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

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.