Friday, September 30, 2016

Hekate's Deipnon & Dark Moon

This my step-by-step guide for this monthly ritual in my home:
  • Clean, clean, clean (which today I did not, as I'm exhausted from my period and I've been dealing with a headache all evening.
  • Wait until night fall, preferably when the kids are in bed.  
  • Shower and pour Kuan Yin's Lotus Water on my head (headache prevented me this time).
  • Pour all offerings, including the kathiskos, into the community offering bowl.    Clean the lustral water bottle and the jar.  
  • Veil.
  • Khernips wash.
  • Get all of the offerings together and sat in their respectable place.  Set up Hecate and the Ancestor's altar.  Brew Hestia's tea.  
  • Light Hestia's candle, I turn my face upwards, arms open, palms up, "Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home, I light this candle to represent your sacred flame." Sprinkle the salted flour into the flame, "I ask that you accept this flour and this tea, as I show my love and gratitude for everything you've done, everything you do, and everything you continue to do to help myself and my family.  Thank you."
  • Light the sage stick, "Hestia, I light this sage in your name and ask for blessings over my home."
  • Starting with Her shrine and traveling throughout the house, clockwise, I repeat, "With this sage, I cleanse this space all of negativity energies and entities."  Ending with Her shrine, then I cleanse myself, only instead of "this place", it's "myself".  
  • Sitting the still smoking stick on Her shrine, I move over to Hecate and the Ancestor's shrine.
  • Lighting the candle, face down, arms open, palms up, I address, "Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads and Spirits, I offer you this flame and my menstrual blood.  Ancestors, I offer you this flame, milk, water, and chocolate.  To thank you all for your love, teachings, and protection, I give these offerings in gratitude and with love for all that you've done, all that you do, and all that you continue to do for myself and my family.  Thank you."
    • The Ancestral offerings aren't always the same--sometimes I give moonshine, whiskey, bread, candy, water, milk, pomegranate (for Hecate, too), Witches Brew Wine, coffee, tea....just anything I think or know that they like, except for tobacco products.  I never give that, because I don't want to support that industry.
  • Next, I cut a bit from a used tampon and go outside to a potted plant.  I kneel, face down, and knock three times on the ground, "Hecate, here is my offering of blood, as per our agreement."  Then I bury the bit and go back inside.  
  • Going to the general Theoi shrine, I only turn the LED candle on that's on the Cthonic side, then kneel, face down, and knock three times, "Hades, Persephone, and the Gods and Spirits of the Underworld, I offer this "flame", the milk, water, and chocolate to you as I give my thanks for all that you do, on this Dark Moon.  Thank you."
  • Next, I take the community offerings and toss them outside, into the woods.  
  • Coming inside, I play Wendy Rule's Hecate three times, as I eat and reflect.  
Sometimes I may even do some Spirit Work, but tonight I just don't have the energy.And once I find some good hymns and prayers for Hecate, I'll add those to this ritual.  
One thought that I had tonight, was wondering if I should honor Dionysus during the Harvest season's Dark Moons, instead of just on the Harvest days and Ancestor's Day (Oct 31)?  If I did, I'd use red wine to represent His blood and sacrifice, as I plan on doing on those days.  I don't have red wine right now, so I didn't.  But it's something to ponder.  

(also posted on From the Mud)


Moons & Pagan Pride Day

(Thank you for the comments and reading--I still can't respond to comments on blogspot, but I read and appreciate the respectful commenting!)

Today's Dark Moon kicks off the Deipnon....and I still have no energy. Boo menstruation. Well, at least, Hecate's offerings will be fresh!  Maybe just doing basic things today like emptying and cleaning out the kathiskos and my Lotus Water bottle, some miasma cleansing, and basic offerings for Hecate and the Ancestors.
Black Moon isn't the same thing as the dark moon. For most folks new moon is the dark moon (for me the new moon is that first sliver of moon, because that makes more sense to me). Black moon is a two dark moonsoccurring in one month. Some say it has a different power than a regular dark moon, just like a blue moon--double fulls in a month--has a different power than the full. For me, there's nothing special about it, other than the usual symbolism and the sacred tasks I have to perform. On the lunar calendar, it's just a dark moon or a full moon.
Months are man-made, Sister Moon's on her own never changing, never ending constant cycle, undisturbed by the boundaries we put on ourselves.

Also tomorrow, hubby and I are going to Dayton's Pagan Pride Day.  It's a little drive from us, but we'll be meeting up with my friend--the one who gave me the Wildwood Tarot.  She'll be there with her son and boyfriend, but we're leaving the boys with grandma.  Not because I don't want them to be involved--I do involve them in little things here and there, but because of two reasons.  1) There might be a lot of people there and I already have crowd anxiety issues, I don't need to include my kids in that.  2) I'm trying to inspire my husband to be more involved with our Household Paganism.  He's a Pagan, too, a follower of the Norse Gods, but he doesn't really do rituals or celebrate holy days.  He kind of celebrates through me....except on Yule.  Even then, it's me laying out the offerings for Odin.  He lives his Paganism and promises to Odin without all of rituals and offerings.  It works for him, I only wish he was more involved.  Sometimes it feels like I'm the only Pagan in the house because he doesn't do anything, by my standards anyway.  His ways work for him and his Gods, I guess, and that's what's important.

Here's hoping that us going to these events and public rituals might inspire him?  If not, then I'll just have to accept it, won't I?

I really wish Columbus--the capital of Ohio--would freakin do a Pagan Pride Day, instead of us having to drive all over the state.  Either way, I'm excited.  I just hope it doesn't get rained out.  Hopefully I'll have photos to share after tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So Frustrating Sometimes!

Going to ask your tools for guidance, only for them to say that it's up to you.  Duh, I just need some direction!  ERGH!  So annoying!

I've been studying and working with the Wildwood Tarot since I got it, infusing it with my energies and learning a bit about it as well, with some smaller readings here and there.  After writing down some of the spreads from the booklet, I decided to test it out with a big question, something that's been bothering me for a couple of months.

It's been over a year since I began cutting the threads with my dad, and also my step mom.  I was quick to block him when I made the decision, but was still on the fence about her.After a couple of months, I'd ask the Gods, Spirits, and tools, and every time, I was told "no".

It was annoying, because I couldn't see Their reason why I should keep her as a friend on Facebook.  She couldn't see anything, and I also made other whom she might use as spies in the same boat as her, settings wise.  Shoot, I had to unfriend one family member because they were used to spy on me!  Another one unknowingly was used, too.  I don't like not being able to be myself on Facebook, not sharing certain things about myself, like how much I love living in my area.  Or having to make sure that certain photos are kept away from certain audiences.

I feel like they're still controlling me.  I'm giving them that control.  I freakin hate it.  So I popped the question to the WwT, for it's opinion and realized that it's a lot like my Housewives Tarot, in that it's very blunt and direct--which I like--but it also feels this need to remind me that no matter what the tools say it's my decision.

No shit.

I asked, Should I unfriend my step mom on Facebook?
1) Think clearly about your intention.  What do you want from this issue?  What's your goal?
2) Don't dilly dally once you realize it.
3) Find the strength and courage and act on it.

At first, I didn't feel that it really answered the question.  It just said the same thing that my HT told me.  It's in my hands.

So I decided to ask a different question, What will I lose and what will I gain from this unfriending?

1) I'll lose emotional balance.

Which, oh shit, that sounds terrible!  Like, I don't want to lose that, I've worked so hard to get where I am mentally and emotionally.  Then I realized that balance isn't always positive, nor healthy.  More like I'm stable right now.  When I first asked, I wasn't really....I was sort of fine with this arrangement.  I was stable at the moment.  I still thought it sucked and didn't like feeling trapped, but it was stable.

Alright, so what will I gain?

Jumper - Rebirth - Growth from past.  Healing

I could definitely work with that!

2) Gain - Rest - Recharge.  Restore.  Heal.

Okay.  That sounds like a good trade.

Either way, I'm going to ask two friends for a reading, because I'm worried that I'm too emotionally close to this decision.  That I'm influencing the tools.  I'll ask my friends for their opinion.  Both are pretty good diviners, too.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wildwood Pouch

Yesterday my friend came over with gifts!  Squash, eggplant, and the Wildwood Tarot!  And it is a gorgeous deck, that I'm pretty I'm going to use for things other than divination.  Even though it's a Celtic shamanism deck, many of the images are pretty universal, or at least not heavily of the Celtic style.  I am very excited.  So excited that I made a deck pouch for it.

Well, I upcycled one project, and added trim and the button.  It was already the perfect size for the deck, and the right color green.  Meant to be!

I've just cleanse the pouch and deck, and plan on imbueing my energy with it through shuffling, as well as reading the large book that came with it today.  I am a little bothered that the book is way larger than the deck, but that's fine. I'll just keep it in my divination box, with the rest.

The cards that I'm drawn to most are Transitions, Spark of Life, The Journey, Mourning, Celebration, Dedication, Hare, Seer, Foundation of Life, Ecstasy, and Guardian.  I'll probably start with those cards first in my studies.

Having this deck, really makes me want a Greek or Roman inspired deck...  Until then, I'm looking forward to working with the Wildwood.


Friday, September 23, 2016

One More Thing About Dionysus and Corn

For some reasons, blogspot is being pissy and not letting me edit my last post right now, so a bit more about why I associated corn with Him:

Corn is a bigger cash crop in this area than grapes, at least from my perspetice.  Ohio’s has it’s own winerys—some like Silver Moon are very good wine makers—but I just don’t see too many vineyards.  Corn and other crops, yes.  So corn is what I associate with Him (Thanks Circle, for that inspiration!)


Blessed Second Harvest and Happy First Day of Fall, Yall!

I had a great sabbat yesterday.  First, I made big coloring pages for the kids of fall scenes and cornucopia, with lots of pumpkins!  I had planned on making a lot of food, as I usually do, so I cut out sweet potato casserole and cut down on my vegetables, and still have a lot of left overs.  I made an awesome sage, butternut squash, and goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin with red potatoes and corn.  Harvest honey bread, and strawberry rhubarb pie.  The kids had a bit of the pork and potatoes, drank apple juice, and had some blueberry pie.

Before we ate, I cleansed myself with the khernips, brushed my teeth, and veiled (I wasn't able to shower, as both my toddlers were wide awake).  I gave bread and lavender tea to Hestia; bread and butternut squash seeds to the Nature Spirits, Father Sun, Mother Earth, and Artemis; wine, seeds, wild harvested whole walnuts (thanks squirrels!), and dried cranberries to Dionysus; an acorn, honey, and bread to Ceres; and finally barley to the other Gods and Spirits of the Harvest and Fall.

Then I also turned on the candles for my general Theoi....shrine....crap....I don't think I turned those off....nope!  Still flickering though!  Just because it's something from the Dollar Tree doesn't mean it's cheap!  Been on for hours! More than 12!  Still has juice!  Awesome.  Anywho, I honored the Theoi because each of Them also has a contribution to Fall and the Harvest, I feel.

I usually give Dionysus white wine because it's what I prefer, then give Poseidon red wine, if I have it.  But I think during the Harvest season, I may give Dionysus red wine to represent His blood, since the Harvest is a time of life and death.  Every harvest, He dies, then is reborn in the...spring?  I have it around the Dionysia, I don't know if that's UPG or something official.  Just kind of going with my gut, like when I used a dolphin to represent Amphitrite.  Another HP informed me that it was perfect, because the Immortal Dolphin Delphine brought Amphitrite and Poseidon together for marriage.  And for Poseidon, who's also associated with dolphins, I always felt that hippocampus were a better fit, because I see dolphins as being more feminine and hippocampus being more masculine.  Then, again, other HP's supported this preference with historical resources.  And since I learned that, I'm seeing more images of Him with hippocampus, whereas before I'd see Him with sea horses or dolphins.

Another animal that I strongly associate with Poseidon is the octopus.  I think they're powerful and extremely intelligent creatures--cephalopods are one of my favorite sea creatures (whales and porpoise, too)--like Him.

Next sabbat, I hope to have red wine for Dionysus.  I'd also like to visit goodwill and see if I can't find Him and Ceres a different shrine cloth.  I like the shimmery gold, but I also like to switch me up every season.

Heck, even the red potatoes and corn were symbolic  Red for blood, potatoes for the Underworld/Spirit World, and corn, because I associate it with Dionysus.  Corn's a pretty good phallic symbol--fertility, and it's a big crop, among others that's harvested around this time.

I meant to finish a banner that I started on when I first learned to crochet, for Hestia.  All I have to do is sew on a felt symbol, but whew, after that feast, I was full and done!  I hope to get around to finishing that today.  I haven't gotten any crocheted project done for this month.  I need to get crackin on something!

One of my Wiccan friends is coming over today, so I'll be trying my hand at making sauteed mushrooms.  My husband hates "fungus", so I don't get to enjoy mushrooms very often.  But I decided to add them to the harvest this time!  And I still have goat cheese and fresh sage left.  Maybe I can find a recipe incorporating these three ingredients?

I hope yall had a great sabbat, whenever you plan(ned) on celebrating it.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More On my Photo Challenge

I sort of figured out my 52 Deity Photo Challenge, and I decided to focus on me right now, to help me understand the Gods.  I've still working out whether or not I want to just focus on the Theoi, or if I want to include all of my personal pantheon.  Right now, They're all in, even the Pop Culture Gods.

Any who, I was thinking--again, Aphrodite inspired--that I could make a board including at least 2 photos of said Deity for each week.  Some Gods will be easier than others, that's kind of why I arranged them as I did, according to what times of the year will be more fruitful....and for others, I chose their Hellenic months and festivals.  Put these all together in some type of devotional book with a bit of information on each, my UPG, and what I've learned in doing that weeks challenge.

Or I could just stick with one photo and create a wall or a board of 52 photos that way for my home or Temple Room.

So many idea that Beluga's churning in my head....


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Shrines All Done Up for Fall

...well, two of them.  The two most important for me.

Hestia's shrine, all redone for fall! Left to Right: a "hearth" oil burner, a tea pot, the kathiskos, a bottle of khernips, keys hanging behind them, crochet hooks, fall themed bowl with a red candle within, house key, coins, Hestia, my first crochet chain, rose quartz, spool of thread with needle, some purple flowers, sage wand, sage stick, house candle, mirror with protection sigil, tea cup for libations, spoon, and a ceramic dish of salted flour, all sitting on a red veil.

Gave the Ancestors a splash of fall, too!

These two may be all that I do...usually are.  Unless I can find something small for Dionysus.  And Hecate's space hangs above my children's door, or the pieces that I bring out for Dark Moons and ends of the months.  So that task's out of the way.  

I tried cleaning out my magikal cabinet....and wasn't that successful.  Practitioners are such hoarders!  But I did find my deer and boar teeth for divination purposes.  

Haha, we're so weird.  I was going through my stock like, "mums, roses, bumblebees, orange peels, peony root, wasps, teeth, bone, ribbons...oooo, lemon verbena oil!  Bark....egg shell powder..."  Items that would be so weird to muggles, that are completely normal to those of us who practice.  Well, those who use ingredients, I should type.  

I did toss some stuff....just not as much as I'd like, but at least I have room for my shrine stuff!


Monday, September 19, 2016

52 Deity Photo Challenge Idea

On MV Huhn Photography's Facebook page, one of my partners and I are doing a photography challenge to better our skills.  This challenge, along with Aphrodite, has inspired me to come up with my own photo challenge: 52 Deity Photo Challenge.
I'm still working on it, trying to figure out if I want to keep it to a certain pantheon or expand and try to include other Gods, too, both well known and not so.  So far, the challenge is, obviously, mostly Greek and Roman Gods, since that's who my personal pantheon is mostly made up with, with some Asian, Pop Culture, and Christian Deities thrown in. (although in my currant draft, I've excluded the PC's)
At first, I was going to make this into a type of devotional act for my Gods, just for me, therefore only include my pantheon, as well as Others from Hellenic Polytheism and Religio Romana.  But I decided that if I'm sharing it, maybe include other Gods, too...

It already kind of is, something just for me.  When I go out on my warm-ups and practice shoots, I usually take pictures that represent my Gods...or things that I think They'd like.  Say for Aphrodite, I often find myself drawn to soft pink flowers, or Cinderella Roses, and I'm not all that fond of pink or roses.  So, my UPG is that She is.  So I capture these flowers for Aphrodite:

Cinderella Rose, Inniswoods Gardens Metro Park,
Westerville, Ohio 

I have this new one here for Hecate, also.  I love it, despite that it's of a spider that I'm highly allergic to.  It's creepy and beautiful:

Inniswoods Gardens Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio

I have a couple of other photographs, too.  But I want to make a project out of it.  Maybe inspire others to see their Gods differently....or to see that you can honor Them in other ways?  Like for those who can't or choose to not have shrines/altars, adorn your walls/or notebook with photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, found objects, I dunno.  Think outside of the box, ya know?  I think it'd be a great way...another way, of getting to know Them, too, especially if you don't already know Them or have a good relationship yet.

For me, I'm honoring Them by doing one of my favorite things: Photography.  Honoring Them by challenging myself, to think outside of the box with how to interpret Them, and also sharpen my own skills behind the camera and at the editing bay.

I was thinking that if i kept it mainly to my path, then it'd help me to learn about other Deities whom I don't know a whole lot about, ya know?  Maybe even include some pillars, too?  Still working on it.  When I do having something completed, of course I'll share it with yall.  I love doing photo why not make my own, especially as a devotional act?  The Gods are encouraging me to be my best and to reach my potential.  To do what makes me happy.  This project would be a great way to thank them for Their love and faith in me.

* Update: I've decided to make it all about me, including the Gods that I'm devoted to (including the PC's), the ones that are part of Hellenic-Romana path, some of Those whom I'm met,  and finally the pillars of Hellenic Polytheism.

(also posted on From the Mud)


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mixed Signals

Last night was interesting.  First, I want to say that Dionysus has just been on my mind a lot lately.  I don't know if that's just me or if it's Him...just go with it, right?  So I did my usual duties on the Harvest Moon, I brewed some lavender-chamomile for Hestia, and this time I gave some to the Healers, Tara, Bear, Blessed Grace, and the Rose.

For some reason my mom keeps giving my toddlers a mini ceramic tea set, sooooo I've been using these little cups and plates and such for my shrines and offerings.  Perfect size.  One cup has a bunch of purple flowers all over it, with gold accents.  Just perfect for Hestia.  However, that means mommy's gonna be looking for a plastic tea set for my boys.  Lycan's been wanting one since last year, and I just haven't gotten around to it.

Hestia's shrine is getting a little crowded, so I need to redo Her shrine come equinox, a chore that I was going to do anyway.  Change some things out for one of the mini teapots that I now have.

Plus, I think these tea sets used to belong to my grandma.  Gotta ask.

Earlier, I had taken a really short nap, and my amorous husband woke me--I'll spare you the details--but apparently, I was dreaming about the Theoi.  Like, I was one of the Goddesses engaging in sex with Her husband or a lover.  I got the strong impression of Hera and Aphrodite, as well as Zeus and another.  I was just stuck in this in between for a while.  It was strange.  It was all very unclear, but note worthy none-the-less.

Anyway, I had a long talk with Dionysus, Ceres, and the other Theoi--Those who'd listen anyway--about future plans for the shrines.  And that I was glad that I made a collective shrine for Those without space.  I feel closer to Them all, and am more open to understanding some of their darker aspects.  Like, once upon a time, I was very much anti-Zeus and Hera, but I'm coming around.  Talking to some of their worshipers of the HP community, and gaining new perspectives. Slowly, but surely.

So after I got everyone settled, I sat down for a divination session.  I struggled with what to ask.  I was curious about my relationship with my BFF, but couldn't figure out how to word the question regarding her.  So I just defaulted to how my day was going to go tomorrow.  Here's the copy-paste from my private Book of Mirrors:

13: Man, Woman, Flower – Confidence, Nurturer, Love. 

Womanrunes: Broomstick, Cauldron of Dancing Women, Two Circles – Purification, Commitment, and Joining.

FFC:  Mouse- What’s Eating at you?  Deceit, Theft
Scyth & Rings – Broken relationship, could be financial.

I asked the pendulum on this one and caught the Spirit in lies.  I had a serious talk with those around me about my rules regarding the pendulum, hoping that I made myself clear.  Redid the reading:

Heart- Love, Romance
Whip & Ship – Restrictions, Money Problems

Tomorrow--er--Monday, we are supposed to have our water turned off.  Hopefully that’s all that it’s talking about.  But we have each other and our kids, so hopefully it won’t be that bad, or long.

Housewives Tarot What do you have to tell me?
The Magician – Deceit, Charm, Liar – If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Page of Swords – Loyal, Mischievous

This was telling me about the problem spirit guide above.  I asked another SPG if I could trust them: No.

Are they loyal to me: Yes.

How the fuck can someone be loyal and distrustful????!?!? 

But they are a challenger, someone who’s meant to test me.


Conflict = Growth.  I am learning a lot dealing with these challenges.  These distrustful spirits and what not.  It’s been annoying, but I hope I’m getting better.  Again, I just don’t know who to trust.  The SPG said that I could just tell them to go away.  The Magician says if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. I don't know!

Sometimes I really hate dealing with Spirits.  Heck, who knows if the second was actually my "good" guide or not?  No matter how I word things, no matter my wards, these determined assholes--like ferrets, they are--find loop holes and get through.  It's obnoxious.  But this time I don't feel as lost or sad about it.  It's a learning experience and I am learning.  

I need a teacher who can educate me about protecting myself better when dealing with Spirits, pendulums, and spirit work!  So I've sent that out into the universe....with careful wording!  I'm sure I'll hear the, But I AM helping you!  You said so yourself!   Like, dude, no.  Constructive help, not this.  But, yeah, how I react and handle these situation has changed.  I'm less explosive and emotional than I used to be.  I'm calm, but firmer now.  That's HUGE for me!  Nice to finally see some improvement in my anger management!  I feel more confident and more in control of my life and these situations, for sure.

GGO said Be Bold, take a risk, make a bold life change, appreciate your body, have fun. 

Endings and Beginnings: Staying positive (just as I finished typing this, my husband came home, irate about Time Warner –talking about finding a new service), what appears as a loss is actually good change, and move on.  

I felt that the GGO was perfect, given that last night was the Full Harvest Moon, lunar eclipse, which seemed to be about letting go and starting anew.  And there, Freya and Kali were telling me the same thing.

After the session, I reflected, then went outside and was actually able to see Sister Moon, and She was gorgeous, as always (i was also very glad to see lots of people on my FB feed, Non-Abrahamics, Practitioners, and Muggles showing Her some love!).  I didn't see the eclipse, didn't know the times for that.  Didn't matter.  I just took Her in.  Went back inside and started writing Dionysus hymns in my Book of Prayers.  Making a plan to add more for Artemis and Poseidon on Their days, and preparing Their own chapters in the notebook.

Today is a new day, and although the session spoke of troubles, I'm still eager to see how today turns out.  I'm supposed to have another photo shoot later, but it looks like we might get rained out.  Shame, I was hoping to get back to Inniswoods and explore more, now that things are in bloom, before fall truly sets in.

Also my husband was telling me about doing something drastic to his long hair and cutting it off!  He wants to go for a long on to, short on the side type hairstyle.  After he showed me some styles online, sounds sexy.  I'm a lover of long hair, but I'm looking forward to this change.  I was going through pictures of my family yesterday, deleting bad photos, and came across one where it looks like his hair is shorter, and he actually looked good!  And if neither of us like it, well, it'll grow back!  Beauty of hair for some people.

Even though I cover when I'm out and about, I've also been thinking of doing something different to my hair.  I'm pretty insecure about my hair, because I'm thinning on top, and it reminds me of my dad when I look in the mirror, but something different.  I definitely need another dye job!  I ain't pregnanct right now, so now's the time!  I miss having red hair!

I hope yall have a good weekend.

Oh!  Right!  And Sunday, Three Cranes Grove is supposed to have their Equinox public ritual at Highbanks Metro Park.  That's a lot closer to me.  Hopefully that doesn't get rained out!  Especially since I wasn't able to attend Witches of Ohio's hike at Hocking Hills this morning.  Hopefully they don't get rained out, because Hocking Hills is awesome, and I know that a lot of locals were looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I can get my mom to watch the boys for a couple of hours, so I can drag my husband along to this one.  Try to get him to want to be more involved in our family Paganism.  Potentially busy weekend.  Hopefully, there's not too much bad luck!