One more reminder: moving house

For those who missed the announcement: I have moved to a new blog, Aloha From Hell.  There are several reasons behind this jump, the most important one being I feel like I have outgrown this space and a new blog gives me more breathing room.

I will NOT be making any further updates to this blog, so if you want to continue to read my posts, please follow me over on Aloha From Hell.  If you have me in your blogroll and you have not already updated the URL, it would be great if you would do so.  Note that I am not retiring from blogging, I have just decided to change blogs – so I’m over there.

(I continue to maintain the blog The Serpent’s Garden as a way of doing extra promo on my Etsy shop and its items, so if you’ve been following that blog to keep updated on my store and what’s in stock, please continue to do so [especially as I have some new items debuting soon].  I am not at this time planning on merging the two blogs, as Aloha From Hell and The Serpent’s Garden serve different purposes for me.)

Also because this has come up once, it’s worth mentioning here: WordPress recently changed some of its features.  The “Follow” button is no longer in the top black bar across the screen like it used to be, it is down on the lower-right hand side of the screen, a white box.  The “Like” and “Reblog” buttons are no longer in that top portion either, but are at the end of the post where you will see the list of usernames and avatars who “liked” a post, with the “Like” button next to it.  I have no control over WordPress doing this – it is a site-wide change and applies to everyone’s blog, not just mine.  But if you’ve been wanting to subscribe and didn’t know where the “Follow” button is… now you know.  (Also, the “Follow” button is only there when you’re close to the top of the page and not when you scroll to the bottom.  I don’t know why.  I do however have a separate “Follow” button in my blog’s sidebar, if you lose that one.)

I would like to thank everyone who’s been a fan of this blog, especially those who have constructively participated in discussions here, and I hope to see you over at Aloha From Hell!

Admin note, part two

On September 1st, I am going to be moving to a new blog URL.

I could set all my previous posts to private and keep this URL, but I also feel like it’s time for a fresh start.  I have mentioned burnout, and one of the things that needs to change with my schedule is blogging less because it’s a huge time-sink and it has very little payout for me, and, putting it bluntly, also requires me to interact more heavily with the public than I’m comfortable doing.  I said that after the 30 Days of Frey series was over, I’d be scaling back to making one or two content posts a week (while you’ll still get daily Etsy promo posts because my shop items are not going to promote themselves), but the push to get through the series is looming over me.  Just like I decided to go ahead and retire from doing readings, for good, because it was getting to the point where the money wasn’t worth it for the amount of stress it’s been causing me, I do not feel like doing the 30 Days series anymore, and yet I am someone who doesn’t like to leave things hanging and leave jobs undone.  I literally cannot relax when I feel like I have work to do, and so long as I’m using this space I’m going to feel like I left a job undone.

There’s also the clean slate factor.  When I started The Serpent’s Labyrinth blog in May 2014, I was going by a name that wasn’t mine (Nornoriel).  I was still living in Oregon.  The blog title was apt because like a maze – a labyrinth – my blog has gone in many different directions, it was a very mixed bag of stuff… all coming back to my (The Serpent’s) journey and my inner workings… but I am no longer comfortable talking openly about that journey, or at least not AS openly.  And lot has changed over a year and a half, and like a serpent shedding its skin, I feel like I’ve outgrown this space.  It’s time to move on.

I am not going to completely stop talking about myself, or where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I want to go – openness and fearless being-myself-ness is part of my “brand”, and I plan on continuing with that.  You will still see me mention D from time to time.  But because some people have used my friendliness and approachability and openness to assume familiarity with me and then be manipulative, I am no longer comfortable being as open as I have been.  There will still be plenty of humor (I can’t force myself to be serious business, I tried, it failed), but you’re not getting as many windows into my personal business anymore – some, enough for context, but not like it was.

I debated whether or not to set this blog to private or not, but for the time being I plan on keeping the posts open, albeit comments will be permanently disabled here for all posts on September 1st when I officially open the new URL.  I would like to keep this blog open for posterity, and because reading something here might help someone. (However, I reserve the right to change my mind about this at any time.  In the event that I decide to set this blog to private, or privatize at least some of the posts, I will be archiving this blog and will probably have at least a few posts from here in static page form on my personal website.  I am also going to be removing most of the pages from this blog, though will probably keep my Useful Posts page up for obvious reasons.)

That new blog URL, by the way, is sebastianlokason.wordpress.com and the title of the blog will be Aloha From Hell. If you’d like to join me there, please go ahead and subscribe, bookmark, add to blogrolls, etc.  Please be advised that I will not be making content posts there more than once or twice a week – you will see daily Etsy promo posts showcasing various items in my shop (as well as new arrivals, and YES there will be new things in my shop for September).  Please also be advised that the new blog is not “officially” open until September 1st, but this is the last post I will be making to The Serpent’s Labyrinth; Aloha From Hell will be under construction over the next few days so please bear with me as I get an About page and some other pages up, etc.

An admin note

Effective immediately, I am on permanent retirement from offering divinations, past life readings, and channelings to the Pagan community.  I know that in my post a couple of days ago I said I was taking a temporary hiatus in September and I know I said I would give some notice, but after a talk I had with D (which was initiated for completely different Reasons), I came to the conclusion that I need to do this now for my own self-care.

I also need to do this now or I am the biggest fucking hypocrite in the world.

A lot of my “brand” as an author is radical self-honesty, which includes being open about my struggles and the fact that even Super Powerful Spirit-Workers (TM) are fallible and there are times when we are not going to be “on our game”; a lot of my “brand” as an author is challenging the Piety Posse rhetoric of “it’s not about you and you are just a tool to be used and you need to run yourself into the ground in order to serve the gods properly”.

Meanwhile, over the last few months I have been more and more burned out, and providing spiritual services for hire has been a major cause of that.  And right now, if I’m being really real, I am not well, I have not been well for a month, and the sooner I can start to get some of my spoons back, the sooner I can start to feel better.  I also finally hit a wall where I CANNOT make myself read for people – I had to refund two people because I sat down and just couldn’t do it.  (This is really seriously fucking embarrassing for me to admit to; I am not proud of this.)  I tried to give it a few days, and I could give it a few days again, but that would be hanging over my head and I wouldn’t be able to relax properly because I can’t leave jobs undone, and I’d be making people wait more and wait more and wait more.  I have hit that wall where my brain has just shut down, because I am not OK right now, and I am not going to be OK until I can get this weight off my shoulders.

While on the one hand it feels good to help people and I like helping people, it has been at the cost of my own personal time as well as personal space – doing readings professionally sort of puts forth this idea that I’m some sort of clergy or spiritual life coach and that I’m “on” 24/7, and this is true even when I’ve stated boundaries saying otherwise.

I have, over the last while, started to feel like a tool, a resource… I have started to lose my concept of sense of self, a bit, because I have so little time for myself, so much of my time going into interacting with others and *~helping the community~*.  I am so used to working that I don’t really know what to do with myself when I’m not working and can’t fucking relax when I have dedicated “relax time”… and this is not good.

It’s also been stressing me out a lot more than I let on.

On my blog, I come off as a lot more extraverted than I actually am, because a blog involves interacting with people.  The truth is, I am an introvert – I’m an INFJ who is good at faking ENFP for business purposes, but I am absolutely an INFJ at my core.  I also have social anxiety.  I also have complex PTSD (C-PTSD), which stems from traumatic life events such as having been raped many years ago and having been abused as a child, and where my symptoms have been exacerbated by long-term stressful experiences such as being in fucked-up living situations, having been in friendships where I was being manipulated and/or taken advantage of in some way, etc. The PTSD and my social anxiety work together in some interesting ways.  I am always surprised when people think of me as clergy, because I do not think of myself as having the right sort of temperament to be clergy and this is true even if someone tells me “but you’re friendly and approachable and you’re good at it!”  You don’t live with me and see me yell “WHAT THE FUCK NOW” at my phone when I get e-mails.  I do not think of myself as a people person.  I have to interact with the public to some degree to run a business – I like making things.  Making things does not necessitate heavy involvement with people.  I got into doing “spiritual services” not because I felt like I had a calling to do it, but because I felt obligated to answer the phone, if that makes sense.  It does not nourish my soul like Making does – quite the opposite.

pretty much me right now

I have been forcing myself to hang in there long past my ability to hang in there, out of a sense of obligation to the Pagan community, “to make a difference”.  Two years ago when I returned to public blogging on Tumblr, I felt like I had a minority opinion, shouting into the void against popular polytheist ideas that had done severe damage not just to my devotional relationships but too many others I knew.  Two years later, with the advent of Heather’s book – which is hugely popular on Amazon and where she has cited me as an influence (which I find to be an absolute honor), we’ve “won”.  (By “we” I mean not just me, but all of you who have seen the problems of the Piety Posse POVs and know there needs to be alternative points of view.)  When I decided to start offering readings at my Etsy shop, it was because I had heard too many stories of people who’d seen diviners and had been manipulated by them in some way – someone’s personal agenda disguising itself as the will of the gods.  I felt like I had to “come to the rescue”.  (Besides the fact that I was also getting paid for it; there was a time when I was charging very, very little for my readings so money has never been a primary motivating factor with doing them, even as I’ve only just recently started to acknowledge that my time is in fact money.)  I was afraid to retire long past the point of when I should have retired, because I “didn’t have a replacement” I trusted beyond a couple of people out there who also do something very different from what I’m doing (and one of them is herself taking a hiatus in September).

For the last couple of months, even as every bone in my body has been screaming for me to just take a fucking break, I have forced myself to keep going because of the “shoulds”.

How can I tell people that self-care is important and you honor the gods by honoring yourself, when I can’t do that myself?  How can I talk about joy and wonder, when I’ve been struggling with getting out of bed because I have this endless obligation to deal with people and not enough time to do the things that I want and need to do for myself… and just as importantly if not more so, for my gods?  How can I help other people with their deity relationships if I am not getting enough time to attend to the ones most important to me?  How can I celebrate my transformation and personal evolution when in some ways, I’m right back to where I was in 2010 where I feel burned the fuck out and want to go hide in a fucking cave again?

So it’s time.  I have hit a place with my business where I do not need to do readings in order to make money – I need to focus on making things because Making is what my ACTUAL calling is and is what ACTUALLY feeds my soul, and people recognize that in my work.  I need to heed my friend Beth‘s advice to “walk your path with audacity” and actually DO THAT – do what is MINE, MY path, MY Work, not what I think my Work “should” look like but what my Work actually IS, and do it without permission from other people.  There is this sort of mentality in the Pagan community that you’re not really seen as *~serious~* and your opinion worth taking seriously unless you’re “serving the community” by clergy work or providing spiritual services, and it’s all fine and good for me to say “that’s bullshit”, but I have to live that, and I have to do it on my terms.  It is time to acknowledge that there are other ways to serve, and it is also time to acknowledge that “Valar dohaeris” is a saying that only works in Braavos – we need to get rid of this idea that you’re not doing anything meaningful and worthwhile for the gods if you’re not “serving” in some way.

We need to get rid of this idea that you have to be taken *~seriously~*, period, because every person is an idiosyncratic tradition of one, and this is true even if you belong to an extant, established religious tradition (like a recon tradition).  At the end of the day it is you and your gods, nobody else.

D is thrilled – D told me recently that he’d like it if I just retired from doing readings altogether and focused on crafting, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my relationship with him, it’s to listen to my husband when he says something.

I realize that me abruptly retiring from readings, especially when I said that it was going to be another few weeks yet and that hiatus would be temporarily, may disappoint some people who were looking forward to purchasing a reading from me before the hiatus.  I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.  I recommend my friend Beth as an oracle, before she goes on her own hiatus from providing seidhr.  (I’m not just recommending her because she’s a friend, I’m recommending her because she’s done readings for me before.)  However, I also strongly recommend that people who interact with spirits learn a system of divination like runes or Tarot or pendulum (or all three, or others).  Even if you are completely “headblind” and can’t directly interact with spirits by “hearing” them and so on, you might still be able to do something like read Tarot with some practice.  (I know quite a few “headblind” people who can’t hear spirits but can definitely pick things up with the cards.)  Going to outside oracles and diviners for confirmations should be a sometimes thing only – you have as much power inside of you as any “spiritual guru” and it’s important to embrace that power.

I WOULD like to take a moment and extend this opportunity to thank all of my past clients who have purchased readings from me, that being said.  It was a valuable spiritual exercise for me, and if I helped you in some way, I’m happy to have done so.  :)

Anubis Necklace Made By Sebastian Lokason

Originally posted on Gods of Old:

Most of you know that I won this necklace somehow, well I got it today and I thought I’d write a lil tiny review even though I didn’t actually buy it!

Let me start off with how pretty it is compared to it’s photos. Those photos gave it no justice! It’s very, very shiny and sparkly. It’s definitely an eye catcher and something I wouldn’t be scared to wear with anything! He packaged it securely to ensure it wouldn’t break, which I appreciate. (I’ve gotten like 10 or more candles from him, he’s super careful with everything he ships!) Seb is a very talented man, I wish I could pull off making something with that much beauty and energy, but if I could I probably wouldn’t be working where I am, ha.

But fuck let me tell you how much I love it. It’s amazing, and I’m so SO grateful for…

View original 13 more words

Bast Devotional Necklace III

Show your devotion in style with this fabulous necklace for Bastet – a pendant of the cat goddess bearing an ankh, dangling above a pentacle pendant, on a strand of hypersthene and plum lepidocrocite beads and pewter spacers. The hypersthene has a beautiful radiant quality that has been described as “black velvet” and pairs nicely with the warm, luscious purple-brown of the lepidocrocite, shimmering in the sun. A necklace of cat magick and the sensuality of feline energy; would be ideal for a devotee or priest/ess of Bast to wear as a way to deepen the connection, or could be gifted Bast on an altar, or serve as a portable shrine.


The necklace measures approximately 23 1/2″ (58.42 cm) circumference and is strung on sturdy monofilament with an easy-to-use lobster claw clasp; the pendant portion of the necklace is approximately 2 1/2″ (6.35 cm) long.

The necklace is $150.

For the month of August I am having a 15% off sale at my shop – the coupon code ONEYEAR applied at checkout will bring this necklace down from $150 to $127.50.  Please remember to use the coupon code when you check out if you want to get the discount; I do not apply coupons retroactively.

Finally, if you like this piece but don’t have $127.50 up-front, I am willing to honor the sale price of $127.50 on a layaway plan if you speak up between now and the 31st (the end of my sale) – we could do something like ten payments of $12.75, or five payments of $25.50, or something else.  Please refer to my shop policies page regarding my rules for layaway plans, and if you can follow these rules, please message me and I’d be more than happy to set up layaway for you.

I have other items for Bast in my shop including:

I make perfume oil and there is an oil in my (very long list) of types of oils I do, specifically for Bast: the perfume oil is catnip, rose, frankincense, myrrh, angelica, and vetiver, in an olive oil base.  You can buy a 1 dram oil for $15, or a sample pack of five 1/4 dram oils for $15.

I also make incense, and my Bast incense has the identical formula of catnip, rose, frankincense, myrrh, angelica and vetiver essential oils.  You can buy 10 sticks of incense for $5, or 100 sticks of incense (can be different varieties; see the listing) for $40.  My incense burns for a long time (average burn time is over an hour) and I have consistently gotten positive five-star feedback on my incense.  (I make incense for my own use and prefer using it.)

30 Days of Frey: Day 12

XII. Places associated with this deity and their worship

HISTORICALLY:

Uppsala in Sweden – There was a very famous temple here with idols of Odin, Thor, and Frey, and regularly attracted pilgrims from elsewhere in Scandinavia.

Thrandheim in Norway – From this account:

The worship of Frey, however, must also have been very popular in Norway, from which it passed to Iceland with the early settlers. As late as 998 the men of Thrandheim are represented as refusing to break their image of Frey at the command of King Olaf, ‘because we have long served him and he has done well by us. He often talked with us, and told us things to come, and gave us peace and plenty.’ The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia, W.A. Craigie

Sweden in general – The ancient Swedes regarded Frey very highly and many Frey-related artifacts have been found there.

England in general – Named for the Angles, who themselves were “the people of Ing” – Ingland.

Iceland in general – The early Icelandic settlers brought the worship of Frey with them.  Iceland still retains a high amount of folk belief regarding the land being full of elves.  Asatru is a legally recognized religion there.  (I myself am planning a trip to Iceland sometime in 2016.)

MODERN DAY:

I tend to feel Frey’s presence most strongly in rural areas, on farms or in orchards.  Frey also like trees a lot; if you connect more with him as a type of Green Man, you may want to try an experiment of connecting with him in the woods.

Here is an actually serious question

ETA: OK, I’m going to order a test shirt and if it comes out all right I’ll be setting up a listing soon, thank you for the feedback!

Maria suggested recently in one of my comment threads that I should make a #SebHasSomePoints T-shirt (featuring a pointy-eared elf guy, as I am elven-souled), and a few of you said you would buy the shirt and wear it if I did.

(The idea of it possibly being worn to Pagan conventions, especially at the presentation of someone who is known to dislike me or vehemently disagree with me on some issues, amuses the shit out of me, I won’t lie.  Go forth and be butts, my minions.)

I have no idea if this was actually a serious suggestion or not, so my serious question is: If I did in fact ACTUALLY make a #SebHasSomePoints shirt, would there be ACTUAL interest in buying said shirt?

SebHasSomePoints shirt

sebpointsdesign

Now, I don’t want to go to the trouble of setting up a listing if people aren’t actually interested, and listings last four months – I don’t want to just have it sit there and I have to renew it in four months because nobody buys one.

But if y’all want the shirt and you think you’d be able to buy one in the next month or so (or sooner!), I WILL create a listing in my shop for said shirt.  They will be made to order, so you may be waiting a few weeks for a shirt if you order one, and unfortunately the maximum size that I can provide is 3XL (XXXL) at this time (shirts would range from small through 3XL).  (I am going to try to find a way to make shirts larger than 3XL, but bear with me.)  Shirts will be $25 each (not counting shipping), black, with the text and picture in white, OR I can make a white shirt with black text and black picture if you’d prefer.  (Or both; I’ll have an option for choosing a black or white shirt.)

Yes?  No?