I love it. I can’t stop holding this stout knife! A nice 3/16th inch thick by 14 inches long knife.
I saw this some time ago, and I still find myself riveted completely – because Clements is one of my staunch heroes, and always will be. And, the whole process historically depicted is just… Just…
Sigh. I kneel to their sovereignty.
There’s been quite a bit of discussion on the Gods, the Ancestors, and the spirits. I agree implicitly – they are not cardboard cut-outs with a list of correspondences. When you deal with the Gods, there is no D&D character sheet to fill out, they are not two dimensional. They are… Dare I say it – real beings.
No! Say it ain’t so!
This isn’t like watching a Pixar flick – the Gods do interact with us, or don’t interact with us in a flow that is hard to describe. The Gods are part of existence itself, there is no one list of ‘attributes’ for them as there isn’t one for any of us. Trying to box any Deity in is a bad idea – because the magic, the belief becomes cold and flat and the only ones to blame for not having a real connection to Them are the practitioners themselves.
I think it was Dver that posted this but too many people are neither invested, interested, nor understanding of the real world. How the hell do you expect to know the other worlds if you don’t have a f***ing clue on this one?
The Gods, Ancestors, and spirits aren’t any different. When was the last time you just talked to a stranger? What? You think spirits aren’t any more of a stranger? How do you hone skills to talk to them in their world unless you do so in this one. How do you understand real living Gods if you don’t even understand yourself, your neighbor, mother or father, niece, cousin, or friends?
Could you fill out a standard D&D character sheet on yourself that encompasses all of you? Or your parent(s)? Siblings?
Real Gods and spirits are not characters, and to those who have truly interacted with them know just how damned hard it is to describe everything. How do you describe your best friend to another person in good detail, before this person meets them for them-self? Besides, your relationship is ultimately going to be different – with the same person.
Welcome to real relationships. It’s not a linear line of lists, it’s more… Well – not flat, not two dimensional. It is not 1, 2, 3 of attributes, qualities, appearance, or demeanor. It’s just not that simple.
That’s because… They’re real, not on printed paper, card-stock, or print-out. You have to meet them, just as you would a new person in this world – to begin to understand Them better. Besides, you never know if that random stranger is who they are…
Imagination is not religion, spirituality, or anything else other than fiction. Sometimes that ‘well known‘ list of correspondences is completely different from what you experienced. Just because a list or idea is repeated doesn’t mean it’s always truthful, or wasn’t garbage in the first place. Sometimes, it gives the wrong impression of a God or Goddess, or only one impression that only one person saw – but too many are too afraid to look outside the box.
Remember the old saying: What popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.
An unpopular idea is that the Gods are real. Buying memorabilia that is ‘themed‘ towards them is not going to bring you any closer. True life cannot be caught by instagram, a tweet, a wall message, nor can the Gods be easily listed off or explained. It’s a little bit bigger of a picture, than that.
You have to embrace reality before you can embrace the other reality.
Sorry for not posting sooner. With bills, 11 hr work days, a new puppy, sudden downfall in health, and then some – it’s been a more offline life, than online.
Blessed some charms, and working on my own charivari. Now, this is an old Bavarian tradition – and one that still holds it’s roots even in my family (granted, in old charm necklaces that used to be charivari and sitting in jewelry boxes rather than worn…) and I have deeply wanted one of my own.
Now, I know I’m American, with deep German (and French) ancestry. I wanted to honor this, as well as my Ancestors. Instead of only silver, it is a steel, iron, copper, and silver piece. An old chain link is added for my occupation in the industrial business, and other components such as coral, amethyst (traditionally added to prevent headaches and hang-overs), bear claws, and other pieces. This picture is just the ‘rough,’ of it – and it’s more than likely going to change as I taxidermy my birds and add the raccoon paw to it.
The history of the charivari is stemming from the wearing of pocket watches, and many added talismans to the chain (as far as I understand it), such as lucky charms, hunting trophies, medals, and coins (to increase prosperity) and raccoon penis bones for male potency. The term ‘charivari,’ is from the Napoleonic French meaning ‘madness,’ which basically is the composite jewelry that only made sense to the bearer. It was essentially a men’s piece of jewelry, but later on women had their own ‘charm necklace,’ that was very similar to the men’s, but worn on the dirndl. It was traditionally fashioned by hunters, and the charms are typically given – never bought.
I also consecrated my fire-bowl – it is a hearth place to burn and center my work on – without actually having a fireplace (which, I’d love to have but in our circumstances isn’t possible) and this is a portable, and durable solution that I’ve been waiting half a year to have.
Made some charms for this coming moon – one for Aj, still finishing one for her boy, and other charms for those who’ve asked:
Check back soon – for further developments.
I did many workings for the first of May – It is spring – my workings are what they are…
However, the snow didn’t really lend the ‘air’ of summer…
So there I was, trying to honor the infamous evening of the Good Neighbors and the Spirits with snow on the ground to welcome summer..
When the snow cleared a bit, and my health was up to it – I smithed to my heart’s content. I didn’t expect to have another audience. They just sat and.. Watched, me ritually forge – they didn’t leave for hours. They just stood there, and watched my hand work the metal, hummed to my humming as I worked, and chuckled to my asshole-humor. In my small area, it does attract people to come to my forge, for whatever reason.. Well – at least they don’t think it’s a nuisance. They actually chuckle at their local smithy – and let me ‘do my thing,’ which stands to reason in and of itself.
My goodness – I smithed. My heart sang with every swing, every landing was carefully placed, my mind was not my own. I let the hammer ting to it’s own beat, my heart matched it, and my skin warmed to the blaze of the forge – my heart felt alive once more, after a winter of cool, calm reflection.
The trouble is, when that ice around my soul melted, the passions, the angers, the rages that surrounded the inner fires was re-lit anew – but.. Now with the wisdom of winter to cool their tempers…. I don’t look at those things in the same way. I’m a different smithy now.
I look at Brighid, Gohbannon, Wayland, and other smithies in new eyes. The horrors, the trials, the limping pain that drags a warrior down – I don’t look at them the same. And working with a primal Bear Mother – that metalworking is not the same either. It just isn’t. It’s like picking up the hammer anew, but with the knowledge – but new-found wisdom- to work the metal differently.
It’s like being a child again at the hearth hearing the stories for the first time even though I can tell the story rote for rote. It is a story in and of itself – and I had my hand in it. My spirits are happy, as I have taken something from the earth and of fire and turned it into a tool for use.. Forging is a hard process.
Sometimes, even blacksmiths need to go through one. A steel does not get refined unless put to the fires, right?
Any smithy worth their salt knows one thing: They need to face the fires, to understand and to become better.
Any warrior knows that…. ALL too well.
So as I finish my early May work, I think about the time of my working, and what I’ve done – and I think of the creme and the small table I leave outside for the Good Neighbors – I work with them closely enough, and to maintain good relations is just.. Common sense to me and mine.
So as I work my beloved metal again – it is with new eyes. A new heart, and a new pulse.
And it beats to the heart of my hearth firstly, and my forge with it.
I spent my April moon with quite a bit of divination – as I had many inquiries I needed to make lately.
As it is the time of spring and renewal, I also spent the full moon with various rituals that reflect this time of year, of which I don’t think I want to go too far into as they are very personal, but I think it went well.
I covered my body with ash as I prepared for my Ancestral working. Ash has been used in many rituals to the dead as well as the Underworld, and in most of my rituals to my Bear Mother – I’m covered in a nice layer of grey. Sometimes paint is added on top of the ash, sometimes not.
April is the time of ‘taking stock,’ of things in and around my life. It is the time of year that I really look into my rituals, my practices, my methods and my techniques and really give them a hard critique. It is during this moon I discovered some of my rituals weren’t workable in the path I’m taking, some of the tools I have weren’t necessary, and some of my own thought processes needed to be reworked. Sometimes, you just have to look at things a bit closer and with an objective eye – in those times you find that you can lighten your load tremendously.
It’s also the time I take time to look at where I’m going (as well as where I’ve just come from). You know, stopping to sit for a smoke-break on the hike and take in the scenery so to speak.
I don’t use your typical divination – I use a set of bones, have for some years now, and they work with me extremely well. Tarot has never spoken much to me, and to work with it in ritual contexts is trying at best. Bones, stones, woods, and metals work wonderfully.
The main animal I work with is the Mink in regards to divination, with most of the bones from that same Mink skeleton, with a fish bone, antler, and bear claw along with my other divination items. I have been reading about others creating their own sets, and I’m pretty tickled. This method works wonderfully and I’m glad to see others doing the same and in their own unique way!
Speaking of metals – I’m finally healed enough to get back to smithing! Woot! Guess what I will be doing tomorrow?
Two paintings.. One from 2010, one finished this weekend…
Another question from Valiel Elantári:
What difference do you make between “shaman” and “priest” ?
I had defined a shaman in Question 9 as 'an intercessor between humanity and the Worlds of the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.' A priest may be that as well. Where I see a marked difference is the kind of relationship a priest has vs. what a shaman has in their community.
“I come before you, having built this hearth,
Ancestress, Huntress, Warrior, Craftswoman, and Mother.
Wise with memory, deep in the earth.
Ascend upon this your shrine with your ancient knowledge,
Of your wisdom, your mysteries, and power.
By hammer, ax, arrow, staff, and bowl,
Make your mark upon my soul.”
*I based this off of a Hungarian Ballad, in honor of my Horse Lord:
Your face as Red as a burning ember,
In the fires that smolder from January to late December.
The horse, the horseman, the coachman entice!
Whip that horse so that it may jump thrice!
I beg of you, just one glass of water to quench the thirst!
One glass, before I burst!
‘Nay,’ the Coachman says, ‘I give you something divine -
Three glasses, of pure red wine.’
Onto the coach, and away in the night!
Silent roar, silence… No sound, no sight.
Away, gone, I be in the night’s sullen flood,
The wine becomes my pulse, my blood.
The world is blurred and the senses slur,
Things were not as they were.
I greet the newly coming, as they arrive as they do-
I bid farewell, to the leaving Ancestors too.
‘But do not get off the mount,’ I am told -
‘For you too will join the dead in their cold!‘
Faster goes the coach, the horses stampeding the air-
I was lost, yet I couldn’t care.
Crossing a crossroads I was knocked from my horse-
I fell, they thundered on their course…
Fear gripped me… What if I won’t return?
Would any of my kin light a candle to burn?
The wine takes me, into a shady sleep…
I fought it, but it’s hold held deep…
I slept beneath a tree, that grew nearby in the night,
With it’s apples, of purest white.
The wind chilled, and I shivered as I slipped,
Oh, too much wine I had sipped!
Awake at the next day’s rise,
I find to my surprise…
That my fingers are full of rocks, dirt, and soot -
Yet… I hadn’t moved… A single foot.