A rare opportunity to help!

My store has been presented with a rare opportunity to be a finalist in IdeaCafe’s $1000 grant.  If we won this grant, we would be able to expand on our offerings to the public both in merchandise and services.  Please consider voting for us to make this happen.

http://www.businessownersideacafe.com/small_business_grants/16th-grant-voting.php?profile=16469

***Just an update***

The voting opportunity ends June 11th (tomorrow).  Only the top 10 get to move on to the next round.  Please take a moment to vote.  It will really help!!!

Bright Blessings!

Posted in Books, Candles, Classes, Crystals, Incense, June, Michigan, pagan, Stones, vote, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning about Selenite

I have been working with stones and following this path for over 13 years.  For the first time ever I have encountered a “bad” batch of selenite.  We all know that selenite is a soft stone and works great to keep a space clean, cleanse other stones, and to help facilitate Divine communication.  Many have also heard not to clean selenite with water.  Technically it never needs cleansed as it doesn’t absorb negativity.  However, some are a stickler about cleaning all their stones, including selenite.  Well, this video I attached shows what can happen when selenite has been over exposed to moisture/water.  A shipment of 10 lbs of selenite came into the store today and only 5 lbs were good.  The rest…well, watch the video and see:

http://voices.yahoo.com/mistranslated-bible-quotes-thou-shalt-not-suffer-a-9165647.html

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Paganism continued

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Wicca was first brought to the public by Gerald Gardner and was added to by the Farrar’s,
Starhawk, Scott Cunningham, Raymond Buckland, and others. Wicca combines what is believed to be traditional witchcraft with ceremonial magic, and eastern philosophies along with a few other belief systems. You generally have very formal ideas, and certain ways of carrying out craft work. In some situations there is a hierarchical structure of degrees, use of magical tools, strict laid out ceremonies, and more. This is a religious belief just as Catholic, Druid, Egyptian, Baptist, etc.
Personally I am an Eclectic Witch. I perform spells, healings, readings, etc. However, in my religious belief I encompass an array of different paths to include Wicca, Voodoo, Shamanism, and Buddhism.
Remember that history was written by those whom survived wars, attacks, and persecutions, the victims occasionally get to write some of the history. Whenever you are researching history, remember this fact. With this understanding, remember that much of what was originally known as witchcraft has been lost to us. I have utilized several sources that offered an honest history of witchcraft from then to now.

HISTORY

For modern witches, the history of the craft is told orally, as the story of a
people’s journey over time. Our history is a living story. We are a part of it.
We are writing our own chapter now. Our children will continue the story,
and hopefully it will never go so far underground that it will be lost again.

-Christopher Penczak; Inner Temple of Witchcraft

The history of Witchcraft can be found as far back as the Stone Age when the man of that day had only the sun, moon, and stars to figure out time, predict the seasons, find direction, and understand their existence. They also revered women during this time as women brought forth children and children were vital to continuing their existence. There is strong belief and some historical images that lead us today to believe that women were leaders of many of the tribes.
Their historical images showed us that they had some spiritual beliefs and seen the Earth as mother, the giver of life. “She” provided vegetation, drink, and shelter. They believed her male partner was an animal God of sorts, providing the animals tribes needed to survive. They also had other spirit beings to provide them with a way to understand the sun, moon, stars, and other phenomenon. We obviously learned differently over time and through different levels of intelligence, investigation, and learning. This lingering call of Mother Earth/Moon and Father Animal/Sun still lives on deep within our own spiritual selves. That call is okay as it relates back to our DNA. As the world moves more quickly around us and we seek not only that balance, but that inner peace when life becomes
overwhelming, those strands embedded within begin to call out when the body realizes the stress being felt does not require a fight or flight response.  Having a deeper meaning and understanding of the world around us is something we all strive for. It happens in Science and in Religion. We are all looking for better understanding of the world around us, of ourselves, and of why we are here.
Witchcraft is the closest I personally have ever come to finding that answer, and I believe everyone should have a better understanding of it.
Witchcraft is a term that was used by the Christians to label the people of Europe before 300 A.D. So what exactly does witchcraft mean? Breaking it down, Witch is a modern word for the old English word wicce meaning “female magician, sorceress.” Craft comes from the old English craft which originally meant “power, physical strength, might.” Therefore, witchcraft would be a powerful female magician. However, today, witchcraft is no longer limited only to women. At one time men were called he-witches but this term is no longer necessary today.
So who were the witches of yesterday? They were “believers.” They held roles that we would today describe as priests, police, judges, counselors, doctors, nurses, historians, etc. Their religious title changed depending on the region but the care they gave to the people were the same.
Christianity spread throughout the lands from Jerusalem, through the disciples of Jesus soon after his death. They believed their mission was to go throughout all the lands of the world to spread his gospel. In doing so, they believed the only way to be saved was through Jesus who they believed was the son of God. Any other worship of any other entity, to them, was blasphemy and idolatry, which was a sin. This belief system led to years before, during, and after the inquisition of persecution, death, and imprisonment.
Due to various levels of persecution as Christianity spread throughout the lands, some people held to their beliefs and continued to worship their Gods. Many have had to hide their beliefs and practices throughout the centuries.  Groups and/or families of witches passed down their traditions from generation to generation because they were the only ones believed to be trustworthy and free from persecution. These witches often pretended to be Christian in public to save themselves, their coven, and their families. Their tools were hidden in everyday items: the broom, the knife, the spoon, and the cauldron became staples of the arts. “Everyone had these objects, so you could not be accused of witchcraft for simply owning them.”

Fast forward to America in the 1600’s. This is the history most people know about. It is often called the “burning times” in Salem, Massachusetts. Interestingly though, no one was ever actually burned at the stake in Salem. What many do not know is that most of the people that were killed in the name of Witchcraft were not witches. In total, thirty-six people were killed and 150 were imprisoned. Most of these were actually over capitalism. If John wanted Bob’s property next door but he will not sell, accusing him of being a witch was a surefire way to cause him to lose everything.
Then taking over his land is easy. There were many opportunities people used to hurt someone in the name of Witchcraft. An angry teenager could claim she seen her mother practicing. This would lead to an investigation and generally death. One of the way’s they would test a witch was to tie a heavy rock to the person’s ankle. If they sunk, they were good, if they floated, they were a witch.
Once they sunk, they had to hurry and try to untie them before they drowned. Not all were
successful. Thankfully, the trials ended in 1693 but it wasn’t without damage and further confirmed that witches had to remain hidden. Thankfully, in 1735 King George I passed the Witchcraft Act in England that said witchcraft was not real and as such all persecutions should cease.  This did put an end to many of the deaths, but by this point witches were feared, hated, and believed to be evil.
By the 16th century, the damage had been. The devil was seen as a personification of the God Pan, the misinterpretation of Exodus 22:18: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” spread hatred toward witches when in fact the proper translation would have been a poisoner.
As we know, time has a way of undoing what should not have been done in the first place. It took about a thousand years after the Witchcraft Act was passed but aspects of witchcraft began carefully resurfacing, mainly as a method to earn money. In the 1800’s psychic abilities, séances, and healings became popular. In the late 1800’s The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn surfaced in England, which is famous for its member Aleister Crowley. Crowley was well known and a great magician, but was full of pride which caused him to eventually leave the Golden Dawn and create his own group, Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). During this time, too we learn about Edgar Cayce, known as the “sleeping prophet.” He would give detailed, very accurate psychic readings in his sleep about
cures to illnesses, relationships, the future, and more.
Witches were hidden just about as deeply as they could be. They met privately in the forest, cloaked so no one could recognize them. They joined together “in perfect love and perfect trust.” Times were difficult, but many were still able to practice.
Then in 1954, Gerald Gardner changed everything when he published ‘Witchcraft Today’ followed shortly thereafter with ‘The Meaning of Witchcraft’ in 1959. These books were not the first books on Witchcraft, but they were written in a way that everyone understood what he was teaching which began to remove the fear of the unknown. There were many people at this time looking for alternative spiritual paths and they found it in Gardner’s books. During the 60’s and 70’s many Covens climbed out of secrecy as Gardner’s books were accepted and spread far and wide. These Covens showed there was a variety of different branches of Witchcraft. Gardner took what he learned from the ‘New Forest Coven’ he once belonged to and turned it into Gardnerian Witchcraft.
Another gentleman, Alex Sanders took what he knew and developed that into Alexandrian
Witchcraft. Native American spirituality and shamanism developed during this time as well. Some of the other paths that sprang up include Dianic, Green, Faery, Eclectic, and Seax Wica. During this time too, many didn’t like the term Witch. They instead used terms such as Druid, Heathen, Enlightened, Spiritual, Pagan and more. In 1972 thanks to Gavin and Yvonne Frost, Wicca became federally recognized which allowed Earth Based Religions equal rights, as other non-profit entities. In 1997 Wiccans held their first chaplain service at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas. In 2007 with the help of Selena Fox, head of Circle Sanctuary in WI, the VA finally recognized the Pentacle as a religious symbol that could be placed on military headstones. We have gone through a rough time, but we have survived and now have stable ground in religion. The fight for equality is not over, there are still situations where being a pagan, witch, heathen, etc., can cause a problem. Although companies operate as an EEOC, if someone’s boss does not like that an employee is pagan, they can and will find or create other reasons to have that employee removed or fired. Because of this, many pagans continue to hide their beliefs in the work place. As long as we continue to work toward progress, we will become
tolerated and accepted.

References

http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=witch&allowed_in_frame=0

http://voices.yahoo.com/mistranslated-bible-quotes-thou-shalt-not-suffer-a-9165647.html

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Where do I start in Paganism?

I get this question in one shape or form quite often.  It really depends on the person as to where they should start, but I highly recommend some self reflection.  Some of the questions you must ask yourself are not easy: What brought you here?  What are your interests?  How do you feel about Deity?  Are you interested in magick or religion?

Answers to these questions will help you move forward with a more sound decision and a better understanding of what you are looking for.  Once you have these questions answered, then it may be wise to learn some of the terms associated with Paganism.  Here is a link that can help with some basic terms: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/glossary/  Another thing you need to learn is the difference between Pagan, Wiccan, and Witch.  They do overlap to some degree, but are three separate entities.

To be continued tomorrow…

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Sylvia Plath

fancyanna330:

Too true for me lately!!

Originally posted on Roxi St. Clair:

I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still.

~ Sylvia Plath ~

plath

View original

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Store needing help to prevent closing.

It was a rough end to last year.  As fall hit, so did road construction.  That construction blocked our driveway for months, then when it was done, the 2013/2014 snowstorm hit with vengeance.  We worked hard all summer to recover but never quite made it.  Then we had the 2014/2015 frigid winter this year and it has left our finances depleted!  This means we are frozen on being able to place orders because the money that comes in is going directly to keep us operational.

We want to continue to be able to offer the people of Southeast Michigan metaphysical supplies, psychic services, spiritual counseling, and more.  We host classes, rituals, speakers, book signings, and more that SE MI doesn’t get to see that often but is hungry for.  We have had a lot of wonderful poeple step up to help, please help continue the generosity.

We have had a gofundme available for a few months that I am proud to say raised over $700.  This mixed with store sales brought us up to current, however it didn’t leave anything to bring us ahead and/or give us an opportunity to rebuild inventory.  We therefore began a new fundraiser that has been interestingly successful and although not as productive as Steven Amel in his t-shirt campaigns, it is bringing in some funds.  There is about a week left to be able to place an order for shirts, and they are a really cool design my husband made.  Check it out, please feel free to order and/or share the information!

https://represent.com/store/smokeycrystal

Rocktheshirt

 

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Group seeks help for families during the holidays

Michigan Council of Covens and Solitaires has received a positive posting in the News Herald Newspaper regarding events we have going on.  Follow the link to read more about it: http://bit.ly/1FjjbGT

To see how you can help, please feel free to contact Gerald or Anna at michccs@gmail.com or call at Tel: 586-43-MCCS7 (586-436-2277). Bright blessings!

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Taking the bull by the horns

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I love owning and operating The Smokey Crystal, LLC.  Not once have I had a day that I did not want to go into work, not one day have I disliked what I do.  I only have stress over finances because, let’s face it, running a small metaphysical shop doesn’t offer a windfall of cash immediately.  It takes dedication, invention, hustling, and love.  When I first received the message that we should open, I had a couple parameters that I asked from my guides.  I wanted to be easily accessible from all four direction, near the freeway, and had ample parking.  I received everything I asked for but it left me in a strip mall that doesn’t face the street.  Furthermore, it left me with a small sign at the street that is easily overlooked and doesn’t say anything about who we are.  I don’t complain, I just keep reinventing, hustling, and reaching out in love.  Then the other day I happened across a beam of light that could possibly signal the ability to make the change we desperately need so we can continue to help the community.
Mission Main St Grant

Chase Bank offers an opportunity for 20 small businesses to receive $150K to grow their small business.  I have applied, application has been accepted.  The next step is to gain 250 votes.  They want to know that people really do like what you are doing, that you know how to market yourself, and that there is an interest in what you are doing/selling.  I just started seeking votes yesterday and am at 11 so far.  I am continuing to reach out to everyone though.  All that read this blog, if you could please click through and vote (https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/42123), it would be appreciated.

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To explain I own and operate The Smokey Crystal, LLC (www.smokeycrystal.com).  It is a metaphysical/holistic store based in the Downriver area of Michigan (about 20 min south of Detroit).  We reach out to the community to try and help with education, fund raising, promotion, healing, guidance, and direction.  We have recently began supporting a non-profit organization called M.C.C.S. (www.michccs.com) who’s idea is to bring Unity back to Community.  I ask that if you find it in your heart, please click through and vote (https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/42123)to help us continue to help others.  We grow with the support and love of the community and community isn’t just local, it is global.

Bright Blessings to all!

Anna

Smokey Crystal

Mission Main St Grant

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One month into my lifestyle change

So, I just looked back over the online program I have been using to track my weight loss (myfitnesspal.com, it’s free) and I have been at this for a month.  It has been saying every day that if I continue eating like I am, given my current weight, I should be down 30 pounds from my starting weight in a week.  I know the last time I posted on here I had lost 10 lbs.  I will not be weighing myself for 2 more months.  I track my weight at my rheumatologists office and I am not due back to him until November.  So…how to I measure what I am doing then?

I have been keeping well under my sugar, carb, and calorie goals.  I have been asked by my cardiologist to reduce the sodium intake too.  Reducing the sodium has been the hard part as that stuff seem to be in everything.  I have been doing what exercise my body will allow me to do.  I had some setbacks this month as I returned to my ob/gyn and had a new IUD put in.  I use the Mirena which has to be changed every 5 years.  That was a difficult and painful procedure due to my size and the fact that my weight appears to be dropping lower in my abdomen.  I needed about a week and a half to recover from it, but I am back to exercising without skipping a beat (even exercised in the restroom at the restaurant today…lol), even extending the repetitions and/or the number of times I work out each day.

By the end of the day I realize I am feeling a little bit stronger and am more optimistic.  It finally feels like I have found something I can do and I am loving every moment of it.  I am still having some physical issues (like my right foot flared up again for no reason which makes it extremely difficult to walk or stand for any period of time) but I continue to push on.

I would be extremely excited if by February I was down 50-75 lbs.  Although the program tells me how fast I should be loosing weight, I am realistic and think it will take me a bit longer to get where I want to go.  I will gladly take 2-5 lbs a month.

As for any physical changes, outside of the increased muscle strength, I am noticing a slight decrease in my abdomen.  This is a good thing, then on the down side, I am noticing more easily a hernia that will have to be conquered when I get to a healthier weight.  One thing at a time.  I have a history of having difficulty in surgery and I have 2 surgeries I need (hysterectomy and hernia repair) and one I am thinking I may want (gastric sleeve).  We will see what insurance will do about skin removal surgery when that bridge is crossed.

So, what else has been happening?  Work is picking back up (smokeycrystal.com).  I love helping people and seeing the smiles when someone brings a handful of stones to the counter or a choice selection of beautiful smelling incense.  Our non-profit (michccs.com) is gaining ground.  We have enough to file for our 501(c)3 status now.  We just have to finish getting through the business plan (not my first plan, just a LONG process…lol).  We have begun looking around where we may be able to procure a building to put MCCS in.  That will come in due time, got some wonderful plans there to keep it going for years to come. 

Outside of that, my guides have been waking me up at night and spitting pages of a fiction book out of me.  I am about 3 regular pages into it with much more of the story to come.  The only hint I can give is that it is about the life of a girl. :D  I have another book to work on, a life story to write, and 3 class materials along with a ritual to write for Michigan Convocation (Convocation.org) in February (whether they get chosen or not).  I am also reworking the classes I have been teaching at Smokey Crystal which should begin by the 3rd weekend in September.  If this wasn’t enough writing, I am working on adding in transcription work on the side.

Now everyone knows why I haven’t been on Facebook much anymore…lol.  I hope everyone has a blessed day and a fantastic week.  I hope to see all sorts of wonderful people at Smokey Crystal this week, I love keeping busy!

Anna

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Change is hard work

I haven’t told a lot of people some of what has been happening in my life. I have been keeping some things quiet until I knew for a fact that I’m doing the right thing. 4 months ago I began a very simple exercise program that was inspired by a conversation with my friend & spirit sister Kristi.

Every day I have taken an extra 15-30 min while in the bathroom to do upper body workouts. At first I was embarrassed. I thought I should be able to walk the store or walk the strip mall. Heck, I should be able to walk the dog,  But ending up in the ER 4 weeks ago thinking my foot was broke made me realize I was doing exactly the right thing that fit with my body’s abilities and malfunctions. Looks like I sprained a tendon and am much better now.

All this time I never stopped the exercises. They were all upper body exercises and although it hurt when I increased reps, I didn’t stop and that felt good. Up until a week before my rheumatologist appt I hadn’t changed my diet at all. Four weeks ago I received some good news when I went to my rheumatologist, I had lost 4 lbs. Just from upper body exercises while on the toilet..lol! I was excited but still cautious.

Three weeks ago I had a scare that made me change my diet permanently. I have been border line diabetic for a few years. For some stupid reason it didn’t sink in. Then it all hit me. I went to bed three weeks ago and couldn’t get to sleep. I was having PVC & PAC events. They were happening every 3rd-5th beat. My bp was up a little, but nothing dangerous, my heart rate was up, but again was nothing out of the ordinary. Then I took my sugar, it was 220! Normal is 80-100, 100-140 is moderate. You can see it was bad.  It could have been worse but I’m glad wasn’t. For my body any sugar level over 140 immediately effects my heart. Monday morning I made a drastic change that my body has been asking for. I have cut my sugar intake & carb to bare minimum. I have not regretted it one bit, nor had my body complained. Here I am 3 weeks after changing my diet and still exercising and 2 weeks since I seen the rheumatologist and I have lost another 4.9 lbs. I have a LONG way to go and a few more doctor appointments to get through to make sure my body is moving with me safely, but so far all doctors are happy and so am I. I know I didn’t put this on fast, I’m going to take off faster than I put it on, but I’m doing it.
If my body allows, this time next year I want to dance again. I lost weight before, but found it again. This time my mind is with my body and the transformation had no choice but to happen.
I will post periodic updates, but I wanted to share with everyone what I’m doing and what has been happening. Believe me. If I can do it, anyone can. I have been overweight my whole life with negative thoughts always going through my head. I’m going to tell everyone now, change your mind and you will change your body. Don’t wait until you have a scare, start today, one day at a time if your having a rough time, reach out to me. I will lend an ear and encouragement. I may be able to offer some tips or tricks too.
Bright blessings!!
Anna
Www.SmokeyCrystal.com
Www.michccs.com

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