Things that make me happy

Beth:

Another happy customer! I very much enjoyed making this special cord for my friend Nono and his spirit companion D. (And here’s a handy place to insert a reminder that yes, I do accept ritual cord commissions, and candle commissions will also be an option very soon!)

Originally posted on The Serpent's LaBOOrinth:

Some months ago D had me get a scarf as a way of “anchoring” his energy, but this scarf was kind of generic, basic black, so while it was good enough, it wasn’t as good as something specially made for him would be.  I bead (and indeed have a collar that I wear to symbolize our bond), but I don’t knit or do other fiber arts (and admire the fuck out of people who do).

A couple months ago, D and I were talking – D admired the sovereignity cord gracing my Vanir altar (said altar items are now in Connecticut waiting for me), which was made by my friend Beth, and he was impressed by her work (and even more so when I had him browse her shop with me).  D then made a request that surprised me, asking me to commission Beth to make a custom cord for…

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Apothic Dark Red Wine Cake

Beth:

This is now on my “to try” list too. Thanks for sharing, Blue! :)

Originally posted on O, Mourning Star. . .:

 (this would make a great devotional cake. On my ‘to try’ list)

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
40 mins
Total time
50 mins
Recipe by: Russell van Kraayenburg
Difficulty: Easy
Great for: dessert
Makes: 1 bundt cake
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces flour
  • 2 ounces cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 14 ounces vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cup sweet red wine (try Apothic Dark)
  • 1 cup cinnamon red wine sauce, recipe below
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour or grease a bundt pan. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Beat the sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the vanilla, mixing well after each addition.

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A few things

This post is going to be a (probably a bit rambly) kind of laundry list of some of the things on my mind this morning. A few of these will eventually be posts of their own, but right now they’re still in that “not ready for prime time” stage (and I’m too tired to write about anything in a more in-depth way).

  1. My Neo Lana e-spinner arrived! Although she did get here completely undamaged, I have not yet been able to use her for more than a few minutes, because when I set her up I thought her drive band was too loose, so I trimmed and reattached it. (Most wheels now use polyurethane bands that can be resized using a lighter.) She spun along great for a few minutes and then the drive band snapped, and my attempts to repair it were unsuccessful (plus it was now too short). Part of the problem stemmed from my misunderstanding that she was not built to spin as quickly as her sister, the Vespera (the seller has an instructional video available for the Vespera, which is her non-bulky e-spinner, but none for the Neo Lana), so the band was probably just fine to begin with.  The seller (Jan at Heavenly Handspinning) is being really nice about it and sending me a new drive band for free, but in the meantime my brand new e-spinner is sitting here and I can’t use her–which is frustrating, to say the least. Here she is, though, in all her glory.  She comes “naked” (unfinished wood), so I still need to make up a batch of my carnauba wax furniture polish to protect her wood and do a consecration and naming ritual for her. (Yes, I name all of my tools; I’m an animist that way. My new camera is a Canon Powershot ELPH, so her name is Elfshot.)
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    Her bobbins are enormous, so once I get her working and get up to speed working with her this is going to be a really great thing for FiberWytch. Right now, though, it’s mostly just frustrating that I can’t practice on her.
  2. I spent most of the day yesterday making Dixie cup fixed votives–so named because I’m using Dixie cups as the molds for these.  (The Dixie cups are the molds only; these do not ship in a container, but “naked” like regular votive candles.) This results in a candle that’s a bit wider and shorter than your typical votive candle, but should burn for about the same amount of time.
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    These candles are all fully fixed and consecrated with herbs, oils, and glitter, but (just as with the first batch of my mason jar candles) this is a Beta batch, so they are physically imperfect and I will be offering them at a discounted price.  Ultimately, these votives will be listed at $10 for two in my shop, but for this first batch I will be asking only $7 for two, plus shipping. In this batch, I have votives for Odin, Loki, Yggdrasil, Frigga, Freyja, Yule, and Ullr. (There will be some Hellenic deities in my next batch.) I will be listing these throughout the week, and will probably only post about it here once they’ve all been listed (which will take several days)–so, since the mason jar candles went VERY quickly, the best way to make sure you get first grabs on these is probably to keep an eye on my Etsy shop. (If you favorite the shop, my new listings will show up automatically in your Etsy feed.)
  3. I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year–sort of.  I can’t afford to go whole hog with it, since my first priority needs to be getting (and keeping) the store stocked for the holidays, and since I also work a day job my time is limited. However, I want to put a book together on my own perspective and experience regarding spirit work. Much like similar books a few other spirit workers have published, it will largely consist of (possibly reworked) posts from this blog, with some new material added in.
  4. Speaking of which, I am currently reading Nornoriel’s book Walking Between Worlds: A Survival Guide to Life Touched by the Unseen, and even though I’m very far from being a new spirit worker (having been married to Odin since 2002 and practicing magic and witchcraft in various forms since around 1978–when I was all of 13) there are a lot of things in it that are both serving as useful reminders to me and kicking my ass a bit. I plan to do a book review after I finish it (I’m nearing the end at this point), and it will probably spark a few posts here as well (as will the trio of excellent posts Jo made over the weekend, especially Doing everything right and still failing; go read that if you missed it!). Probably most importantly, reading about Nono’s experiences with burnout have made me realize that I was in a period of burnout myself from early 2011-2013 or so (our first couple of years in the apartment where we live now, right after breaking off a couple of toxic friendships, and also right after having to re-home two of our cats in order to be able to move in here). This was the period of time in which I immersed myself almost completely in the fiber arts and took a big step back from active spirit work. I did not entirely drop my spiritual practice during this time period (I stayed married to Odin, obviously, although our relationship had some pretty severe rough patches and might not have survived if we hadn’t had such a long history together–and if He wasn’t determined to keep me no matter what, and I kept practicing seidhr and offering readings), but I was experiencing a constant low-level depression and I did need to begin distancing myself from some practices, ideas, and attitudes I had picked up from the former friends and from their general peer group, to sort out what was really me and what I had (inappropriately and unconsciously) absorbed or adopted from them, since they had been a big part of our spiritual lives for a few years. This is still an ongoing practice of continuing to examine things and strip away what isn’t really part of me and doesn’t serve me or my path, but 2014 has seen a huge uptick in my spiritual practice, with me finally embracing my own personal mythology and my primary spirit work Job, re-grounding myself in my love and trust for my Husband, and walking a path that is truly my own, not influenced by anyone else’s. I will probably have more to say on the whole burnout thing in future posts, and definitely in my spirit work book. Right now, the important thing for me is finally recognizing that I was burned out, and that I have moved on from it.
  5. In case you missed it, over the weekend I listed several new ritual cords designs: Self Love cords (for self esteem and pampering your inner child), Sweet Dreams Cords (for help in dream recall, dreamwork, and having pleasant dreams), and Winter Yggdrasil.  Three of the Winter Yggdrasil cords are still available, along with one each of the Self Love and Sweet Dreams cords, but (it being the time of year that it is) I expect them to go quickly, so if you need any of these, go take a look!
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Winter Yggdrasil Ritual Cords at FiberWytch!

There will be two different takes on the Winter Yggdrasil theme; this is the first.  (The second is carded but not yet spun, so it probably won’t emerge for another week or two yet. )

You might think that the Great Tree, being eternal, would not have its seasonal cycles of life and death like any other tree, but you’d be wrong. The Tree lives, and all things that live have their seasons, their pattern of ebb and flow.

In the winter, Yggdrasil, Steed of the Terrible One, sometime resembles an ancient yew, with dark green needles and blood-red berries. At other times it appears as a skeletal ash, its bony black fingers clawing at a white sky. For now the Hunt rages, all of the ghastly spirits of Odin’s army of the dead ride forth, the ancestors walk the earth among their kin, and the Tree anchors all of the worlds, its dual faces showing the dual nature of the Yule season: celebration and death.

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This cord depicts the bright face of Winter Yggdrasil, the festive reds, greens and golds of the holiday season, the spirit of family gatherings, hospitality, gift-giving, and hopes for the new year. Hand dyed domestic Merino and Cheviot top, carded with generous helpings of luscious hand dyed silk and lots of sparkle, then spun with intent and healing Reiki energy, plied with a strand of sparkling red Lurex (metallic) yarn, and consecrated with the energies of the Great Tree that binds and connects the worlds.

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Please note: I have tried to depict the colors as accurately as possible, but every monitor shows color a bit differently. Since these are made in tiny batches by hand, the cord you receive may not be identical to the photographs, but it will be very close. Please allow for slight variations!

Rinsed with mugwort, bayberry root bark and yew needles, and essential oils of cinnamon bark, frankincense, myrrh, clove, cypress, juniper, and fir needle (for the blessings of nine sacred trees, in all, in addition to the visionary properties of mugwort). The cord ends are adorned with four charms: a cranberry jade bead, an antique bronzetone Yule tree, an antiqued bronzetone pine cone, and an antiqued silvertone Amanita mushroom (the vision-enhancing fungus said to have originated when red spittle from the mouth of Sleipnir, Odin’s horse, fell onto the snow).

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You can use this cord:

- To adorn a northern tradition or shamanic altar, or a Yule altar
– For grounding and shielding
– For any ritual or spell having to do with astral travel, shamanic journeying, otherworldly communication, oracular vision, or petitioning the gods of the north
– To contact the northern gods, giants, elves, or dwarves in meditation or journeying
– As a dedication cord to any of the northern (aka heathen) gods
– For the altar of a northern goddess or god
– For a handfasting cord for a Yule wedding
– As a necklace lariat, belt, or hair tie to wear to a rite in honor of a northern god or goddess, or to a Yule ritual or celebration
– For knot spell work
– To spread on the floor to mark out your ritual circle for your Yule/Winter Solstice ritual, or for astral travel or shamanic journeying work
– To wear on any occasion when you want to surround yourself with the protection of the northern gods or anchor yourself to the World Tree

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As always, these are made in tiny batches, completely by hand, so supplies are extremely limited.  I only have three of these available, and I don’t know if I will have time make another batch in this exact design this season–so if you need to have this, you should probably stop reading and go get yours now! 

Two other brand new cord designs are also still available in my shop, posted in the last few days: the Self Love Cord (pamper your inner child with sparkly bubblegum pink) and the Sweet Dreams Cord (the velvet blue of the night sky, with a tiny vial of mugwort as one of the charms).

I am always happy to reserve a cord for you for up to two weeks, longer for established customers, so please don’t be shy about asking me to hold something until you can get the money together.  (I certainly know how it is to be on a tight budget.)  However, I do have to request that you please do not ask me to reserve an item unless you seriously intend to purchase it within a reasonable period of time, as that removes the item from being able to be purchased by others.  Also (and I don’t feel I should have to say this, but it has come up so I’m going to mention it briefly), please don’t ask me if I can come down on prices.  My prices are set by Odin, and even though I have been raising them slowly, at His behest, to get them where they should be, they are not quite there yet even now (in comparison with other similar items I’ve seen on the market.) I offered the first batch of fixed mason jar candles at a reduced introductory price (the next batch will be at full price), but my cords are not a beta product, and the only time they will be reduced is when w/We decide to have a sale.

Once again, thank you so much for your support!

Dream a little dream with me (Sweet Dreams Handspun Ritual Cords at FiberWytch)

IMG_1022I really love this one, but then we all know I’m a sucker for the dark blues! This is a cord for dreamwork, designed to encourage vivid dreams, dream recall, prophetic dreams, and astral travel within the dream state. It also resonates well with gods and goddesses of night, sleep, dreamwork, and astral/otherworld journeying, such as Odin, Morpheus, Hypnos, and Nott.

The cord is made from the finest hand dyed Cheviot and Merino wools with carbonized bamboo and plenty of silk and shimmer. It was Navajo plied with two strands of metallic novelty yarn, in dark blue and glittery gold. The result is a velvety soft dark blue cord (the blue of the night sky) with shimmery hints of gold, red, deep pink, purple, and charcoal grey.

IMG_1048Please be aware that each monitor shows color a bit differently. Since these are made in tiny batches by hand, the cord you receive may not be identical to the photographs, but it will be very close. Please allow for slight variations!

Blessed and consecrated with the energies and intentions of dreamwork and dream recall, and soaked with grey moonstone and mugwort leaf (for journeying and vivid dreaming) and essential oils of valerian root (for deep sleep), frankincense (for protection during the dreaming/journeying state), rosemary (for dream recall), chamomile, rose, and lavender (for relaxation and sweet dreams).

The cord ends are adorned with four charms: an antique bronzetone rabbit jumping over a crescent moon (for escaping waking consciousness), a silvertone wishing well (symbolizing the Well of Dreams), a blue goldstone that shimmers like stars in the night sky, and a little cork-stopped glass vial filled with mugwort leaf (the visionary herb). (The cork is glued in place.)

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You can use this cord:

- To adorn a bedside altar dedicated to your dreamwork
– To adorn an altar for any god or goddess associated with sleep, dreams, prophetic dreaming, or otherworld travel in dreams
– As a prayer cord, for working with any god or goddess of sleep or dreams
– For petitioning a deity of sleep, night, or dreams
– For any ritual or spell having to do with dreamwork, prophetic dreaming, or astral travel in dreams
– For meditation prior to sleep
– As a dedication cord to any deity of night, sleep, or dreams
– As a necklace lariat, belt, or hair tie to wear to a rite in honor of a deity of the night, sleep, or dreaming
– For knot spell work
– To spread on the floor to mark out your ritual circle for working with a deity of sleep or dreams, or for dreamwork rituals
– As a portable altar/shrine to a deity of sleep or dreams, or a stealth shrine (for those who are unable to practice openly)
– To wear on any occasion when you want to surround yourself with the intention of having vivid and/or prophetic dreams, traveling astrally during dreams, and/or recalling your dreams

I only have two of the full-sized (3 yard) cords available, plus one shorter cord (one yard, 23 inches) that would be perfect for wearing as a necklace lariat.  So if you need this cord, hurry up and get yours now! I still have Dia de Los Muertos cords, one Self Love cord, a couple of fixed candles (more soon!) and lots of other cool stuff, too!

As always, thank you so much for your patronage and support! I was up half the night packaging up candles for shipment (I pack fragile things REALLY securely, so don’t worry!) and printing out postage–so I am exhausted today. I have a few content-related posts swimming around in my brain, but they probably won’t be happening this evening!

And speaking of candles, a quick note on shipping

For everyone who ordered candle/s last weekend, or at any point during the week: they are all going out tomorrow in one (massive) shipment.  The reason for this is, I work at an office job five days a week, and while I have been dropping ritual cord shipments off at their shipping center to be picked up by USPS (I buy my shipping labels online), I didn’t think they would appreciate being bombarded by the candle order.  (And I thought it likely they would say something to me, as a result.) So I am packaging up all the candles orders tonight, and Jo has been kind enough to volunteer to drop them off at the post office tomorrow.  You will receive your tracking information via email, as usual. These are the growing pains of transitioning towards FiberWytch hopefully being my full-time business…

Probably in preparation for this, a couple of weeks ago Odin insisted I change my default shipping time frame to 5-7 business days, because if this is going to work it has to be sustainable for me, and as a disabled person who works at an office part time, 1-3 business days was not sustainable (and wouldn’t have worked for heavier things like the candles at all). I mention this for two reasons:  1) although it does say 5-7 days now in all my listings, when printing out your packing slips tonight I noticed that the thank you emails you received still say 1-3 days, because I forgot to correct them; this is another example of my inability to Do All of the Things, and 2) Odin told me to change the time frame RIGHT BEFORE it really needed to happen; this is yet another example of His asking me to trust Him, and I did (without knowing His reasons)…and then I found out His reasons, and was glad I took His word for it.

Anyway, if you ordered a candle, it will most likely show up in your mailbox or on your doorstep in the coming week! And this weekend, I will be doing a handful of “backorders” (as promised in Etsy convos), as well as trying my hand at some fixed votives (since FedEx decided to let me have my shipment with the wicking and candle tabs). Also, I have another surprise mini-posting of new ritual cords set to go either tomorrow or Sunday morning!