Samhain 2017 – a blessing

Wishing all of you a sacred Samhain. 

May you be blessed with the power to leave behind all that holds you back,
May you move into this new year emboldened,
May you always return to the Truth that lies within.

(picture copyright: Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017)

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Quote on light and the darkness by Emma Restall Orr

I came across this quote last night and thought it would be appropriate to share in time for Samhain. As we learn to embrace the nights drawing in we learn also to embrace the dark within, the cycle of decay associated with the coming of winter, and the things we have to release or let go of as cycles in our own lives come to their conclusion.

Access to light, day and night, is now considered by most a human right.
To the Pagan, that is ludicrous. More consciously aware of the power of light, and all that it allows, darkness is a profoundly potent word. It speaks of all that is hard to understand within nature, the infinite space of the universe, the energy of the night, of winter, of death, of decay and entropy. There are here no connotations of negativity; darkness is that which necessarily balances and embraces light. It contains those aspects of nature that are not known or not knowable, the void and the density, the mysteries beyond current comprehension. The word expresses all that could happen; in the poetry of Paganism, it is the cauldron of potential, the womb of rebirth, the rich mud in which the seed germinates.

– Emma Restall Orr, Living With Honour: A Pagan Ethics, ch. 2

Shared : What we need vs what They need

I really love this short piece by alltheirvoices. As I’ve entered yet another phase of this journey of discovery I have received further confirmation of how everything had to fall apart so They can get to who I really am beneath all the layers and distractions that were holding me back. 

If the spirits or Gods want something out of you, something MORE, they will turn your life upside down and rip it to shreds to reweave the threads into a pattern more fitting for their desires.

 

Not necessary a criticism. Just an observation.

– alltheirvoices

If you like it please be sure to head over to the post’s page and leave a like there too: http://wp.me/p4mWIS-56

Spring Cleaning… in September – update

From some of my previous posts you may have gathered the last 6 months or so have brought in a lot of changes for me. It has, to a certain extent, left me struggling to find my flow on Northern Tamarisk. As such I’m having to go back to looking at what it is the blog means to me, and what direction I want to go in. Fortunately I found a couple of brainstorming doodles from April that are reconnecting me with what the roots of NT are.

I wish to continue with Northern Tamarisk, and am starting to update things. There’s a new version of the logo, and the banner has been updated, as have my Pinterest board links. I have deleted some boards and merged others, so if you follow a particular one please check to see if it’s changed. Basically this is for my own ease, and also because I felt guilty having boards for Deities I didn’t really work with Who just had a couple of pictures.

My devotional life has become more diverse. As well as Loki and Family, my Egyptian Beloveds, Persephone, Kwan Yin and Athena I now also honour Ganesh, and the Mayan Goddess Ixchel has returned after a long absence. Recently I had a migraine hallucination/vision where I met Tlaloc. I am drawn to South American culture and Shamanism again, as I was a number of years ago, and I’m enjoying spending time getting to know the Land and Flora Spirits around our new garden.
I’ve continued working with herbs and essential oils for magical work, making cleansing scrubs and using cleansing baths. I will finally be getting my Despacho-type ceremony pictures up on the article – after various glitches fingers crossed it all works properly this time.

I’ve also enjoyed reading up about Shadow work, Archetypes and the healing process. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With The Wolves has been particularly enlightening. In my down time I’ve started to read the Game of Thrones series.

I’ve been journaling most days, which I haven’t done for a couple of years, and I’ve been writing more poetry. I started a new blog under a separate account focusing on self-care, healing, emotional responsibility, Shadow work and the Underworld journey. It started out because I needed to make sense of things for myself and it has grown to incorporate my holistic training and my interest in self-help and the healing process – I’m not sure whether I will be sharing the link openly yet, so if you are interested in these things then please leave a message below and I will consider sending the link (I will set the replies to be ‘approved’ to maintain some degree of privacy).

Thank you to everyone who follows the blog, I appreciate all of your support, and hopefully this is the start of a new leg of the journey together!
Many blessings to you all.

3 Years of Loki

Today marks the third anniversary of Loki coming into my life.

During this time I have come to the conclusion that I will never fully understand this nebulous Being. Even his facets have facets. Rather than being discouraged this just means there will always be more to ask about, explore and ponder. There will never be a dull devotional moment with Loki in your life.

Although I have had experiences with him in his role as gift-giver, wordsmith and inspirer it is his role as worldbreaker that has helped me the most. Loki’s lessons can be harsh; he can burn all around you like wildfire until there is only ash. So many things have ended, changed or become unviable in these last three years, but somehow I have made it through. Even long-cherished and fought-for aspects have had to be thrown onto the pyre. Loki allows me the time to grieve, he is there watching over, then he tells me it’s time to move on. So I pick myself up, wipe the ash and tear streaks from my face and body, and I gaze around me at where I am now. Like a sapling I reach for the light of the new world I have awoken to, trying to draw strength from that which nourishes me. Loki and Sigyn are teaching me what truly nourishes me, and every time they feel I’m ready Loki burns another bridge to the past, the old and defunct. Sometimes I despair that I lose yet more, but knowing He and They are there, that They believe I can get through it, is what keeps me going.

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World Book Day 2017 – My favourite books from the last couple of years

A fellow bookworm friend who is a Wiccan asked me not long ago what my favourite books from the last couple of years have been, and if I’d recommend any. Luckily – since brain fog means my memory is atrocious right now – I have been writing down what books I’ve read since 2014 and rating them so I have something to refer back to. Any with a rating of 7 are ones I might read again, but ratings of 8 or above are the ones that gave me the most information and/or enjoyment. It’s rare for me to give a 9 or 10. I thought it might be interesting to share, but bear in mind any read before 2014 that I enjoyed won’t be on here. Perhaps I can do an ‘all-time favourites’ post some time.

Note: Apologies that it’s not categorized or listed properly. I wanted to fix that but I haven’t been able to use the computer for over a week and I’m relying on my phone due to being stuck in bed. I also have bad migraines atm.

Here are the books I rated 8+:

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Friday Finds

Time for a new feature. Every first Friday of the month I will share links to some wonderful Pagan/ Spiritual items.

First up is DeBaun Fine Ceramics – I have bought a scarab bowl off this lady and my mum has a beautiful Mother Mary shrine from her. She’s in the USA so we have to buy from her before my brother’s yearly visit home to the UK; my purchases this year are the gorgeous Shiva sculpture and a custom Hathor shrine. I just have to hope my brother can fit them in his case or I may have to pay for him to have an extra bag… the things we do for the Gods and Goddesses we adore!

Here are just a few of the many items she makes:

Isis incense bowl

Isis_DBFC

Isis Shrine

Hathor_DBFC

Hathor Shrine

Gaia

Gaia turquoise

Gaia gold

Gaia gold shrine

Hekate vase

Hekate vase

Hekate shrine

Hekate shrine

Shiva sculpture

Shiva sculpture

 

Bonnetain’s Loki: Mover of Stories (summary translation)

A really fascinating overview and exploration of the German-language book on Loki by Yvonne S. Bonnetain. Unfortunately I didn’t learn German at school but I’m tempted to buy the book and decode it word by word of it means gaining a better understanding of Loki from a more scholarly point of view.

Weaving the Net

I have been working on this little translation project since last fall, after I finished reading the wonderful book that is Yvonne S. Bonnetain’s Loki: Beweger der Geschichten (engl. roughly Loki: Mover of Stories), which is available as a kindle e-book through amazon.com here. Of course, I immediately went into all my facebook groups and told everybody how much I enjoyed reading that work; a work that was originally submitted as a PhD thesis and then revised and re-published in a more readily available form.

Problem: a lot of people don’t read German. So, predictably (in retrospect), I was asked to summarise it. Given that its original format is a 450 page tome of a dissertation, and given that its subject is Loki, it follows quite naturally that I was just a little overtaxed. A wee bit. So instead, I offered to translate the summary chapter of the book…

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The Problem with Piety

Although I don’t always agree with Ms Krasskova’s personal views this article gives a rather surprising and very interesting insight into the pre-monotheistic meaning of the word piety.

Gangleri's Grove

Piety is a hard word for a lot of us. I don’t have a particular problem with it, but I suspect that’s because I had good models personally and I’ve also spent the last ten years immersed academically in ancient texts wherein piety was a good thing, and presented without the baggage both of Christian influence and modern disbelief. Words mean things. They’re important. They’re building blocks of communication, and containers of culture and experience. To speak is an act of translation — a process that right there is already fraught with the potential for grievous misunderstanding (there’s an Italian saying, known to every translator: “translator:traitor.” The translator always betrays the original material by the very act of translation, necessary though it might be). We are translating our experiences and desires from the immediate but abstract realm of our own interior world into something that can influence others, even if…

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Driveway Hoard

We have a gravel driveway and I’ve found some interesting pieces on it over the time we’ve had it. Yesterday I found some belemnite remnants, some fossilised shells and a hole-y stone. Dad also found a couple of bits of ammonite for me. I thought the belemnites and shells would be perfect for Aegir, Ran and their daughters, being the remains of ancient sea creatures. The ammonites would be a good representation of Jormungand, and the hole-y stone for Odin since in the Mead myth he turned himself into a serpent to wriggle through a hole.
I also found a perfectly round natural bead, and Sigyn has claimed it for Herself. I haven’t photographed it though because I hope to make a necklace or some other offering with it.

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