Looking Forward and Back is my latest blog post up at PaganSquare.
We in Columbia aren’t experiencing the massive flooding that’s hit around the state at a devastating rate that in some places is surpassing the floods of 93, which I’m old enough to remember very clearly.
I haven’t been out to see where the Missouri River is at. I almost can’t bring myself to even think about it. I have a specific cultic practice towards the Matronae attached to the Missouri that eventually I will get around to writing the booklet for, and this winter’s flood of the major rivers to me shows the massive arrogance of man thinking they can control the will of living Place.
My great-grandfather was one of the Army Corp of Engineer members that worked to control the Missouri River, which turned the Missouri River from a feared natural waterway into something completely different than what Lewis and Clark experienced… And in turn it has been a natural disaster. He is remembered dearly as a conservationist, an early one at that, so I wonder sometimes if he knew that this would happen.
While there are obviously less boats sinking on both the Missouri and Mississippi these days, we see over and over again that the levies we keep building to protect development we build on flood plains continue to make flooding worse. The water has to go somewhere, and the fact that we’ve yet to realize that we need to respect the natural course of the rivers and the space they need to relieve themselves of too much water is, to me, a travesty all on its own.
Our community needs to settle into our understanding of our rivers and the Powers behind them. We need to have our hands in the silt and clay, rebuilding what our not-so-distant Ancestors decided were ours to tamper with. We need to find ourselves helping to bring these living landforms, ever evolving and changing, back into balance.
When I look at the Missouri River, or even the Mississippi, I see a caged creature that has been cut up and mutilated in some sort of twisted reconstructive surgery in our hands so that it conforms to what we want of it. I see mankind’s willingness to force its will onto everything around it. Rivers aren’t domesticated livestock. Rivers are living entities who don’t really give a crap if they destroy our homes and businesses when we build in their spaces that they historically flow into when necessary. The more we tamper with them, the more damage we do to the world around us, even if it helps our own existence. But that’s not something a big river is going to put up with when it’s bloated and uncomfortable from the rain.
They are bigger than us. We can try to control them all that we want, but time and time again we continue to see that it doesn’t work. The water has to go somewhere.
I’m alive. I’m dealing with family and health of both the mental and physical variety currently. The focus has been on creating physical items lately for me, because I’m forcing myself to stay grounded.
With that said, over on my Facebook page for my jewelry, Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine, I’m hosting a give-away for a bun pick. I’ve pinned the post to the top of my page, so it should hopefully be easy to find.
The winner will receive their choice of plain or pink, gray, or white pearl copper pick.
Hope everyone is doing well during the holidays!
It’s been a while since I’ve put up new jewelry pictures and links, so I’m going to work harder at getting that done on Thursdays. I’m working on getting an actual art and jewelry blog up and running, but I’m not moving too fast on it. Stick around, because I’m running a sale this weekend at my Etsy shop and you’ll find a coupon code that starts today at the bottom of this post. (I honor the discounted price on pieces placed on layaway during sales, by the way.)
New in the Etsy shop this week:
I’m really excited to be teaching myself how to do stained glass, which eventually I hope to start building wardian case greenhouses and display cases for things like Ancestor relics. I’m not there yet, but it’s the dream!
This is a Red-spotted Purple butterfly wing that was found naturally-expired in a relative’s garden. I’ve encased it between 2 sheets of glass and used lead-free solder around the edges. The pendant has been put on a rosary-style beaded chain that includes peacock blue pearls and 10mm brown smokey quartz beads. The metal of the chain, including the hand-forged hook clasp, is copper. And that hook clasp? It’s been placed to the front of the necklace instead of the back, which is a style I’m moving towards for ease of use as well as aesthetic. I know I’m not the only person out there that has issues clasping necklaces behind their heads.
The necklace is seconds quality, because a bit of flux slipped between the glass while I was making this. It won’t structurally harm anything, but it does show up. Therefore this piece has a 50% discount.
These are actually older earrings that I am just getting around to listing. They include my hand-made filigree pieces, variagated amethyst beads, and faceted chrysoprace briolettes.
And some newer ones, featuring self-representing artisan-made lampwork beads, Herkimer diamonds, garnets, and black sapphire briolettes. Oh, and hand-cut sterling silver hearts that I’ve texturized and put an oxidized patina on. These lovelies measure almost 4-inches long.
Finally, there is this bracelet, which is another piece from my death-related line of mourning and memorial jewelry. The beads are antique French jet, which are a wee bit chipped and definitely worn between the late 1800s and 1930. I’ve made them into a brushed sterling silver chain and haphazardly stamped a Pablo Naruda quote onto them from his poem The Dead Woman. Oh! And lace. Because lace.
But what about that sale announcement I promised? Yes, from today until November 2nd, you can take 20% off in my Etsy shop with no minimum purchase. Use code Samhain2015 at checkout.
I’ll be back in the next few days with photos from our Ancestor shrine. But until then, have a great weekend with your Ancestors for those of you celebrating Them!
I can’t even pull out a quote from this, because it’s all so good…
I’ve been terrible about updating my Etsy shop lately, and partially it’s because I need to break down and get something to model necklaces on. Yesterday I started putting together bobby pin sets made with vintage buttons while organizing my button stash. My daughter and I are digging out the little buttons to string onto copper metal hearts, since much of my vintage button stash comes from my great-grandmothers’ stashes. We’re going to decorate our Ancestor shrine in the upcoming days with the button hearts and skulls we’ve painted together.
The bobby pin sets have been something I’d pondered doing for a while, since I don’t have uses for single buttons that I’ve squirreled away over the years. I’m trying to use supplies I already have before we move next summer.
When I was still able to cover my hair, I loved using decorative bobby pins for my scarves wrapped in tichel-style, and I imagine these would work nicely for other types of veiling. Now I use them to hold my veil when outside and giving offerings without having to put a knot into anything (which is a no-no for the discerning Roman).
Of course, I also just love them for a little extra in my hair when I wear it up, too. Especially now that my hair is growing out again.
There is a little bit more hiding in my Etsy shop, since I promised some friends a shop update. Stay tuned, because I’m considering a sale in the upcoming weeks!
Glad to see someone else talking about this! Also making me feel that my inevitable return to school to become a counselor is needed by people other than me a decade ago.
Alternate title: Quit romanticizing my illness.
Alternate title #2: Quit demonizing my treatment.
Every so often I will see little flare-ups in the pagan community that center on two fairly unrelated topics: spirit work and mental illness. Don’t get me wrong, these topics can be related, but they aren’t necessarily related, though many people try to make them out to be. I’m sure many of you have seen articles like this and this that go on and on about how we’re killing our spirit workers because they have mental illness and are not handling it “properly”. And if we’d only just learn how to “properly” handle these “gifts” that we’ve been bestowed, we’d suddenly find that our problems would poof out of existence.
Being a spirit worker myself, I read these posts and feel my jaw clench shut as I find rage welling up in my stomach. These posts are…
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