Morocco: Meknes


After an afternoon in Rabat our group hopped on a 4 hour train ride to Meknes where we stayed the night. Our train journey was an interesting one, half of our group (including Jon & I) ended up in a bare carriage with no seats and eventually surrounded by locals. We all shared cake and enjoyed having conversations with the natives. Moroccans are a very friendly and curious bunch as I discovered when I ended up in conversation with a Maths teacher who wanted to share his music with me on his iphone!
One thing I learned whilst in Morocco is that in comparison to other cultures, it is considered rude to eat snacks on local transport like trains and not offer any to those around you, it is always polite to try and share what you have even if the locals decline. I think this is a lovely thing to do considering us Brits are rather greedy and like to keep things to ourselves, the British culture as a whole does not like sharing and that includes personal space, food, clothing and having conversations that involve having to share any form of emotion. So this small gesture of kindness in Morocco is rather refreshing as I am always open to sharing and giving. Whilst on the 4 hour train journey it was interesting to slowly watch the landscape change from flat and industrial to lush with rolling hills.

Our group arrived in Meknes in the early evening and it was raining with a slight chill in the air! (Yes. It does rain in Morocco) so once we were designated to our rooms in the hotel and had 15 minutes to freshen up we all ventured out for our evening meal. I will say from what I saw of the city, this could be another place Westerners could live, it reminded me a little of the Lake District in England because it is located near the Atlas Mountains, Meknes has a seasonal climate, shifting from cool in winter to hot days in the summer months of June–September.

Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Marrakech. Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa (native Berber name: Imeknasen) in the medieval North African sources.
train journey from Rabat to Meknes

atlas mountains

travel hot spots in Morocco

Moroccan culture

Moroccan tiles

authentic Moroccan tea

the locals in Morocco

the Berber culture

In the morning we all jumped into taxis and wandered out to some of the sites Meknes has to offer. The taxi ride was quite a squeeze with 4 of us in the back plus the taxi driver and 2 locals in the front! Our first destination was The Moulay Ismail’s granaries which were ingeniously designed. Tiny windows, massive walls and a system of underfloor water channels kept the temperatures cool and air circulating. He didn’t store food for humans, but grain and hay to feed his 12.000 horses. The first few vaults have been restored, but those beyond stand in partial ruin, row upon row.

Amongst international filmmakers, Martin Scorsese shot part of the “Last Temptation of Christ”here.

Meknes Morocco

travel to Morocco

the best of the Moroccan culture

the city of Meknes

travel to Morocco

travel and tourism africa

Katie Ness sunflowerteeth travel writer
The next place we visited was a rather eerie one and some of us opted not to go inside. Basically Meknes saw its golden age as the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail following his accession to the Sultanate of Morocco (1672–1727). He installed under the old city a large prison to house Christian sailors captured on the sea, aswell as this constructed numerous edifices, gardens, monumental gates & mosques. Some of our group walked inside the underground prison that used to hold Christian sailors primarily from Cornwall. These prisoners were trapped in utter darkness (The small light holes were added later for tourists). I felt strange walking around this ghostly place because I was born Catholic (Although my faith leans more towards Hindu/Buddhism now) and Jon has Cornish ancestry, I half joked that perhaps one of his ancestors had been captured and imprisoned in this place once upon a time? I had mixed feelings towards good & evil and war & peace, I felt slightly saddened that such a place was once in use but at the same time remembered how brutal Christians have been to other cultures through out history. As a free spirit I can not imagine what it must have felt like to be packed like sardines in complete darkness and utterly lonely in any kind of cell in any part of the world, I’d go mad and I am pretty sure a lot of these prisoners did. This was a really interesting part of history.

the christian prisons in Meknes

underground Christian prison

The sultan turned Meknes into a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today.



For lunch we all ventured into the Medina to try Camel Burgers! I was quite surprised at how tasty Camel meat was, it is very similar in texture to beef only slightly more tender and less chewy and covered in a variety of herbs and spices! If you are not vegetarian I recommend you taste a bit of camel meat from a local vendor in the streets of Morocco because you won’t find such delicious food on your hotel’s menu.




DSC08094 copy


Our last stop was Museum of Moroccan Art (Dar Jamai) which was built in 1882 as the residence of the illustrious Jamai family and was converted into the Museum of Moroccan Art in 1920. The museum retains the rich traditional decor of painted wood and sculpted plaster that were popular interior flourishes for the 19th century Moroccan higher-classes. There is also an exquisite Andalusian-style garden outside. The museum is devoted to arts and craft of the region and there are wonderful examples of wrought ironwork and wood carving. One of the rooms is set out as a typical example of a Moroccan reception room from the late 19th century, which will give you some idea how the rich of Meknes lived during this period. I really loved the Berber jewellery on display at this museum because it gave me so many great ideas and inspiration for my tribal belly dance costume.




Before we all marched back to our mini van, Jon & I befriended a Local Berber who owned a souvenir shop and he also hand crafts his own pieces of Silver work called “Damasquinerie” and involves hammering tiny silver threads onto metal to create elaborate patterns on bowls, hands of Fatima, statues and jugs. This form of craft can only be found in Meknes and this is where I bought my first souvenir which was a sweet little metal bracelet with silver markings on it’s surface, I instantly fell in love with that bracelet and knew it would look so good with my tribal belly dance costume.


Moroccan silver work



I really enjoyed my visit to Meknes because it’s quite a sweet and quirky little city and I would definitely stay there again.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post about our following destination: Volubilis!

Finding Balance

tribal belly dance collecting

I haven’t worked on my illustrations & Belly Dance costumes much lately. So little actually, that I feel a slightly lost, I keep looking at the unfinished illustration, my second children’s book and my tribal belt in the corner of the room, wishing I could just sit peacefully in the sun and work on them both. Life gets busy sometimes as you all know very well, and the past three months have been especially busy for both Jon & I with holiday planning, actually going on holiday for two & a half weeks, new job, lots of study & training, Jon travelling with work, finishing off the house and updating Websites & Blogs. Spare time is sparse. So much, that when it’s time to stop and work on my art, I just want to “be” with Jon & a good book. Picking up a paint brush or needle & thread is really at the back of my mind but at the same time I am missing the soothing pleasure of working on my creations.

My life at the moment is a bit hectic, I have 1 short course in Abnormal Psychology, 1 years course in Hatha Yoga Teacher Training, 1 day workshop in Psychological Trauma & a 3 day dance leadership course coming up all in the month of May, not including dancing at 2 festivals, finishing off my second children’s book and working 2 part time jobs. My life is full & busy…

Finding balance is something that I have been working hard on. Now that we have beautiful weather again and are no longer cooped up inside, I hope to document our days more frequently & go back to working on my creations because I truly enjoy it. At the moment academic things are taking centre stage whilst my art takes a back seat. It is literally a juggling act and I am trying to find a healthy balance, plus at some point I do need to embellish my costume ready for my performances in May & finish off two A3 sized illustrations. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.

tribal belly dance costume

junk for outfit

sewing on belly dance costume

mixed media fabric

collecting junk for costuming

ethnic jewellery

Postcards from Ken

post card art Back: Hi! This is one of a series of cards I made last year, reflecting on “Getting Old”.

collage on postcards Back: I have often felt this way in my Life.

Ken & his wife Joann are a lovely retired couple from California who were in our group touring around Morocco. In the middle of the holiday Ken began to tell me he enjoys creating & sending postcards to people & I asked him if he would send me a postcard, with excitement & pride he said he would. About a week later two postcards arrived in the post for Jon & I. I just think something so sweet & thoughtful like this can really brighten up someone’s day and as a project can really bring excitement & anticipation for the receiver who awaits the next postcard. In this modern world full of emails, social networking & text messaging we are missing those precious moments of writing personal letters or sending someone something hand made.

These postcards made me smile and I thought to Blog about them. If this becomes a regular activity, I might turn this into it’s own feature entitled “Postcards from Ken” & I will keep Ken largely anonymous other than his name and what I have already stated. So lets wait & see if he continues to send more.

Festival Belly Dancing

volksfest plymouth

Kaite Medicine Music Poster

on top of a new job & about to studying two courses (Abnormal Psychology & Yoga Teacher Training) I am also preparing to perform at these festivals in Plymouth & Somerset. This includes costume embellishment, new routines & new music. Phew! I have no idea how I manage to juggle so many things but as my Mum always says “Variety is the Spice of Life”
and I am thankful my Life is always full of magic & wonderment. I never know what is round the corner or what interesting activity I might do next!

At Volksfest I will be dancing in the Cabaret tent and there is a chance I might also be dancing in the Film Tent as a video is projected behind me so I might do a double veil spin with my silk veils. At the Medicine Music Festival I have ideas that are more spiritual in context plus I am really excited to meet Christa Mackinnon who wrote the book ‘Shamanism & Spirituality in Therapeutic practise’ I am reading at the moment.

The Belly Dance video that was filmed before I went to Morocco is nearly finished and that also includes an interview! So stay tuned!

Morocco: Rabat


Our next destination was Rabat via a local train with our tour group consisting of 16 people plus 1 guide whom we had met on the last day of Casablanca. Our group only had an afternoon here before jumping on another train to Meknes. It really is an interesting mix of emotions involving the excitement of being in another culture & tackling my shyness around a large group of people who became a mini family over the course of the adventure.
This group of wonderful people were like a fruit salad full of different personalities & up-beat energies.

Rabat (Arabic: الرباط, ar-Ribaaṭ, literally “Fortified Place”) is the Political capital and fifth largest city of Morocco. This city is relatively modern in comparison to Casablanca and actually reminds me of Limassol in Cyprus (or London on a sunny day) with it’s glistening contemporary buildings & pretty, modern streets. Rabat has not quite established itself as a tourist destination, however visitors who do go find a gem of a city. The colonial architecture is stunning, the palm-lined boulevards are well kept and relatively free of traffic, and the atmosphere has a cosmopolitan flair, even a lot of the locals walk around with a graceful & confident air wearing designer clothing, trendy accessories & driving stylish cars. All in all, life here is pleasant and civilised. Although at times Rabat can be rather dull in comparison to other Moroccan destinations because there are very few areas within the city that has that charm most tourists search for. Yet the city is more laid-back, pleasant and more provincial than Casablanca or Marrakesh, and far less grimy and frantic. This would be a good place to possibly live if you were considering living in Morocco because it would be an easier place to adjust & adapt to the lifestyle as oppose to the hustle and bustle of other Moroccan cities.





The first site we visited within Rabat was the Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan (Arabic: صومعة حسان‎) which is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. Construction began in 1195 and the tower, made of red sandstone was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world’s largest. Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died in 1199 and construction on the mosque was cut short. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns constructed.

The tower itself is ascended by ramps as oppose to stairs. The minaret’s ramps would have allowed the muezzin to ride a horse to the top of the tower to issue the call to prayer.

Caitlin with her energetic personality & insatiable thirst for adventure found a way to climb one of the columns! These columns were reasonably high with nothing to grip so I have no idea how she got up there.






Next on the agenda was a building situated near to the minaret, entitled The Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This place made me feel entirely at peace, there was a great sense of calm walking into the building as you can hear a reader of the Quran chanting softly within the room. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette, topped by a typical green tiled roof, green being the colour of Islam. Its construction was completed in 1971. Hassan II was buried there following his death in 1999.



Soon after that our group wandered over to Kasbah of the Udayas via the promenade sea front. Taking a walk through the Kasbah, through its wonderful gates into the small labyrinth of whitewashed houses tinged with blue was just lovely, it was like the secret garden or a magical little village sheltered & surrounded by a protective wall. What makes this place even more special is that each house seems to have its own shade of blue, ranging from turquoise to indigo. Beware of so called “Guides” within the Kasbah who try to get you to follow them throughout the Kasbah for a fee, you really do not need a guide to walk about this place. Also be wary of ‘Henna ladies’ lurking about, they will try to grab your hand and apply henna to your arm before you have even decided you want a henna tattoo or not and before you know it they expect payment for their service you didn’t even want in the first place! I found it best to avoid eye contact & be quite firm if approached. Within this place also, you’ll see a number of street performers, they will happily have their photograph taken as long as you give them a couple of Dirham in exchange.






Our last stop before heading back to the main square near to the train station was a walk through the Medina. Rabat Medina is so much more laid back & less overwhelming than other Medinas in Morocco, and it is unlikely that anyone could get lost inside it. The use of blue to complement the whitewash provides echoes of the Kasbah. There is a nice atmosphere surrounding this medina. It is a piece of the typical historical way of living in Morocco without the hassle and without the excessive tourism. This area is definitely walkable and you won’t get lost if you have a map. There is one street that sells nice crafts, pottery and rugs, and another that sells all kinds of spices, candy, food items, clothes & household goods, a real quaint little gem within this cosmopolitan city.



For me, although very elegant & polished, Rabat wasn’t my favourite destination but it is non the less surprising because the moment you walk into the city you are surrounded by modernity with magical elements of the past. I think any visitor to this place really only needs an afternoon to experience Rabat as it is a good contrast to other Moroccan Cities that have more of that antique & unruly charm you are after.




Next weeks Moroccan blog post will be about Meknes.
If you want to see the first post about Casablanca click here.

My partner Jon Roberts has recently designed a Photography/Travel Blog that links with his Website. His images are of a professional nature as oppose to mine which are geared more towards Lifestyle so although we travelled on the same adventure holiday you will see Morocco in a different light, through his eyes & his brilliant photography so go take a peek here: Jon Roberts Blog

© 2014 sunflowerteeth. all rights reserved. you may not take images or content from this site without written permission.

Dreamcatcher inspiration





I have been researching & collecting ideas to learn how to make my own dream catchers, simply because I want to, they make lovely gifts for friends & it is a popular art exercise for art therapy & craft workshops. Already I have loads of shells, crystals, feathers, beach pebbles, and twine. However it is very hard to use these materials for a dream catcher when a part of my brain is saying “Yeah but those objects can be glued or sewed onto one of your tribal costumes!” Can you see my predicament! I do still need to collect other materials like Ribbons, chains, driftwood, lace, doilies & other things that could be turned into mini totems.

To teach & encourage others to make their own dream catcher enables them to create something of sacred meaning to them, using objects of meaning to the individual helps them make something that makes them feel safe, it’s considered a protective totem to the Native Americans and that idea has also been instilled within our western culture via the collective unconscious.

I have two big illustrations, two Belly Dance performances to prepare for & a children’s book to finish off first though…But this is definitely a future project, as well as learning how to make essential oil candles & shampoo!

The images came from:
1:Thief & Bandit on Bleubird
2 & 3:On Etsy & created by CindersJewelryDesign
4:from the creations of Rachael Rice Productions

The Cat’s out of the Bag

Rethink mental illness

Before Jon & I went to Morocco for two and a half weeks, I mentioned that something exciting is about to happen to me although I couldn’t really tell you guys what it was because it wasn’t technically confirmed, all the information was processing whilst I was on holiday…
Well basically I have started a new job! At the moment I am a trainee and only part time but there is scope for progression. I am now officially a ‘Mental Health Recovery Worker’ with Rethink Mental Illness. I am still in shock, a little nervous but ecstatically happy about this. Rethink are an incredible organization devoted to helping individuals around the country who suffer with Mental Health Issues & now I am part of their team. This is amazing work experience for me with future opportunities for me to potentially assist or facilitate my own therapeutic art workshops and even teach basic Belly Dance to encourage confidence & promote social interaction. Rethink also offer training & short courses which as you can see from my photo above, I have recently been to a training workshop.

As well as this, I have nearly finished my short course in ‘Art: It’s place in Therapy’ with BSY Group. All I have left to do is the final exam paper, edit my reflective journal and write up mini statements for my case studies. Soon after I receive my certificate I will enrol on two other courses, the first entitled ‘Abnormal Psychology’ which will compliment my diploma in ‘Art: it’s place in Therapy’ & my new job working as a Mental Health Carer and the second is ‘Hatha Yoga Teacher Training’ because my goal within a year will be having the ability to teach evening Yoga/Belly Dance classes whilst Rethink will be my day job. The gentle Yoga warm-up will prepare my pupils for the rigorous belly dance workout. There is also scope to include Yoga within my job for Rethink and even running Not-for-Profit soothing Yoga classes for small groups which could really benefit those who suffer with Mental Health issues.

Being in Morocco gave me clarity as I had the time to reflect on my life, who I really am and what I want from life. The people I met made a lasting positive impression on me & have given me the strength to blossom into the woman I want to be, or the woman I am inside that to be honest I have hidden for a long time because of negative individuals basically telling me my dreams are impossible & literally dictating to me how they think I should be living my life and how I should be earning more money, more hours and hopping from one customer service job to another (N.B/ There is nothing wrong with that line of work if that is what the individual wants, customer service just isn’t for me). But you see, my ideas, dreams and ambitions are far from impossible, they are just unconventional so I am just going to go for it because life is too short to allow people to hold me back with their negative words and I am just going to trust what my heart wants & I actively encourage you all to do the same!

Morocco: Casablanca

Casablanca architecture

We landed in Casablanca after a 3 hour flight (plus a full day of travelling from Plymouth to London Gatwick) on the 11th March. We were a day early & were to meet the rest of our group that evening. It was a warm dusk in this busy city and even in the taxi ride to our hotel we could see how vast this place is. Casablanca’s architecture is a fusion between contemporary glass sky scrapers & beautifully crumbling French buildings. Casablanca is Morocco’s chief port and industrial, economic and business centre, while the national political capital is Rabat.
One tip we learned from our Lonely Planet book, that I am going to tell you is: You will mostly likely be pestered by individual men claiming they are taxi drivers the moment you step out of the airport and they will try to usher you into their car if you look like a little lost tourist. Don’t follow them. Chances are it’s a con. You will usually see the majority of Taxi drivers waiting in a group & by their rusty, beige Mercedes (that looks like it’s driven out of a 1970′s film set, which I find quite charming) just across the road. With a Taxi ride from the Airport to your hotel discuss the charge before you get into the car and you usually pay about 250 Dirham (which is about 20 pounds), do not let the driver over charge. Tipping is also a must do in all of Morocco, so remember to tip!
After a 20 minute drive from the airport and through the streets of Casablanca (Including what looked like a rough area & we worried the driver had taken us to the wrong place), we finally arrived at the lovely Hotel Maamoura. Apart from one noisy neighbour who left his television on loud, the hotel was decent with Moroccan interior design through out, our room was simple & spacious, yet elegant with a balcony and we had a flushing toilet, oh the luxury! This hotel is great for the traveller who needs an over night pit stop or for those who perhaps want a couple of nights stay in Casablanca in order to see the main sights like the Mosque, ancient medina & market place.

taxi in Casablanca

taxi car vintage 70's car in Casablanca

hotel maamoura

the city casablanca

On the first day, after we discarded our back packs in our hotel room, we hopped into another taxi and went to visit the marvellous Hassan II Mosque. The Hassan II Mosque was built between 1986 and 1993 for the 60th birthday of former Moroccan king Hassan II. The Hassan II Mosque has space for 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 outside. The 210-meter minaret is the tallest in the world and is visible day and night for miles around. This sacred building really is a spectacle as you drive or walk towards it. The Mosque itself was designed by a French Architect and all of the granite, plaster, marble, wood and other materials used in the construction, were extracted from around Morocco, with the exception of some Italian white granite columns and 56 glass chandeliers. Six thousand traditional Moroccan artisans worked for five years to create the abundant and beautiful mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster mouldings, and carved and painted wood ceilings. The building blends Islamic architecture and Moroccan elements, and reflects Moorish influences, while featuring an urban design with central & under floor heating, it was built to withstand earthquakes, has electric doors, a huge sliding roof in the main hall, and lasers which shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca. When Jon & I went inside the mosque I did cover my hair out of respect although it wasn’t necessary.

Another tip for any traveller in Morocco is: Both men & women should wear clothing that covers their legs and their shoulders out of respect. Morocco is quite a lenient country towards those who are visiting, it is not mandatory for women to wear hijab and T-shirts are allowed, it is not appropriate however for tourists to prance about in stringy tops, bikinis and hot pants.
mosque hassan ii

Moroccan design

moroccan textiles

mosaics from Morocco

beautiful mosque

travel photography in Morocco

photography of Moroccan locals

how to dress in Morocco

the city Casablanca

tourist information in Casablanca

On the second day Jon & I then ventured out to the ancient medina which is kind of like a market place but is now a residential area. It is different from the other medinas in Morocco, because they have fewer tourists in Casablanca, you can take a nice stroll on this one without being approached or bothered by the vendors. The Old Medina of Casablanca is seeped in colours, smells, people and gives one a glimpse into it’s rich past. The narrow street and large assortment of vendors adds to the excitement of walking around. Every door way and alley is full of history.

Picturesque and run down at the same time the faded & dusty alley ways and the fragmented buildings are so exquisite. It’s one of the quietest & most humbling places in Casablanca. The city has grown up, around it over many years, and to me it feels like a precious stone, a diamond in the rough. We all want things to stay pristine, and most people would look at this place with resentment, wishing for it to be knocked down in order to build something seemingly more modern, more perfect and more grandiose. Humanity as a whole Settles for living in misery because we’re afraid of natural change, of things crumbling to ruins yet I revel in it’s frail simplicity & it’s ancient textures of times past, of the people who’s footsteps once pattered across those cracked roads and who’s hands touched the now flaking walls.

I look around this place with a smile, at the chaos it’s endured, the way it’s adapted and found a way to bring itself back to life again as it transitioned from a Medina to a place people call home and I was reassured. Maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is and the only real entrapment is getting attached to perfection. Ruin is beautiful. Ruin is the road to transformation. The people who live in this ancient Medina love this place like they would a grandmother. Our western culture is too obsessed with youth and all things shiny and new, we forget the importance of wisdom & timelessness that comes with age.

Within in this bustling city, the ancient medina & quaint market place showed me that we must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation and to marvel at the richness of antiquity.

the ancient medina

old buildings in morocco

the old medina in Casablanca

all about travel in Morocco

Katie Ness Sunflowreeteeth lifestyle blog

market place casablanca

basket weaving in Morocco

Moroccan people

So although Casablanca isn’t technically a tourist hotspot, hence why it’s best to spend perhaps a day or two there just to tick it & it’s few landmarks off the list. I am still glad it was our first destination as it gave us a general idea of what to expect for the rest of the adventure in regards to that fusion between the ancient and the modern, the thriving city centre versus the old medina, the local market, the language, the food, the people, the winding streets and the amount of cats everywhere you look. Casablanca gives you a quick taster of part the beautifully complex Moroccan culture & what is yet to come.
Stay tuned for next weeks post about Rabat.
Moroccan mosaic design

Photographs taken by Jon Roberts & Katie Ness. All content is copyright and owned by Sunflowerteeth & Jon Roberts Photography unless otherwise stated. You may not take images or content from this site without written permission.

Favourite Smells

essential oils

I personally prefer organic fragrances, I can’t stand chemically made candles & air fresheners, they give me a headache. It’s obvious really, I walk into someone’s house and they have a plug-in contraption on a timer that sprays out chemicals into a room, it’s not good for the lungs or your brain, it may smell nicer to some extent but it’s essentially the same thing as being in a room with a smoker. My body is a temple and I don’t really want chemicals ruining it.

In the photo above is just a small collection of Incense, Essential Oils, Aromatherapy Soap (created for me by a close friend) and Henna (Mehndi).
I love all these smells. Henna, when I apply it too my hands is so therapeutic and smells like a forest after the rain. Vanilla, Jasmine and Sandalwood are earthy & sensual smells whilst Orange & Ylang Ylang are rather upbeat and make a room feel happy! I also love wearing Jasmine or Vanilla on my skin, I dab a drop or two behind my ears and on my neck. This is great value for money because essential oils last a long time, since you only need a few drops at a time when using them and only cost about five pounds but perfumes are rather expensive and you are paying for chemicals to be sprayed on your body-Not good. Unless you find organically made perfumes, and if you do they will cost an arm & a leg, I’d suggest giving essential oils a try but first do the research to find out if you can wear them on your skin undiluted, if not you can mix them in soaps, make your own candles or just use an oil burner in the house. I also like to add a few drops of Lavender on my pillow at night because sometimes I have a tough time sleeping. Also If you are adventurous, you can make your own essential oil shampoo at home by using a base shampoo and adding oils that are right for your hair type or condition. I usually add 3 to 5 drops of each oil, but it is best to follow a recipe. Incense is also good for open spaces like hallways & landings and their aroma last for many hours. I like using Incense when I am feeling spiritual, as strange as that sounds it reminds me of temples and places of worship and I love walking (or dancing) around the house, completely barefoot, in my Gypsy skirts, humming to world music whilst those sensual aromas are wafting through the house. My favourite Incense is actually Nag Champa, it is divine!

At some point in the near future I’d like to try and make my own essential oil candles for myself & friends, considering a close friend created Essential oil soaps for me, it’s only fair I return the favour.

And the Stars Make Love to the Universe.

Tarot, the death card

Three Card spread: Past. Present. Future.
It could also represent other things that come in threes i.e Mind, Body, Spirit. But I like working with The Past, Present & Future.

the wild unknown
The Death Card:
The Death card is probably the most feared and misunderstood of all the cards in the Tarot deck. Just the mention of the card’s name has people shaking in their boots! In general, people tend to take the meaning of this card far too literally and fear that the indication is for the death of either themselves or others. When actually it could be one of the most fruitful cards in the deck. The Death card contains elements of a sudden and unexpected change, as if out of the blue. I may feel as though I am caught in the path of sweeping change and cannot escape its effects. Death is symbolic of the ending of a major phase or aspect of my life that may bring about the beginning of something far more valuable and important. I must close one door in order to open another. I need to put the past behind me and part ways, ready to embrace new opportunities and possibilities. It may be difficult for me to let go of the past at times but I will soon see how important it is, so that I can bring renewal and transformation into my life.
Death is probably best in the past position. This indicates that I have gone through a wrenching change, now I can put all the pain & hurt into the past.

the wheel of fortune
The Wheel of Fortune: (I keep getting this card in my readings, what on earth is going on?)
The Wheel of Fortune refers to the fact that things tend to go in cycles. There are good times and there are bad times. There is movement & turning directions as the Death Card brings about instant change. The Wheel of Fortune suggests that there are external factors that are influencing my situation that may be unknown to me or outside of my control. The Wheel of Fortune speaks of a pivotal point in my life recently, where new options become possible. The appearance of the Wheel of Fortune shows that change is not only likely to happen, it is certain to happen, and soon. Generally the change shown in the Wheel of Fortune is a dramatic change from the established order. These changes are distinctly personal and may require making a first step on a new and unfamiliar path. I may also need to alter my present course, move things in a different direction or turn things around to ensure that I am creating the right outcomes in my life. The Wheel of Fortune in the present is perhaps the most momentous placement of any one card in any position in a Tarot reading. I need to get ready for fate to smile on me and transform the circumstances of my life into a manifestation of my self-awareness. This is a great card to receive in the present position as it shows I have reached a level of knowing myself more, this card in this position reinforces the power that comes with owning my decisions.

the mother of wands, the queen of wands
The Queen of Wands:
The Queen of Wands is asking me to be bold and courageous in my undertakings and actions. My creative energies are high and I have a good sense of life direction. I will be highly optimistic, confident and full of ideas that I will be ready to implement and share with others. I have an ability to express my passions with great authenticity and courage. The Queen of Wands is a highly energetic card and encourages me to lead a busy and active life. The Queen of Wands is the dominant feminine energy of the element of Fire. She is not afraid to demonstrate her power to others nor does she shy away from a challenge. She is therefore a strong leader who is focused on her desires, intending to get what she wants. Thus, the Queen of Wands indicates that I will be strong, independent and able to take care of myself and sustain my own creative vision, even in the face of adversity (which I have been struggling with in the past). I will know what I want and how to get it, and in whatever it is I do, I will be masterful at engaging with others to achieve my goals. This card implies I am talented at staying fiercely determined and focused on my own goals whilst being friendly and optimistic with those around me. The future position is a wonderful place for the Queen of Wands to make her appearance in a reading. The solution to my current predicament will bring me to a place of confidence; this card here illustrates that I will soon tackle obstacles and will finally, securely believe in myself when others didn’t. Like the Strength Tarot card, the relationship between myself and the king of the beasts is one in which I will master all of my talents into instincts. Success will seem to come in the blink of an eye, but it is an accumulation of wisdom and using my inner strength; a process years in the making that leads to my future victories.

And so in conclusion, great change is afoot and I began realising that whilst in Morocco, something inside my soul awakened and it feels cosmic and I don’t know why and I don’t know how but it has changed so much that I do not even know whether the current life I have now is really what I want and have I been playing this role to make others happy with me? and since I am pretty unpredictable at times, who knows what is going to happen to me now? One minute I seem settled, then Whooosh I have flown away or completely changed direction. And this is why I get so much judgement, people trying to tame me and moan at me with “what are you doing that for? what you should be doing is this.” All I can say to that is ‘Vomit’. As a person I am very open to change because life is too short and too precious to throw away.

I love this Deck, you can buy it here: The Wild Unknown
The blue scarf used as background is from Morocco.
The title to this Blog is a Shakira lyric from her song “Empire“. I chose it because it’s not necessarily a romantic title but more about my stars finally aligning with my universe as it expands and I feel Cosmic.