Poem for the New Lunar Year

Welcome,
Lunar year anew.
Another cycle,
Guide us through.

Wax and wane,
Ebb and flow,
Building up
And letting go.

Bright light shining,
Blinding orb,
Lost from view,
Dark absorb.

Moon:
Maiden, Mother, Crone,
Teaching us
We’re not alone.

Guiding light,
Dark remain,
Always changing,
Never same.

Seed, Flower,
Winter-bloom,
Dark and empty,
Budding womb.

Light and dark,
Dark and light,
Changing ever
Every night.

Dark Goddess,
Virgin, lover,
Hag, naive girl,
Mother.

Moon:
How we watch you grow,
Your tides, your gentle
Ebb and flow.

Welcome,
Lunar year anew.
Lead us, Mother,
Guide us through.

 

Copyright: Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk 2017

Friday Finds – Brighid for Imbolc 2017

I thought a feature on some Brighid items would tie in nicely with Imbolc on the 1st February. With thanks to the artists for allowing me to add their wonderful creations to my Imbolc 2017 ‘Friday Finds’.
Click on the picture or the item description to go to the item’s Etsy page. Click on the creator’s name to be taken to their Etsy shop.

Something traditional:

Brighid’s Cross Wheat Weaving by BlueMoonWheatWorks (USA)wheat-brighids-cross_bluemoonwheatworks

Brighid Corn Doll by Positively Pagan (England, UK)brighid-corn-doll_positivelypagan

Something for gardens and gatherings:

Brighid’s Cross garden flag by MickieMuellerStudio (USA)

Something for your altar or sacred space:

Brighid Triple Goddess needle felt doll by celticsoulcraft (USA) Continue reading

Available now from my Etsy store: Nine-Flame Prayer Beads + P&P update

These beautiful Nine-Flame Prayer Beads are available now from my Etsy store!

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The Nine-Flame strand is based on a Brighid’s Flame set I made for a friend. They  are perfect for connecting with Deities associated with fire and smithcraft, the blazing sun, or of the burning heat of the desert. Could also be used to connect with volcanic Deities, primal forces, or to act as a representative of the element of Fire.
Fire can burn away the old to make way for the new, so these prayer beads could be used in releasing ceremonies, as well as for renewal. After the dust has settled from the ashes of the old the new is born.
For writers and creators they could also be used to channel the flame of inspiration

Made of nine glass flame twist beads, 4mm glass beads and glass seed beads. Length: approximately 48cm. Weight: Approximately 45g
There is one strand currently available but I will be making a few more. How many depends on how long the flame twist beads last as I may be using some in other designs.

P&P Update: Etsy has a lovely little postage setting for the European Union. Since the cost of postage to the EU is the same throughout I have added this option. If you live in any of the EU countries you can now purchase from Northern Tamarisk without having to send a request for your country to be added to my postage list. It also makes it a lot quicker and easier for me, because otherwise I’d have to list each country separately.
As always, postage to the UK and USA remains.

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2nd WordPress Anniversary, part 2 – An Old Goddess Returns

Continuing the subject of Deity statues: I have ended up keeping one I thought I would be selling. The statue of Athena arrived one morning last week, and I was really pleasantly surprised that she’s taller than I was expecting. The faux antique tea effect makes her look a bit dirty so I thought painting her virginal white would suit that aspect of her. I placed her on my desk.

When I woke up the following morning I looked over and saw her there, thinking she’d look lovely in the same verdigris effect I have used for some of my personal collection. But other people might not like that, I thought, other people might prefer her painted white. Then I realised I didn’t want to let her go. I remembered that the year before the Egyptian Deities made such a lasting impression on me I had learned about the Ancient Greeks. Out of all the Olympian pantheon it was Athena who I remember attaching myself to. I even bought a little bronze reproduction of the owl of Minerva two years ago in York because it reminded me of Athena’s.

So she’s been there in the background, waiting patiently for over 20 years for me to find her again. Strangely it feels like a little piece of me has returned too; that childlike wonder upon first learning about her at age 7/8. I love Loki and Sigyn and Their family, and my wonderful Egyptian Beloveds, and now Athena is that childhood Inspirer returned. I don’t know if she’s here to stay, but how strange and fascinating that the Goddess of wisdom, battle and healing should come back into my life as I feel like I’m starting over; as I adjust to a relapse in health yet I’m finding my feet as an author, creator and business woman. She is strong but wise, knows her own mind, and is great at planning ahead in minute detail. Who better to guide me through this phase of finding this in myself?

Hail Athena.

2nd WordPress Anniversary – Update & Changes

It has been two years since I joined WordPress, and I still don’t quite know where the time’s gone. Since I first started my writing style has developed and I’ve started to share more of my devotional practices, but most of all my connections to Them have grown, strengthened and expanded. That’s not to say that this time hasn’t also been challenging, or that it’s been plain-sailing. It hasn’t. I’ve had many challenges with my health and faith to deal with, but I’ve made it through so far.

As some of you may have noticed I’m making a few adjustments to the range and type of posts on here.  Firstly this is because my interests have widened since starting Northern Tamarisk, secondly because I now feel more able to share personal projects and things I’ve been up to. I started off wanting this to be a more academic-style blog, but I realise after much soul-searching that the academic is just one facet of who I am. I was under the impression that I needed to keep myself out of the blog as much as possible, but since starting my Etsy shop I realise perhaps I need to share a bit more about my personal practices and things I’m involved in. People like to know who they’re buying from and what sort of a person I am. Personally I like to buy from small businesses who have similar ethics to me so I read up about them, and this will help others to do the same with me
I will continue to explore different areas of research and devotional Polytheism, Paganism and Archaeology, and I will still be writing book reviews. I will continue my ‘Out & About’ posts, especially when I see something I think you may like – the ‘Wotan’ light bulb, for instance. ‘Friday Finds’ will keep going, though not on a monthly basis – I will be concentrating on specific themes, seasonal items or an artisan feature. Instead of ‘Fantasy Art Friday’ and ‘Fantasy Photography Friday’ there will be ‘Friday Focus’. This will incorporate artists, photographers and artisans whose work is inspired by Mythology, Polytheism or Paganism. Again, this will not be monthly, just as and when.

I’m enjoying rediscovering my crafty side, learning about traditional crafts, upcycling and natural alternatives, so expect to read more about these ventures too. Finding ways to bring back old traditions in a modern way and helping to lighten my impact on the planet are important to me. Doing this not only helps us and the environment, but can also be a way of living-devotion. What better offering can we make to Them than to take care of this beautiful planet whose care and creatures we have been entrusted with?

In February, May and September I will be sharing photos and experiences from past holidays to Luxor in Egypt, York and Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury. I went on these trips before starting my blog so feel like it would be good to share some of my better pictures.

In the next couple of weeks I will be starting photo shoots for the various pre-loved Deity statues I have found online, in junk yards and charity shops. Aside from my personal collection I have a lot of Gods and Goddesses looking for loving new homes. Once they’ve been cleaned up, repaired or re-painted and had their photo shoots I will be putting them up for re-homing in my Etsy shop. Most are in excellent condition, some need a little sprucing up, and a couple need a bit of fixing up, but they are all beautiful and I feel guilty keeping them packed under my bed when they should be taking pride of place on some adoring person’s shrine. I have quite a few Egyptian Deities as well as a couple of Greek Goddesses who will be looking for that loving new home. I also have a copper wall plaque of an Aztec Sun God to add.

I’m finding my feet on Twitter as well. I give updates on new blog posts and Etsy items as well as Norse, Egyptian, Pagan and Archaeology re-tweets. I’m thinking of sharing interesting Tweets from others in an occasional roundup here on the blog. These will be snippets of information, or even photos from museum collections or artisans.
Because of the work involved in remembering to update Twitter regularly I will assess at the end of the year and see if it is a valuable enough use of my time. Brain power and concentration have to be rationed carefully.

Pinterest board changes:
*Created ‘Northern Tamarisk on Etsy‘ board.
*Created ‘Northern Tamarisk Articles‘ board.
*Merged ‘Egyptian Pics & Inspiration’ with ‘Egyptians‘ – ‘EP&I’ will be deleted.
*Merged ‘Elves, Fey & Sidhe’ with ‘Elves, Fey & Other Beings‘ – ‘EF&S’ will be deleted.
*Merged ‘Paganism’ and ‘Pagan Crafts’ with ‘Witchy, Pagan & Devotional‘ – ‘P’ and ‘PC’ will be deleted.
*Merged ‘Research Wishlist’ with ‘Books & Research Wishlist‘ – ‘RW’ will be deleted.
*Created more boards for Norse Deities, as well as a number of boards for Egyptian Gods and Goddesses.

You can see the full list with updated links on my ‘My Pinterest Boards‘ page.

Devotional tips for those with chronic illnesses and limited energy

For those of us with limited energy reserves or physical capabilities it can sometimes be difficult to do devotions. So I thought I’d share a few things that have helped in my own practice.

  • Have some sort of visible ritual calendar so you don’t forget important dates. If your calendar has large enough daily sections write the dates on in a different colour to normal entries. A wipe-board is also useful for this purpose, especially if you want to write notes of supplies or ideas for rituals and prayers. If you have to be in bed a lot have this where you can see it clearly.p1050753
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do the devotions! Just talk to Them, apologise for not being able to do the devotions, but tell Them that you still honour and love Them.
  • Say good morning and goodnight to Them. It’s a simple greeting but brings Them into your daily life even if you’re not able to do devotions.
  • Usually cleansing of some sort is appropriate when entering the sacred space of the shrine or devotional area. If you don’t have the energy to wash, or the focus to mentally cleanse, make up an aura spray for that purpose. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just water and some salt in a spray bottle is a good start. You can add more ingredients if you wish to. Use before devotions or when you want to talk to Them about anything specific or important.
  • If you can manage nothing else try to put a glass of water out for Them. It is a basic offering but shows you’re committed and making an effort.

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Selket to greet travellers to Cairo + a prayer to the Goddess

News & picture source: @Pastpreservers on Twitter  https://twitter.com/Pastpreservers/status/816279536140685314?s=09

 What better way to be greeted on arrival in Cairo than by a Goddess? I love Selket (also known as Serqet), I have a much smaller version of this rendering of her on my own altar. It’s lovely to see modern Egypt embracing its past in such a blatantly obvious way. Yes, it’s probably to attract more tourists but with all the threats against so many religious beliefs right now it’s heartening to see one of the Old Ones making such a bold appearance.

Lady of the Desert
Let us wander freely among your sands,
Let us honour your name with each safe step
And each safe passage.
We beseech you, Lady of Scorpions,
To hold your sting
For those who would do harm.
Let us walk under your protective gaze
And ever be in your favour.

(© Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017)