Week Four #2016PCChallenge

I’ve made it to week four! I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of polyclay playing this year so it gets to the end of the week and I have to sit back and think ok, what did I remember to take photos of? Which project shall I post about?

 

This week I decided to go with the dragon scales work I’ve been doing. This is based on Deb Hart’s Dragonscale Gems tutorial that can be found at Craft Art Edu. I didn’t use her exact colours but it still turned out pretty kewl. The first thing I tried out was a bracelet. I haven’t managed to find a form the size I like to wrap my scrap clay around yet so this one is quite a big bracelet. Having said that I actually like how big and chunky it is. If ever I lose weight I figure I’ll just push it up to the top of my arm instead!!

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So after I baked the scrap clay form I went to work on making the clay, then I filled the outside of the scrap clay form with the cane slices. I baked that and so far that’s as far as I’ve gotten with this particular piece. I still need to sand and polish it and put some black clay around the inside to neaten it up a bit. Once that is done I think it will look quite awesome!

I still had plenty of the clay cane left over so I decided to shrink it down, found one of my bezels and filled it with a bunch of slices. I didn’t mind how the bracelet looked all flat, but this time I wanted it to be more 3D and I have to admit I much prefer it this way! I may need to make a smaller bracelet or cuff with 3D scales rather than smooth flat scales.

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I really loved how this one turned out. So I then decided I’d make a dragon egg. In case you don’t know it, I LOVE dragons. I have loved dragons since I was very, very young. So this cane was right up my alley! Then upon re-discovering polyclay in my 30’s I have spent time trying to make dragons and all sorts of other things. No matter how far away from dragon’s I travel in my exploration of the clay, I always seem to come back to them. I’ve always wanted to explore doing dragon eggs, so I thought now was the time…

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That is what I came up with. I’m not sure if I’m completely finished with it yet. It keeps calling for me to put some sworovski flatbacks on it, so I may just have to do that before I call it done. I’m not sure what kind of dragon would hatch from this kind of egg but I’d sure like to see it one day! I still have left over cane, perhaps that’s what I need to do with it?!

This cane definitely excited me with all the amazing possibilities. This is only my first ever attempt at the cane, just wait until I start trying different colour combinations!! Remember to come back next week to see what polyclay creation I’ve come up with!

Week 3 in the #2016PCChallenge

I actually finished this week pretty early so I’ve done a bunch more than just this weeks project which is awesome because I am starting the markets this week and I want to have a heap of stock to sell. This weeks project was done specifically to sell at the market. I also managed to finally complete a few things I had begun last year which is nice too.

So this week I found a tutorial via a blog I follow on blogspot… I’m sorry I don’t remember which one it was now or have a link to it. They didn’t make hair pins but I saw the design and thought it would be well suited to hair pins:

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This picture was taken after they had come out of the oven and cooled down, ready for a few extra embellishments.

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This one is the final product. I put some sculpey gloss glaze over all of them and added some swarovski gems in random spaces in some of them:

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Others I left plain:

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Then there was a couple of pairs where I added extra petals inside before the baking process:

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Hopefully they sell! And hopefully they stay together and don’t fall apart!!

Week 2 #PCChallenge2016

Well I’m a day late for this post seeing as it’s the 15th January 2016 now but better late than never!

This weeks polymer clay piece is inspired by Faerie Magazine‘s dragons and mermaid gallery. They have some really amazing stuff for anyone who is a true Dragon Lover, which I am! I’ve always been interested in dragons and inspired by them since I can remember. So it was only natural when I re-discovered polyclay a couple years ago now that I would venture in to dragon making. I have done some dragons… ok, a lot of dragons, in that time but making miniatures doesn’t sing to me.

So when I saw dragon eggs I thought oh man, that would be awesome! I just never got around to making any … yet. Then I saw some pendants and because it was small and simple I thought why not? So I got one of my bezels and plopped some black clay in it, textured it, added a tiny rose quartz cabachon and some glow-in-the-dark polyclay and… voila!

 

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My very first dragon shell pendant.

OK, so I’m not so happy with it, but that’s ok, we all have to begin somewhere right? Firstly I really need to make sure I’m working on an extremely clean surface with extremely clean hands. I have to say, the clean hand thing is no easy thing! I feel like I can wash and wipe my hands 100 times but as soon as I touch white clay or the glow-in-the-dark clay it manages to pull more of the darker clay from the dips in my fingerprints or something. It’s quite frustrating!!

So I’m really unhappy with how dirty the glow-in-the-dark clay is. I’m also disappointed with how much the rose quartz faded in the heat. You can’t even see the rose in it anymore. Then the very middle spike I can see the very end of my armature which is most frustrating because I didn’t see that before I baked it and I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that now! So I guess I just strike this one down to a first attempt and do better next time.

It was fun though and I can see myself quite likely making more of these cute little necklaces in the future. Not bad for my 2nd completed project for the year so far!!

Week One #2016PCChallenge

Can you believe the first week of 2016 is already done and dusted?!

I can actually. I’ve done a lot and feel pretty accomplished and on task. One of my tasks this year that I have set myself is to do one polymer clay piece a week so that by the end of 2016 I’ll have done at least 52 COMPLETED polymer clay pieces. The completed part is important for me because I am amazing at beginning projects… the completion though is something I need more practice with. After this week though I do wonder where people find the time to do everything in their lives. It’s not like I have a full-time muggle job to get to 5 days a week or anything. I would end up with no time for anything at all if I did!

It is my intention to blog about each polymer clay piece I do each week so that’s what this blog is meant to be about. Win/win being I not only do a polymer clay piece each week, I also blog each week! Better than last years effort by far if I can pull this off 😀

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So here goes! I started off being inspired by Claire Wallis’ tutorial for Faux Knit weave in polymer. I did manage to do a couple (see above photo) but I wasn’t really happy with them. From that I kind of moved on to weaving…

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It wasn’t my intention but that is where I landed. I used my Makins’ extruder for the logs simply because I am lazy and I do like the ease of uniformity. Once I’d done the weave I squished it together a bit and used a brayer to roll over the top to squash it down some.

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Once I was happy with that… ok, not happy but couldn’t be bothered being a perfectionist 😛 I ignored the gaping holes and instead decided to put a sheet of glow-in-the-dark polymer clay underneath it, cut it in to a heart… because hearts… and of course border it with some more glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.

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Once that was done I put a couple of small holes in the top left and right corners of the heart, twisted and mashed up the rest of the clay and rolled it in to a not-so-uniform log.

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As you can see I kind of flip-flop between wanting perfection but being too lazy to actually strive for it in reality. I figure if I don’t do my absolute best, when it doesn’t turn out as awesome in reality as I think it is in my head… well I have my lack of precision to blame and can always convince myself that if I just tried harder and took more time with it, imagine how much better it would have been. Or is that just a cop-out?

So after I rolled it in to a log, deciding just how many beads I wanted… I went with 7 on each side because as much as I love even numbers odd numbers tend to look more pleasing to the eye *sigh* I then cut the log in to 1cm sections once I made sure the log reached 14cms, thus ensuring I would have 7 beads for each side of the necklace.

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At this point I wasn’t actually sure how I was going to turn it in to a necklace. The holes I put in the heart were too small for suede or hemp, which meant my only real option was wire. I could have then made the holes big enough in the beads to thread them on to some black suede but because I do love wire working a lot I figured why not make the whole thing wire, so I did the beads up in my little contraption here…

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As they were baking in the oven the gears were still churning around in my head and I finally decided how I would piece it all together. So once it was all nice and cool I began…

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I got out some seed beads, got out some 20 gauge bronze wire and began to put together a pattern. I’m not sure why but I thought it might not end up as long as I would like. So in addition to the bead links I did a couple rose and bead links. In the end I left out two of those links because I realised it was actually getting quite long! To finish it off I attached one of my magnetic rhinestone clasps.

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And this is it! My first completely finished polymer clay and wire wrapped piece for 2016! I haven’t seen what it looks like when it’s all glow-in-the-darky yet but I imagine it’ll look pretty awesome with some glowy bits peaking through from the back of the heart and the bits and blobs of it mixed around in the matching beads.

I’ve realised this is going to be quite the challenge after all this year. To complete a piece every week. It sounds easy… 52 projects a year… but in reality, I guess we’ll see. I haven’t even started my Uni course yet and I still want to find a couple more regular face painting gigs! Let alone the more time I want to spend out in nature like today with the kids at the Ennogera Reservoir. It was really beautiful there and while I may or may not have gotten a bit burnt, I can see us spending more time there this year having picnics and swimming and walking the tracks.

So fingers crossed I can succeed in getting through this #2016PCChallenge as well as all the other stuff!

I’m always happy to read your thoughts on my posts so don’t be shy, leave a comment if you dare.

Either way have a beautiful day, In Joy!

 

Day 2 already?!

Yeap, it’s the 2nd day of the year here in Australia already… actually the 2nd day is almost over! I only have 5 more days to start and complete my very first polymer clay piece for my yearly challenge!! And I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I may need to begin working on that tomorrow.

Today I spent time working on planning my 2016 with Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. If you want some help with releasing last year and moving in to this year with some clarity and purpose head on over to her page and download the free pdf! It’s well worth it in my opinion. It felt really good to sit here most of the day answering the questions, picking tarot cards, and sorting out my desires for the year. No resolutions for me, no goals for me. Just desires for things I’d love to see happen. The pdf gives you this fluidity and ability to go with the flow which I love. Just as life has this inevitable way of changing, so do your intentions and desires. This way, I won’t feel bad for not accomplishing my goals or resolutions. It feels better this way!

I also started my Birthing Ourselves Into Being course for the year. I’m really excited about this one too as it speaks to me on a deeply spiritual level. The first chapter that we work on this month is all about our birth story. Writing it, owning it, seeing how it shaped us, then rewriting it in a way you wish it had been and transcending what is to what can be. You can find out more here.

Funnily enough with all my planning and ideas, I didn’t end up putting in there that I’d like to blog more regularly, which is something I’d really love to do. I want to blog at least once a week about the polyclay project I’ve completed. I’d love to blog once a month about BOiB. Perhaps also blog about the jewellery making and then of course is my Uni course! Yeap, I’m going to Uni this year! 40 years old and I’m finally going to University. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the first one along my particular genetic branch to go to Uni! Go me! I’ll be studying Art therapy which I’m hoping to bring to those who need it online as well as in person. We’ll see how we go. Those are plans for another year 🙂

As the clock ticks inevitably toward midnight and toward the 3rd day of January 2016 I really must get myself to bed. I have 2 face painting gigs tomorrow. My regular tavern gig for the lunchtime rush between 12 and 2, then I’m going to help a bunch of other painters paint up the fans of Brisbane Heat tomorrow at the Gabba. Being an Aussie you would think I’d be all in to sport and stuff.. but I’m not. Apparently Brisbane Heat is a cricket team. Their colours are teal and white. They logo a flame. So I’ll be painting a lot of teal flames tomorrow night!

If you are one of the few people to have read my blog, thank you 🙂 Hopefully I will bring you interesting content throughout the year. If not, at least this will be a space for me to share my authentic self. Much love.

2016 Polymer Clay Challenge

OK, so this coming year, 2016, I am going to challenge myself to make something with polyclay once every week of the year. So by the end of 2016 I will have done at least 52 polyclay activities.

Because I know myself I don’t want to limit myself with what I will make however the rule I will set myself is that whatever I make needs to be baked and ‘finished’ each week. So polyclay canes don’t count alone. If I use a polyclay can to make a bowl that is fine but it needs to be baked and sanded and polished or glazed. I’d like all 52 projects I do to be able to go in to my Etsy shop to be sold in some way.

From where I’m at right now, most of it will be beads or pendants of some sort, however I am always learning new things and wanting to try new things so who knows what I will come out with.

I actually had a dream recently of something I’d like to make with polyclay, however I want to keep that one tight to my chest until I get it done. I would like to challenge myself to get in to that and have it all done and ready to go by the end of 2016 as well.

I will be participating in the 2016 Polyclay adventure which is a bunch of online tutorials which I think will easily keep me accountable. That will be lots of fun! Anyone else interested in joining go here: http://www.onlineartretreats.com/about-us/pca2016landing/ they are also running a jewellery adventure too which I’m doing which will be fun.

Other great places to go for polyclay or polyclay inspiration are:

Kater’s Acres

Over The Rainbow

Polymer Clay Daily

Sculpey University

 

If you have links to any other awesome polyclay type places on the wonderful world wide web feel free to link me to them in the comments! 🙂

It’s a New Moon!

Yeap, today is a New Moon, in the astrological constellation of Scorpio on the 11th day of the 11th month. That makes this a particularly powerful time for shedding what is no longer serving you. It is time to release all the things that are holding you back and focus on all the wonderful new things you want to bring in to your life.

I am no astrologer. I am no expert on moon phases or numerology, the planets or anything really. I am just an opinionated, intuitive and highly feeling soul. I’m not here to give you information about what it all means, there are plenty of amazing bloggers out there doing that already! So what am I here for? I’m here to give you some suggestions on things you can do if you feel called to.

I’m here to remind myself and you, Constant Reader, of the energies present on the earth right now. I have deep faith in the energies around us and have no doubt that energies can affect us even without us being conscious of it. I really would like to become more conscious of it. I am very good at ignoring information and just floating along unhinged in life, no focus, no intent. I am naturally an easy-going person and happy to just go with the current. Or is it that I’m a people pleaser? Sometimes I wonder…

Anyway for me today the new moon means a new beginning, a new start. Just like the New Year, or the first day of the month or the first day of the week. It’s a renewed motivational energy for me. It’s a day where I can begin to set in motion how I want to be for the rest of the month. I’ve always been drawn to the cycles of the moon in particular. Possibly because I feel drawn to wicca, possibly because I am a female and my own personal cycles are tied unconsciously to the moon (though I am working on making that a more conscious thing). Whatever the reason I love the cycle of the moon because it’s not a long time, only 28 days on average, and there is a very visible track of the cycle if you just look in to the sky.

I find it interesting that I get the urge to clean my house leading up to a new moon, as if in preparation for a new beginning. I also use this time to cleanse my house energetically. Yeap, I’m one of those sage burning people. I love the smell of it and I love the feel of it. Whether it is all a load of crap or not doesn’t matter. What matters is how it leaves me feeling. That is what I think about any kind of ritual, faith, belief, routine, way of life. What matters is how it feels, as long as it harms no other living being. Now I’m sounding a little Buddhist right? Well, I do have a deep belief that the basis of every religion and faith in the world is exactly the same. But this is not a theological outpour, it’s about today. Right now. The 11th day of the 11th month.

This is a day of remembrance; remembrance for those humans who chose (or were forced) to go kill other humans in the name of freedom. Before I go too far down that path I will remind myself this is not an outpour about my views on war. This day is also a very powerful day for there is magic within the repetitive numbers, if you believe… and I do. I have always had a fascination with repetitive numbers, though again, I’m not a numerologist nor have studied numbers beyond year 11 mathematics! For more information on repetitive numbers and their possible significance google Doreen Virtue, she has a lot of information out there about it all.

For me, regardless of what anyone else says (again it’s about how I feel), the number 1 is singular, so it’s about your individual self. While I know separation from others is merely an illusion, we have come to earth as individuals to experience that which we wanted to experience. So 1 is about the self. Therefore, for me, the repetition of 1 is about manifesting more self to the self. So if I am loving, I will manifest and attract more loving toward me. If I focus on how tired I am I will manifest and attract more tiredness toward me. If I focus on being kind and giving then I will attract more kindness and giving toward me. If I focus on health problems I will attract more health problems toward me. So today, on this very powerful day of manifestation, be aware, be hyper-aware of what you are focusing on. If you are focusing on something you don’t want or don’t need in your life, shift your focus immediately. Do not dwell on what no longer serves you right now.

So between the new moon and the magical repetition of the number 1 today is a very powerful time for creating what you DO want. For bringing to you that which you desire in your life. So then what of the astrological alignment within the constellation Scorpio? Scorpio is a water sign. Water is life. 75% of your body is made up of water. The moon controls water. Water is closely linked to emotion. So here we are finding ourselves in a time and space where we can safely release any old emotions that remain clinging to us but no longer serve us. That time your brother stole your toy and destroyed it, the betrayal and hurt you felt, you can let go of that now. Release it and focus instead on how much you love your brother. Attract the love to you and release the pain.

Again, I am no astrologer and there are many amazing people out there with better information than I. Elizabeth Peru for instance has a wealth of information for those interested. This is merely about me. It is, after all, MY blog. This is about my journey. My faith. My desires and choices. You, Constant Reader, are simply a witness to my life which I am grateful for.

Today I will smudge my house with the smoke of dried white sage. I will repeat a mantra that sits well with me as I do so. I will also use my reiki to give the place a good cleaning out. If I can muster the energy I will also physically clean some of the space my children, my familiar and I live in. I will focus on what I’d like to see accomplished within the next moon cycle. Will you join me?

 

I will earn a lot of money face painting this coming 4 weeks.

I will drink a lot of water.

I will find out if I am gluten intolerant then begin cutting gluten out of my life as much as I can manage.

I will pay all my bills.

I will spend as much money as I can on my Mr Bee for his 5th b’day.

I will delve in to learning new ways of living my life how I want to, which includes celebrating the 8 holidays of the wiccan year instead of celebrating societies holidays. No more christmas for me. No more easter. No more valentines day or hallowe’en. I will honour my desire to live more naturally and according to nature’s and my own cycles.

 

What sort of things will you focus on accomplishing within the next moon cycle?

The Cacao Dieta Begins

I wasn’t actually going to post today. I haven’t had my radical rest even though it’s 9.45pm already! What?! 9.45pm?!! I didn’t think it was that late. I was going to lay down and watch some TV before bed, but now I’m thinking I might be better off just going straight to sleep.

While I haven’t really done all that much today I still feel like it has been a big day. I had a lot of dreams last night, however I didn’t write any down so I don’t really remember any. If there were any messages in them, I totally missed them. This morning I spent a lot of time cutting my cacao…

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Yes, that is a Thomas the Tank Engine placemat 😛 While Mr Bee, now Master of the 4’s and heading into 5, still loves Thomas and his friends, he isn’t quite obsessed with them anymore. Not that he’s here to witness me using his placemat! I have managed to cut enough cacao that I have enough for another ceremonial dose tomorrow without having to sit there and chop, chop, chop it. It can get quite tedious to do, because the finer you chop it the smoother it is when you make the elixir. However, it is also quite meditative. I was listening to some very beautiful piano music by Michael Golzmane and I was doing my best to keep my thoughts positive. Not always an easy thing to do and I had to redirect my thoughts quite a few times. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to do any chopping next time if I don’t want to. I might do it anyway and chop down the last of the block I’m currently working with.

I complained a little in the chocolate ceremony group yesterday about the vile taste of cacao, which I am experiencing right now as I write this and try to eat a bliss ball before bed. The bliss balls are deceptive because they look so good and when you very first bite in to them they are coated in coconut so your taste buds get excited… unfortunately that excitement doesn’t last. The wise women in my group, the elders of the tribe, had some useful information and some wonderful insight which has also lead me on a slightly new course.

One suggestion was to use some tea as a base, peppermint was one of the suggestions and one of the teas I happen to have sitting in my pantry. So I used the peppermint tea as a base today and I have to admit it was much easier to consume this concoction…

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See how luscious it looks, how tempting. It whispers my name with sweet promises only to bite me on the arse with bitter realisations. However, cacao (pronounced ka-kow in case you were wondering, not ka-kay-oh) IS a plant medicine and not all plant medicines taste good, depending on what medicine they will be bringing. I guess I feel a little ripped-off is all because it looks so sweet, so delicious and disappoints me every time. Like I said, however, the peppermint base helped a little today. Now that I know I can have the full ceremonial dose without any nasty side-effects I’m quite happy to just scull the whole lot down, which I did. It took me three takes before I got it all down then I put a bit more of the peppermint tea in the glass and swished it around and drank that for good measure.

Something else the lovely wise women in the group helped me come to on my own, was that the intention I need to set forth with when I work with cacao deva, is to help me release my addiction to sugar! The very fact that it is the sweet call of sugar I need to release from my body and my mind could be the very reason I am finding cacao so difficult to consume, so difficult to swallow. Like a bitter pill designed to rid me of a toxic drug.

I feel better, having this intention. I felt very unanchored today as there was no real intention for me. I went in with the intention of gaining any healing I may need and integrating any insights that might arrive. With that I didn’t meditate or do a healing, instead I drew my first mandala in awhile. I enjoyed it immensely, however felt like I didn’t get as much use out of the cacao medicine as I could have. Now though, now, I have a deep, connected and vital intention of healing that feels so right. I can now go in to my daily cacao work with the intent of shifting my addiction to sugar out of my body, loosen the hold it has on my mind, come to realise that I do not need sugar. I can survive without it. Not just survive, but thrive!! I know without a doubt this is something I desperately need to happen. Sugar is like a vice around my pituitary gland demanding I put more and more of it in to my body. This needs to stop.

So while day one of my dieta has felt like I didn’t accomplish anything, I have come to the end of my day and realised it has actually accomplished a lot. I now have 4 -5 more days of really focusing on releasing the hold sugar has over me. I now have 4-5 days to truly heal the emotional ties that have me imprisoned and thinking the only freedom I can ever feel is when I consume, consume, consume. Not just sugar, but dense, heavy carbs and nasty fats, not the good fats. Not just food either, but stuff. Stuff that I don’t necessarily need but I can’t seem to help but purchase. Four or five days left to sink in and allow Ixcacao to do her work on me, however that work shows up. Even if I do nothing but 4 or 5 more mandalas, I will accept that it what I need right now. I am hoping for more. I am hoping for a shift. I am hoping for a change. I am hoping I will come out the other side stronger. Strong enough to rip the chains, to cut the cords, to no longer succumb to the foods I know are not feeding me properly. Strong enough to eat the foods I enjoy eating and that my body enjoys me eating and that my soul enjoys me eating.

Tomorrow is going to be a late day of ceremony as I get to find out what my MRI has said about my knee. No doubt it is telling me I need to lose weight. That is ok. I have begun.

Why eating Bliss Balls is torture!

Cacao Bliss Balls

These are my bliss balls. Not made with the sugary awesomeness of modern chocolate. Not even made with the commercialised, over-processed cacao you can get in health food stores that actually tastes reasonable. No. These are made with real, under-processed ceremonial grade cacao. These guys here have mejool dates, some LSA (crushed linseed, almonds and sesame seed), a dollop of honey, macadamia nuts, some pink Himalayan rock salt, some coconut milk and of course the cacao and covered in dessicated coconut.

They look awesome! The cacao turned out so smooth and creamy and rich that by looking at it your mouth could water. However just one bite…

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… and I didn’t know how I was ever going to finish it! No matter what else is mixed with this stuff, the cacao over-rides it with a stubborn and persistently bitter zing. It took me almost 20 minutes to consume just the one and that is technically only 1/4 of a ceremonial dose! There is no way I could eat 4 in one sitting. It took me 5 bites and the last one I almost couldn’t force down my throat. Yes! It is THAT bad!!

Yet so worth it. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed since beginning my journey with cacao and exploring my relationship with it, is that I get a day or sometimes more without fatigue. I’ve had this sneaking suspicion for some time that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So tired I couldn’t even be bothered getting a diagnosis. I have to push myself through most days. But since I began this, and began drinking fresh juices every day, I have noticed some days without fatigue. Of course, I only notice it when the fatigue finally hits again and I think, ‘oh hey! I hadn’t been feeling this!!’ I’d love to notice it when the fatigue is on vacation so I could fully appreciate my feeling normal. Normal as in not like I’m constantly wading through mud.

Thankfully I only really made these bliss balls to experiment with dreaming. In fact, lucid dreaming. I have always been able to remember my dreams. I dream in colour. I dream in alternate realities. I dream from my personal point of view. I dream from a looking down or in point of view. I have even experienced manipulating my dreams before or changing the direction in my dreams if they begin to feel uncomfortable. The only recurring dream I have is when I need to go to the toilet and I’m refusing to wake up. Not that it is the same every time, just that it always involves one or more toilets in various situations and me sitting down to pee, peeing for the longest time, yet still feeling like I need to pee.

These wake-up-and-pee-dreams, as I’ve come to call them, have arrived in so many different ways. From me living in this caravan and going in to my toilet to pee but being able to see people outside, to me walking in to a public toilet where barely any of the toilets are closed in so people can see me going, to not being able to find a clean toilet, they are clogged or so dirty you wouldn’t even consider sitting on them, to a dream where I kept going to all these different toilets of different sizes, the biggest being a massive pink one I had to use a ladder to sit up on it. I’ve had so many of these dreams I think I could actually write a book about the different ones. I guarantee that they all have other relevant symbolical meanings threaded throughout them as well. Sometimes I can even register in my dream that I’m having a wake-up-and-pee-dream and actually wake myself up to go, usually my conscious mind gets the hint when I keep going and going to the toilet all the time but never feeling relieved and it clicks something in my brain. Thankfully those dreams are VERY persistant and won’t stop until I do eventually wake up and go.

I also seem to have this uncanny knack for being able to break-down and divine some very relevant meaning from dreams. I can hear any dream and seem to be able to interpret it and if the person is open enough and willing enough to hear the deeper meaning, the deeper message, be uncannily accurate about dreams. There are certain symbols and certain archetypes I have found that are universal. However, there are always going to be symbols that are NOT universal. For instance a cow in the western world isn’t going to have the same kind of meaning as say someone dreaming about a cow in India for example.

One of the universal symbols though is water. I learned a very long time ago how water dreams affected me and what they meant. Back when I was still relating with my mother I would get these dreams of MASSIVE waves crashing over me and me not being able to get away from them. Or there was another one where, even though my house was up a hill, we ended up flooded. Not too high, just to the knees, but the water was murky and muddy and when I woke up I thought of my mother. Sure enough, every time after a dream like this something would happen to cause emotional turmoil in our relationship. That was how I discovered what the water meant for me. So now, if I dream about water I pay attention to what kind of water it is, how I am feeling about the water, what the water is doing. I’ve dreamed of clear water where I’ve felt safe and calm and am watching all sorts of sea life swim beneath me, I have dreamed of a raging waterfall. I have dreamed of the muddy water, I have dreamed of fish tanks that are dirty and uncared for. The most common water dream though is waves.

No matter how the water shows up though, I know it has to do with my emotions. For instance the fish tank dreams were about my body. How I haven’t been looking after it, so it’s quite toxic like the water in the fish tank. A number of the fish tank dreams are of me feeling like I need to feed the fish cause I know I don’t feed them enough and they are so hungry and I see the fish tank and it’s so dirty sometimes I wonder how they could possibly still be alive. Once I acknowledged what these ones meant I haven’t had another one since. The very last fishtank dream I had was of adding a new fish to the tank. The tank was cleaner in this one but I worried that there wasn’t enough room for this new fish to fit in my fish tank. I had brought it in from outside the holiday home where I had been swimming in the beautiful calming water with my husband. I put it in the fish tank anyway.

With the typing of the fish tank dreams just then I JUST realised it was letting me know I’d be bringing another person in to my family, in to my home, in to my energetic space. It showed me a concern for being able to feed all the fish, and having enough space. It showed me support from my husband, that he would be with me no matter what. It felt right to add that fish. There was this surety that it needed to be added to my tank. Well a week or two after I had that dream I opened my home to a clayton’s nephew of mine. Someone I’ve known since he was born, who is just 5 weeks younger than my 15 year old son. The first born of one of my closest, dearest friends. Wow! I just love dreams. I love what they can tell you. I love how the symbols can weave a story all of their own if you just know what you are looking for. I have consumed a bliss ball right before I started this, I’m not sure I would have had this insight without it. Yay Ixcacao! Thank you. So there, Constant Reader, is one of the first insights of this week’s Cacao Dieta.

My whole point is, that because I have this strong connection to dreaming and being able to figure out the symbols and the meanings and always bring it back somehow to the dreamer and what is going on, I thought it would be interesting to experiment with cacao dreaming. I have a lucid dreaming app on my phone that I haven’t tried yet. I’ll be experimenting with that this week and seeing what comes of it. I plan to have a cacao bliss ball before bed each night and perhaps take one up to bed with me to consume if I wake through the night to keep the journey going. The thought of this excites me.

So if you’re following me on this journey, I expect there to be some dreams to read about. I must remember to take a dream journal with me upstairs so I can write this stuff down before I do anything else in the mornings. There is so much knowledge to gain from dreams. I don’t believe they are just your brain dumping things. I think dreams are much more than scientists have ever dreamed of 😉 Pun totally intended. I love puns, they are punny!

Thank you for reading if you have. I’d love to hear your dreams. All dreams fascinate me. I love seeing all the different ways archetypes or symbols turn up for different people. Please, feel free to share a dream with me.

The Cacao Journey – Part One

I’ve been on this journey, taking timid steps, for a couple months now so I am still really learning what it’s all about and how it fits in my life and exactly where I want to take this journey to. During the process I have mentioned it a time or two on facebook and have had a number of people ask me about it. The stars have aligned and circumstances have occurred that are allowing me the time and space I need to really delve in to this sacred cacao stuff for a few days and I am going to share my experiences with you, Constant Reader.

So firstly I think it best if I try and explain what exactly cacao is, and perhaps what it isn’t. For starters, it’s isn’t modern day chocolate as you know it, with the additives and the sweetness. That kind of chocolate comes from Theobroma cacao, however the difference between commercial chocolate and ceremonial (super-healthy!) cacao is like the difference between chalk and cheese. Theobroma is a greek word and is translated literally to mean “god food”. The genus Theobroma has been traced back MILLIONS of years to the east of the Andes in South America. The first recorded use of cacao was dated back to around 2000BC.

The Aztecs called the cacao bean Cacahuatl. Their sacred cacao drink was called Xocoatl which is where the word chocolate was actually derived from. Cacao trees only grow within a 20 degree direction either side of the equator and are a tropical evergreen species. Possibly one of the few things on the planet that don’t need bees to pollinate it, relying instead on tiny flies! They produce flowers, beans, seeds and nibs. It’s the beans that are harvested to produce chocolate.

The cacao bean is a revered and magical gift believed to be granted to mortals by the gods. Cacao was a sacred elixir, a ritual aid, powerful medicine, a source of economical exchange and an indicator of spiritual standing. The Aztecs and Mayans believe cacao was discovered by the gods in the Mountain of Sustenance (which some mythologies indicate is likely near the Andes), along with many other nourishing life-giving foods. Quite possibly of the sort we now call “super foods”. Interestingly, considering the society stigma between women and chocolate in the modern world, it was said the sacred knowledge of how to prepare, roast and press the cacao beans in to the sacred chocolate elixir (which was believed to have gifted wisdom) was very specifically given to women as divine instruction.

An early, traditional recipe of the cacao elixir, Xocoatl, was for it to be mixed with roasted corn flower, chilies, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and pepper. This made it a bitter, savoury and very spicy drink, not at all like the sweet and creamy hot chocolate we consume today. It’s most common use was for medicinal, ritual, shamanic use and as a spiritual aid, mystical practice and religious sacrament. There are those who believe a powerful blend of cacao and psychedelic tryptamines were ingested with great appeal and reverence specifically for significant spiritual rituals and celebrations.

Cacao was deeply revered as a sacred plant medicine and healer. It’s healing and medicinal properties include, but is not limited to, aphrodisiac properties, longevity benefits, assists with an array of internal bodily pain, external wounds and burns, various disease, lung and abdominal issues. It was also given to warriors to help with courage and sustenance. Spanish priest, Bernardino de Sahagun in 1590AD, over a 60 year period, put together a codex listing around 300 medicinal uses for cacao. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the processing and production of chocolate began to change, no doubt at the hands of a man! (Don’t get me wrong, I am not a man-hater, I love men, however I do think the masculine energy has destroyed a lot of what was once held sacred)

Cacao in it’s rawest form is an ancient super-food. The super-food of super-foods! It is completely riddled with essential minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. It is also known to be packed with naturally-occuring, consciousness altering, significant components like endorphins, magnesium, histamine, serotonin, dopamine, tryptophan and more. Most people will have at least heard of a number of these but the most significant (for me) is probably the magnesium. I’ve been doing some research on magnesium over the years and discovered that a large chunk of the population is severely deficient in magnesium. It does so much for our bodies yet things like stress deplete it far quicker than what most of us are consuming to replace it. It is essential for memory, concentration and has a capacity to help relax the muscles and regular progesterone, the hormone responsible for mood-swings. It’s highly likely cacao’s super-high content of magnesium is a big reason for a woman’s body to intuitively crave chocolate around menstruation. In my personal experience I have noticed less migraines since I have begun to regularly experiment with ceremonial cacao.

There is so much amazing information about this god-food that I could likely write a years worth of blog posts about it. But I’m not a scientist and I’m not really interested in delving that deep in to the scientific nature or even the mythological nature of cacao – though I am very interested in mythology, so perhaps one day I will explore that aspect some more. For now though, for today, this moment, this coming week, I will be writing about going on a cacao dieta.

So now we know what cacao is, let me tell you what a cacao dieta is about.

Basically, I have been ‘tinkering’ with cacao. Getting my toes wet, seeing how it feels, experimenting, playing. A dieta is about deepening the relationship. You could think of it as immersion work or a cacao retreat. I will be ingesting cacao every single day for the next 5-6 days and devoting time to myself and my experiences and journey with ceremony and self-connection. I will be using it to help me heal some past wounds that desperately need healing so I can let them go and move forward without the baggage weighting me down. In a way I will be using it, also, as a regenerative.

During this week I will be detoxing. I will be getting synthetic sugar out of my system. I will be getting gluten out of my system. I will be filling myself with as many fresh and healthy nutrients and vitamins as possible. I will be paying particular attention to how my energy levels have been recently and how they are when I get to the end of the week and I am going to really focus on how much better I feel every time I go to reach for a coke at the supermarket, or go to buy a packet of biscuits or cake or get fish and chips for dinner cause I’m too tired to make something better. I will remember how much better I feel when I reach for the mash potato or the white bread or the pasta. I am using this week to kick-start a new lifestyle for myself. I’ve even got a friends xtrainer I will be borrowing!

A traditional plant medicine dieta is considered a form of apprenticeship and intensive training. Essentially it’s a commitment to a period of time where the primary focus is on deepening, exploring and learning from various plant medicines through personal retreat and extended ceremonial depth work. This intense form of work is best done with the use of other healing modalities, so I will be laying on my crystal bed a lot, surrounded but supportive crystals and giving myself reiki treatments. I have organised for myself at least 4 days of retreat conditions where I can withdraw or semi-withdraw from my normal everyday life. By allowing myself this container I am hoping to engage in transformational work and conscious integration and I am inviting you to witness this journey through my blog posts.

I hope this has been at least a start for you to understand what this cacao thing I keep going on about is all about 🙂 I’m really looking forward to going inward and giving myself some time and space to shift some old, dug in conditioning and festering wounds. I’m ready to become all I can be. I’m ready to be healthy and in love with myself. I am ready to stop being so affected by other people and their criticism. I’m ready to surrender all that I am to all that is. I am ready to be that which I am.

My future blog posts probably won’t be as structured or knowledge based as this. Mostly it will be a story-telling of my journey, what I did, what insights arose, what healing took place, etc. Just for this post I wanted to help people really understand what sacred ceremonial cacao is and what it is used for. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer about it please feel free to leave a comment and I will answer them in following blog posts if I can.

In Joy! I love you. You are welcome here in your true form of authentic self-expression. You are beautiful.