More Charmcasting blogging

5/4/15 - May the Fourth be with you. 7:20pm Playing with chalking not only the querent-figure, but realms. Not sure yet what they all mean, but we'll get there. I need to give my figure a name for things. I think right now they're Lex. Cast: Hm. I think edges are farther out in time. Red skull rolled right off the mat, so injury and major illness are not a worry at this time. The compass is farthest out: a specific direction is a ways off. It's on the line between what I think are the mental realms on the right and the spiritual realms on the left. Only slightly closer in is the marble of clarity in the spiritual realm. Not doing a lot of focus there. Closer in is the vertebra, above Lex's head, but a way out. Perhaps Lex ought to be considering structure... No, I think I have the upper two realms backwards. Mental on Lex's own left, as they are facing me. So the marble and vertebra are mental clarity and structure, not spiritual. Close to, but not very, Lex' right hand is the work they could be doing, but apparently are not. About as close to hand on the spiritual side to the key, for secrets and revelations. At Lex's feet is the thread, the path they must walk, a practical path in the realm of the earth. It begins coiled around itself a bit, a bit that repeats a few times, bouncing back and forth between two things for a bit before breaking free into the rest of the path. Celebration, and a dream, but one that maybe cannot be immediately realized. Lex is having fun spinning off new ideas, new concepts, new projects, but will not finish most of them. That's ok. Finally picking a project to run with, Lex finds they don't have the money for it, and goes hunting for ways of getting it together. They rely primarily on themselves to do this, not entirely paying attention to advice and aid offered by others. Instead, Lex plays to their personal strengths. Below and farther out are three charms in a line: a path that Lex might choose to take, if they thing of it. Persevere through the mundane slog, follow their heart into the realm of spirits and gods, and find transformation there. The Tree floats unconnected amidst this mess, possibilities unconsidered. Time spent, from sketching to finish, 45min. Notes to self: Find heavier/less rolly things for skull, compass, marble. MAKE PEOPLE FIGURES. Add a targeting loop. 9:00pm Found a bit of red yarn, tied it in a loop. Targeting loop! Actually, that might be a Warning Loop, and I might add purple for the Pay Attention Loop instead. Decided to add a moonflower vine seed, for stretching and growth. Started making shrinky-drink people pieces. Whee! I forgot how much fun it is to do shrinky-dinks. Note to self: sharpies work really well. 10:37pm Shrinky-dink people (and spirit) came out well! They look like they're doing some sort of primeval safety dance or something. But they look like they're having fun! Had to swap something things around. The red and purple circles turned out to be too grabby. Have a much smoother blue yarn, and might add a red back in as well. New pieces: Five people pieces, seed for growth, wings for a message or messenger, circle for attention. Casting really works best when I'm sitting on the floor with the mat in from of me. I get the best spread that way. Rather than move my butt off the couch and away from the computer for the moment, though, I have a big coffee-table book in my lap with the mat on it. Here's what I've got. Very tight grouping, the problem with sitting too close. Basically everything is happening at once. Lex is thinking about an earth person, strong and solid and reliable, probably makes things. They wear their heart on their sleeve here: everyone knows how they feel about Earth Person. At the center, much busyness, much interconnectedness. There's change and growth, but it's hard, and Lex must just keep swimming, just keep pushing through it. Forward momentum, that's the way! A Spirit that is attached to a fire person (Fire Person is on top, so they're central, and the spirit follows on) is there to help, and will pass Lex on in the direction of Water Person, who can help with the swimming, the perseverance. Air Person bears a message about an opportunity to make money, and sends Lex back towards Fire Person and their Spirit. At Lex's feet, ready to be called upon, are both strength and sadness, together, a package deal. A word of advice: secrets can...

Not Quite Live-blogging Creating an Oracle

I've been fascinated by the idea of a charm oracle -- an oracle built out of charms, beads, miniatures, whatever comes to hand -- ever since I read Little Red Tarot's guestpost on How to create (and read) a charmcasting oracle and the various posts it linked to. I've been locating bits and pieces around the house as I came across them and setting them aside for inclusion. A tiny vertebra, a red stone skull bead. Turned up a metal Wizard of Oz lunchbox (Glinda on one side, the Wicked Witch on the other, and "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" on the sides") that I used to carry around with various bits and bobs in. I thought it would make a good carrying case for the thing. Then yesterday, a friend gave me a beautiful chunk of chamois leather that I knew would make a perfect mat for it, so today I set out. I couldn't find the Big Bag O'Charms and Beads, which is maybe for the best. Too many possibilities there. I want to start small. So I picked through the things I had found, and selected bit that spoke to me, that I knew meanings for as soon as I glanced at them. A dozen or so, plus Alice in Wonderland to symbolize the querent. The idea occurred to me that a string would let me target significant symbols that weren't necessarily immediate, and would let me connect things. So I snagged one of those as well, a length of linen. Initial pieces: Alice in Wonderland, for the querent a red stone skull, for illness and injury a small vertebra, for structure a tree, like the World Tree, for possibility, choices, travel a glass owl and some tiny cogs embedded in a resin cabochon, for industry, making things, and skill a hand, for help (obverse) or self-reliance (reverse) a marble, for sanity, clarity, understanding a pair of cups, for celebration, happiness an amethyst bear fetish, for strength and endurance a bat, for listening, of different kinds a fish, for perseverence -- "Keep swimming" a heart, for love and emotion a dragonfly, for transformation, change, shapeshifting a replica of an old Chinese coin, for money, 4 symbols for lots of money, 2 for little or lack a key, for opening and closing, for secrets and revelations a butterfly, for hope, for dreams, for wishes a compass, for seeking and finding, for directions I found a clay cup, and began casting, trying to understand how things fell together, and then just trying to learn to cast them so that they neither jumbled too tightly nor spread too widely. Trying to tell stories from the patterns I saw. I rapidly found that the querent-figure, Alice, was not very useful, at least as a cast piece, and that the string did very well to simply chart the course of a story. I tied a small knot in one end for the start, and a larger one in the other end for the end. I grabbed a broken spindle to use as a pointer, because it was handy. I'd rather have a dip pin, but might also try a small brush. Having trouble getting a good spread. Lots of clumping, with the marble and compass tending to roll away. Might have to replace those, although I love the marble, which has a story that connects it to the lunchbox. At that point, I took a few minutes to stop and write this post so far. Everything going forward is written as it happens. Tried placing Alice at the center of the mat, and casting around her. Sure enough, the thread centered nicely at her feet -- this is a path she's walking. The thread makes a lemniscate, possibly indicating a repeating cycle. The thread's start is at the compass. Alice is seeking, finding a direction. Next stop, the dragonfly atop the vertebra. The thing on top is the main concept, with the underlying piece modifying it. A structural change, a transformation of the fabric of her life. That's what she's seeking -- we're not to results yet. The tree almost covers the heart entirely, new possibilities and opportunities open up within as well as without. The thread rises, falls and crosses itself, a rush forward, a taking of initiatives, seizing one of the open possibilities, a settling into the new role. The butterfly, a hope, a new dream to pursue, and the compass again, for a direction to follow, a pole star, a goal. Wow. That started communicating with me remarkably quickly. The thread seems to be really key to my understanding, and making it directional helps. I also really like putting the querent down first and casting around it. I might actually draw a figure for the...