Brief note to self

Votive offerings: Breakables Burnables Edibles Salt dough, air-dry clay, papier mache clay, beeswax, felted wool, almond paste, maybe even chocolate Pigs, bulls, sheep, horses, dogs, what else? More consideration when there's money for materials. But like, a whole series on this. Black marzipan dogs for Hekate, since almonds are also sacred to her. (One kind kills, the other nourishes.) Can you make salt dough with barley flour? Not a real post. Tired, full of snot, and have had very unhappy news today. No coding school for me....

Notes from Tree Pose

- I’ve already written about my yoga practice. - I’m not spinning cotton much at the moment. Still trying to figure out how to reintegrate that. I’m going to focus on settling into a solid yoga practice first, and then worry about that. - I’ve finished the first batch of purple wool, though I haven’t made a skein yet. I can’t find my damn niddy-noddy. Now I’ve moved on to spinning a midnight blue tussah silk on my trindle for the same prayer. I don’t manage it quite daily, but I try. Current form of the prayer of the Purple Thread (which remains the Purple Thread regardless of the color I’m spinning): (before spinning) Six women whose lives are twined In history and myth Six women whose names are wrapped In purple thread Six women whose lives show Our weaknesses and our strengths Six women I honor and praise: The women of the purple thread. (flick) I pray to Arachne Who rues what she did And weaves now forever (flick) I spin for Arachne of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) (flick) I pray to Erigone Beloved of the Vine Who sorrowed and mourned. (flick) I spin for Erigone of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) (flick) I pray to Ariadne Mistress of the Labyrinth Who died and returned (flick) I spin for Ariadne of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) (flick) I pray to Helen Lady of Sorrows Who stands now for the Voiceless (flick) I spin for Helen of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) (flick) I pray to Medea Witch and Priestess Betrayed and Vengeful (flick) I spin for Medea of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) (flick) I pray to Circe Sorceress and Goddess Who ever surrendered her power (flick) I spin for Circe of the Purple Thread (while winding on) The Purple Thread winds on and on The Purple Thread winds on (repeat throughout winding) I’ve said it before: any repetitive thing can be used as prayer. That’s why beads are so popular. Spinning also echoes the spinning of prayer wheel, the motion sending the words spinning out and up to the gods. It’s good for me. - Serving morning tea as offering to my gods is working well for me. Adding rusks with honey has not been so easy, and I’ve dropped it for the time, but preparing and pouring the tea has evolved into a set of ritual motions that have become easy and natural. It feels good. I still would never presume to tell anyone else that they must practice food offerings, or what they can or can’t afford. It just works for me. -My copies of Crossing the River finally arrived! SQUEEEEE!...

Notes All the Way Down

Cotton boll breakthrough! I went back to what the person who had told me about spinning from cotton bolls said, which was that you just sort of held it loosely, and the fiber just spun off the seeds, leaving you with nothing but a handful of seeds. I thought that's what I had been doing, but I wasn't getting those results. Then I realized that what I was doing was fluffing it out and holding it more like a cloud of wool, with the seeds spread out, which made them greater obstacles (pronounce it like they do in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"; it's more fun). So I tried bunching the boll back up, loosely, but all together, and tucking it into my palm, then letting the thread come out between my first two fingers. My fingers don't hold onto anything, but they keep the seeds from hanging up in the thread, and hold them back, like a wall. It works beautifully! Easier, better thread, and it's bringing me closer to getting the knack of the magic trick. Today I lit the tenth candle in my set for Forty Days of Ritual to Keep Abortion Legal. I've decided to do a full forty days -- if other people are doing it, keeping on doing so a couple of days after they stop can't exactly hurt -- and have a circle of stacks of votive around my little altar cauldron, ten stacks of four candles. But now it's ten stacks of three candles, which is good. Every day, after I lustrate and do my bit of tarot study, I add the burned-out little foil cup to the stack of them under the altar, grab the next candle off the stack, anoint it with oil, and call upon Athene as Giver and Keeper of the Laws, and Artemis as Protector of Pregnant Women, to help us keep abortion legal, and let no one be forced to give birth against their will. Then I put it in the cauldron and light it. Last night was the full moon, of course, which meant it was time for me to pour out my usual round of libations. I made offering to Hekate, Artemis, Okeanos and Tethys, Athene, Dionysos and Ariadne, Hermes, and Hestia. After sprinkling the barley and pouring out the wine, I added honey for Ariadne ("And for the Mistress of the Labyrinth, honey"). Then I pulled out the little copper tripod chafing dish I use as an indoor firebowl. I keep a bed of Epsom salts laid in it, and pour in jest enough rubbing alcohol to cover that, and light it. It produces very little smoke, making it quite safe to use indoors, and is hot enough to burn small light things, such as paper. This was the first time I attempted to burn cotton in it: the waste cotton and seeds from my spinning attempts. It worked ok, I guess. I didn't want to let the fire burn too long, and I put it out to soon and had alcohol-soaked blackened seeds left at the end, but offering made and lesson learned. Two days ago we had a truly horrible day. I can't even talk about most of it, but the worst bit was running out of gas in the middle of a long, uphill, high-speed bridge. I managed to coast over to the far right lane, and Kate got out and pushed, and some nice man who must have been sent by Hermes came along and stopped his car behind ours and got out and pushed, too. But we were still in a traffic lane. They got us something like 60ft, uphill, to the first turnoff, and I hauled the wheel around and got us into it… only to discover that it was even more sharply uphill, and there was a very high curb. So we were still stuck in the way of other people. But there was, at least, room enough for the people trying to actually make that turn to get around us. An awful lot of them honked and cussed at us, though. What the hell were we supposed to do? We literally could not move the car any further. We tried several times. Fortunately, I still have AAA, and I called them and they sent someone on an emergency rush, since we were blocking traffic, and he was there and gave us some gas in maybe fifteen minutes. But it was a really stressful fifteen minutes. As tired as I was when we got home after that, I had come to the conclusion that I really, really needed some ecstatic time with Dionysos. I'd been needing it for a long time, probably a couple of months. I really ought to do that ritual regularly, it's good...