Pagan subscriptions? What!?
I'll admit it, I jumped on the Monthly Subscription makeup/beauty boxes a couple years ago and fell in love with getting monthly gifts in the mail. I still subscribe to many and so when I first discovered Pagan monthly boxes my interest piqued.
Of the few that are out there, most are Wicca based and although I don't subscribe to all of the ideals of Wicca there are some aspects that do appeal to me strongly and I incorporate them into my Druidry with ADF. The elements of Wicca that I hold sacred are that of herbs, stones and candles so finding subscriptions that were less about The Goddess and more element (namely Earth)-based were important too me.
I tried out two this month and hope to continue one and try a new one for next month.
This is the Wicce Witch Box for January 2016
Along with the items were awesome details on the herbs, spells, stories and insights. I was very surprised at how much I loved this subscription actually! I felt they did an excellent job bringing the herbal pagan to the focus. I am keeping this subscription for at the very least another month because I was very impressed with this months.
The second subscription for January is
The Crafting Magic, Pagan Parcel (UK) For January 2016
cerThis subscription was from the UK so the international shipping costs put it far more expensive than the local one. The reality is that both of these subscriptions are around the same cost initially.
There was also a recipe, and a few spells/blessings. There was a strong lack of item descriptions (the Brigid reeds had ZERO explanation aside from "reeds to make your own Brigid's cross") I certainly didn't hate the items by any means but I felt it came up short compared to the Wicce box this month.
Due to the international costs and the slightly underwhelming items this is the sub I am parting ways after this month and will be trying a new subscription next month!
This project is fun.
After asking about Dedicant requirements in a community including ADF leaders and finished Dedicants, it has been brought to my attention that the max word counts are 3x the minimum.
I am going to have to cut down...a lot, when it comes to submission time.
I plan on keeping the full length of everything here though for my own spiritual growth and reference.
First Day of Snow
Today is the first day of snow for my area.
First snow, always feels like magical snow and when one has a 6 year old near a park, then its a time for playtime full of wonder.
As I turned to leave the park where my Son and Husband continued to play in the snow, I began to take in all of the environment of wintertime. The smells, the chill, the change and all of the details on this special day.
Immediately, I noticed a Bald Eagle flying overhead most of the way home. Not quicker, not slower. Just there, all the way home.
A couple weeks ago a Red Tailed Hawk was perched outside my window, in plain view, as if watching me sew my Yule gown.
Apparently I have a thing with Birds of Prey this season. I live in a city...but have a small wetland area near me, not large enough to warrant large Birds of Prey I would think, but clearly that is not so because they have made themselves quite known lately.
I also collected a vase of freshly fallen first snow for future use this year, these pure winter waters I will call the waters of Cailleach, the ancient waters of wisdom, prophesy and transition.
2015 was a year of Piety. It was a year of Wisdom. It was a year of Vision.
Last year I fully rooted into my current path with Druidry through ADF and my local grove. I devoted myself to study, to outreach, and to devoting myself to my own spiritual path and Patron(s). I discovered things about myself that I had no idea I would and inspired others (and myself) while doing so. I learned how to be strong, I found my voice and I became a leader in the eyes of many. I worked closely with new Deities and Hearth cultures with an open heart, I experienced High Days both in public and in solitary practice. I meditated, I explored, and the Gods know, I studied my backside off.
2015 was an amazing year and I genuinly look forward to what the future has in store.
I have been pondering since Winter Solstice which new direction I want to focus into for 2016 and a resounding voice echoed in my head:
At first, I thought this to be the voice of The Morrigan who seems to be hovering over me lately, testing me, and pushing me to believe in my fearless self. The Morrigan, who refuses to accept defeat or weakness but has been help destroy the broken parts of myself and walk fearlessly forward. The Morrigan who clearly has a plan for me, and when she has a plan including you, you do not refuse her, you accept your place at her side and listen to what she commands. 8 months ago, The Morrigan were Goddess's I was intimidated by, and I think thats one reason she found me. Because there is absolutely NOTHING I should fear and she would either show me that or I would be nothing to her. Writing her invocation for Lughnasadh was me opening that door for her let me know this, with all her fierceness.
But it was not just The Morrigan who I felt was speaking to me as this word kept playing through my mind...the sound of iron on iron, the tale tale sounds of Smithcraft could be heard and the heat of a powerful fire was obvious. This is Brighid, in ways I had not truly felt her before now, calling to me. Brighid has been almost a maternal figure in my experience, she has been nurturing, warm, diplomatic and genuinely inspirational. Never has she seemed like a queen of battle, until recently. I hear her anvil fall in my dreams and often when I meditate, it has become obvious to me that she is also pushing me along the path of the Warrior.
So what does this mean?
When I did my Winter Solstice personal ritual and took the Omen from the Shining Ones, I called Brighid, The Morrigan, and Cailleach by name and the card they gave me was
I felt a chill as I drew the card but I also laughed under my breath, as if it confirmed everything I had been assuming already. This was my message, they were not only suggesting but encouraging me to block the idea of fear. To be Fearless. To choose Bravery. To walk the Warrior path.
I've been assessing this over the past few days, what exactly can I do to walk this path, to explore this option? Obviously, I can study. I can learn the history of the Celtic peoples and their wars/battles. I can learn their weaponry, I can work with and learn the Warrior aspects of my Patrons. But that isn't enough. Last year was focused on study, this year I need to focus on doing.
I need to test myself, I need to challenge myself, physically. I need to not only learn through books what it means to be a warrior in theory, I need to get back to that place where I FELT like a warrior, physically.
So I have decided to set some goals for 2016 to push myself out of my comfort zone, to finally do some physical things that I have talked myself out of far too often. My list of activities include:
Taking Archery Lessons
Taking Blacksmith Classes
Improve on Natural/Camping Survival Skills
Go Scuba Diving
Go Rock Climbing
But more importantly, to push myself physically to do more things that I generally talk myself out of.
I am very excited to start this path and I look forward to the challenges that 2016 has in store for me, but one thing is for sure, as Brighid and The Morrigan will it, I will face them, with courage.
Photography by Kamina Kapow
A couple years ago I did a photoshoot with the wonderful artist Kamina Kapow and I have finally been granted permission to share the photos. They were kept rather quiet for publication reasons but now I am able to share. I love them dearly.
I also miss modeling tremendously as it was always a devotional expression of my own heart and creativity. I modeled for myself, for fun, and to constantly feel inspired and inspire others. It was a hobby and a passion and maybe I will go back to it eventually.
This is not a dedicant book.
This is a book I read for pleasure and because it had been recommended as an excellent starting place to get some basic information about The Morrigan. I figured it would be quite a bit beneath my general academic reading level but I really wanted something lighter to enjoy while lying in bed at night waiting for sleep. This book was all those things.
The writing style was very easy to read and the Author did a great job breaking down each Goddess attributed to The Morrigan, their stories (no matter how conflicting), and how she, herself, views the goddess in her own practice. The book also has a great deal of invocations and prayers that are fun to read (as a budding liturgist I am pushing myself to write more personal devotions and examples are always super helpful to me).
Multiple times the author states that topics are "beyond the span of this book" and encourages the reader to continue researching beyond this sort of "Intro to the Morrigan" book and I like that. She makes this extra work very exciting and makes no illusion that all the answers can be found in her book.
I loved her simplistic breakdown of old Irish tales only focusing on the parts with the Morrigan Goddesses because it is so very helpful to someone unfamiliar with reading stacks of books to get an accurate summery (and multiple interpretations) at the beginning of their journey.
I learned some things I did not know, such as the possible connection between The Morrigan and Áine and learned more about the unique stories between the Goddess Nemain and Badb (which can sometimes be lumped together as one Goddess, like so many other Irish Deities and especially Goddess' of the Morrigan)
I found myself wishing the book were longer with more content in each chapter as the writing style was so exceptionally fluid and the book was really quite fun to read. I know a lot of people dislike her citation style, but it did not bother me one bit (as a science student I am use to this style of citation). The Bibliography in the Ebook version of this book includes links to several titles sourced and that is a fantastic tool. The endnotes were also very helpful.
I enjoyed this book, it was certainly researched. It may have a bias towards some Deities over others but it does a good job of covering them all at least on an introductory level.
Amber Araneae (Spider)
My public journal space while I go through the various study programs within ADF and a place where I can journal freely.