Archive for July, 2008

Creating Sacred Space

I’ve been working to up the energy level of my apartment as a sacred space ever since we moved in.  I’ve recently added a lot of new aspects to it, as they’re seemingly attracting me (and vice versa) more often than ever before.  Anyway, I’m happy with the feel and flow of the apartment these days and I thought I’d share some of the charms and what not around the place, and introduce you to my “household gods” while I’m at it.

Entryway: Protection and Blessing

The above picture shows the little rune symbols I have hanging on the inside of the door. I made this when I was first getting into runes and I have a feeling that I’ll be changing that soon, but for now, that’s what I have.  The top rune, Ingwaz, represents common sense, family love, caring, human warmth, the home, rest without anxiety and listening to yourself.  The middle rune, Othala, stands for home, what is truly important, land of birth, spiritual heritage, safety, increased abundance, group order and prosperity.  The bottom rune, Fehu, represents earned wealth or abundance, energy, foresight, fertility, creation/destruction (becoming) and luck.

When you enter the apartment, the first thing you see is the entryway where I have my shoe rack, which is also my gargoyle, Gregory’s perch.  Gargoyles ward off evil spirits, which I didn’t believe until it happened to me: when I was living in Pennsylvania, I shared a house at one point with 5 other people, including two Wiccan women.  One of them was not smart about what she did and invited an evil presence into the house.  Long after she moved, I would hear phantom footsteps on the stairs – completely different from the ghosts in the house (the builders and previous owners who were also my then-boyfriend’s grandparents).  In the basement where she had stayed a dankness and unsettling feeling settled and I didn’t know what to do about it.  My friend Brittany did, luckily.  She lent me her gargoyle, which effectively kept the spirit (don’t really know what it was except it was a man-shaped shadow) at bay.  After that, I firmly believed in their power and so now I keep Gregory watching at the door.  He is also inscribed with a rune that I charged with catching any negative intents from people entering and to “store” them until they leave and take their negative energy with them.

Beneath him, is a little container that once held a candle.  My boyfriend’s mother gave it to us and the symbol on it stands for love.  It holds holy water and is another pergative aspect of the entry way as well as defensive.

General living area: Household Gods

This is a Polynesian fertility god gifted to me from a woman who briefly offered spiritual and emotional solice.  Since I don’t know it’s name or anything more about it, I call it “Lord Tutankhamen” because I’ve always found that name whimsical and I find the lovely carving on this god to ‘feel’ the same.  Anyways, I’ve told him I mean no disrespect, so it’s all good.  As you can see, I have an offering of our change bowl for him.  Mostly this is because I’ve been having lots of $ problems the past year.  Recently things are looking up significantly, and I credit part of this to the positive vibes we get from and give to Lord Tut.  He is also always sitting beside plants, because fertility gods love making plants grow (at least historically).  I love this little guy, and he’s quite special being only one of two ‘gods’ gifted to me.

This is Ganesha, god of overcoming difficulties. He’s a diety I have always loved, but recently became much closer to, especially since he helped me graduate from grad school (when I technically shouldn’t have!). My boyfriend also has a strong affinity for Ganesha, which is one of the things I love about him (plus, my guys got a big ole head like Ganesha which I find adorable).  We want to give him a bowl of milk, but we’ve got to deal with our fungus gnat (they love potting soil) problem before we do that!  I waited for years to buy a Ganesha statue, waiting to find the perfect one.  My bf and I recently purchased this together, which I found completely fitting.

This is my Gaia/earth goddess altar.  The figurine is a recent purchase I was very excited about.  I’d always loved the idea of having an earth goddess figure like this, but never ever ever saw one.  Then, when I went on my crystal search, it led me to finding this!  I was extremely excited and have displayed it with a bunch of crystals, partially for that reason.  The darkish thing on the far left is a red votive candle holder.  In the center is an incense cone holder I’m using to hold rose quartz and moonstone crystals.  The lid is propped up by a heart-shaped rock that is one of two lasting relics of the most moving same-sex relationship I’ve ever had (that lasted all of 2 weeks ::sigh::), and to the far right is a beautiful quartz crystal with all sorts of gorgeous wand shapes coming out of it.

Bedroom: Dreams and Zen

This is one of the dream catchers in the bedroom and it’s also the largest (the other one is 2/3 the size and white/green).  Our roof slopes down over the bed, which is supposed to be positive feng shui, and the dreamcatcher is hanging right over where our heads fall.  I love dreamcatchers for their web of life symbology among other things.  It feels very peaceful with it there.

Though I am by no means a Buddhist, I absolutely adore Buddha. He is the only man-god (others being Jesus & Muhammad) that I revere in any fashion. I love him absolutely for his compassion, his patience and his joyfulness. I spent a lot of time meditating on/with this figure and it is very dear to my heart. I am comforted when I see it, which is one reason why I keep it in the bedroom where I will see it quite often.  Also, I have him underneath a plant to simulate his Bodhi tree.  I think he likes it.

This cat figure is the second relic of the same-sex relationship I referred to earlier.  She gave this to me for Christmas and I love it because cats are one of my totem animals; I absolutely love Egyptian goddesses like Bast and Ishtar; and because it was the first spiritual gift I’d ever received.  This is on the second tier of the table Buddha is on, facing the window where my cat Frederick loves to hang out, sleep and watch the wildlife.  I like to think that Frederick’s energy lends to it, and it’s also why I have a tiny jingly bell from a toy of Frederick’s (that I accidentally stepped) on between the cat figure’s paws.

So that’s it for now.  Oh, except I have a tear-drop shaped crystal hanging around on a mirror right now because I can’t decide where it goes.  Hopefully it will come to me soon.


July 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

My Animal Familiar



I didn’t ever expect to have an animal familiar in my life, so I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to my cat, Frederick.  We recently adopted a tiny kitten (only 10 weeks old!) who is influencing Frederick’s behavior a bit.  He’s meowing more and last night he opted to sleep next to my head all night (which he’s never done) mostly to keep the kitten from doing it like he’d done the night before, I think!

But something amazing happened because of it: Frederick and I were lucid dreaming together.  We could talk telepathically, sharing “speech” as well as pure image and ideas.  I tend to wake up a lot in the early mornings and when I woke the first time, I smiled over at him and thought “I just saw you! But you were talking,” which is why I can still remember it now.  It’s like an anchor holding the dream memory, which is awesome, because I can’t recall most of my dreams after a while – except for the very prophetic/warning ones (of which I’ve had 2 ever in my life).

I’m excited to see what might happen next.  I didn’t have my crystals under the pillow last night so I’m wondering if 1) Frederick will make a habit out of sharing dreams with me and 2) if the crystals will amplify and/or otherwise change the experience.


Somewhat related to this is a question I received this morning in my inbox, so I thought I’d share that with you:

I was wondering if you delve into familiars and spirit animals. If you do, do you have any suggestions in the best way to discover what type of animal is someones spirit guide and how best to contact the animal and understand it.

In my experience you cannot just find a familiar or spirit animal.  It’s not something you wake up knowing one day – unless you already have them and didn’t realize yet (kind of like I did this morning).  Each time I’ve gained a spirit animal and, just recently, a familiar I’ve had to give up a bit of my ego and accept humility.  Or, another way to put it is that I’ve had to die a little inside either because of a disappointment or because of the need to remove certain aspects of my personality that weren’t positive or sometimes both or something else all together.  After this partial death of self, I started to meditate on a certain animal off and on (different each time), listening to what it has to say with its energy and its actions and its silence.  Watchful meditation will reveal aspects of the animal you wish to have in yourself or aspects that somehow fill the void left by what you left behind.  Then the spirit of that animal will move inside you because you can think like it and feel like it and you love it as much as you love yourself.  Love really is the key.  Love and respect for the animal as much as you felt humiliation and fear at leaving behind part of yourself is what makes you & the animal share your energy together.  At least, that’s how it is for me.

Once you know (and you’ll know for yourself if it’s happened) that you have a spirit animal, you can access its inspiration and power by meditating on it, feeling its joyfulness and wisdom. Sometimes visualizing the animal as an astral projection of myself – both part of myself and separate from – helps me to conjure it more powerfully.

Note: I say totem animal and animal spirit interchangeably throughout this blog. If you’re searching for more on this from me, search under “totem.”

July 10, 2008 at 3:01 pm 8 comments

Ritual Wrap-up

I was very happy with how our anniversary ritual went.  I set up everything while my baby was at work.  Besides what I said I’d do, I also charged the soil and water with the Tiwaz and Berkano runes.  When he got home from work I had a moment or two of panic, forgetting that he had already agreed to the ritual and wanted to it, I suddenly was gripped with the fear or forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do.  Luckily, he showed from the little touches he added (paprika in the soil, a red cloth for using the water and a red lighter for the pipe) that I was wrong.

We got started and walked through everything as I outlined it before.  It was super cute that we held hands and stepped from one quadrant to the other together, the way we do our errands together.  He added another level of meaning to the salt cross by destroying the barrier as we passed over.  It seemed to me to express how all aspects of our relationship continue to join together towards perfection.   I snapped a picture of the aftermath:

Something else that’s awesome: I believe this is related to the ritual/anniversary though it happened the next day.  He came up to me, rested his head on my knee and just said “I trust you.”  It’s the best anniversary gift I could have received.

July 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm 2 comments

DIY Anniversary Ritual

I checked Dancing Up the Moon: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Traditions that Bring Sacredness to Daily LIfe from the library last week for two reasons.  I’m generally interested in creating tiny sacred rituals for my home and life and more specifically, I wanted to create a ritual for me and my boyfriend’s one year anniversary (tomorrow).

With the info from the book about directions, colors and symbols (this kind of stuff is published elsewhere, but it’s a very nice concise write up) and with my experience of this relationship & some of my general other knowledge, this is the ritual I came up with:

The craptastic picture above is to help you understand what I’m talking about.  The sacred space will be shown by a red sheet I have.  The sections through which we will move (clockwise and/or Northward from the South) will be divided by an equidistant cross (symbol of equality, balance) made from salt.  The first section (top left) has a bowl of earth in it and we’re going to copulate over that (several reasons, but the most obvious being that we were screwing outside a lot last summer due to circumstances beyond our control).  The second section has a bowl of water we’ll ritually cleanse with (that’s earth and water covered so far).  The third section we’ll feed each other chocolate to start the new year of ours with sweetness and a candle will be in that section.  The last section is where I’ll have my crystals that relate to the occasion and we’ll smoke a ceremonial pipe there (that’s fire and air now).

I feel like I could babble a lot about what these symbols mean to me and what they mean generally, but hopefully you get the idea.  I’m excited to see how this goes.  I’ve never tried anything like this in a relationship before, but I’ve never had a boyfriend who was such a part of my spiritual growth as he’s been.

July 3, 2008 at 7:42 pm 2 comments

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