Early Yule Sale

•November 21, 2014 • 2 Comments

I have just added a 5 DOLLAR SALE section to my Goblinesquerie Etsy shop. I have over twenty items that are now just $5 each – including my Yule incense cones, lots of earrings, tea card magnets and pins, and more! These would all make great “stocking stuffers” or small gifts for Yule or other winter holidays. I’ve also set up a new coupon code – if you spend $10 or more in my shop (including these sale items), use YULE14 at checkout to get 10% off your total. Here are just some of the $5 special items:

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Hermes

•November 20, 2014 • 5 Comments

“Hermes has no temple, because he’s in every temple; he has no rites, because he’s in all rites; he has no expertise, because he’s an expert in everything.  Hermes is the go-between that leads us on in anything and everything; he is the road between destinations, but is not the destinations themselves.  He only leads us along the roads, but the road is where we spend most of our lives and times.  The presence of Hermes is required by man to work with any god, and is required to communicate to man from the gods.” (The Digital Ambler)

Interesting to come across this today, as just last night I was thinking along similar lines in regards to my own relationship with Hermes. I had just received some pretty powerful omens that, while directly related to Hermes’ sacred symbols, were clearly in answer to a question about my spirits – in other words, Hermes was playing the role of messenger for me, as He so often does. And it’s a nice confirmation to see that dynamic playing out in mythology and ancient experience, too. Hermes teaches me techniques I inevitably end up using in practice with other deities. He brings me messages about Them, through tangible omens and occasionally through dreams (being one of the most frequent deity-encounters in my dreamworld, now that I’m thinking about it). But it’s never really about Him, directly. And yet, it has made Him indispensable to me – as much as my practice has changed over the years, Hermes has been important to it since He first agreed to help me in 1999. He has brought me good luck, good insights, and a sense of magic in the world when I most needed it. And all He has ever seemed to want in return, other than my using the knowledge and skills He imparts, is the occasional bottle of beer, handful of coins, or other simple offering. It is possibly the least complicated of all my spiritual relationships, and yet rather profound in its way. Hail Hermes!

 

Meat once again

•November 18, 2014 • 2 Comments

“There was only one room in the little house, with a huge brick oven at one end, and a table laden with all good things: with candied fruits, with cakes and pies and cookies, with breads and with biscuits. There was no meat, though, and the old woman apologized, explaining that she was old, and her eyes were not what they had been when she was young, and she was no longer up to catching the beasts of the forests, as once she had been. Now, she told the children, she baited her snare and she waited, and often no game would come to her trap from one year to another, and what she did catch was too scrawny to eat and needed to be fattened up first.

‘Still,’ she said, ‘you children give me hope, and I think it is lucky that you have come. Perhaps now there will be meat once again.’”

- Neil Gaiman, Hansel & Gretel

Yes, this is a rather sinister passage, as you know she is talking about children when she talks of meat and baiting her trap, and she is telling all of this to her future meat (even if they don’t understand that). But, if you think of a witch like this as an otherworldly creature, not really human, then she is simply trying to feed herself properly – all life feeds on life. Perhaps it is long decades spent in the company of feral spirits that makes me sympathize here.

Intimacy, Part 2: Going Farther with the Spirits

•November 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Dver:

This is all very good advice.

Originally posted on Conjure in the City: Shamanism + Rootwork:

blue fire heartI’ve got many more blog posts to catch-up on for the Pagan Blog Project, but there’s so much more to be said about stepping into intimacy in our spiritual practices – far beyond what I can muster in a few words.

I think fear of intimacy is at the crux of a lot of our concerns in the Western world. Racism, sexism, homo / transphobia (and all the others) all shine an eery light on ways in which we’re afraid of engaging not only with others, but with parts of ourselves that we’ve exiled, our ancestors exiled, and that we’re so used to exiling that we’ve long forgotten how vital they are to our personal and collective well-being.

We don’t live in a culture that encourages intimacy with ourselves or anyone else. Intimacy gets in the way of productivity, we’re told. It stifles our constant yang-yang-yang expression and, of course…

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Martinmas

•November 12, 2014 • 5 Comments
Offering bowl with nuts and berries, honey, and bear gingerbread cookie (I made these myself), turnip lantern, bear figurine, beers featuring hibernation and an antlered bear, and my stone mortar with burning uva ursi (bearberry), amanita, birch, fir, alder and cedar.

Offering bowl with nuts and berries, honey, and bear gingerbread cookie (I made these myself), turnip lantern, bear figurine, ales featuring hibernation and an antlered bear, and my stone mortar with burning uva ursi (bearberry), amanita, birch, fir, alder and cedar.

Last night I celebrated Martinmas – the turning point from autumn to the first hints of winter, the time when bears go into hibernation, the time when animals are slaughtered for the long nights ahead. I make offerings to Bear and to my particular bear spirit, and to all my animal dead who live in my home in the form of skulls, pelts and taxidermy. I go around with burning herbs and smudge all of them – not just the significant ones with names and known histories, but even those just represented by a few bones, in my jewelry, etc. – and I sing to them. It is simple, but it takes a lot out of me emotionally and spiritually. I am the memory-keeper for these spirits, and it is a heavy responsibility sometimes (interesting that this day coincides with a holiday where other people are honoring and remembering special human dead). Later today, I will go and deposit the offerings outdoors – last week I found a cat who is currently decomposing in my yard, and I will place the offerings next to her to make her part of the rite. Otherwise, I am resting today, as I got rather ill after the ritual. It might have been breathing in too many burning herbs, but I’ve noticed I often get sick after this work, and I think it may be just a natural miasmic reaction.

Orphic Incense Powder

•November 12, 2014 • 9 Comments

IMG_3592For those of you in the Thiasos of the Starry Bull, and anyone else interested in the Orphic tradition, or in gods like Dionysos, Persephone, Hermes…

I have created a blended incense powder inspired by this tradition and its gods. It includes:

- dragonsblood resin (for the blood of the Python, a nod to Apollon)
- benzoin (called storax by the ancients and featured in the Orphic Hymns)
- myrrh (also in the Hymns)
- patchouli (this seemed appropriate for Hekate, plus it’s from the mint family giving it a distant Haides connection)
- cinnamon and cloves (trade spices, associated with Hermes)
- dried poppy petals (technically associated more with Demeter than Persephone, but has always evoked the latter for me)
- red wine (Dionysos of course, which was used to bind everything together, before drying and grinding)

The result is a powder which produces a dark, sweet, heady scent when burned on charcoal tablets. A little goes a long way! Very evocative of the mysteries of the tradition.

Comes in a 1 ounce amber glass bottle, adorned with a cow bone bead on a blood-red waxed thread, suitable for storing right on your altar if you wish.

Available in my Etsy shop in limited quantities. While I created this especially for the Thiasos, it’s available to everyone.

Marvelous Mold

•November 10, 2014 • 2 Comments

And speaking of fungal mysteries….

I noticed today that a mold had colonized my Cheshire Cat jack o’lantern during the last week or so (but, strangely, not the other jack o’lantern sitting on my steps). It filled in all the carvings, making a mold grin, mold ears, etc. I love this place.

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