Death Rosary

Etsy Shop: TheWytchoftheNorth

[I’m currently having size issues with inserting a photograph, so I may edit this post later or share pictures separately. I don’t think anyone wants a picture to take up the whole screen right now.]

I was notified that the item was shipped on 9.6.16 and it arrived that Friday (9.9.16). I’ve previously ordered items while on campus, so having a few days instead of a week or so was amazing on the shipping. No damage of any kind while shipping and a sample of tea was included (Relaxed Mind from Yogi).

I’ve previously ordered existing items from Beth, but this time I commissioned an item. My Christian dead wanted a rosary on the ancestral shrine (they’re vocally Catholic), and my bio dead were pushing for some interaction with St. Brigid and St. Patrick. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t able to find existing rosaries that were connected to the P/people involved. I know Beth can forge that connection (it can break through my headblindness), I was able to involve both saints (Hela also tagged along), and I had say in the design and materials (the comfortable fit of simplicity). Beth was polite, prompt about replying, and was a pleasure to work with in picking said materials and design.

There’s been a noticeable time lapse in receiving the item and posting this review (written on 10.30.16, scheduled for 11.2.16). It’s been a combination of letting my P/people settle into the rosary on the ancestral shrine and not interacting with it while in a depressive episode. Since my order arrived, there’s been some changes in Beth’s Etsy presence (including a second shop, The Candle Invasion), but I’d still recommend her shop.

Final Decision: O – Outstanding

Would I buy from this shop again? While I currently don’t have plans to do so in the recent future (money and irl matters), I would consider buying another item from this shop.

Weaving Memory (Review)

I bought the e-book of Weaving Memory: A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors by Laura Patsouris through Asphodel Press in late 2012 or early 2013. By opting for the pdf instead of the paperback, I didn’t have to wait for shipping and paid less than $10 ($5 + Tax).

. . .

The first section is The Dead. It covers why someone might want to do ancestor work, the basics of a shrine and the variety possible, honoring your maternal (Disir) and paternal ancestors (Alfar), communication, and toxic ancestors.

I don’t necessarily agree that an ancestral practice is the foundation of or essential for a strong faith because there are people who have strong practices without interacting with their ancestors. Some people also do run into issues with trying to honor their dead in a different religious framework than the ancestor in question, but in terms of basics, I think it was helpful.

At the time of purchasing this book, I found the chapter on toxic ancestors and steps that can be taken most helpful. Ignoring them is a valid choice, but doing elevations is another option. The advice about having an intermediary in the chapter on communication has become more helpful as I’ve gone on. I may not be getting bombarded with emotional, auditory, or visual messages, but I did get conflicting divination readings for a while because everyone was trying to give their personal opinions.

The second section is The Working. It covers possible magical / spiritual assistance (varies on your dead, but assistance with protection and warding can be possible), the wide variety of offerings for your dead, tapping into your ancestors’ strength, how to ask for ancestral vengeance on someone, keeping your dead happy, an example ritual for starting out, dying family members (ancestors-to-be) and grieving, ancestral memories, the angry / restless dead, passing an ancestral practice on to children, and honoring community ancestors.

The final section is Other Voices, which features pieces from other people. This includes Raven Kaldera (honoring the trans dead), Galina Krasskova (Living and Dying and how honoring our ancestors is one step in rebuilding Pagan traditions) and Llyne Foy (her first encounter with her dead).

There was a moment or two where word choice was personally grating, but it came back to how I don’t think an ancestral practice is required for everyone. Sometimes, your bio dead aren’t interested, no one steps forward from past generations, religious differences do matter to some dead, or a community doesn’t want you to focus on them. Some people only experience parts of this, and it may be related to what S/someone tells them to do (or not to do). We aren’t all called to be ancestor workers and to do everything on the path of honoring ancestors.

Overall, I think there’s enough of a balance of beginner material and “201” material that you don’t have to be a complete beginner to get something useful out of this book. Some may not find the Heathen (or related Norse traditions) concepts and examples as helpful, but Patsouris did include examples taking into account her Afro-Cuban heritage, so it wasn’t entirely Heathen focused. Most of the book seems like it could be useful for anyone on any path, since an ancestral practice isn’t limited to one tradition.

Final Decision: A – Acceptable

Keeper of Keys (for m’Lady)

I purchased it on Feb 15th, and it arrived on the 23rd. With shipping more than one state and going through the extra time of having packages distributed to the dorms, that’s not an overly long time for delivery.

Etsy Shop: Beth Wodandis Designs

Picture from one of Beth’s promotional blog posts:

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No damage from shipping. It arrived with an organza bag and a free sample (one of the soaps). I wasn’t 100% sure how the soap would be (being accustomed to store bought soap), but I enjoyed it. I didn’t run into any issues with ordering this item from this shop (it’s technically the first thing I bought from Beth).

In a certain part of my brain, I know I should have gotten a review for this item up sooner. The spring semester had just started up, and I was still in survival mode from the bad escalation in the winter. I was still being a bit hard on myself as to whether I even deserved to be m’Lady’s because another Yule had passed without officially accepting Her offer.

Yup, I bought this for Sigyn [it was marketed for Frigga]. It falls in the category of a day collar because I could wear it out in public without tipping anyone off, but I haven’t so far. I’ve found myself typically breaking it out to ‘look nice’ in private rituals / devotional activity, but there’s plenty of time to settle on when I’ll wear this for Her.

Final Decision: O – Outstanding

Would I buy from this shop again? Oh yeah, I’ve already done so.

Mjolnir

I ordered it on Sept 11th, and it was shipped on the 18th. It arrived in the beginning of October, which wasn’t too bad for coming from Finland.

Etsy Shop: Routarauta

Picture (from listing):

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There wasn’t any damage from shipping. The elk thread is adjustable, which I don’t mind. I’ve been having a little user error in twisting the thread over time (probably due to having more experience with non-adjustable necklaces), but that’s a very minor issue that I’ll just figure out or ignore at some point.

There’s something about the tactile and visual aspects that I’ve found I really like. It’s simple, not heavy, and it handles satisfactorily. Y’know when you’re worried or nervous about something, and you repetitively rub or finger an object? This is good for that. (The Raido pendant was bought to be near me, while this was bought to be worn.)

I haven’t been extremely close to Thor, but it has seemed like it’s a bit easier to contact Him and tell when He’s around when I’m wearing this. When I was looking at the choices on Etsy, I kept thinking that a more detailed Mjolnir would surely be better, but there’s something about the simplicity of this that feels more like Thor. It feels a bit more like I’ve joined the common ranks of those protected by Thor, in a way.

Final Decision: O – Outstanding

If I use HP references enough, it’ll just be my thing.

Would I buy from this shop again? Sure.

Raido

Courtesy of Beth.

Image from my transaction page for buying the Raido of the brass chain rune pendants mentioned here. I’m honestly not sure if I can link to the transaction page for the full description. An example that hasn’t been bought as of writing this is here.

Rune meaning from description

Raido is the rune of riding, journeying, travel, right action, right relationship, and common sense. Magickally, it can be used to motivate, to urge forward motion both within oneself and it situations. It is often used as a travel protection charm both mundanely and for journeying between the worlds.

I’ve talked about not being able to do things with runes unless Someone indicates that I need to use a rune / bindrune when talking about Odin [if you want to go see]. So, I was a bit surprised when I found out that Someone was wanting me to get one of Beth’s rune pendants. I didn’t have to rush into buying it, so the request took some time to simmer and stuff.

I ended up finding out that Hela was the One sending this request (with support from Mordgud). I’ve also touched on not traveling between the Worlds, which holds true for the most part. However, I wasn’t originally taking into account that journeying isn’t 100% limited to purposeful, intentional astral travel. From my post talking about seasonal depression:

This [suicidal ideation] is what I mean when I use the religiously based metaphor of walking the Hel-road. It may not have been astral travel / journeying / what have you in the traditional sense, and it wasn’t a matter of purposefully wanting go with this route, but I can’t write this off completely as a means of having still done this. I may not have physically gone through with the plan and did the whole resuscitation of the body route as a sign of being turned away, but on some soul / spirit level, I was turned away from entering Helheim.

In this context, I need to work on preventing travel between the Worlds (Midgard and Helheim, specifically). So, Raido actually wound up fitting, and it’s one barrier to help keep the lines between the Realms clear and distinct. (As opposed to blurring the lines to facilitate travel.) It took getting to a certain shadow work point before I got the go-ahead on ordering the pendant, but I finally have it.

The package shipped a fair bit faster than I thought it would, so it actually arrived here at my residence hall before I could move in (and pick it up). Given that it’s the start of the semester, I highly doubt any one was surprised that a package arrived on the Monday or so before move in, though. Good marks on shipping.

No damage to the pendant upon opening. (Because of bubble wrap – a definite perk.) A nice thank you message for ordering, and a little free sample of something. I believe it’s a sample of oil – Inanna: pure essential oils of jasmine, amber, and blood orange (listing here). I’ve never tried perfume oil, but for all I know it won’t be half bad. A cute organza bag that somehow makes the purchase feel a bit fancier.

Final decision: O – Outstanding

HP reference for the win

Would I buy from this shop again? Most definitely.