Northern Forests Smudging Blend

•February 10, 2015 • 3 Comments

IMG_3839I’ve decided to offer for sale a very limited edition batch of the smudging blend I use when doing rites for Bear. It is inspired by Lappish (Saami) bear rites, the various Northern shamanic traditions, etc. I think it would be appropriate for a variety of gods and spirits. I’m calling it “Northern Forests.”

It is not intended as an aromatic incense, but specifically for smudging (recaning) or whatever other offering and purification rites you use. Produces a strong, earthy smoke when burnt on charcoal tablets or thrown on a fire.

Includes:

* birch bark
* mugwort leaves
* alder cones
* oakmoss
* fir needles
* uva ursi (bearberry)
* amanita muscaria mushroom caps

Get it at Goblinesquerie.

Choice in the midst of struggle

•February 9, 2015 • 8 Comments

Sannion had a great post last week about what to do when things start going wrong in your life. I have been dealing with a series of small crises lately – nothing terribly dire, but enough to cause a good amount of stress. What makes that particularly difficult for me is that to do What I Do in regard to spirit-work and all of that, requires me to spend large amounts of time in certain types of headspace. Unsurprisingly, constant stress about mundane things is NOT conducive to said headspace. So of course, I’ve been a bit cranky about that, hating feeling like I’m being forced to deal with all this stuff when I should be deep in spirit contact. It’s not that I have no time for it, really, just that I have difficulty stopping the train of obsessive thinking once it gets going, and financial strain is a quick way to start that train. I am not a high energy person to begin with, and such things quickly drain my energy, deplete my “spoons” and I feel unable to focus on anything I really care about.

The other day I was mentally complaining about this to my gods, spirits, and Anyone who would listen, when I got back this stern but very accurate response from one of Them: “It is your choice what state of mind you enter into.” I immediately shut up.

Yes, it’s one of those things much easier said than done, but you only get there by practice – taking responsibility for your internal state and learning how to control it. Sure, I have a whole lot of mundane concerns to deal with and they are real and important and need attention…to a degree. But there’s certainly no need for a constant mental overview of all the problems and possible solutions to the point where it drowns out everything else. And it IS possible to set those things aside and CHOOSE to enter into an entirely different consciousness, where I can reach my gods and spirits and do my Work and get inspiration and all of that. And in fact, such a challenge will strengthen my overall ability to attain such states and contact.

So I’m writing this here as a reminder to myself, and to anyone else that needs it, for I find that such lessons are an ongoing project. None of us is perfect, and we all have our Achilles’ heels (one of mine being obsessive thinking), but putting the gods and spirits first means learning to recognize such situations and striving to rise above them. I can’t always control external circumstances, but I can control my response, and my own mind. Each time I catch myself falling into this trap, I will try to change my approach. I won’t always succeed, but my spirits, and the Work I do for Them, are well worth the effort.

[A reminder that my fundraiser to get a new laptop and write my next book will be going on throughout February!]

Dver is offering some amazing incense!

•February 9, 2015 • 4 Comments

Dver:

Galina just posted a quick but very good review of my new incense powder. I’m glad to hear that it didn’t set off any problematic reactions – being rather sensitive myself, that was one of my goals in making chemical-free incenses!

Originally posted on Gangleri's Grove:

I recently ordered some incense from Dver — you can check it out here. I’m particular about my incense, but i’d used hers before and it didn’t set off headaches or make me otherwise miserable so I decided to order some of her new blend

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Oh. My. Gods. I used it this past week in ritual and it was lush and magical and just marvelous to use. I used it in offering to my dead, but it would make a lovely ritual incense as well. Anyway, I’m picky and I like it, so I’m recommending it here. ^_^.

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Amanita Research

•February 4, 2015 • 5 Comments

This month, I’m beginning the very first stage of my Amanita muscaria book adventure: RESEARCH. Yes, I’ve been reading about the mushroom for years, but this will be a systematic approach to pretty much all the information out there. (Which will mean a lot of reading about crazy theories on how Jesus was a mushroom, but that should be fun too.) I’ve collected copies of all the books that discuss it as a primary subject:

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And, possibly more fruitful when it comes down to it, amassing copies of every single journal article or brief book chapter on any aspect of the mushroom:

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It’s finally time to dig into this stack of knowledge! I’ll probably be reading a lot of this several times over as I take notes and organize my thoughts. And then begin the writing process! Which YOU can help me with, by contributing to my laptop fundraiser – where you can get perks like incense, books, divination readings, etc. I’m currently at 76% of my goal at IndieGoGo, and thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far! While I’ve received a few off-site donations as well, I’ve also had to pay for the perks, and the fees, so getting to my goal (or even past it) is still really important – not to mention that if I reach the full amount on the site, I get a partial refund of their fees! Anything I raise above the cost of the laptop will go to that aforementioned dental bill, which would also be extremely helpful. You can check out my fundraiser here.

Candlemas

•February 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It can be an interesting exercise, combining varying polytheist traditions into a single observance. It’s not always appropriate to do so, of course, and many of my Hellenic festivals, for instance, are done solo and in a purely Hellenic fashion. However – yesterday was Candlemas, and since I do something small for this day, and my Heathen partner wanted to do something small for Charming of the Plough (usually done at this time), we decided to join forces. It ended up a collection of many different little offerings and observances, but I think it all fit nicely into the broader theme of the seasonal shift that’s occurring.

So, first I made a nice meal featuring curried lamb (because it’s lambing time!), and these kind of crepes made of chickpea flour (because my partner can’t eat grain). Then we took a bottle of mead, a drinking horn, and one of the crepes (which would function as a sacred “cake” in this case) outside to the garden. We had a sumbel, standing in the dark by my raised garden bed, under a stunning full moon, toasting our various gods and spirits, and poured the last bit out as a libation. Then he blessed my trowel, standing in for the plough, and made a furrow in the dirt, and we buried the “cake” as an offering. Back inside, I set out an offering for Bear (because Candlemas marks the end of hibernation), and then set a bunch of herbs burning and smudged all the spirits of dead animals that reside in my home (who are all under the protection of Bear) while giving them my breath and energy through song. I also poured out beer for Veles (also associated with the bear) and for my spirits, whose holy day it happened to be as well.

The whole thing was fairly simple and informal, but nonetheless felt very right. We marked the seasonal change in ways that were significant to our different traditions, and made the proper offerings to the proper gods and spirits. I know some people still get uncomfortable mixing Recon traditions with other things, but it really can work out quite well.

[A reminder that my fundraiser to get a new laptop and write my next book will be going on throughout February!]

Some videos for Lenaia, looking ahead to Anthesteria…

•January 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow morning I climb to the reservoir up the hill, pop open some fizzy white wine, and sing Dionysos up with the sun. Tonight, these are some of the things I’m feeling in the air.

 

I wonder if we could get some atheists to come over to polytheism

•January 30, 2015 • 4 Comments

Here’s the inimitable Stephen Fry talking about why he wouldn’t want to get into heaven even if it (and God) turned out to be real:

Naturally, I agree with his points there, and this is why a single, omnipotent creator deity makes no sense, and especially wouldn’t be someone I would worship. But, note how he specifically brings up the Greek gods as making more sense. I’ve seen a number of atheists say this. I doubt any of them are aware of modern polytheists, or would consider polytheism a viable alternative, but I have to wonder if they might be swayed if they did. Would love to send him A World Full of Gods or something of the sort.

 
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