Monday, February 28, 2011

etsy artist feature: MoonLitCreations

Ok, it's a bling day over here at Aradia's Cauldron:

Snake Pentacle Necklace
MoonLitCreations

There are a lot of pentagrams to be had on Etsy, but this particular one caught my attention because it was so unique. What do you think? It's subtle, cause people won't immediately realize that it is a pentagram, but symbolic because of the snake emerging, transforming and just generally coiling itself about the star inside.

Yeah, I dig it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

scrapbook: moon in Sagittarius

So recently I really started to notice the moon’s effect on me. More specifically, moon phases in the astrology signs. I’m not quite sure what brought this about, perhaps 6 months of morning meditations?

So one of the things I wanted to do was to start learning about the various signs and their influence in the moon.

I started with the moon in Sagittarius because that’s where it is right now:

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There’s a lot of purple in the page because purple is supposedly associated with this sign.

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More details…

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

when others make you think: an end to Christian bashing

Kate? from WitchPlease wrote today about being part of some of the problems going on in the "general pagan discussion," namely Christian bashing and cultural theft. Both are ideas that I think we need to talk about more and address in relation to our path. Today her focus was on giving up Christian bashing and she intends to talk about cultural theft in another post (I'm not sure when).

A lot of what she articulated in her post on about Christian bashing is in accord with my own opinions on the subject. In fact, I could go on and on about this subject because it is one that I have struggled with on many levels.

I was raised in a Christian home. But when I say that don't start assuming that by that I mean a Bible thumping, cross wearing, proselyting home. Oh no. My mother is probably one of the most liberal Christians I know. Her only rules about religion were this: explore, find your own faith, it's all boils down to the same thing in the end, just don't even THINK about exploring Jehovah Witnesses and no Ouija boards in my house.

The ongoing religious conversation I grew up with went something like this:

Me: Mom, I'm interested in runes.
Mom: Runes? Ok. Have you tried the tarot? I have a book you can have. Here, let me get it for you.

Mom: I noticed that you're reading about cults. What exactly are you reading?
Me: About this cult called Brother 10.
Mom: Oh yeah, they were big around here a long time ago. There was a news report a few years ago about various cults in Canada. The Solar Temple in Quebec, Brother 10, etc. It was pretty interesting. They talked about the pros, the cons, the falling outs. etc. Communes vs cults, how Mormonism started as a cult. Technically most religions start out as cults and sort of emerge as a religion once they're validated. The big difference is in the idea of power and control, and...

Mom: The Satanic Bible,  what's that about?
Me: About Satanism.
Mom: As in worshipping Lucifer or ?
Me: Sort of, but not really. It's not about things like sacrificing cats or anything...
Mom: Well as long as you're not going to sacrifice that cat...

Me: Mom, I'm a witch
Mom: Well you've always been into the occult stuff.
Me: Well technically I'm a Wiccan
Mom: What's that?
Me: LONG uneccessary explanation

Mom: I'd like to ask you to be your baby brother's godmother (brother is significantly younger than me)
Me: But I'm not a Christian
Mom: No, but I know that you will always encourage to explore his spirituality and talk to him about these things. That's what's important to me. That you help him find his own faith. That's what a godmother should do.
Me: What about the whole renouncing Satan bit?
Mom: Well, think of it more as in renouncing evil or badness. Think of it as embracing the right path (whatever that is for you) and living a good life.

These are really recreated conversations that I've been having with my mother since I was 12. In chronological order, stopping at about 20 (cause you get the gist). Here's the thing. My mother is a lovely, compassionate woman of faith. She is open minded, logical, and loving. She gave me religious freedom, encouraged my spiritual growth always, tolerated all questions and answered them honestly and openly. She strives to live her life modelled on the teachings of what she believes Jesus embodied. She won't cast stones, she won't judge, she will strive to remember compassion and love. She's no saint. But she is a very damn good Christian. She holds her faith close to her heart. And I respect her immensely for the religious education and gifts she gave me in my life.

And then I moved out of the house and met other Christians. And I lost sight of the wonder than is my mother's faith. And I got angry and hurt by the rudeness that is out there. And my close Christian friends bore the brunt of my reaction. The bore my attacks and challenges. My unshaking refusal to accept a faith that says that there is only one way to God, even if you grew up in a region or time that had no access to the faith that would lead you to this god. My vehement nay-saying and intolerance towards what I perceived to be flawed and narrow minded beliefs. My frustrations over the fact that I felt like my mother had betrayed me into complacency towards a religion that was nothing like what she had raised me in.

And then I met my future in-laws. Who are almost as conservative Catholic as you can get. And I got angrier. And my poor husband bore the brunt of a fair amount of this. I could not conceive of being raised in a home where you just were Catholic but you NEVER questioned that faith. Or that you never experienced divinity. I couldn't make peace with the idea of going to church, going through the moments, because that is what faith is. And I'll be honest. I still struggle with it. And my husband is going through his own crisis of faith at the moment, ever since meeting me and hearing my questions. He believes, but his beliefs are being redefined. And I think my mother's faith is inspirational to him.

But here's the thing. Eventually I came to realize that the voices that are loudest do not represent the majority. They do not reflect all of Christianity. That there are silent Christians all around me, who like me, keep their faith on the down low because they don't want to deal with the persecution, the apologetics. There are an infinite amount of Christians out there who are like my mom. Who believe as deeply as she does, or I do. Whose faith guides them but doesn't limit them. Who are warm and loving, and even willing to listen, contemplate, and accept that your path is your own, regardless of what they hold to be true.

So I started to ask myself: who do I want to be? The loud mouth pagan who doesn't respect others' beliefs (the pagan version of the christians that drive me crazy) or my mom?

I think the answer is self-evident!

pagan art journaling {week 4}

One month down. Already!

This week's prompt: Nature



Go where you will with this. What does nature mean to you? How does it relate to your spirituality? Are you environmental? What nature gods/goddesses speak to you? How is nature part of your understanding of the mysteries? Magic and the natural world.... Oh the choices infinite, where will you go?


This week I opted to play with a new technique: using wax! (That sounds kinda of naughty!!! I like it. The moon is in Scorpio people... I just can't resist)! And was inspired by the ad to your left (inspiration comes from many places and I'm not above lifting an idea if it prompts inspiration).



I used the wax all over the painting, but I started at the bottom, which is why it's more obvious... I hadn't figured things out yet! But the wax was there to preserve lighter shades (white or washed out versions of the colours).


Then I wrote over the finished product. Note... some pens don't write so well over the wax, even after it's be scraped off to the bare minimum. I actually ended up ruining one of my good art pens. Sigh. Well, chalk it up to a learning experience, I guess.

Monday, February 21, 2011

etsy artist feature: saralynnart

Ok, so because I'm totally on a faery kick at the moment... I just had to feature these lovely faery cards!

Little Fairies Card Set - (3 Greeting Cards, 3 Envelopes)
saralynnart on etsy

Friday, February 18, 2011

my familiar?

Ode to my little black cat

She's part Siamese, part something else, undefined, unknown, but entirely her own.

She looks about 1 or 2, but in reality she's 11 going on 12.

She's moved across the country with me, been my home when home was always in transition, and seen me through many friendships and relationships.

In truth, for many years she has been my home. The walls and people and decor have changed, but she has been my constant, my true north.

She has her own personality. She is unique. And I don't think that just anyone could be her owner because she has needs and isn't shy about sharing them. And she is also extremely attached to me. Through countless roommates and partners, even my husband who is her 2nd human cannot compete with the bond that is ours.

When I go away to travel, she eats a little less. When I return, she clings to me until she seems to be sure that I'm back for good, only then to ignore me for 2 days, a quasi punishment of sorts (or perhaps embarrassment over being so needy? I'm not sure). She waits outside the bathroom door when I shower and supervises most of my creative endeavours from her (usually uncomfortable) perch on my lap. She sleeps with me and has deigned to share the bed with my husband (usually on me, with one paw reaching out to touch him, or vice versa when she's really cold (cause he's warmer)).

I know it may seem strange to talk about a pet in such a way but this morning, when she curled up on my lap (see picture), I was filled with a sense of love that I cannot even begin to describe for this little, tempermental, but loving furball. She is my furbaby. And I don't know if I would call her a familiar, but she is my twin, in cat form. Our personalities are frightfully alike. Loving but aloof. Generous but tempermental. Loyal but independent.

So sometimes I can't help but wonder, is this the first life we've lived together? Because honestly, when I rescued her from the SPCA at 8 months, I could have never imagined that this big doe eyed cat that seemed so much in need of love would become such a part of me and mirror my own self so well. I don't know that that kind of connection can be created in one lifetime. So I wonder. Are we family, reincarnating from life to life, together? Because I have owned many cats in my life, but never have I known a cat so well as I know this wee little wicked beastie!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

scrapbooked: hand dipped candles

Ok... so I said that I wanted my scrapbook to be less about the pretty pages and more about the info. And yet, here is my 2nd page:


I know right? Still working on a primarily visual theme here. Simple, photo focused scrapbook page about making candles. But I tried, I really did. I just didn't have much to actually write about the process after podcasting about it!

Close up anyone?



Don't worry though! I'm reading Carl Jung's Man and His Symbols and I have some very text based reader response scrapbooking ideas in the works.

Simple and pretty... move over... lit geek pagan girl is on her way!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

art journal prompt {week 3 }

This week's prompt: i believe

I"m not going to say any more about the prompt itself because I think it's important for you to define where you want to go with it. It can be a big or little as you want it to be. As serious or as playful...

If you want to know about my meditations on the subject, keep reading...

This week I wanted to explore something a little lighter (for myself) so I went with the theme of I believe in fairies

and pulled out lines from Leonard Cohen's God is Alive, Magic is Afoot. Being a selective pagan, I only took the lines that talked about magic!!!

See:


Although some of the poem triggers a bit of knee jerk anti Christian reaction in me, when I look past the idea of God, I think this poem is quite beautiful and captures some of the awe and delight that I associate both with magic and with faeries. Hence the combination of the two!

As a child I was enamoured with the idea of faeries, wanting desperately to see them in my life. I should, in retrospect, be very thankful that I never did... But my childhood faith and sense of wonder is part of what led me to this path and part of what spirituality means to me.

Wanna see more? Of course you do...


I know the picture is a little blurry... the curse of camera phones!

Monday, February 14, 2011

etsy artist feature: Bewitching Books

The Muse Book - Handcrafted Creative Vision Journal - Power Thoughts Scrapbook
Bewitching Books

I'm currently drooling over this book. Isn't it lovely? I love purple. Not sure when that happened and I know it might seem surprising given how much orange I've been using lately, but purple has been my go to colour for the past few years.

And I'm always a big fan of pretty books!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Episode One: Beginning with Intention

New Podcast Episode!
Episode One: Beginning with Intention

mindful meditations while making candles, artist dates, pagan art journaling: intentions and love

ps... I've upgraded the blog to www.aradiascauldron.com but your links should transfer over no problem. If you are having a problem, try changing the url to the .com version (there's an s in it though.... just to make things confusing!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

pagan scrapbooking

My sketch
I've been contemplating where I wanted to begin my witchy scrapbooked book of shadows and how I wanted to create this book. In other words, I've been chewing on what I should record, what I shouldn't, and how I'm going to go about the process.

Nowadays scrapbooking is about memory keeping.

But in the past it wasn't just about memory keeping, people scrapbooked all kinds of things. News events, recipes, photos, etc. And I think that I had to think outside of the photo centered box in order to fully wrap my head around what I wanted to do with this project.


The sketch & pages that inspired my page from 52 weeks
You see, I don't want to blog about my spells. I'm really not comfortable with doing this online (though I love that others do... it's just not what I want to explore in this space). So I needed to find a voice for the online format for this venture. Ironically, being the lit geek that I am, my inspiration for how I want to do this project comes from a book, Joanne Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange (not the amazon link you expect, rather a summary of the story). In this book, the mother records all of her recipes in a scrapbook of sorts, complete with comments about life at the time, notes about the recipes, and memorabilia. This book then becomes the main character's connection to her past (in some very complex, revealing ways) and a document of her mother's life and secrets. And when I think about what I want to record in this witchy scrapbook, this is part of what I want to include. There's something about the representation of this cooking scrapbook that inspires my own. Joanne Harris wrote this as the description of the priceless recipe scrapbook that is central to the unfolding narrative of the past:

When my mother died she left the farm to my brother, Cassis, the fortune in the wine cellar to my sister, Reine-Claude, and to me, the youngest, her album [...] And as Cassis always said, I was the favourite. [...] Perhaps that was why she gave me the album, valueless, then, except for the thoughts and insights jotted in the margins alongside recipes and newspaper cuttings and herbal cures. Not a diary, precisely; there are no dates in the album, no precise order. Pages were inserted into it at random, loose leaves later bound together with small, obsessive stitches, some pages thin as onion skin, others cut from pieces of card trimmed to fit inside the battered leather cover. My mother marked the events of her life with recipes, dishes of her own invention or interpretations of old favourites. Food was her nostalgia, her celebration, its nurture and preparation the sole outlet for her creativity. The first page is given to my father's death - the ribbon of his L├ęgion d'Honneur pasted thickly to the paper beneath a blurry photograph and a neat recipe for black-wheat pancakes - and carries a kind of gruesome humour. Under the picture my mother has pencilled, 'Remember - dig up Jerusalem artichokes. Ha! Ha! Ha!' in red.
In other places she is more garrulous, but with many abbreviations and cryptic references. I recognize some of the incidents to which she refers. Others are twisted to suit the moment's needs. Others seem to be complete inventions, lies, impossibilities. In many places there are blocks of tiny script in a language I cannot understand - 'Ini tnawini inoti plainexini. Ini canini inton inraebi inti ynani eromni.' Sometimes a single word, scrawled across the top or side of the page, seemingly at random. On one page, 'seesaw' in blue ink, on another, 'wintergreen, rapscallion, ornament' in orange crayon. On another, what might be a poem, though I never saw her open any book other than one of recipes.
source 


The beauty behind this book is that in the end, it is the most valuable of the things her mother leaves behind. It is her connection to the past, it is was heals her, and it is what helps her find her fortune (financial, emotional, etc).

Ironically, sometimes in the beauty of modern scrapbooking (because everything is so pretty and perfect), I think we lose some of that history and significance. My goal for a pagan scrapbook *book of shadows* or otherwise, is to collect images of altars, recipes for incense, and various things I've learned along the way. If I manage to recreate, on some small level, what JH gives voice to in her novel, I will call it a mission accomplished!

On a side note about my colour schemes lately. I'm not quite sure what it is, but these days I'm really drawn to oranges, which is out of character for me. I'm usually more of a blue, green, purple girl but I just can't seem to get enough of orange (even more of a tangent... is it weird that I was totally singing Depeche Mode in my head when I wrote "I just can't get enough)? Sometimes I think I'm the only person who is constantly mentally breaking out in song when I hear or think of words that are song lyrics (only in my head... be thankful... I can't carry a tune so well)!

Ah well, we're (yes, the royal we) just a little bit crazy over here at Aradia's Cauldron!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

art journal prompt {week 2}

Ok, Valentine's day is around the corner so this week's prompt is all about heart/love.

What fills your heart with joy, with love, with sadness. What lessons do you want your heart to remember? What does love mean to you? And what does love/heart mean in relation to this path (for you).



I know, I know. Valentine's day is a commercial, consumer, Hallmark holiday. Trust me, my husband goes on this rant EVERY year. I know. :P

But here's why I decided to make heart/love this week's prompt: Often I struggle with merging my mundane life with my spiritual life, so I wanted to combine not only the wheel of the year, but also the yearly calendar into some of our meditations/ruminations along the way. How can what's going on in the larger population contribute to our spiritual path? Because I don't think they have to always be separate.

In fact, I think that the popular holidays end up infiltrating our subconscious, so to ignore them on some level, is working against the tide/flow of energy in mass culture. So instead of swimming upstream, I wanted to wallow in the flow and find a way to extract the spiritual core from the mundane. Cause I do believe it's there.

So yeah, this week it's all about love baby! Bring it on!

Here's my page:


I went several places with it. From what love means to mean on this path, what the god and goddess bring into my life, how love manifests itself in my daily world, what I am grateful for in terms of the love I am given in my world. Snippets of wisdome related to love, etc, etc, etc.

It's raining love...


Feel free, if you want, to link up to your week 2 page:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

52 week link up alert

Ok, I've created a page to add all your blog buttons.



This way, hopefully, everyone can visit this page and hop over to the various participant blogs easily in order to check them out.

You're in charge of how link so it can be done a couple ways:

  • send me the tag feed for all of your 52 week tags + image and that way people can click and go directly to your posts about the project
  • send me a blog button (info, code, link to your site so I can grab it) and that way people can just link directly to your site and surf through it
  • send a link to a flickr, photobucket, picasa, etc, etc site and your prefered image and I will link it up that way
  • find another method and let me know (just send me an email, comment here, I'll figure it out)!

So for everyone who has a blog and who is doing this project, please send me a link/email/prompt so that I can add your info/button to the page.

Monday, February 7, 2011

etsy artist feature: Lenae's Captured Faeries


Lenae's Etsy Shop
 Etsy never fails to get the better of my pocket book! Every now and again I just can't help myself and spend spend a bit of time window shopping online. I'm always amazed by the beautiful creations out there. Today's inspiring piece of work: Captured Faeries!

I love me the Faeries. From Lady Cottingham's Pressed Fairies to Brian Froud's Faeries, I have love been in love with the faery realm.

In fact, not only do I have 2 faery tattoos (faery ring arm band and a fairy on my back, both inspired by Froud's book) my middle name is the French world for fairy (intentionally chosen because I was my mother was told she'd never have children so I was her little piece of magic). So naturally, when perusing pagan themed wares, I find myself drawn to art of the faery, particularly the captured faery cause after all, them faeries are mischievously and can't be allowed to roam too freely!

a confession

While I usually read all your emails, comments, links, etc over the weekend, I never respond.



Here's why:

I've have made a promise to step away from the interwebs over the weekend in order to spend time with my family and friends. I find that it is very easy to start blurring the boundaries between my online life and my home life as a blogger, so I work hard to remember to spend time off the web, away from blogging.

This is a lesson that took me a while to learn on my non witchy blog but is now something of a "guiding principle" as it were.

So rest assured, I read your lovely comments and followed your links on my iPhone when I had a moment. Even though I haven't responded, I've thought of you. And will respond as soon as I catch up. But every life needs  a bit of down time, away from the virtual world, in order to heal, nurture, and sustain every day life and relationships.

That said, I'm off to find a moment or two in order to play catch up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 1}

and so it begins…

weekly prompt: intention*

what are your intentions for this project? what do you hope to get out of it? is it about healing, creativity, community, or something else?

to start off this journey i thought it would be nice to think about what you want for yourself right now, what do you want to nurture and bring into your own lives at the moment. find a word or quote or image that speaks to you right now and let it be your guiding light/idea/theme for this week, this month, this turn of the wheel, or this entire project.

for those of you doing the one little word project, you can do like me and make this a page that meditates on the word you want to bring into your life at this moment.

jan 2011 064


there are a lot of things i want to say in this post but to be honest, i don’t know that i’m in the head space to be able to write them all out with justice. some days i feel more eloquent than others and perhaps this post, which i have been meditating on for some time now, has grown too large, too important for me to do it the justice that i intend for it. i will attempt to podcast about it in the near future, perhaps speaking the ideas will be easier to than typing them…

in the meantime…

suffice to say, this wraps up my intention best:

jan 2011 067



*as always, know that you’re welcome to go your own way with this. chose your own word, explore your own theme. please send me links via the comments so that i can see what you’ve done. oh, and while i have already pre-selected the 52 topics, if you have one that you think would be interesting, please drop me a line at aradiascauldron@gmail.com for consideration. i know that i started this project but this is meant to be a collaborative space for all!


brightest blessings & happy imbolc!