Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Halloween at Home

This month our professor has assigned us the homework of discussing how we celebrate Halloween at home. For me it has two sides - the secular trick or treating side, and the religious holiday of Samhain.

My step kids are still young enough to enjoy Halloween, dressing up and trick or treating. Last week they informed me that the house was "not spooky enough", so we let them decorate outside (grandma helped). They made ghosts out of tablecloths, glueing faces on, put spiderwebs around the trees and drew faces on the leaf bags. The star though is the milk jug skeleton made by my step daughter (with help from Dad of course). The kids loved doing it and I must admit it does make things "spookier".

For the pagan holiday of Samhain I keep it pretty simple. After the trick or treating is done, I light candles to honour the dead and do some oracle card readings for the year. I light one for my brother, and one for my ancestors, another for lost friends, and another for pets. This year my pet rabbit of 11 years Pippin passed on, so there will be a special focus on him.

I can't wait to read about everyone else's celebrations. :)

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Wicca 101 - Pantheons

My latest Wicca 101 instalment - getting to know your pantheons.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

October Witchy Haul

Just an assortment of oracle cards and pagan books I got this month. Looks like I'll be busy over the winter months. :)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Mysterious Ouija Board

Since it's debut on the market in 1891, the ouija board has captured the public's imagination. It was based on various talking boards being used in the 1890s by spiritualists. The movement had been around since the 1840s and was gaining popularity in America and England. They wanted a more efficient device to connect with the dead, so started using various alphabetic boards to try to get more precise answers. In 1890 Charles Kennard, and some other investors invented the device which was a board with letters, numbers and yes, no and goodbye written on it as well as a teardrop shaped planchette. They actually took it to the patent office to get a patent and to prove it worked. The story is that the skeptical patent officer was spooked when the device spelled out his first name, not known to the inventor. After that The Kennard Novelty Company received their patent.

First marketed as an mysterious and entertaining device, it was sold in novelty shops along side games, just as it is today. It did not have the reputation it does now, as many people saw it as either harmless fun or as a tool for spiritualism, which was seen as compatible with mainstream Christianity. It was not unusual to attend a seance one night and a bible meeting the next. As such, the ouija board was not seen as cause for alarm.

Contrary to popular belief the name is not a combination of the French oui and German ja, but rather the result of Kennard and friends asking the device what it should be called. During a session they were told that was the name and that it was an ancient word for good luck.

The Ouija board has peaked in popularity during times of war and uncertainty. During the first and second World Wars and during the depression, it was very popular. And during the Veitnam war it became so popular, that in 1967 it out sold Monopoly. It was seen as a very normal, if slightly odd, past time. Norman Rockwell even painted a picture of people playing Ouija in May of 1920. so why all the fuss today?

The mostly harmless reputation of the Ouija board changed in 1973 when the movie The Exorcist came out. In it, a young girl plays with a ouija board alone and is possessed by a demon. The terrifying movie was enough to instil in some people's minds that the game was not harmless. Almost overnight, people were decrying it as a tool of the devil and horror writers had a hay day playing on people's fears. It has taken on a new and sinister reputation over the last 40 years.

These days its popularity is back. You can find it on mint tins, t shirts and phone cases (my cell phone case is a ouija board). But it's sinister reputation is as strong as ever. I watched a Ghost Adventures episode last week where it was claimed a demon could come out of a board and haunt people. There is also the new horror flick "Ouija" out in theatres for Halloween.

This is my Spirit Board which is not a ouija board but another kind of talking board. I use it on Samhain/Halloween night and have recieved excellent results. I also find it doesn't frighten people as it is a very positive looking board without the negative association now attached to Ouija.

So what is your take on it? Harmless fun, or tool for demonic possession?

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October Free Tarot Reading

Each month I will be giving away a free short three card tarot reading. If you would like one, please comment on the video letting me know you are interested. You must be a subscriber to my YouTube channel and like my facebook page.

Have an enchanted day!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wicca 101 - The Lord

Here's my latest Wicca 101 post about the male half of divinity. If your not interested in Wicca - that's okay, just feel free to skip. :)

Corp Goth Mid Month Status Report - Office Friendly Skulls

This is the first time I've participated in the mid month report brought to you by the lovely Corpgoth. I thought this might be a great one to start with as I love incorporating touches of gothic iconography into my corp wear.

As you can see my outfit is not obviously skull related, but look closer.

This bracelet I bought at Le Chateau a couple of months ago.
They had a whole line of jewelry with scorpions, snakes, cats and skulls on them. How could I resist?

But that's not the only touch. The scarf I'm wearing has a skull pattern on it. I got it at Arden, a cheap accessory store along with another skull patterned scarf.
While neither of these is overly obvious, I like having these little touches in my work wardrobe, especially so close to Halloween!

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Review - Gilded Reverie Leonormand

I recently purchased a deck of Lenormand cards (see previous post to learn about these) as I am interested in learning to use them. I saw the Gilded Reverie deck by Ciro Machetti online and it looked beautiful so I ordered it.

I am not usually a fan of computer generated artwork, but I will make an exception for these. The images are lovely and the colours bright with lovely jewel tones. The images are straightforward as well, which is important for Lenormand cards.

Companion Book
My one complaint about this deck is the booklet it came with. It's a small white booklet with a minimum of information. I would of preferred a sturdier and more informative book.

The box the cards came in is very sturdy and closes with a magnetic lid which was quite handy. It is excellent for storing the cards in and is very portable.

Backing Art

The art on the back reflects the colour scheme of gold and jewel tones and is reversible (though that is not important with Lenormands).

Size and Weight
The cards are a nice size, not too large or small bring just a bit bigger than playing cards. I was very pleased with the card stock quality. It is very sturdy and the gilded edges are a nice touch.

I am very pleased with these cards, despite the guide book bring a bit disappointing. I did order a separate book just to help me learn them better, which I will review later on. For now I am learning what I can through the Internet and enjoying these lovely cards.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Lenormand Cards

Lately I've been really getting interested in Lenormand cards. Different from and newer than tarot, they were invented in 1850 and named after the famous fortune teller who died in 1843 Mlle Lenormand.

Born in 1772 Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand achieved fame as a fortune teller. She was said to have predicted the deaths of several nobles during the French Revolution and was consulted by revolutionaries like Robespierre. Most notably she was the Empress Josephine's fortune teller, before she was famous and predicted her rise to power. As fortune telling was illegal she spent a few short periods in jail, but never for very long.

She died in 1843, and two years after her death, a publisher named Grimaud made a deck called "Le Grande Jeu de Mlle Lenormand", to capitalize on her name. He claimed to have gotten the information from a student of hers. It was a deck of 54 cards contains images from Greek mythology, flowers and Hebrew letters. There is no evidence she actually ever used these as she was reported to have used a mix of tarot and playing cards.

Many other decks came out shortly after also bearing her name on them. A smaller 36 card deck was produced during this time called a "petite Jeu". In 1850 a German company produced this 36 card deck with simple designs coupled with corresponding playing card images. They became very popular in Germany and spread to Europe and North America. These are the Lenormand cardswe still have today.
I recently purchased a deck of Lenormand cards called "The Gilded Reverie Lenormand cards". I am still learning it and have ordered a recommended book to help me learn. I will review the deck and book soon. Have any of you worked with these cards? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Religous Symbols in Fashion

Over the past couple of years I've noticed the use of religious symbols has become more popular in gothic and even mainstream fashion. Now ankhs and Pentacles and pentagrams have been in gothic fashion for a while, but it seems to be more popular than ever lately. In hipster, nu-goth, and pastel goth circles the cross and upside down cross have been popular for a while. I even ended up getting a dress with a cross pattern on it (much like the one below) as part of a buy one item, get another free sale at Forever 21.

While I liked the dress, I found myself uncomfortable wearing it. I felt the same way about the large black cross earrings I bought. They're nice, and I think they look good, but I'm uncomfortable wearing them because the symbol is not part of my belief system. I'm not Christian so I don't think I should wear it. I feel the same way about the upside down cross too. I'm not saying that others shouldn't or even that those who aren't Christian shouldn't. I'm just saying I'm personally not comfortable.

Due to other bloggers and Tumblr I've come across the brand Killstar recently. I do really like many of their clothes, but many I would not wear as I'm not personally comfortable with the symbols.

Items I Wouldn't Wear

I love the idea of a gothic swimsuit with occult like imagery, but this is too busy for me and has inverted pentagrams, which doesn't reflect my beliefs.

I wouldn't wear the Bamphomet jumper or the purse as they use symbols used by the Church of Satan and I'm not a Satanist. I also think they send a negative message and possibly attract negative energy. Again this is personal and I wouldn't judge someone else who wanted to wear it.

Items That are Funny But I Still Wouldn't Wear

This is funny because of the juxtaposition of cute and insulting, it's just too rude for me to wear.

Okay this is funny, but not my style. And it would make me hungry for pizza.

I would like this of it had a actual ouija board pattern and not a swear on it. It's too bad, because I really do like ouija boards.

Goya is one of my favourite artists, so I was happy to see one of his prices on a shirt. I don't like the Orange though, and I worry it might send the wrong message As the witches depicted here is an old belief that witches worshipped the devil.

Killstar Items I Would Wear

I love the old fashioned lunar imagery. It is much more witchy and I think positive type of symbol.

There are a few Killstar items with Egyptian symbols, and I would happily wear these. I am fascinated by Egyptian mythology and love working with certain deities like Bast and Isis in my personal spiritual practice.

This one I like because it is plain and I love hoodies. It still has a nice goth/witchy vibe though.

I am in no way saying that if you are not part of a belief system you shouldn't wear their symbols, or that I would judge another for it. I'm just saying I'm personally not comfortable myself wearing them.

What are your thoughts?
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