Community Discussion: Complaint to the Divine.

Gentle Reader,

I have been struggling with a number of things of late. I have been told by many that I should pray upon the matters troubling me. Our culture in the United States has this attitude that prayer should always be reverent, thankful, and in praise of the Divine. And our prayers for assistance should always be done in a humble and most respectful of ways, followed by a statement of gratitude and praise of the Divine. This is a stifling approach to prayer.

Respect of the Divine is helpful. Humility is nice. But it is very difficult to be thankful when you are struggling with major health issues or someone dear to you has tragedy befall them. I think that prayer is a discussion between the person engaged in it and the Divine. To force a discussion to happen only along certain lines means that the discussion never really becomes authentic or acquires the depth to truly handle life’s vast uncertainties.

As such, I would argue that a prayer where you are voicing a complaint with the situation to the Divine is valid. A prayer where you are expressing exasperation and heartache to the Divine with how life is going is valid. And a prayer where you are expressing anger with the unfairness of the situation is also valid. You would have these sorts of conversations with embodied people around you, why not have them also with the Divine?

I firmly believe that the gods want to be in our lives. They don’t want to be there just for the good times or be treated as vending machines for favors. They want a relationship with us. As such, that relationship requires open communication and honesty. What is more honest than someone asking another person why things are so hard when they are struggling? What is more honest than saying to someone “I am hurting right now because of [insert crisis] and I am angry because you don’t seem to care.”?

Perhaps this approach is not for everyone. But if you want a personal relationship with the Divine, shouldn’t you make it personal in all areas?

Originally Published: 5/27/18

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Godspousery Notes: Focus on what you want.

I have been having a tough week. It was particularly hard on Wednesday for various reasons. As I was reflecting on how challenging the week was, I felt somewhat chagrined by how much I was struggling with envy. Then Mr. Silver Tongue said to me, “If you’re not happy with being envious, change your focus.” I was a little befuddled by this. In my defense, I was overly hot and tired so my brain wasn’t at peak processing power.

“Focus on what you want,” Loki explained, “Focus on where you want to go in life. You’ll figure out how to get there. But instead of looking at other people and wishing you had what they do, view it as being shown possible options for future goals. What your find yourself envying, reframe it as you desire to cultivate it in your life. Focus on what you want. Focus on that instead of what you don’t have.”

I felt like a complete numbskull for forgetting this simple thing. Loki noticed this and patted me on the hand. He then said, “Go drink some water. It’ll make your brain work better.” Little reminders like that are helpful when I’m juggling a bunch of things and forgetting stuff. And, wonderfully enough, drinking some water did help me think better and get more stuff done.

Lessons learned: don’t envy but see it as acquiring new goals, stay hydrated to think clearly.

Originally Published: 5/27/18

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No video today, but something to think about.

Dear Reader,

My blog is about being a witch who veils. For various reasons over the last year, I have been veiling less. Almost all of them come down to anxiety issues and not having the stamina to do so when I go out of the house. This makes me very sad. I know that being bipolar and having complex post-traumatic stress disorder (with a dash of social phobia) makes it hard for me to do these things. I didn’t realize how much of a problem it was for me until recently.

Several of the other folks I know who veil were finding that their hair was thinning due to how much they were covering and different styles causing more problem than others. So, when I realized that my hair was not only starting to go white but also thinning, my first thought was Is it the style of veil I use? and then I remembered I was covering about once a month at best for most of the last year. That was when I felt really sad about it all.

I have been examining the anxieties that keep me from veiling and they all boil down to a fear of violence against myself or my family for how I look. Now, I live in a small community. There are relatively few instances of blatant xenophobia that go beyond comments. This fact should, theoretically, make me feel a little safer. Instead, I feel like I’m playing chicken with a semi truck loaded with firecrackers that is burning and hurling towards me at 65 miles per hour and a rabid sack of weasles behind the wheel. (Yes, I have a very vivid imagination. This was not the first illustration of how I felt that came to mind but it was the least triggering of them.)

So, I’m going to face down my fears. It’s going to take some effort and a little encouragement. My weekly video posts are going to be filmed at home and possibly around town. I will be attempting to veil more frequently and in a style that I find most comfortable. I am also going to stop saving the pretty veils for a special occasion because life is a special occasion and I am not going to live a life where I say ‘I wish I wore this thing more often.’ when I’m on my deathbed.

My posts are going to include some discussion about style and clothing as I adjust my wardrobe. Part of this is because my tastes have changed over the years and I’m exploring what truly makes me happy. Part of this is because I recognize that I need to offer more than technical discussions of magic and such. Don’t be put off by anything that seems a little rough or a tad maudlin. My moods cycle and it colors just about everything. Rest assured, I’ll come back to cheerful soon enough.

In the meantime, I’m going to debate how much of my hair I’m going to trim and color. I’ve been in the negotiation process with Freyr about that taboo. I’ll share what ever the final result of that is when it comes along. Either way, I have a feeling it is going to be interesting.

Originally Posted: 5/24/18

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Divination: Scrying Crystals

Photo by McKylan Mullins from Pexels

Scrying with crystals gets the immediate witchy stamp of approval from the film and entertainment
industry. It usually involves a crystal or glass sphere. The question if a crystal ball is required for scrying is pretty commonly considered answered. The general assumption is that you obviously need a crystal ball and the most effective ones are the size of an over turned goldfish bowl. Here’s your plot twist: you don’t need one.

Scrying with common stones is more likely what happened in antiquity, though rock and cut crystal were valued quite highly. Such things were not as available to the mediums and psychics of antiquity at all social classes. Your hedge witch and cunning man of rural England in the ancient days of yore were more likely to have a well worn and polished pebble that looked like anything you’d pick up out of a river bank than a flawlessly cut, perfectly clear and polished quartz sphere.

The reflective qualities of the polished stone is what makes scrying easier. It can be done with unpolished stones, but it is a bit trickier. That reflective polished side of the stone is what acts as your mirror or bowl of water. You can use the same techniques to look for images in the stone as you would in a mirror or water.

While I’m at it, a mirror would be an excellent scrying tool. A special variety of mirror known as a ‘black mirror’ is very popular. They are also incredibly simple to make. Take an inexpensive picture frame, coat the back face of the glass with black paint in an even coat or put a piece of black paper behind the glass, reassemble the picture frame, and you have yourself a black mirror. Black is used instead of other colors because it provides higher contrast and makes the reflections easier to see. Other colors could be used if you so desired.

Originally Published: 5/21/18
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Vintage Veiling: Thrift Shop Finds.

Vintage Veiling: Thrift shop finds.

Vintage veils are pretty awesome. You get to do a little bit of ecological justice and a little bit of retail therapy when you are shopping for a second hand scarf. In my video below, I talk about why I like doing so. I’m a little bit off kilter in this video because I had no script and because I’ve been distracted by a ton of things. And really busy, as the looming pile of laundry in the background may suggest. (It is sitting on the couch, so it is not as bad as it looks, I promise. Well, mostly.)

 

Originally Posted: 5/17/18

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Video # 10: Gratitude.

Transcript:

Gratitude is defined as being thankful for someone, something, or some manner of experience. A good deal of people argue that gratitude meditation is going to cure you of depression, exhaustion, or any number of other unpleasant states of being. Gratitude is helpful to refocus upon that which is good in your life. It is not, however, a panacea that cures everything from chronic depression to cancer. (Yes, I have seen someone try to argue that gratitude meditation would cure cancer.)
Gratitude is a tool that works best with regular application in most situations. When things are dire, it is important to remember that tools are meant to be used together with other tools in solving complex problems. And you are allowed to feel things other than gratitude when life is hard. Don’t let someone shame you for not being ‘thankful it isn’t worse.’ Your feelings and experiences are valid. Gratitude is your self-validation of those feelings and experiences.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Note: The music playing in the background is a random selection from a cd of hymns written by Hildegard Von Bingen, a medieval mystic and saint of the Catholic Christian church. I do not own the music.

Originally Posted: 5/10/18
Addendum: If the video doesn’t show up, click on the link for the word ‘transcript’ and it will take you to the video.
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New E-Book: Drowning In Light.

After a great deal of frustration and life getting in the way, the eBook of Drowning in Light is finally available. This is the short form version. There isn’t much explanation or interpretation of the visions. The long form, which will be available as an eBook and as a paperback, will get into more detail. I’m just still working on it.

I’m still figuring out what I’m doing with eBook format and such. Please drop me an email if you find your copy has errors. I will happily send you a PDF. Just make sure in your email that you note the date of purchase and where you purchased it through. As per usual, purchasing through Lulu.com is going to be less expensive than other sites like Amazon.

Originally Posted: 5/9/18
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Godspousery Notes: Just *TALK* to them.

So, I have some issues socializing. I have some self esteem issues that get in the way a lot in most of my relationships. (I have a heavily trauma laden past. It eats at me daily, I dislike the long term effects greatly.) Sometimes these two things come together when it comes to talking to the people closest to me.

I was contemplating folding laundry and feeling utterly alone. I knew it was depression talking. I was doing my best to power through it. And then Loki said dryly, “Have you tried actually TALKING to, oh, I don’t know, maybe your husband or your dearest friends? Instead of assuming that your depression must be accurate.”

I answered “Low spoons.” He held up a hand and bowed his head slightly. “What?” I asked.

“I’m looking for your spoons,” he answered. I almost face-palmed. “How about you try just sitting in the same space? If you can’t find the energy to talk about it, just sit with them. It’s ok to just sit with people and not talk.”

“I keep feeling ignored, when I know I’m not. I keep feeling like I’m going to waste their time.” I answered and was about to throw out another feeling statement when I got the LOOK from him. That ‘You’re doing IT again, knock it off.” look.

“Feelings are not facts. But feelings are still feelings. So talk about the feelings with the people you have them for. That will help the feelings feel less awful.”

Still working on that.

Originally published: 5/5/18

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Recommendations: Spiral bound notebooks.

This week’s recommendation may sound a little odd. My reasons for recommending these are actually pretty practical. A spiral bound notebook was what my first book of shadows was in. It was a haphazard mess by the time I was done with it, but I am hard on my notebooks. Also, I filled the thing up in the span of about a year so it got lugged around to a bunch of different spots as I was writing in it. I was in high school, it was just a thing I did.

Less about me and my red and green covered notebook and more about these notebooks. If you can, get an A4 sized spiral bound notebook with a hard chipboard cover with heavy weight paper. If you are bold and don’t need ruled lines, the spiral bound sketchbooks in that size are really economical. The A4 size (8 in x 11 in) is large enough to hold a good amount of information, work as a scrapbook if you so desire, and when closed has a small enough dimension that it is easy to carry around and store. This is why that size is super popular with people who use planners.

One of the things I love about spiral bound notebooks is that they lay flat when you open them. Finding a book that lies flat is challenging when it is not spiral bound.They also have this nifty feature where you can flip the book so that one cover is against the other, this way you can make a more stable writing surface against the two covers instead of a single one when you don’t have a handy table or desk to be working on. When working with a ruled notebook, I prefer college ruled because the lines are easier for me to see. Also, the aesthetic quality of the fact that all of my notebooks have the same line dimensions is soothing to me. I, however, am a little bit odd compared to most people about this sort of thing.

I recommend heavy weight paper because it has more durability than lighter weight paper stock. This means you won’t have pages randomly ripping out on you. If you happen to locate a spiral bound notebook with numbered pages, snap that up. It will save you the work of numbering pages and trying to index things after the fact.

Originally Published: 5/4/18
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Pictures!

I am pretty sure it’s been a while since I shared a picture of the altar space. It is in a north facing window. An entirely intentional thing but fits with how I was trained in Wicca. The Northern quarter is the one associated with wisdom and mystery.

I organized it according to how I was trained as well with the figures depicting masculine oriented deities on the left and the feminine oriented deities on the right. Moving from left to right there is a stag figurine for Freyr, a framed prayer card for Mani, a peg doll figure for Freyr, a statuette of Buddha, and a peg doll figure for Loki.

At the center is a cutting of white inch plant. Note it is growing towards the left where the icons for Freyr are located. To the immediate left of the plant is a rough hewen slab of rose quartz. In the foreground is a silver plated copper pentacle. On the immediate right of the plant is a rose quartz sphere.

On the goddess side, there is a peg doll icon of Freyja, a Quan Yin statuette, a tiny statuette for the Disir, a female jester statuette for Femme!Loki, a statuette of St. Anne and Mary (which represents Marya and Anna) and a statuette of Mary with a chaplet style rosary. The tiny medallion is very similar to the iconography of the miraculous medal.

I have boxes on there that hold offerings, prayer bead sets I use, and magical tools. I also have a bag with a set of prayer beads that my aunt made me on the goddess side of the altar. On the god side of the altar I have a bag with my personal fetishes for magical use (not the kinky type, this is a mostly kid friendly altar). There is also a huge chunk of rose quartz that I have and my eldest child’s shrine-jar for Zeus. His clay monster offering to the gods sits on the goddess side, right where he placed it so carefully a few months ago.

Above, you have a better picture of the prayer bead sets I have made. The freshwater pearl and glass goddess rosary with a star terminal and blue beads between each decade is available. The copper and recycled plastic Anglican style prayer bead set with the Marian medal and flower terminal is available. The 5 decade catholic plastic beaded rosary set is a gift for family. The medal on the opposite end of the Crucifix is a depiction of the sacred heart of Jesus.

The amber resin beaded prayer set with the star is available. The synthetic pearl and glass bead prayer set is available.

The stone bead, with metal beads between the decades and one decade of synthetic pearl has an interesting history. It was fashioned based off of the Filianic calendar and holy mythic cycle. The first grouping of dark red agate is for the primordial time of creation. The first grouping of the black agate is for the first night or the descent of the Daughter into creation. It depends on the season. The synthetic pearl beads are for the Daughter. The second grouping of black agate is for Deam Mysterium. The final grouping of dark red agate is for the Mother. This rosary set has been loving used for regular prayer over the last three years. It is time for it to move on to a new home. It is available.

The knotted rosary with a literal rose terminal is available. I don’t even know how this one came into my possession. The three decade set of amber resin beads with copper beads between the decades is available. The hematite five decade rosary with steel beads between the decades and a steel pentacle is not available. It matches the fifteen decade rosary that I have from the same beads with rose quarts between the decades and a goddess figure for the terminal. That one is not pictured because it needs repaired. The pink three decade rosary with the faux Marian medal is not available.

If you are interested in one of the rosaries or prayer bead sets, contact me.We can discuss payment and shipping. If you would like me to make you a rosary, I will be happy to for the cost of materials, fees, and a donation.

Originally Posted: 5/3/18
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