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)

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.

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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.