Bindings, Tyings and Other Controls

As workers of magic and users of the occult, we are equipped with the awesome power to control others. It is plainly obvious that with these more potent powers come more potent consequences and reactions. And, hence, these are touchy subjects. They produce results, and are acting on others directly, and ethics are at the core of most of these subjects. Exactly how to accomplish these feats is often not shared, because it is thought to be dangerous to place automatic weapons in the hands of babes.

So, what exactly is the ethical question here? Is it interfering with another’s free will? Do people even have free will? Is it making people unequal, by having power over them? Are people even equal to begin with? Is it flying in the face of some greater power, a God perhaps? Or are the Gods even concerned with such nigglings of humans? All of these questions need answered, in full, before one can proceed with such work. And it is not something that someone else can answer for you. It has to be answered from your own heart.

Different cultures and their respective teachings will definitely influence your opinions on the matter. For myself, I have been debating these questions lately. The target of the binding happens to be someone who I think of as being on semi-equal footing with myself. And they have been there longer than I, for I remember seeing them as a great teacher to learn from. And no, I am not suffering from fallen-pedestal syndrome. I am aware that our teachers have their faults, just as all humans do. And just for the books, I have not been on either side of a student-teacher relationship with him. I have simply grown from where I was many moons back. I am not really convinced of the doctrine of free will. It seems a bit, well, holey to say the least. I believe that individuals who can achieve a level of awareness and self-power can weave their own fate, and back away far enough from the tapestry of life to see where their thread may lead. Hence, they can make some necessary changes to the larger design in order to lead their thread onto a new path. But there are some things that can not be changed in this way. The overall pattern must still remain. The pattern must flow seamlessly from one ‘time’ to another. And there are other things to consider in this larger awareness, and hence larger responsibility. For our awareness governs our responsibility directly.

But, back to the semi-original thought. The target for this current binding is simply not doing as he says. He asks others to keep silent, while he continues to talk on. This disturbs me because it has directly impacted me negatively, and caused me pain, and those of my family unrest. And so after a couple of attempts to reason with this fellow, I find myself turning to my bag of tricks, quite literally. I do not seek harm with this binding, nor do I seek to really restrict the person against their will. I simply wish to bind them to their own words. So, is this an ethical pursuit? Does this cause harm, even though that is not my goal? With my greater awareness of the situation, and the tapestry, am I performing a responsible action?

All of these questions are still keeping me up at nights, as I await the correct alignments in the heavens. ‘Time’ is running short, but I know I must enter into the contract with a dedication and resoluteness or the work will fail. And, so this currently hangs heavy on my mind as the day approaches.

Leaping Deer! Oh My!

I am nearly finished pinning my deer down to the background fabric. This filet project was my first attempt at filet crochet. Nothing like diving into the deep end. The photo to the right is just after I finished, before blocking. I laid it out on the green linen I had obtained to admire my year’s worth of work. Yes, an entire year.
I created this as a devotional item, praying and chanting over each and every stitch. I worked on it during liminal periods, as it was my goal to convert that time in my life into something I could recognize as useful, and as a gift to my gods. And so, I chose this design, and only worked on it at those in between times. This meant carrying it everywhere with me, all the time. But I found that it felt good to have it in the bag by my side. I became very familiar with the feel of the cotton thread, and the rhythm of the crochet. 
Here is a photo after I finished blocking it, on my lovely plaid scrap fabric. It came out to around 45″ x 37″ finished. I have hemmed the linen and am currently pinning it down. Then I will put the hanging tabs on. I am not sure how I want to attach it to the linen yet. I could sew it down invisibly with sewing thread, or I could turn the attachment into an embellishment also. Since it is such a beautiful fabric, I have thought about adding some drawn thread work around the edge as a border. I do plan on working some macrame tassels into the bottom edge somehow, but I haven’t decided out of what fiber, or how many, or what dimensions.
Here is a link to the original pattern and chart. I made it out of a hand spun cotton that is 1 mm in thickness. I used a size 7 US steel hook, and made it with a 4dc mesh. Luckily the cotton I had was extremely long, and I made this from one thread with no knots.

Ramblings on Discipline

Ah, yes the second most scary word in the English language (the first, as we all know is commitment); self-discipline.

(insert creepy music here)

Why is this so hard to get through to people? As a teacher (in adult education), I find it amazingly difficult to convey to my students that they will need to WORK in order to achieve their goals. I mean, they paid for the class, they manage to show up, and bring the required supplies, but once inside the classroom it is suddenly time to whine and complain that this is too hard, and I am not giving them enough breaks!

And even more frustrating is this sense in the larger community. As an occultist, I do happen to keep my finger on the goings on out there in the occult realm. And these days, I am hearing a lot of whining and crying because the ‘elders’ are not handing over the ‘secrets’ to the ‘newbies’ with ease or speed.

This concept is so wrong on many levels. Let us begin with what they call assumptions. Assumption one; there are ‘elders’ and they have responsibilities to ‘newbies.’ So this is not an entirely wrong assumption, there are adepts within the Craft, and they do take on a great burden of responsibility. But, it is not to those coming to walk the path directly, nor are the responsibilities as cut and dry as they might seem. There is no hierarchy that deigns what level you have reached, even as we try to work degree systems, there is much personal variation. Many adepts that could be called ‘elder’ are loathe to take on the name, because they are wise enough to know just how much they don’t know and how far they still have to travel on the crooked path. They are also aware of their priorities, one of the first being to preserve and uphold the Craft. It can not be remade, re-pieced, or torn apart and dissected. To destroy the Craft is about as close as we get to the concept of blasphemy. But yet, we are instructed to keep the Craft alive. That means letting it breathe, feeding it, and letting it grow, without hacking off limbs, or foundational supports. Being a parent is not easy, nor is being a member of a village.

Assumption number two; there are ‘secrets’ and they can be handed over. Yes, there are things we call secrets, however like most lingo in the occult world, this is an allusion. It means these things are secrets or mysteries, because we have no way of explaining or even conveying them. They are simply things that someone comes to as they walk the paths. So, even if we could hand them over, we really couldn’t. And, truth be told, I haven’t come across one yet that wasn’t hiding in plain sight. It isn’t about the acquisition of the secrets, it is about changing the practitioner so they can see them. They were there all along.

Assumption number three; there are ‘newbies’ and they are somehow different from other people on the path. Every one was a babe at some point, everyone was new to this world at some point, and every one is currently discovering something new. Perhaps, we may class these ‘newbies’ as different due to their lack of experience. Which is fine, there is nothing wrong with begin new, or inexperienced. Go out, do some work, get some experience. And viola!, you will have become experienced, and ready to find more experience somewhere else.

And finally, the concepts of ease and speed. These two concepts just do not go with learning any occult discipline (there’s that word again) or craft. It ain’t easy, it is flat out work. It is often harder work than you have come across. It is about changing yourself, and not necessarily in ways you understand at first. And it is anything but swift. The process of transmutation is slow, and often happens under pressure. It takes time. The passage of time is a key component to the concept of traveling or walking a path. I’ve been on this path for over 35 years now and I’m still discovering myself, still learning, still struggling with some things, and still finding my way. And in all that time I have never once found an occult drive-through that served anything worth eating.

The Joys of Tinker Toys

Well, it is Monday again. This wonderful beginning of the week, corresponding to mother Luna and her waxing and waning tides, I devote to cleaning. Yeah, I don’t really get it either. But, it does get me to start the week with a clean house. And I have a client this evening in my appointment book, so perhaps I should take out the trash.
But, while I wait for the pep-pills to kick in so I can do all of this in the morning hours (did I mention I am not a morning person?), I felt it was time to share some yarny goodness.
I love yarn. However, yarn can be expensive. I also love recycling and reusing. It just gives me a buzz to reuse and re-purpose things for a new home. So, I have purchased 7 sweaters from the thrift store. They were on sale due to spring being just around the corner. 6 of the 7 were 100% cotton, and one was a cotton/angora blend with a metallic ply. Gorgeous stuff.
The ziplock bag is the first sweater, wrapped into balls.
The hank is from the second sweater, fresh off the new swift.
Unfortunately, at the time, I was too eager to rip all of these lovelies apart, and did not get pictures. As I went on my journey of discovery via google for how exactly to do this recycled yarn thing, I discovered I would be needing a few tools. Here I discovered a tutorial for frogging the sweaters in general. You would think it would be easy, right? No, seams had to be undone first, and then the knots untied, then the ripping goodness could begin.
Now, this is better than bubble wrap for frustration relief in my opinion. But, after wrapping the first sweater into balls, that I realized I would have to hank later in order to wash it, I decided I was in need a of a swift. My budget was not ready to expand from $70 to $200 to accommodate this need, so instead I looked for other options. I found one that I thought would accommodate not only my budget, but my endless need for modular life. Tinker Toys! After raiding the closet, finding none, and then calling all the toy stores in town, I acquired a big set at Toys R Us. First I built a small swift, to un-hank the yarn my mother had dyed for me years ago. I never could put this yarn into center pull balls because I made a horrible mess each time I tried.
My first design for my new Tinker Toy
swift. It only has three arms, because this yarn
was already hanked from my mother
who dyed it for me.
But of course, this had to be modified when I wanted to frog some more sweaters. I didn’t want little tiny hanks to wash. So this was the second incarnation of the adjustable swift:
You can see I am wrapping a ball back on to the swift. It was after this I realized I was just making extra work for myself. D’oh! But no worries, the problem has been corrected. I am now going direct from sweater to swift.

But I persisted and finished up that sweater’s worth of yarn. Here is the last hank on the swift. I tied the beginning and the end of the yarn together, so I would have both ends when it came time to take this back out of hanks and put it into balls.

Here you can see that I have put in the scrap yarn to hold the hanks together as best I can. I found that a weaving back and forth through the hank worked best. It is hard to describe in words, but easy to do. Place the center of the scrap yarn at the bottom of the hank, insert a finger through the hank about a third of the way up, wrap the scrap yarn around the hank by pushing both ends through to the opposite sides respectively. Go up another third increment and push a finger through the hank creating a space. Take the back yarn and bring it through the front. Pick up the bottom front yarn and check which side it was on on the last pass, put it through the hole on the other side this time. Bring both ends to the top and tie with a square knot. Of course, you can divide in any increment needed. Smaller yarns I found worked better with more wraps, while thicker yarns didn’t seem to need it.





And now, tada! The sweater all hanked up and ready to wash. It came out to this pile, which is seven hanks of various thickness. This was by far the thickest yarn of them all. It was six plies.

Here are some shots of my interesting drying apparatus. Yes, I used some of the handy gear to create a spacing for the hangers. These hung here and drip dried for about 8 hours. Then, someone needed the shower, so I had to move the whole contraption to the mudroom to finish drying.

My wonderful husband, Superman, noticed I was having some stability problems, and so he helped me modify the design more. He basically inverted my idea, and built a frame around the spinning area to stabilizeit. I added the tensioner, which had the handy side effect of catching any tangles as I was winding. We moved the turn handle into the center from the outside, so it can be twirled with just the fingers. You can see the gorgeous yarn now on the swift. It is the cotton and angora blend. I think this will become a shrug for my mom. 

And here is a pile of happily done yarn. I love the texture of all this crimp. I don’t like knitting with it, so it needs to be washed out. The orange is a gorgeous thick cotton that I may over dye. I haven’t decided. The small bag is still leftovers from the first sweater that need to be hanked. I think I will ply this yarn either with itself or something else, as it is so thin. But it is a nice yarn.

The Compulsion has Finally Won.

 

Everyone is doing it. There are themed blogs, and random blogs, and blogs about blogging. Why is it that our ego leads us to post our personal thoughts on the world wide web as if someone out there really cares? Are we so voyeuristic that we must pry into the diaries of others to get our jollies off? HELL YES. Errr…. I mean, no, I have noble pursuits for doing this. Sharing my thoughts, my hobbies, and my meaningless ravings anonymously will help me achieve some greater spiritual goal, or something. Oh yes, and a podcast and such like.

Perhaps through the pouring out of my thoughts, inanities, and complaints some poor soul out there, silhouetted by the monitor’s warm glow, will find inner peace or at least a giggle at my expense. So grab your tein and stave, get astride your three legged stool and inhale the vapors of a dying snake and come across the hedge with me. Or you know, however you get there.