bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: devotional items

Rune-carving.

So I spent yesterday morning hand carving runes for my shop:

…and goodness, was it an adventure!

You see, I’d never carved runes to be used by someone else before, so I wasn’t entirely certain how they would come out.

As well, I hadn’t used this particular set of wood carving blades/chisels to carve runes before, so there was a learning curve there as well.

Surprisingly, I had to sharpen them halfway through the process. (They were brand new so I don’t know how or why they dulled so quickly. Hmmm.*)

At any rate, the only rune I seemed to have difficulty with actually carving for some reason was Ansuz, (the fourth rune).

Even galdring Ansuz felt somehow strange, as well.

and even though I made offerings to each of my own stone runes** as I carved each new rune on the wooden blank:

…it was rough going for the next few runes.

However by the time, I’d reached Eiwhaz, (a rune that feels most like an old friend), I was feeling more confident, having reached a sort of rhythm in both the carving and the galdring.

So, after Eiwhaz the rest of the runes came to rather nicely.

And the next thing you know, I had Othala on the carving block…

And I realized I was finished with the ‘carving’ part.

Overall, I am feeling pretty good about the whole process…and one step closer to having a rune set ready for my shop.

~~~

Though I cannot help but recall that in the summer of 2014, I had a psychic tell me in a reading that I would find satisfaction in woodcarving, and I had to laugh.
I hadn’t attempted to carve anything in wood since I was a child.
But I bought my first wood carving blade shortly after that, so I think I can admit that she was right.

I did enjoy that process ūüôā

~~~

*¬† I was using ash blanks, if that makes any difference…

* * Since I’d been told by several runecrafters that one should not ‘feed’ a rune set if it is going to be given to someone else – that should be left for the purchaser/user to do – I found much to my surprise that my own runes were quite hungry… O.o

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Announcement.

According to Etsy, I have been a customer of various shops hosted there since 2010, and as much as I always intended to open my own shop, I never did.

But I have been making my own devotional jewelry – usually ankle bracelets and necklaces – since 2010.

As well, there are several altar items

– such as altar cloths, sculptures, and other various accessories –

that I’ve always made for myself, since I couldn’t always find what I wanted for my altars.

So after years of getting compliments on what I’ve made, I’ve decided to see how it goes…

Here is my Etsy shop,

CrowsKnot

where you will find some of the Norse-inspired

(and definitely Loki-inspired)

glass bead jewelry and altar items that I’ve made.

Thanks for checking it out!

 

UPDATE: For those interested, here is the WordPress blog that I’ve dedicated exclusively to my shop

Welcome to The Crow’s Knot

 

Month for Loki, Twenty-Third: Kenning.

Inspired by Lokean Welcoming Committee’s outline of topics for Month for Loki, today’s post:

Find out some of Loki’s kennings, or other names, and what they mean. Which one(s) resonate with you the most?

Since many of Loki’s kennings resonate with me, it was difficult to choose one that resonated with me the most…but I think that there is one in particular that actually took me by surprise, and so, I am going to write about Gammleid today:

In July 2014, I took a course from Cherry Hill Seminary. This course dealt exclusively with studying the role of shapeshifting in the lore of several cultures. Though the course mainly focused on shapeshifting lore in South and Central America, the final project was to present how shapeshifting might feature in our personal spiritual practices.

Thus, I performed a personal meditation ritual in mid-July 2014 that was meant to introduce me to my ‘spirit animal guide.’

And much to my surprise, Loki showed up and suggested the vulture as the ‘spirit animal guide’ in that first meditation, and again, vultures featured in a few more interactions thereafter.

I was baffled, but like a good student, I resolved to research the connections between Loki and vultures.

Soon enough, I came upon a list of Loki’s kennings, and even more surprisingly, the kenning, ‘vulture’s path’ came up.

But oddly enough, I wasn’t able to find much scholarship that even speculated as to what this kenning might represent, until I found this:

Gammlei√į

This Old Norse word ¬†is commonly translated as “vulture’s path“, i.e. Lopt “the air”

-from √ě√ďRSDR√ĀPA ¬†Stanza 2, verses 1-4, The Codex Regius from this site¬†

~~~

Meanwhile, I’d begun amassing quite a collection of vulture feathers:

– from both turkey vultures and black vultures as I began to notice quite a lot of them in my neck of the woods from late March to June of that year (2015)

And then, shortly thereafter, I read this in Dagulf Loptson’s ePub, Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson¬†:

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“The name “vulture’s path” is possibly a kenning for air, which connects with another of Loki’s kennings, Loptr. However, we are left with no explanation as to why the vulture, as opposed to any other kind of aerial creature, is used to illustrate flight through the air, especially since Loki typically takes the form of a fly or a falcon. I personally feel that vulture might be associated with Loki for the following reasons.
Both vultures and ravens are well known scavengers, making them both symbols for death. It isn’t unreasonable to assume that our ancestors often saw vultures and ravens together while the birds were eating bodily remains. As Odinn is always with ravens, perhaps his blood-brother and traveling companion Loki was associated with vultures.
The vulture could also be linked to Loki…in his aspect as a god of death and cremation, as a traveler to the underworld, or as a dissolver of illusions.” *

**Cue the sound of my mind being blown**

~~~

But what did working with Vulture teach me?

On the surface, a lot of folks (including myself, at one time) see vultures as birds of the dead, and they are. ¬†But, much like crows – another creature I associate with Loki – Vulture’s work is one of transformation, as vultures, like crows, are carrion eaters.¬†¬†Ancient cultures, such as the Greeks, Assyrians and Egyptians saw the vulture as a purifying, transforming force — a creature who purifies the landscape and environment through its consumption of the dead and decaying remains. ¬†Symbolically, carrion eaters make use what others have abandoned or cannot use, and through that process, the carrion eater ensures the continued health and life of other living things. Vulture symbolizes that process – of turning poison into medicine, death into life – and therefore, the vulture represents transformation and regeneration. ¬†Connected to that transformative aspect, vultures can teach us that our difficulties and struggles are temporary, and that what seems like an end (death) or a loss (sacrifice) is simply a phase in the process of growth and change.

 

Hail Loki, Gammleid ‚̧

And of course, Hail Vulture, Resourceful One, Patient Teacher, and Master of the Skies ‚̧

 

~~~

*Loptson, Dagulf, Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA, published July 7, 2015; pp 57-9.

Month for Loki, Seventh: Crafting, connections and correspondences.

One of the first ways that Loki came to me was through colors.

I find crafting jewelry to be relaxing, so began making ankle bracelets for myself, and dedicating both the act of making the item and then, item itself to Him. ¬†As I may have mentioned before, creating things – whether it’s crafting, cooking or making artwork – seems to help me connect with myself and with Him.

Here are the colors and common associations that I use in my crafts for Loki:

Red: Passion, heat, blood – a color that evokes life force, vitality, sexuality

Orange: Flame, joy, fire – a color associated with Loki as a fire God, and God of the hearth. Warmth.

Yellow: specifically joy and happiness.

Green/Brown: Creativity, growth, change. ¬†Laufey (Loki’s mother) is associated with trees, so I feel Loki has a special affinity for trees and plants as well. ¬†A peaceful, lush shades of green and browns that signify growth and earth vitality. ¬†I ¬†feel Jormungandr can be associated with a paler green, signifying a connection to water/oceans, as well.

Blue: Sky (air) and ocean (water); another color (as with green) that can evoke peaceful associations as well as chaotic, energetic ones – a clear blue sky and a calm sea can also turn to storm-filled sky lit with flashes of blue-white lightning and dark-blue churning waves.

Purple: Self, knowledge.  The color of the crown chakra.  The color of sovereignty, divine connection and magic.

Gold: Treasures. Gold for Gullveig. Mead. As it is with purple, gold is associated with sovereignty, wealth, power, perhaps even decadence.  Gold can signify Loki as sovereign, or as consort, fool, or foil towards what is considered kingly, lawful, or valuable. Loki as a Gift-Bringer provides the Gods (Sif, Thor, Freyr) with items of value.

White: Bone. Purity of ash when paired with black – Loki as Sacrificial God of funeral pyre

Black: Secret or hidden knowledge, magic, death, sacrifice.  Darkness of the cave, of the mind, of the shadows within.  Loki as the psychopomp, the death of self, and self-delusion.

Pink: The flush of skin, the ‘comely hue.’ ¬†Another joyful, vital color, that may also evoke His playfulness, eroticism, flirtation or pleasure.

Silver: Silvertongue. Another color evokes ‘value’ – wealth, treasure.

Gemstones:

Carnelian: vitality, sexuality, warmth.  Stone for the red/orange chakra

Snowflake obsidian: Grounding, chthonic.  Coloring is evocative of ashes.

Iron Pyrite/Fool’s gold

Fire Agate

Red Jasper

Labradorite: Not the flame but the lightning, energy of electricity – I associate this stone not only with Loki but with His father, Farbauti, as well.

Jet: Grounding, along with other lava stones – reminiscent of a fire deity.

Green kyanite: Calming, stabilizing force.  I associate this stone with His mother, Laufey.

~~~

Colors I associate with members of His family:

Angrboda: Blood red, rust red, black, forest green.

Fenrir: Blood red, black

Hela: White, black, bone.  As well, a pale sort of pink.

Jormungandr: colors of water: aquatic blues and pale sea greens

Sigyn: Medium to pale blue, lavender, mauve, pink, yellow.  Also browns, heathered grey.

Narvi: Tans and browns, earthy tones of green, and gold.

Vali: Black, red, speckled greys.

Sleipnir: Dark to medium blues, black, silver, grey.

Farbauti: white, electric blue, medium purple

Laufey: earth tones – greens, browns, gold.

 

 

 

 

 

Month for Loki, First: Prayer

Welcome to the first day of July!*

So here I am again, facing another July with an ever-evolving devotional practice that includes Loki… and Odin.

To that end, a week or so ago, I ordered a pair of gorgeous prayer cards from Wyrd Curiosities on Etsy¬†so you can imagine my delight when they were delivered this morning — just in time for the first of the month:

prayercardinsert

((left): Loki prayer card, artwork by Grace Palmer; (center) Loki note card, artwork by W. McMillan; (right) Odin prayer card, artwork also by W. McMillan)

 

While Wyrd Curiosities sells several different prayer cards for Loki, I’d chosen this particular one mostly because it features Grace Palmer’s beautiful artwork as well as including one of my favorite prayers to Loki, written by F. Arismendi:

lokiprayercardprayer

Lovely.

As well, I was delighted to see that the two cards I’d purchased were enclosed within a gorgeous notecard created by Dionysian Artist,¬†featuring another stunning portrayal of Loki by Wayne McMillan…so that was an unexpected but pleasant surprise ‚̧

~~~

*As you may know, many Lokeans around the country celebrate the month of July by writing;  that’s 30 days of devotional posts for Loki.

 

 

New.

In a further effort to dedicate to working with Odin, I decided to order a new set of runes recently.

Though I have two other sets – one Elder Futhark and one Anglo-Saxon – in keeping with the spirit of creating a new devotional practice, I wanted to have a custom set made specifically for working with Odin.*

After receiving some recommendations and talking to different artisans, I chose a rune-craftsman whose shop is based in the Ukraine – Eril’s Workshop -because his work is simply stunning:

 

~~~

So my new runes were finished last week.

The artisan sent me a neat little photo essay that showed the creation process of my runes.

The runes blanks he used are made of a beautiful light oak – the color of honey -uniformly cut and neatly carved.

Despite being made of slices of oak, looking at the photos, they appear deceptively thin, light as feathers.

~~~

And they are…my runes arrived today.

They remind me of delicate cookies – honey wafers.

(Yes, the color of them does make me (almost!) want to lick them, imagining the sweet flavor of Daelmans Dutch Honey Wafers.)

I will be blooding them in the next few days, with intent to begin using them soon; perhaps by this coming Wednesday. ūüôā

~~~

*Yes, I thought about making my own runes.  Perhaps that will be a project for further down the road.

 

 

 

This blog is not dead.

This blog is not dead.

However, my devotional practice has definitely changed, as nearly six months ago, I started working with Odin too:

LokiandOdinaltarfigures (2)

(Altar figures (l-r) Loki, Odin, ceramic, by artisan Dmitriy Kushnir from The Slavic Way on Etsy)

But maybe I am not.

As it has occurred to me that perhaps what I believe to be Odin could be simply another face of Loki….

But damned if it doesn’t feel different.

…and the world shall open up to receive your joy.

I’ve been meaning to post about some lovely things that have been happening in my life.

I’ve been collecting up these bits of joy, and out of a habitual fear of jinxing things, I’ve been keeping these things to myself.

But I am getting the impression that my cautious optimism will no longer do:

“…and the world shall open up to receive your joy.”

~~~

mala

Recently, I ordered this Loki mini- mala from Beth and I received it in the mail the other day.

Since my family and I were hosting guests from out of town the day that package arrived, I put it aside to open later, perhaps the next day.

Well, things got busy, and our guests lingered for a few days.

 

However, my thoughts kept straying to the package.

I’ve never had a mala before, to¬†be honest, I was looking forward to having some time to myself to fully immerse myself in the use of this one.

And finally, almost a week later, I finally got my chance to open the package, hold them and pray with them.

*squeee*

 

This mala is truly a pleasure to work with.

(But then again, I think that could be said about every ‘touch bead’ item that I’ve ever purchased from Beth, as this mala joins a small collection of prayer beads – two¬†of which she has also made – that reside on my Loki altars.)

But this mala has the addition of a black silk tassel that I absolutely love to touch – and the beads!

The beads just slide effortlessly through my fingers.

I am continually impressed with how Beth’s choice of bead (size, weight, and texture) always seems to be spot-on energy-wise in every prayer item that she has made that I have purchased.

As well, Beth enclosed a beautifully handwritten(!) prayer card with the mala:

IMG_3544

While I admit that I referred to it the first few times I prayed, the words and imagery of this suggested prayer served as a lovely jumping-off point for creating my own personal prayer as I moved through the beads during later sessions.

That alone was pretty powerful…and things got even more interesting when I began praying with my own words.

~~~

There was a personal prayer that I would offer back when I was just beginning my devotional practice with Loki in 2011.  I was transitioning from the mindset of a skeptical agnostic to making my first attempts at opening up to being a devotional polytheist.

It was at that time in my life that a specific prayer had nearly become a daily mantra that I would return to whenever I was full of doubt.

It was a prayer about letting go of anger, pain, and fear… and opening up to trust, to joy, and to love.

 

So, fast forward to last night.

I’d gone through several cycles of prayer.

Perhaps my brain was casting about for something else,¬†but I found myself returning to the beginning of things,¬†and when I began speaking the words–

May I let go of my pain and open to joy….

I inexplicably felt the need to pause

Because suddenly I just knew!

There had always been a response:

and the world shall open up to receive your joy.

~~~

These beads are full of such warmth.

They feel as if they are bursting with a bright expansive energy.

Loki is just so present in them.

 

I am in love all over again.

‚̧

~~~

Thanks Beth!