We're all familiar with the concept of sacred space. Whether it's a majestic cathedral, a mountain top, the pyramids, a stone circle, or a shady spot in the woods, each of these places has something that makes it special - a sanctuary that soothes the human soul. But what about sacred space at home?

Children instinctively recognize the value of a quiet, private place as a means of  recovering from the pressures of everyday life. My cousin and I used to hide out for hours in her closet with our flashlights, some snacks, books, and our dolls. My needs are a little different these days, but I'm not above sitting in the closet if that's what it takes to find myself a peaceful place to meditate and get in touch with that which I hold sacred.

Almost everyone can carve out a little piece of space just for themselves and/or their sacred objects. Doesn't matter if it's a corner of a room, a window sill with a favorite chair in front of it, a closet, the garden, the bathtub, or even your car. One of my friends visits a nearby carousel because it makes her happy. Another friend travels quite a bit and she always takes a few special objects to place on the dresser in her hotel room.

It makes no difference which spot you choose for yourself, as long as you like it there. If you love to work in the kitchen, you can place special objects on the window sill and enjoy them while you do the dishes and cook. And it doesn't matter which items you choose to become your sacred objects, as long as they bring you joy. Two favorite objects that live on the altar at my house are a 6 million year old fossilized snail and a lopsided clay teapot my daughter made for me when she was four.

Nowadays, I use an antique dresser for my altar, and a daybed as my meditation spot. These are probably my two favorite indoor spots. I've added a photo of each of these below for you to see. I'd love to hear some of your ideas and see photos of your sacred spaces.

 

 

 

My husband showed me an article from the Guardian a little while ago, which reported that up to 200,000 people in the UK have been taken in by dating site scammers. Ironically enough, my husband and I met on the internet, so I know that long distance relationships can work out beautifully.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as there are always those who hope to benefit financially by taking advantage of people with kind hearts. So I thought I'd share with you the list of warning signs released by the UK Serious Organized Crime Agency. Hopefully, this list will be helpful if you are looking for love on the internet. By being aware of how to stay safe, you can ensure you don't join the ranks of those who have lost money and had their hearts broken by criminals posing as honest suitors.

"Signs to look out for if you suspect your new suitor of being a scammer:

  • A distant location and/or a job in the military: by pretending to be serving in, for example, Afghanistan, or on an oil rig, the scammer has a convenient excuse for being unable to chat on the phone or in person. When men are targeted, the other party often tends to be a nurse working in a remote country.
  •  A fondness for Windows Messenger or similar applications: aware that dating sites are increasingly conscious of such cons, the perpetrators can be keen to continue their wooing elsewhere.
  •  A suspiciously attractive and/or rugged-looking photo: of course, not every good-looking person lurking on a dating site is a fraudster. But the con artists tend to select particularly alluring physical alter egos, which they borrow from elsewhere on the internet.
  •  A quick adoption of a pet name: if, by the second email, you are being addressed as "dearest fluffy bunny", beware – it could be a fraudster looking to establish instant intimacy.
  • A predisposition towards financial or other misfortunes: it is perhaps the most obvious tip, but if a suitor you have never met suddenly crashes their car, or needs an expensive airfare or a lawyer, be on your guard. The same goes if they start alluding to gold bullion or suitcases full of cash they hope to bring to the UK."
I also wanted to add that another red flag is the lack of a physical address. If someone truly loves and trusts you, and if they are actually single, there should be no reason to resist giving you their address. I'm not talking about a post office box, I'm talking about the place they live. By the time my husband and I met in person, we had been pen pals for several years. We sent letters and packages back and forth through the post office. We didn't keep each other a secret, either. I had his best friend's phone number. We had mutual friends on social media. He knew how to contact my family in case he couldn't reach me in an emergency. My daughter had spoken to him over the phone and I had spoken with his father. These are signs of a genuine relationship vs a scam.

Please be careful in your search for true love. Be a detective; google search their photo to see if it belongs to someone else, ask questions, ask for an address. Don't be in a hurry to offer money to someone you've never met and have been talking with for a short time. If you want something long lasting, I recommend you stick with sites designed for that purpose. Avoid the sites designed to facilitate quick hookups. Better yet, try joining special interest forums or discussion groups so you can meet people with similar interests.

I wish you love and happiness.

Robyn


A few years ago, I began experimenting with various methods of raising psychic shields or firewalls to keep my home (and everyone in it) safe  from physical harm, from negative energies and detrimental outside influences. It took a while to decide exactly which elements worked for me and which didn't, but the end result is a bedtime protection routine that has served me well.

Your psychic firewall won't look anything like mine by the time you're done with it, but here are the basic blueprints to get you started.

Step 1. Make yourself physically comfortable. (I lay in bed or lean back in my rocking chair for this step.) Close your eyes and count backwards from 25 to 1. As you count backwards, feel your body relaxing while your mind becomes more aware of everything around you.

Step 2.  Imagine a beautiful  ball of white light glowing in the East. Now imagine this ball of light spreading out to become a shining wall of pure energy. Anchor this wall firmly and deeply  in the ground along the eastern wall of your home. Repeat this step for each of the six directions: East, South, West, North, Up and Down. You and your home should now be enclosed in a brilliant box of white energy.

Step 3. Visualize a stream of golden light shining from the tip of your index finger. Use this stream of light to "seal" the edges where the four walls of light outside your house meet. Do the same with the top and bottom of the energy box.

Step 4.  If you still feel the need for protection, use the stream of light to seal off all windows, doors, vents, etc. in your room.

Step 5.  Here's where you can really get creative with your "firewall". You can add color, patterns, guardian creatures - whatever your imagination can think of. At one point, I had a giant blue jack-in-the-box on the roof. His job was to pop up and scare away anyone or anything harmful. It really doesn't matter what you visualize as long as it makes you happy and gives you a feeling of safety and well-being.  :)

Don't you just love the look, feel, and smell of homemade soap? I do. Soap making can be an exacting process, though, and I'm naturally lazy. It can also be a bit expensive to buy the supplies needed to start making your own soap.

I was pondering all of this while standing in the craft store one afternoon and overheard a little girl ask why she couldn't cut up store bought soap and add a pretty smell to it. Her mother immediately squashed this idea, but I thought "Hey! Why not?"

The next morning, I sat at my kitchen table admiring 12 bars of lemon/orange peel soap with oatmeal and honey. Coffee soap followed soon after, and that one was a major hit with my husband.

The how to is as simple as can be. All of the materials can be purchased at either the grocery store or the dollar store. You will need several at least six bars of commercial soap. I like Dove or Ivory, but any brand will work. You will also need a wooden spoon, a cheese grater, a sauce pan or double boiler, whatever flavors, colors, or textures you want to add, and a muffin tin. (I found one that makes little loaf shaped muffins and use that as a mold for my soap, but any shape will work.)

Grating the soap is the worst part of the process, but once that's done it's all easy sailing. I melted the soap on low heat while stirring with the wooden spoon. Then I added dried lemon and orange peel from the spice section of the store. I threw in about a cup of raw oatmeal and several table spoons of honey, as well. As soon as everything melted together, I poured it into the muffin tin molds and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I popped the soap out of the molds, trimmed the edges of the bars, and it was done!

To make coffee soap - follow the instructions above, adding only fresh finely ground coffee beans to the grated soap. I used one grinder full of coffee for six bars of grated soap. It smells heavenly  and I love to shower with it in the mornings!






I've already written one blog about the book, "Money Is My Friend" by Phil Laut, but I think this book deserves another mention. This little tiny book holds a wealth of information and practical steps you can use to increase your self-esteem and turn making money into a "fun, fascinating, and creative enterprise." 

The funny thing is that every time I read this book, something new and different catches my attention.  But there is one constant and that is that this book always helps me handle my money in a more productive manner. It's also done wonders for my sense of self and helped me overcome an unconscious, but deeply held, shame over wanting money.

One of my favorite chapters is titled: "Money and Spirituality." Here are some quotes from that chapter.  I admit that I'm more comfortable substituting the word "Universe" for the word "God", but no matter what name you use for the Divine, I hope you will find value in the quotes below, as well as in the rest of the book.

"There have been some negative ideas floating around for a very long time that affect spiritual people as they work at building their prosperity consciousness and creating abundance in their lives. Some of these negative ideas are that money and spirituality don't mix, that this material world is an illusion, that "money is the root of all evil." These ideas are based on the old view that God and Man are separate and that it's holier to wait to experience abundance until you're there (with God in Heaven) rather than enjoy it here and now on earth. Although Western religions paid lip service to the idea that God is everywhere, the fact that God might be riding around with you in your Mercedes. and enjoying it too, was not well publicized.


"The truth is that the universe is made up of Divine Substance.
"

"It (money) allows you to create beauty in your life and in the lives of others. Your use of the power of wealth can be an act of faith, love, and thanksgiving every instance. Affirm your connection to Infinite Being an Infinite Intelligence often. Your consciousness of your connection to Infinite Being an Infinite Intelligence is your most valuable personal asset."


 


Herbs have long been used to enhance and magnify the magical properties of candles. I like to match the color of the candle with an herb that promotes a similar, or complimentary, effect. To make herbed candles, crush the chosen herbs with a rolling pin or a mortar & pestle,  and place the powdery mixture on a paper plate. Apply oil to the candle and roll the oiled candle in the herb mixture.  The herbs do not have to coat the candle entirely for the magic to be effective.

Below is list of some of the many possible herbs and their magical qualities.

 

BASIL - Removes negativity from the home or workplace.

BAY LAUREL - Protection against evil influences, stops interference.

CATNIP -Courage, love and happiness, joy.

CHAMOMILE - Luck in gambling, luck in getting proposal of marriage.

CLOVE - Banishes evil, friendship, grants desires.

DANDELION - Helps to improve clairvoyance, purifies.

DRAGON'S BLOOD - Brings good luck, protection, money, love.

FRANKINCENSE - protection, purification, spirituality.

GINGER - Love, money, success, power.

JASMINE - Love, money, strengthens psychic abilities.

JUNIPER - Protection against theft, attracts love, ais in psychic development.

LAVENDER - Love, money, attracts help.

LEMON VERBENA - Guards against evil, repels those you do not love.

MARIGOLD - Gives clairvoyant dreams.

MARJORAM - Protection.

MUGWORT - Protection, strengthens psychic abilities, aides in divination.

MYRRH - Purification, protection, spirituality.

NUTMEG - Luck, love, prosperity, fertility.

ORRIS ROOT - Aids in divination, attracts love.

PATCHOULI - Breaks spells placed on you, attracts money, defeats enemies.

PEPPERMINT - Purification, love, increases psychic ability.

PINE - Purification.

ROSE PETALS - Love, happiness in the home.

ROSEMARY - Healing for headaches, keeps a lover faithful.

RUE - Defense against spells and dark magic, repels negativity.

SAGE - Purification, protection, wisdom.

ST. JOHN'S WORT - Happiness, healing, courage, love, protection, divination.

SANDALWOOD, RED - Healing, protection, spirituality, wishes come true.

SANDALWOOD, YELLOW - Protection, spirituality.

THYME - Cures nightmares.

VERVAIN - Repels psychic attack, purification, gaining love or wealth.

WORMWOOD - Repels negative magic.

YARROW - Divination, love spells, keeps couple happily married.

 

P.S. Whatever you do - don't use Valerian!! It will stink up your house for weeks.

 

Enjoy,

Robyn

Have you ever found yourself bombarded by negative energy and been unsure how to repel the bad vibes? Here's a simple bit of magic that anyone can use to literally clear the air around themselves and banish negativity, malice, envy, etc. etc. All you need is a mirror. Or two. Or three.

 You will definitely need a white candle, some incense, at least one mirror. You may also need a marking pen and some fabric glue or a needle and thread. The type of mirror you choose depends on who, or what, you're trying to shield:

  • If your goal is to protect your home from unwelcome visitors, nosy neighbors, or any other type of negativity, you should use round stick-on mirrors of the type meant for the side mirrors on cars. You will need one mirror for each direction in which your house has windows. For instance, I  have no windows on the western side of my house, so I would only need three mirrors.
  • If you're having problems with someone at work, or if you find yourself overwhelmed by people when you go shopping, you will want to buy a small makeup mirror. Not a compact, though - just a flat mirror with no lid.
  • Gym lockers, school lockers, work cubicles - all of these are perfect for small mirrors hung to face the door. 
  • To protect your backpack, purse, briefcase, umbrella, etc. visit a craft store and buy those tiny little mirrors that are often sewn onto clothing.
Before you begin, take a bath in salt water, or else throw some bath salts under the spray in your shower. This will clean your personal energy. Now, light the white candle and the incense. Pass the mirror(s) over the flame of the candle and through the smoke of the incense and say:

"I infuse this mirror with the flaming fire so that it may burn away all outside negative energy. I pass this mirror through the fragrant smoke so that it may hide and shield."

 
Now, let the candle and the incense burn all the way down, and when that is done, put your mirror shields into place.

  • If you are using the stick-on mirrors, attach one to the outside of one window on each windowed side of your home.
  • For protection in the workplace, get your magic marker and draw an eye on your small mirror. Now draw one little tear at the corner of the eye. This will reflect all sadness, envy, animosity, etc, back toward the sender.
  • Attach a flat, stick-on mirror to the wall opposite the door of your locker, cubicle, etc.
  • Attach one or more tiny mirrors to the item you wish protected. For instance, I have a black velvet backpack and have sewn several small mirrors to the side that faces out when I wear it. 
That's all there is to it! My sisters and I use this technique all the time and have had great success with it. I hope it works for you, too. :)

P.S. It also helps to wear highly reflection silver jewelry whenever you are feeling overwhelmed by the energy of others.





Today's mail brought a long anticipated package, "The Magician Longs to See" twin peaks tarot by Ben Mackey. I couldn't wait to get home and open the box!  And I wasn't disappointed. The photo above is the introductory pamphlet and the one below depicts The Magician, The Empress and the Justice cards.






The cards themselves are colorful, just the right size for my hands, and seem very sturdy. I love the way the artist kept to the spirit of the tarot and still incorporated so many elements from the series. My reading style relies as heavily on the actual images as it does on traditional meanings, so I was especially pleased to see that every single card in the Minor Arcana is as fully illustrated as those of the Major Arcana and tells it's own story.





The four suits are represented by the symbols in the photo above.

Cups = Coffee cups

Swords = Fir Trees

Wands = Logs

Pentacles = Poker Chips

When the individual suits are laid out in order from the Ace to the King, they each tell the story a specific sub plot. For instance, all of the Wands have to do with The Log Lady.

I think this deck is brilliant and can't wait to use it here on Keen. Please let me know if you would like a reading using this deck.


I found this recipe and thought you might like to try it. It's Shakespeare's own recipe for herbal tea, as it appeared in Act 4 of "The Winter's Tale". Just got back from the health food store and they had everything I needed to make this tea....I'm drinking a cup of it right now, and it's delicious!  
  
1  cup dried lavender flowers  
2  cups roughly cut dried peppermint  
1  cup dried summer savory  
1  cup dried sweet marjoram  
1  cup dried whole calendula flowers  


As we all know, tension and stress affect our bodies, as well as our minds. I carry my stress across the shoulders and at the back of the neck. It's as if my problems are physical burdens that are quite literally resting on the top of my shoulders. Naturally, this makes it very very hard to sleep in comfort, so I developed my own little routine to release the physical symptoms brought on by worry and tension, and I'd like to share it with you.

  1. The first step is to take a nice hot shower. Let the warm water run over your body; pay special attention to whichever part of you feels the stiffest and most knotted up. If you'd rather soak in a hot bath, do that instead.
  2. After you dry yourself off, choose a second towel and use it to massage whichever part of your body feels the most tense. I like to heat a towel in the dryer, then run it back and forth across my shoulders and neck. This helps to relieve stiffness and muscle tension.
  3. Perform a gentle stretching routine to further loosen up your muscles. I modeled my routine after the one recommended by my local gym. 
  4. Relax on your bed and close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose - long gentle breaths, like those used in meditation. As you breathe, count backwards from 25 to 1.
  5. Starting at the top of your head, consciously relax every muscle in your body, paying close attention to the areas that are the most tense. Now count upwards from 1 to 25.
    Go to sleep, or rise and find something soothing and quiet to do until bedtime. 
That's all there is to it!



For some reason, I always have a hard time sleeping soundly this time of year. Maybe it's because it's so windy during the spring here on the coast, or maybe it's because the ocean sounds like it's in my backyard. In any case, I find that it helps to make myself a dream pillow.

Dream pillows are normally small cloth pillows filled with various herbs and oils. The intent can be to promote sound sleep, sweet dreams, psychic dreams, lucid dreams, or any number of other dream states. The herbs you use depend upon the goal you have in mind.

Most dream pillows range in size from 5x5 inches to 5x8 inches, but you can also make (or buy) a normal size cotton or silk pillowcase and fill it with batting and herbs. I don't like the feeling of a small pillow underneath my larger one, so I normally opt to make one of the large pillows.

If it's sweet dreams you're looking for...use the dried petals of your favorite flowers. We have lavender and roses in our garden, and I love this particular combination. Mint flowers are lovely, too. And jasmine or honeysuckle are always a good addition.

For psychic and/or lucid dreaming, the following herbs and flowers work very well: mint, thyme, rosemary, yarrow, bay leaves, hyacinth, jasmine, and tuberose.

When you can't sleep, try some of these sleepy time herbs: St John's wort, borage, saffron, yarrow, calendula petals, vervain, comfrey, mimosa, narcissus, lemon grass.

If you're feeling especially creative, you can paint or embroider your pillow case with dream symbols. And if you're not feeling that way at all, you can always make a small opening in an existing pillow, put a few flower leaves or herbs inside, and sew it back up again. Just remember that the flowers and herbs you use must be dry enough that they won't mold inside the pillow.

Sweet dreams to all of you!





I recently came across this book in a box destined for the Goodwill shop, turned to the back cover and read:

"ARE YOU THE KIND OF PERSON WHO:

--Does the most work in your office and gets the least recognition?
--Feels guilty about anything that goes wrong whether it's your fault or not?
--Is afraid to ask for a raise from your boss or a favor from your spouse?
--Thinks it's selfish to want your full share of pleasure in sex?
--Always knuckles under to your children's demands?
--Seethes with unspoken opinions, unexpressed feelings, unachieved ambitions, unexploited talents, and unfulfilled desires?
--Doesn't know the difference between the positive results of assertiveness and the negative results of aggressiveness?"


Wow, I'd forgotten what a wonderful tool this book had been many years ago and how much it  taught me about taking control of my life!

Learning to say "no" was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Seriously. it took this book, several years of therapy, and a whole lot of practice before I was able to stop saying "yes" to things I didn't want to do. But what a difference learning to say "no" has made in my life!  Saying "no" has freed me from many awkward social situations, from a marriage that no longer worked for me, from friendships that were mostly one-sided, from a religion I no longer believe in, and from self-imposed obligations that ate up huge amounts of time.

If you also struggle with this issue, then I recommend you pick up a copy of this book and start practicing. Start with small things first and work up to bigger things, and soon you'll be able to say "no" with assurance and comfort.You'll be doing things because you want to or need to, not because you feel you should. Other people say "no" all the time, so why shouldn't you?

Bright Blessings,
Robyn

P.S. One very effective trick is to put a sticky note next to your phone, your computer, and the front and back doors to your home. On each note, draw a circle in black marking pen and write the words "No Shoulds!" inside the circle.  Now, draw a big red diagonal line through the circle and you have a handy reminder that it's okay to say no to things you don't want to do, don't have to do, but think you should do anyway.




 


This spread is named for it’s shape, which resembles a horseshoe, crescent moon, or pyramid. It's one of my very favorites because it not only reveals that which is hidden, but it also suggests a course of action the you may wish to follow.

CARD ONE:  This card represents past influences and conditions.

CARD TWO:  Card two indicates the present conditions . It may be subjective and relate to thoughts or feelings, or it may be objective, and relate to tangible, known circumstances or people.

CARD THREE:  What is hidden. This reveals unforeseen circumstances, secrets and situations that have not been taken into account - and which may influence the outcome of the reading.

CARD FOUR:  This card represents obstacles and challenges. These may be major obstacles or just passing influences. Again, as with card two, it may denote either the inner world of thought and feelings, or the outer world of material events.

CARD FIVE:  What surrounds you. This position describes the current background to your question, the environment, and the presence of others . Help and guidance, or the attitudes of others may be revealed here.

CARD SIX:  Suggested course of action. Suggestions for action, biding your time, enlisting the aid of others, etc. will be signified here.

CARD SEVEN:  Probable result. this card assumes that you will take the action suggested by card six, and overcome any of the challenges revealed by cards three and four. If you decide not to follow the advice of the sixth card, all bets are off and the outcome will be different.

Note: It's often helpful to draw a second card for the seventh position. This card would signify the outcome should you choose not to heed the advice of the sixth card.

Blessings, Robyn



So many of us have found  ourselves in the position of feeling a very real attachment to someone else that doesn't serve our best interests at that time. For instance, if you love someone who has distanced themselves from you for whatever reason, and who yet continues to have a psychic/emotional link to you, it can be a serious drain on your energy, your emotional well-being, and your time. This kind of attachment can not only keep you from making the most of every new day, it  can also make you feel downright crazy.

Not to worry, you're not crazy. Since everyone and everything in the universe is made of energy, and since energy transcends time and  space, it's quite possible to keep in touch with someone on a psychic level, even when there is no physical communication. Possible, but not the least bit fair. So how do you protect yourself and your internal resources from this kind of  unfairness?

I recommend cutting the ties that bind you to the other person. Yes, this sounds harsh and drastic, but the lovely truth of the matter is that nothing is written in stone and ties can always be reattached if the situation changes for the better. In the meantime, cutting the ties will give you strength, build your self-esteem, and help you keep all of your precious energy for yourself.

There are several ways to cut the ties. One method that works well for me is to light a white candle. This helps to repel unwanted energy, promotes wholeness & healing, and helps to balance one's aura. Then I settle myself in a comfortable position and do a  visualization from a beautiful and extremely helpful book called  Goddess Meditations  by Barbara Ardinger.

In this visualization, I picture myself following a path that climbs slowly around, and up, a large green hill. At the top of the path stands the temple of the Three Fates, the three sisters who, according to ancient mythology, determine one's destiny.  The first sister, Clotho, spins the thread at the beginning of  one's life, Atropos weaves the thread into the fabric of one's  actions, and Lachesis snips the thread at the conclusion  of one's life.

In my meditation, the three sisters sit on the porch of their temple, hard at work upon the fabric of my life. I stand naked  before them and can clearly see every cord that connects me to the person with whom I wish to cut the ties. Then I borrow Lachesis's golden scissors and carefully cut each and every cord that binds me to the other. I place each cord in a basket and present it to The Fates with my deepest thanks. Then I turn around and head back down the hill, unencumbered by the ties that so recently bound me.

Inevitably, this has to be done more than once because the other person feels an immediate sense of loss and they hurry to reattach themselves to you. Sometimes, it has to be done every day for several weeks. But it's always worth it and I feel so fresh and clean  when it's done.

Blessings,

Robyn



 

I love this book! It's an astrological survival guide to romance by Hazel Dixon-Cooper. It's funny, witty, informative, and written so that even those of us who know only enough astrology to be dangerous can understand it completely.

Each Sun Sign has it's own chapter, and each chapter includes such goodies as:

  • Romancing the sign
  • Catching one - tips for winning the heart of the one you desire
  • Surviving one - getting out and getting revenge if it doesn't work out
  • Keeping one - how to keep the one you love
  • Fatal Attractions - A Sun Sign personal compatibility guide for the twisted

You will also find a section in every chapter that deals with Moon Suns, Mars, and Venus.  It's very comprehensive, sexy, funny and I couldn't manage without it. I hope you try this book and it's companion, "Born On A Rotten Day". And I hope you like them as much as I do!

 

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