom, spirituality. Balance helps you tap into your higher self and make connections with your intuition. An imbalanced one makes you feel stuck or cut off from yourself.
The Crown Chakra (White) -higher self, spirituality. A balanced one leaves you open in mind, body and spirit. A closed one cuts you off from your highest potential and makes you close-minded.
Balance your chakras to see what a difference it can make to your health and prosperity! Click here to learn more about my upcoming online course, “Sea of Colors: Rock your Chakras in 7 Weeks!” and sign up for my email list to receive a FREE Chakra Balancing Meditation!
What is Litha?
Well, to my family and me, Litha is our home. Litha is the name of our sailboat as we travel the world. But what is Litha, and why did we choose it as her name?
Litha is the Celtic/Pagan celebration of the Summer Solstice, and marks the first day of summer. It is opposite of Yule (the Winter Solstice) on the Wheel of the Year. The wheel shows the four “Sabbats”, or Solar Celebrations, coinciding with the Solstices and Equinoxes. And also the four earth celebrations, or “cross quarter days” between solar points. For instance, Samhain (modern day Halloween) is halfway between the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.
Litha is the longest, brightest day of the year. The word “Solstice” comes from the latin word “Solstitium” meaning “sun stands still”. Ancient Celts used to celebrate Litha by traveling to the hilltops and lighting bonfires to honor the space between the earth and the heavens, land and sky.
Other ancient rituals included lighting a large wheel on fire and rolling it down a hill into the water. Litha is the most powerful day for the sun, but it also marks the days becoming shorter again. The water and fiery wheel may have represented soothing the sun’s strong fire, and was an offering to the gods to prevent drought for their crops.
Litha has been known as an important day for ritual. From the Romans honoring Juno, the Goddess of women, childbirth, and marriage, by naming the month of June after her as crops and nature thrive in summer; to offering cinders from bonfires to crops as a blessing. Even William Shakespeare associated ritual and witchcraft with the Summer Solstice in at least three of his plays. It’s a powerful day. Earth and Air, Fire and Water, Day and Night. The sun leaves Gemini with such duality, and enters Cancer, the sign of warmth, home, and comfort.
A modern day ritual that I would recommend today would definitely include focusing on your Solar Plexus Chakra. This Chakra is located just below your ribcage at your sternum. The color associated with your Solar Plexus is yellow, and it represents your own inner sun: Your fire, your willpower, and your sense of self. As you light your own bonfire tonight, write down aspects of your self that do not make you feel as powerful and confident as you truly are. Burn these small pieces of paper in the fire to rid of them and increase your self worth and shine! Stay up late and say goodnight to the sun tonight. Play music, light a BBQ, and enjoy the longest day of the year!
We named our home afloat Litha for our own balance in life; to celebrate a never-ending summer of wanderlust for our family. With this bright light, we follow the adventurous Sagittarius Full Moon with fire and passion on the sea. Follow our family travels at http://www.lifeoffthedeepend.com We have a Blog, Podcast, and YouTube channel!
To learn more about what lights YOU up, beginning today, June 21st, I’m offering 21% off every reading on my website if you book before the end of June! I’m available for my signature “Sea Sessions” through video chat, and also emailed tarot, astrology and chakra readings all summer! Use coupon code LITHA at check out. https://www.seeingfromthesea.com/services
Also, find out more about my upcoming online course “Sea of Colors” and sign up for my email list to receive a free Chakra Balancing Meditation! More info here: https://www.seeingfromthesea.com/classes
Planting seeds, blooming, and returning back to the soil is a common metaphor used to explain how the moon cycles impact us each month.
I offer this new metaphor for flowy, watery, ever-changing, adaptable humans like me. For those of us who do not feel grounded most days, and we definitely don’t feel like pretty flowers:
New Moon ~ An orange sunrise on a beautiful sandy beach — A new day. The water is calm where you sit but you can see the waves caused by the Spring Tide crashing, strong and powerful, on the reef in the distance. You feel the need to rise and spring forward.
Waxing Crescent ~ You find a paddleboard on the beach and decide to get in the sea and float. Dipping your paddle in the water, you gently move forward to explore the reef. You circle around it, watching the waves crash on the other side.
First Quarter ~ You feel the momentum and power from those waves and you need to experience them. You’re nervous, but also excited about not being in this calm little cove anymore. You receive support in the form of an amazing sturdy sailboat. You match the power of those waves with your own power, and you soar over the reef into the vast ocean.
Waxing Gibbous ~ It is a beautiful day at sea, sailing through the ocean under your own power. With only the wind and signs from the universe to tell you where to go next, everything just feels “right”. At night, you look up at the stars and ask them to guide you. You are enjoying your journey.
Full Moon ~ You find a new exciting beach and decide to anchor over and throw a huge party to celebrate your accomplishments and your journey so far. You invite friends, you imbibe, and you dance. You look up at the sky and appreciate the outward focus on your life. You dive in the cool water and swim naked around your boat, cleansing your body and feeling free.
Waning Gibbous ~ The sun is shinning in the late morning and you’re feeling a little hung over from your celebrations. You decide to take it easy and go for a swim to relax. It feels cold and refreshing and you spend some time snorkeling, thinking, and watching the sea life.
Third Quarter ~ It’s time to start thinking about heading over the next reef to go somewhere new. You’re feeling restless in this calm cove and the waves are beginning to become more powerful in the distance again. You take a walk around the island to say goodbye to your new friends and thank them for their time with you.
Waning Crescent ~ It is now sunset, dusk. It is time to let go of this current journey and get ready to begin the next. As it gets darker, you pause and take time to meditate on the beach, feeling a little sad, but ready to start fresh in the morning — A new day.
It has been over a year since I sent my “I have a secret” blog to my former best friend. She told me I was doing the devil’s work and I was going to hell. We haven’t spoken since.
I have changed so much since then. I am a medium. I am a healer. Those who have felt called to see me feel safe while crying their heart out in my studio (or over the phone). I offer them comfort, guidance, breakthrough, closure.
I have learned that what I do has nothing to do with me. I’m a channel, a middle-man, just there to help my clients come in contact with their higher selves, loved ones, and the universe. They heal themselves.
I have absolutely beautiful soul friends now. If I’m going to hell, it’s worth it, and I’m going with the most amazing people I know.
Don’t live your life in fear of what others think of you. Be you. Shine. Use your gifts. The world needs more love.