And now for something different

I have three pieces featuring genuine Ethiopian welo opal, in time for the holiday season.

Espoir du Printemps: Pewter pendant with genuine Ethiopian welo opal and peridot cabochons, on a necklace of AAA-grade prehnite rounds, Baltic amber chips, sunstone rondelles, peridot rondelles, with genuine Ethiopian opal rondelles, pewter spacers, and Czech glass rounds (small pale green Druks, and frosted white), and tiny iridescent Czech glass seed beads. As the name suggests, this piece is evocative of springtime and the magick of the Green.  The necklace measures approximately 20″ long not counting the pendant (the pendant is approximately 1″ long), and is strung on sturdy monofilament with an easy-to-operate brass lobster claw clasp. $300.

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Soleil et La Lune: Genuine Ethiopian welo opal cabochon set in an ornate pewter pendant, on a magnificent strand of rainbow moonstone ovals and rondelles, genuine Ethiopian welo opal rondelles, and glimmering sunstone and peridot rondelles, with pewter spacers and tiny iridescent glass seed beads. There are twenty-eight welo opal rondelles on this necklace. The flash and sparkle of the gemstones is very hard to photograph properly, the pictures are not as nice as the piece is in person.The pendant measures approximately 1″ long, and the necklace itself is approximately 19″ long. The necklace is strung on monofilament, and has a silvertone lobster claw clasp.  $400.

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La Lumière du Soleil et la Tempête: Genuine Ethiopian welo opal cabochon set in ornate pewter, on an exquisite necklace of flashy labradorite chips, shimmering glass crystal rounds, sparkling genuine Ethiopian welo opal rondelles, and glimmering faceted sunstone rondelles, pewter spacers, and tiny iridescent Czech glass seed beads.The fire of the welo opals and the flash of the labradorite chips is hard to photograph properly. It is utterly dazzling in person, and reminds me of sunshine sparkling on the sea after a storm, hence the name.

The pendant measures approximately 1″ long, and the necklace measures approximately 20″ and is on a lobster claw clasp, strung on monofilament.  There are thirty-six opal rondelles in this piece, and it is going for $500.

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The market value of genuine welo opal is very, very high, and there are also other gemstones going into these pieces, as well as the cost of time and labor – these are handcrafted artisan necklaces, one-of-a-kind wearable art.

As I keep mentioning, I am having a sale on Black Friday.  The “early bird discount” starts on Thursday at 10 PM Pacific (1 AM Eastern) and lasts until 5 AM Pacific on Friday morning (8 AM Eastern), and that discount is 25% your order, no minimum purchase.  There is a 20% discount the rest of the day on Friday.  So with the 25% discount applied, the $300 piece becomes $225, the $400 piece becomes $300, and the $500 piece becomes $375.

If you convo me requesting this, I will put one (or more) of these necklaces on hold for you to purchase on Friday and will honor the early bird discount (since you acted beforehand to request this) – I am also happy to start layaway plans on these pieces wherein I will honor the sale price.  So the $500 opal piece could be yours for $400 – ten payments of $40, four payments of $100, or however you wanted to work out the installments.

(I enjoy doing layaway plans for people as I like people to have nice things – a little special something can go a long way towards self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-care – and I understand from my own experience that not everyone is made of money and may need to save up for something.  I also feel kind of like Santa Claus when I mail out something that is finally paid down, it makes me happy that the customer is finally getting their thing that they’ve been looking forward to.)

This also applies to anything currently available in my store – if you’re looking at treating yourself or buying gifts at my store, and you see something you like, I strongly suggest you act on having me reserve something for you or we work out a payment plan, because I cannot promise things will stay in stock.  Feel free to signal boost this post, tell your friends – and thank you to everyone for your support and patronage, especially my regular customers.  It is because of y’all that I am finally making my dreams come true, doing what I’ve always wanted to do.  <3

Green, Teal, Blue and White

New arrivals in my Etsy store in time for Black Friday:

Étoiles Elfique Vert: An “eye clean” faceted green amethyst (aka prasiolite) seven-pointed star pendant shimmers on a necklace of peridot, AAA-grade prehnite, and Czech glass beads. This necklace would be ideal for those who identify or work with elves and fae, or want something green and equally suitable for formal and casual wear.  The star pendant measures approximately 1/4″ long and the necklace itself measures approximately 19″ long. It is strung on sturdy monofilament, and on a brass lobster claw clasp that is easy to operate.  The necklace is going for $100.

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Mer Ensoleillée: Blue-green quartz pendant on a strand of labradorite, turquoise, and Czech glass seed beads in teal, gold-lined aqua, and iridescent silver. The pictures do not do justice to the flash of the labradorite chips. This necklace is strung on monofilament, has a silvertone lobster claw clasp, and measures approximately 16″. It is dressy enough to wear on evenings out and yet is not out of place with a T-shirt and jeans.

As the title might suggest, this piece reminds me of the sea on a sunny day, and all of the peaceful easy feelings that accompany a day of enjoying it. It is a good piece to connect with the element of Water or with deities connected to the sea such as Njord or Poseidon. Upon request I will do Reiki on this item (free of charge) to help create a feeling of calm when this necklace is worn.

The necklace is $40.

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Reine de La Nuit: A blue pyrite druzy focal pendant on a necklace of electric blue Czech glass beads and Czech crystals. A boldly elegant statement piece, perfect for evenings out, holiday parties, Ren Faire, or even ritual where one might wish to evoke the magick of the night. Necklace measures approximately 16″ and is strung on sturdy monofilament, with a silvertone lobster claw clasp.  $50.

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Dame des Neiges de L’hiver: A necklace fit for a winter queen. Shimmering white quartz druzy focal bead on a necklace of white freshwater pearl, aquamarine, and iridescent lampwork. These pictures do not do justice to the sparkliness of the necklace, especially the sparkles of the focal bead.

This choker is strung on sturdy monofilament, has a silvertone lobster claw clasp, and measures approximately 14″ circumference. Upon request I can throw in a free 2″ or 6″ extender chain.

This piece is $120.

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So, Black Friday is coming!  I will be offering an “early bird” coupon at my Etsy shop for 25% off (no minimum purchase) starting at 10 PM Pacific time on Thursday the 27th, through 5 AM Pacific time Friday the 28th.  After 5 AM Pacific time, through 12 midnight, I will be offering a 20% off coupon (also no minimum purchase).

If you like one of the above pieces and would purchase on Black Friday, I will put an item on hold for you, for you to take advantage of the Black Friday discount.  I am also happy to start layaway plans where I will honor the sale price, so if you are starting a layaway plan on Dame des Neiges de L’hiver, for example, 25% off of $120 brings the necklace down to $90, and we could do three payments of $30 (or two payments, one of $40 and one of $50, so you have it in time for Yule, or whatever works for you).  So if you want to reserve an item to buy outright with the discount, or start a layaway plan… convo me and I will work with you.  (I am also fine with you putting more than one item on layaway at a time [I have repeat customers who do this], just convo me with what you want to start plans on.)

There’s plenty more that’s new at my store, as well as a lot of older pieces that need a home – necklaces, bracelets, and pendants.  I still have my Big Epic Destash Bundle that needs to go before Black Friday because I can’t justify taking its bulk eastward with me, wherein you get a shitload of crystals and some other stuff for $25.  And I also offer divination services, natal charts, and distance Reiki, as well as PDF files of my books, so if you’re interested in any of that, Friday is coming.  (If you miss the sale on Friday, I will be having a sale before Yule but the discount will be less generous than what I am offering on Friday, so be sure to act on the sale if you can.)

I will be listing some more new pieces between now and Friday, and mentioning things available here, so watch this space (and feel free to check back at my store and look at what’s new).

Feel free to spread the word to anyone you think might be interested, and as always, thank you for your support and patronage!

Latest on Patheos

Part Four of my “Broke-Ass Witchery” series is now on my blog Ride the Spiral at Patheos; take a look.

Xtreme Hardcore Devotion

Some of the polytheists I respect the most (like Gef) have said recently that they don’t really do much in the way of what it seems like everyone thinks polytheists are *~supposed~* to do like constant devotional practise and ritual and so on.

I don’t either, for the most part.

I do occasionally do ritual: I usually do something during the Full Moon (“feeding” land and people energetically with the help of my non-corporeal twin, Vanic-style), and usually do at least a little teeny something during the holidays.  I very, very occasionally will do a formal ritual to give an offering.  (Though more often I give offerings without the formal song-and-dance, pouring out wine or whatnot like “Heeere you go.”)

When I’m back on the east coast in two weeks and have unpacked my stuff, I want to get into the habit of making regular incense offerings to Asmodai and [D’s title], as a way of showing appreciation and giving them something nice.  I haven’t been able to do this because I’ve been in a living situation where I need to blanket fortress my door when I burn incense to not make the entire house smell like incense – which is understandable; where I’m moving to, the people I will be living with regularly burn incense, so my burning daily incense offerings is not going to be an issue.

But I’m otherwise not the most formal polytheist in the world.  I do not do a lot of things that polytheists tend to recognize as ritual and devotional practise, and have not for a couple years now.  If anything, this past year of 2014 has been the most formal I’ve been with my practise since my burnout in 2010.

I used to do a lot of the ritual and devotional stuff.  When I was dedicated to Frey, I did a morning as well as evening devotion at the altar I had for him.  (If you’re one of my newer readers, yes, I went from being the devotee of a god of peace, to being the devotee of a wrath demon.  A lot has happened.)  I did regular fainings to Frey, usually at least once a month and sometimes as often as once a week.  I was pretty fastidious about holiday observances, even when I didn’t have spoons – I did a yearly public ritual for Frey at Lammas every year, back in the day.  I also gave regular offerings and did regular fainings to other gods (most notably Njord).

Some of it was based in sincere devotion, wanting to express gratitude.  But some of it was because at the time I was part of a peer group where that was what you did and if you didn’t go all out with the festivals and praying X times a day and making regular formal offerings, you were not really devoted.  If you, like me, are disabled and chronically ill and don’t have spoons?  Well tough shit suck it up because it isn’t about you and they totally know what it’s like because they were sick once and still walked ten miles uphill both ways every day for the gods and the gods are not here to coddle you.

It honestly felt at times like people were trying to compete with each other for Bestest Devotee Evar, with who was most devoted and proving their epic devotion with the most elaborate, intensive religious lives.  And when I finally recognized what was actually happening – that it wasn’t about the gods but was grandstanding and not unlike frat boys who brag about their sexual conquests and try to one-up each other – I walked away.  And then heard about how I wasn’t “really devoted”.

The outward trappings of what I do has changed.  My level of devotion has not.

Now let me start off by saying that I do not think that there is anything inherently wrong with formal ritual and devotional practise.  If that’s how you roll, that’s how you roll.  I am not saying that everyone who does a lot of formal and elaborate shit for their gods is doing it to impress anyone other than their gods, either, so don’t put words in my mouth.

But I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all spirituality, a prescription that all people must adhere to or they fail paganism.  Some people need something different.  And I don’t think someone fails polytheism if they are less formal about it.

I share my life with D.  We go places, do things.  We cuddle. We make love.  We talk, we laugh, we cry together.  He says I am his home – I give him something he needs, as busy as he is.  I give hospitality to other spirits – we are friends, family. When I broke my back putting on the three-ring circus to be one of the cool kids, it built walls between me and the Powers.  I am not saying that there is no place for mystery or holiness – and I have experienced it, and still do. (Asmodai still scares the shit out of me sometimes.  D is often awe-inspiring, and occasionally terrifying.)  But I think that we each have our own way of expressing our love and appreciation and fellowship with Them, and some people thrive on the more formal expression of that, and some of us get hurt by it.

This is especially true when your personal mythology is bound up with Them.  I am Vanic-souled.  I am incarnate as human now, but I am still recognized Over There as being one of Them.  I am not really into the idea of worshipping family.  It doesn’t mean I consider myself an equal or think I’m actually a god incarnate.  What it does mean is that there is no point in me grovelling before People who think of me as family or a co-worker.  And with my relationship with D – I suppose in a sense I do worship him.  I adore him, I serve him.  As mentioned above, I find him awe-inspiring.  I think he is amazing in manifold ways, and I tell him and show him all the time.  But it’s not that dissimilar to a relationship with a mortal partner, except… more intense.  D is not lording it over me demanding my submission (except in a fun sexytiems way).  And he loves me just as much, he is helpful and kind, he takes care of me, and he says he himself is impressed with me (especially my art), and he gives as good as he gets.  D also recognizes me as what I am, more than just human, and that adds some additional dimensions to our relationship dynamics.

A lot of us, who wind up getting drawn to Them, are not from around here originally.  I am finding more and more incarnate Eshnahai (Vanir).  I know other people who have soul origins from Elsewhere, who may be the kid of a deity (Loki was my Vanic incarnation’s sire, and I can name at least a dozen other Loki-kids off the top of my head, Dad gets around), who may have had their bloodline imprinted by Them (there is a portion in Voices of Vanaheim where an Eshnahai and a half-Dokkalfar outlander horse a pair of humans mating ritually [for a proto-Beltaine ritual a long long long time ago] and there is a conception, the child being imprinted by their energy, and the bloodline carrying that magic).  Whether you like it or not, this is a thing that happens.  If you understand that we are dealing with real entities and real Otherworlds, then that allows for things like this.  You don’t have to believe every claim someone makes of being whatever, but it doesn’t mean that nobody ever is from Elsewhere or has Other-blood.

And there’s a lot more of this happening, in this present time.  While I dislike the concept of “the fall of the Veil” as a lot of otherkin espouse, what I do think is happening is there are doors opening within Midgard that have long been shut, and more and more of them are opening, and more of the Otherworld is starting to push into this world, for lack of a better way of putting it.  Some of that results in those of us originating Elsewhere or with lineage from Elsewhere, here in Midgard.

And with those open doors, I think the Powers want to bring more of Themselves into this world as well. There may be some deities who desire a more formal, “veiled” interaction with humans, or at least in some circumstances.  But more and more, I hear about other people like me, who are in relationships with Them – whether lover, family, friend, student, or something else – and where there’s not a lot of formal worship because one’s entire life is bound up with Them, shared with Them.  Where you don’t have to be from Elsewhere to become part of the tribe.

And let me tell you – when you let the Powers into your life like that, you are not doing this because “you want the easy way” of doing things and are somehow slackassed in your devotion, like some would assert looking down their noses at people “treating the gods like imaginary friends”.  Fucking tell me that to my face, says the guy who has dropped over $1000 on moving cross-country for the third time because his non-corporeal Partner wants to get the fuck away from the west coast for personal reasons.  (There are other reasons, namely financial, which are equally important and necessitating the move, but D has been planning this [including deliberately closing the doors to viable options for staying in Oregon] before I even knew about it, because of stuff that is not my story to tell.)  When you let the Powers into your life in such an immanent way, it tends to complicate things.  It may result in upheavals.  I do not say this to scare people.  But pretty much most of the people I know who have something resembling what I have, it has come at the sacrifice of things like a mortal partner (or a mortal partner only under very stringent caveats) and has often involved major life changes like job, location, and other things.  When shit gets real, it gets really real.  We are usually not palling around with “imaginary friends” without some sort of trade-off in our lives, somewhere, even if it’s just the isolation that comes with having to Present As Sane to the world.

You may think I’m a bad polytheist because I’m not on my knees five times a day reciting the 99 Adorations and not doing rituals every week and big elaborate festivals 2-3 times a month.  I have no fucks to give.  My People can tell me what they require from me.  I show my devotion in a thousand little ways, and some really big ones.

My entire life is an offering.  My entire life is a ritual.  I don’t yield formal worship often because every breath I take is Theirs.  There is a saying, “Þu bist þin dæða”, which is Old English for “You are your deeds.”  My devotion is in my deeds.  Love is a verb.

Labyrinths

I have labyrinth necklaces in my Etsy shop now, handmade by yours truly with finely crafted loving care.

The labyrinth is one of the world’s most ancient sacred symbols, a tool of contemplation and a road to mystery for many cultures.  As you might have guessed from my blog being entitled The Serpent’s Labyrinth, I have A Thing with labyrinths, which are a regularly recurring motif in my spiritual life (and I also associate labyrinths with one of the entities important to me, for reasons).  So the labyrinth is an especially important spiritual symbol to me, and as such, I have been wanting to do some labyrinth pieces for some time.  Here they are:

 

Labyrinthe Nocturne: Pewter TierraCast labyrinth pendant on a strand of peacock pearls and high-quality Czech crystal, with pewter spacers, strung on sturdy monofilament. This necklace is approximately 18″ circumference and on a silvertone lobster claw clasp.  It is $125.

Labyrinthe de Soleil: Gold pewter TierraCast labyrinth pendant with gold pewter TierraCast 3D rose beads, with gold-bronze freshwater pearls, bronze Druk glass crystals, golden cathedral beads, iridescent golden yellow seed beads, and brass spacers make up this piece, strung on sturdy monofilament. The necklace measures approximately 20″ circumference, and the pendant is approximately 1″. It is on a brass lobster claw clasp.  The necklace is $150.

 

I do in fact do layaway plans, so if you want to purchase one of these pieces and you don’t have the entire $125 or $150 up front, convo me and we can work out a payment plan, for example, you could pay five installments of $30 or a three installments of $50 for a $150 piece.  I will also be offering a one-day discount for Black Friday and I will honor the Black Friday price for a new layaway plan set up between now and Friday.

I have had pieces go rather quickly after posting them, so I suggest if you see something you like, that you not wait, and convo me before Black Friday so you have your item reserved; these are one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

At Patheos

My latest post to Staff of Asclepius, as part of a series on gratitude by the contributors for the Thanksgiving holiday, is up; check it out.

My weekend

It was both a low-key weekend, and a very hectic weekend.

I spent the weekend doing intensive crafting, getting ready for Black Friday.  I have made nine new necklaces, and I am not done yet with the new merchandise.

D is always good company, and I tend to be more productive when he’s around.  He did his thing with the playlist – he put on a lot of Tor Lundvall and Cocteau Twins, not just because it’s a good soundtrack for me to do art to, but he was also in the mood for it.  He really likes watching me craft, and periodically puts in suggestions; he and I will chitchat a bit, or enjoy companionable silence, cuddled up together.  Every now and again he will send me into a gigglefit where I almost drop my beads (he did this a few times, singing along with “Pull Up to the Bumper” by Patra [Grace Jones cover] in a Jafaican patois, and doing that falsetto scream thing that Prince does during the inevitable barrage of Prince songs, as well as Mood Whiplash Theatre where he does things like follow up The Smiths angst with 50 Cent; D and I also have in-jokes that only the two of us get).  D and I pulled close to an all-nighter on Friday night and got progressively sillier as the night went on, to the point where we were laughing at laughing.

I found out over the weekend that my idea of etching Goetic seals into the brass blanks I have is for the most part not going to work because the blanks are very small and seals tend to be complicated, I need to get larger blanks to do this.  I am thinking about using the brass blanks to focus on etching bindrunes and other sigils, instead.

I did take breaks now and again – it is nice to cuddle and love with the rain falling outside.

D reminds me that there is a finite end to the stress – Black Friday will come and go, and then the move next week.  Stress won’t automatically go away after that, there’s business during the Yule season and adjusting to a new living situation, but as far as how crazy busy everything is right now, that will at least scale back some in about two weeks.

(That being said, there is some stuff going on right now in my private astral life which means things are going to intensify a bit there.  It’s nothing bad [quite the opposite], just… unexpected.  I cannot elaborate on it.)

I am really, really grateful to have that anchor right now.  Left to my own devices I’d be flailing a lot and not knowing what to do next, and D is better at organization than I am and knows how to keep me calm.

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