Blurb

Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Godspousery notes: Hail Ingvi Freyr!

With all of this diabetes stuff, I found myself anxious that I had earned Freyr's displeasure. This anxiety coupled with all of my other anxiety was making life hard. Loki assured me that Freyr was not displeased with me. He did his best to convince me of this but I was too twisted up with fear to really get it.

And then the gift from M. arrived. She had found sugar-free chocolate that tasted like REAL chocolate. A good pile of them, it literally brought tears to my eyes. Her kindness was overwhelming, as it has always been. And then I noticed something. The ones sitting on the top of the pile were from the Frey company. Message received, Ingvi.

What was that message, by the way? Well, it was reach out to others when you're in distress and we'll help you out. M. and her kindness helping me, along with the accidental delivery of Freyr's gentle nudge that he was still looking out for me and he wasn't mad at me, was one of many direct examples of kindness being extended to me. The helpful library staff who found the one diabetic cookbook in the entire library, family helping me manage household stuff when I have been dealing with vision problems, and the love and support of my friends are just a few of the examples of kindness and love that come when I just ask for help.

It's silly that I forget that kind of love and kindness is there. Loki is a bit less exasperated with me now. Only a bit, though, because I am doing things like worrying about writing instead of writing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Herbalism, Tools & Treasures: Chalice.

The chalice is one of the most iconic images of European art and religious imagery. The most famous is the Holy Grail of Christ, the cup which was used at the Last Supper. An integral part of the English Arthurian myth cycle and British isles folk religion, the chalice is an ancient image that resonates strongly still today. Much of modern pagan tradition is derived from attempts to reconstruct (or reinvent, in many cases) the ancient worship practices of pre-Christian Europe.

One of the major symbols is the cup or bowl/cauldron. A chalice is simply a cup with a footed base, though the term sounds fancy. Any cup could work for a ritual chalice, even your favorite coffee mug. It is a little more fuzzy when you start blurring the line between cup/bowl/cauldron. Because the cauldron is a ritual item in its own right. And the bowl has its own storied history of iconography around the world. It is the chalice that is used for the symbolic enacting of the Great Rite of Wicca rituals (the Great Rite being the sexual union between the God and the Goddess), serving as the female half of the rite. (The male half is the athame. For more information about the athame, please see the next post in this series.)

The chalice is the shared cup between the coven during ritual feasting in some rites. It is also symbolic of the cup that the Daughter of Dea pours Her Spirit into in the holy rite of sacrifice which sustains the whole of existence within Filianic and Déanic mythos. It is an object that is described by some as a direct descendant of the Communion cup of the Catholic Christian mass (worship service) and supposed to symbolize both the cup that caught the blood of Christ from his wounds and the cup from the last supper.

Within many pagan and occult systems, the chalice is associated with water. This can be seen in most tarot decks, actually. It is associated with the direction of west. And, as mentioned earlier, it is associated with femininity. It is also associated with the subconscious mind, the spirit, and psychic activity.

Monday, April 16, 2018

What's going on?

Dear Reader,

It may be apparent that my life is in some crisis again. I am feeling rather despondent about this diabetes diagnosis. It is exhausting to count every bite. It is also entirely necessary that I do so, thus I really have no choice in the matter. I find myself grieved by it all. The struggle against preexisting eating issues is all the more pitched now because I can't just eat like the rest of the family and ignore the voice at the back of my head telling me to starve myself.

This has lead me to start asking questions again that I haven't in a long while. I find myself asking about the nature of good and evil. I find myself asking about the nature of the world at large and why people do horrible things. Scripture reading just leads to more questioning. Divination leads to more questioning. It is an unending spiral that condenses down to two things. Anxiety and terror. Distracting myself with questions about the nature of everything is a way to avoid looking at the anxiety and terror I feel about having yet another chronic illness to manage, one that I know very little about and I know can be lethal. It is right up with the frantic exercise that I threw myself into last week trying desperately to force my blood sugar levels down with that. (One week of frantic exercise after months of being laid up due to a broken rib is severely unpleasant and exhausting. It may be the reason why my feet hurt right now, I'm honestly not sure.)

I find myself in the middle of a spiritual crisis right now. I call out to the gods but I'm so tangled up in my fear and confusion that I can't hear their answers. Thus, they find other ways to answer. Hence the incident this afternoon where an article popped up on my phone talking about how another author found themselves in a similar level of crisis. The solution was to keep working, make a point of planning their day out and sticking with routines, and being persistent. It brought tears to my eyes.

I may not be sure about the nature of good and evil. But I know that the gods are good to me.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, if you are so inclined. I would be most thankful.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Life is tumult.

It has been a trying two weeks. On the 30th of March, I got diagnosed with diabetes. It's all been rather confusing and distressing, to be perfectly honest. It is reassuring, in a strange way, that all of the change I have been making to my diet and behaviors (such as going semi-vegetarian and getting more exercise) are precisely what I should be doing to manage my new chronic illness. At the same time, it is incredibly vexing that these changes did not prevent this.

I'm working to make peace with this. I'm also working to get to a better place mentally. Between the stress and despair that rolls over me in waves because I have no idea what to do to get healthier and the stress and despair that linger from the winter's seasonal affective depression, I'm not doing too great in that department either. I've been struggling with a lot of self doubt and uncertainty.

At least the flashbacks have eased up some. Though if I have to become even more restrictive in my diet, that may become a problem because of my inclination towards anorexic behaviors. Tomorrow, I will be posting up e-books. As per usual, they will be less expensive via Lulu.com. I hope to have the manuscript for Drowning in Light completed with edits for the digital version by the end of the week. Changing format results in changes that need to be made to the text. It's a bit of a learning curve for me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ebooks update!

Due to a few formatting errors, the digital editions of A Year With Dea will be delayed until Friday. Something about page format is wonky and I'm working to fix it. I'd have had it fixed today except for the fact a migraine ate most of my day. Now that the migraine has passed, I feel much better but also like I haven't eaten all day, mainly because I didn't. So, only a short post before I get myself a glass of water and a snack.

I hope you all had a wonderful day. Dea bless. ♥

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ebooks coming out this week!

Gentle Reader,

Thank you so much for your patience with me. After some help from my technomancer Beloved, I have finally started the process of getting ebooks up and running. The first one is on my Books and Goods page. There will also be more added to the 'goods' portion over the next few months. I have to take some pictures of the things I have been making.

As of the present moment, Rose Petals is up as an ebook. You can purchase it at Lulu.com for less than you would elsewhere. The link on the Books and Goods page goes directly to Lulu. It is my plan to get both versions of A Year with Dea to be up by Wednesday.

Due to complications with paperback publication, Drowning In Light (the short version) will be coming on as an ebook. The longer version will be available in autumn as a paperback and an ebook with reflections and more context for the visions presented.

Thank you all so very much for you continued support. I apologize I am so behind schedule. It was a rough year last year.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Vintage Veiling: Pattern Review.


In my previous vintage veiling post I mentioned that I was going to work on some vintage head covering patterns. I was silly and thought that the first pattern I picked was going to be a simple affair. It was a basic rectangle with tassels on the narrow ends. Then I read the pattern and discovered a few problems. The first was that I did not read the pattern correctly. The second problem was that it was written in such a fashion that a person who was new to crochet wouldn't easily understand it. I have a bit of experience and the pattern wasn't exactly kind to me at first either.

Lacy Fascinator Pattern No. 1826 is on one hand a very simple pattern after you get past how badly the directions were written up. On the other hand it is rather easy to get bored with your project with this pattern. I was working with worsted sport weight acrylic yarn. I can't give an exact amount for how much it took but it was not something even close to the eight balls of yarn called for. My best estimate is that this would easily completed with a skein and a half of yarn, if you are working at the weight of yarn I was. 

Extra Lacy Version
The pattern as it is written makes it hard to decipher what the pattern is. At first, I thought it was one row of moss stitch (single crochet one, chain one, repeat, end on a sc stitch) and then one row of double crochet moss stitch (double crochet one, chain one, repeat, end on a dc stitch) until 36 inches long after blocking (approximately 32 inches long unblocked). After I made it and compared what I made to the pictures with the pattern on the website, I knew that it wasn't right. It was a lacy mesh, but not long enough even after blocking.

Correct stitch pattern.
Final version w/o tassels
If you decide to try out the original pattern, the pattern starts with the first row crochet. It is a four row repeat for twenty repeats to get the desired length. Chain your 76 stitches. Turn and then single crochet into the second stitch from the hook. Chain one. Moss stitch across the row. Chain three for your turning chain. Double crochet into the first chain space (not into the stitch) and then double crochet into the single crochet stitch. Continue to alternate between double crochet into chain space and double crochet into single crochet stitch across the row. Moss stitch the next row followed by a double crochet row. Pattern complete, repeat this 20 times to reach your desired size (if you are using an 'H' hook and the same weight yarn as I did). The final row is moss stitch. 

In both cases, after you break off the yarn, you add tassels in the chain spaces on the narrow end rows. I chose not to do this with the one made as per the correct directions. Mainly because the tassels annoyed me.
Looking back over this project, I think that the sport weight yarn was too heavy. I would also make this longer because it is not a comfortable length on me. In all honesty, I'm going to take the remnants of the ball of yarn to add length to this to make it into a shawl. The stitch pattern is fantastic for a prayer shawl. If your do not make it quite so wide, and just a smidge longer, you could get a nice cowl out of it too.