Sangraal has started a great community activity here with the January Vlog Challenge in what ones do as far as their practice. I think it fantastic idea! I know I am enjoying watching the video's that are out so far. How about you?
Hopefully, I'm not alone in this when saying I enjoy talking about the things I love to do and would like to join in this wonderful challenge. However, even though I would rather tell you that I don't own a video camera as the legit reason here as to why I will not participate...... BUT that would be a lie. I'm actually very camera shy....Ok that was only my polite way of saying paranoid. Even to have pics of me on my home page here, is out of my comfort zone (notice I did not put them in my album to have them pop up in the video gadget on the main page, which means *ahem* my pics aren't private) Not just here at Real Pagan, but anywhere. Heyl I even get unnerved when my job wants to snap pics or I'm out in public and I see someone snapping pics. I don't know what it is, a true phobia ...or maybe it's true that photographers rather be behind the camera than in front .... or maybe I just know too much....yea knowing too much have drove many people crazy...maybe I'm just that; crazy.
Anyways, I hope for your understanding and in no way do I expect to be included in this Vlog Challenge but I thought it would be a good topic to blog about. So I extend my apologies in having to read what I do. I know I would prefer to watch a video than have to read, any day.
At the moment I do have an altar on my dresser but that altar was just to test spot to see if it's a good place to have it. Seeing that I live with 30 sticky fingers attached to 3 children (one being my husband) that likes to touch, take and borrow, who also doesn't seem to understand *sacred space* but only see's *empty space* and places every bloody thing imaginable on my dresser altar. So obviously this is not working out no matter how many times I reiterate this space and stuff is mine and/or sacred. Nor have I gotten a chance utilized it for this very reason. I'm thinking maybe going vertical, like a wall altar or maybe devise a portable altar of some sorts. We shall see.
It is set up with a buffalo representing earth to the north. A bell, oil burner and a feather, to represent air to the east. A dragon representing fire to the south. Seashells to represent water to the west. Mother of Mary or Our Lady Guadalupe, in the center, in which I took the Santeria practice of hiding behind the Catholic Saints to represent and to remind me of the feminine aspect. Our Lady Guadalupe, I'm feeling, may not be quite suiting for me. About the only thing that appeals to me about this is the crown of roses on her head and the rose she is looking down at in her hands and I think that's the only reason why I got it because I have a fondness for roses and my sun sign flower happens to be a rose. Anyways, it's a work in progress.
Most of my tools, candles, candle holders, gemstones, herbs, oils and magikal what nots are nicely tucked away out of sight divided between a sewing basket and a empty bulk paper Staples box.
The only jewelry I sport, is a real wolf spider necklace encased in acrylic. It's about the only thing that makes me feel grounded and centered. I'm really not into a whole lot of jewelry.
I also have a designated empty closet where I hang and dry my herbs and flowers from my small garden. Right now it's winter, but what I do have is lavender, lavendar mint, lemon balm, sweet annie, sweet woodruff, thyme, roses and fennel. I also have Hawthrone, Oak and Ash growing on my property but I have yet to see any pixies or fae. ;)
What I *mostly do* is, I make incense, oils and potions. I actually have a few recycled jelly jam jars, baby food jars and spaghetti jars filled with brews, adorning the top of my kitchen cabinet as I now type. (I'm all about recycling!) I just made some Success incense last Thursday and actually my month is pretty book up scheduling specific days to make my particular brews and incense because I do it by the moon and planetary influences of that week and day, according to what it is I'm making. Come to think of it, I should be wrapping this up to go soak my dried fruit for my next batch of incense. *eek!*
Dried fruit for incense? Since my first attempt, I have become a big fan of Kphyi incense. A recipe which I found and used (more like tweaked) that comes from Ancient Egyptians. If I recall correctly there are other cultures/practices who use this fruit or honey technique as well. However I'm just stating here my first awareness stemmed from running across this Egyptian Kphyi incense recipe.
I also use makko to make incense. Which really just means "Incense Powder," or called Tabu no ki. It is the bark of an evergreen tree that grows in Southeast Asia, the Machillus Thunbergii tree. It is self-burning, and is used as a base to incense opposed to using charcoal or saltpetre. It is this I used in making my Success incense cones, last week.
Thus far, I have made 3 batches of incense, Cascarilla powder (common is Santeria, Voodou and incoroporated in Hoodoo), Mercury Oil (a tweaked Scott Cunningham's recipe) Sleeping Powder (solely my own ingenius way of getting my husband outta my hair by putting him to sleep; safely of course) and a jar of storm water, in which I honestly don't know what to do with at the moment. So basically it goes to show that my limited stock of personalized items is at the moment very small and thats because I am more confident and knowledgable to now finally dive right in, after spending hours (more like YEARS) pouring over and studying herbal and gemstone correspondences and recipes and then gathering what I need. What's most important to me in all this, is that they are all my own creations. I'm not much of a follower of cookie cutter recipes but refer to them often to study.
The biggest thing *I do* that takes up much of my time is study and study and study that I swear I will still be studying for the next few lifetimes for surely there is not enough hours in the day. The responsiblities of life always needs to be tend to first and foremost, no matter how much I would rather be crafting or studying. So at the moment when life permits, my book reading is more geared toward occult history, ancient history and ritual magick and I have already manage to square away a bit of The Magus and the next I believe is the Kabbala. Just to give you all an idea what am now reading. ;)
So this is what *I do*.
Thanks for reading!
p.s I know I do things backwards. :P
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