Goodnight Moon. Goodnight CPAP.

My life has been kind of a hot mess lately and I’m not even completely sure way. I think it’s because I’m starting to make some big decisions and a lot of things are changing. I’m going to have a thyroid “procedure” done and I’m making a huge career change. I’ll talk more about those in another post. This post is about my CPAP.

I’ve known for awhile that I might have sleep apnea, I just didn’t do anything about it (stupid I know). I just didn’t want to have to go to a sleep center and I definitely didn’t want to have to use a machine. I’d starting having symptoms a few months ago.: the chronic fatigue, feeling like I’ve been holding my breath under water when I wake up in the morning, brain fog, trouble remembering things, etc. It also doesn’t help that both my dad and my mom’s mom have it. Double whammy. I finally decided to go to my doctor because I just couldn’t handle it anymore (especially not with all my other thyroid related problems). I told my doctor and he was like yeah you probably have it. My grandma and dad were both patients of his.

I was relieved when he told me I didn’t have to go to a sleep center (I hate not sleeping in my own bed). He said that a sleep study company would mail me a device that monitors my sleep and then I just mail it back. Super easy! That’s exactly what they did. I got it in the mail and had to use it for 3 nights in a row. There was a tube that went under my nose, a sensor on my finger, and a sensor that wrapped around my chest. All three plugged into a box that strapped to my wrist. When a sensor would move out of place, the box on my wrist would say “cannot detect chest sensor” and wake me up. The first night it did this several times. Like how are supposed to monitor my sleep if you won’t let me sleep? So rude.

After I was finished with the sleep test, I mailed it back and then had an appointment with my doctor. He confirmed that I had mild sleep apnea. Yay! Not. A week later a guy came to my house with my new CPAP and showed me how to use it. I have had such a horrible time trying to use this thing. First of all, I’m highly claustrophobic. I thought that getting the nose pillow wouldn’t be bad. Nope. I was wrong. With the nose pillow you have to also wear a chin strap (for the first few weeks) that keeps your mouth closed. Your mouth has to stay closed in order to create a seal. If your mouth is open then the air is getting out and defeating the whole purpose of the CPAP. I already sleep with ear plugs because I’m a light sleeper. I also have to sleep in complete darkness. Earplugs + complete darkness + chin strap + nose tube = I feel like I’m being buried alive. Then sets in the claustrophobia and anxiety.  I ended up having to sleep with a lamp on to ease some of the anxiety of feeling like I was being buried. I has helped and made it easier to sleep with the thing. Two other things that haven’t help: my nose is stuffy and the nostril pieces hurt my nose. I forgot that my nose gets stuffy with my sinus infections that I get quite often. That’s going to be a problem. I also noticed that because of that I alternate between mouth and nose breathing. I’ve been waking up feeling like I’m suffocating. I’m going to call them this week to see if I can switch to one that covers my nose and mouth. I don’t know how that will do with my claustrophobia, but it has to be better otherwise. In order to keep my machine covered by insurance, I have to use it consecutively for the first 30 days for at least 4 hours each day. I’ve been doing a lot of my time during the day while I’m watching TV so I don’t have to use it much at night. That’s bad, I know, but I’m going to have to do it until I get a different mask. I will keep you updated on how that goes.

Anyone else have to sleep with a CPAP?

Summer Solstice

I hadn’t really planned on doing anything big for the Summer Solstice (Litha). It’s one of my favorite Sabbats, but I just didn’t haven’t had time or motivation to plan an elaborate like I usually do. There was a public ritual in Orlando with the Pagan group I usually meet with, but with recent events i didn’t feel comfortable going.

The day before the Solstice though, my mom asked what we were doing to celebrate. She’s not Pagan, but shows interest when I tell her a Sabbat is coming up. Since she showed interest I decided to plan something. I decided to cook a nice Solstice dinner and then we wanted to have a bonfire. But before I made dinner I cleaned house and paid some bills. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Thought Litha would be an appropriate time to do so.

In addition to my mom, my nephew and my sister and her boyfriend attended. Half way through dinner my brother and his girlfriend stopped by to pick up my nephew. They stayed for a bit to eat dinner too.

For dinner we had diet complaint food. Chicken salad with various fruit and veggie toppings: Strawberries, apples, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. I even made compliant ranch dressing (not pictured). We also had a cooked veggie mix (zucchini, squash, and green beans), garlic roasted potatoes, and mixed berry water. For dessert I made baked sweet sweet potatoes, apples and strawberries diced up and sprinkled with cinnamon. Pictures of dinner:

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My brother, his girlfriend , and my nephew didn’t stay long. After dinner we had a bonfire and read aloud our favorite Edward Gorey stories: The Hapless child, Gashly Crumb Tinies, and The Doubtful Guest. Not very :Litha related, but we had a good time.

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After we read some stories and had s’mores, we decided to go in since the mosquitoes were eating us alive. Everyone started to do their own thing so I decided to take this time to do a private ritual. I just did it in my room where I’d be undisturbed. I didn’t take any pictures because it was a private one and I didn’t want to bring my phone into the circle. I will tell you I decided to do something for the 49 victims, as well as the other deaths in Orlando (the Voice singer Christina Grimmie and the two year old taken by the alligator; Lane Graves. I also did something for the actor Anton Yelchin, who had been one of my favorites). During the ritual I also wrote down some goals I wanted to accomplish in the next 6 weeks (until the next Sabbat).

After the ritual, I set out my crystals and water I wanted to make into moon water under the full moon to charge.

Well that was my Summer Solstice. I turned out to be a rather nice one. I’m glad my family wanted to join me. How was yours?

New Moon Sun Tea

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I’ve always wanted to make sun tea and I thought I’d add a little magic to it. The new moon is tonight so the intentions for this tea is “New beginnings”. Here’s what I did:

First I added in the ingredients.
Lavender for healing, purification, and sleep. One of my new beginnings is to get more sleep.

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Lemon slice for cleansing, purification, spirituality, and removing blockages.

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Fresh peppermint from the garden. Peppermint is good for healing and purification.

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I put the herbs and lemon slice into a mason jar and poured in filtered water. If you don’t have a mason jar, any glass jar, bottle, or pitcher will do. Just make sure the container is glass (plastic has poisons that soak into the water when left in the sun) and has a lid. If it doesn’t have a lid, cover the top with a piece of fabric and secure it with string or a rubber band. Here’s mine:

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When I finished putting the jar together, I added a sigil I made last night. The sigil I made was “new beginnings”. Simple, but effective. I also made a sigil card to go with it. The sigil card is lime my full moon goal cards. On the back I wrote out my new beginnings. I have three.

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After the sigil was added, I set the jar outside where it would get lots of sun. I set it in the pot of my sunflower, Sunny. Now I just let it brew and charge in the sun and I’ll enjoy it tonight during the new moon.

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Full Moon Goal Motivation Spell

This is a spell to help you stay motivated while reaching your goals. This spell is to be done on the night of the full moon or the night prior.

Supplies:
-Index card
-Pencil or pen
-Scissors
-Gemstone (I’ll explain what kind later)
-Himalayan Pink Salt (optional)

Steps:

1. Cut the index card in half:

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2. Next write down the word “goal” and “steps” like in the picture below (doesn’t have to be exactly like the picture):

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3. Next, fill in your goal and the steps you want to take in order to reach your goal. Here’s one I did for my health:

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4. Design a sigil to draw on the back. [You can find sigil making tutorials online. I’ll be making one soon.] It can be as complicated or as simple as you like:

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5. After you draw up your sigil, say a prayer or incantation. I’m not going to include one here because I feel it’s best to say something from the heart. Feel free to call on a moon deity like Selene or Thoth.

6. This is where the gemstone and HPS come into play. Find a gemstone that goes with your goal. I used Blue Lace Agate foe mine. It’s specific for the thyroid. The Himalayan Pink Salt magnifies your intentions. Once you’ve found the stone you want to use, place the card writing side down on your window sill to be charged in the full moon. Place the gemstones and HPS on top.

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I like to keep mine in place the whole month so they are constantly being charged in the sun. If you keep yours up during the day, make sure the gemstone you use won’t get discolored by the sun. Some gemstones do that, like amethyst. If you do have one of these, place something over the stone to protect it from the sun. I used a shell, but you could use a piece of paper or pretty scarf.

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You can make as many of these cards as you want. Like I said, I leave mine on the sill at all times under the stone and HPS. I feel this works best. I tried putting them in a sachet to carry with me, but they instantly quit working when I did that.

Now watch as your goals are accomplished!

*Please note that you still have to put in effort to reach your goals. This spell is just to help keep you motivated.

New Moon and the Not So Great Ritual

New Moon=New Beginnings

The new moon was this past Friday.  When I remember, I like to do a little something for the new moon. I worked late on Friday so I didn’t really work on my manifestations until Saturday. There was a new moon ritual in Orlando on Saturday night. I planned on going to it. It was the same place that held the Lughnasadh Ritual I attended. The rituals are always pot lock and last time I went I didn’t have time to make anything and just took Publix potato salad. This time I wanted to actually make something. I decided to make corn muffins because I thought they were gluten free (I checked, and they in fact are not, but I didn’t realize that until after I bought the mix). I also wanted to make the muffins snazzy. I came up with Lavender Honey Muffins. There are recipes out there for them, but I decided to just make my own.

First I had to go to the flea market to buy some local honey. I don’t like using that stuff from the grocery store.

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After wandering around the flea market for awhile, I finally found the honey guy. They are a family business. His dad started out and we passed away, the son and his wife took over.

After I got the honey, I stopped by my favorite witchy shop, The Muse, and bought some new stones.

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From front to back; Onyx, Goldstone, & Garnet.

Onyx: root chakra, assists with challenges in life, protection, & grounding.

Goldstone: calmness, emotional stability, energy generator, & deflects negative energy.

Garnet: regeneration, vitality, order, energizing.

Thought these would help with my new moon manifestation.

When I got home I started on a practice batch of lavender honey corn muffins.

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I used Jiffy mix because I had never made cornbread from scratch, plus ain’t nobody got time for that. The directions are on the back of the box. Pretty simple, just added an egg and 1/3 cup of almond milk. I also added 1/2 a tsp of crushed lavender and 2 tsp of honey. I used my mortar and pestle to crush the lavender, but you could also use the back of a spoon.

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Before I put the muffins in the oven, I thought I’d add some extra flare. Yeah bad idea. Turns out there is such a thing as too much lavender.
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They looked fancy though. Even the lavender inside was too much. Here’s the recipe I used for the ritual muffins:

2 boxes of mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup of almond milk (I’m lactose intolerant so you can use regular milk too)
1/2 tsp of lavender
4 tsp of honey

Baked the for ten minutes and they were golden. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture muffins because I was running late, but they tasted better than practice muffins.

I had an hour drive to get to the ritual. I kind of didn’t want to go because I hadn’t been feeling good and it was raining. I decided to go ahead and go because I wanted to be social and I figured maybe it wasn’t raining in Orlando.

It was. It was pouring on my drive over. I almost turned around, but I had already gotten closer to the ritual than home. When I got there, they wanted to have the ritual inside because it was still lightening. So there were a lot of people crammed into a small living room. There was incense burning and I quickly got a headache. I was trying to stay positive, but I was already in a bad mood. Then I got stuck sitting next to this kid that wouldn’t be quiet. When the ritual started, the lady putting it on stood in the same spot, which was right in front of my view of the altar so I couldn’t see anything she was doing. Plus it was hot and stuffy because they turned the fans off so they could light candles. After the ritual, it was the feast. It looked good, but I couldn’t eat most of it because of my gluten allergy. So I basically just had salad. After that, I was regrettably in a bad mood. I decide just to leave early.

When I got home, I hung out with my sister and watched YouTube videos. That put me in a better mood. After that I worked on my new moon manifestations.

I’m a visual person so I like to draw little manifestation cards:
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In the center is a sigil I made to take care of my body/health. I used the phrase: “I will make my body healthy”. On the left is the Ken rune which is the rune of the fierce warrior (among other things). I chose this one because part of getting my body healthy is getting my thyroid healthy. I’m already working on that by cutting gluten and taking my medications. I also want to cut sugar and processed foods all together. The symbol on the right is the Ogham – Druir which is the sign of the oak; pare and stability. The blue butterfly is the symbol for Graves disease. When I finished the card, I put it on the mini easel that I had put on my altar for Lughnasadh. I’ll have to post my Lughnasadh altar later. After I set my card on my altar I went to bed after a long day.

P.s. Sorry for all the blurry pictures, I took them on my phone.

What did you do for the new moon? What are some of goals you want to work on this month?