Monday, August 11, 2014

Bri-efing: YarnBalls

Those are some big balls! 
Don't get me wrong I use to just pull the yarn from the middle because it came that way but as I became more obsessed with yarn and making things I found that my favorite yarns just didn't come prewound to be center pull. 
Like most newbie hookers/knitters I went the easy route and bought myself a yarn baller. It's a great investment, don't get me wrong. there is nothing more fun and satisfying then staring at a lovely pile of yarn cakes after a good hour of balling yarn. But I also take great satisfaction in handballing my center pull balls. We are limited with the yarn baller to one shape. I feel I can make either round, oval, or sphere shapes when I hand ball them. I recently came across another way of handballing the yarn without making a bondage show of your thumb.
Lets dive into the many ways to make center pull yarn balls.

Most yarn the average person comes across is already center pull
This is the easiest to work with and I've found has I've gone further down the road of yarn work I don't like this and end up reballing them anyway. Most the people I enjoy working with leave the skeins like this.

This is how a lot of the yarn I work with comes
 This ball was a gift from the yard sale fairy and I can't even find the outside end piece. I normally gut these kinds anyway because I hate having a ball bouncing around as I pull and work from it.

Gutting a yarn ball is simple, just reach in one of the ends and hook some of the very inside and pull out. I unwind the gutted part and find the very middle then start reballing the yarn from there.

To begin with I bought a simple 45$ ball winder of I spent hours balling my entire yarn collection. To this day balling yarn is a Zen for me, it helps me calm down and think about things for the day. 

This is a yarn cake. It is simple, easy and the shape makes it easy to store.

I found this wonderful webpage a few years ago, before I was heavily involved with Pinterest. That explained how to handball a center pull. I was mesmerized with this method and found I like it better then my ball winder This method makes tighter balls and as it unwinds from the inside I find it less likely to tangle.
These were done with this method.

Once  I started spending hours on Pinterest I came across another method to the above link. It's basically the same but you don't need to worry about setting the winding down and possibly ruining it by removing your thumb.
I have been enjoying putting this method into use only within the last week because that large knitting needle wasn't in my possession till then. I didn't know what I was going to do with it when I first was given it but it dawned on me this method required one needle alone and all the balls on the table were done with it. The one I'm working on is a normal ball done the old fashioned way so I'm reworking it to be center pull.

May the Yarn be with you.

Special thanks to my dog Gerbil for refusing to move during the photos and to Joey, my girlfriends cat who insisted on being the black blurr you see and the little black paws in the last photo.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Dragonfly lore

The Dragonfly

A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera. It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies typically eat mosquitoes, midges and other small insects like flies, bees, and butterflies. They are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands because their larvae, known as "nymphs", are aquatic.
Dragonflies do not normally bite or sting humans (though they will bite in order to escape, for example, if grasped by the abdomen); in fact, they are valued as a predator that helps control the populations of harmful insects, such as mosquitoes. It is because of this that dragonflies are sometimes called "mosquito hawks" in North America along with the Crane Fly (which, in fact, does not eat mosquitoes).
Female dragonflies lay eggs in or near water, often in or on floating or emergent plants. Some species when laying eggs will submerge themselves completely just to lay their eggs in a suitable place. Most of the life of the dragonfly is spent in the larval, (naiad, aka nymph) form, beneath the water surface, using internal gills to breathe, and using extendable jaws to catch other invertebrates or even vertebrates such as tadpoles and fish. The larvae of large dragonflies may live as long as five years, or two months to three years in smaller species. When the the larva is ready to metamorphose into an adult, it climbs up a reed or other emergent plant at night, and when it does the breathing pattern changes inside the larvae's body. Then the skin splits at a weak spot behind the head and the adult dragonfly crawls out of its old larval skin, waits for the sun to rise, pumps up its wings and flies off to feed on midges and flies. In the adult stage, larger species of dragonfly can live as long as four months.
Ancient dragonflies ("Anisozygoptera")
Conventionally, the Anisoptera were given suborder rank beside the ancient dragonflies ("Anisozygoptera", two living species and numerous fossil ones), but it has been determined recently that the Anisozygoptera form a paraphyletic assemblage of primitive relatives of the Anisoptera. Thus, the Anisoptera are reduced to an infraorder, forming the new suborder Epiprocta (dragonflies in a general sense). The artificial grouping Anisozygoptera is disbanded, its members being recognized as largely extinct offshoots at various stages of dragonfly evolution.
The oldest known species of dragonfly is the 320 million year old Delitzschala bitterfeldensis. Another old genus is Namurotypus.
Dragonfly Wikipedia

Dragonfly Symbology
The Dragonfly symbolizes the power of light and Illusion. The dragonfly inhabits two realms: air and water and the influence of both these elements will be felt by Dragonfly people. They will be emotional and passionate during their early years (the influence of water) and more balanced with greater mental clarity and control in as they mature (the influence of air).
Dragonfly is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment; and the communication from the elemental world. Dragonfly medicine beckons you to seek out the parts of your habits which need changing. Call on Dragonfly to guide you through the mists of illusion to the pathway of transformation.
The number 2 is important to Dragonfly, so think in terms of two year periods when you begin a change. Dragonfly brings the light and color of transformation into your life.
Dragonflies, or damselflies, were connected to Freya the Norse goddess of love, fertility and warfare. Freya was famous for her beauty and her knowledge as a magician. It was she who taught Odin the shamanic practices known as seidr which were still practiced during Christian times. The paired bodies of mating dragonflies form the shape of a heart, perhaps being the source for that modern symbol of love. In ancient lore, the dragonfly represents transformation, adaptation and insight.

Dragonfly Folklore and Mythology

In most cultures dragonflies have been objects of superstition. European folklore is no exception. Many old myths have been lost during the history, but fragments of these old myths are still living in old local names for dragonflies.
Only in Germany have dragonflies had over 150 different names. Some of these are Teufelsnadel ("Devil's needle"), Wasserhexe ("Water witch"), Hollenross ("Goddess' horse"), Teufelspferd ("Devil's horse") and Schlangentöter ("Snake killer"). The name Snake Doctor has been used in Germany.
In England the name Devil's darning needle and Horse stinger have been used. In Denmark the dragonfly have got such different names as Fandens ridehest ("Devil's riding horse") and Guldsmed("Goldsmith").
Different names of dragonflies referring to them as the devils tools have also occurred in many other European cultures, some examples are the Spanish Caballito del Diablo ("Devil's horse") and the Frenchl'aiguille du diable ("Devil's needle").
During the history the dragonflies even have been connected with love and female, the names damselfly (England), Demoiselle (France) and Jungfer (Germany) are some examples of those nice associations.
In certain parts of Norway, the dragonfly is also known as "oslash;rsnildra". The exact meaning of this word is unknown to me but the part "oslash", does obviously refer to the Norwegian word for "ear", as people (and especially children) often thought that the dragonfly would poke holes in their ear-drums if it got inside their ears.
The Swedish name for dragonfly is trollslända, which means "hobgoblin fly" in English. Long time ago people in Sweden believed that hobgoblins, elves, brownies and such creatures lived in our great woods. In that folklore the dragonflies was considered to be the hobgoblins twisting tools.
An old Swedish name for dragonfly is Blindsticka ("Blind stinger"), this name comes from the opinion that a dragonfly could pick out your eyes. Other people thought that the dragonfly could sew together your eyelids. The same name appears as well in Norway ("Öyenstikker") as in Germany ("Augenstecher").
Another old Swedish name is Skams besman ("Devil's steelyard"), this name probably depends on the dragonfly's body shape that, with some imagination looks like the weighting tool. In the folklore this was interpreted as that the Devil used the dragonfly to weight the people's souls. When a dragonfly flew around your head, your soul was weighted and you should expect seriously injury as punishment. It is very interesting that, despite of those ideas that the dragonfly should be the Devil's tool, the dragonfly have been a holy animal in Scandinavia. In the Æsir cult the dragonfly was thought to be the love goddess Freya's symbol.
Some of the Latin names of dragonfly families have interesting meanings: The name Libellula might have been derived from the word libella ("booklet") referring to the resting dragonfly, which wings, with some imagination, looks quite like the pages of an open book.
The name Odonata was created by Fabricius in 1793 as name for the whole dragonfly order, means "toothed".

Dragonfly Prophecy

Quote from the book Mystery of The Crystal Skulls ...
    "The Maya considered the dragonfly to be one of the symbols of Kukulcan also known as Quetzalcoatl whose spirit is said to be connected with the fulfillment of the Mayan Calendar." December 21, 2012

I did NOT write any of this! I just wanted to share this and love how this is put. For where I got this click here >Source:


Monday, July 4, 2011

How to write Rituals and Spells

How to write your own Spell or Ritual

I would like to start this handout with a simple fact, these are guide lines but there is no WRONG way to write a spell or ritual because magic is about what feels right to you! It is YOUR energy and desire being put out to the Universe and it is YOUR Will that is being presented.

Know the Basics
Know what magick is. Know different ways to raise, direct and ground energy. Know how to cast a magick circle. Know how to open a circle. Know the basic outline of a spell.

Know the Intent or Purpose
What is it you are trying to do? Heal an illness? Increase your concentration? Bring love into your life? Sell a house? Celebrate a Sabbat? Before you begin any magickal working, you should have a firm grasp on what outcome you are seeking.

Know the Best Time to Work the Spell
Do you know what type of magick should be worked during the waning moon and what type during the waxing moon? What type of magick is best worked on the full moon? The new moon? What days of the week are best for what types of magick? Learn how the moon phases and days of the week affect magickal workings so you will know when to work your spell.

Know Correspondences
Learn which colors will bring what results. Learn a little about herbalism; which herbs can be used for what magickal purposes. Learn about image magick and how it works. Learn about elemental magick; which elements can be used for what types of magick.

Basic Working Spell Outline
Ritual Preparation
Choose a time. Decide the intent. Choose an aspect of the Divine, if you wish. Decide how to raise energy (IE: dance, chanting, drumming, etc.) Choose how to cast and close the circle.
Cleanse yourself and your magickal space.
You can do this with a ritual bath/shower for yourself, or through meditation to still and focus your mind. You can cleanse your space with your magickal broom or with incense or burning herbs.
Cast the Circle
Invocation of the Divine or The Elementals or The Watchtowers
Statement of purpose
This is simply to tell the Divine/Elementals/Watchtowers why you have called Him/Her/Them to the circle; what you are trying to accomplish.
Magickal Working
Raise energy, through chanting or drumming or however you have chosen to do so. Direct or channel this energy by using candles, herbs, stones or whatever other correspondences you found to fit your specific need. Ground your energy when you have completed the working.
Cakes and Wine (optional)
Eat a small piece of bread or biscuit/cookie and drink a little wine, milk, juice or water to help restore your energy. Since I usually do my spells late of a night (near midnight) I tend to just meditate for a little while and/or have a glass of water. Be practical - don't eat or drink anything that will not help you sleep.
Thanking the Divine/Elementals/Watchtowers
The Divine, whom ever you saw fit to evoke, has been present and provided their protection or blessing, as is with the elements and/or watch towers. Some people make the evoking and releasing/thanking the most embellished part of the ritual. Here you draw your banishing pentacles or pentagrams, praise the elements/divine/watchtowers and send them on their way. For some a formal release is always said like “Stay if you will, go if you must. But Harm thee none along the way. Hail and Farewell” but it is not mandatory.
Closing the Circle
This process is a releasing of the energies you've laid to work for protection and power. You are sending the energy back to the Universe or sending it to do other things, in covens they sometimes send the energy to protect the area where the coven meets most or always.

Why Do Witches Cast Circles?

The purpose of casting a circle is to create a safe, sacred space in between worlds for Witches to do their magickal workings. When casting it, you are also doing so to prevent any negative energy, spirits, or other nasty little entities who want to meddle in your magickal workings, from being able to enter it. And trust me, they're real, and they can really screw up a spell if you don't cast your circle properly. And if you're careless in your workings, these nasties can slip through your circle, and take up residence in your home. With that in mind, please take great care when casting & releasing your circle.
As always, the key to creating a strong circle is your personal power, and using your visualization skills so you can actually see the circle. When you cast a circle it is not just a round space on the floor. It is like a bubble that rises high above you, and below your floor. The energy of circles can be so strong that dowsing rods can even detect them.
While some books say a circle must be 9 feet round, they never say why. So I say do what feels right for you, and make it as big or small as you wish. Just make sure the circle is large enough to contain your altar, magickal supplies, and be able to walk around without hitting the edge. If you live in a place where this isn't possible, for example, you can't move your altar from against the wall, or other location, make the entire room into a circle. You are free to visualize what your circle looks like. I visualize a big bubble and see a circle of flames surrounding it. Depending on the spell or ritual, I may visualize the flames in different colors. For example, I'd see a pink fire if doing a love spell, a green fire for a money spell, and blood red when doing high magick like lifting hexes and curses. For everyday things I find a blue flame very helpful for some reason.

Can I Leave The Circle Once It's Cast?
Leaving a circle once it's cast is highly frowned upon as it can give negative energies a chance to get in while you're going out and back in, but you can do it...if you must! Don't just go wandering out as though the circle isn't even there or all heck can break loose. If you are smart, and using the salt water string method I'm about to teach you, you can over lap the string at the ends and just open it enough for you to quickly slip out, and slip back in again. If you cast a circle without using a cord or string, then use your athame, wand, or finger to 'cut' a door. Go through it and seal it. Come back and do the same thing.
Some Witches choose to fast on the day they perform magick so the body is focused on your magick instead of digesting. If you can do that, go a head, if not, try to eat light meals, and don't eat at least two and a half hours before you perform a spell or ritual.

Why do you have to do so many things to cast a circle?
The reason is to get your subconscious, and conscious mind in the proper state, in order to perform what ever spell or ritual you're going to do. If you just walk up to your altar, dirty, in the clothing you wore to work, possibly carrying negative energies you picked up from other people, light a few candles and read something, do you really think it would amount to anything? Of course not! You aren't putting any effort into it. And your effort is the most important thing in any spell or ritual. It is most important especially when it comes to beginners, who are new to all of this. Who haven't yet felt the cone of power one builds in their magickal circle, or the fact that after a while, you can literally feel if you get too close to the end of the circle. All these actions add power and substance to your magickal workings, so don't try to cut corners or rush through the process. Once you have cast circles enough times, it won't feel like so much to do. You will get used to it, as well as the feelings and energies you feel within yourself and your circle.
Now it's time to begin casting the circle.

First, sweep the circle clean to rid the area of any negative energies. As you do so, think of some kind of chant to say as you sweep. Just a simple saying like "Sweep, sweep, sweep away, any negativity here today." is fine. Just think of your own chant. That one's mine.
Place your element candles in the 4 directions, North, East, South and West. This is where your compass comes in very handy.
Ring your bell 3 times, or clap your hands 3 times to signal the beginning of the spell or ritual.
Moving deosil pronounced Jes-ul or Dee-a-sil (clockwise), begin by outlining the circle with your cord or string making sure to include your altar and all your materials inside. Make sure you have plenty of room to move around. If you don''t want to use a cord, just use your wand or athame to outline the circle. But I find it best, especially for beginners, to be able to actually see the circle. If possible, outline it with salt or sand.
Depending on what book you read, the author will suggest beginning in one of the 4 directions. As North represents the Gods and Mother Earth, and is the direction of the element (Earth), I feel the biggest connection to, I choose to start in that direction. You should start in whatever direction feels right to you, and if you can't decide, then just start in the direction your altar is facing.
Using your athame, slowly trace the circle in the air while visualizing a colored flame emanating from your body, down your arm and into your athame and around the circle. As you trace the circle visualize a protective bubble growing around, above and below you.

Invoking and Banishing Pentacles:

In casting a circle, many Witches, including myself, like to draw invoking pentacles in the air in each element direction at the beginning of the ritual and banishing ones at the end when releasing the elements. This is optional. Always do what feels right for you. Starting with Earth (North):
To draw and invoking pentacle :

To Close the Circle:
To close the circle, start with the guardians in the West and proceed to the South, East and finally the North. Then you say farewell to any deity you invited to join you in the circle. Not forgetting to draw a banishing pentacle in the air with your wand, athame, or your power finger (the one you write with).

To draw a banishing pentacle :
Quick Note: Always remember to NEVER discuss or brag about a spell you've done with anyone ,other than people in your coven or closely trusted circle. If you are a solitary Witch, then simply keep it to yourself. The reason for this is that if you do, the energy of the person you are telling it to (that may not believe you, or have the same faith in your power as you), can connect with the energy of the spell and interfere with all the hard work you just did. They could ruin your spell entirely just with powers of disbelief. This ties into a lesson about To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. We will cover this in time.
Spells are part of Ritual as well, though most of the time Rituals are elaborate celebrations and are in worship of the Moon/Goddess/God/Sabbat/Esbat etc. While spells are things as simple as burning a piece of sage over a candle for cleansing before walking out the door each morning.

A spell is a prayer using objects to enhance that prayer.
You can use a small variety of items, something as simple as one candle and a piece of paper, or you can have a full altar set up and perform a spell. Because it is ritual in nature but simple in practice you don't have to caste a circle and the evoke the spirits for a spell, Though spells are part of a ritual has a whole. Just take the time to clear your mind and focus on what your are praying for, go through what need to than be on your way. Some spells need refreshing each day, some spells can be one shots where you ask the Universe for it's answer and leave it at that, it will or will not happen.
Know what you are asking
Just like with Rituals, know what it is you are putting out to the Universe. Don't just pray for something that you haven't tried to receive by your own means first. Take the time to think out what you are doing. Try even writing down a step by step process or plan and the spell will be the last resort.
Make sure you know what tools to use even if you are using something simple. White candles are the catch all color but if you really want to focus on what your goal is look up the colors that match your desire, the right incense, the correct oils and stones. The correct Deity to pray to is also a big thing, if you need love you don't ask Kali-ma for guidance when Aphrodite is dancing in the corner trying to get your attention. Also make sure you ask around the right time, the phase of the moon holds so many different energies that you need to know what you want is being heard at the right time.
It is a good to cleanse yourself, take a nice bath with herbal all organic products if you can, if not it's okay! We won't come find you and hex you for using Suave or some high priced shampoo to cleanse away the negativity of the day. But make sure you are clean. Smudge or sweep around the area you are working in, make sure the tools and altar are cleared of negative energy. I personally had a small space to live in that meant that the normal every day energy filtered into my tiny corner where my religious stuff was and I had to cleanse it constantly. Take the time anoint your candles and tools (Using oils or incense to cleanse the tools, if you haven't consecrated them you can do this as well at this time, this is when you ask for the blessing of the Lord and Lady and all the elements on the tool.)

Note: Before I move on to Rituals I am going to point out that I put spells here because they are incorporated in Ritual's.

Basic Ritual Outline
This is my personal Ritual outline. It can be modified and changed to meet you own needs and wants, it will always be mentioned and acknowledged that magic is about what feels right to you.

  • Call the Quarters/Elements (some people do this as the second step. You don't have to call the Watchtowers, some people just call the elements or animals associated with those directions.)
  • Evoke the Goddess and God (Or just the Goddess depending on what you need and/or believe)
  • Caste Circle (some people do this first)
  • Main part of Ritual (This is the spell, this is the worship, you may sing a song to a god or goddess, work on healing someone, or communing with the divine.)
  • Cakes and Ale (for some there is a separate blessing for the Cake than the Ale. For Chalice Circle and TLO we have toast and boast where everyone shares their thanks and sorrows, others, like in covens, share the cakes and ale has part of the ritual with the High Priestess and High Priest presenting the Offerings to each coven mate than proceeding back to the center. In a Coven Cakes and Ale can be part of the main ritual itself not separate.)
  • Some people write a last song or chant here.
  • Releasing the Goddess and God (this can be done while releasing Quarters/Elements after Circle is released.)
  • Releasing the Quarters/Elements (this can be done while releasing Goddess and God after Circle is released)
  • Releasing the Circle (this can be done before releasing the Goddess and God and Quarters/Elements)

    Keep in mind this only MY personal way of writing out a ritual. I do use books and the internet to learn more and figure out outlines. I write rituals for the sabbats based on what corresponds with that festival and find that someone has already written a spell or ritual that FEELS right to me to use in an open group. There is no WRONG way to do this.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What IS Magick

Chris Angel freaks our minds with many alluring and daring stunts that make us marvel and wonder, “How did he do that?” What can I do to be that awesome and amazing?!

Well if that is what you think we're talking about tonight than you are wrong. There are no card tricks, or pulling things through glass windows, there is only the magick that resides within you.

“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood which unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself...”
“Magick is about connecting with the Divine force, allowing it to fill us, transform us, and make us wise. All magick flows from our connection to the sacred, therefore all of our work must be guided by the divine nature of expression of the divine, magic has always been used for practical purposes. But unless it is informed by the sacred, practical magic based on the projection of will alone rapidly deteriorates into selfish ego gratification. Ultimately, when magick is practiced only for this purpose, it soon ceases to work. All magick ultimately runs on our connection to the divine. There is a basic rule of magic that you must remember: The energy you put into a spell determines the energy that comes out of your spell. If you are angry, anger will return; if you are needy, neediness will return to you; if you are greedy, greediness will return to you. I think that is what most people think the threefold law means.”
“Spiritual work is about learning to make the connection to the divine web of life and then giving expression to the sacred power that resides within each of us.”
-Book of Shadows by Phyllis W. Curott

“Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will”
“Every intentional act is a Magickal act.”
“Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.”
-Aleister Crowley

Before we can start even thinking about using magick we need to learn what exactly it is we are working with. Like working out, magick can be compared to exercising, it is like your muscles, if you don't use it then it will get weaker.
Magick is something you have with in yourself , something very personal and alive. Before you can fully grasp and control it, you must be able to love, accept, appreciate, and know YOURSELF.
As mentioned above in the quote from Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott, if you can not calm yourself, or know yourself well enough to fix your anger issues, than you bring that into your magick and when you place that spell or prayer before the universe wrapped in anger than it will give you anger back in turn. If you can not balance yourself and realize that you are constantly changing and learning and that you are connected to everything and you every day actions and thoughts affect what is around you than you can not control and use the magick with in you.


  • Paganism itself is about constantly learning, not a single person knows everything and even if you've studied elements your whole life you still can read and learn more about them.
  • Not everyone is perfect, not everyone has themselves figured out. It is something that can take years and time but they still use the magic within themselves and grow and learn from it. This is okay.
  • Magic is a LAST step. If you can not change yourself to get the desired affect you want than why should the universe do it for you?
    • Example of bad use: You really want a job and did one interview but don't really know how it's going to go. You do a spell to get the job and the universe does answer. What if that job was suppose to be someone elses and they needed it more than you did. By doing this you put them out because you didn't want to keep checking or looking for other jobs.
    • Example of a good use: You applied at many places around town, you have had many many job interviews, each having given them your best resume and smile. You have done extra social networking to see if your friends can get you a job or know of where to go but that doesn't seem to be working. You preform a small ritual where you make a small pouch for prosperity and work, asking for a job that is for you to come your way. You carry this pouch into the next interview with you and the next day they call you back.
      • For those that follow karma this can be countered with, what if by making the pouch you are taking the job from someone like mentioned before. Here is the difference, you gave it your all! You did what you could do to get what you needed but that wasn't enough. You also asked the pouch to bring you a job for you, not demanding the one job you applied for without making more effort.
  • Spells are one way of directing your magick. My personal explanation of what a spell is, is the use of objects to enhance a prayer where you are sending your will into the universe in hopes it will be answered.
  • The word spell comes from Rune casting, when someone would cast runes the would read what the runes spelled.
  • Magick is not just with in you but around you.
    • The wind
    • Rainbows
    • that odd feeling you get when something is amiss
    • The way the sun shines during your lunch break
    • When a walk in the park makes everything go away for a time
    • the moon over a the trees
    • your dog greeting you at the door, ect.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Shadowscapes Tarot Deck

Shadowscapes Tarot Deck

This is one of the most beautiful decks I have ever had the honor of connecting with and reading with. I was introduced to the artwork of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law while in training in Oceana VA. My roommate and fellow pagan, pulled out a collection of prints she had of Stephanie's and fawned over them like a giddy teenager. She pointed out a gorgeous depiction of some foxes and told me this would be one of the pictures in the Tarot Deck Stephanie was making. I was drawn to the flow of her artwork, the way it draws you in, both bringing your attention to the main character of the drawing and it's surroundings.

In 2005 I was given my first deck by my mother, she gave me an unopened box with the Mythic Tarot inside, which I found out years later is the original 1980's first print of it. This deck gave me my most accurate readings along with the satisfaction of being part of my personal pantheon. It was the best possible deck to give me to bring me into the world of Tarot. When I joined the military this deck found its way to me even across the ocean on the island of Oahu almost a year after having left it and many of my possessions behind. In 2009 I was handed a beautiful deck, which I won't name till I do the review on it, by my friend Glory. I look back and see that deck for what it was, it was with me very shortly and did not come with a book, which frustrates me but it was mine and picked me. My Mythic deck had gone cold and is now retired, this other deck was only active till I came to Jacksonville Florida where Shadowscape's deck jumped at me in a Booksamillion one day.

This is the only deck I have ever bought for myself! It is believed that decks given as gifts are the most powerful, I follow this but that does not mean that decks you buy yourself are not good or just as powerful! This deck tells me things I need to know without me asking.

I was shuffling the deck just this past weekend and there is a major conflict with a person from my past and my current situation. The two cards it threw at me basically said what I already knew and was ignoring, these are some of those cards whose meanings are kinda set in stone and out of all the cards to fall out of that deck.. makes me wonder.

In the past three months I have been able to become more acquainted with myself, I have plastered my life with my favorite color, purple. I have layered my tiny room with stuffed animals and my pagan books/tools. I have my own little den that is tainted by no one but myself. Upon getting the deck and opening it I found it be printed in the most beautiful shade of purple I could think of which tickled my fancy more than the rose colored deck I had been using.

Shadowscapes Deck

Stephanie Pui-Mun is a water color artist that has been gifting us with a glimpse into her world since 1998, her books and works met there peek in 2008-present.
I personally am drawn into the flow of her work, the way the water colors bring out the images. For example in her card, The Empress, the illustration you see on the box for the deck and most commonly online, is a wonderful mix of purple and oranges, the variety of colors within the butterflies and The Empress herself draws your eyes to every corner of the card.

The Empress: “Lady Mother,” Call the wondering souls. “We bring you gifts.” They fly near the Empress, dancing in the sky. They paint synchronized kaleidoscope choreographies for her pleasure, and she smiles as she takes it in. Her mind and her thoughts are the conductor to this visual symphony.
Gently, they lay a crown woven of the first buds of spring across her brow. “Jasmine and Lily of the Valley have graciously donated their first buds for your coronet.” the spirits sigh.
“The Apple Tree Man has gifted you with his fruit, and the Lady of the Fields, her grains.” These they lay in her basket.
Wish a sudden flourish. The spirits whirl together, then spin off in an explosion of light and music. “Farewell, dear Lady!” they call.

Meaning: Creativity, generosity, patience, love. The Empress is about abundance, experiencing the senses, and embracing the natural. She is a creator. She is the Mother, fertile and nurturing. Clasped to her body like a child, she holds a basket of the earth's bounty: fruits and sheaves of wheat and glorious flowers. She is the primal essence and embodiment of life, and is deeply tied to nature. Crowned in ivy, she is clasped in garments the colors of the world around her.

The explanations of the empress is Stephanie's world as she created these cards, this glimpse into how she envisions the majesty of The Empress is so vivid to me that when I look up on this card I feel like I can step inside it, that I am in a grove of fairies and she is the queen within the center greeted by spring it self upon butterfly wings. This is the feeling I want from my decks and she delivered it almost to the T.
I am only going to share the Empress with you and picture of the Fool because I do not wish to over expose this deck to anyone so that they may go and get to learn from it themselves.

The Fool is a towering and wonderful beginning to this deck, she is perched upon the precipice of her own choices, dancing in the center of the card like a warning or beckoning for you to continue. I am highly impressed with the layout of the card, though it lacks more to it than what is depicted in the center I am happy with what is there. The pillar with which she stands is a complex expression of life to me. I see the security of that on which she stands but she still looks onwards and up for freedom and the unknown. Like all of her work, the best way I can describe it is that it flows so beautifully together. I know I've over used the word flow previously but it is to me the only way to portray what I am seeing.

As far as Tarot cards go, I personally am more attuned to cards with a lot going on in the picture. I am highly empathic and more in touch with feeling energies than seeing anything so tarot for me needs many avenues for my eyes to following to relay the messages for me. I have a deck with so little on it that I can't do a reading to the full degree with which I know I can but I have no heart to give it away because it was a gift from someone very close to me.

I highly recommend this deck to even beginners, Shadowscapes companion comes with this deck, written by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore. It is comprised of easily understandable lay outs, each card has a comprehensible description, as shown in my glimpse of The Empress card above. It is easy to see that both Barbara and Stephanie have a passion for this deck and their work while reading the book, and that is one of the most import things I believe every author and writer needs. I hope you can find the joy and knowledge within this deck that I have, and will in days to come.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Egyptian Sun God Horus


Pagans today worship in many different ways, they follow many different old religions and pantheons. One of the oldest pantheons known to man is the Egyptian Pantheon. This pantheon is full of many different Gods and Goddesses, and each one of them has many different versions of themselves. Among this pantheon I have come across many conversations that the Sun God Horus is the first God born to a virgin.

I have been practicing witchcraft since I was 16 years old, and since this is a pagan specific post I will give a quick review of my own experiences. I started studying different religions when I was 13 due to a controversial conversation with my parents, at age 16 due to the influence of a friend and personal paranormal experiences I started actively practicing witchcraft. I am a great believer in research and books. I own more books than I can count and am pulling all this information from sources, I claim now that I am NOT an expert and I do want you all to openly talk about and question this subject in the comments below.

In my studies I had never heard until this year that Horus was ever born of a virgin mother. I will state my knowledge here and than the research in the rest of this blog. I know without reading anything that Horus is the son of Osiris and the Goddess Isis. Though the story around his conception is in many variations, as I will explain most of the Egyptian myths are, they all point to him being conceived through the mating of Osiris and Isis. Isis is by no means a virgin nor is her brother-husband Osiris. Both are Gods, both children of Geb and Nut.

3,000 years before the story of the birth of Jesus Christ there existed a God whom many claim is the first god born of a virgin. His name was Horus, the Sun God, son of Isis and Osiris. This Falcon God of the Ancient Egyptian world is depicted in many myths, he was followed by many and worshiped as a War and Hunting God.

Horus in falcon form is shown upon a standard on the predynastic Hunters Palette in the "lion hunt". Thus he became a symbol of majesty and power as well as the model of the pharaohs. The Pharaohs were said to be Horus in human form. Furthermore Nemty, another war god, was later identified as Horus.

A lot of our terminology today comes from the God Horus. Our word hours; is the track of the sun through out the day. Horizon, which comes from the phrase "Horus has risen". Sun set comes from Horus's rival Set, whom was a God of the Darkness. During the morning Horus would battle Set and win, while in the evening Set would be victorious and darkness would follow.

So lets visit the myth behind the birth of Horus.
-Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his penis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish, and used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a gold phallus to conceive her son. Once Isis knew she was pregnant with Horus, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Osiris and who she knew would want to kill their son. There Isis bore a divine son, Horus.

Upon reading E.A. Wallis Budge's books, which are direct translations and explanations from Egyptian tombs and ancient buildings, I found that the mention of Osiris missing his phallus is only portrayed a few times in Egyptian paintings, it is simple to say that in these few drawings his penis is severed from his body not missing. This is minor note in the story of Horus, I point this out because Isis had to use her knowledge of powerful words to put Osiris back together and than couple with him, maybe the fact that she mated with a reanimated god, one possibly with a artificial phallus, is where the misconception that it is a 'virgin' birth is derived from. Because there is no actual sex.

To point out for those of you who do not know. Virgin did not always mean a person who had not had sex, it's original meaning was a woman without a man, a woman in charge of herself. So this also may be why they say Horus was born of a virgin. During Horus's birth the Goddess Isis hid to bare the child because her brother Set, the murder of Osiris, wanted the son of Osiris to die. So Isis was alone and independent at the time of Horus's birth.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses have a long ancient history behind them, they come with many names and myths. Horus is one of the main Gods and his life spans predynastic times. I will name each of the important forms of Horus, and a brief description of them.

Heru-ur: Horus the Elder. He is depicted in the form of man with the head of hawk, and also as a lion with the head of a hawk; he also wears the crowns of the South and North united. According to some texts he is the son of Hather and Ra. In late dynasty times he was said to be the brother of Osiris, and twin to Set. He is the Lord of the Sun and Moon. At the city of Sekhem Horus was worshiped in the form of lion, the lord of the south. Sometimes he is identified with Shu, son of Ra. In the city of Ombos Heru-ur was the head of a triad which consisted of himself, and his female counterpart, Ta-sent-nefert, and their son P-neb-taui. Later titles for Heru-ur and Ta-sent-nefert make it clear that this version of them became Shu and his sister Tefnut in later history.

Heru-P-Khart: Horus the younger or “The Child”. He is depicted as a young man wearing a lock of hair, the symbol of youth, on the right side of his head; sometimes he wears the triple crown with feathers and disks, and the like. He is the form of the rising sun and represents his earliest rays. There are seven forms of Horus the younger besides the many forms of just Horus. 1)Heru-Ra-p-khart, 2) Heru-Shu-p-khart, 3) Sma-taui-p-khart, 4) Heru-p-khart, 5) Ahi, 6) Haq-p-khart, and 7) Heru-Hennu.

Heru-Merti: This is Horus as a man with a hawk's head, horns on his head with a solar disk encircled by a uraeus. He holds a Utachati. A passage in a papyrus quoted by Lanzone calls him “Horus of the Two Eyes”.

Heru-Nub: A hawk seated at the head of an antelope.
Heru-Khenti-khat: Horus at the head of sightlessness or Blind Horus. He represents the god when neither of his eyes are visible. He is a new moon god if you want better clarification.
Heru-khuti: Horus of the two horizons. Represents the sun in its daily course across the skies.

Heru-sma-taui: Horus, the uniter of the South and North. He is said to be the son of Hather. He is said to come to earth has a hawk or a certain species of serpent. In this form he is said to spring into existence from a lotus flower which blossomed in the heavenly abyss of Nu at dawn at the beginning of the year.

Heru-Hekennu: He is said to be the son of the goddess Bast.

Heru-Behutet: This is one of the greatest and most important forms of Horus, for he represents that form of Heru-khuti which prevailed in the southern heavens at midday, and as such symbolized the greatest power of the heat of the sun. It is under this form that Horus waged war against Set.

Horus, or Shu in this myth, is the face of the sky, the Sun is his right eye and the moon is his left. During the battle between Set and Horus, Set damages Horus's left eye and is punished by Ra for doing so. This is why the belief in Egyptian mythology comes from that the moon is less powerful than the sun.

In the older stories it is unclear why Set and Horus fought, though they did fight unarmed. In older myths they fight because Horus is avenging Osiris's death and is armed with many iron weapons and accompanied by his followers who are black smiths. There is a story of Heru-Netch-Tef-f which is where the pictures of Horus slaying Hippos and various chained animals come from, it is believed that there was a powerful man that come down the Nile with better weapons than those he encountered this myth was crafted from his experiences and the holes filled in with stories of Horus.

Now I can go on about Heru-Behutet for this is the most important form, but I am writing this in reference to the modern argument that he is the first virgin born God. If you would like to learn more E.A. Wallis Budge's book The gods of the Egyptians volume 1, has a huge chapter on Horus and goes into great detail about Heru-Behutet.

Heru-thema: Horus the piercer. This is the form in one of the myths that Horus attacked Set in.

Heru-Hebenu: the form Horus is worshiped in the city of Hebenu.

Heru-sa-Ast-sa-Asar: Horus the son of Isis, son of Osiris. He is the general rising of the sun, he is the Greek equivalent of Apollo. Text go back and forth between whether he is the son of Osiris or Ra, while others say he IS Ra eventually. This is all lost in time and translation. There is a myth where Horus dies while Isis is trying to hide the child from Set, he is stung by a scorpion and Isis has to beg Serqet, the scorpion goddess, to save him. She succeeds. According to a calender dated Brit. Mus., No. 10,184, Horus began his battle with Set, which lasted three days, on the 26th day of the month of Thoth, and the two gods fought in the form of two men, Horus is now in the form “Horus, the avenger of his father.”

Much like Heru-Behutet, there are many many pages on Horus the son of Isis. I suggest again if you want to learn more you read the book suggested above. I will continue with the important names of Horus.

Heru-Pa-Khart: Horus the Child. The attributes that encompassed the old versions of Horus were carried over to this version, esspecially during the time when Osiris was highly worshiped. This form was eventually forgotten though, and Horus the son of Isis was all that was worshiped.
-From the New Empire on they found that Horus the Child, or Horus the son of Isis was called Harpocrates and worshiped from than on, he was called a form of Ra, child of Isis. This is another connection to him being Ra. 

These are the most important forms of Horus, there are many many more, but due to the nature of this blog I will not bore you all with that information and if you really want it, its simply in the book I suggested above and is easily researched.

Looking at the image to the left you may say "Oh, its the Eye of Ra." a very common symbol seen in todays modern witchcraft and art. This started out has the Eye of Horus, it was a very powerful Sun God symbol and was used for protection, a sign of high birth and for general good health. This symbol was converted to the eye of Ra when Akhenaten became pharaoh and forced all of Egypt to worship only one god, thats a story for a different blog. 

One of the most common myths with Horus is the death of Ani. Horus takes him to Anubis to have his soul weighed and when he passes the test he is presented to Osiris, whom it is said favored those that were presented to him by his son. This could possibly be another connection to the Jesus stories.

There are connections between Anubis and Horus, some stories, as most of them are lost in translation due to time and the destruction of tomb walls and paintings, some say that Anubis is Horus, or that Anubis is a child of Horus. They both worked in the underworld for Osiris and this is possibly why they are linked.

On websites I went to during my Google search, I found the information in parentheses below and nothing to back it, just the ramblings of the people who wrote the websites and references to other websites that just said the same thing. ((Horus was born on December 25th and had three great pharaohs follow a star to him to adorn him with gifts. At the age of 12 he was a great teacher to the people by the age of 30 he had been baptized by the God Apt(Now I don't know if I spelled that correctly and if you know anything about this please post).)).

Here are a few other gods also claiming to be born of virgins: Attis(Greece) born on Dec 25 of a virgin, crucified, and resurrected 3 days later, Krishna(India) born of a virgin, performed miracles, crucified and resurrected, Mithra(Persia) born of a virgin, had 12 disciples, crucified and resurrected. These are the main ones I found but there are dozens more of gods predating Jesus that were born of virgins, crucified, and resurrected.

I keep finding references to Dionysus as a virgin born god, being that the Greek Pantheon is my personal pantheon I am well aware this is wrong. Semele slept with Zeus to become pregnant and when she died at the site of Zeus's true form the baby was sewn into Zeus's thigh where he was born again, which is why he is known as the "Twice-Born". Neither of his parents are virgins. I am confused by the references made in the many “Christianity is a lie and this is why” websites, which I will post them below with the statement that I did not read them fully because I do not believe in christian bashing and the information from what I did read was wrong and I felt it was a waste of my time, if it is of any use to you by all means have at, comments about further readings are welcome.

I would like to thank Jaya, who posted about this topic when I asked what I should write about next. I enjoy learning new things and since the Egyptian pantheon is not well known to me I learned a lot just reading about Horus. Please comment and discuss below, and I repeat I am not an expert and will always point this out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tell Me About It


Welcome to the over spill of the endless thoughts of an ADHD inflicted Nerdy Witchy Woman.

I listen to the screams of small children while I down my iced coffee and lavish in the smell of baked goods as I abuse the free internet gifted by my local Panera Bread.

It is a small gift that I cherish since I lack internet in my small room that this change in life has put me in. I can not complain though, my roommate is a very understanding and open minded woman from India, whom carries a very lively tiny version of herself that torments her and me sometimes in his acrobatics! Jaya is due in June and we all look forward to seeing the little monster. I'll happily post pictures of him when I finally see him.

For this first blog post I will not rant to much about anything specific, I might want to talk about myself, but find that most of that is covered in the labeling that the About Me section demands we write and I went over the main points already. So I will amuse you all with the flow of my mind for only a brief posting.

If you have anything that you want me to talk about, for I enjoy researching and learning, I will gladly post things. I plan to do a bi-weekly Tarot card review of decks, on top of blogging about my latest gundam figures completion and my view on the products I used to make them, my thoughts on various pagan lessons we cover in my open circle (Which is Chalice Circle Jax and starts in May when the location is available), and lastly my insane female rantings that is always a must when it comes to any woman's blog where she can be passive aggressive towards those around her without directly confronting them. :P

That should be it plain and simple!

Any Questions?