The Modern Artist’s Plea

Oh Holy Muses Who dwell on Helikon Mount

Today I make this plea to You,

Not for inspiration for my creative endeavors, no,

The Nine Holy Sisters have already blessed me with that

I have drunk from the waters with sprang from the hoof of Pegasus

Which drove the poet to holy madness,

And I need only to organize the visions dancing in my head.

No, now I beg for strength, discipline and clarity within myself.

I pray for silence in a noisy world,

For strength to turn away from the temptation of procrastination 

For the clarity to lay my vision out in words or in paint,

And, most importantly of all,

The discipline to actually FUCKING EDIT.

 

THUNK of head hitting keyboard.

As many of you know, I’ve been doing book design for self-published authors for many years, specializing in pagan/polytheist titles (including all of my own books of course!). For awhile I decided to broaden my reach to other types (mostly local authors in my area) under the banner of Winged Words Book Design but I’ve […]

via Book Design for Pagan/Polytheist Titles — A Forest Door

A Prayer to Hera to Bless Our Union

Holy Hera, daughter of Earth and Sky, 

Arranged in Peacock feathers

Beauty as strong as steel and soft as a sigh

Glory of heart’s love committed 

Two lives made one under your gaze

Bless our home, bless this union, the future we build, 

Queen of Olympos

Grant that I may always be the Queen of my beloved’s heart

Eternally united, never to part

To live together, love together, build and grow together,

A gentle golden cord binds us forever 

May I provide him shelter and comfort from the harshness of the world

May he be my rock, may he protect and provide for my soul as well as my body

May the love between us only grow

May we meet in sacred union as equals, the rulers of our own patch of Sky and Earth

May it flourish and blossom in the glory of our dedication to each other. 

May our passion never waver

May our hearts never falter

May we build our world together,

A beautiful microcosm of Lord and Lady.

The Spiritual Side of Tanning

I know that I have not been blogging much lately. I have been journaling to keep track of and process my spiritual experiences, and although I have not been keeping up with the shamanism studies as much as I would like (I have to work to pay my bills, or I did until recently when my job was closed, and I am human and need *SOME* rest), I have made an effort to not stand still in my spiritual progress. And my daily devotions and relationships with my Gods and my loved ones do take precedence. 

 

I actually started this post when I had this experience, I think in late March. I never finished it (I also have an unfinished post about Discipline in the Digital Age! What does that tell you! >.<) ANYWAY, BEFORE all the lockdown orders, I went tanning with my roommates. This was months ago, but it was still probably not the smartest idea in the middle of all that’s been happening in the world right now. When I went, I didn’t realize the full extent of the seriousness of the pandemic. It won’t happen again until this is over, even if the tanning places re-open. I’m still glad that I went, and I’d like to share my experience.

 

All three of us are fire signs (I’m a Leo, living with another Leo and a Sagittarius…. Yeah there is a lot of fire and passion up in here, it can get crazy 😅). All three of us are Pagan or Pagan-ish. My roommates both like to tan and have done it for years. This was my first time doing so. I get very depressed in the winter, and in the Midwest it gets dark in the winter. I mention that we are all fire signs because I think it matters, the Sun is my ruling planet and when its gone I get less vitamin D, I get less spiritual nourishment. I get tired and sad and lethargic. I should be happier near the end of March because spring is RIGHT around the corner, but really its like the “darkest before the dawn” phenomena, I know it’s almost over but its very hard to feel good. The weight of all those months of darkness just pile up at that time, even though I know logically it’s nearly over.

 

I’m so very, very fair, that the tanning people recommended that I have the lowest setting, and only 5 minutes to start with. It will take a few times to get used to it before my skin adjusts.  A few days later I still hadn’t burned, so I do plan on going back (eventually). But at the time I was somewhat apprehensive. I’ve turned as red as a spanked lobster from hanging out on the beach too long before, and that wasn’t the most fun experience. 

 

Laying in the bed waiting for it to turn on made me feel oddly vulnerable. There was a charge of anticipation that is hard to describe. It was like a sensory deprivation chamber, and when the light switched on, it was shocking. I hummed and sang to myself, chanting “SOWILO”, the sun rune, which turned into the praying out loud to Sunna, the Sun Goddess.  The energy was so palpable, as I could feel magnified sunlight literally flowing into my body … it was an interesting and powerful experience. I felt cleansed, both spiritually and physically, and energized. Like a battery that was plugged into a charger. It was incredible. And it really does kill bacteria too, within a few days my acne cleared up, and that effect lasted several weeks. Even in my 30s I have very sensitive skin and I break out so easily,  so anything that helps that is greatly appreciated!

 

. I want to make it part of my normal winter routine. But with the virus I don’t think it will happen this year. 

 

The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I had asked them to turn the radio off and if I had turned chakra music on my phone, or Wardruna or something of my own. I didn’t like hearing commercials, I hate that and even when I’m driving I turn the radio off turning commercials and turn it back on after a certain amount of time and hope that the music is back on. I don’t like advertising, I’m too aware of the subliminal programming and brainwashing that goes into commercials and ads.

 

That’s all I have to say. I am still processing some things, but this was an interesting experience I wanted to share, late or not.

Surrendering to Ancestor Work

I’ve discussed with some friends that I think this astrological cycle we are in right now has a theme of healing family issues. Cancer New Moon – Capricorn Full Moon – Cancer New Moon again. That’s the mother of the zodiac, the father, and the mother again. The Cancer-Capricorn axis is about security and the tension between home and career, at least in part. I should give you the disclaimer that I am not a professional astrologer. 

 

Yesterday was the second Cancer New Moon and I was sitting on the porch with my roommate, an old friend from school I’ve known for nearly two decades, and a fellow metaphysically inclined person (she’s not much for labels but has been having experiences with Odin over the last year lol). I don’t remember what the conversation was originally that brought this on, but I was suddenly flooded with a memory that I had blocked out, or at least not remembered. The great grandparent who I have been resisting working with, I never met him in real life, but his was the first funeral I had ever been to. I was seven. I remembered attending the viewing and feeling like I had to approach the coffin. My parents told me I didn’t have to, but I felt like I did. The older ladies in front of me in the line touched his forehead, and because I was curious and wanted to be grown up, I did the same thing too. I can’t explain what happened, except that I think I screamed in front of everyone, and I ran and locked myself in the bathroom. My mother had to take me to my grandmother’s (we were visiting from out of state for the funeral). I think that was the first spirit that contacted me. I had no memory of this until yesterday, at least I don’t think so. 

I think what’s shaken this loose is that in January I went to the funeral for my boyfriend’s father, and that was the first funeral I went to since doing serious spiritwork. His father refused to speak to me, but I FELT him, powerfully, and he was …. Let’s just say I can tell he was not a pleasant man. 

 

I asked my brother this morning if he knew our great grandfather’s full name and birthday but didn’t tell him why I wanted to know. Turns out he was a Gemini. This is personally significant because my mother and my boyfriend are both Geminis, and my Chiron is in Gemini, my primal wounding. I don’t know what it all means yet but I feel way too connected to a guy I never met. My brother apparently went down a research rabbit hole, and sent me a link to the grave of our great grandfather’s father (An Aries – My North Node is Aries. So I think he’s the one I’m supposed to start my ancestor work from.). Again, he had no idea that I had been feeling this urge towards ancestor work. He also didn’t know that I already had a little genealogy work another family member had done. At that point I surrendered, taking it as a sign that I am supposed to begin true ancestor working.

 

Now this is my parental line. My father is still alive. But I don’t talk to him, and if there were justice in the world, he’d be in jail. (I did try – I had no legal recourse). My father is an evil man, and my grandmother chose his side when certain truths came to light. That is why I have been resisting this pull. But maybe I have to go back into the bloodline to heal this family trauma so it is not passed on in our wyrd. I will never have children, I know that, but my brother is undecided. If I heal this family wyrd perhaps my hypothetical nieces and nephews won’t be burdened with the things my brother and I were.

 

My grandfather lost his father, the Aries, at seven years old in a sawmill accident, in 1917 (I have a letter he wrote in the 60s about all the obstacles he had overcome in his life, as he was applying for a business loan). I was the same age, seven, when I attended this man’s funeral. I don’t where this is all going right now

 This probably sounds quite rambly. But…. I surrender.  My great great grandfather ‘s grave is in Wisconsin, I won’t be able to go there for a while, but my great grandfather’s grave is only 20 minutes or so away. I will most likely make my first offering before Samhain. I have to do some reading and research. I don’t know why, but I’m nervous. This feels heavy. But also, it feels needed. I am honored. 

Projects Update

It’s been an insane year, hasn’t it? I’ve been using the time to get ahead on some projects that needed doing, but I do have to admit that with my mental health, it is sometimes a battle. A lot of basic mental health and self care routines I had before Covid are tied to going out of the house, even if I don’t particularly want to do that. For example, I used to do my daily prayers before leaving for work, that was the signal to my brain to start my devotions. So I have been retraining myself and reworking the things that don’t apply as well in our new reality. 

 

At some point soon I will be installing flooring here. It’s been blank plywood flooring since I bought this place (rugs laid down of course), but I had to fix the roof last year first. That’s a big project and we’ll have to go room by room. I’m tired just thinking about it tbh. When it’s done I’m sure I’ll be relieved. 

 

Shield of Wisdom, Neos Alexandria’s devotional to Athena that I co-edited with Jason Ross Inczauskis, is in its final stage. I’m hoping it will be available in a couple of weeks. This particular project has had a lot of fits and starts, but I’m excited to see it through to its end. It’s going to be over 400 pages!  😀 When it’s finally available that will get it’s own post. 

 

Speaking of editing, I am also working on editing the two books I have already released, Songs of Praise and Ink in my Veins. There’s a few small errors in spelling or formatting that have been bugging me for years. More than that, I really want to have new covers designed for them, with my new name, but I am not good with graphic art and will have to find an artist I can work with (and yes I will pay, don’t worry.) Songs of Praise, at the least, will have a new introduction. I am not sure about Ink in my Veins yet. I also want to get back to working on Journey to Olympos, that sure seems it’s constantly in limbo. But I think I want to finish clearing out the “easy” stuff first.

 

I have been rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in my free time. It’s reawakened my desire to work on my Star Trek for Pagans series. Deep Space Nine is by far my favorite of the star trek serieses, and the one most deeply influenced by spirituality. I’m going to try to start organizing my thoughts about Sisko’s spiritual journey and taking notes, but it may take a while to actually get out. I was thinking about the Klingon religion for over a year before I actually got around to writing the 3 part series on Klingon religion. 
Those are my writing projects. I have some other ideas percolating, but they aren’t quite ready for public consumption. I haven’t made a YouTube video in a while. I would like to get back to that, but it feels like my energy is constantly off and filming is more difficult to fake through than writing. Being an empath during this global crisis comes with quite a learning curve, let me tell you. Plus there is the whole “nursing my dog while she heals from being hit by an asshole in a car that definitely had time to slow down” thing. FYI, don’t name your animals after Gods. I love my dogs but Loki is a sneaky bitch. She’s a runner and smart as hell and good at sneaking off. She’s a houdini dog. Names have Power and believe me, I will *NEVER* do that again. I decided that a few years ago, but she’s 8 and Thor is almost 6, it’s done and their names aren’t going to change now.

Here’s that poor sweet face:

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A Question about Ancestor Work: Re. Unpleasant Discoveries

As someone with abusive immediate family, I have made the compromise of only addressing my Pagan Dead in prayer so far, those ancestors who are far enough back that it doesn’t matter … Yet, I have an interest in genealogy, and I have a pull to one particular great-grandfather, who I never met in life but whose influence nevertheless impacted my youth. I am wrestling with that draw, but I may one day go there. I am not ready yet, but I think I will be one day.

Gangleri's Grove

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Senneferet asked me a really potent question in the comments section of one of my ancestor posts: “How do you cope when finding out bad information about someone you had previously loved and respected? I know everyone has their flaws, but I feel a bit foolish. (I adored my grandfather and assumed he had a deep love for my grandmother. I recently found out how violent and cruel he was to her and their children. His photo has been relegated to a drawer in my shrine room for the time being.)”

This is such a good question, and I’ll bet that an awful lot of people are in this situation and don’t know what to do. I certainly know that for myself, it was so much, exactly like this, that tripped me up in learning to honor my ancestors when I started out. That’s why I…

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Prayer to Heal an Injured Dog

Note: it’s been a hell of a day. But yes she is lucky. No broken bones. She will most likely be okay. I am mad as hell at the bastard who hit her and sped off. —-

O Artemis of the Wilds, Huntress of the Woods

I pray to You today in my hour of need

Lady of the Crescent Moon,

Who shuns the cities and the company of men,

You know the value of animal companionship.

Heal my loyal dog of her injuries, I beg of you,

And see that her pain is dulled and her senses returned. 

Anubis, Orphaned Son of Aiegyptos,

Who knows the pain of abandonment, 

Adopted and raised by Mother Isis,

Jackals, dogs, and such four-legged creatures are your special charges.

Watch over my canine child as she takes her much needed rest,

And soothe her more excitable brother,

So she can heal in peace. 

May Nemesis and the Furies rain down justice on the driver who purposely hit her and left her for dead, and then nearly hit the rescuer who came to her aid.

May he feel the wrath of all the Gods and spirits that walk with me and mine. May his spirit burn with guilt and he never know peace.

May the man who pulled my dog from the road be blessed by all the Gods, may the spirits of the land greet him warmly wherever he goes. May he be wrapped in angel’s wings to protect him and his, as he protected mine.

May karma be swift for both these men, for the good or ill they choose this day, and may Loki heal quickly from her ordeal. 

Altar to the Healing Gods

A few months ago I made an altar to the Healing Gods that was sitting on desk, and swore it would stay up until the Covid crisis was over. Obviously it is still affecting our society deeply but, I needed my desk space back! I was foolishly hopeful when I first built it, I had just thrown it together without thinking long-term (which admittedly, is kind of difficult right now!). 

The Gods honored here are Eir, Asklepios, Hygieia, Sunna, and Panceia (“All-Cure”, a lesser known daughter of Asklepios and sister of Hygieia). I have symbols I painted for the root chakra (because our very survival is threatened) and the throat chakra (as Covid attacked the respiratory system). 

 

A week or so ago I put a shelf up above the main working altar in my bedroom. That favorite Polytheist pastime, altar tetris. Just thought I’d share the pictures.

The Old Altar:

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The New One:

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Going through old pictures, look what I found!

This was my winter tomato set up from 5 years ago. I was able to grow tomatoes and herbs while there was 3 feet of snow outside. My brother and I jury-rigged this out of almost nothing. With the coronavirus and possibly a depression coming, this kind of ingenuity will need to become the standard.

You don’t need to be rich to garden or homestead. I’ve always said, homesteading is a state of mind.