Nothing Like Time….

Half of the library piled into the dining room
Half of the library piled into the dining room

…to make the heart grow fonder. Or something like that. I’ve been away for some time. To say things have changed would be an understatement. But in the way of all things, they are still pretty much the same.

My gardens are growing and maturing bit by bit. I am still knitting and crocheting away. I have even added weaving to the list of crazy fiber pursuits. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my herbs in my apothecary, concocting new blends for incense, smokes, oils, and other sundry things. Been working on organizing the library too. It is a bit daunting, but it needs some love. I have a craft room, set up and ready for lots of fun. Just need to get up there and get to it.
I feel like dusting off the proverbial pen (and hopefully the camera) and seeing what I can make out of this place again. Not sure where I am going, or at what pace I shall travel.

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.