Makers Wanted!

During my blogging silence, I’m working on getting together a spiritual supply business. Are you a Pagan or Polytheist maker?  I’m interested in your work and products.  I’m putting together both subscription services and a regular shop, and I’d love to see what you have available.  I want what I’m doing to have direct benefits to my fellow makers and craftspeople in the community.

Right now I’m looking for small items that can be sold to me with bulk (not quite wholesale) pricing (think incense, candles, apothecary, etc), and if feedback is good it will have wholesale opportunities. I will allow you to include promotional material on where people can buy your supplies directly from you if your items are selected for inclusion in the subscription.  Items should be under $5 each retail.

However, those with larger items that could possibly be sold in a consignment-type situation, I’d love to see what you have for future consideration.

Link me to your wares in the comments, or email me privately at notawiccan (at) gmail (dot) com with information. A sample would be greatly appreciated, but I will accept great feedback on an online marketplace as a sign that what you make is awesome.

Please note that if it is jewelry that you sell, unless it is vastly different than what I can make and high quality, I probably will not be interested in it for this.  That likely means you’re asking prices outside of my interested range currently.  However, link below anyway, since self-promotion is a hard thing to do and I want to support you too!

 

Print Pre-Orders

I have a few prints that I’m preparing to take in to get professionally scanned, and then prints will be available.  I’ve decided to take pre-orders for these to help me cover the cost of scanning.  Pre-orders prices are 15% off with shipping added in after the discount.  These will be available for international shipping for an additional $5.  I will give you directions on ordering at the bottom of this post.

Pre-sale orders must be received and paid in full by January 31st.  I hope to have these in the mail by the end of February if not much sooner.

Please forgive the quality of the images here.  They are small and low quality, and I promise you that your prints will meet your expectations of what a fine art print should be.

apollon

Apollon (mixed media) – Original is sold

  • 11×14 inches on matte archival paper – $31
  • 6×7 inches on matte archival paper – $18

 

diana

Diana – Original is sold

  • 12×12 Matte archival paper (non-foiled) – $16
  • VERY LIMITED EDITION – 12×12 Matte archival paper with silver leaf – $50

This will be available in smaller sizes, but there is no cost difference with pre-sale.

nyx

Nyx

Original watercolor on 300 lb 100% cotton paper – $300

  • 12×16 Matte archival paper – $36
  • 12×16 cotton watercolor paper – $48
  • 6×8 Matte archival paper – $21
  • 6×8 cotton watercolor paper – $24

wolf

Untitled – Please inquire on price of original

  • 12×16 Matte archival paper – $36
  • 12×16 cotton watercolor paper – $48
  • 6×8 Matte archival paper – $21
  • 6×8 cotton watercolor paper – $24

To order: Please email me at notawiccan(at)gmail(dot)com with what you would like to order, and I will send you a PayPal invoice.

My Polytheism

(My addition to the current conversation that’s growing at My Polytheism.  If you’ve not looked into the project, I highly recommend it.)

My polytheism began when I was a little girl and my father expressed that the trees and everything around us had a spirit. We were wandering around a pond the land we owned, and I remember the truth in this settling into the very marrow of my bones. There was a give and take I placed there even then.

If we take, we must give back. If we give, we will receive, though it will always be more of what we need than necessarily what we want.

My polytheism grew with me. Even now as I grow and get comfortable in the space of adulthood and motherhood, it grows as I do. I am a microcosm of the nature of the universe around me. My bones are the stone under the soil of my skin. My breath is the spark of life and the wind in my hair. My actions ripple out into the macrocosm of it all.

This is why the wind in the trees and the summer cicadas’ singing feels like home, like family, like peace. Like Gods.

This is why I struggle with saying we must put the Gods first, because the thread that ties everything together is a God. If everything is tied together, if that current is a God, then we all are the vessels of sacredness, like a lamp holding oil. We are all bits of Divine. We are capable of burning bright and wild or gently and dim. There is really no wrong way to be a flame for the Gods. There is only sustainable and unsustainable.

The Gods are within us as we go about our daily lives. I recognize that the Gods are individuals just as we are. I understand that serving the people, building our communities, and honoring the needs of others is, in fact, putting the Gods first.

We cannot build a temple without a foundation. In a history that has been constructed on the backs of suffering, it is our duty to see to it that our builders are healthy, happy, and strong. That we don’t exploit those who depend on us in whatever capacity it is we fill in the community. That we take care of each other. That we honor our differences, and we keep in mind that it’s both healthy and expected for there to be variations.

Rome, as they say, was not built in a day and neither are sustainable traditions for the Gods. And the piety of European ancestors included caring for the members of our families and our later communities and civilizations. This is the evolution of piety in the hands of humans, for we approach the Gods not as equals but filling a needed role all the same.

My polytheism falls into the constant ebb and flow of the life in my home. On the days I am tired and not sure I’m interested in keeping the hearth shrine, I’m joined by a young child requesting we offer to the Gods. On the days I’m not sure I’m thankful, she is there like a gift to remind me that I am. We continue to feel out the world of the Gods around us on the constantly shifting clay soil as we encourage the roots to sink in deeper. Our work is that of a horticulturalist carefully tending the starts brought over the ocean from our Ancestor’s lands of the World Tree, assuring that the growth is strong and the roots have taken hold.

My polytheism celebrates the simple joys. We offer our favorite foods of both the New and Old Worlds – Tomatoes, peaches, and cornmeal. Soy beans for an Ancestor, who dedicated his life to the plant. Catfish to the one who was said to know the Missouri River better than any other fisherman, a legend in his neck of the woods. We celebrate the birthdays of those who came before us, because they never fully go away. We mark the anniversary of their deaths, bittersweet that they have left us but overjoyed they have gone to the Ancestors that allow us to still have a relationship with them.

My polytheism is pulling over to the side of the road when meeting a funeral procession. It is flowers on the graves of my Beloved Dead on Memorial Day. It is hours upon hours of combing through French documents year after year in hopes of finding a clue to where my family tree originated from.

It is not very interested in worrying too heavily with breaking away from cultural thought that is steeped in a history of monotheism simply because it was from a monotheistic history. It’s more interested in finding the truth and reason behind those cultural moorings, deciding if they matter and pertain to my life now, and tossing away what holds no use to me in the present. At the end of the day I recognize that plants grow stronger and better when put in soil with some manure in it for lack of a more graceful metaphor. My Ancestor’s beliefs, those of some of the first ministers and religious revolutionaries, were beliefs that their lives revolved completely around. My approach is firmly rooted in approaching those Ancestors in a way that allows us to compromise. To simply throw them completely away isn’t necessary as long as I am aware of the hows, whys, and where of their origin. Throwing everything away feels like impiety to the branches that connect me back to the source of mankind.

My polytheism is unapologetically animistic. I have laid my ear to the exposed rocks of the river bluffs to hear their whispers. I have experienced the purifying and healing gifts of the great rivers flowing through the Midwest. I have found peace while having tea with the plants I tend. As an artist, I have breathed the life of spirits into the pieces I create, and the spirits come wishing to have their stories told in paint, in metal, in clay.

It understands that nature isn’t here for me. And sometimes it’s beautiful. And sometimes it’s brutal.

My polytheism informs every part of my life. From the broom sweeping across the floors of my home to the way I go about making dinner for my family to the prayer of “Drive safely” each time one of mine go out on an errand or away for the day. My family of blood, my family of choice, each relationship within it is sacred and important, and without them I would fail to thrive or have full purpose. Of that I am not ashamed. For that I am thankful.

But the most important part of my polytheism is that it’s open to new ideas and experiences. Rituals change. Observance of a set religious calendar waxes and wanes, starts anew, some things lingering some things losing meaning in the environment I am in. My own understanding of the way things are is humbly changing as new evidence is brought to me, molded by the hands of my Gods and co-religionists in their bravery of talking about their own experiences openly, willing to speak vulnerably and honestly.

Willing to put their necks out.

Willing to brave the fickle waters of our community.

Sometimes we’re on the same boat. Sometimes we wave at each other in passing. Sometimes we break against rocks or get pulled under by an undercurrent.  Sometimes we try to sink each other. But we’re still on the same water, and ignoring that weakens the strength that many spirits can build in order to keep us all afloat.

Memphis Bound

The Foxglove Household is currently packing our home up, house hunting, and prepping to head to Memphis, Tennessee, sometime at the end of this month to beginning of next month.  It’s a relief to know that we’ll be there for at least 3 years, but we’re really just planning on everything going right and hopefully putting down permanent roots there at this point.  I’m personally sick of interstate moving already, and we don’t have this one finished yet.

I have 2 jewelry pieces to get made today, and then the jewelry bench is going to be packed up and my Etsy shop up into vacation-mode until most likely September or October.  I’m not sure if I’m going to have a lot of room for a jewelry bench at our new place, but hopefully so.

So if you don’t hear from me for a bit, don’t worry!  I’ll be back to talk about how magical our new city is.

Roses, Pulse, and A Quick Note

First, my latest at PaganSquare is up.  I started the month writing a post on the Rosalia rituals of Rome, and when I did that I never thought I would be actively using that information the very same week I sat down to write it.  I didn’t think I’d struggle with whether or not to say anything publicly at all, because I fall into all 3 categories involved in the social media world in regards to Pulse.  I’m an ally to the Latinx and POC communities.  I’m a member of the QUILTBAG community.  I also happen to be bipolar and mentally ill, whose community gets thrown under the bus pretty much any time a mass shooting happens.

Right now to me the most important voices in this are those of the Queer Latinx community, because I’m greatly aware of what they face on a daily basis.  I sincerely hope that my words don’t drown out those voices.  I’ve struggled with trying to figure out if this is a place where my voice was needed or if my listening with an open heart was needed.  Maybe it’s both?

I knew my outrage wasn’t, even if I’m wet hen levels of outraged.  If I can’t tear something down with it, it’s not of use in writing, and right now I’m too tired to tear anything down.

I’m holding off on the bipolar conversation for a while, because I don’t feel like now is the time to talk about it.  But I will talk about it.  Again.

If I’m excessively quiet in the upcoming weeks, it’s because I’m in the middle of moving.  Exactly when I’m not sure of. Probably at the end of next month.  I don’t know where either yet beyond “Not Missouri.”  I keep announcing this basically everywhere with mounting anxiety.  I mean, at least we’ve narrowed it down, I guess?

Life: Where the light at the end of the tunnel is hopefully not a train. Again.

(Please be nice to me, Internet.  Please?)

 

Consent & Boundaries in the Godspouse Community

Over the last few years in discussions with individuals and smaller groups of godspouses, I’ve noticed the repetition of the more experienced and public godspouses* stepping away from larger groups or backing away from being public about the nature of their relationships.  If you talk to the people stepping back, a lot of times that is due to the fact that they tend to deal with a lot of overshare from others.  I am perhaps lucky, because I’m over here working with a completely different type of situation and for the most part the larger Apollonian community in the past has been very, very good about leaving out the more private details of marital relations.  There was a generally agreed-upon rule that it wasn’t a topic to be discussed in forums or groups, and it was a close knit community specifically because that trust was there.  We weren’t going to talk about sex, and that is because we cared as much about the feelings of those we consider dear friends as we do our Spouses.

I am bringing this up, because I feel like someone needs to.  I’ve seen far too many godspouses express regret going public about their experiences due to overshare.  And it’s not something we should be ignoring.  When we don’t respect the boundaries of those who are willing to be open and share their experiences with us, especially those who may be newer to spousal situations, we run the risk of causing those who actually have a lot to teach us about religious and spiritual practice to stop sharing.

I haven’t been public that long, and yet every once in a while an email shows up with a long explanation from a complete stranger about what is happening in their beds at night almost immediately after “Dear Ms Laurentine.”

Y’all, that’s not okay.  In a population stressing consent culture, in a population that regularly has a higher number of people comfortable with polyamory, we should know better than to be launching into intimate and personal stories without asking if it’s okay to talk about it with a person first.  Even if they’re your friend, especially if they’re your friend, you should be asking, “Hey, can I talk to you about this?” or “I have a question about how to (XYZ).  Would you mind talking to me about it?”

And if they say no then leave them the Hel alone.

You should ask every time if it’s okay, even if you’ve talked about it a million times before with the person.  Why?

Because public godspouses are allowed to be human, which means they’re allowed to have bad days.  They’re allowed to be jealous.  They’re allowed to not like another spouse of their Spouse.  They don’t owe you anything for free, and while what they’re writing may help you, they may not be blogging with the express purpose of helping you figure out your own relationship with the Powers.  That may just be a perk that comes with writing about their personal experiences, which they may be doing for completely different reasons than helping others out.  I love helping people, but I also gain a lot of insight into my own experiences by writing.  A lot of what I write is never seen by anyone, but I post things that I hope may help others in some way when it comes to what I post about being a godspouse.  I was one for many years before I was ever asked to come out about it, and it was actually kind of terrifying to do so.  Not just because I was worried about what others would think and say, but because I didn’t want to be driven to burn-out by people demanding more information that I was comfortable sharing.

I’d seen it happen to others before I ever went public.

We need to remember that not everyone in our community is polyamorous, which if you think about it has to be really, really hard on those who are monogamous when they run into another spouse of their Spouse (or worse, get an email asking how to start a romantic relationship with Them).  It isn’t our job to try to make the monogamous person accept the situation.  It isn’t anyone’s job to try to force someone to work through their jealousy.  In fact, as a willingly monogamous poly person, I would say that it’s our job to approach the situation with empathy, since hopefully we realize how hard it can be to confront our own jealousy.  Some people aren’t ready to.  Some people will never do it or won’t be able  to turn that off.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  Really.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s absolutely none of our business.

Just because they’re married to your Spouse that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly best friends who can tell each other everything in graphic detail.  Even if you are best friends, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask before launching into intimate discussions if the person is up to it first.

Always. Ask.  First.

Not just “How do I sex God X up?”  Especially if you’ve never actually talked to the person before.  Not just “(insert paragraph on sexy times with God X),” because that is literally the godspouse equivalent of an unsolicited dick pic.

Consent.  We talk about its importance in rituals and relationships, and yet we don’t stop to practice it in day-to-day encounters with our fellow coreligionists.

You may know a ton about the life of someone due to reading their blog.  You may feel like you know them almost as well as you know yourself.  You may share a Spouse.  Stop and think before you write that long, steamy email that borders on erotica.  Just because you feel like you know this complete stranger doesn’t mean you aren’t a complete stranger to them.

Always ask if they’re willing to talk first.  If you have sex questions, state that you have sex questions instead of just generic questions.  And accept without any hard feelings if people don’t want to talk to you about it… Truth be told, we all have lives and every email we answer may eat up a lot of time with absolutely nothing in return but good feelings. (This sounds horrible, but there have been points where if I’d answered all my emails I would have lost my entire day.)

And if you’re in a group situation like forums or a Facebook group?  This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway…  This is one of those places where content warning goes a long, long way.  Sex positivity only works when it’s also consenting and respectful of boundaries.

Let’s work on that together, shall we?  I probably have some area where I need to work on it, too.  Respect of boundaries and consent are the building blocks to making the environment a place where we can all grow and learn from each other.  They are the only way we will be able to learn from the experiences of those who have come before us, and it’s our responsibility as a part of this community to do whatever we can to make sure we don’t make the space an unhealthy one by ignoring the boundaries of others.

*I use the term godspouse, but this goes for any group or individual that involves a deeper intimate relationship with the Gods and Powers.