Temple Day – new post at Little Bird and the Temple In A Green Place!
This blog hasn’t been updated since May, but neither has the TarotSparks.com hosted replacement because I made a bad choice of hosts and was locked out for the past few months. I’ve finally dumped my contract with them just in time for Technautilus.com to come available.
This blog, as short-lived as it was, got a lot of my best witchcraft and spell work development chronicled in it. However, each time I sat down to post, I felt limited in what I could share because I felt like posting about techno-shamanism or creating servitors or fictional characters as god-forms would alienate the people who came here to read about my Fox Spirit friend or herbalism or nature. Each post where I edited myself and left out information I thought no one would want to read enforced the idea when I went to add new material.
I want my blog to be where I post as much as I feel comfortable sharing about all of my spiritual and magical practices, not just the witchy or Paganism based stuff. Starting a fresh blog with a more relevant name gives me a chance to discuss the things I’m interested in from the beginning.
So, Little Bird and the Temple in a Green Place is a part of the Technautilus domain name now. You can find out more about the Technautilus Reality Creation Cabal on the new blog in the coming weeks or at Technautilus.com. All my new posts will be at the link above, so I hope I’ll see some of you there.
This year we were driven to attend BelFire for Beltane once again, and it was so phenomenal that the reverberations and effects of the magic worked there will continue in our communities for the next two years. This year’s ritual looked to the future and past equally, combining both current and ancient technology to honor the old gods and the spirits not yet born.
We all dressed in our best mash-up costumes, including Green Bear’s 10 foot tall contraption of cow pelvis, broken chair, doll heads and a Kachina inspired plaster mask.
I became a cyberpunk ancient forest Fox Shaman, with bright shades of purple and pink combined with my Fox Confessor’s pelt, a suede bandoleer containing confetti popper grenades and my new blade, and a smudged face.
In the dark of Friday night the women dug the hole in the center of the standing stones and buried the placenta of the baby born that winter, as they do every Beltane, and I wandered the soft hills around the circle as the men drummed quietly over the ridge.
Saturday morning the men took their turn to enter the forest and emerge with a freshly cut tree, led by our powerful and wonderful friend Timothy, to make the Maypole. As the sun begins to sink, we called in the quarters with explosions and invocations of Isis, Oshun, Kulkucan and others. The ritual’s main goal centered around the burial of a sealed time capsule chest that contained many potent items, including my sacred bird water whistle and the ashes of an important ally to all that were gathered. Over 150 of us danced the Time Warp (yes, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show), chanted the seed sounds of the ancient Egyptians and danced to a Beltane appropriate remix of the Steve Miller Band’s version of “Time Keeps on Slipping” from the musicians.
Once it was buried, it was time to weave the Maypole. We don’t just dance around the Maypole, we actually interweave the ribbons all the way down the 30+ foot tall pole. This takes 30-40 dancers over an hour of laughing, skipping and jumping between people. As we work down the pole, the ribbons get shorter and everyone starts ducking up to tie their end at the base.
The whole weekend was wild, powerful and full of work. People completely shed their identities and fell into mystical experiences, we shared meals and energy and a beautiful place and we built a bridge to carry us safely over the next two year period.
No possum bone keys, no black iron protection amulet, just beer and dirt and the water that emerges from between the moss worn stones. Doing magic to shake out the lingering serpent of ennui that remains lodged between each rib and in the corner of each through, whispering slowly. It once ruled me and wrecked me in the form of anxiety and depression, and though I have won many battles against it, it isn’t gone yet.
The shaking, stirring of spring is causing me to delve deeper into the tangled root bound caverns of my own mind and self, and I’m laying open areas of my psyche that I wasn’t aware of. It is dirty, painful work. I have felt off balance all winter, but only now do I have the energy to work on it. As I become more and more powerful and practiced in the physical world, the lack in the spiritual part of my life begins to show. Nothing else motivates me or makes me feel alive – but still, some part wants to dismiss the whole idea of spirit work and shamanic trance and everything wrapped up in it as a wasteful use of my time.
But if it’s a fight I want, I’ll be happy to bring it. I’m not afraid of the hard, painful, slow work anymore because I’ve been getting a taste for it. I’ll turn the soil by hand and bring up each misshapen root, each misplaced stone and all the bones of the things I’ve buried along the way.
I woke so late in the afternoon today, after hours of intense dreams that I can only remember the feelings and textures of. I woke up thinking of the Bishop Green and the Gede, thinking of ripping ropes apart with bare and bloody hands and the shining teeth of someone I had a strong dislike for. When I opened the front door a dusty leather scabbard that smelled of opium oil was hung on the door knob, and a freshly severed turkey wing on the hook where the ground hog hung next to our front door as his skin dried shiny with egg for tanning. The turkey wing was found intact in the very field in the photo above, with a handful of feathers around and no other signs of the rest of the bird. I should have known that it was going to be a very disruptive and strange day, but instead I busied myself with a kitchen knife and my last container of non-iodized salt.
I apologize for not posting much – everytime I sit down and commit to be more productive with this blog, life ends up handing me a bunch of other projects to work on. The whole of my magical practices has been concentrated on the physical, mainly gathering plants, working on my groundhog skin (egg tanning + smoking) and earning money. In a little over a year we’ve gone from having no car and living in the middle of the woods with no income to renting our own place, having a car that needs constant maintenance and a kitten who needs to get fixed. Money is my main priority right now, and my gods and spirit helpers have been very supportive. (it helps that more income = more altar statues, plates of offerings and focused incense blends)
I’m also preparing for a Beltane celebration of epic proportion. My first Beltane with this group was a perfect sunny April day in the woods where I culminated the beginning of my relationship with my partner Green Bear. The next year was a torrential downpour that cut short the celebrations and flooded the land and led to a very important argument. The third year we skipped – too tired and worn out from the difficult attitudes of some of the organizers. But now we’ve had a sufficient amount of distance and time from the event, and there are no alternatives if you want 100+ dedicated, fully costumed and in-character people dancing around a 25 ft tall maypole harvested earlier that day.
This year’s costume theme is Mash-Up, and we’ve been encouraged to combine two different ideas for each costume. Green Bear is building some kind of samurai-techno warrior hybrid from a cow pelvis, a broken chair and assorted doll heads. I went for a simpler costume with the cyberpunk raver Fox shaman priestess. Bright purple & blue + my fox skin + dread falls + a leather bandolier + tie dye socks + tribal face paint. I’m going to look really good or really messed up, but either way I’ll be dancing with the Fox Confessor around the may pole come the end of this month.
I haven’t felt the call to pick up any new animals lately. All we’ve seen on the side of the road have been possums and raccoons, two animals I’m not working with until I have a very large tub, a professional de-greasing agent and a sharper scraping blade. I have found some interesting bones and bits though, and one very well camouflaged bright bit of blue…
What do you do when a dirty, lean, shaggy coated white dog covered in rust red patches shambles through your life and past your hidden mountain base, blinking it’s yellow eye and then it’s blue eye and licking it’s teeth and wanders away into nothing again? And it’s not a hallucination, no matter how much it seems like it, because everyone gathered on the porch is watching it silently?
And then what happens when your spirit working partner comes back with a ripped trash bag full of dog bones, unburied from the side of the road where somebody’s pet or stray received a roadside send off, stained with red clay and with worn down teeth?
And you clean it, with soap and an old toothbrush and then hydrogen peroxide soak, and you wash out a whole ant’s nest worth of ants that were living off the marrow in one of the jawbones, and suddenly that scruffy red and white dog with the weird eyes is back and tells you to keep the jaws and the pelvis and send the rest away, and through weeks and months of sporadic communication you determine that it wants to be called Le Loupe (but it’s clear that it isn’t a wolf but kind of a dog), that it wants you to make some kind of weird headdress out of it’s remains, and that it wants to sleep at the foot of your bed?
Spring Salad Recipe
Oil based salad dressing (optional)
1. Gather your ingredients. Look for dandelion rosettes without flowers for the least bitter leaves, and leave as little green as possible on the flowers when you pick them. Look for varieties of wild violets that do not have fuzzy leaves – they are still edible, but they have a weird texture. Avoid plants that are growing next to a roadway where car exhaust is constantly coating them.
3. Top lightly with salad dressing (or drown it if you can’t handle the slightly bitter taste of the dandelion greens).
I’ve got a lot of projects brewing, including some very beautiful stuff for Hoof and Horns and the tanning of both the fox and the groundhog skins. But I’ve been incredibly busy, both magically and physically, and I haven’t had time to sit down and take photos and write cohesive descriptions of those activities. So this is short visual tour of the work I’ve been putting into the garden as part of the Rites of Spring.
These are the first three beds and rows in the hill garden that gets full sun. The smallest row on the far left is carrots, the middle 1 foot row contains beets and a few lost radish transplants, and the short narrow row on the right across the walkway is for Italian salad blend.
Beet transplants are staying upright and green too, but it will take them longer to start growing again because they were stalled under the lights. Beets grow really long taproots before they’ll develop true leaves, and the 6 inch container I was starting them in had crowded them.
Although I have some cold resistant seeds planted outside, most of my hot weather plants are still sprouting under lights indoors. This is a super local heirloom bean known as the Cherokee Greasy Bean. It isn’t actually greasy, but the pods of the beans are smooth unlike most other varieties, making them easy to shell very quickly.
These are the three carrot varieties I’ve planted. The Parisienne is very short and fat, the Chantenays are only about 6 inches long, and the cosmic purple are full sized and very sweet. I have more seeds than I can plant this year in the carrot department, so if anyone would like some of any of the three varieties let me know in a comment and I’ll send you some.
More posts on the way, as soon as I finish turning the soil and watering the seedlings!
This list contains both vegetables and herbs, but it can be tricky to find information on magical uses of common garden veggies so I’m publishing this here to share with everyone. This is a work in progress – I’ll add more info as I come across it.
Beets – sending messages to the dead, communicating with chtonic deities, dealings with the Underworld, encouraging love between two people, building courage
Peas – reaching new spiritual heights, raising yourself out of a bad situation, opening the door to new opportunities
Beans – contacting your ancestors, decision making, health
Tomatoes – lust and attraction, money and wealth magic, protection
Dill – wealth and prosperity, attraction and lust, diffusing anger or difficult situations, protecting children
Chives – attracting happiness, finding new opportunities, following your dreams
Calendula – health, breaking hexes and control, banishing negativity and parasitic entities
Chamomile – purification, good luck, health (difficult to grow)
Sunflower – protection, courage, strength and a general major energy boost
Basil – Love, protection, soothing painful emotions and money (difficult to grow)
Cucumber – fertility
Lettuce – powerful wealth attractant, protection, psychic improvement
Carrots – fertility, discovering hidden truths
Catnip – health, joy, acceptance of problems, relief of a stressful situation (difficult to grow)
Cilantro – love and lust, attraction
Dandelion – sacred to Hecate, contact with the dead or underworld, communication with spirits
Echinacea – connection to the spirit world, health
Horehound – strong protection, purification and exorcism
Mint – attract money, purify and cleanse
Onion – protection, exorcism, spiritual and physical health
Parsley – protection, help starting down a new path
Poppy – Luck, starting a new business or life path
Radish – stimulating new opportunities and insights, protection against hexes