Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Miscellaneous Update

It's been so long since my last post that, yes, I must post twice in a row!  :P

Having covered the things going on in my general sphere lately, I wanted to cover a few miscellaneous things that I just felt like updating you about, dear readers!

Black Arts Oil

A while back I made Black Arts oil and posted about it.  In addition to a recipe and method for making it, I posted a picture of the product immediately after bottling and shaking.  Since then, as happened with the other oil I made and put into a mana potion bottle...after the ingredients settled, this little project took on an artistic little turn, as shown in the picture to the left!

This somehow looks very fitting, and I really like it!  A lot of the tiny granules of sulphur settled on the tendrils of the spanish moss, and it looks a bit like something twisted and ash-covered in there.

The Witch's Jar

My initial uses of my new Witch's Jar have seen positive results.  It has been a few weeks since I last used it, so I need to get cracking on that if for nothing else than to test the extent of its abilities.

Handmade Mojo Bags

In the past week or so, I made a set of red flannel bags by for use in making Mojo or Conjure Hands.  In Strategic Sorcery, Jason teaches a specific method of constructing them that was taught to him by Papa Legba.  In the same lesson, he goes on to give two recipes he has used with success.  I took the one for finding a job and modified it for long-term employment ends as well as finding secondary income while working a full-time job.  I'll update with the results once I actually make and empower it.

Initially, the bags took a while to sew by hand, as I don't have a machine and didn't know good hand-sewing technique.  But then I watched some videos about hand-sewing, put the stuff I learned there into practice, and now I can get through a bag in about 20 minutes.

The Much-Needed Update

I must say, it has been a minute since I last posted here!

Basically, Shit went down in my life, namely in the form of losing my job.  After two weeks of them putting me through mental torment by doing a horrible job at covering up the interviews with replacement candidates not 20 feet from me behind closed doors...the news was sprung to me by my company on a Friday (Jan 13).  I was allowed to finish with one more week, which was decent of the company involved, given my admittedly biased-sounding opinion regarding their absurd reason for letting me go (hint: it wasn't about my actual, real-time job performance, behavior, interaction, or attendance; they had little to no complaint about that).

I spent the weekend emotionally coping, polishing up my resume and posting it on the major jobsearch sites.  I also spent chunks of time doing macro-enchantments with the powers of Saturn (stability in my life and steady work), Jupiter (abundance in life and job opportunities), and Mercury (business success and technology).  Some of it wasn't so macro because, though I called on the archangels of the planets to send blessings into my sphere, I also called upon the intelligences and spirits of those planets for more specific tasks and influences.  I had more magical activities planned for the ensuing week, along with much applying, networking, and overall job-seeking.

However, I didn't get that far.

The day after my company broke the news about my impending unemployed status, I received a call from a recruiter about another job, and that Monday a phone interview was scheduled.  It was made obvious right from the start that the phone interview would be the only interview...which raised a flag for me, but I went along with it.  I interviewed that Wednesday, and on Thursday I had a job offer for just $1 less per hour than I was making before (which somehow turned into the same amount I was making later, on paper).  Another company gave me a phone interview after too long a delay, but I rolled with it...and a day or two later, they wanted an in-person interview!

However, I took the first job because it paid the same as I was already making and was closer to where I already live!  I started this past Wednesday, having been unemployed for all of two (2) business days.

Let's just say I'm planning an elaborate offering ceremony to a certain three planetary powers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

[New Year, New You] Relax, Don't Do It

This post is part of the New Year, New You experiment in radical magical transformation.  I'm late coming in to this prompt, but its call is simple: Do something nice for yourself.

This prompt has been surprisingly hard to do.  I know what would really be a treat for me right now: spending time by myself, enjoying some of my favorite things, and not thinking about or working on anything that I currently need to.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to do that.

Life's been pretty stressful.  Work has been the major source of high anxiety for me, and my truck has required more repair recently to the tune of a couple hundred dollars.  I really can't put into words how unearthly tired I am of my near future being so uncertain.

On the positive side of things, I am making great progress toward my NYNY goal: Catching my bills up and starting on my emergency fund.

But what to do between working towards my goals and being stressed out?

Lately, I've at least been giving myself one indulgence that is a classic for me: Videogames.  I haven't had much time for them anymore, but in the past, videogames were a source of stress relief and distraction for me.  Immersion in a fictional world can feel good because you don't necessarily have all your cares and woes.  I'm not nearly as much of a gamer as I used to be, but every now and then, it's nice to sit down, let go, and stomp the shit outta some darkspawn or other monsters!

Additionally, I've been keeping my meditation practice on most nights, and will continue to do so.  Part of my problem is that I get bound up inside my own head and can't stop my thoughts from running away with me.  Meditation has provided a way for me to escape that, and to take more control back.  With all the worry I've been experiencing lately, I need meditation now more than ever.

That's about all I have for now.  Tonight finds me physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  I'm gonna go enjoy some sangria and soft music.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

[New Year, New You] Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground

Lately, I've been coming to realize a trait that seems to have been passed around my lineage from my grandfather, to my mother, and to me.

Impulse spending.

By the gods, the ways in which this can be a trap are so many and so insidious it can honestly be surprising!  The top thought that I've learned to banish from my head as I'm doing any kind of shopping is, "I could probably use that!"  Well, sure, I could, peaches!  But will I, or will the damn thing just take up more space?

It's usually the latter.

Impulse spending has probably been one of the single most financially damaging things I have done to myself over and over again over the years.  It's partly responsible for my credit card debt.  It's even one of the reasons that, even though my new job pays so much more than the old, I still haven't caught up my bills (despite having been there for almost 2 months).

For years, deep in the back of my mind, I've wanted to put a chokehold on my spending impulses, but have never completely done so.  With the new year here, however, I've decided that it absolutely has to go.  I can't keep avoiding the reality that I have to curb my spending in order to gain financial security!  On the mundane side of things, I'm going to draft a small set of rules to direct my spending.  The first rule is more of a counter-habit, but here is what I have so far:

  • When shopping, the automatic response to myself is "No".
  • When shopping, a list must be made beforehand.
  • The list must contain items that are really needed or have an immediate or near-future purpose that is very clearly defined and will definitely be followed-through on within a week.
  • Food eaten out or on delivery must not cause me to exceed the weekly food budget.

On the magical side of things, I am considering a conjuration of Tzaphkiel, governor of the planetary sphere of Saturn, to help me bind my habit.

Not only have I been putting off the quashing of this nasty habit, but the habit itself puts off my financial security, as I'm robbing myself with a million tiny and unnecessary purchases that give my bank account the death of a thousand papercuts.  I'm done robbing myself!