Welcome

Merry Meet, all. This blog is the humble writings of a 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. If you don't like me or my beliefs, kindly don't try and convert me. I don't need to spend my limited free-time arguing with anyone over religion, least of all random strangers off the internet. Have a wonderful day, readers, and blessed be! )O(

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30th, 2014

So I never posted pictures of my Ostara altar, and I thought I should remedy that before the month is out:


As usual, the lighting was not cooperating, but what can you do? I also took a picture of my shrine, which is set for general use and is currently housing a bunch of birthday cards as a sign of gratitude.


And finally, here's a close up of the card from my grandparents, which I thought was too quintessentially Pagan to be ignored:


For the first time all spring break, it's actually warm outside, and I have my windows open for the first time in 2014. It's so nice to have sun, heat, a gentle breeze, and the sound of windchimes all at once. Here's to spring!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pagan Bowl

A few weeks ago, I threw a bowl on the potter's wheel in my Ceramics class for fun and ended up using an underglaze technique to paint it at my teacher's recommendation. What's nice about underglazes is that you can layer them and mix them exactly as you would regular paint, but it can be fired and made food safe. I ended up painting a sort of Pagan forest scene on it.


March 15th, 2014

Well, I already know I'm not going to have any time next week to make my Ostara posts, so I'll do it now, yes? I mean, let's see:
  • Sunday: Teaching Sunday School (so much irony), work
  • Monday: School, rehearsal, work
  • Tuesday: School, rehearsal until 8:00
  • Wednesday: All day rehearsal, more rehearsal, work
  • Thursday: School, rehearsal, work, MY BIRTHDAY, Ostara
  • Friday: School, rehearsal until 7:30, parent night
  • Saturday: All-day acting competition, theoretically going out for the birthday dinner I'm not getting Thursday...
I think that paints an accurate enough picture of my schedule. That's not even accounting for homework time. But enough about me. I mean, gosh, you'd think this was, like, my blog or something.

Today being the first weekend in months that I haven't had homework, I finally had a chance to power-clean my room. Ever since winter break, I've been home so little that I just had college mail piling up in corners with books and art pieces, two baskets of clean laundry waiting for me to put them away, a terribly made bed, dust all over, ceramic pieces I've made without a proper home, and on top of all that, my poor altar and shrine were still set for Yule. It feels so much better to have everything in order - I jest you not, there is a physical difference in my stress level right now. Cleaning gets rid of negativity, of course, especially since dust hangs on to it, but it also looks way nicer.
After cleaning my room, I got down to the business of fixing my altar. I got out all of my Ostara decorations (plastic eggs and silk flowers, mostly) and got the Yule stuff boxed up at last. My little brother came in as I was working on it, and he just sort of stared for a moment before saying:
"Is that all you do to make a living, besides work? Decorate your closet?"
I just laughed. He thinks it's so bizarre that I change my decorations every other month or so.
Suffice it to say, it's overwhelmingly pleasant to be caught up. Now if I could just find the motivation to sew the buttons back on my coat...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2nd, 2014

Happy Imbolg, one and all. It's been a very busy day here - I had to teach Sunday School all morning (oh, the irony), ate a quick lunch, and then worked until 4:00. It also happens to be Superbowl Sunday. Oi vey. I may not get to anything much resembling a ritual tonight, but I did start my spring cleaning yesterday and am looking forward to an evening of fun and good food with my family, which is what counts, right? Maybe I'll end up with a little extra time to sit and meditate for a while.


Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31st, 2014

WHOOPS. I just found out today, after being informed by my few friends who stalk this blog, that I haven't actually posted anything in 2014 yet. I guess I just had some posts planned out and they never made it up. Sorry about that! In remedy of this sad fact, here's an update on those metaphysical moments that continue to be interspersed with the mundane reality of school, rehearsal, and work.

The holidays are a particularly exciting time of year, but the next few months thereafter still retain some of the gift-giving spirit as we get together with those we could not meet with at Yule. My high school's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible ran Wednesday through Saturday of last week, and my dear Aunt C and her girlfriend came to see the show. We exchanged gifts with them at the same time, and I received a very fancy new camera (now maybe I can post pictures for all of you that aren't terrible) and a handmade "elf coat". She took pieces of old sweaters and created a somewhat Tim Burton-esque button-down piece. The hood is really long, almost down to the floor - that's it wrapped around my neck like a scarf.
My Aunt also made my mom one (pictured right). It's incredibly cool-looking, super warm, and I think it would make a great dress-coat for wearing in ritual on days where I just don't have the motivation to dig formal robes out of my closet.
Also after the holidays, I found myself left with a ridiculous number of Barnes and Noble giftcards, with which I bought almost a dozen new books. Most of these were fantasy (Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, etc.), but I also made a purchase of Scott Cunningham's brilliant Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic, which I consider to be a very comprehensive manual on the subject of working magic with minerals, as well as his Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner which is just such a staple title for we Pagans that it seemed a crime I'd never had the opportunity to read it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27th, 2013

It's amazing, all the little signs that come to us sometimes, saying that all is well. About a week ago, I was feeling a bit low at work when I found this:


It's the sequel to the first Rupert's Tales book that I found sometime last year, including narrative poems about Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, and Ostara (the author is Kyrja). It made me smile, and I set it on the top of the shelf as a display item. Hopefully the next person to find it smiles, too.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26th, 2013

I was bored this morning, and frequently when I am bored I play with my photomanipulation software. For lack of another idea, I decided to make a quick illustration of the chakra crystal layout I did yesterday, in case my halfhazard explanation in the previous post was somewhat ambiguous. All the images are shopped together off the internet, so don't sue me, please.


From the bottom up, the list runs as follows:


  • Grounding Cord - Andalusian Cross Stone
  • Base Chakra - Red Jasper
  • Sacral Chakra - Carnelian
  • Solar Plexus Chakra - Citrine
  • Heart Chakra - Rose Quartz
  • Throat Chakra - Turquoise 
  • Third Eye Chakra - Lapis Lazuli
  • Crown Chakra - Lepidolite
  • Higher Crown Chakra - Clear Quartz
Get comfortable - you may want a mat or a blanket, the latter especially if you're likely to get cold. I always find that energy work makes me feel warm, so I didn't use one, but you may find differently. You may want to play music - my family was watching a movie, so I popped in my earbuds, but sometimes silent meditation can be even more powerful. Lay out the stones, from the bottom up. You needn't use the same ones on my list - any stone of the same color or correspondence will do the trick if it's meaningful to you. Getting the last few in place can be a little awkward if you're working by yourself since you can't move around as much.
Then relax - your eyes can be open or closed as you prefer. Breath regularly and focus on each of the chakras in turn. As you contemplate the meaning of each energy vortex, look at your life specifically, see how each chakra relates to it, and decide what changes, if any, need to be made on an energetic level to bring things into balance. If, for example, your work with the heart chakra shows you that your relationships have been lacking due to an inner lack of self-acceptance, then broaden the energy flow to the region, filling it with white light that assimilates into the chakra's pink or green glow. On the other hand, some chakras might be too open, bringing too much of an energy into your life. If this is the case, temper the flow of the energy vortex, bringing it back down to its appropriate level. Work with the stones' natural vibrations to bring the energy centers into equilibrium.
Seek any additional insight from the meditation. Then allow excess energy to drain into the ground. Visualize it returning to the earth and being recycled through the planet's endless cycles. Before you return to your daily life, you may want to do a quick aura combing with the Quartz crystal. Just run it through your aura on all sides, allowing it to fill in any holes in the energy and smooth any rough patches. It only takes a few minutes and feels great afterwards. Make sure to cleanse your crystals after working with them.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25th, 2013

Merry Christmas to all those of the Christian faith, most of my family included. I got a lot of wonderful presents from my parents and Santa, but there were a few in particular I wanted to share...


I received Llewellyn's 2014 Faerie calendar, with illustrations by Linda Ravenscroft, and The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall. The former included this great picture:


The label read "Titania and Puck". After playing Puck in our school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream this year, I was especially appreciative thereof.

I spent most of my day reading my new book and marking the stones I already own with sticky notes. It gives a little bit of physiological information about the individual crystals, but most of the entries are delegated to explaining the metaphysical properties they have, and how they can be used in healing. The book also has an index with lots of great information, including zodiac associations, divinatory meanings, and more. Each stone is illustrated in full color.
Other than the obvious reason of "now I have a Pagan resource regarding minerals", I'm incredibly pleased with my gift because it enabled me to identify a very unusual stone of mine.
I was given one of these by my grandma earlier this year:



Neither of us had any idea what it was. Then, reading through the appropriately named Bible today, I learned that it is what is called a Chrysanthemum Stone. Look it up! Or don't - now that I know what it is, I can do a proper post about its properties in the near future. I also decided to try one of the crystal layouts recommended in the back of the book. It was a chakra layout, and a reasonably simple one at that.
I took a lie down on the floor - my bed is really too soft for this sort of work - but a firm mattress or mat would work just as well. The book said to lay a brown stone in front of the feet, a red one at the base of the spine, an orange stone below the navel, a yellow one on the diaphragm, a pink one on the chest, a blue one on the throat (don't move around too much or it'll slide off), and an indigo one on the forehead. Then place a violet stone above where your head is laying, and a white or clear stone above that. I chose to use Andalusite, Red Jasper, Carnelian, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Lepidolite, and Clear Quartz, respectively. Then I put in my headphones and played some quiet New Age music while I meditated for about 20 minutes. It was ridiculously relaxing and insightful, and it seemed to clear up both my headache and the back pain I usually get from lying on the floor. I'm definitely going to have to get into the habit of working with my stones more frequently!
And then, finally, I figured out why I've been feeling somewhat off-balance all month. After Thanksgiving, I moved my mini shrine to make space for my Yule tree. Unfortunately, I never thought to change the orientation of the things on the shrine, so that my objects for water were pointed South instead of West, and so on. I about clapped myself on the forehead when I saw that, but it's all fixed now and the energy imbalance is corrected. What a day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23rd, 2013

It is bitterly cold outside - I had trouble getting the car started after work! Yikes! Yule is past, but if you're bundled up indoors and looking for a project, here's a great one to put together this holiday season:


Yule Seed Amulets

The legend goes much like this: malevolent spirits are just that - malevolent. And on the solstices, like Samhain, the veil separating the Otherworld from ours is much thinner than its usual. These Astral nasties may choose to come bother we mortals with a string of bad luck. Fortunately for us, lesser spirits of this variety have a few consistent weaknesses. For one, they abhor salt. For another, they tend to be a bit OCD. By mixing salt and protective herbs in a small jar, any spirit of ill intent passing by it will be forced to sit and count the jar's contents, keeping them from making mischief until they leave at sun-up.
Making yourself one of these amulets is a fun, easy way to keep your home clear of negativity - moreover, the kids will get a kick out of putting them together, too. Once finished, hang the completed jar on doors, set on the porch, or hide in other creative places around the home. They also make great gifts.

Supplies:
  • Glass jar of desired size
  • Tightly fitting lid for the jar
  • Yarn, ribbon, twine, or thread
  • Salt
  • Enough protective herbs to mostly fill the jar (examples include...)
    • Anise
    • Basil
    • Bayleaf
    • Belladonna
    • Black pepper
    • Chamomile
    • Chives
    • Cinnamon
    • Clove
    • Comfrey
    • Fennel
    • Garlic
    • Ginger
    • Lavender
    • Lime
    • Mint
    • Nutmeg
    • Willow
  • Other decorations (optional)

To Make:
Pour a layer of salt into the bottom of the jar. Then add herbs until it is full.
Seeds are the best option, although in the case of cinnamon, ginger, and other like spices, a ground powder may be better. Whole or crumbled leaves can also be used as desired. Just remember that the goal is to give our less pleasant visitors something to count, so definitely include at least one ingredient that is small in size. The herbs listed above are just ideas - you only need to use one variety, and may certainly employ something not on my list. Including layers or mixtures of different herbs might make the amulet prettier. Even glitter can be added - this is an especially good option for a jar going in a child's room. Once you have the contents to your liking, screw on the lid tightly and if it is meant to hang on, above, or next to a door tie on a piece of yarn or ribbon. Other decorations may be added as desired - a small pentacle charm, for example, or other carving of a protective symbol. Sigils of protection can also be drawn or painted right onto the glass.

 

This larger jar might get set among the flowerpots or next to the stoop.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22nd, 2013

Happy Yule, everybody! (Oops, it was yesterday.) My grandparents came to visit, so I've been enjoying the holiday with them, and felt it would be gauche to sit on the internet and ignore them, hence my lack of posting yesterday.

This image may or may not have appeared on the family Christmas card this year, recreated by me (I'm not the artist, so apologies to the owner):


There's really only so many times one can draw baby Jesus before it all begins to feel a bit contrived. I've tried, for the last few years, to draw something a bit less religion-specific. After all, my Aunt C is getting one of these, too...

Once again, happy Yule to my Pagan followers. To everyone else, enjoy the season and any holidays you may or may not celebrate. It's the spirit of love and happiness that really counts, after all.