altar

Everything on it’s ordained path…

Image: Big Dipperby AloriaTheZombie

http://aloriathezombie.deviantart.com/art/Big-Dipper-321841368

Everything on it’s ordained path…That is the message that I keep getting from the Beyond these days. As my world shifts and moves around, as I adjust pace to keep up with the path that is unfolding beneath my feet, the few times that I have actually sat down to ask if I should do a thing, or whether or not this is a good idea, the answers come back with no great amount of useful information. Just “It’s time. Go with it.”. At the beginning of this year I got a reading, from someone who did not know the intimate details of my life, (no small feat! Someone you know is good but doesn’t know you is hard to come by in this small world.) They pointed out that this year is my Chariot year. A year of opportunities, to just take the ones I wanted and not wait. That was the key. Don’t wait. As somewhat of a slow moving cautious Bull Woman, I find that advice a little hard to take. But I decided to focus, the hone my vigilance, my instincts, and just act.

It has not been an incredibly easier year. The changes that have come has brought with it a lot of rocky road just as much as it has brought new blue sky. There were times when I thought, maybe I had just made huge mistakes. Maybe I had gotten it all wrong. But then my friends would buoy me, my love would ask me what I wanted to do and support me as I had my copious amounts of feelings. All the while the next thing would come along and it would have been foolish to let insecurity keep me stagnant. All the while the same signs would make themselves known. The Chariot. Ursa Major. The Bull. The Cauldron.

Now that the we have reached the Dark half of the year, the momentum that I have gained begins to feel more tangible. I am excited to say that there is a lot of amazing and hopefully grand things on the horizon. I hope to be able to wrap up some of the events that happened this year that I have yet to blog about before the end of the year. There was an beautiful and powerful ritual to Epona, a satisfying and rejuvenating devotional camping trip dedicated to the Morrigan. And a few other personal entries.

For those of you that have stuck around, thank you for you continued support. I am looking forward to being able to share more of the comparison’s from translations from the Tain, and other pieces of my personal practice. Along side more posts about the Cauldron and the many exciting projects that are brewing there. The Cauldron of the Celts, is creating the welcoming space and inclusive active community among Celtic practitioners, that I have longed for. We are just in the seedling stages, but the love, devotion, and enthusiasm is there, so I can only pray our efforts bear fruit.

In the mean time I continue to practice my stride, enjoying the new comforts my new prosperity provides, and at the same  time tending to the responsibility and finical aid to my family, I haven’t been able to provide in the past.  May the Gods continue to guide my path to become better for my self and my loved ones. May my eyes see true, and recognize the opportunities and sign before me. May the Ancestors guard and bless me and may the Realms continue in their ordained paths.

Great Queen guide us, that our strength and wisdom be true.

Great Queen guide us, that our strength and wisdom be true.

Release the Bones!

Every year at and around the start of October, and the festivities that go with it, I clean my altar and bring up the bones that have been on their crowded shelf in the Underworld. But bringing the Bones up and giving them prominent place on the top altar it is essentially my way of acknowledging that we have now entered into the time of the Dead. The Dead are generally always welcome in my home but now they get a little more attention that usual. This year the 1st went and passed and I didn’t get to it, the 2nd rolled by and still nothing, till it was in fact the 5th of October and for completely sideways reasons the bones were released.

It actually started on October 4th in the evening. Minding my own business having dinner, the Lumberjack complaining about the beer he bought not tasting “pumpkin-y” enough, when  I knew I needed to make beer oat scones for a certain Good God. I don’t really know how else to describe the Other messaging system that gets these things across. One second I’m watching The Invisible Man the next I have a clear image and knowledge of me making these beer oat scones happily while deep laughter rings in the background. It’s just a knowing. That’s the best I can do for you as far as description goes.

Now frankly this doesn’t happen often. Tends to be that my Dead, and house Beasties are the ones who ask for the most. So when one of my deities chimes in I make a point to make it happen, no matter how small.

The next day is the day of The Concert (for those of you who do not know ‘The Concert’ here and thereafter refers to The Florence and the Machine Concert), and my good friend Temple is coming over so we can go and get our holy musical emotive on.  I knew I could rope her into making beer oat scones no problem. I didn’t have a recipe, but I knew I wanted to use all oats. So oat flour and then some whole oats. I figured with the beer and oats that brown sugar would be the way to go and a lot of butter.  We looked up a oat scone recipe for some basic portions and went from there. Here is what we came up with:

Ooo Oat flour

  Good God’s Beer Oat Scones

1 1/2 cups Oat Flour*
2 cups Oats
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted better
1/2 cup Beer of choice

* To make Oat Flour, put the amount of Oats (in this case 1 1/2 cups) in a food processor and blend till fine.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and currants. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, beat egg until frothy, and stir in melted butter and milk. Pour into the well, and mix to create a soft dough.
  3. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the dough and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. This recipe made 10 of such scones.
  4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until risen and browned.

Offering to a Good God. Oats, beer and honey, life is good.

They turned out marvelously! Looked absolutely scrumptious, smelled like good old yum. But then the twist. Where to put the offering?

Generally food offerings are made on my main altar, as the Good God’s kitchen altar is just too small for more than a cup of beer (which he gets regularly). But the main altar was….not fit. It had an old spell that needed to be broken down, all the deities candles had been burned down. But most importantly of all the thing was in limbo because the Bones desperately needed to come out.

After spinning for several minutes, shaking my fist, and getting laughed at by Temple. It was clearly evident that my task could wait no longer, the altar needed to be cleaned and the Bones released, NOW.

So we did. Took everything off the cluttered thing, tore down the spell, dusted everything, and then lovingly brought out the bones and oo’d and aw’d over everyone, cuddled them a bit, and chose their place up above.

And when all was done, I still had more chores to do, but the altar was happy, the Bones were happy, he was happy, and we were happy.

And in the end that’s all that matters.

Cleaning the Altar

Yesterday, or yester-evening to be more precise, I decided to do the unthinkable (tho thought about often) and clean out the storage in my altar. As you can see above I’m a lucky witch/pagan in that my altar comes with storage. My altar was my grandmothers dressing table, a present from her sons, and something I deeply coveted my whole little life. I don’t know that I ever imagined it would be an altar but holy hell does it make an awesome one. But you see I’m not the most organized girl in the world and would just throw my bits and pieces in whatever drawer it would fit and call it a day. Which you know works in a way, but is well…problematic when you are CONSTANTLY being called on to bring this and that to ritual or have a very large coven that has a plethora of needs at any given moment. So the time had come to empty them out and make them nice. And I was excited!

And then I was surrounded by mess and not excited. lol I don’t have a whole lot of stamina for these things and cleaning out the altar meant cleaning out the overflow storage and retrieving the items that weren’t in the altar because there was other crap in it but should be in the altar, and well you get the picture. It became an ordeal. It involved several breaks. The Lumberjack came in and shook his head in dismay, muttering something traitorous about “putting things away in the first place”. There was whining, and the  realization that half my supplies are in fact still in a box in the closet(Argh!). But thru this all I preserved! The result of which is this ridiculous picture heavy post lol. Personally I like looking thru other peoples stuff thus I’m forcing you all to look thru mine.

Top Left Hand Drawer

Practical things

First we have the top left hand drawer. The Practical Things drawer. Here you find scissors, gluesticks, notepaper, bags, graveyard dirt, ink, indigo powder, a bowl of keys, various magic bits to tie things.

Left Second Drawer

Things to use

This is the second left hand drawer. I’m sure the title makes no sense to anyone but me, but this is the draw of Things to use. Chalices, warding staves, skull markers, pens, various magical papers, feathers, containers, charms.

left bottom drawer

The candle drawer

The bottom left drawer. Fairly self explanatory, the Candle drawer. Not all the candles obviously, but the ones most often in need of refilling, the tea light, and little charm candles.

top right hand drawer

The Ingredients drawer

The top right hand drawer. The Ingredient drawer. The place for the oils, the sacred waters, the bowl of various leaves/rocks/twigs/feathers/offering bits, the incense, sacred charcoal, and fur tid bits.

Second right hand drawer

Tools for witchcraft

The second right hand drawer with Tools for witchcraft. My style lol. My bags of ogham staves, runes (stone, antler, & wood), the Alder limb box, another magical box, drift wood, Morrighan war paint, a lil’ mirror, a scrying mirror, and a blessing marker.

The right hand bottom drawer

Odds and botkins

Last and least the bottom right hand drawer, the odds and botkins drawer. Place for bowls, a bottle of the 1st storm of 2010 water, mysterious key book.

I’m glad I did it,  things will be nice and easy for now. As an added bonus I also rearrange the ancestor altar. Took down the spring/summer flowers, because yesterday was also the first day that we bought harvest/halloween decor! After Lughnasadh it’s very very hard for me to focus on anything except “Samhain is coming!”.

The Ancestor Altar

Samhain is coming!

Samhain is coming!

Well folks, this completes our tour of the crazy ladies altar drawers. Thank you for joining us, join us next time for more random frivolous self-indulgent posts. And remember make it Epic. *cheesy 1950’s disneyland music*

All things that glitter…

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Edit for ignorance:  Tim Maki from Black Heart Metal has kindly corrected me in a case of misidentify. The work that is featured here is not his work, but that of  Robin Grattidge with Acts of Piracy.  Somehow I had kept the wrong business card with my skulls over the years, thus now putting us in this embarrassing place. Many thanks for clearing up my faux pau, and I think it certaintly warrants people to continue to check out Black Heart Metal’s fine wares! 

I am an unabashed jewelry hound. Good jewelry will make an outfit. And like most things in my life I like my jewelry to be on the unique sideof things. Unique and big. Imean really if I’m going to bother to wear jewelry it might as well be something you notice, and generally speaking the tiny little delicate modern day jewelry sold at Macy’s and JC Penny’s just gets lost on me. So when I find something I like, and somewhere I like I become a loyal customer.

The above piece is by and far one of my most prized possession, and the culmination of a few years work lol. Approximately five years ago the Lumberjack and I went to the First Annual Nor Cal Pirates Festival, had a blast and it was there that I found what I now refer to as My Smithy. The vendor is Robin Grattidge of Acts of Piracy (sadly there is no web store, but you can view pictures of his work on his FB here) and it was there I found my first raven skull in brass. I LOVE brass. By far my favorite metal to wear, have and own. I tried for a long time to be a silver and emerald gal but really at the soul of the matter I’m a brass and ruby. Anyways I bought it on the spot, having never seen such a great piece before. My Smithy told me then he was working on a wolf skull, which set my little heart a flutter and ensured my return the next year. Well didn’t actually go the next year but I went the year after, and lo there he was and lo there was my wolf skull bigger and better than imagined! The possibilities quickly manifested in my mind and I hungrily bought up the wolf and another raven and affixed them in the manner you see now. When not being worn the whole assemble sits regally on my Morrighan candle.

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Last year we also did not make it out to the Pirate Fest. But this year we did, and I was hoping for something equally epic to add to my collection. I didn’t find any ready wear jewelry but I am very happy with the pieces that I did get.

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Aren’t they fabulous!! A freakin’ boars head and an amazing skull!! As soon as I saw the boar’s head I knew I had to have him. I mean seriously how many brass boar’s heads do you find out in the world? Not many. And my Smithy gave me some useful hints on how to drill and tap him to make him into a pendant. I’m thinking some big red jasper beads, maybe some hawthorn beads, and more brass and it will make the most wicked Dagda necklace.

As for my new little skull friend, I just cannot get over how grand he is. I’ve yet to find his name but in the mean time he shall sit jolly on my altar glittering in the candle light.

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