Welcome

Merry Meet, all. Hummingbird, here. 20-year-old eclectic Pagan and witch who works primarily in crystal, boundary, and energy magicks. 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, 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(

Friday

July 22nd, 2016

I've spent the last week working on a bit of a sewing project. Last summer, I made myself a weighted blanket (which you may or may not remember from this post); I love it, and so does my girlfriend, so I offered to make her one of her own at the next opportunity. Last Friday, I was able to go pick up supplies, and I finished it this morning.


As I did last year, I selected four little crystal chips and added one along with the poly-pellets in each corner. I chose two Quartz, one which I think is Moonstone, and a black one I couldn't identify but which I figured would still pick up on protective, grounding energies by virtue of its color. I cleansed them all, and empowered them to instill the blanket's user with comfort and peace. As that is sort of the point of a weighted blanket anyway, I liked the idea for reinforcing the blanket's purpose.


Here's the finished blanket. Blue is her favorite color, and the fabric has a really fun, soft texture. The grey backing fabric has a much more subtle pattern, but it's also a pile fabric, which makes it soft. It was important to me to be listening to videos that exhibit a positive energy while I worked, because it is my belief that when sewing, knitting, or otherwise making textile crafts, it is possible to weave one's thoughts and energies into the piece itself that can then affect the user.

I'm very happy with how it came out. It also took me a lot less time to make this than my green one from last summer, which was a bonus, and in general it just ended up looking neater now that I have more practice.

With Lughnasadh coming up soon, this is a great time of year for arts and crafts of all kinds, as Lugh is a god of artisans and the season can tend towards that direction. As it is, I always enjoy making gifts, and I especially like to add little bits and pieces of magick to the things I make.

Weighted blankets are wonderful tools for people like myself who find the feeling of gentle pressure to be soothing. Autism, ADHD, and other forms of neurodiversity can affect sensory input, which may make the sensation of pressure more appealing, although I am sure there are also neurotypical people who would enjoy a weighted blanket as well. For anyone interested, these instructions are the ones which I followed, and I liked them a lot.

Sunday

July 17th, 2016

I've had some research on Aventurine written up for a long time now, but I apparently never typed it out. Since I've been posting about the stones I acquired while on vacation, of which a rough piece of Aventurine was one, this seems like as good a time as any to publish this.
~~~~~
Aventurine


Physical Characteristics: Aventurine is most commonly found as a green, lustrous stone, although orange and brown varieties also exist.

In Nature: This stone's characteristic shine comes from the inclusion of Fuschite, a Muscovite-bearing Mica. The effect is referred to as "aventurescence". Aventurine may be confused with Sunstone or Malachite, while Goldstone, also known as Aventurine Glass, may be sold as imitation Aventurine.

Chemical Composition: K(Al, Cr)2AlSi3O10(OH)2

Mohs Scale Hardness:
 7 (high)

Can be Found: Primarily India, Chile, and east of the American Rockies; also Brazil, Russia, Spain, Austria, and Tanzania

Healing Properties*:
Green Aventurine is a helpful partner in psychotherapy, treating heart and lung disorders, and increasing muscle flexibility. It also improves eyesight. The stone treats skin disease, such as eczema and other rashes, and eliminates warts. It improves metabolism and the digestive system.

Magickal Properties: Aventurine is a lucky stone, especially the green variety. It brings opportunity, and is most often noted as a stone for gamblers. Additionally, Aventurine strengthens one's sense of self and helps to reinforce a positive outlook. Relieving anxiety, Aventurine soothes the emotions. It enhances a healthy sense of humor and cheerfulness, and may also draw unexpected adventure or luck in love. Aventurine provides balance and can aid in dreaming. It clears the aura, and helps one to find independence. Moreover, the stone encourages creativity, and brings success to artists.

Chakra Association: Sixth (Third Eye) and Seventh (Crown) chakras

Element: Air

Energy:
Projective

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!

Saturday

July 16th, 2016

Bubblegum Agate


Physical Characteristics: This is a kind of eye Agate, which gives it a spotted appearance. Bubblegum varieties are typically red, pink, yellow, and/or grey.

In Nature: Scientists remain uncertain how eye Agates form, but one theory shared in Minnesota Rocks & Minerals states that this formation, which occurs in gas bubbles called vesicles, happens when the vesicle is given access to more silica than other Agates of a comparable size, and that excess material interacts with the crystal structure to build the hemispherical spots. Eye Agates are usually small, pea- to palm-sized.

Chemical Composition: SiO2

Mohs Scale Hardness: 6.5 - 7 (high)

Can be Found: South Dakota, USA

Healing Properties*:
None noted beyond the psychological benefits listed below.

Magickal Properties: As they are fairly rare, there is little research readily available on the metaphysical properties of Bubblegum Agate outside of some anecdotal information. That being said, one crystal healer's YouTube series describes it as a stone of the inner child, helping one rediscover a lost sense of playfulness and wonder. Additionally, if you are the sort of person who has difficulty indulging or taking time for yourself, Bubblegum Agate can help you better manage your self-care.

Chakra Association: First (Root) chakra

Element: Fire

Energy: Projective

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!

Friday

July 15th, 2016

Ammolite/Opalized Ammonite


Physical Characteristics: Opalized Ammonites, known as Ammolites, are fossils wherein the animal's shell has been replaced by Aragonite, along with impurities like Calcite and Pyrite. This gives them a characteristic iridescence, usually in shades of red and green.

In Nature: Ammanoid cephalopods first appeared in the Devonian period, over 400 million years ago, going extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. They are classified by the gas chambers in their spiral shells. After their deaths, the ammanoids fossilized into Ammonites, some of which became Ammolites.

Chemical Composition: CaCO3 with impurities

Mohs Scale Hardness: 3.5 - 5 (low to middle)

Can be Found: Most are found on the eastern slopes of the North American Rocky Mountains.

Healing Properties*: Ammolite is considered psychologically beneficial, strengthening one's will to live and offering energy and stamina. It has also been employed to ease childbirth, and to stabilize blood pressure.

Magickal Properties: Ammolite has been prized around the world as a symbol of many deities, especially those with curved horns. Pliny the Elder called them hammonis cornu, "the horns of Ammon", from the Egyptian god Amun, a ram-headed god. In one legend from the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) Nation, the Ammolite, with its form like a bison, first taught a young woman how to call the bison to be hunted. In Ethiopia, the stone was said to grant deep meditative states and prophetic dreams; today, it remains a common practice to use the spiral shape of the stone to draw one down a coiled astral path on spiritual journeys of all types, including communion with deity and past-life regression.

Ammolites and Ammonites may also be the fabled "dragonstones" or "draconites" described in some texts as protecting against poison, venomous animals, or one's enemies. In terms of sympathetic magick, the Ammolite was once home to a living creature. Therefore, it can be used in magick relating to the home, including protection, selling a house, and moving. 

The stones are protective and radiate Earth energies. As such, Ammolite is a source of grounding and of survival. Its horn shape hearkens back to the cornucopia, and so it is likewise a stone of prosperity. Ammolite can carry one into the subconscious as well as the astral - use it to transform the emotions, especially as they apply to repression, trauma, and problematic familial patterns.

Chakra Association: Particularly the First (Root) chakra, although it works with them all

Element: Akasha

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

July 13th, 2016

I've spent some time the last few days researching the stones I acquired on our June vacation, and I am pleased now to share my research. I'll probably spread posts out over the next few days, but to get things started, let's consider Snowflake Obsidian. For other posts related to this crystal, check out Obsidian and Apache Tears.
~~~~~
Snowflake Obsidian

Physical Characteristics: Obsidian is a naturally-occurring volcanic glass. It is most commonly black, although other colors can also be found.

In Nature: A chemical instability in Obsidian causes the stone to crystallize gradually. It does this unevenly throughout the stone, with these areas becoming radial clusters of grey-white Cristobalite crystals. The Cristobalite resembles snowflakes, especially when tumbled.

Chemical Composition: SiO2 + MgO, Fe3O4

Mohs Scale Hardness:
5 - 5.5 (middle)

Can be Found:
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, Japan, United States (e.g. Yellowstone), etc.

Healing Properties*:
 In the body, Snowflake Obsidian is most commonly used to manage problems with the skeleton, symptoms of mental illness, and blood circulation.

Magickal Properties: My mother's cousin gifted me my piece of rough Snowflake Obsidian, and she told me when she did that it is a stone of centering, which it is. This makes it a good anchor in chaotic situations. The stone is useful for removing negative energy from a space, and could be beneficial during shadow work or at other times when harmful thoughts and emotions need to be dealt with. Likewise, it is useful when cleansing a space because of its ability to absorb negativity. It helps to foster inner peace in the face of turmoil, and is generally protective in nature. A stone of balance, the black and white of Snowflake Obsidian represents the union of opposites.

Chakra Association: First (Root) chakra

Element: Earth

Energy: Receptive

Planetary Association: Saturn

*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

Spooky Yellowstone

While we were in Montana, on the way up to Glacier, we stopped for a few hours in the town of Livingston. Long considered the "gateway to Yellowstone", Livingston has had a long history of locomotive activity and tourism, and we spent time in their local railway museum. While there, I purchased a book about hauntings in Yellowstone, because I was not aware there were any, and it seemed like it might be neat to learn about them before we went there.

Title: Spooky Yellowstone: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore

Author: S. E. Schlosser

© 2013

Schlosser is a storyteller with a literature degree, who also developed and maintains AmericanFolklore.net, a site which collects folklore from across North and Central America, with legends from all fifty states. Her book, Spooky Yellowstone, draws on a wide variety of resources, including websites, newspapers, personal interviews, and texts.

The book opens with a map of Yellowstone marking places where the various sightings Schlosser recounts took place. I appreciated the inclusion of such a map, not only because it gives a visual of the spread of incidents across the park, but also because it makes it easier to compare to an actual map and find potential ghost-sighting routes. I wasn't able to convince my family to go ghost-hunting (we were a little pressed for time as it was), but we did pass by some allegedly haunted areas, which was neat to make note of.

Part One of the text retells 13 different accounts of ghost sightings, some of them modern and some of them hearkening back to the early days of the national park. My personal favorite was the story of a ghost train on the Cinnabar track ruts. While some of them felt more authentic than others, these were stories which on the whole were fairly straightforward tales of the paranormal.

Part Two goes on to describe other miscellaneous occurrences outside the explicable. Some of them resemble hauntings in nature, or, as in Fire!, examples of psychometry in action, with participants accidentally touching on a strong memory related to an area. Others were stranger, including one Bigfoot sighting, and one story of black magic gone wrong which was a bit too far-fetched for me.

Spooky Yellowstone was an interesting text with some stories that make me wish all the more that we could have spent longer exploring the national park. That being said, some of them also struck me as being a bit dubious. Was it fun to read? Yes. However, I would not call it a comprehensive guide to finding ghosts in Yellowstone. For me, it probably falls into that category of books which I liked, but did not need to pay full price for.

July 12th, 2016

I mentioned that it's been kind of a roller-coaster summer, including a lot of family matters. Last Tuesday, my great-grandmother passed away at 97 years of age. I certainly did not know her as well as some, but I do know I was fortunate to have a great-grandmother in my life for so many years. We attended the visitation last night, and the funeral was this morning.


Here I am after the fact, still in black.

While my family (my mother and grandmother in particular) grieve, I will honor her in my own way as best I can. I don't have much space in my room for an ancestor altar, but I set aside a little area next to my working altar in which to display some items I've gathered together.


From left to right, I have first a photograph from one of my great-grandma's Christmas parties. I don't happen to have a photo of her personally, but her Christmas parties were always special to her as a way to get the whole family together. Then I have the programs from the funeral and the visitation, an Ammonite fossil because their spiral shape is associated with life and eternity, and a pocket watch which belonged to my great-grandpa, who I never knew seeing as he passed away before I was born. I also have a candle.

Perhaps it's sentimental of me, but when we arrived at the cemetery for the funeral, there was a pair of mourning doves sitting on a telephone pole across from the gate, and I couldn't help but wonder if maybe it was a sign that great-grandma and great-grandpa were together and happy again.

Saturday

New Stones and Grid

I bought a few stones while we were on vacation, and I was also gifted a few. I saw lots of really neat ones, but I'm happy with what I restricted myself to.


These are the two I bought, actually from the rock shop in Wall Drugstore. Above is an opalized Ammonite fossil, and below is a piece of South Dakota Bubblegum Agate. The Ammonite was a little expensive, but I've never had any Opal before, so I was okay with that.


These two were gifted to me by a cousin of my mom's, who is an avid crystal collector. The top one is a chunk of rough Aventurine, and the bottom is a chunk of rough Snowflake Obsidian.

Then somewhat out of the blue, I got a message from a friend of mine (whose name and pseudonym I will leave out of this particular story) who was having some trouble with a malevolent entity in her household. I was out of the house at the time, but when I got back, I put together this crystal grid to help deal with the issue.


The crystals are all situated on a circular rug which gives the grid a clear boundary. In the center, my Generator Quartz is sitting on its box to tie together the energies of the other stones and send them out. Around it is a blue circle my friend crocheted a while back to act as a taglock, and then I have two more Quartz points facing the Generator for extra power. On either side are some olive leaves to bring in the power of Athena, and I also added the bird skull I found at Mabon because I felt drawn to include it.

In a ring around that, I alternated Tiger's Eye (and a Fluorite, because I only had three Tiger's Eye) with Smoky Quartz, Ametrine (I couldn't find my Citrine last night, although it has since turned up), Red Jasper, and Rose Quartz, and in the final outer ring are all the protective stones: Snowflake Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Onyx, Apache Tear, and enough Tektites to bring the total stone count in that ring up to 12.

I was really happy with how it came out, and it seemed to do its job, which was to send protection and energy to my friend, who was really drained by the whole ordeal. 

Today, things have gotten largely back on track, so I took it down as it was a little obvious in the middle of my floor. I cleansed each of the stones before I put them away; I don't know that they would have picked up a lot of negativity all the way over here, but it seemed like a good practice, anyway.

July 9th, 2016

Well, you know what they say about a road paved with good intentions... It seems like every time I think it might be calming down enough that I could update this blog regularly, life decides to have a laugh at my expense. June was very, very busy between a vacation, bridal shower, and almost every conceivable sort of family issue. Anyway, I am back. I have some pictures from our trip that I will share (I'd been hoping to liveblog it, but the hotels we stayed in usually didn't have wifi), at least to start things off.


Mussel shell on a lake shore in Albert Lea, MN.


The Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD.


The Badlands National Park, SD.


Big horned sheep (with a baby!) in the Badlands, SD.


Mt. Rushmore in SD.


Devil's Tower National Park in SD.


Little Bighorn National Cemetery, SD.


Lakota prayer cloths tied to a bush in Little Bighorn, SD.


Sunset over Colombia Falls, MT.


Glacier National Park, MT.


McDonald Falls in Glacier, MT.


Rocks on the riverbank in Glacier, MT.


Mountains on Going to the Sun Rd. in Glacier, MT.


Snow melting into a waterfall in Glacier, MT.


Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park, WY.


An enormous chunk of Aventurine next to my foot; apparently it's a fairly rare stone, but happens to occur in a small town in Montana.


The Paint Pots in Yellowstone, WY.


Blue Star Spring in Yellowstone, WY.


Old Faithful Geyser erupting in Yellowstone, WY.


Grand Tetons National Park, WY.

Overall, it was a really cool trip. There was a lot of driving, but we got to see lots of amazing scenery and wildlife. I brought home some stones, of course, and a book, which I will eventually get to writing about, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the photos, and I apologize for the long break from posting.

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.