bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: devotional items

Process.

 

So I’ve been spending a lot of time working on products for my shop, which requires me to indulge in my favorite embroidery addictions.

I’m happy to say that it seems to be paying off just a wee bit – as I’ve had two sales in two weeks, and two more of my upcoming embroidery projects have garnered a lot of interest – which is an exciting and welcome distraction from the emotional intensity of the last two weeks.

Since the items folks searched for most often as well as ‘liked’ most often within my shop happen to be

’embroidered altar cloths’

and

‘runes’

Thus I’ve been testing different patterns of runes, along with testing out different thread blends, stitch patterns, and a lot of sketching (because one of my favorite things about my product process is developing various ideas and incorporating new imagery for embroidering onto altar cloths.)

But as much as I have been making a lot of altar cloths for my shop, I decided to make a new altar cloth for my personal altar.

I didn’t have a concrete idea in mind, though. I hadn’t mapped anything out.

But I figured that I would come up with something.

So, beginning at the lower left corner, I started stitching a smaller version of this design:

(It’s hard to see out of a color scheme but it’s a heart entwined into a triple horn – a design I’ve come to use to represent both of Them.)

And if you know me, I like working with color blends.

 

It’s a little more work – but I think it’s definitely worth it.

(One shade of red, two oranges, and a yellow for Loki, and four shades of blue for Odin. )

At first, I’d only intended to stitch this design onto one corner…but it’s as if I like to make work for myself  when it comes to embroidery

so I stitched it onto two corners:

Then, I sized down a particular border layout, as I wanted to test out some of my new silk thread blends, so I began embroidering

my favorite thing:

a border of  Elder Futhark runes.

But a challenge arose with the fabric – a black and grey cotton tie dye – as I found myself struggling to find a color combination that would ‘show up’ against the fabric which had so much variation in color and shade.

A lot of the lighter colors appeared ‘washed out’ in the pattern, so I tried several shades of blue, lavender, and grey thread as tests:

(For example, the Ansuz (ᚨ) is a light blue thread, and the Kenaz (ᚲ) is a lavender thread, though here, they look the same, in that light. O.o)

So I picked out/undid the stitching of the lavender thread, and continued the borders in a light to medium blue.

Fehu to Jera on the left side…and Eihwaz to Othala on the right side.

So, I thought perhaps the two heart/triplehorn should

flank sixteen larger runes

– *an invitation in dark blue*-

for the central portion of the altar cloth.

But this blue looked oddly ‘sunk’ (appearing to fade/disappear) against the darker portions of the pattern:

So, as you see here, I decided to outline the darker runes with a silk blend silver thread…

and I really liked the way it looked.

I liked it so much that I don’t know what I was thinking but

– silly me! –

I wondered how long could it take to outline sixteen runes?

I love embroidering runes (really I do!) so it won’t take long, I thought.

I mean, I’ve had lots of practice, eh?

Since it took me about a half of an hour to hand-stitch the 24 runes (12 on each side)

and about twenty more minutes to stitch the sixteen runes in the center

 I figured it would take me an hour

– maybe two –

to outline all of them.

Heh.

Well, I am a lot slower than I thought.

It took me almost three hours to outline just those sixteen dark blue runes on this altar cloth.

(Perhaps some other day, I will outline the 24 lighter ones that border the edges at the left and the right.)

~~~

And then the next day…after walking the dogs and doing my daily routines,

I decided that this altar cloth also needed to have a design to separate *the two sets of eight runes in the center.*

That invitation which looks like this:

(Laþu Loki)

and

(Laþu Odin)

At first, I thought I’d just make a little twist or a swirl, but no matter what I did

It didn’t look right.

So I picked, cut, and pulled out all the threads of that little swirly circular button.

And then I decided, how about the World Tree?

I mean, I had about a 2 or 3 inch rectangle to work with, so I thought I’d stitch this, in bright green thread:

(Psst…it was harder than it looked!)

It’s so hard to make things look symmetrical after midnight.

So, again, I unraveled that design and I picked out all those long, graceful stitches

so

so

carefully.

And I sat there staring at it for a bit.

But then I did another World Tree:

I thought it covered up the pulling spots nicely 🙂

Finished outlining the letters…

 

and as the finishing touch, I stitched a purple border around the heart/triple horns.

~~~

And here it is – my new altar cloth –

Hail Loki ❤ Hail Odin

 

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February: What’s New (Etsy Shop Edition)

So what’s new for February at my Etsy shop CrowsKnot?

Why it’s more embroidery, of course!

Since the month of February contains not one but *two* personal anniversaries for me, my newest products feature hearts – both elemental and of the Celtic knotwork variety.

First up, is the

Elemental Hearts Altar Cloth

A lovely hand-embroidered altar cloth featuring the four elements – Air, Fire, Water and Earth –

Elemental Hearts Altar Cloth – $15.00

*100% pre-shrunk cotton, in white, with hand-rolled double stitched finished edges.

*Measures approximately 15.5 by 15.5 inches square (39 by 39 cm)

 

As anyone who knows my affinity for the element of Fire

I was especially surprised to find that I most enjoyed embroidering the designs

for the elements of Air and Water

as conveying the color and movement of these two elements

turned out to be an unusual but welcome challenge for me.

~~~

As well, I decided to expand upon the original design by embroidering

an

Elemental Hearts Rune Bag

Elemental Hearts Rune Bag – $10.00
*100% pre-shrunk cotton muslin

*Bag measures approximately 5.5 inches long and 4.0 inches wide, with an opening of 3.75 by 2.25 inches wide

*Bag closes by a sturdy double drawstring closure.

~~~

You might notice that the rune bag design is not an exact duplicate of the altar cloth as

my expansion of the design features my favorite representation of the element of Earth

– trees! –

and I was inspired to depict a tree morphing through the four seasons:

I was so inspired by this heart-tree imagery that I plan on featuring it on several future products

I’m creating for the shop as the wheel of the year

turns toward Spring and Beltane ❤

~~~

As for the Celtic knotwork

-another design that features heavily in my embroidery –

I spent the last few days embroidering a lovely heart knotwork design

using a lovely rainbow ombre poly/cotton thread Coats and Clark refers to as ‘Jewels’

I love how the bold, bright colors of this thread just *pop* against the background of lighter fabrics!

The finished project:

The Celtic Heart Knot Altar Cloth

Celtic Heart Knot Altar Cloth – $15.00
*100% pre-shrunk cotton, in white, with finished edges

*Cloth measures approximately 18.5 by 18.5 inches square (46.7 cm)

~~~

I am so in love with these ombre threads that I have several more works in progress

featuring the Pagan pentacle

As well, keep your eye out for upcoming projects that feature one of my most popular designs involving

the Elder Futhark and Anglo Saxon runes:

~~~

Please note: I offer *free* shipping within the continental U.S!*

and

Since I have quite an embroidery addiction, I would be more than glad to create something just for you and your beautiful altar!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me

at

CrowsKnot

Or directly through my email at

Heathir(at)gmail(dot)com**

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope that y’all have a wonderful day!

~~~

*While I can and do ship to international buyers, I cannot afford to offer free international shipping at this time

** If you do choose to contact me directly through gmail, please put ‘CrowsKnot’ in the subject header so I know you’re not spam — Thanks!

What’s new: Etsy Shop edition

Hello everyone!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Yule and Merry Solstice!

My family and I enjoyed a lovely low-key holiday, full of some much needed down-time.

~~~

And speaking of Loki

– and we were, weren’t we? –

I finally finished embroidering the corners of this altar cloth that I had been working on for about the last week or so:

   

This altar cloth was inspired by an ongoing conversation taking place in one of the Lokean groups I’m in concerning instances of Loki’s shapeshifting.

While many folks – including myself – associate Loki with foxes, snakes, spiders, and other various creatures, a lot of the discussion could be separated into discussion of  Loki’s shapeshifting according to the Lore(tm)

versus

the forms He takes during more UPG interactions (i.e visual forms taken during personal interactions with individual devotees during meditation, dreams, and mundane coincidences.)

Though while I’ve no doubt  that Loki as a God and a Jotun is capable of shapeshifting into whatever form that He wishes, this altar cloth was meant to depict four forms Loki has taken that are directly attested to in the Eddas and elsewhere:

  • that of a falcon (both in the Skáldskaparmál and the Þrymskviða of the Poetic Edda)
  • that of a fly (in the Sörla þáttr, a short story from the Flateyjarbók a 14th century Icelandic manuscript)
  • that of a mare (and later, in this form, giving birth to Sleipnir, as attested in the Hyndluljóð,  a portion of the Völuspá in the Poetic Edda, and in the Gylfaginning of the Prose Edda)
  • that of a salmon (the Lokasenna, the Poetic Edda)

~~~

Shapeshifter Loki Altar Cloth

This altar cloth is made of 100% white cotton, and black poly/cotton thread used to stitch each Celtic knot inspired design.

Orange-yellow ombre thread used as a bit of accent within the eye of each form, in reference to Geirrod’s assertion that Loki is recognizable in any form by the appearance of His eyes.

This altar cloth is slightly rectangular  – measuring a total of 19″x 22″ inches, and is completely machine washable and dryable.

Free shipping on all U.S orders

Price: $15.00 USD

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 🙂

~~~

*  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

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:

Gammleið

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

-from ÞÓRSDRÁPA  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. 🙂

~~~

*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.