Welcome

Merry Meet, all. Hummingbird, here. 20-year-old eclectic Pagan and witch who works primarily in crystal magick and energy manipulation. Asexual, with a wonderful girlfriend. I am just beginning to learn the path of Athena. 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(

Tuesday

May 10th, 2016

I have my last final exam today, and then I can go home for the summer! I can't wait to be back in my own room (and I'm very excited about our vacation in June - more on that as events progress). I felt it was appropriate to wear what I think of as my Athena socks to class; they have owls on the tops, and say "WISE" on the bottoms.

Saturday

Bonus Beltane Pictures

These ended up on Facebook today, and I figured I'd share a few more pictures from SIPA's Beltane ritual, seeing as I was dancing around the maypole and couldn't simultaneously get pictures of people dancing.




May 7th, 2016

I had a lovely day today! There was a free community event at Touch of Nature, and I got to go kayaking for about an hour. There were a bunch of turtles on logs, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I'm a little red on my forearms, but hopefully they're not too badly burned.

After kayaking, I hiked up the trail where we built our Woods project.


At the end of the trail, I sat for a bit and stuck my feet in the lake.


I also spotted this little blue feather.


And then a snake!


And lots of lizards! This one was sitting on the step up to the deck I worked on.

Sunday

SIPA Beltane 2016

SIPA hosted their Beltane ritual this afternoon, which I was fortunately able to attend! I missed it last year because of a build day for an architecture group I'm in, and this year I was concerned it would overlap with set strike, but fortunately the times worked out. It was also supposed to storm today, but the weather turned out to be beautiful! All in all, we couldn't have had a nicer set-up for a ritual.

Today's ritual was at a shelter in Giant City, which has a lovely creek running past it. The shelter was smaller than the ones we've been at before, but since it was so nice out, it didn't matter.


Me before ritual, all dressed up with robes, a cape, Quartz necklace, and the flower crown I bought at Fairy Fest last summer.


The maypole; SIPA uses theirs three years consecutively and then burns it at Samhain. This is this maypole's second year.


Elemental banners around the Circle.


There were several dogs at today's ritual, including this little lady, Serenity.


Blowing bubbles and grilling bratwurst.


Dogs!


West side of the creek


East side of the creek, with Zeppelin the dog.


One of many red ochre rocks in the stream bed. I looked for fossils, but didn't spot any.


Waterfall into the creek.


SIPA's banner, which was incredibly difficult to hang. The gentleman on the left had to give me a leg up to tie the grommet to a nail in the wood, and then he climbed on the other guy's back to staple up the other corner.


Tying this year's ribbons to the maypole.


Our drummer getting in a good stretch so he's ready to go.


So many ribbons! Mine was a dark blue, to match my outfit.


Erecting the maypole (not my photo, I didn't have my phone during ritual).


Everyone getting ready to dance (also not my photo; that's me in the foreground). We wove in thoughts and intentions of things we wanted to grow this year. It was super fast-paced and a little chaotic, but...


...it turned out great! Our maypole, all braided up!

We had a potluck afterwards with a ton of food, and I was completely stuffed. I got back to campus around 4:00, which left me plenty of time to get ready for set strike at 4:30. I am very tired now, but it was a good day!

May 1st, 2016

A very happy Beltane to everyone! I have a lot going on today, including practicing some presentations and set strike for the last performance of the season, but I'm also going to spend part of my afternoon at a Beltane ritual! It takes me back to the first public ritual I ever attended, which must have been Beltane of 2011. I went with Hazelnut and Raincloud, and we didn't quite know what to expect, but we had a blast. Today I'll be out with SIPA, and might even get to dance my first maypole.

I hope all your festivities go wonderfully!


Book Review: Feng Shui

Title: Feng Shui: Harmony by Design

Author: Nancy SantoPietro

©1996

It's funny - this will be the third time now that I've written up a report on this book. For my Architecture History class, we were asked to make a poster and presentation about a book, and since I was already in the midst of reading this one, I decided to do my project on it. It's actually giving me a really interesting opportunity, as for the presentation component, part of my project will include talking about ways in which I have used feng shui principles in the design of my room at home. However, I wanted to do a post about it specifically for this blog, seeing as my readership here is likely more metaphysically-inclined than my classroom peers.

The short version: this is a great book. 

The long version: Nancy SantoPietro is one of only a few women in the US trained and authorized to practice feng shui professionally. Her book is forwarded by Professor Lin Yun, the founder of the Black Sect of Tantric Buddhism, and under whom she studied. Known internationally for her work, and former Chairperson of the first feng shui studies department in the country, SantoPietro is one of the foremost western experts and practitioners.

Yun's forward begins by describing a little of his sect of Buddhism, how it intersects with feng shui, and his experiences working with SantoPietro. This transitions into SantoPietro's introduction, which summarizes some of feng shui's history and its place in the modern world.

The first chapter covers the basics: fundamental principles and theories, how to quickly and easily sketch a floor plan of a building, and how to apply the bagua chart to that drawing. She also describes how to begin analyzing the relationship between floor plan and chart.

Chapter two starts getting into intentions, and how to narrow down one's focus in what changes to make. It also summarizes general categories of the kinds of things to look out for and consider altering.

Chapter three takes the reader through the nitty-gritty of designing the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, some of the most important spaces in the home. SantoPietro explains the impact that each of these has on one's life, and where design decisions can have a significant impact on one's health, wealth, and relationships.


The fourth chapter takes the reader through other spaces (the home office, dining room, living room, etc.) and offers low-cost but high-impact solutions for the problems that can occur there. These principles are really ones which can be applied in any space to produce significant results.

Chapter five covers the role of color, and six describes specific obstacles one might be facing, and where to look in one's home for design issues that could be compounding those obstacles. It also covers transcendental cures, which are in essence rituals written in a feng shui-specific context, but which incorporate elements like mantras, meditations, sympathetic magick, and other elements which western Pagans are likely already somewhat familiar with. 

The seventh chapter deals with sacred space - what it is, why we need it, and how to go about designating a truly sacred space in the home. SantoPietro goes into detail about altars, both religious and secular, and provides lists of correspondences for crystals and essential oils. 

Finally, the eighth chapter gives real examples of situations which SantoPietro's clients have faced, how SantoPietro advised them to adjust their living spaces, and the end results. This was less of an anecdotal advertisement for her work, and more of a step-by-step example about what it actually can look like to analyze a living space and change it, and thereby also change one's life. Her example stories cover a wide variety of living situations and types of people, so chances are good that there are relatable elements one can pick up on.

I will be up-front: I do not agree 100% with every single piece of advice in SantoPietro's book. There are things as an individual and as a designer-to-be which I would do differently. However, with that being said, this is an excellent manual on feng shui; it is extremely comprehensive while still being easy to follow, and there are lots of diagrams to visually illustrate the types of changes the author refers to. In general, she does a very good job of explaining the thought behind a feng shui principle, rather than just providing rules with no context, and it is clear that she is very well-versed in her practice. 

Whether you are just getting into feng shui or are already familiar with the subject, this text is a great resource. If you have any interest in using feng shui at all, definitely consider giving this book a look.

April 24th, 2016

Had a busy but good day today, part of which involved heading over to the Gaia House for a few hours, to enjoy a reception for the artists who have work in the Pagan art exhibit which has been on display there this month. We enjoyed coffee, lemonade, and an assortment of little snacks, and generally were able just to hang out and chat.


My painting, with description, that I've had hanging up.


A collection of paintings, all by one lovely individual.


A series of nature photography, all by another artist.


Triple Goddess painting by one of our more Norse-inclined practitioners.



These two photos, by SIPA director Tara, have a rather interesting story. They were taken on vacation while visiting a haunted potter's field of unnamed soldiers. Apparently, just after these were taken (on actual film, not digitally), it started to storm, so obviously there was not enough sunlight to cause lens flare (the white patches on the photos are just glare on the glossy paper; the orange is actually present). Also, these were the only two photos on the whole strip of film with these strange colors, so it couldn't have been water damage. As such, Tara's thought is that she caught some spirits on camera. The one in the top photo actually even looks humanoid.


Me with my painting.


Hand-made grimoire.


Set of runes.


And just for good measure, this is the spiral garden I helped build last spring. As you can see, the plants are pretty well-established now. The sage and kale really took over, so that's pretty much what's growing at this point.

Friday

Native Plant Giveaway

In other news, I had an exciting opportunity today to get some plants. A group on campus was giving away cuttings and seedlings of native species to help support pollinator populations, and I picked a few up!


On the left are two Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) seedlings, which produce flowers that bees love. They also have a long history of medicinal uses, which can be traced back to First Nations people from this part of the country. On the right is a little prickly pear, which apparently is another native species - I had no idea we had cacti here, but apparently this is part of their range! When I go back home, the Coneflower will go in the garden. The cactus will probably go in a pot, because I'm fairly sure our winters will be too cold for it. Hopefully I can keep them alive for the last three weeks of the semester until I can transfer them out of their little plastic containers.



Also excitingly, my plant biology professor brought in some fossil specimens she and her students had collected at an old coal mine yesterday. These came from the carboniferous forests which were part of this landscape 300 million years ago, and some of them are so well-preserved as to actually still have plant tissue in them. Apparently, they had collected so many fossils that my professor let us keep some of her examples if we wanted. The large fossil in the bottom image has now been added to my collection. I really want to go rock-hunting around here sometime!

April 22nd, 2016

The school year is finally winding down, but it seems I have as much to do as ever. This month has been particularly action-packed, as we finally got into the build phase of the project we began back in February. It took us four and a half days spread over a couple of weeks, but we finished it, and it looks great. It'll be a really functional piece of work for the environmental center's programs


When we first arrived for our last build day on Tuesday, we found this dragonfly nymph exoskeleton on the trim of our deck. In the words of our professor, our project has already started breeding life. Personally, I took it as a good omen, and things continued to go well as we finished things up.


Here we are adding some finishing touches...


Our final product; we built a deck, two tables, and a net rack for a macro-invertebrate dipping station. Originally, there was also meant to be a kiosk for signage, but as we discovered, there are a lot of subterranean rocks on our site, which meant that that piece could not be built at this time. However, the center has our drafted plans and materials, so if they later on feel like relocating that component to a different area and building it, they can do so.


Our deck, from a different angle.


We saw this lovely (and large!) snake on Tuesday, plus a water snake I couldn't get a picture of.


Later that day, I found this little guy sitting on a campus sidewalk - they were only an inch or two across!

Sunday

March 27th, 2016

I got to do some painting today! After being up past 3:00 this morning finishing up a project (better to be up late on a weekend than during the week, in my opinion), I've been able to spend most of my afternoon just relaxing and working on a piece I've been wanting to do for some time now.

I thought I had posted pictures of a picture frame I painted over the summer in offering to Athena, but I can't seem to find that post now. In any case, I had painted the frame, but at the time, had no picture to put in it. I was planning to draw something the following day, but life got in the way as it has a tendency to do. When I was home for spring break last week, I picked up that frame and brought it back to school so I could finally make something to put in it, and I had the opportunity today.


This is my painting of Lady Athena, and it isn't very big (5x7, I think?), so it only took a few hours, but I really liked how it turned out. It's not easy to tell in this picture, but some of the gold on Her armor is metallic paint. The whole painting is my own design, done in acrylics on chip board.


And here it is in the frame. I didn't consciously intend it, but it rather looks as though the feathers around Athena are floating down from the owl above Her.