New in the shop: Illuminance Anointing Oil

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The basic recipe for this oil is in the Old Testament, but I tweaked it a little to make it my own. Traditionally, this oil includes only four ingredients: myrrh, sweet cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, and “calamus,” although there is some disagreement as to whether the last ingredient is literally calumus root or whether it might be lemongrass instead. I included both calamus and lemongrass, plus a few extra, secret ingredients (such as angelica root, for the favor of the Archangels–so that one isn’t a secret anymore, oops!) in addition to the other traditional herbs. I have also added rose quartz, for universal love and compassion.

The oil was prepared using the enfleurage (hot infusion) method with a base of extra virgin olive oil (as is also traditional). This process began at the the Cancer full moon of January 2018, after which the oil was allowed to rest on my shrine for a full lunar cycle and was then strained. Essential oils were added to enhance the scent and properties.

The scent is deep, earthy, and resinous, with strong base notes of cinnamon and lighter lemony and herbal notes. The color is dark due to the fact that I used cassia powder–but the brightest light is often found in the darkest places.

To use: apply to candles, petitions, your altar and religious icons, prayer beads, offerings, and anything else you want to consecrate. Can also be applied to your pulse points or chakras prior to meditation or other spiritual work–but please do not consume it.

Presented in a 1 ounce clear plastic bottle (BPA free) with a silver lid.

– Protect from direct sunlight and high temperatures.
– Alcohol, phthalate, paraben, synthetic, and cruelty free.
– Vegan and handmade, with ethically sourced ingredients.
– For proprietary reasons, I am unable to reveal the complete list of ingredients publicly. But if you have allergy concerns, please convo me on Etsy.

Full disclosure: I am a Luciferian Witch, although my conception of Lucifer is as a Divine Archangel who performs a specific role and purpose on half of the Creator/s. My practice and beliefs focus on the ascension of mankind’s consciousness so that we may recognize and know the Divine within us all. Nevertheless, if you hold strongly conflicting beliefs, this product may not be suitable for you.

I also have a handful of bottles left of some of my limited edition oils from the fall and the Winter Solstice; you can find those here. I am in the process of developing a new line of oils which will be offered in the shop when they are ready! (You might have noticed the shop has a whole new look; I am tweaking my branding and focus slightly, although the name and location will remain the same).

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New Teas in the Shop! (and a few discontinuations)

Finally, I have been able to get a few new tea blends mixed up and posted to the shop that I’ve been planning for a long time! I’ve also marked down a few blends that are being discontinued (see the end of this post) and there are a few more blends that may be discontinued if sales don’t pick up soon.

First, the new blends!

Lucifer tea blend

A bracing and invigorating blend of yerba mate enlivened with mints and a touch of white pepper, mellowed and sweetened with vanilla, and lulled into a false sense of security with soothing lavender and creamy white chocolate–all finished off with a sprinkling of angelic coconut and golden calendula petals for the Lightbearer.

A fitting offering to Lucifer, or you can share it with him in ritual or meditation. Also makes a brisk yet sweet morning beverage to get your day started, or a wonderful afternoon pick me up.

lilith tea blend

A seductively sweet treat for the senses! Deep, dark organic Assam tea sweetened with coconut and intensified with rich semi-sweet chocolate and succulent cherries. An offering of fragrant red rose petals makes the perfect finishing touch!

A fitting offering to Lilith, or you can share it with her in ritual or meditation. Also makes a brisk yet sweet morning beverage to get your day started; even more luscious with sugar and cream added!

lunar tea

Courtesy of my Patreon supporters, this tea is the first in a series of planetary magic tea blends I’ll be formulating throughout 2018! Designed to aid in dream work, dream recall, and restful sleep, this sweet and fragrant blend will help you unwind with deliciously soothing notes of lemon, apple, and mint. The perfect accompaniment to moon-gazing and late night journalling and meditation before bed time!

(Interested in getting these teas shipped to you automatically each month as they are created, before the rest of the world has access to them? Support me on Patreon; the tea club is reserved for $20 or more per month supporters, but other fantastic rewards–such as my magickal moon phase reports–start at just $1 per month!)

As mentioned above, the following teas are being discontinued due to slow sales, and remaining stock has been discounted accordingly! (If you want to try these, hurry; there isn’t much left!)

HOLIDAY CHAI  HERBAL TEA BLEND: Love the delicious spiciness of chai but don’t love the caffeine? Here’s a yummy holiday brew just for you!

Nutrition-dense nettle forms a smooth green base for ginger, cardamom, sweet cinnamon, rainbow peppercorns, vanilla bean, and delectable orange slices and cranberries. All with a sprinkling of colorful safflower petals to add a festive touch! Now only $3.95/bag.

FRIGG YERBA MATE TEA BLEND: My possibly unpopular opinion: I hate green tea. But I LOVE yerba mate, with its lush earthy green flavor and fragrance. Somehow, it manages to taste and smell like the forest itself, after a quenching, restorative rain. Energizing and anti-oxidant rich, this premium organic unsmoked yerba mate is sweetened with blueberries, organic lavender, organic coconut, and organic vanilla bean, while organic lemongrass and freshly dried lemon slices provide just the right amount of tartness for this refreshing, enlivening brew.

Healthy and delicious, this invigorating tea makes a wonderful offering to Frigg, Queen of Asgard, who wants everyone under her care to be at their very best–or, you can share it with her in ritual or meditation. Also makes a delicious morning libation to start your day, or a yummy afternoon pick-me-up! Now only $4.25/bag.

THE WHITE WITCH HERBAL TEA BLEND: In childhood, I was Narnia-obsessed (I’m talking about the books, here; the movies weren’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye yet) and Jadis the White Witch was both the character I admired most and loved to hate. This tasty dessert tea pays homage to the strong drink and delicious treats she conjures out of nowhere to bewitch the hapless Edmund.

A base of nutrition-dense nettle is enlivened with cooling peppermint and spearmint, with a flurry of coconut flakes as a reminder of the witch’s spell of unending winter. Rose petals, lemon slices and white chocolate chips leave a taste of Turkish delight candy on the tongue, followed by a suggestion of warming rum. Now only $3.95/bag.

ALSO, the Supernatural-inspired teas have not been selling well, and just as with my other stock I can’t afford to reorder ingredients for blends that aren’t selling. So if these teas interest you, consider picking up a bag or two in the near future; they may not be around for that much longer! I will probably be skewing my stock more towards magickal and spiritual teas, going forward, than fandom teas, since it seems that’s what people look for from me. 🙂

 

 

An addendum to my “burnout” post

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me to express concern about my experiences. After everything that’s happened, I cannot tell you what this show of support means to me.

However, I did want to clarify a couple of points from the previous post. One, I mentioned being a survivor of emotional abuse, and many people seem to have assumed (naturally enough) that I meant childhood abuse. But no. I was emotionally abused and made to feel utterly worthless during at least the second half of my first marriage, which spanned from around 1988 (when I was 23) up until we separated 15 years later. This was a pattern of belittlement and gaslighting that directly relates to the treatment I experienced later on as Odin’s “wife,” from 2002 until roughly 2014.

Which brings me to: if you, as a reader of my blog posts and books, ended up using my UPG to inform your own relationship with Odin, please don’t feel badly about that or think you need to apologize. This is why I published that material, and I don’t hold you at any fault whatsoever (unlike the person mentioned in my last post who purported to be a friend and then blatantly violated my boundaries and co-opted my *privately communicated* spiritual experiences for herself). There is a HUGE difference between what is communicated in a blog or a published book, intended for public consumption, and what is shared privately with the assumption of confidentiality. So PLEASE don’t worry; obviously I knew when I chose to publish this information that it would help and inspire some people. I just never expected that it would be used to erase me as a person from the equation entirely because someone wanted what they thought I had.

Also, if you’re worrying about my relationship with Odin at this point—please don’t be, because there isn’t one, and I’m more than fine with that. I brought up my spiritual history in the post only because I wanted to draw a parallel between my spiritual experiences and the concept of “theft” in the pagan/creative community. I am NOT looking for reassurances or validation. I’ve moved on. In fact, writing the post shook some things loose that had been obstructing my path forward, and that I don’t think could have been moved out of the way by any other means. Shadow work, folks! It’s good for what ails ya!

So, where do I go from here? Back to where I began. Some of you may remember that, in the original series of “Lucifer” posts I shared here, there was a third installment, “Lucifer vs. Odin.” Well, I convinced myself the ideas in that post were mistaken and I ended up deleting it. But recent events have proven to me that I was wrong to do that, and that the post was actually very accurate—more so than I wanted to admit. It isn’t easy, when you’ve invested more than a decade in something (or Someone) to admit that you were wrong, that you were misled, being used for someone else’s purposes—but that’s what I’m admitting to, here. I don’t have it in me to write the post again, so in a nutshell:

  1. Lucifer (or my version of him, whatever that means) had the primary and first claim on me, which was formalized when I was 19.
  2. I shortly thereafter married (a human) for the first time and had a child, thus placing my spiritual path with him on hold for some years. He didn’t really go anywhere, but he stayed in the background for the most part.
  3. Later on, when my child was old enough, he decided it was time to begin actively working together again—but this time he was using the name Odin, specifically in order to bring me together with Jo. (He was NOT Odin, but was using that name as a means to an end.)
  4. However, Lucifer and Odin are actually two VERY different entities—and the following years would see a pitched battle between my Lucifer and canon Odin over who I really belonged to.
  5. I have made my choice: I am going back to my “Lucifer”  (in quotes because I have no way of knowing for sure whether or not he is canon Lucifer–and I also don’t care), the Person who claimed me in the first place. For all sorts of reasons I am not going into here, including some events that took place over the last couple of months.
  6. I am not again going to allow myself to fall into the trap of thinking they might be the same; they had enough overlapping similarities to allow one to pose as the other for a period of time, and that’s about it.

    And, that’s about it. I’m finished backtracking and second-guessing myself; the path lies ahead. It is a witchy path, and a dark, twisting one, and yet quite well lit for all of that—and I’m loving every minute of it!

Virtual Garage Sale (Master Post)

Well, January was a heck of a month, and between Jo and myself we managed to stack up a bunch of medical expenses that haven’t all even come in yet. I’m not going to go into the details of everything that happened, but Jo has a new GoFundMe set up in case you are inclined to help us pay down some of these bills.

As for me, I decided to pull together all of the items still available from our series of “Virtual Garage Sale” posts and combine them into one master post, with categories, to make it easier for folks to see what’s still up for grabs (and easier for me to keep the list updated). New items will be added to this list as we find and catalog them; sold items will be deleted from it.

See something you’d like to buy? Please email me at wodandis at gmail dot com and I will mark the item/s as no longer available.  I will also email you back to confirm your shipping cost. (I will combine shipping for orders of more than one item.)

Payment will be via paypal to wodandis at gmail dot com. All garage sale items ship to US addresses only, please–sorry about that!

Jewelry

All jewelry (by itself) ships free!)

Sterling silver cuff bracelet with red turquoise cabochon: $20

Gigantic sterling silver Baltic amber ring, about a size 5: $30

Sterling silver World Tree pendant, made by a local Eugene artisan: $30

Sterling silver valknut, hand cast by a Heathen artisan: $50

Sterling silver bindrune pendant for attracting love, with garnet: $15

Sterling silver anatomical heart pendant: $35

 

Tarot & Oracle Decks

The Vessel Oracle: an Indie deck by the same artist who created the Spirit Speak Tarot. Good condition, with box and pamphlet, $20 plus $5 shipping.

 

The Golden Moth Illumination Deck: another Indie deck. Comes with handbook, good condition (the box is battered). $20 plus $5 shipping.

 

The Fountain Tarot: this is the Indie edition, which is no longer being sold (not the mass market version available on Amazon).This deck was a workhorse for me for a while, but I haven’t been reaching for it recently. Fair condition (but the cardstock is still amazing!), $20 plus $5 shipping.

IMG_6255.JPGRadiant Rider Waite in a tin – like new, $10 plus $5 shipping. Bought last year for a class that I ended up not taking.

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Secrets of the Mystic Grove Oracle  – like new, $10 plus $5 shipping. Another one I wanted to love, but it is just not quite right for me.

Books – Pagan and General Nonfiction

Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation, by Stephen Harrod Buhner, fair cond, $10

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, by Allison Weir, fair condition, $7

Leather Jewelry: 35 beautiful step-by-step leather accessories  by Linda Peterson, very good cond., $10

Silk Scarf Printing & Dyeing: step-by-step techniques for 50 silk scarvesby Melanie Brummer, good cond (cover slightly torn), $10

Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair: Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Every Body, by Dina Falconi, good cond., $10

Medieval Queenship: edited by John Carmi Parsons — Excellent; used but like new, $20

The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche – good, $10 plus $5 shipping

The Witch’s Shield by Christopher Penczak – good, includes companion CD – $10 plus $5 shipping

Alchemy & Mysticism by Alexander Roob, 2001 paperback edition, full color, like new – $35 plus $5 shipping

Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen – fair to good cond. – $20 plus $5 shipping

Leather Crafted: A Simple Guide to Creating Unconventional Leather Goods, by Caitlin McNamara Sullivan, good cond., $10

The Will of Zeus by Stringfellow Barr — poor, softcover, $8

Odin’s Chosen by Faolchu Ifreann and Tyrsoak Josephsson — fair condition, $10

Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek book 1 by Maurice Balme/Gilbert Lawall –fair. $20

Trance-Portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World by Diana Paxson (signed to Beth, and autographed, fair to good), $10

Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner Galina Krasskova and Raven Kaldera — fair. $8

The Druids by Stuart Piggott, fair $5

The Decipherment of Linear B by John Chadwick fair $10

Fire on the Mountain by Jennifer Lawrence fair to good condition(the book is slightly warped vertically, can probably be straightened out, otherwise like new), $10

Sketching Your Favorite Subjects in Pen and Ink by Claudia Nice. fair to good, slight bowing on cover, $10

The Greeks and Their Gods: W.K.C Guthrie: fair, $5

First Steps in Old English by Stephen Pollington — good to very good, $20

Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces by Patricia Lanza fair, messy cover, $5

Devoted to You: Honoring Deity in Wiccan Practice by Judy Harrow excellent condition, $8

Anger by Thich Nhat Hahn (hardcover, like new), $8

He Epistole Issues 1- 12, Hellenion’s quarterly newsletters fair to good, $8

Books – Charles De Lint

Shipping is $5 per book, but if you are buying more than one book we will combine shipping!

Mulengro   $5

The Harp of the Grey Rose $5

Moonlight and Vines $5

I’ll Be Watching You (as Samuel M Key) $5

Angel of Darkness $5 (as Samuel M Key)

From A Whisper to a Scream (as Samuel M Key) $5

The Little Country $5

The Dreaming Place $5

The Fair in Emain Macha $5

Into the Green $5

Svaha $5

Dreams Under Foot $5

The Riddle of the Wren $5

Memory and Dream $5

Greenmantle $5

Tapping the Dream Tree $5

This is it for the De Lint paperbacks. Everything else is going to be hard cover, limited print run, and/or autographed. The starting price for the regular hardcovers is going to be $12 unless otherwise noted.

The Faery Reel: edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling $12

The Blue Girl $8

The Mystery of Grace  $12

Widdershins  $12

Dingo $8

The Onion Girl  $12

Muse and Reverie   $12

Spirits in the Wires  $12

Little (Grrl) lost  $8

The Road to Lisdoonvarna – limited run, numbered #107 out of 2000 copies, signed – $20

Chapbooks:
Yellow Dog: signed, limited press run chapbook #101 of 750. Small, faint  stain on end of page, otherwise like new: $6
Refinerytown: signed limited press run chapbook #287 of 750. Like new: $8
Old Man Crow: limited run, not signed, large stain on outside edge of pages and cover: $4

Books – Fiction

Murder Game by Christine Feehan — good condition (massmarket), $5
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon — good. $8

A Dark Horn Blowing by Dahlov Ipcar (massmarket paperback) good condition, $5

The King Must Die by Mary Renault very good, $5

The Forbidden Game trilogy (The Hunter/The Chase/The Kill) (first printing) L.J. Smith, $5

The Chronicles of Narnia minus the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe C.S Lewis (1972 editions with sketches by Pauline Baynes, $15

Lightborn by Alison Sinclair (part of a series; Darkborn is the first, and I don’t have that one to sell) very good condition, $5

Shadowborn by Alison Sinclair (part of a series; Darkborn is the first, and I don’t have that one to sell) very good condition, $5

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong good condition, $5

The Wood Wife by Terri Windling good condition, $5

Sebastian by Anne Bishop very good, $5

Belladonna by Anne Bishop very good, $5

Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop (The Pillars of the World/Shadows and Light/The House of Gaian — good condition, $10

The Invisible Ring (stand alone set in the Black Jewels world) Anne Bishop good condition, $5

The Last of the Renshai by Mickey Zucker Reichert — fair condition, $5

The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth; a Bibliotheca Alexandrina publication like new, $10

The Darkangel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel/A Gathering of Gargoyles/The Pearl of the Soul of the World) in good, fair, good condition respectively, $10

The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault good condition, $5

Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs good, $5

Raven’s Strike by Patricia Briggs good, $5

Prince of Wolves by Susan Krinard fair, $5

Prince of Shadows by Susan Krinard fair. $5

Out of This World with stories by J.D. Robb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard, and Maggie Shayne very good condition. $5

The Dragon Queen by Alice Borchardt (first book in a two book series) good condition, $5

On Burnout, Spiritual Identity Theft, and De-Personhood

I’ve literally had a hell of a week–spent half of Sunday in the ER for heart attack symptoms that turned out to be just acid reflux brought on by an antibiotic prescribed for a tooth infection, and now the dentist won’t even pull the tooth because he’s afraid of being sued. So yeah, I’m in pain and furious right now, and it’s triggered some exploration of things that have been bothering me for a while now.)

This is not going to be a popular post, but it’s something I think I’m finally ready to speak about, two years or so after it happened. I won’t be naming names because that isn’t the point of this post. My right to my own creativity on both a spiritual and crafting level IS.

Some backstory, in case you’re new here or might have forgotten. From 2002 onward, I’ve been deeply involved with the Norse god Odin (never mind whether or not I knew him earlier under a different name and “mask”; that’s also not the point here)—so much so that I used to describe the relationship as a spiritual marriage. Increasingly as time went on, I saw more and more people online begin to describe their relationships with their own Beloved deities in similar terms. This is great; this is more than great. I thought so then and I still do—even when the deity in question ALSO happened to be Odin. (Which happened a lot, by the way.)

Year by year, I immersed myself further into the relationship as it not only continued to grow but also as my Work with him became more and more defined and specific. And all along, I shared my experiences with what I considered to be my religious community, both locally and online. I carried a god-shrine on my back (literally, via a Greyhound bus since I don’t drive) to a heathen gathering; I faced down neo-Nazis at a moot; I volunteered as a local organizer and conducted public rituals; I invited people into my home; I wrote two books; and I blogged and blogged and blogged about Odin and my relationship with him.

But the most vulnerable and personal information of all I reserved for a small group of women I considered my friends, people I conversed with in a secret Facebook group about our various deity relationships. Most of these women were closely involved with Apollon; as time went on, though, a couple of them began to talk about having a connection with Odin as well. Again, that’s okay; I think it’s something that naturally happens when people begin to share notes about deities.  There were also a couple of confirmed Lokeans, which was neat because Odin and Loki have a pretty close relationship too.

The trouble started, I think, when I began to talk very specifically—both on my blog and (especially) within the group—about my own very unique and idiosyncratic path with Odin, which was forged with him via years of trance experience, divination, and UPG. In retrospect, I know it was a mistake to reveal so much about so personal a path, but at the time it was a relief to be able to share, to compare notes with people on their own UPG-led paths. I was pretty sure my specific path was unique to me; at least, I had not heard anyone talk about having this exact path with Odin before (and I was in on a lot of Odin-related internet conversations back then). It was very specifically bound up with my role as a sacred queen in relation to the Wild Hunt, alongside him, and his role as a god of death and creation—and there were even more personal details beyond that, which I revealed only within my group of friends.

I thought I was safe in sharing this stuff, because not only was it so “off-canon” from the lore understanding of Odin, but it was as individual to me (I thought) as my fingerprint. But then one day one of my “friends” in the group (who had described herself as a “Loki-spouse” to that point) announced that Odin had come to her, “whipped it out,” (being vulgar here, but this is the language she used) and let her know that she would be replacing me as his consort in the particular and specific role I had with him, and that I had in confidence described to her, from that point onward. She also had a message for me from Odin about why this was okay and I needed to accept it, which she relayed to me without my consent.

I’m not going to go into exhaustive detail beyond this, but as you might imagine, things went rapidly downhill from there. I quit the group immediately, unfriended its members, and for a while refused to discuss why. (Eventually, the details came out, but I was too angry at the time to talk about them. The fact that I did not became an excuse for the others not to defend my position, of course.) Intellectually and rationally, I didn’t believe this woman for a second that Odin would treat me that way or say the things she claimed he had, but certain types of things do get under your skin (especially if you are someone who, like me, has a history of emotional abuse and finds it very hard to believe she could really be worth anything at all, even—or especially–to a deity), and this is one of them. From that point on, my burnout with Odin, my path, and paganism in general began, and continually spiraled downward. I felt angry and betrayed—but even more than that, I felt stripped of my personhood in some essential way that I couldn’t even describe. It was as if I had stood between this woman and something she had decided she wanted (my own specific spiritual path, which had taken me more than a decade to build) and in order to make it okay for her to have that thing, she decided that I wasn’t a person, that I didn’t matter. And further, that it was okay for her to “channel” my god to reinforce this same message.

I’ve never spoken openly about this publicly before because I felt sick, disheartened, and honestly didn’t want to go into it. So why am I bringing it up now? To call attention to the fact that this kind of thing does happen in polytheist communities, that having our private communications data-mined and our personal paths co-opted may well be the reason so many of us “old timers” fall silent, become disillusioned, and refuse to help new seekers anymore. (Notice how much of the former “god spouse community” seems to have just evaporated in the past couple of years? This is why if you want my help with god spouse stuff you now have to purchase a reading or become a $50 per month Patreon supporter—because then at least I’m getting to pay a bill or two and help support my family in return for it.) But I’m also bringing it up to draw a parallel and make a point.

Since 2011 (which is a while now) I have been a pagan artisan and shop keeper, as many of you know. I have, for years now, made a pretty wide variety of different items, including candles, prayer beads, jewelry, and so forth—all designed for and geared towards the use of polytheists like me. I have developed my own style, which is pretty recognizable and unlike anyone else’s, and I don’t decide to go after anyone’s livelihood by reproducing their products (see below for how I define “reproducing”), because I know how it feels to be stripped of personhood, and I know that for many makers (including me) our identity and sense of personhood is very bound up with the original things we make and with our own artistic flair in making them. That said, I’m also on Instagram and see a LOT of people claiming that “so and so [lots of other shopkeepers] stole from me [fill in name of accuser here]”–and then you look and the actual products look nothing alike, other than maybe being in the same general category of Thing. (Such as malas, or prayer beads, or crystal pendants, or cute polymer clay figures—even things where there is only but so much possible variation, such as candles, for fuck’s sake.) And there is so much indignation and hatred in these accusations—which I could completely understand if the actual products looked anything alike or had anything in common, other than being the same TYPE of thing.

The pagan and crafting communities generally jump in with both feet to support the people who cry theft, and often refuse to buy from the alleged “thieves” from that point onward, sometimes even calling them out on their own Instagram posts. (I have seen the same thing happen on YouTube as well in the pagan and crafting communities, though usually without names being named.)

At this point, I have been accused of “stealing” someone else’s product-related ideas or concepts twice. First, it was by a stranger, regarding simple prayer bead strands with mass-produced components, which I had been making and selling on and off since about 2014, and which she had just begun making in 2017 as far as I could tell. (I do try to rotate the types of things I offer in my shop because at a certain point all of my existing customers have bought the thing—so sales stop—and I will bring products back in when it seems like there might be new people around to buy. The only thing I intentionally “copied” here was the price point, since it’s important to be able to keep your items competitive in the race-to-the-bottom atmosphere of Etsy. I also saw about three other shops offering similar bead sets at the same time; whether they were “copying” her or me, I have no idea but I did not confront them or ask. But in retrospect I can understand her perspective and I wish I had made more of an effort to come up with something completely new that other people weren’t already offering—even though, as I’d been making them years beforehand and then stopped for a while, I did feel I had a certain right to begin offering them again if there was again a market for them.)

More recently, the accusation came from a former friend (from that same secret Facebook group mentioned above); this time, it WAS a new TYPE of product for me but neither the concept nor the name was original to HER. (The item in question is a long-established facet of Hindu religious culture, in addition to already having been offered for sale regularly by a mutual acquaintance of us both on Etsy—under the exact same product name–going back about two years). Since I knew going into offering this item that it might be a sensitive subject, I went to great lengths to ensure that my version looked completely different from those that both of the other shop keepers had offered.  Despite this, I was immediately called out by the newer shop keeper/former friend and some of her friends, and overnight lost about $85 in much-needed Patreon support. (In addition to which, she shared a nasty diatribe about me with her FB friends, which was quietly making the rounds out of sight and poisoning peoples’ opinions of me.)

Again, I am not writing this post to rehash, stir up drama, or go into sordid detail about people I’ve had online altercations with. I personally don’t accept that either of the examples given above equated to “theft” on my part. (For example, when my store became successful in 2015, a few people in my online social circle decided to launch their own similar shops, offering items very much like mine; this caused me to lose business because the polytheist market is a fairly small one, and yet I never called anyone out or said a word about it because WFT? There is only so much variation possible when you are using mass-produced components, and only so many different versions of religious jewelry people can make.) Having said that, if any of my actions truly made anyone else feel robbed of their identity, creativity, or personhood, I am truly sorry, as that was never my intention. I admit, at this point I am a bit shell-shocked on the whole endeavor of making—which is sad, because making has pretty much defined my life for about ten years now; but right now, I’m actually afraid to design new products, on the off-chance that someone out there who I barely or don’t even know might feel I’ve stepped on their toes and call me out in public as a thief. At the same time, I am absolutely indignant and disgusted to find that I feel this way, because essentially not designing anything new means I am ceding my right to create to other people, which amounts to surrendering my personhood once again.

However, I have a few points I would like to make to set straight my own position on this whole subject of “theft”. (And this is why I related my spiritual history and the story of my burnout before even going into the “maker” aspect of this.)

I realize some people may disagree with some or all of this, but as far as I’m concerned:

Making a product that is in the same general category as something someone else makes is not theft. (You are not a thief if you decide to start making wood-wicked container candles or prayer beads; lots of people make these things. You might want to steer clear of making them with the exact same original name and scent blend or gemstone choices and pattern as others you’ve seen though—see below.)

Making a product that has a historical precedence within a particular culture (such as a traditional Hoodoo recipe that’s readily available, or a recipe included in the Bible) is not theft—as long as you stick with the traditional recipe and production method and/or your OWN variations to it, not someone else’s.

Making a product with the same name as someone else’s product (if we’re talking descriptive or traditional names, such as “prayer beads” or “icon adornment” as opposed to original and catchy names, such as “Shadow of the Moon Prayer Beads” or “Eclectic Statue Bling”) is not theft either. Especially if the artistic style is different, which it generally will be since each PERSON is different.

Intentionally copying someone else’s ORIGINAL, never-before-done work, down to their exact style—yes, I could see an argument for this being considered theft. However, this has ALSO been done to me on Etsy (see above) and again, I never called anyone out because there are too many variables involved–mostly, that intentional theft is harder to make a case for when using mass-produced components that anyone can purchase. On the other hand, reproducing hand-produced clay figures or original drawings, for example, WOULD be theft, especially if you are selling them, because in this case you are actually co-opting someone’s creative process and artistic talent, which amounts to a piece of their soul.

Along similar lines on the spiritual front…

Worshiping the same deity does not equal theft. (Are we even kidding here?)

Being “married” or otherwise devoted in a close and personal way (such as considering a deity to be your parent) does not equal theft, even if you had no idea such an approach to worship was possible before reading someone’s blog post.

However, consciously deciding to co-opt the VERY specific and unique personal spiritual path of someone WHO YOU PERSONALLY KNOW, and whose private deity relationship and path details you have been privvy to—FUCK YES, THIS IS THEFT, and I’m no longer afraid to say it. And when it happened to me, no one—NO ONE, even in my tight little circle (other than my wife, of course)—cried theft or came to my defense.

In fact, it’s extremely odd to me that this does not seem to register as theft for most people, especially considering how sensitive and how quick to accuse they are when it comes to intentional or accidental imitation in the creative sphere. I’m not usually one to go off on anti-capitalist tangents. HOWEVER, the fact that accidentally producing a similar physical object, made completely from cheap mass-produced components, would be widely considered theft, and that the SAME PEOPLE see nothing wrong with someone’s entire spiritual path and identity, forged over a decade, being co-opted and stolen by one of their friends—this is, to me, as damning a condemnation of capitalism as I’ve ever heard. Because it’s all about the money, right? And about the scarcity fears that there isn’t enough money, or enough business, to go around for everyone. The idea that your actions might steal someone’s unique spiritual message or reason for being—their entire reason for being on their path…This never seems to be considered. If it’s a unique spiritual perspective or approach, it’s okay to argue that you were simply “inspired” by the person—because no matter how much of themselves went into weaving their specific path, since it isn’t material goods, something you could potentially make money from, it can’t possibly be theft if you decide to take that for yourself, right?

And that’s what I’ve got for today. I’m just putting this out here because I’m so completely fed up with this whole mindset, and I realize that I’m going to have to come to terms with my feelings about it if I a) want to continue making and selling products and b) want to continue as a public pagan at all. Again, I’m disheartened and sickened that I am even thinking about giving up either or both (I am considering and researching things to make that have nothing to do with either paganism or jewelry, for example; I am also considering NOT making to sell at all, and finding some other work from home gigs that don’t involve public contact—neither of which are what I REALLY want to do with the rest of my life), but there it is and now you know. This is why we can’t have nice things.

New in the shop: Custom Malas

custom mala

I truthfully never thought I would be offering custom malas again. BUT then I saw how my friend Deb Castellano was framing her listing for her custom ritual oils, and something clicked in my head; I could see how approaching them this way would be more sustainable for me, plus a lot more fun! (Yes, I got her permission to use the same approach; I would never have thought of doing it this way.)

So, if you have ordered custom work from me before (or if you haven’t, but are considering it) please read the listing carefully before placing your order, as my approach this time is very different!

When you purchase my custom mala listing, I will design and create a 108-bead gemstone mala exclusively for you, based on the following information (which you can provide in “note to seller”):

1. Your intention or goal for the mala (for example, to get closer to deity X, to increase your confidence and self-esteem, to support your lifestyle or your spiritual path, to inspire your writing or art work, to honor or deepen a spiritual relationship, etc, etc, etc).

2. Gemstones and/or colors you DO NOT like.

3. Whether you would prefer a tassel or a pendant. (NOT what pendant you want, just which type of “finishing touch” for your mala you prefer.)

I am intentionally NOT asking you to list gemstones or colors you DO like because I need the freedom to craft an energetic talisman to aid you in realizing your intentions and goals with as few design constraints as possible. Take a look at some of the additional photos given in the listing for just a few examples of my previous work. My best results always come from being allowed to create for you based on my own inner guidance, artistic eye, and spiritual inspiration!

Because this is custom work, please allow 3-4 weeks for me to design your mala, and up to an additional week for shipping. Domestic US Shipping is FREE! (Sorry, I am only shipping to domestic US addresses at this time.)

I am offering these for a flat price of $100 each, which includes a one of a kind design developed especially for you (will not be duplicated in the shop) plus free domestic US shipping!

New Readings Available!

Three new reading options are now available for purchase in the shop–but the first one is only available through January 31, 2018! (I’m thinking I may experiment with having certain thematic spreads up only during certain months or at relevant times of year.)

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Hello, 2018! : A 5 Card Tarot & Oracle Reading to Help You Rock the New Year

***Only available until January 31, 2018!***

This reading helps you explore:

1. A lesson to keep in mind from 2017

2. What you’d be wise to leave behind in the old year.

3. What you’ll want to bring with you into the new year.

4. Something coming into your life as you enter the new year.

5. Your theme for 2018.

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Fork in the Road : A 7 Card Tarot & Oracle Reading for Deciding Between Two Paths

You’ve hit a fork in the road; the path before you splits in two, leading in two different directions. Which way do you want to go? This reading is designed to help you decide exactly that.

The reading examines:

1. The energy surrounding option A.

2. The most likely positive outcome of choosing option A.

3. The most likely negative outcome of choosing option A.

4. The energy surrounding option B.

5. The most likely positive outcome of choosing option B.

6. The most likely negative outcome of choosing option B.

7. The most important thing to consider before making your choice.

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Business Re-boot : A 6 Card Tarot & Oracle Reading for accessing where your business stands now and where it’s headed

This reading examines:

1. What’s working in your business?

2. What isn’t working in your business?

3. What next step you should take.

4. What beliefs may be limiting your success.

5. Your business’ short-term outlook.

6. Your business’ long-term outlook.

For each reading option, you will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading including a clear color photo of your spread. I will email your reading to you within 5-7 business days** of your purchase.

When purchasing your reading, please include the requested background information (which varies per each listing) in your “note to seller”.

ABOUT ME & MY APPROACH TO THE CARDS

Beginning in 2005 and continuing for about seven years, I undertook intensive training in oracular seidhr, otherwise known as Northern Tradition trance work and prophecy. This work is aimed not at predicting the future as such, but instead at propitiating and receiving input and advice from the deities, the spirits, and the universe in general, to help us move forward in our spiritual development as well as with our goals in life.

As a reader, I am fully equipped to seek answers to your questions concerning most areas of life (love, career, relationships, personal development–everything except health and legal matters) but my specialty lies in petitioning the Divine for input into our lives and our progress, especially in regard to spiritual and religious pursuits. If you are a “hard polytheist” to any degree, this would involve my seeking messages on your behalf from individual polytheist deities. If you are a pantheist, nontheist, or anything else along that end of the spectrum, it may involve helping you seek answers from, and communion with, the divine as it resides within you.

Despite whatever degree of deity input comes through in my intuitive reading of your cards, I hold firmly to the concepts of free will and personal choice. Whatever a deity may say, imply, or not say, I will not ever tell you what you “should” do or what “will” happen; all power of choice remains with you.

I read your cards in a ritual setting within my sacred space, often in a semi-trance state. For this reason, the wordage length of your particular reading can vary. (Some messages and concepts require more words to communicate, others far fewer.)

POLICY AND ETHICS:

– Everything we discuss in connection with your reading is completely confidential and stays between us.

– I will not read for questions concerning health, legal matters, or any other issue that I deem better handled by a licensed professional.

– While I love feedback, I am unable to provide additional insight or clarity on readings for free. Please contact me to purchase a custom clarification reading if you feel more information is needed.

– I reserve the right to decline a reading and refund payment for any reason.

– I am unable to offer a refund for readings that do not deliver the outcome you expected or desired.

– I will not perform readings concerning the thoughts and feelings of a third person. (In this case, I mean specifically a human person other than yourself who has not consented to having their cards read.)

Legal disclaimer: All readings are sold as curios only, for the purposes of enjoyment and entertainment and are not to be used as a substitute for professional legal, psychological or medical advice.

My revamped Patreon for 2018

mark-golovko-467830.jpg“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.” – Omar N. Bradley

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to offer my Patreon supporters for 2018, and in the end I kept coming back to the notion of sharing something that I myself want to learn, in the hope that my research and process of discovery might also benefit others. But what to share? Lucifer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—I get that. I’ve been sharing about Odin for years already. And I suspect interest in both Asherah and Diana is somewhat limited and better satisfied elsewhere.

Recently, I’ve felt inspired to work on my Book of Shadows again. As the new year approaches, I’ve been considering various approaches to a personalized Wheel of the Year for my practice and have ended up with the realization that the standard Wheel of the Year festivals actually don’t hold much meaning for me anymore. (The Jewish holidays do—but that’s another thing entirely, and again of possibly limited appeal.) So I hit on the idea of crafting a LUNAR Wheel of the Year for 2018, and inviting all of you to come along for the ride!

I want to make clear that I am NOT teaching anything, here; I don’t feel I’m cut out to be a teacher, plus a lot of the material shared will be new to me as well. But what I’d like to do is explore the new and full moons of 2018 from an astrological, magickal, and devotional perspective, and share my findings and insights with my supporters. As we go through the year, for each new and full moon period I will choose a theme, as inspired by the astrological correspondences for that moon phase; I will also provide a ritual and/or journaling prompt for that lunar period. Together, we will explore how these themes and correspondences can enrich your magickal practice and devotional life (regardless of pantheon or specific religious path). I hope you’ll join me on this journey!

Reward levels:

Lunar Explorer

$1 a month gets you access to my exclusive Patreon-only feed, including my monthly theme for both the new and full moons (as inspired by astrological correspondences), along with journaling/ritual prompts.
Lunar Diviner
$5 per month gets you the above, PLUS new moon and full moon Tarot spreads (created by me) for you to use in your own readings, keyed to the specific astrological energies of each month.
Lunar Devotee
$15 per month gets you all of the above, plus access to a three-card Tarot reading performed by me on behalf of my Patreon community for both the new moon and full moon lunar phases.
Lunar Tea Club
$20 per month–All of the above PLUS a full-sized package of a special tea of the month–inspired by and crafted in alignment with the new and/or full moon themes for each month–shipped to you. (US shipping only at this tier level–sorry!) These teas may afterwards become available in my shop, but you will get to try them first!
Lunar Initiate
$50 a month gets you all of the above, PLUS (for each month you pledge at this level) 30 minutes of one on one time with me, via Google hangouts. We can use this time to discuss the lunar themes and correspondences for the month, OR we can talk about your deity, godspouse relationship, devotional practice, or if you have questions I can pull cards for you–the choice is yours! I have 15+ years experience in building a polytheist devotional practice and deity relationship, all of which is available to share with you at this level.
You can make your pledge here!

A few new spiritual necklace designs

necklaces

Four new mala-style long beaded necklaces have been added to the shop, each one $40 plus shipping, featuring gemstone beads individually hand-knotted on waxed Irish linen in my usual style. These can be worn as necklaces (they are long enough to slip easily on and off over the head), used in meditation to count your breaths or a mantra, or for adding extra beauty and bling to your altar, sacred space, or a sacred statue.

My supply of beads is not plentiful right  now, so these sorts of pieces will be emerging only when I can afford to make them! These are just the result of sifting through my stash, and I honestly haven’t yet decided whether to try to make them a regular thing again. Since I am using up beads, only one is available of each design and at this point they are not repeatable. (So if you like something here, grab it while you can!)

 

Readings are back in the shop!

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Now that I’ve completed the last of the Year Ahead 2018 Readings I had on my calendar, I’ve restored my three most popular reading options to my Etsy shop:

  1. Deity I.D. – for help and advice in identifying a deity who’s new in your life.
  2. Deity Communication – for sorting things out with either a new-ish deity, or one who you feel you’ve lost touch with.
  3. Custom – 3-6 cards on the topic of your choice: a spread designed just for you, around your specific question!

I also have at least one or two additional spreads in mind that I’ll be debuting fairly soon!

In the meantime, if you missed your chance at a Year Ahead 2018 Reading and would like one, I can probably squeeze a few more of them in before the end of the year! These readings take a look at the overall energy/guiding influence for the coming year as a whole, and then we pick a card for each month of 2018 to give an overview of what you can expect from the new year. You are welcome to name specific areas of concern you would like information on when purchasing your reading. Find out more here.

Meanwhile…A very happy Yule to you and yours!

ABOUT ME & MY APPROACH TO THE CARDS

Beginning in 2005 and continuing for about seven years, I undertook intensive training in oracular seidhr, otherwise known as Northern Tradition trance work and prophecy. This work is aimed not at predicting the future as such, but instead at propitiating and receiving input and advice from the deities, the spirits, and the universe in general, to help us move forward in our spiritual development as well as with our goals in life.

Despite whatever degree of deity input comes through in my intuitive reading of your cards (or not–this is not something I can guarantee), I hold firmly to the concepts of free will and personal choice. Whatever a deity or spirit may say, imply, or not say, I will not ever tell you what you “should” do or what “will” happen; all power of choice remains with you.

POLICY AND ETHICS:

– Everything we discuss in connection with your reading is completely confidential and stays between us.

– I will not read for questions concerning health, legal matters, or any other issue that I deem better handled by a licensed professional.

– While I love feedback, I am unable to provide additional insight or clarity on readings for free.  This is usually not an issue with the year ahead readings, but if you feel you really need clarification you can contact me to arrange payment for a follow-up reading.

– I reserve the right to decline a reading and refund payment for any reason.

– I am unable to offer a refund for readings that do not deliver the outcome you expected or desired.

– I will not perform readings concerning the thoughts and feelings of a third person. (In this case, I mean specifically a human person other than yourself who has not consented to having their cards read.)