Link: The Egyptian Bead Project

Finally a project that combines two of my loves: Egypt and beading.

the Egyptian Bead Project is a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program for all scholars interested in beads and beadwork. It aims to use archaeological artifact studies to increase our understanding of the role of beads and beadwork, and also trade and technologies related to beads in ancient Egypt.

You can read more on the website:
http://www.egyptianbeadproject.com

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Nature’s bounty: dried berries experiment

Our garden is filled with so many beautiful plants and trees, but my heart was captured this Autumn by our Hawthorns. They live at the very top, acting as a boundary between us and the field behind.
In folklore lone Hawthorns are said to be connected to Fairies. They have white flowers and red berries, and anything red and white was often linked to the Fair Folk. Animals like cattle and hounds with red and white markings were associated with them. Hawthorns were often used as field boundaries, like ours, and so can have a protective element. Because of the white summer blossom they are also referred to as Whitethorns. Ours do have thorns but not many. Perhaps they’re friendlier and don’t feel threatened.

hawthorn_03 Continue reading

Now available from my Etsy store: Day & Night Scarab Prayer Beads + P&P changes

Follow the journey of the sun God Ra through the sky. The lighter scarabs represent Khepera rolling the sun through the sky during the daytime, and the darker ones represent Ra’s journey through the Duat at night. There are 12 scarab beads in total, representing the 12 hours of the day, and of the night. At either end there is a lobster clasp so the strand can be joined to form a continuous circle, just as day and night form a continuous cycle.
It’s a lovely piece with a nice weight to it, perfect for keeping you grounded while saying prayers or devotions. It will also add an element of interest to any altar or shrine setup.

There are two strands available. The turquoise scarabs are slightly lighter on one set.
Day & Night Scarab Prayer Beads – Ra’s journey through the sky
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I have now made my items available for sale outside the UK. I currently have a selection of countries in the postage section but if you don’t see yours there please let me know and I will work out the postage and add it to the listing.

Friday Finds: Yuletide 2016

Have you left it a little late for Yuletide gifts? Do you have problems giving people ideas of what you would like? Here are some of my favourite Yule-themed items from Etsy.

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Christmas Fairy Cardittiillustrations – Netherlands

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Krampus Card by SimonsNest – UK

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Mistletoe Charms by Wispytrails – UK

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Rowan Berry Tiara by Thyme2dreamWeddings – USA

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Leather Holly Leaf Decorations by beadmask – USA

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Set of Four Heathen Yule Tree Ornaments by MickieMuellerStudio – USA

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Dry Needle Felted Holly King by WooleyMama – UK

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Grey Gnome by EarthyMamaGoods – USA

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Cool Yule Spinners/Felters Selection by FellviewFibres – UK

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Yuletide Offerings box by moonboxxco – USA

Article link: Prayer to Thoth for Skill in Writing

The Prayer to Thoth for Skill is a literary piece dated to c. 1150 BCE from the latter period of the New Kingdom of Egypt(c. 1570-1069 BCE) in which a young scribe prays for inspiration to Thoth, god of wisdom and writing. The prayer was found among the works of Papyrus Anastasi V, a papyrus scroll discovered at Thebes. The prayer is an interesting glimpse into how the profession of the scribe was viewed by the ancient Egyptians and what one hoped to gain by that occupation.

The full article can be read here:

http://www.ancient.eu/article/976/

5,600-year-old religious centre discovered near Stonehenge

Another causewayed enclosure has been discovered near Stonehenge. It is located in Larkhill, Wiltshire, and is thought to date from around 3,650 BC.  Once again a new discovery is leading to a review of exactly how the sacred landscape around the site was used.

Their precise original function remains a mystery, but the scant available evidence suggests that they were used for a mixture of ceremonial, religious, political and mortuary roles.

You can read the full article on the Independent’s website:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/stonehenge-prehistoric-religious-ceremonial-centre-discovered-archaeologists-a7425346.html

Why I wear a Poppy

The poppy is supposed to represent the fallen of war. It was inspired by the World War 1 poem ‘Flanders Fields’, and has been the emblem of those who died in the service of the Armed Forces since 1921. Of late many people see it as a political statement, ignoring what it was originally set up to commemorate. The poppy is not meant as an idolisation of war, it is a remembrance of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to keep our countries safe. The poppy appeal itself uses the money it raises to help veterans of war and their families.
I do not celebrate war, in fact I hope continually for the end of conflict the world over. The reason I wear the poppy is to remember people like my Grandad George, who was in the RAF and an air traffic controller in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, my Great Aunty Margaret, who was part of the Women’s Army in the UK, and her first husband Norman, who was killed only a few days after they married. I’m the First World War my Great Grandmothers worked in the munitions factories.
Being a small island nation with Europe only across the channel, it was a terrifying and very real prospect for people in Great Britain that their countries would be taken over by a hostile force. A number of the larger cities were bombed in WW2. My Grandad Tony has memories of the bombers flying over Coventry when he was a boy.

I wear the poppy because I am grateful to the generations who gave their lives and services to keep the UK safe from the threat of invasion. If it weren’t for the efforts of those men and women the UK, and parts of Europe, would be a very different place now. We value our freedom, and that is what those people were fighting for. 
I honour the fact that the people in our Armed Forces are fighting for a concept I can believe in – freedom – even if I find it very hard to agree with the means.
I wear the poppy to honour those who fought for freedom, especially those who fought in WW1 and WW2. I also see it as a way of honouring my ancestors who were in the Wars.

If you would like to find out more about the symbolism of the Poppy, and also the controversies surrounding it, these two pages have some very good information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/29848595/remembrance-poppy-controversies-and-how-to-wear-it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_poppy

Samhain 2016 -Altar/Shrine pics

Last night I had the pleasure of setting up two extra altar/shrine areas, alongside the shrine for my Beloveds.

The first was for family members, including my much-loved and much-missed cat Orlando. I enjoyed setting up this one the most, as it made me look through all my photos and bits and bobs I have as keepsakes. The camera belonged to either my grandad or my Norwegian great-grandad, the dreamcatcher centre was brought back from Canada by my Uncle Tony. The door stop was from my Nanny’s house, and the Little Mermaid statue is a nod to her being born in Denmark. The Aragonite was my Aunty Tina’s. The little clay piece in front of Orlando’s photo is a paw print I took from him about a year before he passed away, and there’s also a lock of his fur. Presiding over the shrine on either side are Hella and Anubis. There are scarabs and a fabric lotus there too, as symbols of the cycles of life, death and rebirth. The lists you can see are names of my family members, and of family friends and pets.  Continue reading