Starting Over – the New Year and Hope

For some of us 2016 has been a pretty rubbish year for a variety of reasons. Change happens, whether we want it to or not. The best we can do in the aftermath is to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a deep breath and start again.
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Advent Calendar for my brother

Question: What can you do to make something your 26 year old brother will actually like?
Answer: Advent calendar filled with money!

I saw some pretty ideas for envelope Advent calendars on Pinterest and thought I’d make my own version. My brother is notoriously picky about presents and usually just wants the money so he can buy his own stuff. It makes for a pretty boring gift-giving experience, so I decided I’d make the Advent calendar with money in for each day. That way he could either open up one envelope per day or open them all on Christmas day and it seems like he has more presents. He has opted for the latter, so my board is currently sitting all sparkly and pristine, awaiting the carnage to come on Christmas day. Poor calendar.

I wanted to use materials that I either already had or could re-use. It’s a slightly more eco-thoughtful way to do things, and can save money on costs too.
I started off with a cheap cork board and covered it with brown paper. I then pinned on some jute fabric with glittery red stars, and added some old red cotton ribbon which was my Nanny Grethe’s. I cut lengths of string and tied them around pins and stuck them in the back of the cork board frame.

The envelopes are just the little ‘wages’ envelopes you can buy in stationary shops. I made sure to get the plain ones so I could decorate them. I used some old Christmas stickers that had been waiting to be put to work for years quite some time, and some number stickers I bought from The Works.
I put the money in each envelope, but decided not to glue them shut so they can be re-used in the future. They are attached to the string with little wooden pegs. Just hook the envelope flap over the back of the string, stick the peg on and voila!

The final touch was a money ‘jar’ I made using an old tablets bottle, some of Nanny Grethe’s old ribbon, some stretchy sparkly cord from a previous Christmas, a little holly embellishment, and a label made from leftover brown paper. The peg was a broken one, so now has a use.

I had a lot of fun making it, and you could even adapt the idea with different themes for different people, age groups or belief systems. Most importantly my brother seems to like it. That’s win-win for me.

advent-board_2016_copyright

Showing my support for others with chronic illnesses and disabilities

To tie in with the Pagan Federation’s Online Midwinter Festival for others with chronic illnesses and disabilities I am ​sharing my #PJSelfie to show my support for all those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. I’ve had M.E., fibromyalgia, migraines and other stuff for around 14 years now. Although my parents see what I’m like every day my conditions are so-called ‘invisible’ illnesses. Many people with chronic conditions and disabilities have no real outward signs that they are affected. 

All too often I get told, “You look well,” and, “But you don’t look ill.” I usually really dislike having my photo taken, and I’m far too self-conscious but this is to raise awareness.  I often get told I look a lot younger than I am, and it’s worse without make-up. I still get asked for ID at 30, but apparently I’ll be grateful when I’m older.  #PJPagans #SolsticeSolidarity

You can catch up with most of the videos from the online festival on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1443104849037878/?ti=as

Pagan Federation Online Mid Winter Festival program

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TIMES ARE UK TIMES. Most of the sessions are recorded or available to view on the page after they have gone live.

Here’s the link to the Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/events/1443104849037878

Welcome to the Pagan Federation (England & Wales) Disabilities Team Online MidWinter Festival
You will be treated to fab talks, games and more!

This festival’s theme is “self care” and we invite you all to dress in your most comfortable clothes, your PJ’s if possible, and send up a #SolidaritySelfie to support those of us who often find, due to chronic illnesses and other issues, that we can’t get out of bed for long periods.
With every post, picture, video and comment, we’d love you to use #PJPagans #SolsticeSolidarity! Let’s see if we can get this trending to show the world that we support the disabled in our community and we hope to be an example to all!

Shared: Hathor Devotional callout

Hathor Devotional Call Out! – see the full details here: http://wp.me/p3de5o-Is

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for Lady of the Sycamore: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Hathor. This anthology opens for submissions on 1st November 2016 and closes on 1st May 2017, with a projected release date of August 2017.

 Suggestions for possible contributions include, but are not limited to: prayers, heka, poetry, hymns, rituals, essays, short fiction, recipes, music, and artwork.

 

Stonehenge Christmas/Yule card

How can you not love this? I wish I had known about them sooner. Perfect for the Pagan or ancient history aficionado in your life… or as a treat for yourself.
They can be bought from the English Heritage website: http://www.english-heritageshop.org.uk/stationery/stonehenge-3d-pop-up-christmas-card

Online Midwinter Festival

On the 17th December the Pagan Federation will be running an online festival to celebrate the Winter Solstice. It will be on their Facebook page, and because it will be a ‘closed’ event you will need to have a Facebook account to attend.

I have taken part in two of their online festivals so far this year and have found them quite interesting. They are primarily for people with disabilities or health conditions that mean they can’t go out to attend organised events.

Here’s the link to the Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/events/1443104849037878

Welcome to the Pagan Federation (England & Wales) Disabilities Team Online MidWinter Festival
You will be treated to fab talks, games and more!

This festival’s theme is “self care” and we invite you all to dress in your most comfortable clothes, your PJ’s if possible, and send up a #SolidaritySelfie to support those of us who often find, due to chronic illnesses and other issues, that we can’t get out of bed for long periods.
With every post, picture, video and comment, we’d love you to use #PJPagans #SolsticeSolidarity! Let’s see if we can get this trending to show the world that we support the disabled in our community and we hope to be an example to all!

Set-beast investigation #1: Saiga Antelope

There are many theories about whether the Set-beast is based on a real animal, whether it is a compilation of creatures (like Ammit), or a completely mythological being.
While watching the ‘Grasslands’ episode of Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth II’ I came face to face with an Ice Age relic: the Saiga Antelope. Just look at that nose! How can you not see a resemblance to the Egyptian God Set when you look at it?

By Vladimir Yu. Arkhipov, Arkhivov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8955913

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Link: Temple Ritual at Abydos by Rosalie David

From the Egypt Exploration Society ‘s Twitter feed:

New volume now available! Rosalie David’s ‘Temple Ritual at Abydos’, packed full of archive photos and watercolours: https://t.co/Ae2bQ8zK6U https://t.co/YjPsy91fiP

From the website:

…Prof David added the complete translations and transliterations to the ritual inscriptions and revised the text; we selected images from the EES archives and especially from the 1930-50s Calverley & Broome folios with their magnificent watercolours…

The result is one the most ambitious volumes the EES has realised in some time and one of the most visually appealing too. On 392 pages you’ll find numerous line drawings, many full-colour reproductions of the scenes of ritual and sacrifice from the temple walls, and photographs from our archives.

Link: Egyptian Religious Calendar for 2017 now available

Amentet Neferet have released a 2017 edition of their wonderful Egyptian Religious Calendar. The book uses the same astronomical events the Ancient Egyptians would have used to calculate when their new year and seasons would begin, making it different from books that fit it in with our modern calendar. It details which Deity the day is sacred to and also the festivals the Egyptians would have celebrated. Sayings about appropriate behaviour and warnings from various Ancient Egyptian sources are also included in the daily digest.

I really love it, and am considering buying the digital version this year so I can upload it to my phone and kindle and take it with me wherever I want. Plus I have a habit of forgetting to check the paper edition I currently have as I like to keep my books tidied away. The only way I can think of improving the book is to have a spiral bound edition so you can leave it open on the relevant day’s page(s). That would have been a big help to me with the 2016 paperback I have now.

Here is the link to Amentet Neferet’s post: http://wp.me/p2DhMC-La

We are very glad to announce that our book “EGYPTIAN RELIGIOUS CALENDAR – Great Year of Ra CDXVII-CDXVIII (2017 CE)”the Complete Egyptian Religious Calendar with all the religious prescriptions and the sacred festivities for the year 2017, is now available on amazon.com both in paperback format and as a digital ebook…

Note: I have not received any incentive to promote this book. I am doing so because it has helped me in my own devotional practice.