Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nostalgia.


The literal first thing I ever purchased at the woo-woo shop (itself rife with nostalgia and sentimentality for me) was a package of really pretty pricy incense. I didn't want to buy witch stuff strait out, man. I had to ease into it with incense and a few crystals at the ripe old age of 'teen-and-terrified. I had to ask a few groundwork questions, and make myself a known entity before I laid out my cards.

Being a poor kid who would get shouted down at the mere whiff of incense burning it became a secret, sparing, indulgence. I only burnt a little at a time, and only rarely. I burnt incense like most teenagers smoke pot - with a towel crammed under the door and all the windows open.  Incense was broken out for the most important rituals, for the most sacred moments.

Well, recently at another occult shop. I saw they had some incenses that came with mini oils. Being a fiend for miniature vials of oil I had to have it. The second I lit it up I was transported back to my youth, the scent was the same as that first package.

I was taken back to my late night forays into witchery, to setting lights in the high, small, octagonal window over my bed (I'd somehow gotten the idea in my head that the window, being neither indoors nor outdoors was a really nice liminal place to worm things into)- to being affronted by and conquering a malevolent entity.

I was taken back to what I'm sure most people think of as the onset of personal freedom in their teens. Being socially isolated, my freedom took place in dark woods under a hooded robe rather than in shopping malls or movie theatres...(that's a thing people still do, right?).

When I started in on my 30 days of reconnecting (it's been more than 30 days and I'm only 14 posts in) it brought me back to a time when anything was possible. When the ideas that came out of my head didn't require research to validate them (experience worked just fine), but also to the amazing rush of discovering that the ideas from my head were the right ideas after all.

So tonight I jammed the window open, stuffed a towel under the door and shared an entire stick of the incense with my familiars. Something I'd never have done back then in the days of 1/2" at a time, a hasty snuff-out and a quiet prayer that no one would come fussing.  I shared with my childhood self.

I reconnected and remembered.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Three Questions - Consumption and Adaptation in Craftwork.


This was going to be a post about how I made myself a ritual broom. It was all tidy and had it's ducks in a row. It was clean, and instructional, and got to the point early on. And then it exploded. Well, it didn't explode but the point changed - it went from a post about how I made a Really Traditional Broom that's Not Even Remotely Traditional directly to an examination of the process of "consumption" in the New Age, Witchcraft and Neo/Pagan communities.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lonely Road and "Authenticity"

After the death of my Mentor I made the attempt to re-connect to my upline. I made efforts to "get right" with them, and to establish better communication with my "siblings". My upline wanted nothing to do with me, or in fact with any of the "offspring" of my Mentor. It didn't matter that we were proper, because they just rather didn't like that Mentor was gay as a rainbow flag.

I could react any number of ways, but the bottom line would be - I could take everything I knew and throw it out or I could accept that it damned well works and not really give a f*** about anything else.  I chose for no f***s to be given. I chose to not engage with "coven" anymore, until such time as the Powers see fit to stamp my ass and hand me a passel of neophytes. I will tell them the full history of what they are about to learn, blemishes and all. They, too, can choose.

I'm not telling you to do what I do. I've mentored people and specifically told them to not do what I do. Who would want to do what I do?  I have now been an Occultist for longer than I have not by a good measure.  I saw the online pagan infantcy, its bumbling toddler years, its slow progression to childhood, its tweens... and now its awkward coming-of-age (its just about ready to go off to college, I think, scrambling for the future). The last two years have shown something really unflattering slowly burbling to the surface of online-pagandom's personality... insecurity.

A is for "Authenticity" - the stuff that really, really, doesn't matter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

R&R 3.0 - Changes 'Round the Rootstead.

I've been leaving this blog a little too unattended, and derelict. I don't like that, and I don't think it's fair to the point of the blog. I'm still "Blogging Without Obligation", but I thought I'd give everyone a bit of a head's up about what changes are coming around here.

Changes at The Stead.

Well, bottom line? I'll likely moving at the end of the year. We just keep taking storm damage, and having General Wankery pop up. Never anything severe enough for us to get hurt, but always something very, very, weirdly problematic to repair.  We realized that as much as we love the place, it's time for us to get a little closer to civilization, and a little further away from dangerous weather patterns (both for our jobs and for our safety). We feel that these hurdles and whines and complaints from the house/land were it's way of telling us to go somewhere else in a quiet, shy, polite, sort of way. "You need to be somewhere else. Don't worry, you'll come back. So I'm going to ruin your tile flooring, and make it impossible to replace. Tee hee! aren't I clever?" The 'stead is going to be kept as our 'vacation home' - so that I have somewhere to go to get away from people when I need to snarl and howl.

Changes at The Blog

There might be weekly posts from now on. There should be monthly ones. I'm breaking it down into themes by week to make it easier to write and schedule them. First will be 'Essay', second 'Review', third 'witch life' and fourth 'info and recipes'. These will be tagged with their new markers in addition to the usual (in case you want to filter for something in particular).

I'm also going to move to approving comments two to three times a week at least. I let 'em flounder a little too often.


Added Directions.

I'm opening an Etsy store. I'm currently waiting on an order of packaging supplies to begin listing. If/when the Etsy does well, I'll be opening my own .com store, and integrating this blog (as well as Tumblr) into it. I don't intend to offer a gigantic range, but a consistent line of select items and supplies.

I also hope to begin vending and attending at events as-I'm-able. I've got a fairly new car, a newfound love of driving, an incredibly flexible "Real Life Job" and the desire to make it happen.

I hope you'll all come along with me, and enjoy the new route. 

De-Fluffing Minerals: Quartz (Crystals).

The Second Most Common Mineral On Earth, 
And They Expect You To Pay How Much For It?

Quartz Crystal is a naturally occurring mineral with an impressive range of colors and inclusions. It is the second most common mineral on Earth, with the chemical formula SiO2 (Silicon Di-Oxide).  On a chemical level Quartz is identical to glass, being that glass is made out of sand, and sand is what happens to quartz when the earth does it’s normal, brutal, routine on it. The only real difference is the fracture pattern, and some places have begun faking exceptional quartz "specimens" with cut, polished, glass.

The major categories are Macrocrystalline (Crystals) and Microcrystalline/Cryptocrystalline (Masses). Dozens upon dozens of other minerals are technically nothing more than Crypto Quartz with an inclusion or impurity composed of another mineral.

Macrocrystalline Quartz also comes in a bajillion formations (often called “configurations") which are said to subtly alter the “energy" of the crystal and may include other mineral types (as above) rendering a lot of data and types and far more waffling and wall-feeling on the matter. Right now, I have balanced on my knee a gigantic mofo of a book (hint: It’s purple) with 80 pages dedicated simply to “quartz" (macrocrystalline). Lots of waffling.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Dead You Know / Diaspora of The Dead / Holy Supper.

Memento Mori

I remember my first experience of "death" - it was a relative, I don't know who. I did not understand why everyone was upset and sad. I did not understand why someone was in a box. The second experience was my great-grandmother passing. I still didn't understand what was going on, or why maw-maw as in a box. But I understood that Maw-maw wasn't in there, not really.

Then, like a lot of kids, I had a short-lived pet and I thought I almost had it, then. It was ugly and awful and why would a good god do a thing like this? And then came living on a farm, where animals dying was normal, and explained. But people? Still clueless on that front, and then a... boy I really had a heart-on for died, and I turned into an emo little turd - I took his death as a personal insult from a spiteful demiurge and a source of torment from the world around me to punish me for some unknown crime.

Then my grandmother died... and I still didn't understand it completely. I understood the mechanics, I understood the biology. I did not understand the psychology - I was a pretty newly minted witchling, and even though she wasn't in her flesh, her spirit was never absent, always visiting in dreams and leaving the scent of her perfume around. She was in 'heaven', her suffering was done - Why are we crying? She was kicking it with big J and the Angels.

But I felt utterly, utterly, guilty for not feeling really, really, really bad. Now, another fifteen or so years later, my last grandparent has left the world. And I get it now. It took me a lot longer than most to leave the swoon of childhood innocence and skillful, wonderful, constructive self-deception to simply mourn.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Offering Recipes 1 - “Wildlife Friendly ‘cakes’”

These cakes are low on “additives”, making them safer for wildlife, and low on salt (which can be omitted entirely) - additions and subtractions can be made. They are not a “dog biscuit” recipe, so you don’t have to worry about that hanging around in the back of your head, either.

Wet Ingredients:
1/2c Honey
2 Md/Lg Eggs.
1/2c Oil

Dry Ingredients:
1c Nuts (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sterile Hempseed) - if you do not intend to eat them, feel free to substitute any wildlife friendly blend, including songbird seed blends. Dried fruits, BUT NOT RAISINS, may be used. Avoid raisins and chocolate as they are deadly to a lot of animals. 
1 1/2c Wheat flour (have yet to try the gluten-free flour on this one)
1/4tsp Salt.
Mix your wet first, add the dry. Combine.  If it's still too sloppy, add more flour, or more crunchy bits. 

Grease a baking sheet and zap ‘em at 350 for about ten minutes. Cool on racks. They will be soft, chewy, puffy, mountains of joy. If you use a human-and-wildlife-friendly blend of seeds you can chow down too. When made with flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and sunflower kernels these things are filling, and delicious.