Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pots and Pigs - Leather Hard

Last week I showed you the first steps in creating smudge bowls and salt pigs.  Today they were leather hard so I finished the shaping and added some ears to my pigs and some designs to my other pots.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mulengro - Greed

I've been participating in a book club reading the book Witchcraft Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles.  Thus far there has been a great deal of introspection.  Understanding my own motives and my own responsibility for what I bring into the world.

I thought it might be interesting to do a few blog posts around the seven faces of mulengro and see how they play out not only in the magical world but also the mundane.


Mulengro is the name of an entity that is like an alien barb; one that has become an out-of-control arrow that pierces generation upon generation with its poison. It feeds on its own likeness and people are its hosts.  - Ly de Angeles - Witchcraft Theory and Practice pg 29

Screenshot - Google
synonyms:avarice, cupidity, acquisitiveness, covetousness, rapacity; materialism, mercenariness; rarepleonexia; informalmoney-grubbing.

So what does that mean?  When I think of greed, I think of people taking more than they are entitled to.  Or people who take more from a pot where there is little to go around without thinking of the rest of those in need.  The bigger picture if you will.  If we break down the definition however, it really doesn't mean taking more than one's share.  It means an intense and selfish desire for something.

So how does that relate to magic?  I think this may be related to those who do all they can to take, take, take from the energy and give nothing in return.  Those who never toss anything back into the pot.  I noticed in the reading that one of the antonyms is temperance.  Temperance is one of the five virtues of Hecate.  When I first started reading about the virtues, being from the United States, I only associated temperance with abstaining from alcohol thanks to the Temperance Movement, which led to prohibition.

Seeing this now in this context helps me move a bit further into my understanding that temperance, the opposite of greed, is more associated with generosity and not to keeping away or abstaining from something.  As part of my role as Torchbearer with the Covenant of Hekate, my goal is to do what I can to embody the five virtues.  In understanding how that role works towards my complete understand of Witchcraft, I know that because I am doing what I can to display temperance, greed is no where in my path.  As part of my gift back I have a few community service projects that I work on.  I do both local work with animals and of course my online work with several groups as well.  

So what do you think about greed as it relates to witchcraft.  I can see how in the mundane, greed can be the downfall of a civilization.  What about in the magical world?

Sosanna



Monday, October 27, 2014

Death and Dying in Reality

De mortuis nil nisi bonum - (“Of the dead, nothing unless good.”)


We hear this spoken usually after someone who was not a nice person dies.  I read a blog post recently that had the following quote:

"You should have got your criticism in when they were still alive, and preferably, while they still had some power. We don’t speak ill of the dead because it’s not just distasteful: it’s cowardly."  -Source

Well, while I get the gist of that.  I am completely one who will indeed speak my mind when presented with the opportunity.  Now that doesn't mean  I'm going to spread rumors, run someone down I have blocked on social media while professing some sort of spiritual superiority.  What it does mean that I am not going to support someone who I feel has their feet firmly placed in racism, bigotry or any negativity at all when they stand to the world professing spiritual awareness.  It means that while I will work within the bounds of professionalism, if someone comes to me me looking for what what you have to offer, I will direct them to someone else who has less baggage.  That's just a fact.  Now, that being said, why would I treat the dead any different? 

Back in 2011 I entered a blog contest to win a copy of Christian Day's Witches Book of the Dead. I wrote about my cousin Tony, who passed away while I was living in California.  His brothers had moved him while he was passed out and bound him to a stop sign at a three way crossroad near my house with plastic wrap as a joke.  He never regained consciousness.  The police ruled his death an accident. When the book arrived I got to page 137, The Ritual of the Crossroads the way Hecate is described as being at the crossroads, that point where the worlds of the living and dead can often meet was a powerful visualization for me.  

With the coming of Samhain many groups on social media are having discussions around ancestor altars and who should or should not be included on them.  My altar has an assortment of photos, trinkets and possessions of those who have moved on.  This is a very spiritual time for me, when I call upon those who have moved on to send energy and knowledge in exchange for my respecting and willingness to learn.  

There are those who are intentionally left off the altar.  I do not want their energy or their knowledge.  I knew them too well in physical world.  They caused too much pain here in this life to be honored in anyway in their passing.  

When starting your ritual altar on don't feel that you have to do anything like one book or one person says.  This is a personal space for you to honor those who have moved on from this life.  It is a time for you to do work that is important to you.  Don't feel like you have to add people or include energy that you're not comfortable with.

In my discussions, I found that some think they have to include a certain person for fear of them creating havoc in their home because they have "disrespected the dead".  Personally I believe that not all dead are worthy of respect.  Not every one who has crossed over is someone that should be honored no different than if they were here in the physical realm.  If you have unruly dead making mischief in your house you need to take control of the situation and move them out, not give in and place them in higher regard.  

Death is a transition to the next part of the energy exchange.  It can be sad but it should be looked at as a natural part of life.  Working with the dead is about listening and learning.  We should listen twice as much as we speak in order to learn as much as we can. We should also learn that our time on this planet is limited.  If we want to have others not speak ill of us after we move on, then maybe we should be a little more considerate of others while we have that opportunity.  Not the other way around.

I'd love to see what altars you create or what rituals you do working with the dead this week.  Feel free to post here or find me on social media at Tsu or Facebook.


Ancestor Altar - Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwing Thursday - Smudge & Pigs

I have one more vending event of the season, but figured I would go ahead and get a head start on some new requests.  I have an outstanding request for memorial jars to contain the ashes of loved ones passed on.  I've been working on those and they have to make themselves known to me as they come.  This week the clay decided it wanted to be salt pigs, smudge plates and an incense burner.

My incense burners are much wider at the base than those you get in the store.  To me, what is the good of a skinny little dish.  The ashes end up all over your counter or across the floor.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
A smudge plate, is a plate that is slanted on one side to help hold the plate in one hand so that the other hand can be used to waft the sage smoke around the person or area being smudged.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
A salt pig is a jar that sits on the counter with an opening in the front of the dish.  The hand or a spoon is used to reach in and scoop the salt out of the pig.  I haven't completed one all the way yet so you'll have to use your imagination until we reach the end of this project.

Here's what I turned this past Saturday.


Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson