Depression: A Story of life, and what comes in the hereafter

Wow, that sounds more melodramatic than I meant it to. It has been 8 months.

Life has kicked my ass. My depression hit me in full-swing once school started back in January. My doctor upped my anti-depressants at the end of March, but not before I fucked up a work evaluation, and managed to have a breakdown in front of my principal.  I am super fortunate that I have an amazing principal, who has been NOTHING but amazingly supportive of me. I am honest and open about my mental health struggles – so many people have them, and so many people have bad days, that it isn’t something that I want to hide.

I think that by openly talking about our struggles, mental health or otherwise, we build a stronger community who can help us to get through the struggles.  I feel super, super blessed to have a strong Tribe around me – I not only have my husband, but I have my mother (hi, mom!), my Second Family, my friends, my colleagues (some of whom fit into the colleagues circle, it is a complicated Venn Diagram, folks, just go with it).  Some of my Tribe (in fact, a good chunk) are based primarily online. And to be honest, sometimes writing my thoughts out is what I need to do. I can have a moment to compose my thoughts and phrase my feelings, and my experiences, so someone else can understand it.  In fact, I frequently have a lot of conversations with my BFF primarily over Messenger, same with my husband when we are on opposite shifts.

Writing is my preferred method of communication when it comes to conveying emotional topics. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am as vocal as they come. I can holler and scream with the nastiest woman out there. I will stand up and call out the jackass in the crowd. I will give that speech to rally others to our cause. However, I think my inner voice is missed when I slow down and write.

ANYWAYS, all of that to say – I am back! Life is fantastic – my medication increase has been a life-changing thing. I actually have energy – I am motivated and passionate. I want to go out and meet people and sing karaoke again and do things in my community, for my community. I am planning on being more involved in the local Pride/Polyamory advocacy groups/scenes (side note: If you are in Windsor, and attending Pride, look me up!).  I am becoming more active in my union this year – I am on the Human Rights committee, the Collective Bargaining committee, and the New Member’s committee.  I am pulling my shit together, and right now I am rocking it.

During my depression, and in getting my shit back together, I have been stepping back from my spiritual practice – I haven’t had the energy to devote to doing readings, or to setting up my altar or to even really do much more than burn incense. However, I have been spending a lot more time outdoors, and I am realizing that just spending time in nature (as urban/suburban as it may be) I am connecting with my spirituality.  I am listening more – to nature, to people, to the signs the universe is sending me.

Soon, I will start reading again. Right now, I am focusing on myself and living the life that makes me happy. I am being Proud: of myself, of my accomplishments (however small). I am living proudly – I’ve stopped apologizing for being myself. I am living outwardly how I feel inwardly.  This, in and of itself, feels like a Big Fucking Deal to me.

So, life now: I am living proudly. I am happy (for what feels like the first time in a long while).  I am being Me.

What comes in the future? I don’t know, yet. I’m going to post a Grimoire File in the next couple days (I have it mostly written, just need to put some finishing touches on it). I want to make some new incense to share with new friends. After that? I don’t know. Life is day-by-day, and I have stopped living life with promises I can’t follow through with.

I do know that you will hear from me soon!





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I am back, witches!

Life likes to kick my ass, you know? School started in September, and getting myself used to the routines of teaching, and balancing work with family life, took longer than I expected!

I decided that as I re-launch Grimoire Files, I am going to divide my links into various sections, names of which shall be determined as I go, based on what comes across my desk that week!

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witches be witching: cool witch-things that witches have done

pagan parenting

  • Indulging My Son’s Obsession with Funerals While not witch/pagan specifically, this article really spoke to me about how we can parent those kids who don’t love the ordinary, how we can parent the kids that WE once were.
  • explaining polytheism to kids My step-daughter and I have been talking a lot about religion – what I believe, what her dad believes (he is norse pagan) and what her mom believes (she is pagan). I read this article and used some of their ideas to help explain what I believe and why I believe it.


witchy tools

  • Full Moon Goddess Blessing Salt
  • Hawthorne Heart: Bad-Ass Boundaries Resource List So I came across this online course, “hawthorne heart: boundary skills and protection magic for femme witches and healers” The class is expensive, and I haven’t signed up for it. But this link roundup they posted really seemed to resonate with me – I have some more exploration to do on the topic of Boundaries personally, and I am intrigued to do more research!
  • how to craft your own herbal smoking blends i am a cannabis smoker. I am pretty open about it, but I also *enjoy* smoking, and the idea of making an herbal blend to smoke is quite intriguing.
  • create your own altar – a rough rundown of what an altar is and some different pictures of altars.
  • Winter Crafts for Wiccans – while this doesn’t have any specific recipes or instructions, it is a great list of ideas for things you can do as a witch in the winter. I do a lot of them already (creating incense blends, make cold remedies, make crockpot meals, quilt), but it is a great reminder for me of the magic of Winter and the amazing way we can be creative when it is harder to be outdoors.
  • the ultimate list of witchy resources – The Witch of Lupine Hollow has this great resource list of books She also has this amazing guide to creating your grimoire manuscript: grimoire planing for the editorial witch, which is a phenomenal starter guide for the modern witch who is wanting to create their own grimoire

If you have any awesome blogs or links you think I should post, please drop me a comment here, on FB, or on Tumblr with a link and I’ll be sure to include it in my next Grimoire File!

Many blessings,

Fae ❤

Setting your Intentions for 2018


Happy 2018!!

I hope that it is a year full of love, passion, home, and hearth. If you can read this, it is because our spirits have a connection, and I have chosen you to be part of my tribe. I don’t just keep people on here out of obligation. I keep them because I find my online social communities, which, while digital, are JUST as important to me today as the physical communities I was trained to grow up in. I connect spiritually with each and every one of you, and I want you to know that I see you, and that I love you.

This year, I am starting a mission. I am taking two concepts for myself this year, to reflect upon each week and to think about how they affect me and what they mean to me. One reflects how I want to be seen and treated, and one reflects what I want to achieve internally and spiritually.

One of the words came to me organically – I came to hear and visit the topic multiple times over the last few weeks. It is a archetype of femininity, of power, and of leadership and innovation. It feels like a natural fit for my life at this point.

I am starting 2018 by celebrating myself as a Queen.  As a leader, as a woman, as a mother. As the head of the family, and as a pioneer and guider.  I am going to explore what Queendom means to me, and how I can embrace it into my daily life and use it to empower others.

The second word, I was struggling with. I have had a few different ideas call to me, but I was unsure what to pick. I was bouncing between Joy, and Hearth. Joy I was drawn to because I know that there is something every day that can bring me joy, and I want to focus upon that, and what gifts the gods and goddesses have given us today. The idea of the Hearth, the family gathering, the home that you make with those you love, it has been captivating and pulling at me the last few years.

The more I thought about it though, the more I came to the realization that both are so intertwined in my life that it would be nigh upon impossible to separate them. Of course, the Red Queen did say that there are days when she does “six impossible things before breakfast”, which has been my motto for some years now. That said, I want to celebrate the ways I experience Joy, and the ways in which my hearth brings me joy. I am going to start 2018 by acknowledging Joy and celebrating my Hearth. 

As I came upon my words, I realized that I knew what I wanted to do with them! How I wanted to honour and respect these concepts/words in my daily life.

Now, I don’t have an exact plan yet. But so far, here is what I have pieced together (as always, I am a human and I reserve the right to add/modify/delete parts of my schedule at any time). If anyone cares to join me with your own words, please do so!


  • Acknowledge the joy that is in my life. Whether it is capturing a physical object or a moment in time with a photograph, or writing down a specific memory that gives me joy. There is a lot of pressure to post something online daily, or to do it daily. And sometimes we just forget with everything that is going on. But I am hoping that if I can just stop, look at something that brings me Joy, and reflect upon that feeling, then maybe I will be able to recollect those moments when I am struggling later.
  • Do one thing to improve my Hearth. Whether that is taking a moment to say a blessing or intention at my alter, make some incense or a potion. Maybe it will be something like doing the dishes and improving the aura of my home.


  • I would love to do a weekly Grimoire Files (I am hoping to actually post one today 😀 or tomorrow!) focussing on how I can set my intentions, as well as other witchy, pagany delights.
  • I want to celebrate my Queendom each week – honour myself and the ways in which I was a Queen this week.  I am hoping to examine what the archetype of the Queen is, and how I can embody her, and what insights/lessons I have to offer the rest of the world.


  • I am hoping to have enough posting mojo to keep this up, and do a Monthly Wrap-up. Let’s see how it goes! I also want to do some sort of give away, and if I keep momentum going, maybe even a podcast?


My Pagan spirituality is such a crucial part of myself. I am so proud of it, and I love sharing it. Hopefully, by sharing it with you, I will be able to celebrate myself with you at a more honest and real level!

Until later,

Fae. ❤

The Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius: What does it really mean for us this month?

Tonight marks the Full Moon – this month titled the Sturgeon Moon, a Native American name reflecting the fish most prolific and easily caught at this time of year.

Additionally, the moon is in Aquarius – with the sun in Virgo, the moon is opposite, in Aquarius. Often, during an Aquarius moon, situations arise involving “social networking and humanitarian issues” ( that require us to think more critically about our own connections with others and how we are impacting those around us.

With that in mind, I spent some time today doing a reading for us all. What can we expect over this moon cycle? What is coming up that we need to be aware of?


I chose to use my Myths and Mermaids Oracle Deck for this spread.


I often set up on the living room floor for my readings, as I am as close to the ground as I can get, and I cherish the connection with the earth and the sky.  For reading, as I shuffled the cards, I focussed on connecting to the universal energy, as opposed to a singular energy signature as I do for most personal readings.

Card 1: Illumination – What do we need to know that will be Illuminated by the Full Moon? 

40. Shipwreck Siren

We see a mermaid, looking beguilingly out at us. In the background, we can see a shipwreck, in the process of succumbing to the waves.  There is deception approaching, don’t trust everything you see/hear. You need to trust your instincts and your own spirit guides, and not be led astray by the Sirens who are promising something too good to be true.  You have someone in your life who is untrustworthy, and who needs to be removed.  But talk to them first, they may not realize that they are being duplicitious. As always, communication is Key.

Card 2: Release – What can we let go of this Cycle?

42. Mermaid with Black Sea Serpent

A mermaid is staring out at the reader, holding onto a sea serpent for dear life.

Let go of your emotional crutch. We are all strong enough to stand without relying on something that isn’t allowing us to be our True Selves. Embrace your own abiliities and cultivate your self-love.  Surround yourself, this moon cycle, with people, things, and experiences that will help you rebuild your esteem and worth. Listen to the positive voices that surround you, and don’t listen to the ones which are pulling and dragging you down.

Card 3: Guidance – What is our next step? 

15. Microcosm: Seascape

The mermaid is holding a glass orb, with a turbulent seascape inside it. A storm is coming, but we are safe on the outside of it. We are in a position to observe and record, and to document for history what is coming next. It may be upsetting to watch, and we may feel helpless, but our duty is to bear witness to these events. Nothing we can do can influence the events, as they are safely contained.


Wow! This reading felt very, very powerful. Let me know if you interpreted my reading in a different way – after all, the cards have unique meanings to different readers!  If you do your own reading using this spread, I am excited to see how it turns out!

This spread was created specifically for the August full moon, but there is no reason it can’t be used for other full moons in the future.

Bonus: If you are in the Eastern Hemisphere, you have a good chance at seeing the Lunar Eclipse today/tonight! is broadcasting it over here, although it occurred close to noon EST.

If you want more information about the various significances of this Full Moon, check out Cafe Astrology for their weekly This Week in Astrology. I am not normally super into astrological significances (I am too rational minded, I feel sometimes) but they have some amazing information.


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I hope that everyone had an amazing Lammas/Lughnasadh yesterday! I intended on writing a Sabbat Grimoire, but life (and medical issues!) got in the way. Thankfully I am a little better today, so I have been working on ordering business cards for R&tS, as well as getting an etsy shop opened up soon! I have some awesome ideas I am going to be announcing soon (as well as a special deal on readings!) so keep your eyes peeled for that.  I also got my tumblr up and running ( so pop on over there and give me a follow if you aren’t already!

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The Meaning of Lughnasadh for Neo-Pagans – while a bit too late for this year (unless you are choosing to celebrate this upcoming Civic Holiday long weekend!), this is a great article to bookmark for next year. It has practical ideas and rituals to incorporate into your celebrations.

Pay Attention to the Omens: 10 Signs You Might be a Witch – this article sort of strikes me as being off, and deals with only one stereotype – a highly sexualized, black-wearing, darkness-loving witch. If I take those aspects out, the list isn’t horrible but I certainly won’t call it a great or all encompassing list. There are MANY, MANY ways to be a witch!

30 days of Magical Roots Challenge – so my amazing friend, Paige (the Fat Feminist Witch) is doing the 30 Days Magical Roots Challenge.  I am a day late, but I am so excited to start it and try it! I am going to be posting it on Instagram (@therowanandthestaff) , and probably reflecting on each week over here 🙂

Your August Horoscope from Broadly – I am not normally one for horoscopes, and getting too into the movement of the planets through the skies affecting our lives. However, this one feels like it is accurate – I have already gotten some news that falls into line with this horoscope. Give it a read, maybe your horoscope will be accurate as well!

Wish Spell with Fire, Bay Leaves, and Laurel – I haven’t tried this spell myself, but with August being a fiery month (at least how I see it, with the crisp heat of the air) I think it would be a good spell to help set intentions.

Jesus was a Pagan who worshiped a Male/Female God – I really like this article. It provides some context for the claims that Jesus was a Pagan,  and some really interesting tidbits on new archaeological finds.

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries – rather than being an article, this is actually the text of a book, written in 1911 by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, about the Celtic belief in Faeries. I have actually had this book in my bookmarks for a long time, waiting to be read, but seeing it come up on my FB feed gave me a stark reminder that I really should be reading it!

Lammas: Let’s Celebrate!


August 1st marks Lammas – the start of autumn harvest, and the acknowledgement that summer is beginning to come to an end. The days are already getting shorter (much to my dismay) and while I love the night time, I also love the heat of summer!

That said, this year I am looking at different ways to celebrate Lammas – it is one of the holidays I don’t often celebrate, but this year I am making an effort to at least acknowledge them.

Much like Imbolc reminds us that the spring is coming, Lammas reminds us that autumn is coming. In Celtic traditions, Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh, the celebration of the harvest aspect of the god Lugh.

Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

Grain and harvesting has long been the backbone of our civilization – from the earliest agricultural society to present day, we have celebrated the harvest in one way or another.

I remember as a child making corn husk dolls  with my mother to enter in the local craft fair each year.  This is an amazing, traditional way to celebrate Lammas if you have connections to Native American spirituality.

I view Lammas as a time to give thanks – to the earth, to the land, and most of all to my ancestors, who spent time in the fields, doing the hard work that is the foundation of our society.

I live in an area that is well-known for its farms, and lush, fertile land, thanks to the warm waters of Lake Erie and our southern location in Canada. Every year I am so grateful that we have so many amazing farms that provide us all that we need. I am so thankful for the fact that I have fresh produce and meat that I can purchase locally.

With that in mind, to honour my ancestors, I will be making fresh bread tomorrow to help me celebrate – it will be my daughter’s first time making bread with me, and I believe first time making bread without the assistance of a breadmaker – I am all for easing the process, but I believe that for a loaf of bread to be truly from scratch, you have to use your body and love to do the hard labour!

If you want to cook along, I will be using this recipe from Taste of Home.

If baking isn’t your style (and it totally isn’t for everyone!) perhaps you might want to take a nature walk and absorb the plants that are blooming and growing around you, and listen to the animals that are active. I love the sound of crickets and cicadas outside right now.

Other ideas to celebrate Lammas include:

  • creating a besom from wheat or wild grasses
  • put out some dried grains or flowers in a natural bowl as an offering
  • Cleanse yourself/house- burn a smudge stick or incense made from wildcrafted herbs from your area
  • Recite a prayer or blessing
  • Complete a warrior meditation to honour Lugh
  • a bread sacrifice ritual
  • have a bonfire!

Share with me what you end up doing to celebrate Lammas – I love hearing about the different ways we all celebrate in our different traditions!

The Grimoire Files: 03

I just returned from an amazing week long family vacation with my in-laws up in Tobermory. I think that everyone needs to connect back to the earth once in a while, get out of the city and breathe fresh air and listen to the waves.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting in a hammock, looking out at the waves, and smelling the breeze as it blows in the smell of cedar trees.  I felt so grounded and calm, and centered. My psychic powers were going off the charts, and I could feel calming and benevolent spirits keeping us company.

With all of that in mind, I did my best to stay off the internet. I didn’t succeed, but somedays were better than others!  As a result, this is a lot longer Grimoire File than normal – I love doing these, and collecting things to share with all of you.

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23 Kick Ass Female Goddesses – This is an AMAZING list of goddesses. I am comforted to see three of my favourites on here (Gaea, Freya, Bast) and this is an AMAZING primer of goddesses for beginner Pagans, starting on their own path. Choosing a deity (if you so choose to do so) is an transforming experience, but it isn’t always an easy decision.

Treating Depression in a Pagan Context – It is no secret that I suffer from depression. I struggle with it on a daily basis – some days are better, and some aren’t.  This is an awesome article with tips from Selena Fox, from Circle Sanctuary. I had the privilege of attending a Brigid Ritual with her at ConVocation 2016, and while I didn’t get as much from the ritual as I expected to (I think because of the location), it was beautiful and moving.  Reading through these strategies, and the perspective of this article, I found a lot of good advice to take away from it!  I love that that there are a lot of anecdotal tidbits from different pagans of various practices, and what works for them.

Scrying: How to Practice – I have difficulty with scrying. I think it is because my abilities work as a result of knowledge, rather than sight (claircognizant vs clairvoyant). Regardless, this is an AMAZING guide, and well worth being in the Grimoire!

A Brief History of Feri – I stumbled upon this website during the monthly Fat Feminist Witch book club. We have been reading Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle, and oh my god, it is amazing! This website is a great introduction to the history of their tradition, and has a lot of amazing rituals you can incorporate into your own spiritual practice.

Fat Mermaids!!!<3<3<3 – while not magical per-say, I am a fat woman. I am also a woman who LOVES the water, and loves mermaids.  This post is filled with so many magical, amazing, beautiful mermaids.

The Others – What do you put when they ask for your religions denomination? Generally, I put “Other”, but what does that REALLY mean? I applaud this author for taking a stand and asking some tough questions.

Slavic-Pagan Photography – these images are SO gorgeous, and just amazing portraiture.

The Call of the Morrigan – Morrigan is a goddess I don’t quite understand yet, but she is someone I have a desire to understand. This is the first in a series of posts (An Oath to the Morrigan is another) that I plan on delving into further. I am greatly interested myself in examining this author’s insights!

I think I will end this File there – I have a lot rattling around inside right now, feelings and emotions and energies. I am in the process of setting up my altar after travelling (I made a gorgeous little travel altar, which I will be showcasing later this week!) and doing some necessary cleansing.

For those that celebrate, blessed Lammas on Tuesday. I would love to see your Lammas celebrations! Share them with me on my FB page, The Rowan and the Staff, if you feel so inclined!