Help Us Honor Dionysos

•May 29, 2015 • 1 Comment

As you may have heard, there’s going to be a polytheist conference in Olympia, Washington this summer called MANY GODS WEST– looks to be a great line-up of speakers, and I think this is only the second cross-tradition polytheist-specific con ever (after the PLC last year). I will be there for one day only, as part of the Βακχεῖον  a group putting on a large ecstatic ritual for Dionysos on August 1 (which just happens to be the anniversary of my very first mainadic ecstatic state!). I can tell you honestly that this is shaping up to be a truly fantastic ritual, and I am really excited to have another chance (which have been few and far between) to worship my god in such a public and communal manner. My hope is that we are able to spread His blessings, His madness, His loosening, His intoxication, His frenzy to everyone who attends, and that in doing so we will honor Him properly.

But of course, these things don’t just magically come together without a little practical help, and we need yours! We are running a FUNDRAISER to pay for things like our members’ transportation costs, hotel rooms, ritual materials, wine, etc. We’re also all putting our own money into this of course (not to mention a lot of time and energy), but none of us are well off, and to make this happen properly we are looking to the community for a little support.

Please visit our Indiegogo page, watch the video, and consider donating. There are lots of good perks, including a limited number of bottles of my very own DARKWOOD INCENSE POWDER from my Goblinesquerie Etsy Shop. Your donation will help us put on a ritual worthy of Dionysos!

Hermes in the Cemetery #5

•May 27, 2015 • 4 Comments

Determined that not even surgery is going to stop me from fulfilling this vow, I managed to make it to another cemetery this month – and in the same trip, finally return my drastically overdue library books (they kindly waived the fees) -because this one, Pioneer Cemetery, happens to sit right next to the wonderful Knight Library at the university (unfortunately it’s named after Phil Knight of Nike, so I think of it as the Night Library, which sounds much more mysterious). After the Masonic, Pioneer is the cemetery I have visited most in Eugene, due to its age, size, location and atmosphere. I’ve done several rituals there, primarily for Hermes. It’s full of great trees, and the scent – my gods, it’s intoxicating, I think it must be incense cedar but I’m not good at telling coniferous trees apart yet.

The entrance

The entrance

The graves amongst the trees

Graves amongst the trees

A wonderful holly tree with knobbly trunk

A wonderful holly tree with knobbly trunk

New tree growing out of old

New tree growing out of old

The squirrels in this cemetery will all stop and look if you come near, as if they're expecting food - but I've learned from many experiences that these are the pickiest damn squirrels in the city, and they will reject almost all treats thrown their way, so I've given up

The squirrels in this cemetery will all stop and look if you come near, as if they’re expecting food – but I’ve learned from many experiences that these are the pickiest damn squirrels in the city, and they will reject almost all treats thrown their way, so I’ve given up

Beautifully lichen-encrusted stones, the lichen has filled in the engraving so it spells out the names

Beautifully lichen-encrusted stones, the lichen has filled in the engraving so it spells out the names

I love all the shadowy areas along the edges of this cemetery

I love all the shadowy areas along the edges of this cemetery

I left my herm at the base of a black walnut tree where I've done ritual for Hermes before, on the last day of Anthesteria many years ago

I left my herm at the base of a black walnut tree where I’ve done ritual for Hermes before, on the last day of Anthesteria many years ago

I picked up these stones along the way in, and then surrounded them with some birdseed I brought with me, nestled in a patch of ivy

I picked up these stones along the way in, and then surrounded them with some birdseed I brought with me, nestled in a patch of ivy

That's the Night Library in the background, it's a gorgeous building and I love that it sits right next to the cemetery, a very Hermes-friendly combination

That’s the Night Library in the background, it’s a gorgeous building and I love that it sits right next to the cemetery, a very Hermes-friendly combination

Für meinen Ehemann

•May 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Opening

•May 26, 2015 • 3 Comments

Looking back, I can see I was being prepared for this for months. A process of progressive breaking. First, my sprained ankle back in December. I knew it had something to do with Hermes at the time, due to some personal signs, but otherwise it seemed like just an inconvenience; I had to stay fairly still for weeks, and I didn’t like the feeling of being damaged physically. Then followed a couple months of relative stagnation – stress, disconnection, interruption. Just when I thought I might get out of it, I got sick. Really sick – worst flu I can remember having. Again, laid up for weeks, and stuck in a malfunctioning body. And it had something to do with one of my personal spirits, who is connected to illness – in fact, it was almost perfectly bookended by his two holy days. This time, a very brief respite, and then the worst of it – the gallbladder emergency, pain, endoscopy, surgery. And through it all, Dionysos. I remembered that owl pellet I found last month, after praying to Him and admitting that I was not properly Open. I remembered how I felt it might foretell something difficult, emotionally and physically challenging, but I had no idea. After they extracted an organ from me, from my digestive system, filled with hard indigestible stones, I saw that owl pellet again – regurgitated, indigestible hard bones. It was disturbingly shamanic.

This was an ordeal on several levels. I faced some of my worst fears – being put under anaesthesia, for instance, and having a scope shoved down my throat. I was physically cut open and had a part of me removed. It was terrifying. And I had gone into it at my lowest point, already depleted from months of illness, anxiety, depression. And yet, where I would have thought I would simply have fallen apart, I didn’t. In fact, in the days following, as I recuperated at home with nothing but time on my hands, I felt better than I have in months. Clearer. Lighter. Free. This time, finally, the enforced stillness of body came with a stillness of mind I had desperately needed. The connection flooded back, I had powerful dreams, I prayed.

I don’t know why it works like this, but it often does. I have done enough reading on initiation rituals and shamanic ordeals to know this. Maybe some of it is in our brains. It also seems to be the way some gods do business. Certainly Dionysos is famous for tearing you apart. I wonder, would I have needed to go through this if I had been able to learn my lessons from the lesser trials? I don’t know. But regardless, this is clearly what I needed now, to shake things loose, to transform, and to do the Work that has been set before me. And so, as I have before, I find myself saying Thank You to my gods and spirits, Thank you for torturing me, Thank you for breaking me. Thank you for removing those things inside that were blocking me. I see now how to be the thing you want me to be – I know you told me and told me, but I actually get it now. I am Opened. And not just metaphorically.

New Incense!

•May 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

IMG_4036I recently sold out of my popular Darkwood incense cones again, but now I am introducing the same scent in a new form: Darkwood Incense Powder!

A potent blend of vetiver, sandalwood, red cedar and patchouli, this can be sprinkled on charcoal tablets to release a dark, woodsy smoke perfect for ritual and offerings.

Available in a lovely two-ounce amber bottle. Supplies are limited!

And while I’m directing you all to my Etsy shop, please also note that along with the new animal parts I listed the other day, I have also added something special – the bird skull mask I made for my very first Perchtenlauf. I think it’s time to let that go to someone else who will make good use of it.

Also note that there are still four bottles left of the Midnight incense powder, plus an assortment of bone and wood jewelry! Come check it out and help me pay my insane medical bills!

 

Obscure Sorrows

•May 21, 2015 • 7 Comments

This is mostly for my own later reference, but also wanted to call your attention to this site if you haven’t found it already: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It’s a list of invented words and definitions for complex feelings that have no other expression. So many of these hit home, I wanted to collect some here.

lachesism
n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.

exulansis
n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.

monachopsis
n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

moledro
n. a feeling of resonant connection with an author or artist you’ll never meet, who may have lived centuries ago and thousands of miles away but can still get inside your head and leave behind morsels of their experience, like the little piles of stones left by hikers that mark a hidden path through unfamiliar territory.

ambedo
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.

rollover reaction
n. when your dream about someone you know skews how you feel about them all the next day, an emotion you are unable—and unwilling—to shake.

gnasche
n. the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love.

New Items for Sale

•May 19, 2015 • 7 Comments

As you can imagine, this recent medical crisis is going to leave me pretty much screwed financially. I do not have health insurance. I cannot even imagine what the hospital bill is going to be. But even before I deal with that, I have to make up for almost two weeks of lost work and other expenses.

In another week or so I should be in shape to start accepting cartomancy requests again. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some book design assignments soon.

In the meantime, I have re-opened my Etsy shops and added a few new things that might be of interest to you all, such as a wicker bull head and vintage Poseidon button over at Magpie & Rook, and some alligator leather scraps and domestic cat bones at Goblinesquerie (and there’s still some Midnight ritual incense powder left, in addition to plenty of bone jewelry!).

I am also seeking a buyer for this lovely Tarot deck – I bought it for the art awhile back, but I’ve decided to only keep a few decks that are my “working” decks and I’d rather this go to someone who will make good use of it. It’s barely been used at all. You can find out more about it here. I bought it for $40, am asking $25 (including shipping to US). Just comment or email me if you’re interested. SOLD

 
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