A new year beckons

I’ve spent today’s noumenia cleaning and reorganising Hekate’s shrine, amongst other things. I was going to do rites, but fuck me, I’m buggered now, so I might just leave it at that. That said, it might be the one time I can comfortably light candles without having the fan on, given how cool it is right now. Summer, where are you? I think it’s still stuck in Spring. Not that I’m complaining. 25C is infinitely much nicer than 37C.

Though, it is hard to get into the mood for ritual when you can’t light candles safely, you don’t want the extra heat anyway, and incense is just a pain to bother with even when it doesn’t trigger migraines. Can’t find decent oils to burn that smell good, but can’t justify buying every different brand of frankincense because expensive! The current bottle I have doesn’t smell right, but I can’t find the one I do like, so. /stops burning oil. /even though I miss the beautiful scent of it. 😦

The result of the lack of incense has mostly just made me dream about it, and catch the scent of it on the breeze. It’s really quite infuriating, and all it does is make me miss it so much. I’d love to start burning my frankincense cones again, but I hate migraines more than I care for incense, so. I’d rather not risk it. :/ I think the only way I could get away with it is if I set my Sobek/Heru shrine up in front of the window, so I could set my incense burning right next to the open window to hopefully ventilate it to the extent that I could cope without getting triggered. But that’s a pain in the arse I don’t want to deal with. I like my shrines where they are. Incense isn’t necessary, I know, but ritual isn’t quite the same without it. Damn me and my migraines. 😦

I haven’t been doing a lot, spiritually, apart from my daily devotions to Sobek and Heru. I’m a couple of weeks into Anni’s Season of the Seeker program, which I signed up for because the curriculum looked like just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for, as part of my desire to be more at ease with the land around me. Plus, y’know, sometimes you need to accept that trying to teach yourself these sort of things just isn’t working anymore, not for this, and I’m familiar enough with her teaching style and her practices to want to learn from her. So that’s keeping me busy, but I’m enjoying it.

I’ve also been working my way through reading/rereading Alaric Albertsson’s books Travels Through Middle Earth and Wyrdworking, because for some reason, Saxon paganism resonates with me. Must be an ancestral thing, because the Norse side of things are as indifferent to me as the Irish gods are. That, and the way he talks about Saxon magic and magical techniques makes me think so much about Egyptian heka that I’m kind of inspired now to build a more cohesive magical practice. And, hey, the Saxon runes seem to like me, and they’re far easier to learn than hieroglyphs, so. I figure it’s another tool to add to my magical tool box. And, y’know, old form of my native language, so.

Hekate has a whole shelf to Herself now. I moved the books and reorganised things, so I could have more room for Her, and the rites I do for Her. There’s nothing like not having enough room for everything during a rite, and having to move things and put them on other shelves and on the ground and whatnot. It’s still not a big space, because my shelves aren’t huge, but it’s enough. It’s also half-hidden by shadow, which I feel is appropriate. Her icon, and my images for Hestia and Hermes, are bathed in shadow. But I just think it makes the candlelight work better.

I got two beautiful new little journals for Christmas/my birthday, as well as lots of calligraphy things, which is great. I really want to improve my calligraphic skills over the year, and work on more myths for Sobek. Also! I got a baby cauldron! 😀 I feel like a proper witch now. XD It’s cast iron, and it has a triquettriquer-three-lobed Celtic design thingo on it. It’s sitting on Heru’s side, with my mortar and pestle, since Heru is good at potions and healing/doesn’t mind having them there, at any rate. I still want a few more things for Heru’s side of the shrine, though. It still feels a lot like it’s 95% Sobek, with a little Heru squeezed in, and I think Heru deserves more than that. It’s His shrine, too. But that’s not something I can fix any time soon. I’m still looking for the right things for Him.

I’m also hoping I might settle on a ritual format for solstices and equinoxes this year that I like. I’ve got about three competing ones in mind, and I might end up trying them all out to see which one feels the most appropriate for my purposes. I think it will depend on what I feel is my overarching yearly cycle, and how much effort I can be bothered going to. Long ritual is nice, but it does burn me out doing it over and over again. A shorter ritual might be more what I need right now.

I think that’s about it as far as yearly things go. I don’t think I’ll do the Pagan Blog Project this year. I doubt I’ll have the brain capacity to keep up with it. But I’ll try to keep this updated fairly regularly anyway, just so you don’t think I’ve fallen off the edge of the world or something.

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7 comments on “A new year beckons

  1. MeresAset says:

    I word on incense. What kind of incense do you buy? I tend to avoid cones because they are smokey and not that pure. I recently started using Morning Star incense which isn’t that expensive. It’s Japanese so it’s pure incense and with no wood core. I also don’t like a lot of incense so I snuff it out once I get enough scent but not so much that it smokes up the room or causes migraines. My favorite are jasmine (for the goddesses) and sandalwood (for the gods or all the Netjeru).

    • Sashataakheru says:

      There’s this local brand of hand-made incense I usually buy, or used to, before I stopped burning it. I’ve heard of Morning Star before, too, and thought about getting some, but the shipping has usually been pretty expensive (because Australia!), particularly for something I’m not sure will work for me? I’ve never seen it for sale anywhere in my state, otherwise I’d have gone to get some and tried it out before buying anything more online. Plus, call me a traditionalist, but I do favour frankincense, and I don’t think Morning Star does frankincense.

      • MeresAset says:

        Morning Star doesn’t carry Frankincense, but Shoyeido (another high-end Japanese incense company) does. It is expensive compared to the cheaper incenses, but personally it’s worth every penny if you can enjoy the scent without getting headaches. I know I’d stop burning it if I felt awful afterwards which really defeats the purpose of using it.

        Anyway, here’s a link if you want to check it out.

        http://www.amazon.com/Shoyeido-Gourmet-Frankincense-Incense-Package/dp/B001B63B1C/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1388721689&sr=8-3&keywords=gourmet+frankincense

        • Sashataakheru says:

          Man, yeah, that is expensive, now that I’ve had a google to see where I can buy it. I’m not sure I can justify spending that much money on it, though. :/ This is the downside of living in Australia. Shipping is sometimes much more than the item itself. Which sucks. Not sure I’m keen on their mix of frankincense with cinnamon and cloves, though. I’d rather a pure frankincense. But thanks for letting me know about this, though. I’ll think about whether I want to invest in it or not. It might be worth the money if I can find a place to buy it with reasonable shipping.

  2. Why don’t ya just infuse some frankincense in oil (sunflower, grapeseed)? It might not smell as powerful as an essential (which in your case it shouldn’t trigger migraines) and it does the job just as well 🙂 I always infuse oils, especially when I can’t use essentials and they always do the trick for me. Worth trying!

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Well, it’s not essential oils that are a problem, I just can’t find the one I really like at the moment. But I think I still have some frankincense resin lying around. It can’t hurt to try infusion and see what happens. Not that I’ve tried it before. Never thought I’d need to do it.

      • If you decide to try it out, this is a good way to go about it: crush the frankincense as finely as you can with a mortar and pestle and pour warmed (don’t overdo with the heat, just gently warm it) oil over it. Secure tightly and leave for a few days in a warm place, not in direct sunlight though. Give it a shake from time to time and you can use it like it is or strained if you prefer a clear liquid.

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