Welcome

Merry Meet, all. This blog is the humble writings of a (college-bound) teen Pagan who merely wants a place to share with others of like mind. All are welcome here, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Have a wonderful day, readers, and blessed be! )O(

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15th, 2014

I'm all moved in to college, which is kind of a crazy thought, really. I've had very little opportunity to get more than the dimmest outline of an altar set up, and I may leave it that way and just get other things from my travel altar out when I need them.
On the other side of it, this campus could not be more alive with wildlife. There is an abundance of squirrels, rabbits, deer, lizards, birds, and other critters - dad even saw a hummingbird yesterday! Moreover, there's a large wooded area in the middle of campus, lots of flowers, a lake, and access to some of the largest national forests in the region.
Today I had the chance to do some volunteer trail work at Giant City State Park, so called for its sweeping ravines that look like a giant's city streets. One group layed pipe and gravel, others fixed signs, and we cut excess brush back from the trail edges. 





Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10th, 2014

Aquamarine


Physical Characteristics: This crystal is a blue or turquoise-colored variety of Beryl. When uncut, the rough stone is typically characterized by fine ribbing scored along its length.

In Nature: The stone's coloration comes from Fe+2 ions; when the ions present are Fe+3, the stone turns yellow (Aquamarine Chrysolite), while the presence of both Fe+2 and Fe+3 ions produce a dark blue color which fades to white if exposed to direct sun.

Chemical Composition: Be3Al2(SiO3)6

Mohs Scale Hardness: 7.5 - 8 (middle-high - high)

Can be Found: USA, Brazil, Colombia, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya

Healing Properties*: The crystal reduces dependency on drugs and strengthens the kidneys, liver, and other purifying organs. Aquamarine is also noted as being a powerful remedy for poor vision. It is a stone of the Throat Chakra, which makes it ideal for healing glandular problems in the neck, tonsillitis, and even the standard sore throat. 

Magickal Properties: Aquamarine is considered indicative of both its bearer's feelings and the weather. If one is calm and relaxed, the stone appears bright blue, while negativity or depression turns its translucence turbid. Likewise, a stretch of bad weather is said to turn the stone dull green. For a stone whose name means "Water of the Sea", it should be immediately apparent that many of the stone's properties are water-centered. Since ancient times, it has been the talisman of seafarers - today, a soldier in the Navy might benefit from an empowered Aquamarine as readily as a fisherman or water sportsman. It wards off storms over water and grants safe passage on all liquid bodies. It is also a folk remedy for seasickness. Aquamarine is a stone of truth, illuminating the causes of unpleasant situations so that one can progress, and its energy is compassionate, encouraging the judgmental to be more tolerant. It accelerates intellectual reasoning, and enables flexibility and moderation. The stone encourages one to be prepared while easing the burden of responsibility. Aquamarine is a stone of peace, and can reconcile quarreling lovers. It is practically an essential crystal for Sea Witches, and for those wishing to expand their psychic horizons, Aquamarine may also be a good choice. Allowing a crystal to soak in a bowl of water under the moonlight for three hours creates a gentle cleansing elixir.

Chakra Association: Fifth (Throat) chakra

Element: Water

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Moon, Neptune

*Magickal healing should never take the place of seeing a doctor and following any recommended prescriptions, actions, or other advice. Magick works best in tandem with physical efforts, anyway, so don't skimp on those check-ups!

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8th, 2014

Labradorite


Physical Characteristics: The shining play of colors (technically called "Labradorescence") within this variety of Feldspar is a side effect of molecular changes within large Anorthosite crystals. Like Opalite Moonstone, light refracts as it passes through the stone, breaking into bands of blue, green, and yellow. Predominantly yellow varieties may also be called Spectrolite.

In Nature: Labradorite occurs in mafic igneous rock, and is common in Basalt and Gabbro.

Chemical Composition: (Ca, Na) (Al, Si)4O8; (Ca, Na) must be between 50% and 70% of the total composition

Mohs Scale Hardness: 6 - 6.5 (middle)

Can be Found: Canada, Norway, Finland

Healing Properties*: This crystal may help detoxify the body from the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and more severe substance abuse. Labradorite is best used to heal ailments of the throat and lungs, combating everything from the common cold to bronchitis. It can also treat eye and brain disorders, soothe anxiety, and ease the symptoms of PMS. The stone lowers blood pressure and alleviates rheumatism.

Magickal Properties: Inuit lore claims Labradorite as the frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis, while other peoples connect it to Arianhrod, the Lady of the Silver Wheel, or Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow. It is a stone of magick, and has been used by shamans, magicians, and healers alike since before its official discovery. Labradorite is a powerful protector, shielding the aura and guarding its bearer from all types of misfortune. The stone does not only ward off danger but actively draws forth beneficial "coincidences". It enhances all psychic abilities (clairvoyance, telepathy, prophecy, astral travel, etc.), assists communication with higher powers, and opens the Akashic Records. In fact, the stone's nickname - the Temple of the Stars - can be seen as a direct reference to the Akashic Records. Labradorite eases the transition of moving between worlds and the return to the present. The stone tempers the negative side of one's personality, reducing anti-social or reckless behavior, anger, and depression, bringing out the best in people. As a result, it can be a beneficial addition to the workplace. 

Chakra Association: Fifth (Throat) chakra

Element: Water

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Moon

*Magickal healing should never take the place of seeing a doctor and following any recommended prescriptions, actions, or other advice. Magick works best in tandem with physical efforts, anyway, so don't skimp on those check-ups!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7th, 2014

Smoky Quartz


Physical Characteristics: Smoky Quartz ranges from almost complete clarity to almost black; typically, it is a translucent brown or grey.

In Nature: Natural irradiation creates free Silicon ions within the crystal, thus giving it its color. The same effect can be obtained artificially using radiation techniques. Artificial Smoky Quartz will be lesser in quality but may be more inexpensive.

Chemical Composition: SiO2

Mohs Scale Hardness: 7 (middle-high)

Can be Found: Worldwide, but especially Brazil, the USA, and the Swiss Alps

Healing Properties*: Physically, this crystal treats ailments of the lower abdomen: cramps, back pain, kidney and liver problems, sexual dysfunction, etc. Moreover, it relieves mental disorders, ADD, and hyperactivity.

Magickal Properties: Smoky Quartz possesses many of the same properties as Clear Quartz, including energy amplification, but because of its chemical differences, it is rooted in the physical plane rather than the psychic. It is a grounding stone, but unlike its opaque relatives, Smoky Quartz's energy is joyful, connecting one to safety and security while lifting the spirit and transmuting negativity into positivity instead of just neutralizing it. It relieves depression, stress, and anger while keeping its bearer relaxed and centered. The stone strengthens one's survival instincts (Live in a dangerous neighborhood? Carry some Smoky Quartz.), and also eases the grieving process. Like many dark stones, this crystal is a good choice for a focus when scrying the future. Hung or placed near the bedside, it prevents nightmares and insomnia. Meditation with Smoky Quartz encourages creative solutions to problems.

Chakra Association: First (Root) chakra

Element: Earth

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Jupiter

*Magickal healing should never take the place of seeing a doctor and following any recommended prescriptions, actions, or other advice. Magick works best in tandem with physical efforts, anyway, so don't skimp on those check-ups!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6th, 2014

The second stone I bought at Faery Fest is commonly called Peacock Ore, due to its flashy, metallic colors. I should note that this is a stone that is becoming less common - unless you are actively seeking out lapidary stores or vendors, you may never see it. I suspect that this is to do with the Copper content (at least 60% according to one source); with Copper being so highly valued at present, it seems likely that more of this ore is being refined into metal as opposed to being sold to collecting metaphysicians. Also, just for the record, this is post #300! Thank you so much to all my wonderful readers for putting up with my crazy and sticking with this thing I call a blog.

Peacock Ore


Physical Characteristics: This mineral begins as a coppery-red and then tarnishes to beautiful iridescent shades of blue-green and purple. If the sample contains Pyrite, this will be visible as gold flecks on the surface.

In Nature: Also called Bornite (and sometimes incorrectly Chalcopyrite), Peacock Ore is a sulfide and is an important source of commercial Copper. It is found in Copper deposits and as dissemination in magnesium-rich igneous rocks, metamorphic deposits, and sedimentary shales.

Chemical Composition: Cu5FeS4
Mohs Scale Hardness: 3 (low)

Can be Found: USA, England, Austria, Zimbabwe

Healing Properties*: In terms of healing, this stone promotes cellular regeneration and will heal the spiritual and physical causes of most ailments.

Magickal Properties: Peacock Ore is associated mostly with energy work. As a multicolored stone, it opens and balances all chakras, also removing energy blockages. Moreover, its benefits to one's psychic senses and abilities are numerous. Peacock Ore opens the mind to ancient esoteric knowledge and may help one access the Akashic Records. The stone opens new avenues for self growth, and is a valuable meditation aide. It dispels negativity and is generally a mood lifter.
Chakra Association: All

Element: Water

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Mercury

*Magickal healing should never take the place of seeing a doctor and following any recommended prescriptions, actions, or other advice. Magick works best in tandem with physical efforts, anyway, so don't skimp on those check-ups!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5th, 2014

I bought several new stones this weekend, and will naturally be posting information about them as I research it. This is the first such post.

Ametrine

Physical Characteristics: Ametrine is a translucent mixture of Amethyst and Citrine. The color gradient blends Amethyst's purple with Citrine's gold.

In Nature: Technically called Trystine or Bolivianite, the stone's coloration comes from different oxidation states of the Quartz, which is in turn caused by different temperatures being applied across the crystal's length during its formation.

Chemical Composition: SiO2

Mohs Scale Hardness: 7 (middle-high)

Can be Found: Bolivia, Brazil, and India

Healing Properties*: This stone strengthens the nerves and promotes oxygen distribution in the body. Water that has held an Ametrine for several hours will reduce fever and the associated aches, while worn around the neck the stone reduces trembling and sweating. Generally, Ametrine combats hardening of the arteries, as well as more specific complaints like dementia, deafness, and problems with the eyes. When preparing for an artificial implant or limb, Ametrine is said to help the body accept the addition.

Magickal Properties: Ametrine has the properties of both Amethyst and Citrine, but it also possesses unique qualities of its own. In particular, it is known for blending masculine and feminine energies. The stone, as a result, can benefit anyone (societal gender roles make a habit of squashing one energy or the other), but it could perhaps be most helpful to those of a non-standard gender identity or sexual orientation. It links the higher spiritual chakras with the lower, mundane energy vortexes, enhancing mental and spiritual clarity. The powerful Citrine/Amethyst combination strengthens the will while also releasing stress. It is a particularly potent stone for battling addiction. Ametrine stimulates the intellect and banishes negativity from the aura. The stone also gives a major boost to psychic workings, whether one is doing readings, spirit communication, or astral travel. It can likewise protect against psychic attack.
Chakra Association: First (Root) and Seventh (Crown) chakras

Element: Water

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Mercury

*Magickal healing should never take the place of seeing a doctor and following any recommended prescriptions, actions, or other advice. Magick works best in tandem with physical efforts, anyway, so don't skimp on those check-ups!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4th, 2014

Happy belated Lammas to everybody! Why didn't I post sooner? I'll tell you why! Because the first weekend of August just passed, and you know what that means. Yes! It means that I just spent all weekend at the local World of Faeries Festival!
Once again, it was an amazing experience. There are few things more novel to a Pagan living in a Christian household than getting out for a weekend to mingle at a predominantly Pagan-run event. For the 10th anniversary of the Faery Fest, the theme was Year of the Dragon. There was two days of great music (if you've never heard of Randy Granger or Frenchy and the Punk, check them out), a quest game for the children, bubbles, sword fighting, fresh air, and sun. I got a complimentary wholeness blessing, and even saw a hummingbird winging its way over the flower garden. As per my usual, I bought a bunch of new accessories and several new stones, but before I get into posting about those, I want to share some pictures.


Welcome!


Me in my steampunk Time Faery costume, holding an adorable little woodsprite critter made by the esteemed Dragon Lady. I, unfortunately, did not have the means to pay the adoption fee, but if you'd like to see more of her work, check it out here.


Water Faery.


Statue Lady.


Dragon ice cream.


One of the vendors with Tommy, the Peregrine Falcon.


The fairgrounds.


Bird Man dances.


Friends appear in unexpected places.


A mermaid!

Additionally, it seems only fair to help spread the word about some of the wonderful vendors. Besides the Dragon Lady, whose work is linked up above, I got the business cards of several other people. Not all of them are necessarily Pagan, but they do high-quality, handmade work.
  • Eliza C. Stockfisch: watercolor and digital artist, custom masks, and crafts. www.etsy.com/shop/eis4artist
  • Annette Powell: fairy houses and gardens. etsy.com/shop/fairyellagarden
  • Christina Loraine: paintings, art, and magnets (animals and dreamscapes). etsy.com/shop/ChristinaLoraineART
  • Catherine B. Torres: Goddess gowns, vests, corsets, and soy meditation candles. swsilverlark@gmail.com
  • Crystal River Gifts: crystals, jewelry, oil, candles, incense, etc. 1 (244) 535-8708
  • Joe and Lisa Rothengass: wire wrapped and beaded jewelry, stones and crystals, stone readings. www.maplehousearts.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21st, 2014

The last couple of days have been pure insanity, so allow me to catch you up on some of the Pagan things I've been doing.
On Thursday, my family went to a local Botanic Gardens for the afternoon. Besides lots of pretty flowers, I saw some things relevant to this particular blog:


This, if you can't read the sign, is Artemis Silver Sage. Sage is a wonderful herb of purification, and if you were doing a working with the Goddess Artemis or any of her sacred animals, it might be worth the research to find some at a garden center. Besides its purifying qualities, this particular Sage has the added benefit of having leaves that are positively downy with fuzziness.


There was this depiction of Pan on a dry fountain in the English garden.


Outside the English garden, someone had crafted a statue titled "The Guardian" with these massive Quartz crystals set in the center; the whole matrix was longer than my forearm. Whether or not the artist actually has the crystals empowered to act as a Guardian of the garden, I couldn't say. Nevertheless, one could absolutely use crystals around the home for protection as desired.


The three trunks in the center of this picture belong to an Alder tree. I immediately thought of my blog when I saw it, because for some unfathomable reason, my "Celtic Tree Month: Alder" post is still my most popular, with over 5,200 views at this time. Here's a photo of one such tree I can actually claim to have taken!


There was also a big grove of birch trees which I felt had to be included. Birch is sacred to many deities, and is particularly noted in Wicca as being a tree of the Goddess.
On Friday, I went downtown with a friend to see a showing of A Midsummer Night's Dream (it was brilliantly done), and Saturday was spent at the zoo. Yesterday was occupied primarily by church and work, and now, finally, I have a moment to sit an catch up.
As many of my followers are probably aware, I am off to college next month and have been scrambling to get things ready. On Saturday, I found a marvelous little couch at a garage sale for $20 that will be perfect for my dorm - I'm considering it a Goddess-given miracle. Additionally, I was able to get a bunch of books from the library yesterday, so expect posts in the near future regarding the metaphysical subjects I'm now perusing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16th, 2014

I decided I'd round out my Japan posts with photos of all the lucky charms (omamori) I bought from different shrines and temples. For the sake of scale, all of these are between one and three inches long.

From Itsukushima:


A general "good fortune" talisman, embroidered with the island deer.


A talisman for good luck in academics, taking exams, etc.

From Kinkakuji:


A "traffic safety" amulet, which I'm assuming extends likewise to safety during travel.

From Kiyomizudera:


A squishy little talisman portraying the god of business success.



A dragon talisman for good fortune.

From Jishu:


A talisman for improving "the luck in love of one's zodiac sign". I'm a Pisces.

From Meiji:


I was so worried that I'd lost this one because I couldn't find it the other day, but when I got my keychain holding all of these out to take pictures, there it was! This amulet promotes oneness of the mind and body.


The writing on this carved wood reads "kodama", which is the Japanese word for "tree spirit" (similar to the European dryad). These spirits of the forest are generally benign, unless their tree is attacked, in which case they may curse the person who cut it. According to the Meiji shrine website, these wooden bells are made from the wood of sacred trees which have finished guarding the shrine precinct and allow for the oneness of human spirit and nature.


And then there's this: my little desktop shrine for academic excellence.

All of these are definitely coming to college with me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 15th, 2014

I got to go with my family and some family friends to a state park this afternoon, which made for a nice change from our usual schedules (not to mention VBS again this morning). We went to a huge forest/bog area alongside one of our rivers. It was cold for July (in the mid 60's) and we could tell a storm was brewing, but the sun was still out and the air was fresh. It was just really great to relax outside for once and see some wildlife (cranes, swans, egrets, butterflies...). Before we started out walk on the trails, I made a little offering to the local energies and asked that we have a safe, refreshing walk. I guess they must have heard, because the rain held off for something like three hours and then started the instant we were all back and buckled into our cars for the trip home!
If you're going to take a walk through a local park or nature preserve, consider making an offering of your own. It could be something as exquisite as a small gemstone or as simple as a crust of bread from your picnic lunch, a splash of water, or a bit of hair. It's a good way to introduce yourself to regional powers, or to strengthen existing relationships. That being said, you needn't spend your entire afternoon trying to establish contact with the intangible, either. There's plenty of magick to be had just in finding raspberry bushes, watching fat squirrels climb up tree trunks, and seeing little three-year-olds stalk a butterfly.