Healthy Self-Promotion

I hope my readers will forgive me a little bit of schilling for my new Etsy store.

You can find it at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TwistedMagic

I’m selling miniature wire trees, perfect for altars! I’d also like to branch out into a little more stone and metal pagan artwork. Here’s a sample of my work:

apatite

Please think of me kindly if you know someone who needs a representation of the Tree for their altar!

Some History of Sympathetic Magic

“Very Superstitious” — a history of belief in and disdain for sympathetic magic:

As the world was becoming more ordered and codified via patriarchal religion and a burgeoning system of capitalism, magic was seen as a threat because it circumvented these structures: it offered a life outside the authority of the Church and the hierarchies it had carefully cultivated. Little had changed; people still felt powerless in the face of nature, but now instead of turning to magicians, they blamed them. The Church, after all, rarely attacked sympathetic magic on the grounds that it was empirically fallacious or ineffective—rather, it was a rival source of power. Among the many scandalous aspects of witches’ sabbaths as they were popularly depicted was the commingling of social classes: women—and increasingly men—of all walks of life, from peasants to the aristocracy, all were equal at the Midnight Mass. This vision of a dark Utopia was as threatening—if not more so—than any of the black rites practiced therein.

 

On Fairies and Pain…

What’s the best remedy for pain? A project, of course.

Hence, fairy dolls.

I took the pattern from book by from the Wee Folk Studio and got the idea from a grove-friend who used the same book to make representations of her patrons. I, too, want to make representations, but I thought it best to start with some fairies for practice. I haven’t named this little lady yet, but I’m pretty pleased with how she turned out. She’s only three and a half inches tall, give or take an inch because of her overlarge wings… I think you can see a glue bottle in the background as a point of reference.

Making her, as I said, was a distraction. My grandmother is terminally ill and can no longer recognize any of us.

I had wondered how my pagan faith would sustain me through grief — my once-upon-a-time Christian faith didn’t survive another loss, but that’s a story for another day. And the answer to my wondering is this: I feel comfort. I feel faith. I feel sorrow, but I feel I can carry on.

And I did always say there were still fairies in the world.

Show-and-Tell Monday

It’s late, but it is Monday, after all, and that means it’s show and tell day!

Today’s photo comes to you courtesy of… my phone!

Stream

This is the little stream in the forest near my home. There’s a flat white rock that extends a little bit out into the water, which I like to sit on and study the forest as part of my nature awareness training. I think most of the water in this stream is stormwater runoff, but there’s a fairly steady amount of water moving through it at all times. It gets vicious sometimes, this little stream, after heavy storms, and right now there’s a trail-marker post in it, carried downhill by floodwaters.

This is a slightly frivolous post in the midst of the many “How do we–or do we–define ourselves as Pagans?” posts out there. In some ways, it’s right, though, and expressive of my opinion on the subject. Sometimes we just are what we are, whether we like it or not. This stream is composed mostly of runoff, and it probably ends in a retention pond. Despite that, though, it’s fearsome and winsome and many other -somes in between.

Whether we like it or not, to much of the world, including some of ourselves, we are Pagans. Do I think of myself as Pagan? Sure. Is that good? I’m not sure. Is it bad? I don’t think so. Why not own what we are, or at least what we’re called, and flow into the ocean (or the retention pond, whichever the case may be) with grace and power? Here’s a quote from Anne of Avonlea, which I think speaks to the issue:

“I think her parents gave her the only right and fitting name that could possibly be given her,” said Anne. “If they had been so blind as to name her Elizabeth or Nellie or Muriel she must have been called Lavendar just the same, I think. It’s so suggestive of sweetness and old-fashioned graces and ‘silk attire.’ Now, my name just smacks of bread and butter, patchwork and chores.”

“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Diana. “Anne seems to me real stately and like a queen. But I’d like Kerrenhappuch if it happened to be your name. I think people make their names nice or ugly just by what they are themselves. I can’t bear Josie or Gertie for names now but before I knew the Pye girls I thought them real pretty.”

“That’s a lovely idea, Diana,” said Anne enthusiastically. “Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn’t beautiful to begin with… making it stand in people’s thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself. Thank you, Diana.”

Yep, I just quoted Anne of Green Gables. Some may quote philosophers, others may quote sacred texts… I quote novels, be they childrens’ books or great literature. Why? Because I take wisdom where I find it.

Let’s beautify our names, shall we? Even if we can’t agree what it means or even who it means, let’s agree that it stands for something good.

Show and Tell

In conversation with Teo Bishop, I’ve realized how lonely a digital-only community is. Yes, I have a grove here now, but I’m not a full member and don’t know them very well, and–as yet–I still feel more connected to many of my online friends than to the grove members.

This post is the first of a new category I’m calling Show and Tell. These posts will be to provide little real-world glimpses into my life and practice. Feel free to join me–in fact, please do!

DSCN1376

Today’s photo is of the unaltered stack of books and my work notebook on my coffee-table. Because  I don’t have a desk, I work from my couch, so the coffee table tends to get stacked with everything I’m using. Also in the photo are my new Oghams! I ordered them from an Etsy seller in the UK, who made each stave from the wood the rune represents. I’m new to Ogham, and have a book on the way to start learning.