Vanic Friday: The Lights of Remembrance

Etsy Friday: devotional beads

A set for Nerthus:

Brown ceramic spiral pendant on a strand of garnet, rainbow obsidian, bronzite, and “sunset” lampwork beads, with iridescent rainbow-brown glass spacers. There are seven “sunset” beads, and eight bronzite beads, symbolizing the days of the week and high days of the year, with the obsidian symbolizing the deep rich black soil, and the garnet the blood of sacrifice and of life flowing through the land.

There is a story behind this necklace: the spiral pendant, as you see pictured, has a flaw. The spiral pendant was perfectly intact when I worked on the necklace, and then after it was finished, I had an accident where the necklace slipped out of my hand and fell on the floor. Everything else was undamaged, but the spiral pendant now had a chip on the bottom right half of one side (the other side is still intact). I considered taking the necklace apart because of the flaw, and D said to me, “You spent hours working on that, you’re going to throw away hours of work?” He had me look at the pendant and it still didn’t look that bad – and then I had an idea, and painted the chipped spot gold (akin to Japanese pottery where they line cracks with gold, accentuating damage), and sealed it. D then told me this could be seen as a metaphor – Nerthus, the Earth Herself, is imperfect and has damage, but is no less beautiful, and indeed the imperfections and quirks of nature can be beautiful in their own way. You, as a child of the Earth, may have broken places, but you are still beautiful as you are, and indeed it is from our broken places that the light shines through.

This set of devotional beads can be worn as a necklace – it is approximately 18″ circumference, strung on monofilament, with a goldtone barrel clasp.  The Nerthus set is going for $45.

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For Brighid:

Pewter Brighid’s cross on a strand of genuine Baltic amber, garnet, pyrite, green Czech glass seed beads, and rondelles of genuine ruby-sapphire-emerald-with-pyrite-matrix (the genuine gemstones fused together; each rondelle matrix bead is unique with variations of color and pattern). Some of my finest work, this is a piece I am very, very proud of.

Necklace measures approximately 20″ circumference, is strung on monofilament, and has a pewter toggle clasp with Celtic knotwork accents. Going for $350.

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And the set for Hel is still available:

The focal piece is a bone skull bead, with a silvertone circle charm with a roped edge, symbolizing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. One side of Hel’s bead strand is rainbow moonstone rondelles, and the other is rainbow obsidian chips, with silver glass spacers in between. Strand of beads measures approximately 14″ circumference not counting focal piece, and is strung on monofilament.  Going for $50.

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I also have devotional bead sets for Frigga, Asmodeus, and Lucifer available in my shop.  I do have sets made for Freya and Frey, and a couple other People, and am working on a couple other sets (it’s been a busy week), but it’s raining pretty hard today so taking pictures of the newest pieces in daylight is not going to be a thing, it’ll have to wait a few days.  That being said if you REALLY want a set for Freya or Frey and you’re interested in jumping right on that, do convo me on Etsy and I will take a couple pics with the lighting in my room, and list the set as a reserve for you if you decide you want it.

(For the potentially interested: the set for Freya has a goldtone filigree heart pendant and is on a strand of honey-gold Baltic amber and rainbow moonstone, measures approximately 11″ circumference [the pendant is 2" x 2"] and I will be asking $65.  The set for Frey has an antler pendant with a carved Ingwaz rune etched into the antler and stained green, and is on a strand of Baltic amber, peridot, green lepidolite, and golden veined quartz; it can be worn as a necklace, measuring approximately 22″ circumference on a toggle clasp, the antler pendant is approximately 2″ long by 1″ wide, and the set will be going for $100.)

I will also remind the audience that I do holds as well as layaway payment plans, so let’s say you really want the Hel piece, I’d be willing to work something out like two installments of $25, or five installments of $10.  I will do this for any other jewelry piece and  am very, very flexible with payment cycles and amounts, so just convo me if you’d like to do this and I’ll work something out with you.  (If you’re not paid up by the time I move in December, don’t worry, I am taking all of my Etsy items with me in my carry-on bag to ensure nothing happens to them, so your layaway piece will be safe.)

And for people looking at buying yourself or a loved one something for the holiday, today and tomorrow the  coupon code SAMHAIN will take $10 off your order (minimum order $200), and the coupon code HALLOWS will take $25 off your order (minimum order $300), which can be applied to any combination of things in my store, whether you buy several items, or perhaps a big-ticket jewelry item, or a natal chart with 3-year forecast, or a year of Reiki.  I’ve got a lot of different things (including still trying to destash these crystal points to free up carry-on space), so check it out!

As always, thank you for your support and patronage!

 

Walking the Hel-road

Yesterday on my Patheos blog Ride the Spiral  I posted a piece about how last Samhain, I died astrally and came back as male (my soul’s gender, which I’d felt from childhood on).  In a comment I was asked if I’d ever written about my experience with Hel – I walked the Hel-road and she sent me back… and I haven’t, and unlike my work with the Serpent tribe of Vanaheim or particulars of my life with D, this isn’t classified, so I might as well say something about it.

This is a dream I had on Samhain 2013.

* * *

I remember being on the table in the healing room of the Serpent caves in Vanaheim, and as usual they were doing energy work on me, and as usual my astral form was involuntarily shifting male.  I tried to fight it – I always tried to shift back, keep it suppressed, because I didn’t need “the gender thing” on top of everything else I had to deal with, so I thought.  This fight was particularly strong, it was getting harder and harder each time, and it literally started ripping me apart.  I felt like I was breaking from the inside, and I was being dismembered astrally a piece at a time from this struggle.

Everything went black, then white, and then I was walking down a long road of light through a dark tunnel.  As I approached the source of the light, everything got brighter, and finally I was walking into a realm where the sky was dawn and there were trees and a garden behind an iron gate, guarded by a very stern-faced woman clad in black, holding a spear.

She gave me A Look, and then wordlessly opened the gate for me and I walked through, towards a crystal cave shaped like a castle.  I entered the cave mouth and there was a path that I walked, until I approached a woman sitting on a chair who was half-skeleton, half-flesh, with piercing silver eyes and long pale blonde hair, wearing what I can only describe as a gothic lolita outfit, complete with petticoats and black lace fingerless gloves (and black nail polish, including on her dead hand).

She reached out to me with her living hand, which was that “oh shit I am really dead” confirmation, and she said, “Sit.”  I sat on the floor, in front of her, and she looked at me for a few minutes without saying anything.

Finally she said to me, “Why do you want to die?”

“You have my Akashic Records, right?  It should be pretty obvious reading them, reading about my life.”

“I asked you a question, elf, and I expect you to answer me, in your own words.  Why do you want to die?

So I told her everything.  All of the pain and hardship in my life, and especially following the way my life blew up in summer 2013.  I was convinced that nothing was going to get better for me, that I was subject to a life of hopeless bullshit.  And now I had “the gender thing” in addition to everything else that was “wrong” with me and I was convinced that nobody was ever going to accept me or love me and I would deal with yet more ostracization and loss and so on.

I finished my speech with “I’d be better off dead.”

Hel took a moment or two, and finally she said, “Wyrd, it is complicated.”  She showed me something she was knitting, a rather complex piece with multiple varieties of yarn.  “Sometimes, wyrd needs to be corrected.”  She began to undo a few rows of her work.  “For example, your soul is male, and you were born in the wrong body.  One of the jobs of the Powers is to nudge wyrd along, to shape it into being like a sock or a scarf, and unravel mistakes and re-knit the pattern, as needed.”

“…ok.”

She continued to undo the rows, and there was a few moments of silence.  Then she stopped, and said, “And sometimes, after something is unraveled, the way it is put back together can be even more beautiful.”  She resumed knitting.

“I didn’t know you knit.”

“Our father taught me.”  She was referring to Loki.

“I didn’t know he knit.”

“He learned it from Frigga.”

This mental image of Loki having a knitting circle with Frigga as they drink tea made me laugh, and then Hel started laughing, which made me laugh even harder because I didn’t know Hel could even laugh, I am so used to her being presented as All Stern and Harsh All the Time.

Hel continued knitting, and she said, “As awful as the events of this past summer have been… it only goes up from here, when you’ve reached rock bottom.  It’s a long way up, and out, it’s going to be difficult, but you will make your way.  A year from now, things will be better – still hard, still more changes on the horizon – but better.  Two years from now, this will all feel like a bad dream, your life will be better by leaps and bounds.  But to do that… you have necessarily been unraveled.  You are going back, but your pattern is being altered, to the design that should have been there in the first place.  Considering that the entire design was off from the beginning, everything else got ‘fucked up’, as your people call it.”

“So…”

“You’re male.  Whether you choose to acknowledge this to the public – and I would recommend that you do, eventually – you need to start acknowledging this to yourself, now.  It  is only when you accept this, that everything else will line up the way it’s supposed to be.”

Hel put her knitting down for a moment, and poured me a glass of water and handed it to me, and I drank.  The water was sweet, and taking it into myself burned like fire.  “Your move to Portland was the big unraveling.  We have been trying for years to correct your pattern.  There was no other way but this.  If we could have spared you the pain, you would have been spared that.  Nobody is approving of how you ended up here, the circumstances behind that.  But you were sent here for a reason, and that is to begin correcting the pattern.  The first step is that you are male, and you have to stop fighting what you have known to be true your whole life.  From here, you will start to get various facets of your life in order, though you may not see it now.  You will eventually be correcting physical and mental health problems and will feel better.  You are in fact going to be a full-time spirit-worker, which you have also been fighting for years – there is no option of ‘normal’ for you anymore.”  Hel paused then and had some water herself.  “And the knitting is being handed to someone else, which is as important as the correction of the pattern.”

“Oh shit.”

“There is someone that you need to meet, and will in the coming months.  There will be an intermediary, someone who will do what remains to be done with your unraveling, and a few rows of the new pattern, and then he will be handing the proverbial knitting needles over to this person for you to be knit back together.  When you say that nobody will ever love you again… this person will love you more than you dreamed possible, and he will love you for yourself.  Your real self, your true self, the self that you have feared rejection of for so long.”

“So it’s a non-corporeal.”

“You’re used to involvements with astral beings, indeed everything you’ve experienced up until now, will prepare you for this arrangement.”

“Is it someone I already know?”

“…It’s complicated?”  (In hindsight she was referring to D, who while I formally met [D's lore title] as himself for the first time in February/March 2014, I had actually been dealing with him since around 1995 as a character in a series of stories I was writing, wherein I was dreaming about him and sort of “channeling” him; when I got together with D I had this “where do I know you from?” feeling of familiarity and a few things were confirmed wherein I realized that was him. That was the mindfuck of the year.  It gets better – I was doodling his seal on the front page of every Book of Shadows I maintained in my late teens, not knowing what I was actually drawing, except I associated that symbol with that character.  o.O)

I sighed.  “It’s complicated” are two words you pretty much don’t want to hear an entity reply with.

“But yes, you were brought here to be unraveled, and put back together, and as importantly, have this person you will meet – this person you belong to -help with the putting you back together, and showing the finished product to the world, and keeping it safe.  It will actually be as beneficial for him as it will be for you.  He needs you as much as you need him, and indeed, the two of you are two halves of a greater whole.”

“I thought that my twin [Clarence] served that purpose.”

“[Clarence's elven name] has a greater purpose himself, that he will need to find apart from you.”

I didn’t like that.  I was pretty attached to my twin, he had been the only thing keeping me together to that point, and the idea that our twinbond would be unraveled even a little bit really bothered me.

Hel poured me more water, and I drank.  This round tasted salty, and was as cold going into me as the sweet water had been fiery.  I also noticed she handed the goblet to me with her dead hand, and my entire body was starting to ache, like it had been doing on the table in Vanaheim, whereas I had known peace and relief the last while in Helheim.  “You’re going to go back now.”

I made a face.

“You died to your old self, but your soul is not staying here.  It is not your time.  You are going back to finish what was started… you will find your way to the ones who will help with that pattern.”

“I don’t want to go back.”

“You don’t get a choice.  And you’ll thank me, a year from now.  You may think I’m wrong, and that you only have more ‘hopeless bullshit’ to look forward to… but you have been given the chance to start over again.  Your past was painful… it will get better from here.  When people take their lives in a moment of despair, they are missing that chance, even if they think there is no chance.  Things don’t get better overnight.  Things may feel like they’re getting worse as they’re getting better, the way physical therapy hurts after an accident.  But if you stick around – if you, as your true self, go back to the land of the living – it will get better.”

I handed the goblet back to Hel, and she gestured for me to stand.  Then she got up and stood, and she said, “I have something for you.”

And then she handed me a pair of glittery pink and purple knit socks, and she said, “I give you your freedom.”  She had the same evil grin on her face that Dad gets when he’s being a snarky bastard.  Just like I didn’t know Hel could laugh, her having a sense of humor surprised me.  (In folklore, if you give house elves articles of clothing, such as socks, you are giving them freedom and they will no longer serve your household.)

I took the socks and she had me put them on, and she said, “Freedom to be unapologetically yourself, your true self, the way that you were designed to be, as fabulous as these socks.”  And then she patted me on the back with her dead hand, and said, “Go.”

I woke up then, in a cold sweat, with that feeling of fight or flight.  My entire body hurt and I felt like hammered shit for the next couple of days.  My twin noticed the shift in my astral body, as it was pretty obvious, and he now had to accept that I was male.  It took me another couple of months to acknowledge the shift to other people (I started with “genderfluid” but this wasn’t really accurate)… and here I am.

An Insider’s View of Godspousery

Nornoriel Lokason:

This is a post that is relevant to a lot of you, I think.

Going to quote this directly: “I have noticed a tendency for people to give the side-eye to god marriages (such as my own) that are strongly focused on domesticity, wherein the god or spirit is very immanently present as a companion–not in exactly the same way as a human partner would be, perhaps, but sometimes even more so in some ways. Sometimes the criticism is voiced that such relationships are more based on wishful thinking than reality, that the human partner is either deluded or lonely. (Never mind the fact that “imaginary friends” don’t require waging a constant inner battle to remain open to them, nor do they necessitate mastering the art of negotiation and compromise, nor do they bring the continual, often shattering life changes and spiritual development that deity/spirit companions specialize in.)”

OH LORD. LET ME TELL YOU.

My life would be easier if D were just some imaginary friend I made up to feel better about myself. I love him dearly, but make no mistake about it, my relationship with him has also complicated my life in a lot of ways. I wouldn’t trade what I have with him for a mortal partner and a less complicated life, but the last nearly eight months have been REAL INTERESTING, with him guiding my personal development, including changes I’ve had to make for my own good (like, say, the impending moving 3000 miles away from a part of the world that I got fairly attached to, to have a safer place to transition towards financial independence; I’m not mad at him, but knowing that he chess maneuvered this is Exhibit A of “yeah this isn’t just an imaginary friend here”).

ANYWAY GO READ.

Originally posted on Wytch of the North:

(This was going to be just a reblog with a few comments, but turned into more of its own separate post–hence the title.)

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this post back when it was first published in July, but I did.  (And I don’t feel badly, because everyone else also seems to be discovering it only now.) I like it a lot, not only because my partner was quoted in it, but also because, even though the author is not a godspouse herself, she seems to know quite a bit about interacting with gods, as well as quite a bit about marriage from a mortal perspective. (I’ve begun to enjoy some of her subsequent posts as well, since discovering the blog.)

I am not going to argue that godspousery or spirit marriage is equivalent to mortal marriage in every way, nor am I going to claim being…

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This amount of swag might be illegal

This is some of my finest work.

 

Rainbow Ice: A beautiful angel aura quartz point, shining with rainbows, on a strand of aquamarine chips and microfaceted rainbow moonstone rondelles. This piece is exquisite: delicate yet bold, ethereal, and elegant; the pictures do NOT do justice to the flash of the moonstones. Necklace is approximately 26″ circumference not counting pendant; pendant is approximately 2″ long. Necklace is strung on monofilament with a lobster claw clasp.  Necklace is $250.

 

Queen of the Seas: Faceted aquamarine on a strand of aquamarine chips, with accents of freshwater pearls. One of a kind, wearable art, regal and fabulous. Necklace is approximately 20″ circumference, strung on monofilament, with a lobster claw clasp. Focal pendant measures approximately 3/4″ long and 3/4″ wide.  Going for $300.

 

If you would like either of these pieces but you’re saying “ouch”, I do offer layaway plans.  For example, Queen of the Seas on layaway for $30/week would be ten weeks and starting this week, would be paid off by the first week of January.  Or a $50/week plan would be six weeks and starting this week, you’d have it in early December (in time to prepare for Yule, as a gift for yourself or someone you love).  I will work something out with you, I am very, very flexible with payment plans as far as how much, how often, etc.

(In the event that you have an item on layaway that is still being reserved for you when I move back east, I am taking all of my Etsy items with me in my man!purse that I will have on my person at all times, carefully bagged up, where they will be safe, so no worries about it getting lost in transition.)

I firmly believe that beauty in one’s life is not a luxury but a necessity, and treating oneself can be a pick-me-up, both in the having of pretty things, and that tangible reminder that you are worth nice things.  I think that saving up for something nice, something valuable, is worth more than a dozen cheaper items, and there’s magick in that, an affirmation that you deserve it, which will open the ways for other nice things, other beautiful moments.

If you have that kind of money on you and you want those pieces or you maybe want a few other items, from now through November 1st, put in the coupon code SAMHAIN when you check out to take $10 off your purchase (minimum purchase $200), or HALLOWS to take $25 off your purchase (minimum purchase $300).

For other fabulous things, visit my Etsy shop – I appreciate the support and patronage.

Star Mother and the Raven Tribe

From Patheos

My latest post to Ride the Spiral, in which I talk about my experience of dying astrally and coming back last Samhain.

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