Welcome

Merry Meet, all. Hummingbird, here. 19-year-old eclectic Pagan and witch who works primarily in crystal magick and energy manipulation. Asexual, with a wonderful girlfriend. Not currently following any specific deity(s), but interested in many pantheons including Greek and Shinto. Attending college with end goal of a degree in Interior Design.

This blog is a digitalized record of my life as a Pagan. It includes spells, charms, meditations, notes on the properties of various magickal items, and my own personal experiences with my practice. Sometimes I post multiple times a day, sometimes it's once a month.

All are welcome here. Please, make yourself at home, and let me know if I can help you with anything. )0(

Monday

July 27th, 2015

I finished my cross stitch last night, and just got it all ironed!


The design was already pre-printed, and all I did was come in and add the glittery embellishment stitching, but it was still a pretty involved project, and I'm happy with how it came out. I will need to get a frame for it eventually, but right now I may just set it on my altar, so as to honor Lugh the Master Craftsman.

Just a little bit of mystical artwork for you all this afternoon.

Also: Wow! Hello to all my readers! I haven't had this many page-views since December of 2012, so I'm not sure what's up with that, but it's great to have you all, and I hope you're enjoying my blog.

Thursday

O hí Lughnasadh

I haven't done an actual Lughnasadh ritual in at least four years because I'm always spending the weekend at Fairy Fest. This year, however, with Destiny coming over, we're planning to do something in the evening. As such, I figured I ought to get my altar set up ahead of time.


I rather like this design. I might edit it a little still before next week, but I think I've got a nice, solid foundation.


On the left, I have my chalice, gourds, (plastic) grapes, a cup and saucer for water, salt, and a pair of dried corn cobs.  I also have a "corn dolly" goddess figure (actually made out of taffeta) which I put together several years ago. 

In the center, I've my elemental candles all sitting around the direction plate I got at the auction last month. In the center is the tea light from Rebekka, as well as a tiny incense holder and my new Selenite wands. 


Over on the right side of the altar, there's a god figure to match the goddess one, as well as my wand, athame, and a feather. There are more gourds and grapes, and I filled my cauldron with some festive potpourri I found. A seasonal fairy hangs in the back, and up front sit pieces of Orange Calcite, Citrine, and a crystal which I've finally identified as Aragonite. 

All of this is sitting on an orange tablecloth with a smaller green swatch in the center. The orange is one which I've generally reserved for Samhain in the past, but I decided that I might as well use it since I likely won't even be here for Samhain, and I wanted some more color. The green is actually a piece I got in Japan during a high school calligraphy class. Hidden under my elemental items is the Japanese kanji for "festival"; it's really just as well that it's hidden, because I didn't do the neatest job of writing it. C'est la vie.

Still not entirely sure what our ritual is going to consist of - I'll continue researching that this evening - but I'm excited!

July 23rd, 2015

Oh my goodness, the crystals I ordered arrived today, and I am in love!


Rebekka's products always come very well-packaged, as you can see. The items also come with labels, so there's no confusion about what is what.


This was one of her $10 "Mystery Boxes" (contents reflected by the price), and it's like Yuletide in July! For starters, she threw in a little white tea light, which are always useful to have around for spells and rituals, and then there were the crystals themselves.


Here, a glittering chunk of Black Tourmaline.


Next, seven lovely Amethyst points - maybe now I can look into some crystal grids for dealing with anxiety!


Then, two Selenite wands - I might use one of these next Esbat!


And finally, the pièce de résistance: a palm-sized chunk of Blue Calcite. This is my new baby. It's so beautiful, and the vibration it exudes is astonishing. Expect a post regarding its properties soon. In the meantime, see the following posts on Black Tourmaline, Amethyst, and Selenite for further information.

Please do consider supporting Rebekka's business. Her store can be found here on Etsy, and truly is a quality establishment. I don't believe she has any additional mystery boxes on sale at the moment, but she always has stunning handmade crystal jewelry at very reasonable prices. I know I plan to be buying from her again!

Wednesday

July 22nd, 2015

I had such a productive day today! I found some shell shards while cleaning the other day, so I set them outside with some bread and honey as an offering (and a thank you for keeping me safe from wild drivers yesterday!).

I also got a lot done on my unicorn and fairy cross stitch, and then Destiny came over after dinner. She's going to go to Fairy Fest with me! Whoo hoo!

Saturday

July 18th, 2015

I finished reading one of my books from the thrift store today, collected some herbs from our garden, and cleaned out the big, previously very messy, space under my bed. In other words, it's been a productive Saturday, in spite of the brutal heat, humidity, and occasional torrential downpour.

Title: Power of the Witch: the Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment
Author: Laurie Cabot
©1989

Laurie Cabot is one of the closest things American witchcraft has to a celebrity. She is Salem's official witch, and has appeared on multiple television shows as a result of this fact. She is also known for always wearing robes and a pentacle in public. As a result of her national presence, her book was naturally quite successful when it was published.

My feelings on it are mixed. On the one hand, it was popular in its time, which means it influenced development of the Craft and as such is important for putting our community's emergence into a historical context. On the other hand, it is now two-and-a-half decades out of date, and definitely reads as such.

There were two major problems I had with this text: first, the language is extremely rooted in the gender binary. The phrases "men and women", "opposite gender", etc. both appear frequently, as does the assumption that only people who identify as female experience menstruation and related bodily functions. While I recognize that even today this is a common mistake made by plenty of people, I could see it being potentially very triggering for people who are transgender, nonbinary, or etc. She does clarify later that absolute male and female are only theoretical extremes on the ends of a spectrum, but that doesn't make up for the rest of the exclusionary language. Also, and this may be due to the age of the book and changes in terminology since then, but I'm reasonably sure that she equated being bisexual with being bigender, which is obviously incorrect.

The other thing I took particular issue with was more of a community problem. Cabot uses "witch" and "Wiccan" interchangeably, even though the two are fundamentally different concepts. Also, while she does use the word "Pagan" on occasion, she mentions no other branch of Paganism besides Wicca. To be fair, she does at least acknowledge that there can be witches belonging to other religions (e.g. Christian witches, Jewish witches, etc.), which I was glad to see, as that is often overlooked.

With my two largest criticisms out of the way, here are a few of the things I liked. Her account of the early history of original European Paganism wasn't perfect by any means, but it was better than a lot that I've read, especially considering when it was written. The first fifth of the book was a bit of a throw-away in my opinion, but it improved steadily from there.

She also shares many of her personal experiences in the Craft, which I always find an interesting read. Some of her narrative comes from her coven's rituals, while other parts are drawn from workshops she's taught, or from things she's experienced with her family.

Then near the end of the book, she actually gets to sharing how-to pieces of Craft info, in addition to more theoretical content. She provides several meditation sequences which I liked, as well as a lot of spells. Most of these contained oils and herbs which I don't have easy access to, but other people might find them useful. Additionally, she provides a sample altar set up, as well as ways to cast a circle or charge objects.

Overall, this wasn't the sort of thing I'd recommend rushing to the store to purchase, but for an 89¢ find at the store, I think it was worth it. 

Friday

July 17th, 2015

Cite your sources, kids.

No, really. I've spent something like ten solid hours digging through books trying to find all the places where I had gotten info for my Book of Shadows. 12-year-old me couldn't be bothered to write any of that down, and now 19-year-old me is going batty trying to locate the original authors of rituals, spells, etc.

Obviously, one should never take copyrighted material and publish it on the internet unaltered whilst claiming it as one's own. But even if your BOS is only ever going to be seen by your eyes, trust me - sooner or later, you'll want to know where you found something. And when you've read enough books, the number of possible sources gets a little overwhelming. Keeping track of source material ahead of time makes things so much easier down the road.

I just started adding footnotes to my pages. If something was from a book, I noted the title and author. If it was from a website, I noted the username and URL where it could be found. It's simple, and doesn't take up much space. It's also quick, provided you aren't trying to do it all at once seven years after the fact.


There's still some I haven't found yet, so I guess that means I need to make another trip to the library.

Monday

July 13th, 2015

I've been productive this afternoon! After months of just sort of thinking about it, I finally got up the energy to consolidate all of my Pagan files to a single jumpdrive.

I got a 8GB USB for free at school, and figured that would be sufficient for my purposes. I had typed up my Book of Shadows several years ago, so as to ensure that things were spelled correctly, formatted neatly, and etcetera. Today, I moved the BOS folder over from another, smaller drive (which is, incidentally, held together only by tape and a prayer), and also typed up some new spells I found.

Then I got all my Pagan tunes transferred from yet another drive, and am in the process of downloading some more.

I also found the font which I'd used on my original BOS pages and downloaded that .zip file again so that I could continue using it.

And last night I discovered a link to Dark Books Magic Library which has over 1,500 public domain manuscripts on the occult, Paganism, magick, Wicca, etc. You can download them all for free (although she also includes some reviews for books which are still under copyright, so those can't be downloaded). I've been stocking up interesting ones in yet another folder.

Sunday

July 12th, 2015

Destiny came over for a while this afternoon, and among other things, we decided to make God's Eye crafts. We found some redbud tree sticks out front of my house, and then I had no shortage of yarn for the actual construction.


Mine is the green, and hers is the blue.
~~~~~
The history of the God's Eye amulet is an interesting one. I've used them in the past for altar decorations at Mabon or Samhain, and have seen them conflated with the Egyptian Wedjet (Eye of Horus) elsewhere on the internet.

While they may serve similar purposes, further research tells me that the God's Eye is not Egyptian at all, but actually originated in the Americas. The jury is out on whether the design comes from the Pueblo people of present-day New Mexico, USA, or from the Huichol people of Sierra Madre, Mexico. Either way, similar crafts were produced across much of the region for spiritual and decorative purposes.

The more correct name for the God's Eye is Ojo de Dios (literally "Eye of God" in Spanish). To the Pueblo, they were tokens of celebration or blessing. Often, they were given as gifts and/or were used to bless a home. From the 1500s - 1800s, they were found along trails or places where people worked to "see" things not visible to the mundane eye. To this end they had a protective quality. They were made meditatively, either in solitude or with others, and the making was a spiritual undertaking.

The Huichol and Tepehuan natives used the Ojo de Dios as a ritual, magical, and cultural tool. They referred to them as Sikuli, which meant that the crafts symbolized the power to see that which is unknowable. Meanwhile, the four corners represented earth, air, fire, and water. Sikuli, along with other objects including feathers and arrows, were left in sacred caves as offerings to the gods. 

Some Christians have appropriated this craft as a symbol of their single, all-seeing god. 

Making and Ojo de Dios is simple. The materials are only sticks and yarn, although a drop of glue may be helpful for children. Cross the sticks, and wind the yarn around them as seen in the diagram:


They can be further decorated with beads or feathers, as desired.

Place on the altar, or hang near a door to bless and protect a space.

Saturday

July 11th, 2015

It occurred to me after posting my spell instructions yesterday that I had actually left out a rather important piece of information: what to do with the poppet once your spell has manifested. As such, here's a quick post-script to go along with that.
~~~~~
After your spell comes to fruition, you should generally dispose of the poppet. It is important to do this safely and respectfully.

Materials:

  • Scissors
  • White cloth (optional)
  • Pendulum (optional)
  • Shovel
  • A patch of dirt
First, untie or cut the thread holding the poppet against the picture. As you do so, state that the bond between person and poppet is broken. I liked the rhyme from this site, so I used a similar version:

"By moon and stars
And Goddess above
This link is now severed
With blessings and love."

Then, take apart each individual element of the poppet in the reverse order from how you made it. In my case, I removed the yarn "hair", cut open the side seam and removed the stuffing, and then undid the rest of the seaming and turned the material back wrong-side out. As you disassemble it, place the pieces on the white cloth to make them easier to transport later.

For good measure, I next recited this verse from Silver Ravenwolf's* Solitary Witch:

"The future has come, my desire was granted,
Your work is now finished, no longer enchanted.
Air will disperse and fire combust,
Water joins Spirit, earth turns to dust.
Though you must depart,
Your gifts shall remain
Blessings upon you in Goddess' name."

At this time, because I was feeling a little paranoid, I used my pendulum to check that all traces of residual energy had been dispersed from the materials. This step is unnecessary if you are comfortable with your work.
 
Pick up the cloth and carry it outside, or to wherever your dirt is. Since this was a sort of binding spell, as opposed to a banishing one, I chose to bury it on our property. Dig a small hole, remove the materials from the cloth, and bury them in the hole.

The poppet has been disposed of.

*Yes, I understand that Ravenwolf is a highly problematic source. Most of the complaints against her work are entirely valid. That, however, is a discussion for another post. I like the verbal flow of some of her verses, so I use them. If you are uncomfortable doing so, that is entirely your prerogative. Feel free to substitute that step with something else.

Friday

Greens, Greens, & Nothing But...

I finally remembered to take down that yarrow from where it's been drying. It's only been there.... two weeks?

Anyway, I got it cut into smaller portions and stashed in a nice jar:


Now I just have to pick some of my basil....