Thursday, January 16, 2014

Some Of My Thoughts On Eclectics (old blog post)

Some of my thoughts on eclectics

Some have said that eclectics do a dis-service to the Pagan community. That they do not take into account the context of how certain things would be done. I have to disagree. I am an American, I have Scottish ancestors, but I also have some German. Those are simply 2 that I know of. I know there are mostly likely others as well.In America it is VERY common for inter mingling of faiths/races/dress you name it. So in my opinion it would be VERY normal for many of us to use what works, what feels right to the individual.
There is also the ancestral memory theory, if that were true why wouldn't someone feel a pull in two directions, if your Mother is Italian and your Father is Aussie? We live in a day and age where we are no longer in our little bubble. So a mixing of different traditions is only to be expected. And one of the benefits to being in the information age is that you CAN find where you "fit" the best.
Plus, if you look into history you will see so many religious syncretisms in history. The most notorious being the Roman takeover of Greece, as anyone who has learned the former names of the planets can attest! The issue becomes where is the line between old enough to be acceptablesyncretism and "too new" to be syncretism? I have a really hard time with thinking that nowhere in time did anyone NOT mix their beliefs. ESPECIALLY when it is taken into account that in many cases there was NO organized leaders.
This is by no means to say you should not search out a specific path that works for you or that you should not look into various recon or revival paths, history has much to teach us. There might be something that you like, even if someone says it is "theirs" or that taking something from somewhere else is disrespectful. Chances are what they are doing is deemed disrespectful by someone too.

Posted by MadHouseWitch at 1:22 PM 

B is For Black (and Blue) Moons week 3

No, the Moon didn't lose a boxing match!  It's not THAT type of black and blue!

To start this off I will have to explain a few things that commonly get "mixed up" on sites across the web.  That is not to say that one is correct over the others, just to say different terms mean different things to different people.  It helps to understand the context of what is being described.
In this particular case we are talking about the New Moon vs Dark Moon.  If you are talking astronomically, the term "New Moon" is used when the Moon is not visible to the unaided eye.  However, many non-astronomical texts refer to the "New Moon" as the first visible crescent.
So in short, some people refer to the New Moon as when it is not visible, and others refer to the New Moon as when it is that first small crescent in the sky. Strictly speaking the latter makes more sense in my mind.  However, I catch myself all the time stating that its a "New Moon" when I am speaking of the Dark Moon, perhaps it has to do with how it was used in my home when I was raised, but why I continue to do this when I have specific terms that I would like to be using is beyond me.  Or perhaps it is the fact that the Full Moon is emphasized and the term "New Moon" seems like an opposite.  It is said that, originally, the term "Dark Moon" refers to the time the moon is not visible in the nighttime sky, and the term "New Moon" referred to the new crescent.  I will be using the terms in this, non astronomical, context.

A Black Moon is the counterpart to the "Blue Moon".  Most people have heard of the Blue Moon, it managed to gain a place in popular culture, folklore and common phrases for example "Once in a blue moon".  As to what makes a Blue or Black Moon varies a bit on how you want to define it.  I tend to use, what I understand is the "modern" version to define them as being two of that lunar cycle in one calendar month.  Although, I know of some who use the older (by Google search) definition of a Blue or Black Moon being when there are 4 of that phase rather than the usual 3 per SEASON, when this rule is used then it is the third out of the fourth in that particular cycle that is named.  And I have seen many Pagans who use both rules as an excuse to celebrate the moons as much as possible, and why not?  Most of us are familiar with "all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals" even if you are not specifically, Wiccan.
The Black Moon can also be used to describe a month when there is no Full Moon OR when the Month lacks a Dark Moon, this only happens in February.  Whenever this is the case, January and March will both have two Dark or Full Moons.

Do you want to guess what happens in 2014?  We get, sort of, a triple treat on Black Moons!  January has a Dark Moon falling on the 1st and the 30th the last being the Black Moon.  February has no Dark Moons falling within that month and then March graces us with two more Dark Moons, again being the 1st and the 30th.

This means it is the perfect time to "clean house" and clear out that which no longer serves you, work on some shadow work, banishing, binding, breaking bad habits, working with "darker" Gods and Goddesses such as, Hecate, Lilith, Kali, Cailleach, Apep, Odin, Anubis, and Dis Pater.   There are many others that may not be seen as a "darker" type of God but have "darker" areas of influence.  Gods and Goddesses that rule the underworld, are associated with chaos, or preside over the dying or dead fit in here.  The things that might make people a bit uncomfortable, but are or seem to be a necessary part of the human existence.  War, death, decay, nighttime, reflection, rage.  If you seem to be called by a God or Goddess that when you research seems a bit off putting.  This time  just might be the time to make an introduction,  if you are not ready for the full meet and greet, dedicate this Black Moon time period to learning about them and reading the lore, go more in depth to see if you can grasp a better understanding of their nature.   Are you having issues with anything that is not wanted, a wayward spirit, or even a stalker?  Just be sure to have done all steps in the "real world" (police report, restraining order or whatever is needed) and then feel free to reinforce those mundane steps with the spiritual and magickal.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

A is for Aurora Borealis

I had a bit of trouble coming up with my 2nd week's topic.  Then with the Aurora being present over Thursday and Friday, when this was due, I figured it was a sign, again!  Today's post is a nice Vlog I hope you enjoy it.  I'm kind of nervous posting it for all to see but here it goes.  No its not my first YT video, but it's really the first time that it's been directed for people to watch.  Nothing huge but a personal story.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Free Crochet Half Mala Pattern (repost from old blog)

Free Crochet Half Mala Pattern

Crochet half Mala

This was inspired by some crochet rosaries, there are a few patterns floating around the web, I modified one to make prayer beads for myself (I only have 33 "Beads" on the main circle) Seems to be a good number for many paths. I love the idea of Mala's however so I set out to make one!

Traditional Mala's have 108 beads, once I started though I realized that it would be longer than I wanted so I went with a half Mala of 54 beads, but if you really wanted 108 keep going and you could loop it or carry it in a Mala bag.

Small amount Worsted weight yarn (I used Peaches & Cream)
F hook (3.75 mm)
yarn needle (or 2 for ease of snake knot finish)

This is pretty basic, once you figure out the stitches (popcorn and a smaller puff stitch)
special stitches used:

Popcorn: Ch 3, 4 DC in 3rd Ch from hook remove hook (be careful not to pull out the loop) insert hook in to top of Ch3 Space and catch loop you removed, pull through Ch 3 space. For this pattern you only have one popcorn and its at the beginning, so Ch counts as first DC

Bead: YO, insert hook in Ch, draw up a loop (3 loops on hook) repeat once more for 5 loops total, YO pull through all 5 loops on hook.
(bead is just a puff stitch with 5 loops instead of 7)

I use US terms

Leave a 12" tail
Start with the popcorn this is the Sumeru/Guru/Mother bead (I have heard it called many things)

*Ch 2, Bead in 2nd ch from hook. Repeat from* until you have 54 beads and the one popcorn. Or wherever you want to finish.

Ch 1 after the last bead (to close it) Slip stitch to chain above the popcorn and fasten off leaving 12" long tail
using yarn needle weave ending tail through the popcorn to meet with starting tail.

Here you have choices, I used a snake knot (very crude I might add) because its one of the traditional endings on many Mala's. Plus you have two ends, so its a pretty good option.

I threaded the ends in different color yarn needles because cotton really did NOT Like this knot, and it make it easy to know what one was A and B.
If you have trouble with the snake knot, use a tassel, OR you could just knot your ends and call it good!
My CRUDE snake knot

I decided I am okay with it though! I did almost give up and just go with a tassel.

Soft prayer beads of any variety are useful when a person wants to pray in bed, no hard beads to lay on while you are sleeping!  If a person was in the hospital, these scrunch up to nothing.  Non metal so great for that person who has metal sensitivities.... I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons as well.  Just naming a few right off the top of my head

Posted by MadHouseWitch at 11:32 AM 

Friday, January 3, 2014

2012 Reading Challenge old blog repost (simple copy paste)

2012 Pagan Reading Challenge

So, I need things to blog about since I am in desperate need to get this blog roaring and going! Also since I have read a few books this year (I confirmed the dates on my Amazon page, love my kindle!) And I am going through a "re-evaluation" of sorts this seems like a perfect time to start this challenge. I will most likely re-read some books that I have read (some beginner books) maybe, just maybe I'll get inspired! I'm not too sure what level I am going for but at least the 11-15 but I may do more I have TONS on my TBR list and TONS on a re-read list
1.Magical Housekeeping: Tess Whitehurst (finished)
2. Cottage Witchery: Ellen Dugan (finished)
3. Triumph of the Moon : Ronald Hutton (finished!<------I really feel accomplished on this one!)
4Magical Clutter Clearing Boot Camp: Tess Whitehurst (finished, short book)
5. A Witch Alone:  Marian Green (finished)
6. Gardening With The Goddess:  Patricia Telesco (finished) 
7. Garden Witchery: Ellen Dugan (finished)
8. Natural Witchery: Ellen Dugan (finished)
9. Utterly Wicked:  Dorothy Morrison (finished)
10. Wicca for One: Raymond Buckland (finished)
11. Practical Magic:  Alice Hoffman (finished, in about 13 hours LOL)
12. Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner:  Scott Cunningham (reread finished)
13. Living Wicca: A Further Guide For The Solitary Practitioner:  Scott Cunningham (reread finished)
14. Mrs B's Guide To Household Witchery:  Kris "Mrs. B" Bradley (finished)

Posted by MadHouseWitch at 5:46 PM 

"A" is for Amulets Of The Goddess

Really wanted to start my day off with this but life had other plans.  My fan was not working on our heat this morning so getting that fixed became the morning activity.  Had to call my Grandpa and Uncles to get it going again!  We are all warm now, YAY! On to the main post.

Week 1

The Amulets of The Goddess is a set that includes 27 amulets, broken down into three sets of three, Goddesses, Sacred Animals, and Sacred Objects, and a book that covers how to use them.  Along with the, shall we say, "Herstoric" meaning and folkloric meaning.  The author Nancy Blair, sites the works of Merlin Stone, Susun Weed, and Z. Budapest for many of the references.  I myself, have yet to decide how I feel about that, however, the meaning and oracle use of the amulets would remain the same, since these are meant to be read intuitively, with key words to guide you.  Besides, an area of my mind says "what does the history matter?  when it comes to religion, most have some highly questionable origins/tales." and the reality is even the history that we "know" is a part speculation as well.  I will be reading the book with a salt shaker handy, but trying to remain open to the possibilities.  I will be reading "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone, along with "The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why An Invented Past Will Not Give Women a Future"  by Cynthia Eller just for matters of perspective, and then making my own decisions from there.  As often, the truth lies somewhere in the middle ground.
The Book, by Nancy Blair
(all amulets were also sculpted by her as well)

The "Goddesses" 

Sacred Animals
Sacred Objects

These amulets are a divination set that I inherited when my Mother passed in 2001.  It took me a while to actually take a look at them.  A few reasons for that grief being one, and having a newborn didn't help either.  My oldest Daughter was just 2 1/2 weeks at the time of my Mothers passing.  Lets just say it took me a while to even look at these amulets!  When I finally did I realized I was missing two form the set, and I set them aside thinking that maybe they would show up eventually.  You never know when you have an item that belonged to another, where they might show up.  Perhaps she had used them in a ritual and they were on her altar that I just didn't have the heart to take down, perhaps she had them in her purse.  Well twelve years later I still have no idea but I held onto them I just couldn't bear to part with them, but I couldn't bear to use a incomplete set either.

So New Years Eve I happened to be poking around my bookshelf, we were doing a releasing ritual here at home and yet again in my travel box of witchery (formerly, a makeup kit).  There they were sitting unloved for the last 12 years.  Produced in the early '90's it certainly seemed that to buy a new set would be near impossible, and a Google search confirmed it.  Most sellers were only selling the book without the amulets, and if you were lucky enough to find a complete set it was pretty steep, it also seemed a bit redundant to buy a whole new set when all I was missing was two.  Suddenly by a stroke of genius, and at the same time a moment of "WHY DID I TAKE SO LONG TO THINK OF THIS?"  I really should have thought of it last year when I was doing mini altar kits for the Yule gift exchange with our local group, The Inland Empire Pagan Guild.  The answer was polymer clay!

The Labrys replacement
We did our banishing ritual burning the things we all wanted to let go of for the new year.  My oldest had a stack and she tried to put them all in at once and smother the fire with her worries.  She later went to the end of the driveway to scatter the ashes with her father.  Then after the children were all in bed I started on my project of replacing the two lost tiles.  I knew they would not be perfect but it was adding in an element of my own creativity to it and making them mine.  In my search I came across this blog post and I now know that I will be decorating them.  Making them even more "mine".  I really like how she has the keywords written on the back as well.  Now that I have a complete set again, I am planning on making them part of my practice.  Getting them all gussied up to be fully my own, but still having the imprint of my Mother, makes them a very cherished and sacred tool to use.  I'm just happy to have them in working order again, even if the two "could have been done better" in the end it is in and of itself beautiful to have them just be there.

The Nile River Goddess replacement
All of this seemed like it was a moment of serendipity, new moon, new year, finally getting the amulets in working order.... AND I was thinking about "revamping" my blog with an ABC format and the amulets would fit in rather well with that plan.  Yesterday my Husband sent me a link to The Pagan Blog Project, and I KNEW that it was all systems "go".... Aside from the fact that I wanted to start fresh as my old blog has not been touched in over a year.  I will be transferring some posts over and will be deleting the old blog.