Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ms Graveyard Dirt's fault. . .

Cranes that have gathered at one of the
artificial lakes.  Yup taken the same day
as the gauntlet was thrown!
OK maybe not really. . . but it is fun to poke at her on occasion.  . . be aware she pokes back! Ms. Graveyard Dirt has thrown down the emotional blackmail gauntlet. She has made a vow that all of her friends will be joining her in ancestral Yule revelries and loads of work your behind off research. Ok I'm in! I love her blog and love the work she has put forth to share her experience in the craft. Besides. . . it's not like she had to twist my arm too hard.

Psychic Buffer charms.
Yes, I am keeping one for me!
Not sure if I am catching up or not is one of those things that has me jumping all over the place inside my skin. I hate being late, I hate being behind and I hate how both of those things make me feel. I can't say that I haven't done any work. I have photos and other pieces of evidence that testify otherwise. So what is this feeling that I have that drives me to distraction??? It may just be the season. You know the one. Everything has to be cleaned from head to stern and top to bottom. There are gifts to finish making, there are gifts to get still, and then we are not even addressing the wrapping of said gifts,

Pomegranate leaves to be dried
I am still gathering magic plants before the winter has it's final say in the landscape here for the season. So, my desk and altars look like drying racks on top of varying projects ( yes the ones I am behind in) still laying out as a constant reminder. . .ooo  ooo  oo  me, do me! Then there is the research I am digging up about my Finnish ancestry Yule traditions. A few of those things look rather familiar to me, most of them are news to me.

My Kekri buck!
The first festival in the Winter season is actually a final harvest celebration called Kekri. One tradition involved dressing  up as kekritär or as a kekri buck and go door to door asking for food and drink.From what I can see, a Kekri seems to be a wooly looking reindeer. A modern version of this seems to be performance based to dance in the new year. I tried opening the video for this performance only to have my computer tell me there was an error. . . I'll show you error. Another tradition was indeed remembering your ancestors by leaving them food. Seems to be a central theme in many cultures that keep their pagan roots a little exposed.

The ham dinner for Christmas was the thing that really called me out. I remember ham dinners, in fact it was a family joke to call it salmon. Fish is also on the menu, but good luck getting me or anyone else in my family to eat it! So salmon ham it is. There are some other things that interest me on the Finnish menu.  Drinks!!!! There are a couple of recipes for something called Glog! It's a mulled wine either white or red wine can be use. They also drink and toast with schnopps of vodka. It has even been suggested in the glog recipes I ran into that you can spike your glog with vodka. . . heheheeh!

Sugar Plum Faery altar
Being Feri, all of this feasting and drinking and honoring of the ancestors is great. . . but it will not be a complete festivity without the faeries! Gotta have them included! So with that in mind out comes my favorite seasonal ballet theme Sugar Plum Faery! She will have her own steeped vodka present for sharing and everything! Yes, she even has a spot in the house all for herself!

My skeins look more like
oil bottles
Before any of this glorious fun and feasting can be done, there is a whole list of things to be done! The house is scrubbed from top to bottom, the last of the harvest is brought in and properly stored, a piglet was purchased, blessed, and fed VERY well, (ladies)  nine skeins of linen were to be woven if the ladies wanted a sleigh ride to Christmas church, the men had to make wooden toys and weave baskets before Christmas, then came the saunas.

 I think I'll not be doing the sauna, but a long soak in the bath. I don't think I'll be buying a piglet either. . . and nine skeins of linen??? Hrm. . . I have other things that have to get done. . . can't that count?? ;) Besides there are no sleigh rides here and I most certainly do not want a ride to church. . . and I don't think the church really wants to see me either.

So where does that leave me with my Ms Graveyard Dirt challenge? Doing something familiar like food wise with a faery twist. Yup, leave it to me to take a perfectly good tradition and completely do something different, except the food and drink. Ugh!

Kids making decorations for
the house
Ok well maybe that's not entirely true. I am pulling in the harvest. I am cleaning the house from top to bottom, completing seasonal hearth chores as valid to the world I live in, and I am having a feast at the end of all the work done! So maybe, just maybe, my Finnish Grandfather recognizes the actions as a modern take of what his family was doing at this time of the year. . . add the faeries and it will be a great time!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strung up and bagged

The weather is cold and close to rain. I can tell by the way the kids, cat and dog are all acting up. Everyone seems to be in agreement that in the next 24-48 we will be seeing rain, a couple days earlier than the app on my phone says it will be here. I suppose we are about to find out which is right: the app or the kids, cats, dogs.

With that being said and the air being decidedly cooler, I have been trying to get in the last of this years magic flowers, leaves and herb harvest in quickly and drying them before the plants decide it's too cold. This last batch was a bunch of lemon leaves and Mum blossoms. I decided to compare drying processes on the mums to see which would work best. I strung up about half of the harvest and placed the rest in a paper bag that I shook up a few times a day to make sure things all got air.

The thing that I noticed it that really they both took a bit of effort and both worked very well. With stringing up the blossoms there was a lot of work in the beginning and then you could just let them hang on the rack with no worries. If you use the paper bag method, you will be saving work in the beginning, but you will have to be vigilant about the bag shaking through out the whole process.

When stringing up the blossoms it is important to make sure the blossoms are firm so they won't fall apart as you do so. You will also want to be using 2 threads of cotton embroidery floss on a thin needle for the same reasons. If you have many blossoms to string up, it is recommended that you work in small batches while the rest of the blossoms remain in the fridge.

It took about two weeks on a hanging rack for the blossoms to be completely dry and ready to store but as  extra caution I will leave them in a paper bag to breathe for a couple days before I put them in plastic. There is nothing more disappointing than to botch a batch! Mold is NOT your friend here. You will have to toss the whole batch if mold begins to grow.

My hibiscus is still putting out blossoms like crazy so that seems to be an endless chain of drying process with them. I put them on the clean altar to dry sort of in order of which I gathered them: newest to driest and leave out a bag for them to go into as they dry completely. I wonder how long I will be doing that in a season? I suppose I am about to find out.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Eeeeek!!! My behind is behind!

So I thought it was bad to just be behind, but it seems as though right now my behind stuff is behind and the pile keeps falling on my head! I wish I had a lame excuse to offer you other than life seems to have it's own agenda and kids, cats, dogs. . . but ugh! Mrs. Oddly's life is literally run around the hearth, home and family needs and wants and distractions. . . ugh!

I'd offer you cookies fresh from the oven, but we haven't figured out the Star Trek beaming thing ( that and the kids have horked them all down). I have put up a give away offering with a smashing prize!

I did however update the craft page with something special coming up in the shop! Harmony powder and the witch vessel itself will soon be listed! I still need to get on the Mudra page and the sacred bath page, I'll get there. . . really.

I want to say thank you to all of you for your patience with my crazy self. I hope you continue to bear with me as I get my behind behind up to speed!

Mrs. Oddly!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happiest of Thanks Givings

A very happy day to all of you and yours! I hope that even if you do not celebrate the occasion you have more blessings than you can count!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A few thousand words!

Dear Pumpkin. . . look out for Peter!

A Samhain card from my sis!

Nike taking up residence on my craft desk

AHHHH! Curse you Peter!

Grim the Torch!

The Hanged Basil

Ancestor's Altar on the Spirit Rack

Self explanatory

Halloween Night's Moon out my front door

The After Party

Another Harvest from the world  of the Viridarium

Hekate's pomegranate wine for Her night

Yule incense ( private reserve) giveaway
a special blend of resins, evergreens,
and essential oils.

read this:

 Write a haiku about the Grinch to enter this give away.
Submit them to comments on this page.
Your name will then go into a hat.
I will pick a name from the hat on

Blessings and good luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Origami bird devotion.

A friend of mine came over this morning for the usual coffee, chat while the little ones take command of the living room and build train sets together. Although we were minus the other child, as she was at home and not with grandpa today. Which works for me right now, because poor little man has caught his sister's cold ( read as: here we go).

Today was let's do some reiki magic today with cranes. . . oh hey, let me teach you how to do cranes. If I wasn't going to do Hecate's night last night I can at least do it tonight, if little man let's me ( read as: I am going to be up all night anyway.) So he was actually pretty good at building origami . . . cranes not so much. This is where the project got interesting. The first crane actually looked like a crane, the others looked clearly like other birds, including a bird of prey! They seemed to be directly applicable to his situation. I will be watching to see what happens with this. I will also be pulling out my Language of the Birds book out here very soon to review anything I may have missed earlier.

I have my craney looking cranes ( I'm soooo boring, I guess) and put them aside for a small devotion tonight. I'll pull out my cast iron cauldron and commit them to flame.

I developed this short devotional ritual a long time ago when I began to realize that as a Mother some of my devotion acts must be short and sweet. Life happens. . . it is quite that simple and I don't always have the time to do exactly what I want to do and I'm pretty fine with that. As far as I can tell, I have had no complaints about being human and alive yet.

Before you start to fold your crane on a square piece of paper or nice origami paper, take a little time to roll a wish around in your head. Make it clear and concise. I also like to make sure that it matches the phase of the moon ( yes I know, crazy right??) When I have a clear statement, I write it down quickly as a rough draft somewhere because there are going to be about fifty million interruptions as I go about my day, especially if some one is not feeling well. I just go with it. As the house quiets down, I get out the paper I will be working with and take my time with the process of building an origami crane.

Artwork by Prince-Zaire on deviantArt.
I usually let a period of time pass before I actually set circle quickly and do any energy work. I am waiting to see who is going to come shuffling out of bedrooms in a sleep walked daze requesting that the freezer be filled with ice cream then settling for water. ( I keep waiting for the part where one says there's a monster under the bed so I can pull my Hog's Father routine out.)

Artwork by Prince-Zaire on deviantArt.
There is a feel to the house when everything has finally settled into night. You can hear the clock pendulum in the library tick and the whole room feels like it's lines with silk instead of child litter. The kitchen smells clean and the air hums. I'll be waiting for this moment tonight.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The X

There are moments when you have to trust an event in a trance or meditation as true instruction from the Gods. I had been doing some heavy trance work with the Crone of my tradition in preparation for Samhain. Feri has its own rituals that require certain types of roles to be facilitated and they require a good deal of preparation.

During one of those trances, the Crone asked me several pointed questions as to why I was not taking on a specific role. She let out a gravely cackle and asked me if it was fear that stopped me. I told her in all honesty no, it was not fear. It was caution. She let out another cackle that raised the hairs on the back of my neck, but it was a sensation I had gotten used to with Her. Her long, boney finger with a pointed nail slowly came up slowly and shakily to my forehead and scratched an X over my third eye. As you wish, not host. I could feel that X for hours after the trance.

The last week before the ritual went by with one foot in the other world and the other here. It was like they both intersected and blended much like the center almond shape of the vesica pisces. I literally had a running commentary of my life from the both the fae and the sage and crone of our tradition. It was actually pretty fun and funny to hear what they thought about the world I live in. I received a perspective that I would have never thought about without their point of view.

Hours before the ritual I began to wonder and worry if I was ready for my role. I thought about what I was wearing and laid it out on the bed. After I was already dressed and thought I was ready to walk out the door, She had some critique . . . as in: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE WEARING????? OH NO YOU DON'T. CHANGE INTO THIS! Well I did what any sane person would do, said yes ma'am and did as I was told! Including painting that X on my forehead where she had placed it earlier.

You would be happy to know that ritual went well. And yes, She did give me the once over to make sure I had done as I was told.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The week of the screaming woman!!!

So Holly dog bolted the gate this morning and then led us on a merry chase toward the main road. She tried to cross it and was lucky not to be hit by cars, seeing as how it was rush hour and all. Needless to say, I just about had a heart attack! For the now she is tied up in the back. I am not amused. It just seems to me that kids, cats, and dogs are on their worst behavior when I have tons of work to get done and time is running out!

I finally got the perfect vessels for the Serpent bone powder I wanted to make and wouldn't you know it I ran out of silver chain to finish the rest of them, but at least the powder got made and charmed for use. I filled the vessels I have and put the ones I couldn't make into jewelry away. They will be showing up in my store one at a time I suppose. I am still gathering ingredients for my psychic buffer powder, including finding proper vessels for them.

Oh speaking of my freshly made powder. . . they fae had a bit of fun with me. As soon as I had all the vessels filled, the bag with the remains of my precious powder disappeared for over an hour. I hunted high and low for the thing to no avail. Finally, I asked for a bit of help finding it because obviously there is something wrong with my vision and can't see it. I left some chocolate out for them and sure as Hades. . . there it was in a place I had only looked about 100 times! I'm sure they meant no harm and were curious as to what the heck I was up to, but I just about had a coronary!

I am learning that ebay is my friend. I found bottles for my incense and another vessel for a witching bottle I want to make. I decided that I need to shift the way I package my incense. I don't like the whole plastic bag thing. The incense always gets all caught up in the zipper part and is a pain in the behind to get to when you want it. A small vial just seems to be perfect. It will also preserve the shelf life of it longer, so bottles it is. I never knew that finding the right bottles could be so time consuming!

The last few weeks have been filled with various Samhain goings on including preparing for ritual, which has had to be postponed due to an illness ( not mine) but it's not like the gate slams shut so no worries. . . we will get this thing going I swear! Like I said earlier, The Gods of Samhain keep dumping work on my back. . . I hope they remember I am only mortal.

In all of this, I did actually remember to put on the brakes and take a break. I went out side the other night and looked up into the sky toward the moon. I was originally drawn outside because of the silver blue light that flooded my back yard. When I was living in an apartment, it was a rare treat to witness, because we always had these sidewalk lamps on as soon as dusk was setting in. I only saw a small patch of this light when the light bulbs burned out and only if it happened close to full moon. The other night I had an entire backyard full of silver blue moonlight and I was absolutely enchanted by it! I will get to have about another week of this light as the moon passes into waning, but I will be sure to enjoy it! I can't say I miss the apartments at all.

I also took time to watch some Netflix, in which I discovered the Vampire Diaries and watched both season one and two! Season three should be fun to watch unfold!

It's finally cold here. . . ok, Arizona cold. When you live in a place that heats up to 120 degrees and stays in triple figure heat for over six months of the year, anything below seventy degrees is cold. I know the snow birds get a good chuckle out of us as they are still wearing bermuda shorts and sandals, but we Arizonans, we break out with the parkas and scarves!

My basil is finally good and dry enough to pull off the drying rack and store, and I have a bunch of seed pods that need handling as well before the cat decides they taste good. Alot of my other work that I want to get done is all about the patience game. . . yup. . . here's me hopping up and down in my chair   waiting for the postal service to deliver my stuff. . . AAHHHKKK! Not my favorite game. I suppose it gives me more time to harvest and dry some more alyssum and look deeper into the recipe for the powder I want to make. I'm sure by now I am driving hubby crazy with the loose herbs in my pockets. . . hrm. . .  does this combo work better???? For the kids they think this is pretty normal. Yup there's Mom stuffing stuff into her pockets again. . .  Keep calm, carry on. At least she's not dashing into the street after fallen branches. . . right?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh that rascal Sam Hain!

So, I am back and I am tired. Everything from trick or treating to ritual has passed. Had some sleepless nights, some interesting visions, some readings manifest and a whole slew of other things that kept cropping up.

I even managed to get a couple of the garden beds set in. They look like open graves right now, but I am pretty kosher with that. They look so much like open graves right now that I am compelled to go buy some dirt if you take my meaning. So soon I will be visiting Mike and Josh's graves, having a goodly chat and hoping for a nice pile of dirt to buy. I thought about putting the newly purchased dirt in a coffee can and carrying it home that way, but a rasping voice whom I can only put as She of the Forbidden Mysteries, cackled at me and said: no you put it in a pot! So I will be putting it in a pot and then spreading it in my very grave looking garden bed frames. I originally planned on using wood for the frames, but a friend came up to me and pointed out that there were some cinder block pavers in the alley a street or two over that looked like they were headed for the dump. Well at least a few less of them will be left to sit there and do nothing in the dump. now all I have to do is but some dirt and buy some other dirt and I am ready to get the beds going to grow stuff. I think they will be very appropriate witchy herb garden beds.

I am actually still running around tying loose ends up from the season. I am trying to make sense of something I should probably just let go of an accept as the new normal, but I am having a bit of a struggle with it. Last week I was in bed and I know my eyes were closed. I could still see. I could make out where the blanket had puffed up in a lump over my head I could see the pictures on the wall. I could even see the spinning fan overhead. I waved my hand over my face and could see that as well. A bit curious, I opened my eyes and noticed what I had been seeing was the same but in a different quality of vision. I have no other words to describe it. The vision was a different sort of vision. It had a more shadowy quality to it than light based. I could have gotten out of bed with my eyes closed and navigated through the house with no issue. This has been on going for the last week or so. I think it's starting to affect my sleep because I am pretty tired at this point. I'm not spooked or anything, just tired. I suppose I'll just have to see where all of this goes, maybe it's a season thing. hrm.

As appropriate to the season, we ripped the guts out of pumpkins, roasted their insides and stuck a burning flame in their husked out shells. It was messy and gooey and all sorts of Jack the Ripper fun. Afterward the kids got into their costumes and went Trick or Treating. I stayed at home to answer the door. I was surprised at how many trick or treaters their were. Had to send Mr. Oddly out for more candy asap.

As of right now I have a couple of powders that I am working on. One is dedicated to Hecate and the other is yet nameless, but it's basically for psychic crowd control. Mr. Oddly is going to insist upon having 50 million house guests at a time and I'm gonna have to learn how to deal with that. So I guess a bit of magic charm work will fit the bill. I found a beautiful charm vessel for the Hecate powder, now I am looking for the vessel for the nameless powder. No worries, I am sure I'll find something perfect. I discovered that I have a perfect plant growing rather wildly in the back yard that I am currently drying a bit of; alyssum! And so you will know it when you see it here's some info on alyssum:

Everyone seems to have a two or three word magic description of the charming little wild flower and yes while those three words maybe true, my experience with alyssum is what I am going to go with. Yes it, tames anger, it is indeed protective, but the experience I have had is that for those who are hypersensitive ( read as empathic) it serves as a buffer between your own emotions and those of everyone around you. It makes crowded parties easier to bear and I look forward to navigating the usually oh so scary shopping season with my new little magic charm cleverly disguised as a charming little jewelry trinket. ;) Of course, I plan on adding other ingredients to my sweet alyssum for this powder to make sure that it's a bunker buster of a charm for the crazy people season.

I hope that Sam Hain has been nice to you. I know he can be a bit of a rascal at times ;)