Thursday, December 1, 2016

My December Photo Challenge

Hm, well, I found my motivation to switch everything over, from fall to winter, except I realized that we lost the most important item to our decorating.  The stand for the tree.  Figures.  So, yeah, might have to order a replacement, since I don't trust my craftiness with the craziness that are my toddlers.

In other news, I'm busy looking for a December or a Yuletide Photo Challenge, and so far I haven't found anything that I like.  Not even with the Christmas or December Challenges.  I guess, I'm going to have to make one up.  Here I go:

  1. From November to December
  2. Red & White
  3. Arts and Crafts
  4. Hot Cuppa
  5. Pine
  6. Ribbons and Bows
  7. Oak & Holly
  8. Garland
  9. Tradition
  10. Donations
  11. Silver & Gold
  12. Fireplace
  13. Frost
  14. Winter Moon
  15. Charity
  16. Stars 
  17. Joy
  18. Tree
  19. Decorations
  20. Odin
  21. Winter 
  22. Julbocken
  23. Sweet Treats
  24. Eve
  25. Thankful
  26. Rest
  27. Warmth
  28. Father Sun
  29. Dark Moon
  30. Reflection
  31. Dionysus' Day
Eh, I probably should've started this last month, but I was busy doing the November Challenge.  I dunno, I'll keep looking night.  Or perhaps I won't go with these prompts, just take a Decembery photo every day, resorting to it when I'm at a loss, I suppose.

Plus, I still have to put the finishing touches on my year long photo challenge.  Oh, and all of the crochet projects that I have to finish before Christmas...


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dark Moon Deipnon Confusion

So I was talking to Circle about my Dark Moon Deipnon confusion, and she said that the Deipnon is usually before or after the Dark Moon.  She, like many, usually have it on the Dark Moon.  I was thinking about keeping it that way, especially since Hecate wants Her blood offering on that day.

Then I got to thinking about how They're pushing me towards the Hellenion Calendar.  Technically today is the Deipnon, tomorrow's the Noumenia, and the 2nd is the Agathos Daimon.  So, I'm probably going to have my Dark Moon for the Ancestor's--Ancestor's Moon--and Her blood offering.  Then the Deipnon, and so on.  There may be days where the Deipnon is before the Dark Moon, but I feel odd about having the Noumenia on the Dark, we'll see.  It's ever changing for me as my understanding grows.  Baby steps.

Dark Moon - Ancestors, Hades and Persephone..  Hecate's blood offering.  I dunno.  Definitely the ancestors and Her offering.  Feeling unsure about the other two.
Deipnon - Honoring Hecate.  Cleansing.
Noumenia - Honoring the Household Gods.  Replenishing.
Agathos Daimon - Honoring the House Spirits.  ...crap...I forgot, and I don't have my notebook over here...

Yes, there's that.  Tonight I just cleaned some more, made sure all of my ritual dishes were ready.  Tomorrow I'll honor the Noumenia.

Friday, I'm finally getting my books!  Hellenic Polytheism: Household Worship Vol 1, and Kharis and Komos by Sarah Kate Istra Winter.  Finally!


Dark Moon's Messenger

Last night's Dark Moon shrine, honoring Hecate, Persephone, Hades, Hermes, and my Ancestors. With offerings of menstrual blood (for Hecate), dark chocolate, pomegranate seeds, water, milk, and wine.

Today's is the Noumenia, and I must say, I'm looking forward to my replenishing duties.  I was tired and distracted last night, even before the cleaning--dishes, vacuuming, unclogging and fixing the vacuum cleaner, wiping counters and cleaning the stove top.  I actually have some energy today.  

Last night, I also made one part of my Aphrodite shrine, a glass bottle filled with sand from Her beach and light pink glass beads.  I also have a trinket box that I'm going to paint light pink and blue, and fill it with shells, the perfume, little things that I come across, and I'm going to print out that beach picture--wallet size--and put it inside, too.  

With limited space, I asked Dionysus and Ceres if it would be okay to keep the bottle on Their shrine and They answered nope.  Better place is up in my room, so on my dresser it sits.  Once I get the box finished, I'll share it.  

Dionysus likes the idea of me using amethyst to represent Ariadne.  Figured, since myth says that He turned Her into one.  I found His trinket box last night and put some items from His shrine inside.  Once I get a large chunk of amethyst, I'm putting the corks in the box, and the stone, surrounded by blue beads, into the wooden bowl.  Until I get a wooden phallus, Dionysus also wants me to put a vibrator on the shrine.  An actual sex toy, not just a representation, which is what I had.  It can still be discreet.  

Sunday, I seen a young bald eagle taking flight at Highbanks.  A blessed sight, indeed.  Last night, I dreamt of seeing that bald eagle again.  I was hunting in a November wood.  It was still, the fallen leaves were a rustic orange and copper.  I saw the back of the eagle again, only this time, when he turned, showing his underbelly, he turn into a large grey and brown mottled owl.  Silently gliding through the trees, hunting.  At one point, he caught a mouse, and soared off.  

I should mention that when it was the eagle, the woods were darker, colors more muted.  Then when it became the owl, that's when the woods brightened up a bit.  

I've worked with Owl before--Barn Owl is one of my Guides, and I believe she's connected to Hecate.  Barn Owl helped me work on my psychic abilities and divination studies.  

I got on Facebook this morning, and saw that a High Priestess whom I'm taking classes from had seen an owl yesterday, while she was deer hunting.  

Kind of interesting.  

According to Spirit Animals & Animal Totems, Owl is a symbol for change and transitions.  Well, that's certain what happened in the dream.  Change for the good.  And to see what's hidden, which is also what the great hunting owl did.  He spotted the tiny hidden mouse and carried it off in his beak.  

Also from that site, "In Indian American traditions, the owl is called the Night Eagle. The owl totem has a special connection with the night and the moon, while the eagle is connected to the sun."
Which I find interesting, since the eagle was flying just after sunset, and the owl during the day.  

From Spirit Animals, "This totem gives you the power to extract secrets. Listen to its voice inside of you. You will hear not what others are saying, but what is hidden. You can detect subtleties of voice that others cannot. People cannot deceive a person who has an this totem because you can see into the darkness of others souls. Most Owl people are clairvoyant because of this ability. It can be very scary at times. Learn to trust your instincts about people".
This is interesting as well, since I've noticed a change in my empathic abilities.  I'm able to sense people around me...I mean, like more than a couple of feet from me.  On Election Day, it was so overwhelming, it felt like I was feeling the whole nation!  Then on Monday, there was an attack at a local university--OSU--and I could feel the locals.  Strong, overwhelming, but it wasn't a bad overwhelm.  Overall it was hopeful, not like the fear and anxiety that I felt with Election Day.  

So yeah, my empathy has grown a lot, and I'm learning how to distinguish the emotions of this large local group--generally--better.  I'm learning how emotions feel, what each sensation means.  What hope feels like, pain, fear, anger, love, joy, and so on.  Instead of feeling the negative and running, I'm purposely putting myself in these energies to learn from them.  It's pretty enlightening and cool.  

I'm also able to ground these energies a lot better, too.  Suck em up like a sponge from my space, and push them into the ground, out of me and my home.  

Ha, again, another post that I was hoping to make about Dionysus.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Exploring Those Long and Winding Paths

Tonight's the Deipnon, and do I not have any energy for it!  I'm on my period, which is great for Hecate, because that means fresh offerings!  However, I am going to the gym later this evening, so woot woot for that!  I over ate in Kentucky--damn hillbilly food.  Damn delicious, artery clogging Appalachian food.  Ugh, I feel so damn fat and disgusting...  so I went to Highbanks Metro Park on Sunday and got a bit of exercise, though to be honest, it's a photography hike.  It's kind of slow, ya know, looking for that perfect shot.  And I'm into details and macro-photography, so I'm really taking my time!  (And listening to the Elementals and Gods, watching the barking squirrels and chitter chattering birds, wishing that I had a long zoom lens!)

Oh, I also saw a bald eagle when was I driving around the park!  I saw its dark brown back and white tail.  It flashed its belly, which was a mottled white and brown, indicating that it was a younger eagle, but still fairly large.  My mind was on Dionysus, Aphrodite, and photography, three topics that seem to have taken over my brain as of late!

"Your light will shine if you only let it. Know that your higher self will only give you straight forward, positive and encouraging support." - Spirit Animal Totems

I'm also drawn to winding paths, here's a shot from Sunday:

Highbanks Metro Park, Delaware, Ohio

Speaking of winding paths and photography, my husband saw that I was looking for some music for my devotional work for Aphrodite.  And he was curious to know who was pushing me to explore my bisexuality and polyamory curiosity.

Dionysus, of course.

Like Him, Aphrodite is more than just sex.  She's love, beauty, passion, art, self-esteem, joy, pleasure.  These things don't just pertain to sex.  Just as Dionysus is more than just wine and madness.

"Open your heart to the noble secrets of art and love. Treasure the gifts of friendship. Seek joy and inspiration in the mysteries of love." - Ten Commandments, Elder Scrolls

This is one of Dibella's quotes, from Elder Scrolls.  I've gotten into the habit of reading it on the full moon, along with hymns and devotionals for the Theoi.  As some of you know, Dionysus has taken the form of Dibella, and has helped me work on female social issues and self esteem,  Never have I felt Aphrodite concerning Dibella, although it certainly would make sense.  However, this commandment I feel more connects to the Aphrodite that I'm getting to know.  Especially the "of art" part.

I've talked about this in other recent posts, although to be honest, I think She's more drawn to flowers, bright colors, and shades of pink, especially in the sky, than a muted, pre-wintery November landscape.  I could be wrong.  But even in this time of death and the barren earth, beauty exists and color flourishes, you just gotta know where to look.  And how to look.

A few months ago, I bought a beautiful ombre pink scarf because of Her.  Back before I was really drawn to Her, part of me thought She might like it.  I never used to like pink!  Since college, I've found myself drawn to it, and now I'm quite fond of it.  I've never worn the scarf as a veil, although that was my intention, mainly because I don't have anything to go with it, and I really don't think it's a color that looks good with my skin tone.  However, when I build a shrine for Her, I'm using it.  I've already been collecting shells from local rivers and lakes; sand from the beach; some for Her, some for Poseidon and Amphitrite.  I already have a lovely large swan statue that my husband's grandmother gave me a few years ago that I think She'll love.

Slowly I'm building until I have a better spot for Her, instead of the blue perfume bottle that sits on the shared Theoi shrine.  I think before I put it all together, I want a statute first.  Which begs the question of what?  Normally I like more modest statues, but for Aphrodite, I'm down with the classic Birth of Venus, although I have come across other beautiful depictions of Her, too.

Until then, I'm keeping Her items in a trinket box.  I have one for Hestia-Vesta already, and am thinking about making one for Dionysus and Ceres, too.  Their space is getting a little crowded.

Here are three songs that I listen to for Aphrodite:

Someone from a Hellenic facebook group shared Layne Redmond's Invoking Aphrodite, so I've been checking that album out on youtube, here and there.

So yeah, Aphrodite been about art and building my confidence as an artist, whereas Dionysus has been helping me explore my sexuality, build my self-esteem, and other female issues--again things that I've already written about in other posts.  Although since Aphrodite came around, Dibella has not.  *Shrugs*  Roll with it.  For that matter, neither has Mara...or any of the other Elder Scrolls divinities.  Perhaps Their time has gone?  The Theoi are taking over my personal pantheon.  Although Kuan Yin, Tara, the Mary's, Vesta, Ceres, and Death are still around, so it's not a complete take over.  (Although as I re-read this, I felt Mara.)

Ha, when I started this post, I wanted the focus to be on Dionysus....guess the Muses had other plans, eh?  Perhaps I'll get holiday post out about Him later?

In other news, since having written the general Hellenic calendar down, I'm feeling a push to begin acting on it.  I don't know that I'm going to adhere to the Hellenion calendar, or if I'm going to...I dunno.  I'm a little confused by the calendar, but I think Poseidon is about to begin.  Although the website has the Deipnon on the 30th, and I thought that it was supposed to be on the Dark Moon, which is today.  I mean, I know that the last day of every month is sacred to Hecate, and I think that November 30th honored Hecate Trivia--Her role as Goddess of the Crossroads.  I don't know a whole lot about this day, and brief research says that Trivia is a Roman Goddess of the Crossroads.  Hecate's Roman counterpart.

I don't really know, for me, I honor Hecate as Titaness of the Spirit World on Ancestor's Day.  I don't know that I'm going to celebrate Hecate Trivia, simply because I don't know Trivia--I don't feel a connection to Her, even as I read about Her, and my knowledge is few and far between.  I meant to research it earlier this month, but life.  However, I do honor Hecate on the last day of every month and on Dark Moon's (which I also call Ancestor's Moon, where I hold a ritual for them, too).

I'll do some more researching and reflecting, although the calendar is based on the lunar cycle (I think), and tonight's the Dark why not give it a try?  I might just do what I know, as has been instructed in the past.  I'm more of a combination of Recon and Re...uh...vitalist?  No, Revivalist.  Or I might just say that I'm eclectic.  As with others, it depends.  Sometimes I'm more of a Recon and others, I'm more of a Revivalist.

I'm just me, trying to find what works.  Still researching the history and classical art because I love it and I've always been drawn to Greco-Roman history and such. I love learning about the traditions and how people perform their own rituals within this path, this religion.  I try and experiment.  I live and learn.  I find what works for me.

I've also been thinking about the Impure Days and Katharmos, too, and incorporating khernips more in my bathing rituals than usual.  I wear veils already, Impure Day or not.  But as the Impure Days are upon us, it's just been on my mind.

Speaking of "impure" (as some HP's view witchcraft as miasmic and hubris--obviously, I don't), I've been thinking about how I don't feel the connection to the term Witch anymore, right?  Yet until I find a better term, I have been using it.  I've come across some who call themselves Hellenic Witches.  Makes sense, but not for me.  It's not for me because Hellenic Polytheism is my faith, and witchcraft is my practice.  Although my practice isn't as secular as it used to be, it's still separate.  So, no "Hellenic Witch" doesn't work for me either.  Domestic Witch I still am.

Although....I could transform "Hearth Keeper" into a magikal practice, instead of just a faith term.  I dunno.  It's a name that Hestia called me one day, so I can ask Her what She thinks.  I am the Keeper of this Hearth, and I do tend to use magik in my cleaning duties!

Hellenic Polytheist and Hearth Keeper?

Well, that's enough for now.  I've got some research, reflecting, and divining to do.  The search continues.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Belated Last Harvest and Thanksgiving!

As I'm still not able to respond to comments on my blog, thank you Bekah Evie Bel for yours!  I've only been studying Hellenic Polytheism for nearly a year, and any information is greatly appreciated! 


Holiday wise, I'm still in Kentucky with family, so I haven't been able to perform my rituals for the Last Harvest (not entirely true, as I took photos for Them)....and I forgot my wine and fancy juice for the family.  The wine was going to be for the Gods, although honestly, I could've used some myself.  I was up Tuesday night with anxiety (my Agathos Daimon and Dionysus came through to calm me down--Dionysus unlatched the vacuum cleaner, bruising my foot, but breaking my unhealthy focus!), then woke up and was sick from it.  Was plagued by headaches later that night, into the morning.  Annoying.  Decided to go to an early Black Thursday thing.  Not to participate, but just to get out of the house.

I know, I know, why'd an empath who already had anxiety go to a Black Thursday thing, let alone at Walmart?  Well, I was already anxious, and sometimes I do these crazy things like putting myself in high energy situations to test out my shielding and grounding techniques.

We got there an hour before the sale began, taking in the craziness.  Me feeling the build up.  The excitement, stress, territorial combative competitive sorts.  My shields were shit, but my grounding was good.  We went to the epicenter of energy, you could say--electronics and toys--and it was tough, but my grounding was good.

As time ticked closer, the more my hands shook.  As we headed up to the door, near the Christmas stuff, I had to go outside, as an attack was coming.  I went outside, far from the door, and took in the semi-fresh air.  Instantly it was gone.  I stood and waited for my family.

Right at 6 pm, when the sale began, the energy began to spill out of the store, and I inched further and further away it.  Then finally in the car and gone.  I didn't have any anxiety after, just exhausted and a headache.  Woke up refreshed this morning, though!  But then I also thought I was going home today.  Then the spirits suggested that we stay another night.  So I gave in, despite the allergies.

Towards the evening, we went and visited my husband's estranged grandmother, which the Spirits encouraged.  And helped us find the house.

Then I was attacked by the House Spirit!  Don't know what the hell their problem was.  I was polite and explained who I was and why we were there.  That we meant no disrespect, and certainly weren't there to harm the elderly woman nor her home.  Nope, didn't care.  If anything, it attacked me harder.  I called on my Guardians.  Then as the family awkwardly interacted, I verbally combated the Spirit.  I had to threaten it in order for it to leave me alone.

My Guardians blanketed me in warmth as I casted protection over my family.  And one of the elderly woman's skiddish cats, a small but fierce grey stripped white beauty came out of hiding, and took a liking to us.  The House Spirit definitely calmed down after seeing the cat's approval.

The House Spirit was glad to see us leave.  I was glad to be away from it, too.  They weren't a threat to the elderly lady living there, but was very protective over her.  She's was 78 years old (I thought she was younger!), living alone with her many cats and two small dogs, and had a sad energy about her.  But boy was she glad to see my husband and SIL.  She literally gasped and her eyes got bright and large.  She was kindly enough, despite the tension in the air.  Her son abandoned his kids, then tried to contact them again--well, the boys.  My SIL ripped him a new one and he hasn't tried contacting them since.

They didn't blame her, of course, but they were eager to ask about their sperm donor.  They didn't.  But the energy was thick....meanwhile, I was combating her House Spirit--self defense....  My Agathos Daimon are tough and I feed them to be stronger.  This House Spirit was also strong....House Spirits in general aren't to be messed with!  I thinking that maybe it was reacting to a spirit that might have been with me?  I dunno, but it came at me instead.

That was interesting.  I talked to my husband about it, to see if he felt it.  Apparently, he's the type of empath that I only sense the living.  Whereas I sense both, living and spirit.  He had no idea what was going on as they held their awkward conversations.  Apparently, I was nudging him?  I don't remember doing any such thing.  But whatever.  I was in the headspace.

No one followed.  Everyone's happy.  Hubby and his sister feel better now that they went, even if some uncomfortable memories surfaced.  They have something to work through, and hopefully find closure.

Me?  I'm feelin good.  No headache tonight!  Although I'm feelin a little carb guilty.  I forgot what Hillbilly cookin's like.  Carbs, butter, and buttermilk.  Heart clogging goodness, right?  Ugh, I'm so not used to this heavy diet!  Can't wait until I get home to my style of cooking....and the gym!

Animals that I saw a lot of coming down here were: Herons, Red-Tailed Hawks, and Turkey Buzzards.  The creatures that I'm seeing here the most are Daddy Long Legs and Blue Jays.  They are very photogenic, by the way, the Daddys!

Also today's divination reading was awesome:

Sun, Waves, Harvest, and Star.  It speaks up Progress, Deep Spiritual Connection, Reaping Rewards, and Hope.

Hope yall had a good week and weekend!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hellenic Thoughts

Lots churning in my brain lately.  First, I finished studying the Hellenic Holy Days, from Baring the Aegis, and have realized that there's a lot of sacrificial days.  Sacrifice does hold many meanings, but I think with the ancients, if more than likely was blood.  Even when I get my homestead up and running, I don't think that I'm going to have the chickens and goats needed.

When hunting and fishing, I give parts of the kill to Artemis, then process the rest for food and whatever else with the hide, antlers, teeth, etc.  But with these monthly sacrifices, I'm not going to be able to keep up.  Domestic animals that are culled are done so in Ceres' name, in my path.  I only will take what we need, same with wild harvests.  Yeah, I'm going to have freezers, but I also need chickens for eggs and goats for milk.  It's just not practical.

So, I've decided that instead of sacrificing my whole flock and herd for monthly sacrifices, I'll do what's planned.  Do the culling on certain holy days.  Giving a portion to Ceres and a portion to the God(s) of that day.  For other days, I'll be using red wine, the blood and body of Dionysus.  Won't really be able to pour that into the fire, but the ground works.

Then Aphrodite has a festival, where the ancients purified the temple with dove's blood.  So instead of using blood from a bird, I was thinking of making Dove's Blood Ink and diluting it with water.  Instead of spraying/washing that around Her space, perhaps pouring some on a statue or representation of Her.  Circle suggested using red wine.  So come February, I'm stocking up on a favorite red wine, called Apothic Crush for my love deities.

When I do get sealed statues of the Theoi, I'm going to start the practice of anointing them with olive or scented oils.  I guess it's another practice that the ancients did (according to my Homeric Hymn book), and it's practice that one can find in other faiths, such as--I believe--Hinduism, where they bath their statues with milk or a floral water.  Sometimes I anoint my Hestia with ash, but I would like to start using oils, so I needed a sealed statue for that practice.  And I like the idea of pouring a red wine over Aphrodite.

Tomorrow, we're leaving for Kentucky to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's grandmother.  I'll be doing my Last Harvest ritual when we get back, but also giving a little for the Gods on Thursday, too.  In my family, it's custom to bring wine to a holiday family gathering.  Since I'm devoted to Dionysus, this tradition has a new meaning for me.  I was going to bring some Apothic Red....except I'd be the only person drinking it, because no one else in that family drinks alcohol, and hubby hates red wine.  So, I might bring a virgin wine for them....aka sparkling grape juice or a fruit nectar, something fancy that one can typically find around the holidays.

The other day, in one of the Hellenic Groups on Facebook, someone else mentioned worshiping Prometheus, the Titan who gave fire to man, and was severely punished by Zeus.  I've felt a connection to Prometheus for a long time, and have begun honoring Him with the other Theoi.  Like Hestia, there's just not a whole of information on Him....yet like Hestia, more and more are being called by Him, which means that soon more information will surface, even if it's just personal experiences.  I'm excited about that.

For me, He feels very kind, very wise.  But I don't have a whole lot to go on right now.  Soon.  Right now, Aphrodite is more of a focus for me.  Which I think is funny, because as we transition from fall to winter, I can look out my door and see Venus at night!  Usually, I'm not to concerned with other planets, other than Earth and our Moon.  But being able to see Venus while forming a relationship with Aphrodite?  That's fantastic.  I don't know that there's a connection--other than Venus being the Roman counterpart--but it's interesting...

Then today, another person asked about Charon and worshiping Him.  As of last month, when He came to me as a Steam Engine conductor, carrying the dead to the Underworld during my Psychopomp Hermes studies, I've been including Him whenever I do workings with the Cththonic World.  I've planned to give Charon offerings of coin during the winter months, and seeing how that will go, as to whether or not I'm honor Him in the Fall and Winter next year--the dark half of the year.

Speaking of the Underworld, earlier when I was talking to Circle about the wine and Aphrodite, I smelled pomegranate.  I'm smelling it again, actually.  I have a pomegranate in the kitchen, but it's uncut and there's just no way I could smell it in here.  She thinks that it could be Persephone--another whom I feel a connection to.  Could be, it's pomegranate, but it's sweeter and almost floral, too.  I also associate pomegranates with Hecate, with I've never smelled the fruit concerning Her.

Eh, it's that time of the year, I guess!

I hope yall have a good week!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Hymns for Thursday

One practice that I've learned from my Hellenic Polytheist studies, and have come to enjoy, is reading hymns and devotionals for the Theoi ("Theo-ee'; Greek Gods). During holy days, festivals, and esbats, I'm certain to end each ritual with a hymn or a prayer to Them. Sometimes I don't even do the whole ritual, I just say Their name and read one. A simply act to honor them.

This Thursday, American Thanksgiving for many, The Last Harvest to me, these are the Theoi that I'll be reading for at our celebrations, to give thanks to the Powers of Home, Hearth, Agriculture, and Harvesting:

- Hestia -
- Demeter (long)-
- Dionysus -
- Artemis -

There are many many others whom one can find or write hymns and prayers for, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, and many other Pantheons. It could be a story, a poem, a sentence or paragraph. Don't worry if you're grammar or skill isn't that great, or perhaps you're not a great reader. The intention is what matters. You could even just sit the piece on Their altar or shrine as offering, or burn it in a fire safe dish with the intention of sending it to Them.

Tumblr actually has a few Hymn, Prayer, and Devotional writers (many who take requests). Here are two of my favorites:


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When the Goddess Beckons....

Aphrodite's Beach, Delaware State Park
By K. Tackett, November 15, 016

I was the only person on this beach today, and it was chilly!  First things first, I collected sand for Poseidon and Aphrodite (it's charging in the moonlight right now), then walked down to the water's edge, greeting Aphrodite.  I was there as She asked.  

At first, I wasn't going to take any photos, just sit on the sand.  Then I remembered that I don't really like the sand, and I turned to the setting sun and wondered why I was wasting opportunities to play with manual mode?  Aphrodite called me down there, and I doubt that it was just to sit in the sand and freeze.  

I took out my camera and slowly walked towards sunset.  Off in the distance there was a silhouetted heron, standing against the pink and lavender lake water.  If only I had my other lens!  But I didn't, so I just enjoyed the beauty.  I snapped as I walked, and "heard"....felt Her laughing, joyous.  Looking around to keep my wits about me, although I felt perfectly safe, as I was invited by the Goddess.  

Took it all in, the smells, the sounds, the cool breeze, and the taste in the air.  Thought about my blessings, beauty and growth.  It was really good.  I'm glad our sitter cancelled, preventing us from going to the gym this evening.  Hubby dropped me off at the beach and took the kids to the park. Although I kind of wished I had a friend there on the beach with me, to take it all in.  Now words, just watching Mother Nature do Her thing.  It was beautiful.  Worth sharing.  

Upon leaving, I saw the great male pheasant again, standing in the small field near the park's road.  I felt blessed.  


Through the Lens

Sunday was great!  Clients didn't cancel and it was a good shoot.  The subject was very photogenic and had a lovely old Hollywood look to her.  The mother was impressed, and has talked about doing a shoot in December and in the spring.

Although soon, I need to get in to a vision center and get new glasses.  My neglect is showing in my photos, as most of them are slightly out of focus.  I get going, and sometimes can't figure out if something's in focus or not.  And given that I'm more of a candid photographer, I need to be quick.  I'm near sighted, so often I'll look over my glasses, I think I'm seeing two different focuses and neither are right.  I've even figured out how to magnify the image, to make it easier for me to see it.  I'm in need of new eyes, and I'm long overdue, I've had the same glasses since '03 or '06!

Yup, I'm awful!

After the shoot, I went home with hopes of eating, napping, and then going to the ritual.  Nope.  That supermoon drained me.  I was exhausted, yet unable to fall asleep.  Even though the Powers wanted me to go, I didn't trust myself to drive, especially in the dark to a new place.  There will be other rituals.

Instead I decided to try and photograph the Frost Moon, and wasn't very successful.  I tried to figure out manual mode and couldn't.  So not wanting to risking ruining my awesome day with a bout of anger at a piece of technology, I acknowledged that I was exhausted and put the camera away.  Ended up going to bed early, around 1 am (which is early for me).

I woke up around 8:30, as usual, still exhausted.  Luckily, the kids behaved and let me sleep until 10 am (which is late for me).  Still tired, I did some photo study, and talked to my friends about wanting a hybrid camera, where on the outside it looks like an old film SLR, but on the inside it's digital.  I miss my old film Canon, but I do like the ability to see the image right away on my DSLR.  However, the night before, I seriously tried looking for the F/Stops on my lens.  lol.

After watching an youtuber explain the menu and what everything means, I took out my camera and actually understood the menu--it was quite over whelming at first!  Then I searched the youtuber's videos for manual mode and didn't see anything.  I turned on my camera, clicked it over to manual, and guys, I'm dumb.  Now granted, I was super tired the night before, but damn.  It was simple!  All I had to do is click the Set button twice in order to change the settings in the M mode.  After laughing at myself, I played around, and fell back in love with my DSLR.  I'm a control freak when it comes to cameras, it's so nice to have that control again, and still be able to see the preview and the post-view.

Last night, I waited for the Frost Moon to rise high in the sky (was able to admire Venus, shining brightly!), I went outside and experimented, until I finally caught my dream shot (with the lens that I have), and I couldn't be happier with the results:

Canon EOS Rebel SL, 100 D
F/11, 1/125, 100 ISO 

I have a better shot, but I'm having issues with the font size on my copyright text thing, so, here's my first image.

All of that tired ness disappeared as I did the happy dance out on my patio, clapping and grinning.  (There was a car chase and a standoff across the river, with gunshots and police choppers, and there I was taking pictures of the moon, like an idiot, BUT I finally got a Bucket List shot![I was safe, it was a little ways away, no immediate danger.])

Now, all I need are new glasses, and I'll really be in business!

Next on my wishlist is a lens with greater zoom, the lens above is a 58mm.  (and of course, a macro-lens).  I'll need to do more research on the lens that I need for moon shots, because you can see the bumpiness of Sister Moon's surface, but I want crater detail.  At least, She's not looking like a white orb in the black sky!  I'm soo soo soo happy with this shot.  It took me about a half hour to figure out the settings, with lots of notes taken, but so worth it!  I had to go inside a couple of times because it was chilly outside, but worth it.

Now I also need to download Lightroom, for better editing quality, especially now that I'm shooting RAW.

The runes last night said, "Deep Spiritual Connection" and they weren't wrong.  I photograph because it's my passion and for my Gods.  Normally, I don't like it when someone's looking over my shoulder when I'm doing anything artsy, but it's different, when it's a God.  When I take pictures of flowers, I feel Aphrodite doing that, smiling beautifully, excited, radiating a golden glow, soft blonde crimpy hair.  She kind of reminds me of Joss Stone when She appears to me.  Mind, Body, Spirit Joss.  Kind of hippie-boho chic.  Very free and humble and joyful.

Last night, when I performed my sacred tasks, I wasn't sure if I should still keep on honoring Dibella, because even though I still believe that She's Dionysus' female form, I feel Aphrodite more.  The two share many of the same attributes, especially art.  I feel Aphrodite more with photography, than any other aspect right now.

With Hephaestus, I feel Him more with drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry making, but never with photography.

I don't really feel Her concerning beauty and self love, not in the ways that one would think anyway....does that make sense?  Dibella deals more with the physical.  Aphrodite is working with me through my passions.

Art.  I love art, I am an artist.  She's helping me build up confidence and see that yes, I am an artist.  She's inspiring me, encouraging me to do better, to be proud of my work, to never give up.  And it's building up my confidence overall, and making me love myself again, in ways that I never thought were possible.

Aphrodite is more than sex and being pretty.  So are the concepts of love and beauty.  (Just as Dionysus is more than a Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll God.)

Skin deep...

Like Dionysus-Dibella dealt more with female social issues (as well as women's health).  Like transforming some of my thoughts and views, and becoming more understanding, tolerating, and accepting.  More compassionate (which was also my work with other Gods, such as Hestia and the Healers).  Changing how I see the world.  Thinking about more than myself, and how certain actions and thoughts might affect others.  They’re addressing deeper issues to heal and build. 

Aphrodite is building up my confidence and self love through my passions--more than sexual passions, Dionysus is handling those (as well as other things).

Planting the seeds of beauty and love, allowing them to root deep and grow up upwards, through the soil to touch the clouds, be caressed by the sun, and be kissed by the sky.

I knew that I had a lot of inner healing to do, but at the same time, I was also pretty focused on the physical.  On the fat.  On transforming my outer appearance to something more socially acceptable, beliving that that would make me love myself more.  In fact, you have to go deeper than outward appearance.  Start inside yourself, then work out...  Like a flower.  There's a lot that goes on inside of a flower before it's ready to bloom and spread love and beauty to the world.

So last night, I didn't really feel Dibella, but Aphrodite.  I wanted to honor Her, but I decided to wait until I was finished with my Hellenic Calendar studies.  I mean, I read for Dibella, but I was thinking about Aphrodite.

I'm feeling called to the beach again.  I really felt Poseidon, Amphitrite, and Aphrodite there, but especially the Theia of Love and Beauty.  I hope I can make a point to go to the beach this week, She's calling me there.  She, sitting on the sand, wearing a lacy ivory shawl and gold jewelry.  Smiling.  Beckoning.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

The World Keeps on Spinning, Spinning, Spinning...

This morning, as I gathered my Hellenic Polytheism notebooks, hymn books, and pen, I decided to light a candle for Mnemosyne and Athena.  Do a little to honor Them, as I slowly build a relationship.

Today's studies were over the Hellenic Calendar, thanks to Baring the Aegis's informative post.  I'm taking a break from studying right now, but the session's been very interesting so far.  Enlightening.  I don't know that I'll honor and celebrate everyday listed, but it gives me something to think about as I delve deeper into my studies and practices.

My prayer candle for Standing Rock is nearly out of wax, so I need to transfer my sigil to a holder, because I suspect that this protest is going to go on for a while longer, and I prefer to use tealights, because they're cheaper and I have oodles.

Tomorrow, I have another photo shoot, and so far the client hasn't cancelled, so fingers crossed.  I need to clean up an old red wagon and put that in the car....can't forget.

In the evening, I'll be attending a Wiccan esbat ritual with my Gen. Paganism Class.  As usual, I had reservations about it, given that I'm not Wiccan, already known Wiccan ritual, and it's a new place that I'll be driving to at night (I have bad night sight), but the Gods and Spirits are positive that it's going to be a good time.  Plus, group energy--I'm an addict for it!

Photography wise, I hope to get good photos of Sister Moon/Selene!  Although I prefer waxing and waning moons for my camera.  Full moons often get too blown out, because I haven't gone in and adjusted the white balance and other settings on my camera yet.

So that's my weekend.  Today on a lazy Saturday, I might go down to the river...I need a favorite texture photo for today's thing that I'm grateful for.  I already took a photo of some super silky soft yarn, but I plan on using yarn for a later shot this month...  I do love silky softness, but I dunno, I want to see if the river has anything to offer, texture wise.  I mean, there are also any textures that I enjoy looking at, too, so it's not just a touch sense.  Visual textural love.  Oooooo, oil paint....oil painitngs!  Maybe I'll take a photo of one of my old palette painitngs?  We'll see.

Fresh paint....but I don't have any oils right now....

Paint brushes!  I do have some really soft and silky paint brushes...  Hm.  I'll figure it out.  I'm sure the Muses, or even Aphrodite, will lend a creative hand when I need it.

Hm, I just got the image of popping a pomegranate with a needle, while on continuous shoot.  Wonder that that would even look like?  A little squirt.  Not that it has anything to do with today's subject.  Anyway, I have photos to take, a trail to walk, and a red flyer wagon to clean.  Anything that's not being on the war zone that's the internet right now.

I'm staying away from such places and virtual spaces, because there's a lot of theories, hate, fear, and editing going on, and I'd rather not obsess and dwell.  I can't afford to allow anxiety to get a hold of me concerning an uncertain future.  I just need to focus on me, my family, my passions--I things that I can control.  On things that give me joy and growth.

Actions will speak louder than words, memes, and videos.  For those, I will wait and see.