Blog| Weekend Recap

This weekend was a busy one. Friday we kicked it off with our Lubbock Artist Collective Halloween Gallery reception on Friday the 13th. Yeah, pretty much a perfect date to have it. We had some amazing art from local artists in the collective and got to celebrate and eat treats and chat with our favorite people.

It’s been crazy to think it’s been one year since we started the artist collective but the art and progression of so many of the artists has been wild! It makes me so excited for future galleries!

Afterwards, Rony and I had a shindig at our house, had friends over, and got to share one of our favorite horror movies, The Babadook. Rony even has a handmade replica of the pop-up book from the movie signed by the director. It was fun and we got to play the Halloween expansion of King of Tokyo before hand as well.

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The next day was a lazy, errand running day which was capped off by going to a 7 HOUR LONG Horror movie marathon. Our theater, Alamo Drafthouse, did a 4 movie marathon called Dismember the Alamo and we got to see 4 old horror movies all at once. It was a trial.

I almost died. Rony fell asleep a bit in the last and best one. Some were good, some were mind-numbing. We saw Slaughterhouse, Eaten Alive, Grizzly, and Day of the Beast. The last was my favorite, mostly because it had a pretty good plot. I’m not a fan of dumb, bad gore, horror movies and Eaten Alive gave me a headache.

But we survived!

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Before

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After

Sunday we got up early, ran more errands like costume shopping, groceries, getting Almond’s presents and treats for her birthday party, and getting flowers. We were seeing our friend act in the Addams Family Musical and wanted to get her something and finally got to see the play!

It was wonderful. I’m actually a big fan of theater and musicals, Rony less so, but we both enjoyed it a lot and Alex was wonderful <3

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On the way home, we stopped at a Pumpkin farm and picked pumpkins, got ingredients for Almond’s cake and cupcakes, and finally sat down and finished watching one of our movies while I worked on my Inktober.

I ended up staying up until 1am making Almond’s cake and then making frozen pumpkin treats for her. Her and Leon got to lick the bowl and spoons.

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And now we prepare for Disneyland in a few days. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will definitely make posts when I can! We’re all excited and anxious but what better way to see Disneyland than during Halloween season!

And of course, I’ll do an Almond party post too. My little baby is turning 2 and time flew so fast.

Until next time.

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-Sam <3

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Inktober Week 1 Recap

Inktober has started and so far, so good! It’s been so much fun and I’m actually really liking my art so far. Plus, this year I made my own prompt list and people are actually following along! So let’s go over what I’ve made and then I’ll share some of the pieces other people have made from my prompts!

Day 1: Spring Witch

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Day 2: Owl

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Day 3: Bat

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Day 4: Summer Witch

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Day 5: Apothecary

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Day 6: Fall Witch

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Day 7: Crow

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Day 8: Tarantula

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The list is a mix of witches, magical items, and witch familiars! It’s been a lot of fun to interpret them and make some witchy designs, which I love.

Now here are some of other people’s art! I left their IG usernames on so you can follow them!


Spring Witch:

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Owl: 

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Bat: 

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Summer Witch: 

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Crow: 

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Winter Witch: 

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If you are doing Inktober, comment below with your Instagram! And if you wish to use my prompt list and want me to see your creations, tag me or put #Raicodoll and I’ll check it out!

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-Sam <3

 

Blog| Mood Board

Recently, I’ve actually been using my Pinterest. I’ve never been a big fan of it. It always felt hard to navigate and find original sources and you get five thousand notifications, which I hate. But it’s gotten better and I’ve found a few uses for it.

One of those uses is using it as a digital mood board.

I’ve seen a few different artists use it as such and it’s a much better solution than what I had been doing (saving each picture to a folder on my computer). You can use it for inspiration, references, and a general atmosphere guide. I’ll pin something because I like the style, colors, pose, face, or just so I can see how to draw something I’m not familiar with. It’s actually a great resource and I wish I had started to use it sooner.

So I thought I would give you a peak at what mine currently looks like!

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Day 2 of my Inktober prompts is Owl and I needed a good reference of a barn owl since I’ve never drawn one before. I ended up using the one on the top right and modified it to hold a branch and then used the double triangle shape since I’ve been in love with geometric designs lately.

I’m also starting my own apothecary cabinet at home and it’s one of my prompts so I’ve been pinning different apothecary set ups as well.

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I’m big on mermaids and long, tentacle like floating hair so I pinned a bunch of those as well as some hair designs and things I might use for paintings later. I’ve been trying to get better at drawing hair so I like to pin things in the style I wish I could draw in. The 2nd from the left on the bottom was mostly color inspiration!

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I pinned some pattern inspirations here and flowers because I’m always trying to draw flowers better. Some cauldron’s and cloche designs for inspo for later prompts. That Batgirl on the bottom right is gorgeous and I ended up pinning it for inspiration for future Ladies Night flyers.

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I’m big on skulls, horns, and creepy hand poses and pinned a few references I found. I had the idea of having a girl covering her face with her hands and drawing eyes in her palms and making her whole body galaxy colored with white lineart, but haven’t gotten to that yet. I also want to draw some creepy witch/monster hands for Inktober and maybe do another animal skull.

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And a lot of these are Persephone and crystals inspired. I want to draw a neat pomegranate with flowers and skulls for one of my prompts. And I absolutely suck at drawing crystals so I pinned some for reference. I’m doing a Tarantula with crystals growing out of it later and need to get my crystal game in order. And then of course more flowers because I have a problem.

I’ve only been using my mood board for a month or so but it’s already helped a bunch when it comes to inspiration and coming up with new ideas. I have a seperate board for clothing inspiration and things like that and I think I’m going to start pinning them in my mood board instead. I use it mostly for art anyways and I’m fashion challenged for the most part.

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If you’d like to check our my art board you can see it here! I pin more stuff as I need to and with Inktober, it’s probably going to get a lot bigger.

Do you use Pinterest for your mood board or do you use something else and what do you put on it? Let me know and share yours in the comments!

-Sam <3

Blog| October Goals

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And here we are. October. From here on out it’s a constant stream of art, movies, baking, costumes, and preparing for Disneyland. It’s our favorite time of the year but we definitely go overboard.

But first, let’s recap last month to see how I did and if I got my shit together in time for the chaos.


September Goals

Personal:

  • Get back into eating healthy and not surviving off coffee
  • Budget budget budget
  • Go see a doctor
  • Get at least a couple of the kittens adopted
  • Give yourself a break to rest

Work:

  • Figure out deadlines and work on one a week
  • Get back on schedule with blogging & #52selflies & 365 Project
  • Sketch anything and plan out Inktober
  • Start setting date for Ladies Night

Projects:

  • Halloween Instagram
  • Garage Sale

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This is the best I’ve done with my monthly goals ever, but it also makes since because I made them simple on purpose. We’ve definitely been eating out a lot this month and we need to get back into cooking and eating healthy, if only for our wallet’s sake. But I did budget even if I haven’t been great at sticking to it, I saw a doctor (and am finally feeling wonderful!), and Grey & Black are both going to Rony’s mom’s neighbor. We still have them for now, it’s mostly just finding a time to meet up with them or going down to New Mexico and dropping them off.

I did get my deadlines straightened, but didn’t stick to the once a week schedule. Some I dropped out of, some I used old work for. I’m back on track, but definitely have some work to do. And I had to drop the 365 Project & #52Selfies just because it didn’t feel right to pick it up after such a long time. It felt like cheating.

But Ladies Night is officially set for November 4th and we’re working on the flyer and I sketched out my Inktobers and made my own prompt list!

So 8.5/11! Yay!

Now….let’s look at October


October Goals

Personal:

  • Get Mae Mae fixed
  • BUDGET
  • Pack and plan for Disneyland
  • Keep the house clean
  • Relax and have fun

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Work:

  • Inktober
  • Work on Wonder Woman Piece
  • Plan out NaNoWriMo
  • Painting for November Gallery
  • Plan out paintings for December

Projects:

  • 31 Days of Halloween Movies
  • 31 Day Challenge for IG

There’s a lot of simple goals and there’s a lot of challenges. Literally and non metaphorically.

The personal stuff is overall easy. If I stay on top of everything, don’t slack, and have a plan then all of that should be easy. What happens is that when I get busy, everything falls apart in the house. If the house falls apart, it makes me not want to work. So I need to keep my shit together.

And Mae Mae needs to get fixed before she goes into heat again.

Inktober, the Halloween movies, and IG Challenge are going to be the most pressuring but I’m determined to get them all done and keep at them. I need to come up with something for the Wonder Woman gallery next month and the Star Comics gallery and just plan out December’s. So two paintings this month, Inktober, story plan layout, and idea sketching.

I wasn’t lying when I said October is my busiest month.

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As before, I’m linking up with Nicole from Writes Like a Girl blog! Be sure to check out her October Small Goals and all the other lovely linked up blogs!

I’ll see you on the other side

-Sam <3

October is coming!

Hello, lovelies!

Fall has hit and we’re just a few days from October madness. October begins my busy holiday season and believe it or not, it tends to be busier than December for me.

First things first, we’ve got Inktober!

What is Inktober? Simple:

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Inktober (and Drawlloween) are kinda a bit deal in October and is something I’d like to try again this year. I got to Day 18 or 19 last year and was super happy with the progression in my skill as I got use to drawing every day and producing finished pieces. And if you aren’t into drawing with ink, there’s Drawlloween which is essentially the same thing without the medium limitations.

Here are the official prompts for this year:

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I knew I had to get prepared this year. Last year the stress of doing a 3 show weekend, Inktober, Halloween festivities, and being in Seattle for about 5 days completely knocked me on my ass afterwards and I was not okay. This year I am determined to do better.

I’ve been sketching ideas and figuring out my own prompts. While I like the official ones, I’d prefer to do my own. I find that if I’m not super into the things I’m drawing, I’m less likely to push myself to do them soooooo I made my own prompt list.

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Feel free to follow along and share :)

In addition to Inktober we are also attempting our 31 Days of Horror Movies Challenge. Rony and I attempted it last year and no lie, it was hard. You essentially have to set aside up to 2 hours every day. Things crashed and burned when we went to Seattle and had no TV to watch any of the movies.

This year we’re also going to Disneyland so we’ll see how it works out.

But here is our last for this year!

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Rony and I always split up the list between us and choose movies we haven’t seen and movies we’ve seen but the other hasn’t. This way we’re not just watching the same classics over and over again and get to learn about different horror movies. Rony also does a review on Twitter afterwards if you want to follow him.

So we’ve got Inktober, Horror Movie Challenge, I have a gallery on Friday the 13th, we’re planning Ladies Night, I’m going to attempt National Novel Writing Month again in November so I’m preparing for that, and we’re going to try and do daily pet costumes and Halloween posts on our Halloween Instagram.

It’s going to be a busy time. I also have to do a couple of paintings for a Museum exhibit and a gallery in November.

Aaaaaaand Disneyland.

So wish me luck! I want to do a few speed process videos of some of my Inktober pieces but we’ll see. I’ll do a Inktober supplies post next week but I’ll be posting them daily on my Instagram or Facebook! Also, if you want to help support me, the blog, my art then you can donate a bit to my Ko-Fi or visit my Etsy shop! This helps me get better art supplies, buy more prints to sell, or do more in general!

If there’s anything else you’d like to see me do or write about, let me know!

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See you in October!

-Sam <3

Blog| Social Media Free Weekend

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I’ve been seeing a lot online about these digital detox challenges and camps. Essentially, You spend a weekend to a week without social media, your phone, or television. Pretty much any electronics.

I will admit: I am addicted to my phone. Mostly because I handle everything through it. Events and business contacts and the different things I’m in charge of are all handled through Facebook, Messenger, or Email. I’m a control freak so I need to constantly be able to be reached at all times.

Yes, I am glued to my phone and usually have it in my hand all the time. Which isn’t great. Notifications give me anxiety so I always have to check them to make them go away (turning them off just gives me anxiety that someone is contacting me and I don’t know). I have two laptops and hardly use them because I have my phone! A few minutes can turn into a few hours and more times than not, my productivity goes down the drain with my battery life.

So I thought maybe it was a good idea to try one of these “detoxes.” And even though no one was forcing me, boy did I make a lot of excuses. I couldn’t do it this or that weekend because I had events or meetings and what if someone tries to get a hold of me??? Rarely do I have a weekend where nothing is happening. I was just going to have to suck it up.

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Saturday

I compromised and instead of nixing out all digital devices, I pledged no social media (and email/games) which is what I use a majority of time on my phone anyways. No Facebook, Instagram, Email, or Snapchat. I don’t really use Twitter or Tumblr and I made an allowance for Youtube (on the TV only) because we don’t have cable.

My routine is I usually wake up and mess around on my phone for an hour or two before I get up. This morning was the first day we actually got Fall weather. It was cool and cloudy and rainy and the dogs were snuggled up with me. I ended up sleeping until 10-11. Yep. Good start.

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Instead of grabbing my phone, I grabbed one of the many books I had on my bedside table that I’ve been meaning to read. I had started Alias Hook forever ago and hadn’t gotten very far so I picked that up again. I think I got about a third of the way in by 1pm and then we had to get up and get ready.

First on our agenda was our friend’s pagan meet up at the park. We finally got to throw on some layers and were all set to go….except then we accidentally locked ourselves out the house without our keys.

Our house has two different locks. We always lock the bottom one as we leave and then lock the top deadbolts with the keys. Naturally, I turned the bottom lock and shut the door as we left. Rony hadn’t grabbed the keys thinking I had them and I hadn’t because I thought he had them. And the backdoor was locked.

So, naturally, I picked our front door’s lock with bobby pins. I’m not even lying or exaggerating. Rony was upset because we were going to be late and were going to have to call a locksmith and I figured it didn’t hurt to try to break in ourselves. I had seen different videos on picking locks (for writing purposes!!) and if that didn’t work, I was going to try the credit card trick. Luckily I had a few bobby pins in my purse. I stripped them, looked into the key holes at the tumblers inside and somehow managed to get it unlocked in five minutes.

Rony was impressed (so was I, to be honest) and we are now going to make sure those other deadbolts are locked at all times because holy shit it should not be that easy to get into our house.

The pagan get together was nice and we had a good time chatting with people and eating snacks. We didn’t get to stay long because I had an art meeting after that and Rony had to drop me off.

When he picked me up, we got Starbucks and food and snuggled on the couch while he watched the news and I kept reading my book. I am a fast reader. Always have been. I finished that book in one day. It was about 11 at night when I was done and cleaned a bit before bed.

At the end of the night, I had 57 freaking notifications and it was kiiiiiiiilling me.


Sunday

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Sunday was another lazy morning, snuggling with the dogs. Rony totally forgot about the Magic Prerelease happening and was going to do that at 1pm and I was determined to get the house totally clean by the end of the day. We did all the laundry, put the animals away and let the kittens out of the room to play in the entryway and let Mae Mae roam the house, and swept and mopped the dinning room and kitchen.

I took breaks to start reading Basic Witches and we ate cereal for breakfast. The dogs ran around the house and as Rony was getting ready, we finalized our 31 Days of Halloween movie list. I sketched out Inktober ideas in a new sketchbook he had bought me and drank tea and it was surprisingly very relaxing.

Yes, my phone went off all the time. I had to put it on silent. I almost just straight turned it off, but then I had anxiety that something would happen and no one would be able to reach me.

That was really the hardest part. There was so much anxiety from not checking those notifications, even though I knew none of them were important or pressing or needed immediate attention. I have an admin team now for the Artist Collective to take care of things, people could get a hold of Rony if they really needed me, and nothing was life or death.

Did I want to Snapchat or Instagram my day? Absolutely. Did the world fall apart because I didn’t tell everyone immediately my feelings on Basic Witch as I read it? Nope.

The house got cleaned, we were productive, I spent time with all the animals, the house smelled WONDERFUL (seriously, Bath & Bodywork’s Fall candles are the best), and I didn’t feel this claustrophobic cluttered feeling from my surroundings anymore. The laundry even got all put away.

We hung out at Rony’s work for a few hours and I did more sketches in my notebook. I filled up about 5 pages in it and figured out my Inktober theme for the month. My planner got filled in and updated and I felt a little more prepared for October. I even packaged up some orders I’d been meaning to fulfill.

The weekend was over and all in all, I had 107 notifications.

And wanna know what? NONE of them were important. None were life or death and I didn’t miss out on anything just because I waited a whole weekend to get to them.

I think that helped. It had been a while since I was able to have a nice, relaxing weekend just with myself and a book and Rony and the animals. I felt relaxed and productive and realized I didn’t need to be attached to my phone all the time.

So will I do it again? Definitely. I think a break is needed from social media every now and then, especially with how it is now in days. It’s a break from the comments and arguing and constant need to post post post. I don’t need to check up on other people’s lives when I have my own to live.

-Sam <3

Blog| Fall Equinox & Changes

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Fall Equinox has come and it’s officially the best time of the year!

I thrive in Fall weather. I always get too hot in the summer and freeze in the winter (Spring doesn’t exist in Texas), so Fall is the perfect middle ground for me. And by some miracle, we actually are experiencing Fall weather right on time! It’s rainy and chilly and I can wear sweaters without dying!

And with the Fall Equinox, comes a bit of introspection. It’s been a hard month. Getting Leon back felt like a tipping point. I was working on so many things and as soon as he disappeared, everything stopped. Once we got him back, I thought we could go back to how it was but things had changed. We’re always so busy that I felt it had been ages where I could just sit down for a weekend and breathe, watch a movie or play with the animals.

We’re constantly going from event to meeting to event all the time and being so busy, we were neglecting not just our house but also the animals. I wanted to be able to go and hang out with friends without it being an event I’m hosting and go to the movies and attend galleries because we want to, not because we have to.

We have less than a year left in Lubbock. This is our last holiday season and it’s always busy and flies by so fast. I love what I do, but I also need to realize that I need to take time for myself and live and appreciate everything before suddenly, it’s time to go.

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So what does that mean?

Well for starters, I unfortunately dropped 365 Project and #52Selfies. When Leon went missing, I stopped doing them and I don’t think it’d be right for me to just continue as if there isn’t almost a month’s gap. I’ll have to attempt them again January 1st.

I’m cutting down on some of the events I do and was planning. I’ve had to turn down a couple of galleries so far just because it wasn’t worth killing myself trying to get artwork done so fast to meet the deadlines. I want to enjoy my artwork and the process and the pressure isn’t always the best at making it a fun experience. That’s the opposite of what I want. It’s suppose to be a stress relief and that’s less likely if I’m being forced to do it.

I’m also cutting the blog down to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of Monday-Thursday. That’ll help me put out better content and get my shit together, honestly. I love my blog but I don’t want to just put out crap for the sake of something getting put out. Taking the photos takes a while and I’d love to have everything written out ahead of time.

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Processed with MOLDIV

October is almost here and it’s a huge month. I’m laying out my plan for Inktober and we’re attempting to do the 31 Movies in 31 Days challenge, on top of making plans for Disneyland, parties, traveling, animal costumes, and our Halloween Instagram. October kicks off the big holiday season for me and it doesn’t stop until March so I need to get prepared. I do not want it to become this overwhelming chaos where I need to drop stuff.

There’s also the kittens. Two have been adopted so far, but we’re taking care of them until they’re a little bigger and when we have time to take them to the new owners. We still have to find homes for Stripes and White and Mae Mae. We’ve been letting them roam the house every now and then and the kittens have turned into crazy little monsters, getting into everything and playing with whatever they can find. Plus they go through a tooooon of food and litter.

Unfortunately, we recently found out that Mae Mae has miscarried and will not be having anymore kittens. It happened this past week, her due date week, and it’s been a hard thing to process. We went from preparing to help her give birth to making sure she and the other kittens are okay. They said sometimes it just happens or she could have had a parasite or any number of things. Whatever it was, it was out of our hands.

It’s topped off a pretty crappy month and hit us hard. For now, we’re focusing on getting her well and taking care of the kittens we have. We’ll be getting her fixed and will be adopting her out as well. She’s a complete sweetheart and loves people and pets and attention. If we didn’t already have 5 animals, I would love to have kept her and one of the kittens. But they’ll be very good pets to someone.

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Things are going to get crazy soon and I don’t want a repeat of last year where I completely overwhelmed myself and knocked myself back into depression. I’m getting help from people and delegating and making plans. I’m not getting rid of galleries I am holding or our Fall Ladies Night, but I am stepping back a little.

Am I anxious about cutting things back? Definitely. I have this fear of irrelevancy that if I’m not out there all the time, everything I worked or will fall apart. That’s the control freak in me. But the thing is, is it worth it if I’m missing out on things myself? I can do what I can to better the community, but there’s always going to be work to do. There’s no point in killing myself and making myself unhappy.

I’m doing this for me.

The Autumn Equinox is about balance and self evaluation and rebirth. It’s the time to reclaim your power and put yourself back on track to being who you are meant to be. My favorite part of the Equinox has always been tied to mythology.

In some older versions of the story of how Persephone came to be Queen of the Underworld and in my favorite version, Persephone is not kidnapped but wanders into the Underworld herself, either out of adventure or to comfort the crying souls herself. She is adventurous and merciful, but confident. She chooses to be there and is not a pawn in a game. Her choices are her’s alone and the balance of 6 months in Spring and Winter is her choice. And so now we celebrate the Fall Equinox,  the time when night and day are equal and when Persephone descends back into the Underworld and reclaims her spot as Queen and reclaims her power.

I love Persephone and I love what she has come to symbolize. It’s my favorite story and I see her as a figure of confidence and growth and coming into yourself. And maybe it’s time I take a page out of her book and find a balance for myself and become my own Queen of the Underworld.

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-Sam <3