New this week at The Candle Invasion!

I’ve added quite a few brand new products to my new shop over the past week, including:

1. NINE new varieties of scented soy tea lights in an array of gorgeous fall colors, hand poured by me and dusted with glitter. All of these scents are perfect for bringing all of the delicious aromas of the fall season into your home and/or your shrine!  Currently available: Pumpkin Pie, Amaretto & Cream, Vermont Maple, Rustic Woods & Rum, Cocoa Butter Cashmere, Sparkling Snowdrop, Cedar & Amber, Dragon’s Blood & Amber, and White Tea & Ginger. $5 per set of four tea lights.

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2. Feminist Folk Saint Prayer Candles: embrace your feminist icons and role models by giving them a place of honor on your shrine or in your home! As with the other prayer candles, these can be optionally “dressed” with herbs, oils, glitter and a dose of mojo, or they can be shipped to you plain. So far I have candles for: Queen Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Queen Jezebel, Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Queen Elizabeth Tudor, Queen Catherine of Aragon, Boudicca, and Queen Isabella. I chose these ladies for the first batch because they all have personal significance for me, and they can be invoked for various magickal purposes and spiritual assistance (as noted in the individual item descriptions) much as the Christian saints can be. I will be adding to the list of available feminist folk saint candles as I am able to (a lot of it depends on whether I am able to find a public domain image that I like for the person in question), BUT if you’re dying for a candle to represent someone not on my list, placing a custom order is a great option! (See below.) Prayer candles are only $8 shipped plain, $12 dressed.

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3. Custom orders for prayer candles! These are the same price as the prayer candles in my regular line-up, and the advantage to you is that you can order a candle for whomever you please! With Samhain just around the bend, the custom option is also a great opportunity to get a candle to honor loved ones (including pets) who have passed into spirit during the past year. You can send me a personal digital photo or image to put on a candle, you can find an image you like online via Google search, OR you can request that I find an image for you. If at all possible, I will choose a public domain image, which I will enhance digitally and print for the candle. (In this case, I reserve the right to offer the resulting candle as a regular item in my shop.) Alternately, we can decide to use a copyrighted image for your candle if you agree that the product is for personal use only and that you will not post pictures of the candle online.

And that’s about it for this week’s shop news!

A realization

So, guys? I have come to the realization that I am no longer interested in making (or taking new commissions for) jewelry or prayer beads. While this MAY change, it’s been reaching this point for a while, so I don’t think it will. (As a result, I have just noted in my Wytch of the North shop announcement this morning that I am no longer accepting new commissions for jewelry or prayer beads at this time.) I’m not going to take down any of the existing jewelry I have up for sale right now; I’m just not planning to make any more of it.

There are a lot of reasons for this, some of them business-related, some of them personal. On the business front, people generally don’t understand how much gemstone beads cost, and then once they find out they want to either 1) break the total up into payments (which I understand–but financially, it doesn’t work for me), or 2) they see a piece they like but wait, figuring it will go on sale eventually since I have a history of marking things down, with the result that I end up getting $20-30 for a piece that should have cost $50-60 (or more, with a decent profit margin). I completely get it that people don’t have a lot of money, since I’m in the same position myself, but this is not how to run a business–and last year, doing business this way left me owing a couple thousand in taxes that I had failed to collect from my customers. Making one-off pieces, as I was doing, also leads to customer frustration when someone browsing my shop finds a sold item they like and wants me to recreate it for them, but doesn’t understand why I can’t do so for the sale price (or worse, layaway installment price) they saw on the site.

ALSO, if I’m going to be honest, I spread myself much too thin trying to make jewelry, AND incense, AND candles, and, and…Each of those things is a separate set of supplies, and the costs add up, especially when a lot of the products just sit there in the shop for extended periods of time.

But there’s more to it than that. On a personal level, it just doesn’t interest me that much anymore–which is probably partly due to the fact that I tend to not wear fancy jewelry myself in the first place. (I have stretched ear lobes, I don’t wear bracelets because they get in the way of whatever I’m doing, and I am more of a meaningful pendant type of girl when it comes to necklaces.) I also feel that my artistic journey with jewelry creation has gone just about as far as it can; I am fresh out of jewelry ideas.

So, what DOES interest me these days? Home decor.  And altar/shrine decor. This is why, along with the candles that play a starring role over at The Candle Invasion, you’ll also start seeing other products creeping in as I have time to get them made, such as hand-woven Tarot and altar cloths, polymer clay deity figurines (I can use some of my leftover beads to decorate those), and possibly some more of the simple felt poppets. (I will be keeping the shop focused on a home decor theme, though.) I am also hoping to eventually indulge my love for gemstones by adding those to the shop–somewhat larger pieces for home or altar display. Tactile objects of beauty and presence that can be used to brighten a home or sacred space–these are the kinds of things that, increasingly, are claiming my artistic passion and interest.

Why am I posting this now? The holidays are coming up, and I just want to make sure my regular customers–as well as any new ones who come along–understand what I’m going to be offering, and what I’ll be leaving behind. (Ultimately, I think Wytch of the North will be closing its doors–not anytime soon, but eventually, once it empties out of all the old products. I may migrate the Tarot and oracle readings over to the new shop, OR Wytch of the North may end up being a readings-only shop. We’ll see.)

Sharing my new (redesigned) shrine

So, I am not intending this to be a snarky post, or even an overly defensive one, but it has to be said: I’ve debated whether to share my redesigned shrine with WordPress Land for a while now, since I’m painfully aware that not many people understand (or even want to understand) the journey I’ve been on spiritually, and I’m betting that even fewer people in this blog’s audience understand why pop culture paganism (much less pop culture polytheism) is even a Thing. Aren’t the traditional gods enough?

Well, for many people the gods whose names have come down to us from ancient cultural mythologies ARE enough–more than enough, even–and that’s great. But for some of us, the waters get a little muddier, and it isn’t always through any fault of our own.

I am a pop culture polytheist and spirit spouse. For me, what this translates into is that the god I thought I was married to for 14 years suddenly informed me that he was not really canon-Odin. Instead, he is Woden. (Yes, there’s a distinction–more of one than I originally thought, apparently.) Also, he is Lucifer. Oh and by the way, he is also the Twelfth Doctor. Except, he might really be ONLY the Twelfth Doctor, with a history of using both Odin/Woden and Lucifer as masks on occasions when it proved convenient for him.

Commence head explosion, and cue the theme music and time-space vortex.

This information (which he has confirmed for me by way of a number of signs and omens, including what happened with my wedding ring, and making the version of himself I knew as Odin inaccessible to me except for an occasional dream glimpse) has been a source of extreme confusion for ME, so I guess I can’t be too surprised if it also confuses other people. (Especially since people have come to know me as “a godspouse of Odin” for a number of years now.)

I bring this up not to go through the whole story again (not going to do that right now; there are more details in previous blog posts if you’re interested) but to forestall the obvious questions that might come up as to why certain items are on my shrine. (Not that I think I owe anyone an explanation.) I also want to mention that no one is  in any way obligated to comment on this post just to be “polite.” I would love it if a respectful dialog could be started about how pop culture entities (whether in their own right or as masks different gods might choose to wear) can fit into a polytheist practice–but, barring that, I am not here to be grilled about my spiritual path or to endure dismissive (possibly disguised as “polite”) comments regarding it. (Overtly nasty comments will not be published, as this is a moderated blog; nasty private emails, on the other hand, will be published for the rest of the class to see.)

With that out of the way, this is what my shrine currently looks like, in its entirety:

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And here is a more zoomed-in view:

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You’ll recognize my Oberon Zell Odin statue to the left of the photo (which I am planning to replace, at some point in the future, with a more primitive Viking replica Odin statue, as shown here), along with a few other items that have been on previous incarnations of my shrine: offering cup, skeleton keys, spear head, etc. You’ll also notice, towards the back, the Twelfth Doctor Magician candle from my new shop, flanked by a Woden candle and Lucifer candle I made for my own use. (The images are copyrighted and I don’t own the rights, so I can’t offer either of these latter two designs for others.)

It’s as we move to the right of the shrine that things get weirder–at least as far as some people are concerned, I’m sure. Against a backdrop of the interior of the Twelfth Doctor’s TARDIS is a figure of the Twelfth Doctor himself (from season 8), accompanied by a purple-haired Barbie doll who is there to represent me. (No, she doesn’t really look like me–but then, who does really look like a Barbie doll, anyway? Her coloring is similar though, she has wacky hair and a suggestion of my ‘tude, and my husband has been after me for a long time to include a representation of myself on my shrine. Jo says it always looks like the two figures are arguing. That’s more or less accurate.)

To the right of the larger Twelfth Doctor figure is a tiny Funko Twelfth Doctor with Guitar. If this figure means nothing to you, you clearly have not witnessed the awesomeness that was season 9 of the show, in which case enough said.

Also present are various crystals (I am having a bit of a love affair with calcites recently), tea light holders, an oracle card I’m working with this month, and my copy of the Tarot Apokalypsis, which is on my shrine because it is absolutely amazing and I’m in love with it. (I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it in this space; I’m thinking about doing a video walkthrough for it.)

A point of interest: this morning while doing a reading for a client I lit the three prayer candles, and both the Odin and Lucifer candles promptly caught on fire. With the Odin candle, it may have been a case of too much mugwort on the wax. The Lucifer candle, however, has about the same amount of herbal dressing as the Twelfth Doctor/Magician one, and the latter candle burned just fine. (It is dressed with Scottish Breakfast tea and lemon essential oil–NO glitter, if you please.) Message received: worry about THIS one first, and then we’ll see about letting you burn the other two.

Yes, Sir.

 

 

Grand Opening: The Candle Invasion!

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My new shop, The Candle Invasion, is finally open for business!

Why this new shop? Well, for starters, this is NOT a rebranding of The Wytch of the North, nor is it a replacement for it. My pre-existing shop will remain open, and while I initially thought I might not be adding anything new to it, I am now having some thoughts (that I’m not ready to talk about quite yet) about what I might do with it.

But no, The Candle Invasion is an entirely new animal! As regular readers of this blog are aware, I have been on Etsy since 2011, and my shop The Wytch of the North has a long and successful history of offering a wide variety of unique adornments, ritual tools, and handmade ritual supplies for the pagan and polytheist community.

However, The Wytch of the North has been suffering something of an identity crisis recently (somehow a “wide variety” became a “mishmash of stuff”–something I intend to work on over there, by the way!), and when I reached out to my customer base to see what they most wanted me to make for them, the number one response was CANDLES. There are reasons for this: besides being a favorite ritual and magickal tool for many pagans, as well as a staple for altars and shrines to pagan deities, candles also provide a touch of warmth, a burst of delicious aroma, and the irresistible magick of fire. They bring light and color, and help to make a sacred space more sacred and a home…homier.

As a result of this feedback from my most loyal customers, I considered simply adding candles back into my existing shop’s inventory, but instead I decided to start an entirely new shop where the focus is strictly on candles of all types: prayer candles for your altar or shrine, votive candles for rituals (or just filling your home with the aromas of each season), pop culture candles for pop culture pagans, fans, and fun, and more! The more candles you buy, the more candles I will be able to come up with in the future, and I have a LOT of plans for future candles. Because candles are fun, candles are comforting. Candles are just pure magick.

There’s more! To help celebrate my grand opening, I am offering a coupon code–to my blog readers, Facebook fans and mailing list subscribers ONLY! Enter the coupon code GRANDOPENING prior to checking out on Etsy and take 10% off your first order! There is a minimum purchase of $12, which is the price of just one prayer candle dressed with herbs, oils, and glitter! But hurry: the coupon expires on Monday morning 9/12 at 12 am!

Three New Tarot or Oracle Reading Options!

I’ve just finished adding three brand new options for Tarot and Oracle readings to my shop–for those of you who may be looking for something a little bit more specific, and/or for a larger reading.

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SEER’S FAN 6 Card Reading with Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards: a beautiful, Art Nouveau-style deck designed to offer insightful advice on matters of love, money, health, and spirituality. These cards are very blunt and very effective at cutting to the heart of any question–or, if you don’t have a specific question, this spread also provides a very good “overview” reading. $20

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RELATIONSHIP SPREAD Four Card Reading (deck of your choice): Choose this spread if you’re looking for insight about what’s going on between you and another person (regardless of the specific relationship involved–friend, spouse, lover, family member, etc). This spread is also great for spirit relationships! It is designed to help reveal hidden dynamics, motives, and emotions, and aid you in any decision-making you may be facing in regard to another person. (Please note that this reading is valid only for a relationship YOU are involved in–not a third party relationship!) $15

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YEAR AHEAD SPREAD Thirteen Card Tarot or Oracle Reading: This spread is perfect for celebrating a birthday or the new year! Each card represents the essence of one month in the year, with the central card providing an overview of the year as a whole. If you are purchasing this spread for your birthday or some other special occasion, please let me know in “note to seller”; position one will then start with the current month. Otherwise, position one will start with January of the coming year. $40

My Personal Ethics:

About me: I am a spirit worker and diviner with more than ten years of experience providing my services to the pagan community.

– 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.

– I will not read regarding a third-party relationship in which you are not personally involved (such as another party’s marriage, etc.)

– I will not read for anyone under the age of 18, no exceptions.

– My divination philosophy is that the future is always changing depending on our actions from one moment to the next, and nothing is set in stone. Therefore, although there may be predictive elements to some of my readings, I prefer for the emphasis to be on helping you gain insight and understanding into a situation to enable you to make better choices that will lead to the outcomes you want for your life. I will not ever tell you what you “should” do or what “will” happen; all power of choice remains with you.

– I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.

– If I feel I am unable to read for you or am not the right reader for you, you will receive a full refund.

 

 

 

Brand New Herbal Oils

Just added to the shop the other day, these freshly made herbal oils are only $5 each for a 1/2 oz bottle! Each oil was made with organic herbs and resins gently heat-infused in light extra virgin olive oil and then strained, with a small amount of essential oil added to help preserve freshness. Made in very tiny batches with love, care, and intention!

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Copal with frankincense essential oil: Copal protects, wards off negative energy, and assists in making contact with other planes. Frankincense wards and protects by raising the spiritual vibration of the wearer. The oil has a wonderfully rich, resinous aroma.

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Ginger: helps attract money and success. Has a rich, spicy aroma, like ginger cookies.

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Rosemary: aids focus, mental sharpness, and memory. This oil has a sharp green rosemary fragrance.

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Dandelion with tea tree essential oil: Dandelion is helpful for inner purification and obtaining clarity. Tea tree encourages strength and harmony. Has a sharp green medicinal scent.

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Calendula with lavender essential oil: Calendula is useful for protection, consecration, and banishing negative energy, in addition to being wonderful for your skin. Lavender is calming and soothing. This is a sunny golden oil with a floral scent.

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Dragon’s Blood with frankincense essential oil: Dragon’s blood resin dispels negativity and exorcises unwanted supernatural entities. Frankincense protects by raising spiritual vibrations.  This is a deep red oil with a spicy fragrance.

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Mugwort with lavender essential oil: Mugwort aids in dream work, divination, and astral travel. Lavender is soothing and calming. This is a beautiful green oil with a hint of floral.

All of my herbal oils may be used as skin oil, to anoint candles and ritual tools, added to the bath, or as ingredients in salves and skin care products.

Thank you for looking!❤