2013: A Year in Review

In some ways 2013 has been a strange year, not just for me, but apparently for many people. However, sitting here on December 31 I am proud of my year and what I have done with it. Each and every experience has allowed me to be exactly where I need to be today.

2013 has seen me continue my upward trend reagrding my personal goals I set each year. Alberto and I made a New Year’s Resolution box on January 1st, and it hasn’t been opened all year, so it has a bit of dust. But I am so excited to open it tonight and see how many I have been able to accomplish 馃檪 Working with Greig, my life coach, has really helped me be better at goal-setting and I think that it has such a positive influence on my life. I have no shame in admiting that I am ambitious and need a challenge, and this is true for all aspects of me- work, family, friends, life in general. I need to see that I am going forward. One thing I have learnt is that while it is good to move forward, it is equally important to look back over your past and enjoy the fun and special moments. For next year I hope to include this amazing idea from No Time For Flashcards website I think it is a beautiful idea to get the family together and relive the good moments of the year that’s been before making plans and projects for the new year. 2014 will also see me finish my first ever 101 goals in 1001 days, I can’t wait to see how many I managed to do.

Work this year has been so interconnected with my studies, I am enjoying studying my MA, I still feel like the more I learn, the less I really know. It is challenging but also rewarding when I can see myself getting better, even if they are just baby steps. Without a doubt 2013 is a year that I am extremely proud of workwise. I went on my first ever business trip to attend the International House Young Learner Conference in Rome. It is so aspiring to see all these dedicated people sharing their knowledge about what they know regarding good YL Pedagogy. I finished my first year tutoring teachers in YL teaching, and while I am sure I could have done a lot better, I think that at the end of the day I was the one who learnt the most, not the teachers I was tutoring. Like the Jedi philosophy states,

only when you are a teacher, do you truly learn

I also had my first article published which was very exciting. My MA and my teaching passion is YLs. I feel really lucky to be able to work in a field that I not only love but that I feel makes me a better person. Working with kids is such a rewarding experience, and I hope in the future to be able to continue to help other teachers to share my passion. After 5 amazing years working at IH Sabadell, I resigned this summer and am working in another language academy. It took a lot of time to make this decision, but if I am to be true to myself, I need time to really dedicate myself to my studies, I feel I have a lot to offer the teaching profession, and I had gone as far as I could with IH Sabadell. My current position has brought many difficulties and challenges, but I am glad I wasn’t afraid to make the move. So many people are afraid of the unknown, that they prefer to take the easy way out and stick with what they know. 2013 has taught me that I while I definitely respect the concept of change, I am strong enough to do what needs to be done so that I continue my professional development.

All this positivity would make you think that 2013 was perfect for me, but it wasn’t. January 4th saw me the victim of a commonplace crime here in Spain– my mobile was stolen out of my hand from a motorbiker who had snuck up behind me on the sidewalk while I was 20m from my house. I felt violated and afraid that there are people out there who think it is okay to do this kind of thing, or worse to other people. Of course, I replaced my phone, but I couldn’t get back my photos, videos, or my carefree nature. They are forever lost to me. I was also the focus of some pretty heavy bullying. What I learnt from that experience is that no one has the right to shout, belittle, degrade another person not matter what. It can’t be brushed aside as a certain type of humour, or excused by saying it was the result of nerves. I have learnt that we are in control of our actions, and I have no intention of treating others any other way than how I expect to be treated myself, or allowing anyone to treat me with less respect than I show them. For those out there who still don’t see what all the fuss about bullying is, I ask you to watch this music clip by P!nk

Finally, my year in review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the most beautiful person in the world, my partner Alberto. He has been so patient with me and he has taught me so much about having a positive outlook on life. If I have been able to grow and be a better person it is because I have never had to doubt our relationship. I know that I am loved and am the luckiest person in the world. I know there are many partners out there, but Alberto is mine and I am so proud of our relationship, our love and our life. He is my best friend and I know that I am a better person because he has chosen to share his life with me. T’estimo i sempre t’estimar茅.

May 2014 bring you lots of love, fun and silly laughter,
Shay.

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Christmas Countdown

Cute website that counts down to Christmas. With all my big plans for the festive season, I wonder if I will be able to do everything I set out to. If not, the good news is that there is always next year 馃檪

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Celebrating the Festive Season: Yule & Christmas

With December only a week away, this post is for anyone who would like to really get into the holiday season. For Wiccans it is Yule, but I was raised on Christmas and so I really want to enjoy the holiday season with my family too, so I thought why not combine the two and celebrate the whole of December. Also my partner is Catalan/ Spanish and he has a different way of celebrating this festive season too. The idea is not to spend a lot of money, or any at all. It is about bringing magick to our lives each day for the 24 days before Christmas. Some peole say that all of this has become commericalised, but I believe it is as commerical as you make it. If you fill your heart and homes with love and festive cheer, then I think that you will enjoy this month’s celebrations.

December 1
Break out all the decorations for the season and go crazy decorating your house for the holidays. Use an advent calendar, I bought mine from IKEA so I can re-use it each year. With your loved ones (roommates, friends, pets, you) write down 24 activities you would like to do, mix them up and place them in the advent calendar. Each day open the calendar and surprise! You have a fun activity planned for the day 馃檪

Next, select 24 Christmas books, kids books, short stories (basically anything that can be read as a bedtime story) and either wrap them up, or keep them on the bedside table to read: a different story for each night. I think I am going to wrap them up, as this is the first time I will be doing this and I would really like to get into the spirit. Given my passion for books, I thought that it was a really great way to make it part of my celebrations.

Yule Surprise Box
This idea comes from a fantastic website The Imagination Tree, but I thought that I would use it for Yule instead. Fill a decorated box with anything you like, it doesn’t have to be new or expensive. Leave it wrapped up until after the Yule Ritual and enjoy a festive dinner with presents. In mine I will have new pyjamas, sweets, a new book, and then a yellow candle to represent the rebirth of the Sun God, and then Incence such as Myrrh and Frankincence. After the Yule ritual I will try and wake up for sunrise and welcome the Sun back, with a walk in nature.

Christmas Eve: The Catalan Way
In Spain they traditionally celebrate the Epiphany (January 6) with the 3 Wise Men bringing presents to the kids. In Catalan tradition they have what is called a Caga Ti贸, which is fed every night until Christmas Eve. Then after dinner, everyone gathers around and sing a song while the kids whack Caga Ti贸. They then leave the room and when the kids come back, Caga Ti贸 has presents for them hidden under his blanket. I am not a fan of violence, so I think that I will skip the whacking part, and just have everyone sing the song. Afterwards, I am going to watch Love Actually, as it has become somewhat of a tradition to watch that film on Christmas Eve. If anyone has any other films they like to watch for Christmas, please let me know in the comments below.

Christmas Day
This is the day to celebrate whatever way you want. Every family and person have their own traditions, and I think that it is important to respect this.

However you choose to celebrate the festive season, I wish you lots of magick, love and silly laughter for the month of December. I will be editing this post and adding content as I go. I would love your feedback and your ideas to make the holiday season a beautiful end to the year.

Best wishes always,
Shay.

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2005: A Year in Review

Well, with record-breaking speed, 2005 is quickly coming to an end. For me it’s time to rug up, enjoy the festive season, and finally become the professional snowboarder I know I can be 馃檪 Well if Santa brings me the snowboard I’m hoping for 馃槈
After last year’s corresponding email, many things for me have changed. I began 2005 on a bit of a high, I had the chance to meet many new people in a short space of time. So the beginning of this year was great: new people, new ideas, new experiences, and a general sense of being happy, or at least content with what I had. I was doing more, seeing more, actively seeking to make my life just that little more interesting, I was building my own “family away from home”…… but perhaps with this year coming to an end it聽has made me less optimistic and more cynical/ pragmatic… maybe with my engagement and sense of wanting the best for my family to come, I have become completely disheartened with the world聽in which聽we live, and terrified to raise a family in a society (whichever it may be) where interpersonal relations seem to be a distant memory, replaced by a cut-throat battle just to survive. I feel that I am no exception here. The mid-life crisis is now affecting my generation. Now, all of us in our 20s are burnt out. What took us 40 years to accomplish, now we have to do in 20. What we left for “when we聽are married”, we now face alone. We are a generation “on the move” but to where?
With all this new “time-saving” technology, we have become experts at time management; continuously squeezing in more and more work as our gadgets, originally designed to save us time聽and allow us to relax and unwind, now find us more and more time to earn us more money. Mobile phones meant that we no longer had to be in an office,聽business could be discussed on trains, in cars (hhhmmm!!!), buses, the 5 minutes before meeting friends, or the 1 minute walk from the car to the front door of our houses…but even this has been further simplified with the sms text message phenomena…creating even more聽space for us to cram more work into our already overflowing schedule. Where the Internet, which聽replaced the telephone, which in turn replaced letter writing, which returned face to face interactions, has allowed us to “keep in better contact” with friends/ family, surpassing distances and other barriers to this archaic method of actually taking the time out to sit down and be with our friends/ family, it has also brought falseness to our lives. We pat ourselves on the back for the number of contacts we have in our address book, just how many friends we have, but unless they email you, probably they just sit there forgotten until the next group email.
So then,聽what is friendship? Is it a random email that is cut and paste to each person saving us from聽typing the same thing to 100 different people? Is it meeting up with friends once a year, and talking maybe once every 3 months? For me I thought that I had built up a good group of friends, people with whom I could share my experiences with and in return be enriched by the experiences they brought to my life. Even when my work schedule had me out of my house working from 8am-21h everyday, I actively tried to maintain this contact, being the person to call, write, email, sms….but many people no longer had the time/ interest. Perhaps they were just wanting to pass English exams, perhaps they were just wanting the “street cred” of having a foreign friend, but quickly got bored with this and moved on,聽 perhaps they were just looking for a girlfriend, and soon forgot about me when I met Alberto, or perhaps time (or more specifically the lack of) got the better of us. I will never know, but this has taught me, that I don’t need to be friends with everyone, it’s conceptually and physically impossible.聽I need friends in my life, but this friendship聽has to聽be both ways, on my part and the part of the others. The friends that I have maintained throughout this year, are without a doubt the most precious people I know, for whom I would do anything for, and I know that they would do anything for me. And for me, this is聽the essence聽of friendship. 聽And for this I am eternally grateful that聽my friends聽continue to share their聽lives with me, and it is my sincerest hope that things continue like this for many years, but at least throughout 2006 馃槈
Friendship, however,聽is not the only social area to be affected by the speed in which we live our lives. The once sacred institution of family (in whichever form it may be) has also been sacrificed. Parents are working 20 hours a day just to be able to provide the bare essentials, but in doing so they lose their children as their children have no idea who their parents are as they are shuffled聽between family members, day care centres, or sports clubs. Is it any wonder that the youth of today are so unruly and obnoxious? Is it any wonder that parents feel so out of touch with their children? It’s true that families are the first to give support when things go wrong, but we also need to feel loved and valued when things go right, we need to feel like we don’t have to physically聽be present聽just to matter and belong to our own families. For me these 3 years in Spain, not a day has gone by when I haven’t missed being able to see my family, not one single day have I had where I didn’t think about them….but these 3 years have made me a stranger to my family, they don’t know the person I have become, nor do I know anything about them. Their lives have moved on, whereas I am stuck with a memory 3 years outdated. And for this I feel selfish. My need for something different, for independence has taken me away for the one thing I treasure most of all: my family. It was my choice, and I made this choice alone, therefore I can not complain about the consequences it has brought to my life. And this reality saddens me, as I think it should be inconceivable that I should get used to not having my family around, that I should be comfortable being an outsider to the one place I should聽belong to automatically.
This is聽the sad reality of today’s world: less interaction and more action. More work and less family. I don’t think I would have even been aware of this if it weren’t for Alberto’s family. In Spain the concept of family is one of togetherness (not independence)… at first I was surprised (and a little embarrassed) that my 25-year-old boyfriend had to be at home to eat with his family, that he couldn’t just do what he wanted, that he聽had to have an active presence at home (not just to have washing done, or to ask for money)…he’s 25 years old, why is his family running his life??? But now I am completely ashamed by these thoughts of mine. Within a short period of time, these people have accepted me into their family and have given me a new meaning for the word. They have provided me with a place where I can go to for support, and where I can go to laugh and have fun. I think I am very lucky to experience both extremes of “family”, I am thankful to my parents for having given me the strength and independence to follow my dreams and not to give up even though everything seems impossible, for having given me the support to lean on when I was in trouble, and for teaching me that my happiness should be the most important thing to me. Without all of this, I would never have met my boyfriend, and聽I hope that when the time comes to start my own family (in the distant future), that I am as selfless as they have been with me, and that I am strong enough to provide the support聽my children will need from me聽if they choose to follow their dreams, and these dreams take them halfway around the world. At the same time I hope to provide a sense of togetherness that is so very prominent here, where it’s not an obligation or an embarrassment to spend time with parents or family. Where family interaction is not for personal gain.聽I enjoy the Saturday lunches and family get-togethers with Alberto’s family, and this is something I would love to be able to instill in my children: a sense of pride and enjoyment in sharing our lives together.
Basically life takes us in many directions, at warp speed, and if we are to聽survive聽this cold, mechanical world, the only way to fight it is to remember who each of us are. This year I have finally accepted who I am, and what I have to offer. Being true to myself has been the best gift I could have possibly given myself. I know who I am, and where I’m going. I just hope the world let’s me get there. And I will be sure to make time to stop and smell the roses along the way.
I hope you all enjoy the festive season, and all the best for 2006.
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Samhain Ritual 2013

It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer. We give thanks to the earth for everything it has given us this season. Summer is gone and winter is coming. It is a time to remember our ancestors. It’s a time of introspection: to let go of failure and sadness, to bury fear and prepare for renewal and good fortune. It’s a time of three things: Coming to terms with death, honouring our loved ones who have passed on, and wrapping up any projects for the year.聽

Ritual 2013

Candles: Black and Orange.聽Incense: Myrrh, Sandalwood, Lavander, Frankincense, Cinnamon, Patchouli

1. Dinner

Read Poem of Death to start dinner. Lay extra plates for your loved ones and give small portions of your meal to them. Light a white candle with Patchouli Oil:

“With this candle and by its light, I welcome you spirits this Samhaim night.”

2. Ritual Bath

Purify self in bath. Meditate on preparing yourself for this winter cycle. It is a time to rest and evaluate our lives. Name 3 values you wish to incorporate into your life (I chose patience, diligence and kindness this year):

  • chastity vs. lust
  • charity vs. greed
  • patience vs. wrath
  • humility vs. pride
  • temperance vs. gluttony
  • diligence vs. sloth
  • kindness vs. envy

Promise the God and Goddess that you will find ways to bring these into your life. Dress for ritual and humbly ask the God and Goddess to guide you along your path.

3. Cast Circle

Purify space and light orange Samhain candle. Cast circle as usual. Invoke the Goddess Hecate by lighting three candles on the lefthand side of the altar:

“I light 3 candles for the Triple Goddess… Glorious Maiden, Goddess of Youth and New Beginnings.” (Light White Candle) “Great Mother, Goddess of Love and Knowledge.” (Light Red Candle) “Dark Crone, Wise Goddess of the night, death and rebirth.” (Light Black Candle) “I welcome the Goddess Hecate in all her forms.”

Invoke the God Hades by lighting candles on the righthand side of the altar:

“I light 3 candles for theTriple God… Bright Sun King, God of Success and Plenty.” 聽(Light Yellow Candle) “Horned God of the woodlands, God of Fertility and Growth.” (Light Green Candle) “Dark Lord of the Underworld, God of Protection and Rest.” (Light Black Candle) “I welcome the God Hades in all his forms.

4. Honour the Dead

“I dedicate this night to the souls of my dearly departed as well as my own. All of you who have gone before me, I honour you and give you my respect.”

Eat half of the apple that has been prepared for Samhain (cut acrossways to show the pentacle seed arrangement). Face West and meditate, commune with the dead or share memories. Eat the other half of the apple to signify there is life after death.

5.聽The New Year Begins

With the affirmation from the Burning Down the Year Ritual, meditate on the 3 virtues you have chosen for this year. Imagine yourself in everyday situations where they might be of use. Take note of any insight gained.

6. Transformation

Wear masks and say aloud everything you wish to get rid of.

“Samhain is a time of death and endings. A time to banish that which we don’t need. But death is not the end. After death, comes rebirth, so it’s time to start again.”

Take off the mask and write the 3 virtues on it. These virtues are no longer hidden behind a mask, they are part of the persona we project to the world. They are a reflection of our true selves.

Meditate on 12 areas of your life: Home, Family, Work, Fun, Leisure, Friendships, Money, Spirituality, Possesions, Pursue Passions, Attitudes, Health. Order them from most important to least. These will map out the 12 months of the upcoming year, starting at Yule. From now until Yule take notes of specific goals you wish to achieve or things you would like to work on- write these ideas down in a notebook.

7. Cakes & Ale

Eat ritual food and leave offerings for the God and Goddess. Make a toast in the same glasses used for the Burning Down the Year Ritual “Enjoy and celebrate everything.”聽Thank the God and Goddess for their assistance, and ask them for their blessing as you pass your notebook through the Samhain candle for purification.

“Thank you Hecate and Hades for a good year and for assisting me this Samhain evening. Please bless the year to come.”

8. End Ritual

Close circle and end ritual. Spend the next few days doing any and all activities of the season. End Samhain with a good scary movie (I can’t watch scary movies so I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas) or read a good scary book ( I recommend The Graveyeard Book, Frankenstein or Dracula)

References

I have adapted reading material to make this ritual, and have lost the references to some parts of this ritual beause I printed them a long time ago. If a reader knows who to attribute parts of this ritual to, please let me know so I can give due credit.

Duff, G. (2002).聽The wheel of the wiccan year.聽London: Random House.

Horne, F. (1999).聽Witch- A magickal year.聽Sydney: Random House.

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Thank You!

I would just like to say thanks for following me. I have only been a blogger for about 3 weeks and I have already got 10 followers. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read through my posts and have decided their content may interest you, especially as I am still slowly building up my blog and have a heap more content to add. If there is anything you feel I should include in my posts, please let me know, because at the end of the day I am trying to write to my audience. If I was writing just for me, I would keep a diary, so please feel free to tell me what things you are interested in reading on A Walk with Fairies.

May your life be full of love and silly laughter, always and forever.
Best wishes,

Shay.

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Preparing for Samhain: The Wheel of the Year

Samhain is a solemn time where we acknowledge those who have passed on to the spirit world. In today’s society it is celebrated as Halloween with the light making way for good spirits and scary decorations and fancy dress scare away the undesirable. It is both the beginning and the end of the year. At this time an atmosphere is created where the spirit world is tangible and where we honour the forces of death as it is death which gives life its true purpose. The Goddess is in her Crone role, my personal favourite, Hecate as she is seen as the Wise One.

Significance of Samhain

  • It is a time to seek understanding of the cycles of life and death.
  • The dark half of the year is for introspection. Winter gives us the time to look within ourselves, undistracted. We examine our lives and say goodbye to projects and people that are no longer with us.
  • It is a time to let go of failure and sadness as we prepare for renewal and good fortune. All frustrations and past failures are buried so that we can be reborn at Yule. In Samhain we rebuild what needs to be, and we release what is no longer needed.
  • In our own personal year we have seen our tasks and projects begin with the light. Now we put this past year behind us and begin anew. No new tasks or projects are set at this time- we use this time before Yule to absorb new inspiration and thoughts.
  • At Samhain we think of how we may like to change or drop the masks we wear-聽those which we show to the outside world.
  • Focus: transformation, regeneration, honour the dead, divination, honour the third and final harvest of the year, prepare for winter.
  • 3 major themes: Divination to acquire wisdom as the Goddess is in her Crone aspect. Face up to challenges and personal sacrifices as the God is in his Hunter aspect. Honour your loved ones who have passed on by lighting a candle.

Samhain Imagery

  • Cut apples to expose the pentacle arrangement of the seeds.
  • Black candles, dark red flowers, dark divination crystals.
  • Pomegranates.
  • Black altar cloth and cauldron.
  • Autumn leaves.
  • Crone: dark red, purple, and black
  • Hunter: dark green, orange and black

Samhain Activities

  • Storytelling by candlelight.
  • Dumb supper with a place set at the table for those who have passed on.
  • Carve a pumpkin to repel negativity.
  • Research your family history, make a family photo album, dedicate a shrine to your ancestors through pictures and photos on your altar.
  • Trick or Treat, fancy dress
  • Go for a walk in nature when the first frosts appear. Reflect on the changes you can see.
  • Focus on absent or distant friends and make practical steps to reconnect and keep in touch.
  • Recharge your batteries by getting enough sleep and rest.

Samhain Food

  • Potatoes
  • Sausages
  • Meat
  • Pumpkin soup and Pumpkin pie
  • Baked apples
  • Gingerbread

Reference Material

Horne, F. (1998).聽Witch a personal journey.聽Sydney: Random House

Moorey, T. (1996).聽Paganism a beginner’s guide.聽London: Headway.

Murphy-Hiscock, A. (2005). Solitary wicca for life. Avon, MA Provenance Press.

Ravenwolf, S. (2010).聽Solitary witch.聽Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

West, K. (2002). The real witches’ kitchen. London: Element.

 

 

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My Hopes and Dreams: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

1. Visit Paris- done 6 December 2012
2. Visit London
3. Spend Christmas in New York City
4. Stay at an Ice Hotel in Iceland
5. Visit Saint Petersburg
6. Visit Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
7. Travel through Scandenavia
8. Visit Japan- done 10-15 August 2013
9. Read 40 books in 2012- done 21 December 2012
10. Read 40 books in 2013- done 29 August 2013

11. Read 40 books in 2014
12. Attend The Vampire Diaries Convention- done 5 May 2012
13. Meet Ian Somerhalder- done 5 May 2012

14. Leave random notes of inspiration around where I live
15. Complete the Camino de Santiago from France to Finesterre
16. Complete the Camino de Santiago North Walk
17. Complete the Camino de Santiago Portuguese Walk
18. Complete the Italian Walk to Rome
19. Make a Dreamboard reflecting the Wheel of the Year- done 30 December 2012
20. Make a book of my photography
21. Edit my book I have written
22. Publish my book
23. Study Portuguese
24. Study Italian
25. Study French
26. Study German
27. Obtain Catalan Level C
28. Study Chinese Mandarin
29. Study Japanese
30. Obtain Spanish DELE Advanced
31. Pass TKT test for teachers
32. Read all books I own
33. Study magick as a solitary for a year and a day
34. Watch all films I own
35. Watch all TV series I own
36. Become healthier- done 10 August 2014
37. Have X鈧 in bank- done 1 August 2013
38. Pass LIN8001- done 14 July 2012
39. Pass LIN8002- done 23 November 2012
40. Pass LIN5000- done 23 February 2013
41. Write letters monthly to my Grandmother- done 31 December 2012

42. Go snowboarding in Andorra
43. Visit Vall d’Aran- done 31 August 2013
44. Become a certified online tutor
45. Pass LIN8007- done 6 June 2013
45. Scrapbook my European travels
46. Scrapbook my family photos
47. Scarapbook my life with Alberto
48. Scrapbook my life
49. Visit Canada
50. Visit Budapest
51. See the Anne Frank and Van Gogh Museums in Amsterdam
52. Visit Ireland- done 1 November 2013
53. Visit Scotland
54. Visit Wales
55. Become a YL tutor and co-ordinator- done 31 July 2013
56. See the pyramids and the Sphinx in Cairo
57. Go to a concert
58. Go to the theatre
59. Get 10 followers for my blog- done 31 October 2013
60. Volunteer work at hospital for Christmas
61. Pass LIN5003- done 11 February 2014
62. Go to a YL conference- done 1 March 2013
63. Take a Bellydancing class
64. Take a Bollywood class
65. Stand in Moscow’s Red Square
66. Make New Moon Dreamboards for a year- done 19 January 2013
67. Celebrate Full Moons for a year- done 29 December 2012
68. Build Millenium Falcon Lego- done 7 April 2012
69. Finish building Lego Death Star- done 31 March 2013

70. Finish Star Wars Lego Game
71. Finish Star Wars 2 Lego Game
72. Finish Star Wars 3 Lego Game
73. Finish Harry Potter Lego 1-4 Game
74. Finish Harry Potter Lego 5-7 Game
75. See Cirque du Soleil- done 20 January 2012
76. Learn to sing 10 songs in different languages off by heart
77. See Niagara Falls
78. Publish my Cambridge YLE book
79. Publish an article in a journal- done 1 July 2013
80. Have a magickal week
81. Run a mini marathon for fundraising
82. Hold a conference- done 12 April 2013
83. Visit Patagonia
84. Visit Machu Picchu
85. Go on a tour of Langley
86. Visit JFK gravesite
87. See the Lincoln Memorial
88. Go to the Smithsonian
89. Visit Monaco
90. Visit the Amazon Jungle
91. Give a presentation at a conference- done 12 April 2013
92. Write MA thesis
93. Go to San Diego Comic Con
94. Complete my Happiness Project
95. Spend Christmas in Lapland
96. Stay in the Bubble Hotel in France
97. Complete my Birthday Project- done 19 January 2014
98. Become a mum
99. Write an EFL Blog
100. Start my own business
101. Do a First Aid Course

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Burning Down the Year

The October Full Moon brings cool, clear nights and the knowledge that winter is coming. It is a moon of new goals. It’s the time to reflect on the past year and to evaluate achievements; letting go of old habits and energies. Think about how far you have come this past year, and how far you still have to go. Write down a short list of things you wish to release in order to progress and make room for the new.聽Affirmation:聽There is fun to be found in all situations!聽Activities:聽Dancing, eating delicious food, storytelling.

Ritual 2013

Candles: Blue and Purple.聽Gems: Amethyst and Lapis Lazuli.聽Element: Air

Gather all leftovers from the previous magickal year and clear off the altar, leaving it bare. Meditate on the past year: both good and bad. This allows the countdown to Samhain to be more peaceful with a lot less unfinished business.

1. Dinner聽

Explain the significance of the day and what the ritual will be about. Make up a story with 10 word cards, chosen at random.聽Menu: Apple Dip and Crackers, Green Beans and Tomato, Ginger and Pear Chicken, Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows.

2. Meditation

Light candle in cauldron and meditate on the past year. Release these memories through grieving, rejoicing or indifference. Write down on a piece of blue paper in the left-hand column everything you want to let go of. Write a summary tag: a picture, symbol or expression that best summarises what you want to release and say goodbye as you toss it into the cauldron (mine was negativity). Breath deeply and imagine your true self, coming clear of these old habits and attitudes and turn your thoughts towards the coming year. On the blue paper in the right-hand column write down everything you wish to welcome into your life. As before write on the summary tag something which best encapsulates your wishes and tie the tag to a celebration glass. Cut the string and recycle the tag, sending out positive energy into the world so that it can find its way back into your life (mine was Be Shay).

3. Make a Toast

Consider a verb that you want to use as your personal affirmation statement for the upcoming year. Fill the celebration glass with the string attached to symbolise your hopes and wishes for the next year and make a toast (my phrase was聽Enjoy and celebrate everything!).

Meditate on welcoming your wishes and hopes for the upcoming year for 5 minutes each following day until the night of Samhain to give yourself a clearer idea of the direction you are heading, and to allow these ideas to transform into concrete goals and objectives at Samhain.

I have adapted reading material to make this ritual, and have not intentionally copied the work of anyone. If a reader knows who to attribute parts of this ritual to, please let me know so I can give due credit.

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