Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Nourishing Your Soul Challenge: Days 2 + 3

Hello lovely lovelies!

I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday. It got late and I was tired and ill and blah, blah, blah. Anyhow, as part of my second day of soul nourishing I decided to cook! I love, love, love to cook. It's a rare treat for me to cook anything I like, living on a student income. And I just love cooking with apples.
Apples are often considered symbols of love and godliness! They taste sweet, light and crisp. I don't know what could be better to nourish my soul (or my stomach) than cooking apple pastries. I felt it only fair to share my recipe!

To make for two people you need:

  • 6 ready rolled filo pastry sheets, 3 sheets per person (You can do this with puff pastry and not make parcels. Both ways taste just lovely.)
  • 3 cooking apples
  • Golden caster sugar
  • An egg
  • Some salted butter
I also added some seasonal spices to give it a Christmassy edge. These are optional though, the pastries taste just as nice without them:
  • A half or whole teaspoon of cinnamon (dependant on personal tastes)
  • 2 cloves per apple stewed
  • A little bit of ground nutmeg
Ok! So now for the instructions. I'll make them as brief as possible. It really doesn't take as long as it might seem.

  • Peel, core and quarter 2 of the apples and plop them into a pan of water and lemon so they don't brown as you go.
  • Chop them up a little more and place them in another pan over a high heat with a knob of butter and 2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar.
  • Chuck in the cloves now so the flavour soaks into the apple.
  • The apples will gradually break down and turn lovely and mushy. Chuck in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Add sugar and butter to taste if you like. It's a very experimental recipe and all up to you!
  • Peel, core, quarter and thinly slice the last apple. Pop that in the lemon water too for a while.
  • Unroll 3 sheets of the pastry and scoop half of the stewed apple into the middle. Lay some of the sliced apples on top and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. 
  • Fold one corner over the apple and brush the folded corner with egg. Repeat this for all of the corners and sprinkle the whole thing with a little more sugar.
  • Put in the oven at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes then check it. It might need more time in the oven but just keep checking.
Serve with cream and enjoy!!

As for day 3, I've lapsed. I'm baaaaad. I'm not feeling well today so my soul nourishing activity has been to sleep! And sleep I shall.
Lots of love and good night!

xxxx Aria

Here's some pictures!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Nourishing Your Soul Challenge: Day 1

Sun Cards!!
It's Solstice time again and I have a happy tradition of creating Sun/Moon cards on the Winter/Summer solstices!
So today I am making Sun cards to welcome in the increasing hours of wonderful sunlight.

Now for the soul nourishing part! On the back of each card I write a wish for the next 6 months. I ask for all sorts of wonderful from the universe for myself and the ones close. I can cast off previous goals and embrace new ones that might need to be brought to the surface. I guess it's like having a new years resolution but ever 6 months.
One of my ways of coping is to plan ahead so if I can set goals for myself everyday, week, month and 6 months then I find I can focus myself a lot easier!

So to make the cards for the Winter Solstice you need:

  • A few sheets of yellow card
  • Scissors
  • A mug
  • A black sharpie
  • Little arty bits like glitter, glue, sequins, string and tissue paper
  • A long string of ribbon
Cut some large circles out using your cards by placing the mug on the card and drawing around it. You can cut out as many as you like! Then write your wish, desire or goal onto one side. Punch a little hole in the top. Decorate the other side of the cards as much as you like! I'm pulling out some white tissue paper and a couple of felt tip pens. Then string the cards onto your ribbon and hang them up!
One rule with the cards is that you can't look at the wishes again until the next Solstice!!! You've put your intentions out into the world they're out there! Let them be.

Let the magic work!

My soul will feel a little nourished by the time I'm done! I hope you guys give this ago. Let me know how it made you feel. Did you enjoy getting a bit messy?

Lots of love,
Aria xxx

P.S. Look out for pictures tomorrow!
Strike that! Here's pictures!!

The Nourishing Your Soul Challenge!

Hello precious people!

I haven't blogged in a horribly long time. I've been going through an awful bad patch. It's really not been good. However, the Solstice is upon us and now, if ever, is a time for change.

Thankfully, a very dear friend and supporting influence to me has issued a challenge that can help me in this change! Effy Wild has asked us to nourish our souls with the good things in life. The nourishment must be taken once daily for a period of 30 days :D!
I aim to blog about my experiences as I embark on this little adventure.
I have no idea what to expect because I have no idea what nourishes my soul but I aim to share and care. If anyone would like to join in or take from my experiences then please do!
You can find Effy's post at Wild.Precious.
She really is a wonderful lady who has her head screwed on just right.

Watch out for my first soul nourishing experience later today!!
Lots of love and happy to be back,
xxx Aria Angelica

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I know now

I'm sure there's an old saying knocking about the ages with regards to age being no factor in wisdom and I think this is true. I've been told a few times that I am wise beyond my years. I don't know if that's true but, to those who said it, thank you. I really does make me happy to hear that.

Wisdom is knowing that you know nothing and have everything to learn.
Today I learnt that I will not always feel sad or upset by my past. I never thought that I would look back and smile. But, I did. Albeit, very briefly but I most certainly did.

To be able to look back to my childhood and smile is not just a triumph but a wonderful and loving gift to myself. I thought I would never be able to do that and there I was, cracking the tiniest smile.

I know that some parts are still to buried to uncover but I have to take it step by step. I have to be gentle with myself and trust that I will get there in my own, good time.

Give yourself a loving gift today. Smile at a photo that once hurt you. Grin at a hidden memory that caused you pain. Show those bad feelings that you're not messing around. You deserve to have your memories and love them. You have the power. You have the strength.

Love Aria xxx

Friday, 24 September 2010

Why do I punish myself?

Y'know when you do something and you think afterwards, "Why on earth did I just do that? I now feel crap."?

Yea, I just did that. It blows my mind that I would do something so stupid and end up causing myself pain. I think it has something to do with the weirdness currently going on in my house. Long story short (if it's ever possible) my dad found out my sister is smoking and refuses to see her off to university, she goes tomorrow.

So the complete awkwardness coupled with me just being me led me to peruse my old school chums facebook profiles. Now, I say old but I last saw them about a year ago. Still, I forgot a lot of people in that time.
I had a lot of friends at school for a while but now only speak to two of them. I was put through a lot by 'friends' who ended up really hurting me. School was definitely not the best years of my life.

So why, oh why, did I decide to mooch over to facebook and have all of those bad memories come flooding back? I want to cry for all of the bad things those people did. I actually want to confront them all and tell them how much they've hurt me even though it would make no difference.

When I confronted my school and got what I wanted I was overjoyed. I took control and made something happen that was just for me. But I can't do that with these terrible people. In years when I saw them be happy and helped them be happy, I was very, very sad. I was sad because of what they all did.

Is it just me or is it very telling that I don't smile in a single picture from that time of my life? I'm either pouting or pulling a funny face but no smiles. Not a single one.

Clearly, there are still things I need to work out in my head. But I don't know how. I just need a friend right now.

xxx Aria

Monday, 20 September 2010

A Pope's Visit

The Pope visited the UK this week. His visit cost £12m to the taxpayer and took up notable time on the television. He 'attempted' to address the issue of paedophile priests (not brilliantly seeing as there was no official apology to those who suffered at the hands of said priests).
I think its lovely that the country's Catholics were able to meet, see, experience the Pope and the Catholic church in a way that they may not ever have been able to before.  I can't imagine the happiness felt, especially by those who would never be able to travel to Italy and experience it that way.

This visit prompted a lot of controversy. Surprisingly, I experienced such controversy on two pagan discussion forums that I frequent. Both discussions followed the exact same path and I found it veeeery interesting.
The discussion starts with giggles and pokes at the Catholic Church, followed up by some anger from pagans to the Catholic Church. Then, in a very round about way, the tables turn. Some pagans feel a sort of guilt for thinking critically of the Church and they turn on the pagans who stick to their convictions and judgements of the Church. They defend a religion on the basis that it's a religion and should be respected.

But when did it become okay to defend a religion that has committed terrible crimes (and continues to do so) simply because it's a religion and should be 'respected'?

People pussyfoot around the bad things religions have done because religion has this weird, exclusive, 'get out of jail free' card when it comes to people questioning the bad stuff.

I would never go out and bash a religion. Like the ordinary Catholics, nothing wrong with them and I've got no issue with them. Most of them are lovely people. I have Catholic friends and they're wonderful (okay, I'm gonna stop with the patronising now).
So I would never bash a religion. I would, however, criticise the Church for allowing priests to continue in their roles of authority when they've abused young children. I would criticise the Church who changed the fabric of history and declared that the Virgin Mary FLEW, yes flew, to Heaven. She didn't die. She just flew. I would also question a Church that tells it's followers not to use contraception when their country is riddled with HIV.

Apparently, it's wrong of me to criticise an organisation that does those things. Apparently, that makes me intolerant. You know what, I am intolerant of people who abuse children and get away with it, who turn fiction into fact and who are narrow-minded enough to deny people safe sex.
That doesn't make me intolerant of Catholics.

What do you guys think?
xxx Aria

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Frickin' money and class and houses and shiz

Prompted by one of my favouritist podcasters and bloggers, Fire Lyte of Inciting a Riot, I've decided to get huffy about how people classify or evaluate someone who regards themselves as pagan.

Fire Lyte got an email from someone having a hissy fit about how pagans aren't middle class and have no money because...that's how it works.

No...just NO! You cannot evaluate a pagan by what's in their bank account, what job they have or how big their house is.
One of the main reasons that the previous does not matter is that many, many pagans are firmly in the closet. For a lot of people their everyday life has little bearing on their pagan life. Full stop.
Furthermore, being a pagan has, by it nature, more to do with the inner self. Y'know, that little cricket that chirps in your head telling you to do good? It's about balance and being the best kind of human being you can be.

Maybe it shouldn't be about how much money you have but what you do with it? A pagan earns 100,000 per annum. Deduct 20% after taxes and give that to a charity. That's a pretty darn nice thing to do.
Giving what you have in excess to help those with little or nothing is a good thing to do. It shows qualities that bring hope and joy to the human race. Qualities like compassion and empathy, a drive to help others for the sake of helping.

Not many species out there can act altruistically but it's definitely a characteristic that we can boast about.

It doesn't matter what street you live on, whether you're white, black or asian, how much dosh you've got tucked away or who your mum and dad was.

Because it takes all kinds of people to be a pagan. There is no law that excludes. There is no dogma that dictates. We are given leave to govern our own decisions and to decide what is right for the world. So why, when given a responsibility like that, do some people feel the need to get a little too big for their boots and 'take charge'?
It might be part of the human condition to dictate and govern, it might be in our nature. But we have control over our nature. And if some people don't, they might want to consider their path and motives a little more carefully.

Love you all
xxx Aria