Releasing Negativity from your life

Negativity Releasing RitualHi, this is Dacia from SpirWitchaulity and today we’re starting a series of videos about rituals and ceremonies to help you create your best life. Some of them will be about releasing negative energy and some of them will be about creating positive outcomes. It’s good to have a balance of both because you can’t create something without first having to destroy or let go of something. So we’re going to try and balance them out with different things.

Today, the first video we’re going to do is about releasing negativity!

Check out the video below and the transcript following.


Now I’ve been feeling pretty down on myself lately for various reasons and I’ve been hearing a lot of negative self-chatter. It’s getting to the point where it’s driving me crazy, so I decided I needed a little extra boost and I’m going to do a negativity releasing ritual.

My favorite one to do is with incense. This is a very simple and quick ritual. It doesn’t take much longer than a few minutes and all you need is a couple tools.

Step 1: Gather supplies

First, what we need is the incense. I have all these different scents here. We have orange, jasmine and rose. And then of course we need a lighter for the incense. And then you’ll need a fire proof bowl or cauldron to keep the ashes in.

If you can do this outside that’s even better but it’s a little bit hot outside and I don’t feel like going outside right now. I want to stay in the cool air conditioning. 

What I’m going to do is to choose the rose incense today because I’m going to be releasing a lot of things but I also want to do it in a compassionate, caring way. I want to bring in the softness of the rose and give myself that gentle nudge and push to release all that negative self-talk going on. So get out your incense stick.

It’s also a good idea before you begin any ritual or ceremony to ground yourself.

Taking a few moments to center your energy, to connect with the earth, to clear your mind. To pull yourself into this moment. I’ve sat here for a while thinking about my intentions and what I want to do for today. And now I’m ready to begin the actual ritual.

Step 2: Focus your energy and begin releasing

What we do is take the incense stick and we’ll use this as an avatar of our internal whatever it is we want to release. I’m going to just focus on this stick for a while and put all of my energy, all of the negative talk and all of the gunk clogging up my energy into this stick and externalize it.
We’re going to take all of that energy and put it into the incense so that when we burn this, we’re actually releasing all the things that were inside of us.

Sometime later…

Now that we’ve done that, we’ve charged the incense stick with all that we want to let go of. In my case, it’s the negative self-talk. Go ahead and position it over the fire proof dish and what then light it.

I like to keep it tilted a little bit to help it burn. It usually does burn pretty fast because we have charged it with a lot of energy, but I like to just help it along.
You can also just put it in an incense holder if you have one. I have one over here just in case. As it burns, imagine all of whatever you’ve put into the stick burn away.

You can even say, “I release you. I release you. I release you. I release all that no longer serves my higher purpose from my life right now.”

It’s also very soothing and meditative to watch the fire burn. And that’s really why I like the fire rituals and ceremonies because it’s such an interesting element. It’s a destructive element but also a creative element as well.

When it gets to the end of the stick, go ahead and put it in the fire proof dish or cauldron and let the energy be gone!

Step 3: Invite in positive energy

Since we have released a lot of things, it’s a good idea to invite in positive energy just to make sure you’re not an open void for anything to come in and attach on to you. It’s always good to imagine a beautiful white light surrounding you of positivity and inviting all the good things that are serving your higher purpose in the world and universe into your life now that we’ve released the negative things.

And that’s the end of the ceremony! Very simple and quick. You can do it as many times as you have incense sticks or as many times as you feel is necessary. I think I’m good for now, but I may do it again later.

This is something you can do at any point and almost any place, as long as you have the fire safe tools and you’re in a healthy grounded space.

Try this simple ritual today and let me know in the comments below how it goes for you!

Creating your best life – Inside and Out

Creating your best life - Inside and Out (1)

The summer is starting to wind down and soon it’ll be time to go back to school. Even if you don’t actually attend school these days, you can still get into that “back to school” spirit by recommitting (or even restarting) routines or checking in with your goals towards creating your best life. Read on to see how I did this in two areas of my life.

We’ve been having a few evening thunder and lightening storms in Colorado lately. Though I grew up here, I really love the rain and dearly miss living in places where it rains often.

What I love most about the rain is how it changes the world around us. Particularly when it comes to bending light.

Foggy mornings and bright rainbows all lead to seeing the world differently. And that’s important for everyone because when you begin to take the world just as it is, you give up your power to create the world you want to see.

Which is why this week I’m working on creating a new vision of my world, both in mind and body.

What I’m reading this week:51NanuNrtOL._SL250_

If you’ve been interested in the self-development world at all, then you probably know how Louise Hay is. Author and founder of Hay House publishing, she’s one of the biggest names in the self-improvement realm. And this may actually be the first book of hers that I’ve actually read. 🙂

I picked this intriguing little book up one day because I felt my own affirmations were getting a little stale. And though I think the affirmations that you create yourself are more powerful, I kind of wanted some more ideas to play with.

It’s a great introduction to affirmations for those unfamiliar with them, as well as a refresher course for those who are.

Simply put – affirmations are oft-spoken statements used to create a new reality first in your mind, then in the material world.

What I got out of this book was a reminder of all the various uses of affirmations, from health and wellness (“I am filled with energy and enthusiasm“) to love and relationships (“I am worthy of love“). And many more in between.

I definitely recommend this quick read (about 100 pages) for anyone looking to start using affirmations or for those wanting to take them to the next level.


  • The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life by Dawn Jackson Blatner

    For a while now I’ve been trying to eat healthier but the biggest issue was my limited cooking skills. I don’t like handling meat and I never really learned how to cook much – but I can bake a wicked blueberry scone!

    So when a friend recommended (on several occasions) the Flexitarian Diet, I was really intrigued. I’m not a vegetarian exactly, but but I don’t often eat meat anyways and this seemed like the perfect compromise for me!

    It’s all about eating in a mostly vegetarian way, but not excluding meat altogether.

It’s really about making sure that all the colors of the rainbow are represented on your plate – the greens, oranges, reds, blues of fruit and veggies.

I love the introduction that explains some of the science behind the diet, but love even more the slew of recipes organized in a 5 weekly meal plans to get you started on a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve made a few of the recipes and already feel much healthier and happier during my meal times. Now if I can just get my exercise habits fully formed, then I’d be on a roll. 😉

What tools do you use create the life that you want to live?

It’s all in your head – How to keep a positive mindset

It's all in your head - How to keep a positive mindset

For the past year I’ve been putting a lot more effort into my mindset. First, by observing where it was at and then by altering it step by step.

It was because I realized that my mind was stuck in a lot of negative loops that I finally decided to quit my day job. I couldn’t continue going to a workplace where I constantly felt on edge, nervous and downright angry at the world.

Since then I’ve been working on cultivating a mindset of positivity – even in the face of hardships. This is something I’ve done well throughout my life naturally but now I’m giving it a lot more conscious thought.

And that brings up to our next round of…

What I’m reading this week:

41uBjzfpphL._SL250_The Dip: A little book that teachers you when to quit (and when to stick), by Seth Godin

This was another impulse pickup from the library. I liked the front cover and subtitle and the quick read of less than 100 pages wasn’t a bad endorsement either.

However, as I got further along with this little book, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated by the author’s premise.

I’m not against the overall view of needing to stick through some dips while quitting others (the basic thesis here). But the way in which he was setting about proving his point was much to harsh for my tastes.

There was a lot of talk of scarcity and competition and working hard to become #1. Again, I don’t have a problem per se with any of that, but I am not a competitive person by nature and I’ve been working a lot on combating the “scarcity mindset” of late, so I didn’t want to fall back into that thinking.

In the end, I took the author’s advice and actually quit reading this book halfway through. GASP!!

I will admit… that was a hard step for me as an avid reader, however since I wasn’t getting a lot of value out of the book, I decided to quit this “dip” and cut my loses.

So I guess I did get something out of the book after all. 🙂


Infinite Possibilities The Art of Living Your Dreams, by Mike Dooley

Now this book and author are definitely more my jam. Since I first heard of Mike Dooley of the “Notes from the Universe” and “The Secret” fame, only a few month ago, I’ve been catching up on all I can. This is the first book of his I’ve read and I’m taking my time with it, getting all the wisdom out as I can.

Though this book and The Dip, have basically the same message of crafting the life you want, they go about it in vastly different ways. Whereas the The Dip is all about scarcity (from what I read), Infinite Possibilities is about literally unlimited abundance for all.

I was hooked from the first words of the introduction and though I’m still working my way through this book, I find it much more uplifting and hopeful than Seth Godin’s view of the world.

Rather than focusing on the competition and scarcity, this book is all about owning your inner magic and creating, first in the mind and then in reality, the life of your dreams. And anyone can do it, not just the #1s of the world.

A much happier mindset to focus on I think!

For that reason I highly recommend you check out Infinite Possibilities and Mike Dooley’s other work. He’s a great inspiration to me and one I would willingly follow into the mysteries of time and space any day.

Becoming Mindfully Happy

Becoming Mindfully Happy

For the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on mindfulness. Yet another overly hyped term of late. Along with authenticity, mindfulness is touted as being the next big leap in happiness boosting.

The most common mindfulness technique – meditation, has been around for centuries but is now enjoying a new acclaim as more and more people seek to quiet the overly noisy world in which they live.

I’ve been working on building up a meditation practice for a few years now, but the more I learn about mindfulness overall, the more I realize I’ve been doing it for most of my life already.

It can be as simple as taking a moment to listen to the wind play through the trees, or stopping to watch the sun set over the horizon. It’s that 2 minute break you can to breathe and center before moving on to another task. That’s all mindfulness really is.

Mindfulness practices may be in vogue, but you don’t need to be a yogi or reiki master to enjoy the calming affects of meditation.

It all begins with learning to relate to the world in a new way. Opening your mind and allowing it to connect to the world again with intention and focus. Bringing alignment between your mind and soul. Putting aside the devices for a few moments to really and truly check in with yourself.That’s what mindfulness is really all about.

What I’m reading this week:

Confession – I’m still in the midst of reading this book, but I’ve gotten far enough along that I feel I can give a solid recommendation still.

Set up as a series of smallish sections with a few “try these at home” tips, this books is one you don’t want to rush through. I’ve been reading a few pages each day and then trying to incorporate what I’ve learned into my life.

I love the style of writing, with it’s simple wisdom and gentle prodding to the reader. It asks you to look at life and doing, or rather non-doing in a new light.

If you’ve never tried meditating before or have some conflicted ideas about the practice, I highly recommend this book as a gateway to help you understand the concept more holistically.

This was a fun and silly book I picked up at the library on a whim and boy am I glad I did!

It’s not a book you would “read” per se, but one to pick up whenever you need a little “pick me up”.

It’s chock full of adorable drawings and simple examples of staying present and happy.

This is the first of such “Happiness is…” books I’ve seen but now I want the whole set!

Happiness Is . . .: 500 Things to Be Happy About

Happiness Is . . . One Happy Thing Every Day: A Three-Year Journal

Happiness Is . . . 2017 Daily Calendar

Friendship Is . . .: 500 Reasons to Appreciate Friends

And to give you an idea about how cute these illustrations are, here’s one of my favorites below. I hope you pick up a copy today and remember what happiness is… to you!


How do you remember to be present in the moment? What’s your favorite mindfulness practice? Let me know in the comments below!

Being yourself in the world

Being yourself in the world

Lately I’ve been thinking A LOT about authenticity… what it means, how to reach it, is it even a reachable goal? I had an interesting discussion the other day around this concept and the one thing we could all agree on was that it’s now quite the trend to “be authentic”. However, being trendy and fast becoming a cliche doesn’t make it any less fascinating or important a topic.

I believe that cliches become that way for a reason. Just like songs that you loved when you first heard them don’t lose their greatness being overplayed on the radio, you just become somewhat desensitized to the greatness.

That said, I’m not about to wax poetic about what authenticity means to me. At least not in this post. 😉

Rather than give you my thoughts on authenticity, I wanted to give you a few resources to help you discover your own thoughts about it. 

If you’ve been with me for a while, then you know I’m an avid (almost fanatical) reader. I’d like to take a moment to share with you what’s been on my nightstand lately.

What I’m reading this week:

Art of Non-Conformity

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, by Chris Guillebeau
This was an interesting and pretty quick read. Although I like the general premise – that we can plot our own course in life and not have to follow the crowd – I found some of the author’s firmly stated opinions to be a little harsh. It sometimes felt like he was putting down all those who chose not to live an unconventional life. I know it wasn’t his intent and he did warn the reader repeatedly that we might not agree with him. Overall, I would recommend the book, but caution you to take some of what he says with a grain of salt.

The Gifts of Imperfection

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who Yo
u Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown

I read this one a little while ago, but I think it pairs nicely with The Art of Non-Conformity, as they are both about actively creating a new way of living. However, Brown’s view is that you don’t have to go against the norm per se, but simply embrace who you are and live from that authentic place. It’s a lot softer and gentler view of non-conforming and it works for me. This is a great primer if you haven’t yet read any of Brene’s other work.


What are you reading? Let me know if the comments below!

Rising Strong – how to bounce back after a fall

Rising Strong - how to bounce back after a fall

Once in awhile, there comes along a book, a film or a moment that changes everything in your life. This one vital piece in the puzzle of life that makes all the others click in place and make sense. The first such book for me was Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I read that when I was 15 and it forever altered my ability to overcome any obstacle in my life.

The most poignant lesson from that extraordinary account and analysis of life in a WWII concentration camp, came in one succinct line:

No matter what I have faced since I was first introduced to that concept, I’ve never forgotten that vital key to empowerment.

And now there’s another book that has grabbed me by the collar and forced me to look long and hard at all the times I’ve come up against those obstacles. A book that digs deeper into what Frankl was describing, a book illuminating how the strong rise again.

Rising Strong¸ by Brené Brown is her latest tome on the subject of her research on shame, resilience and the courage to continue to rise after a fall.

Her whole thesis, I believe, could be boiled down to this:

“When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.” – Brené Brown

Without giving too much away, I will tell you that The Rising Strong process, as she calls it, can be broken into three aspects of the journey. The Reckoning, the Rumble and the Revolution. To give a super brief explanation of each stage… the reckoning is first just becoming aware of what you’re feeling, which is oftentimes harder than you may think. The rumble is dealing openly and honestly about why you’re feeling that way and what’s contributed to it. And finally the revolution is choosing to deal with it in a different way than you have before.

You must go through all stages, sometimes repeatedly, in order to finally rise strong against whatever is happening. But once you take that first difficult step, you’ll already be better off than you were before.

Looking back at how this has played out in my own life is fascinating. When I first graduated from college, I moved to London. The original plan was to stay several years, but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, things didn’t go according to plan.

My temporary work visa ended and I have to leave. I went to teach ESL in Ukraine for a few months and then returned to England for another short while looking for a more permanent job to keep me there. After months of looking and trying I had to return back to the U.S., feeling like an utter failure. Ugh.

But I didn’t stop there. I tried once again to move to the U.K. and did my second master’s degree in Northern Ireland. Again, big hopes were dashed as once more I couldn’t find a permanent job to extend my visa. In a deja vu turn of events, I returned back across the Atlantic.Each time I tried and failed to stay in Europe, my ego and pride took massive hits.

Had I known about the rising strong process years ago, I would’ve saved myself a lot of pain and misery as I sorted through my emotional rollercoasters.

As it was though, I held on to a lot of anger, resentment and confusion for years after. It’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve allowed myself to heal after each of my major falls.

The rising strong process is a tough one, don’t get me wrong. It’s not for the faint of heart. Being honest and vulnerable is the bravest thing you can possibly do in this life. But the price of the temporary pain is beyond priceless.

“Integration is the soul of rising strong. We have to be whole to be wholehearted. To embrace and love who we are, we have to reclaim and reconnect with the parts of ourselves we’ve orphaned over the years. We have to call back home all of those part of ourselves that we have abandoned.” – Brené Brown

Once you’re fully whole again, nothing in this world can stop you from reaching your fullest most magnificent potential. And that’s the highest honor we can do for ourselves and the world.

Have you read Rising Strong? What did you take away from it? Or what books have changed your life? How did they do that?

Tools for Life – Add light and energy to your day!

Tools for Life - Add light and energy to your day!

Let’s face it… some days are more of a struggle than others. I totally know how that goes.

The alarm comes much too soon, the coffee is not nearly as effective as usual and all you can think about during that never-ending-god-forsaken meeting is how comfortable your bed will be whenever you finally get back to it.

For days like that I turn to a few simple solutions – you guessed it! Time for another edition of Tools for Life, where I give you two simple tools to keep in your belt for those times you need a little extra help.

Today we’re going to add a little light and energy to your life with lemon essential oil and citrine crystal.

Now I’m sure you’ve heard that or even guessed that lemon oil is very extremely useful. It’s in everything from cleaning supplied to candles. It’s such a versatile oil you can use it for almost anything. Physical energy boost, mental clarity enhancer and spiritual confidence enhancer. It’s one little oil that definitely packs a punch!W28QPZPAK6

It refreshes and renews the body in almost every way possible. Its antibiotic, antioxidant, antidepressant… pretty much anti anything you want!

Mentally, it clears the clutter and gets you back to focusing. And don’t we all need that?! Emotionally, it aids with raising your mood and boosts self-confidence (thus the antidepressant aspect). Metaphysically it corresponds with your solar plexus chakra – the center of your self-confidence. It connects you to your divine nature and higher consciousness.

It’s such a happy oil that I can’t help feeling uplifted the moment I open the cap.

My favorite use for lemon oil? As a pick me up in the morning before my walk. I just put a drop or two into a glass of water and drink it down. I can feel my mind clearing up and my body detoxifying at the same time. Lemon oil is naturally purifying and aids in digestion.

NOTE: Before ingesting any oil check that it is safe first. Some oils are not for internal consumption, so always check beforehand.

Lemon oil will surely put a spring in your step, so try some today and discover all the amazing benefits yourself! If you’d like to get the oil I use, you can get it here.

And here are some awesome DIY recipes if you already have oil and want to try new ways to use it.

Moving on the next tool that’ll add light and joy to your life, citrine is one happy little stone.

il_570xN.916320735_lra6Citrine is a bright yellow stone that resembles a little sun. It’s known as the “success stone” for the abundance it brings and is also connected to the solar plexus chakra. It clears unwanted or negative energies and can engender hope. Like I mentioned with the selenite last month, citrine doesn’t pick up any negative energy so you never need to cleanse it.

It’s a great stone for meditation, spiritual development and of course building self-confidence. Like lemon oil, it clears mental clutter and helps you focus. It increases creativity and inspiration. And it can also ease depression and self-doubt.

NOTE: I’m not a physician and cannot diagnose you. If you are suffering from severe depression please seek professional assistance.

Like any other crystal, you can use a tumbled (polished) version and carry it in your pocket, hold it in your hand, or there is always lots of wonderful jewelry made with citrine to be found everywhere. One of my favorites is this gorgeous piece from Elemental Origins.

Citrine and lemon go together so well, it was almost like they were created from the same source. And perhaps they were! All I know is that I love both of them for all the benefits they bring and they never cease to amaze me whenever I use them and immediately feel lighter all around.

Try them out today and see what a difference they can make in your life!

The door only you can open – how to find hope within despair

The door only you can open - how to find hope within despair

When I moved to Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland to do a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, I had HIGH hopes. Which, I have to say were sadly not met.

In my mind, I was going to get the degree – along with three amazing trips sponsored by the school, of which we only had 1 and half – and then find a job in the conflict resolution field, earning a U.K. work visa that would allow me to stay in Europe for several years.

The reality was more like – get the degree, not get a job, struggle to make ends me without a full work visa, take care of friend who became increasingly ill, then move back to her home in the states and desperately search for a job to keep going. Oh, and in the midst of that have, not one, but two grandparents pass away while I was abroad.

Yeah… it was rough. So rough that some days I didn’t know how to keep going.

Sometimes our darkest days hold our greatest lessons. It’s in those times that faith in ourselves and the universe needs to be the guiding light.

To give you a glimpse of my mental state at the time this journal entry from September 2009 sums it up quite nicely:

“Still out of sorts within myself. Trying to fit together the pieces of the puzzle I feel is my life now. Been reading very slowly a book on metaphors and our construction of life. It’s interesting and makes me think – perhaps too much. Last bit I read was about the metaphor “life is a story” and the significance of “life’s a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It discussed how we wish to see coherence in our life stories and often try to make the facts fit to make it so, whether it really does or not. That’s where I feel I’m at now. Trying to find coherence when there is none. Sound and fury. Signifying nothing. I’ve talked a lot about faith and trust recently. Maybe that is the antidote to non-coherence. Making things true because you wish them so desperately to be so, even though you know they aren’t. Sound and fury.”

However, the very next entry 3 days later, I wrote that every painful experience is a lesson to learn from and not meaningless sound and fury. Luckily I bounce back pretty well, especially with help from my friends.

Several of my dear friends and colleagues at the university knew of my plight. I even had to end up asking one of them for a loan, which she wisely refused and instead helped me find some other work to do to earn the money I needed.

But more than that she gave me the greatest gift – HOPE.

I know it’s cheesy as hell, but love the tv show Once upon a time. Any time I’m feeling low and starting to think there’s no point to anything in the world, I just need to watch one episode to remind myself that “there’s always hope.”

So how did my very wise and kindhearted friend remind me when I felt at my lowest? She simply gave me a postcard that read:

“There is a light in the dark. There is the door which only you can open.”

Breakthrough. Changing Planes.This postcard has kept my spirits up for years after the initial gifting of it. Not only is the image on the front perfect, including the name of the artwork – “Breakthrough. Changing Planes.” But the message she wrote made my heart open and break at the same time. I even changed the name of my travel blog to “Light in the Dark” for a time.

I’d love to say that all my days have been sunny since then, but that’d be a big fat lie and nearly impossible to boot. However, I am more aware of how I’m seeing things during those inevitable rough patches. I could sit and wallow and despair at the unfairness and general misery of the world, or I could find one little glimmer of light in the darkness. I chose the latter.

Choose to see the light. 

Late last year I started keeping a daily gratitude journal. I know, I know, it’s all the rage now, but they really are amazing. First thing in the morning, as part of my wake up routine, I write a few sentences about what I’m grateful for (recurring themes are the cat, coffee and nice weather). Even when I feel utterly lost and annoyed with life, I can still find one silly thing to be grateful.

For instance, on Monday I was “grateful for morning walks and warmer temperatures. For cheesy romantic comedies [had a binge fest the night before], and for inspiration.”

I recommend you try it, even for a week. And remember that writing it out is immensely more powerful than just speaking it out! Plus, you can go back and look at all your gratitude and it’s much harder to “forget” to have one moment of gratitude.

And if you need a little more guidance in your quest for gratitude… allow me to suggest Soulful Journals Gratitude Journal, Gretchen Rubin’s One Sentence Journal or any of these amazeballs journals that can be more than just for gratitude. Though you’ll definitely be grateful you have them!

Start today! – What are you grateful for right now? Me, I’m grateful I get to write and hopefully inspire others as my day job. Life doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

Healing Effects of Nature – Wayfaring Wanderer

hEALING-1Today we’re going on a journey….

In addition to my usual blog post, I have the honor to be featured on Wayfaring Wanderer’s blog.

Click here to read my post.

I only recently meet Wayfaring Wanderer but I knew from the first that we are kindred spirits. Aside from having the most awesome business name and being a fun loving, adventurer that she is, she’s also and a-MA-zing wedding photographer. Check out this gorgeous featured wedding shoot!

One of the many things we have in common is our love of traveling and nature. We both live is some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I’m in colorful Colorado and she’s living it up in Boone, North Carolina. So naturally… we both love nature. And thus my blog post for her site is an ode to the almost miraculous healing affects of nature.

I hope you enjoy the post and check out Wayfaring Wanderer for all your wedding planning and photography needs! I know she’ll definitely be my go-to woman when I get married. 🙂



When the fires of pleasure burn bright – Celebrating Beltane

When the fires of pleasure burn bright - Celebrating Beltane

You may not have heard of Beltane per se, but most people have some knowledge of May Day. Although the spring “officially” started at the time of the vernal equinox, also known as Ostara, the 1st of May is when it feels that spring has finally arrived.

Since the equinox, the sun has come out to play more with longer days and warmer temperatures (generally, unless you live where I do). 🙂 Trees and flowers are blooming all around.

It’s a time for celebration and rejoicing! Summer and fun is just around the corner!

Traditionally Beltane was one giant party. In the pastoral British Isles, Beltane marked the true end of harsh winter and fickle spring. It was a time to start preparing the land and animals for the growing cycle and to rejoice in surviving another year.

Fire was a very important part of the celebration and was prominent in the rituals of old. Often communities would gather around large bonfires to honor the growing sun. Farmers would walk their livestock between the bonfires to ward of disease and ensure a fruitful harvest. And then the real fun began with all-night parties!

Being the time of fertility and growth, Beltane became synonymous with carnal desires. Think old school Carnival… but with less bling and more flowers. Having been cooped up all winter long with family and possibly some animals, couples would sneak off to the forest and wild areas to celebrating their youth and feed their passions. It was quite the randy affair.

Modern celebrations are perhaps a bit more restrained but no less energizing. It’s unlikely you’ll be in a place to start some bonfires, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live it up with a few modified traditions.

Let’s light our own fires as we move more fully into the wheel of the year.

Here are 4 fun and festive ways to celebrate Beltane this year:

U5LYW9UWS0May Day baskets – I’ve never taken part in this wonderful tradition but many of my friends have told me about it. It’s basically a more summery version of an Easter basket plus the fun of a “ding-dong ditch”. You create baskets full of flowers and candies and other fun summer items (maybe some bubbles or sidewalk chalk, etc.) and then leave in on your neighbor’s door. Ring the bell and then – run! Obviously, it’s a bit more fun if you actually know your neighbor, but still it’s always nice to receive gifts even from strangers. Bonus points if you do this for your secret crush. 😉 Learn more about the history of May Day baskets in this NPR report.

Mini Maypoles – I’m guessing most of us don’t have acres of land upon which to erect a giant pole into the ground and then run around it with 12 of your best friends, wrapping ribbons until the pole until it resembles a tilt-o-whirl gone mad. However, if you do have a sizable yard and the inclination to set it up for some serious fun… I highly recommend doing a Maypole dance. But if you are like me, living in an apartment without a lot of space to be had, then you can always do a smaller version of this awesomely strange tradition. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and go to the craft store to collect supplies. In this case, a foot long dowel rod will do. Ribbons, of course and perhaps some glue. Don’t forget a foam platform to place the rod into to keep it upright. Then decorate the rod as you would its larger cousin and add wild flowers if you’d like. Now you have a gorgeous minified version that can be a great centerpiece for your table.

20150711_135754Wild Flower walks – This is a great time to get out in the world and glory in the changing seasons. It’s not boiling hot yet (I really dislike heat), but not freezing anymore (unless you live in the great north). Go talk little walks around local nature parks and watch as the earth comes back to life again. Take pictures of the buds you find and then track their progress. I have a particular path I walk around near my home and I’ve taken pictures all year long. I skipped walking during the super snowy time, but it’s been amazing watching all the plant life and animal life opening up again.

Color your life – This is going to be on my list of fun things to do for a while. Coloring!! Bust out the sidewalk chalk (maybe received in a May Day basket), or your colored pencils and let your inner artist out! Spring is all about color as blossoms burst into life in all the shades of the rainbow. On my list to develop this year is my water coloring skills. I used to do some oil painting with my mom long ago, but water colors seem more whimsical and playful to me. Whatever you choose be sure to enjoy yourself!

Summer is now just around the corner. Beltane is a reminder that no matter how long and dark the winter may be, everything is permanent and change is inevitable.

How did you celebrate Beltane this year? Let me know in the comments below!