Monday, October 07, 2013

Closing the door on blogger

So, you may have noticed, things haven't been going to well around these parts. 

Even with the extraordinary help from Moon in a Cup, Armed Venus has some issues I can't resolve. I will be moving to a brand new website soon. I didn't plan on having to move the blog so this will take a while.
 just hold tight friends!  Bigger things are on the way. Ill be opening up an online 
Apothecary and have decided to attach the Armed Venus blog to the site a well. It should run more smoothly. In the meantime, I have also started a new job and kept up with all the old crafts and vending opportunities, so busy is my relaxed state. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Technical Difficulties

So I am still unable to make photos appear on my blog.  Google has been not been helpful at all in this and I am not tech savvy enough to even know how to troubleshoot, never mind figure out what the problem is on my own.  My current solution is to not use photos on the blog.  Which sucks :( 
You will have to just follow me on Google Plus where photos experience free-range uploading and roaming.  If anyone has any clues, I've got a cookie for you! But really, I could use some help if you are a techno-wizard at all.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Story | Pagan Blog Project 2013

The Old Voice and the Oracle
When finally I approached the massive wall, the sun rose brightly over the Oracle’s house.  I saw that the wall had been freshly painted, maybe only a few days ago- most likely painted for the throngs of pilgrims who gathered for the full moon, when the Oracle would bring to light the unknown to those who cannot interpret for themselves.  Upon turning the corner, I saw a few stragglers from the lunar festivities milling about in the sunken rectangular courtyard.  Some wore richly colored and designed fabrics on their bodies and heads.  I turned and headed into the priestly quarters to cleanse after the long journey.  At the door my young attendant, who had followed me in the required silence the whole journey, took our bundle of cactus to offering room.  I sat down on the mat and poured water out of brightly colored vessel into my drinking cup.   Reveling in the relief of the return I closed my eyes and set myself to relax for a good long while when, my attendant threw the tapestry on the door aside and burst in, “Venerable One, you are required to meet with the other Voices in the Secret Chambers.”  He looked shy and confused as he spoke, but helped me stand up.  I dismissed him with the appropriate gesture and he departed. 
I took an old dust-covered pot from a niche in the wall and with a single swift movement it shattered on the floor in a frenzy of noise, dust and clay. The pouch lay under the rubble and I grabbed it quickly and walked out to the entrance of the underground rooms we met in for the most sacred of meetings.  The other Voices were there, awaiting my return, each greeted me with a gesture of blessing and thanks to the Oracle for my safe return.  The incense smoked as I took my seat.  And at the sound of pouring water from within the walls we began to speak. 
“Voices,” began the youngest of us, “ for some time we watch our center fall in height.  Few young people ever come to the Oracle, fewer pilgrims return each year, our circles are empty and the outlands rarely come for aid beyond help in childbirth or simple crop growth.”  I held my had up and he stopped speaking immediately.
“There is little to worry about in that.  We have grown as needed and we shall shrink as needed, as it is with the light and the dark of day and night.”  A few of my companions nodded silently in agreement.  Soon a discussion broke out to decide on our fate.  One faction felt we needed to re-inspire the surrounded peoples to rely on the Oracle again.  The faction I sided on believed the best plan was to allow people to come and go as they chose and only to allow for the Oracle to remain regardless of whom came to hear its words.  We reached an agreement in which I was chosen to Voice the Oracle, while the rest of the Voices would ask the Oracle the question we debated.
After summoning my attendant and retrieving the cactus we gathered on our journey, we set about preparing the mixture.  I showed him how to remove the needles and the waxy outer layer, neither of which are used for this.  Then I sliced off the green skin in which all the knowledge of the Otherworld lay and therefore must be prepared apart from the whiter parts inside which will make anyone ill with little hope.  The opposing forces are strong in this plant.  Next we boiled the green skins in a blackened pot for many hours extracting the most potent drink used with the Oracle.  
I touched the pouch at my neck and felt what was inside, feeling reassured at the touch of a long dead ancestor, and lifted the now cool pot in my hands and walked out in to the air.  It was dark and the Voices were assembled in the Sunken Circular Courtyard.  As I passed each one, I gave them each a few of the bits of skin to consume.  I stood in the center and drank the green liquid and ate the rest of the skin.  Drumming commenced and so did the smoke and the rattles as we processed otherwise silently around our outpost awaiting the wave to wash over us.  Suddenly I rushed through the secret halls into the chamber where I knew the oracle would take possession of my mind and I would see what was to be done. 

Frantically I tore the pouch from my neck and I watched as the red bones scattered into dancing shapes on the floor of the chamber just above the Oracle.  I saw storms gather and pass, there was a glimmer of metal and the clash of it too, I felt the earth shift and the smell of death permeated.  I rejected the urge to leave, go outside to see the stars, and in that instant I saw the Oracle bare and unattended, without Its Voices to speak for it and without its knowledge spoken. 
And from below, I heard a bellowing Voice say “Oracle! We ask, what is to become of your House, what do you wish to be done with this Land?”  My reply came, raspy and deep.
“We rise and fall, like maize, we wax and wane like the moon, would you keep me from the cycle of life?  I tell you this place will always be sacred.  Forever people will come here and I will be remembered even when your names are unknown and as mysterious as the stars. Your buildings will fall into heaps on the land, pale reminders.  I who am in the land, air and sea, the snake, the condor, the jaguar, the bat, I will be here forever.  It is not your doing which creates my power.”

I collapsed fatigued, fevered and dry.  I know I slipped in and out of consciousness, but I knew my fate.  I had eaten some of the white pulp of the cactus, knowing that this would be my final act as Voice of the Oracle.  I would join the ranks of the dead and begin anew there. 

A/N:  This was an exercise written for an Art History class in 2009.  It takes place at Chavin D'Huantar, in Peru.  The Lanzon, or oracle that lived in the sacred palace, was the spiritual center around the complex.  Priests would use hidden architecture, secret passages, and steam to create otherworldly environments in the maze that led to the Oracle.  San Pedro cactus is depicted in carved stone around the complex, and was used by the priesthood. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Technical Difficulties

So, there are some weird things happening on my blog right now.  I don't know what, how, or why and I am waiting for google to get back to me.  Also, I am extremely busy this weekend getting prepped to camp at my local Mabon celebrations.  So, in short, I'm not rushing to fix it, in the sense that if I spend more time on it now, I may not have all my pies baked and stitches sewn before I leave tomorrow!  Hopefully google will be uber-cool and fix it for me and I'll be back on track by Monday.  In the meantime, check out the blogs on my blogroll and have a witchy equinox!  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Steampunke Apothecary (and the onset of OIWAS)

A long, long, time ago, I mused of such things as this.  It is not complete by any means.  I am still missing my leech, but all good things in time!  Unveiled for the first time, in its completion, is the Steampunke Apothecary.  

Oh, you'd like the full tour.  Why right this way!  In the chest in the left, you see my powders and oils.  Myrrh, elderberry, Dead Sea salt, Graveyard Dirt, Dragons, Blood, Bitter Snake, and more all are used for ailments and amulets alike!  I can whip you up a secret blend to cure your ails and luck!  In the wooden cubbies, you will find herbs and flowers to lift the spirits and soothe sickness.  Chrysanthemum and coriander, lavender and hibiscus, cumin, cinnamon and more all hand-selected for your specific needs. I can pour you a cup of my health tonic if you'd like!

I see you've spied the Carmelite water!   Made and used by the Carmelite nuns in the 1600's, this herbal blend is a tincture of lemon balm, coriander, angelica, nutmeg, marjoram, and cloves.  The nuns diluted the tincture in to the wash basins at their chapels and convents, ensuring good hygiene, and limited the spread of viruses like influenza.  Just a few drops of that in some water and you have everything from a facial toner, to hand sanitizer, to a breath tonic!  

In the front, you'll see one of the Apothecary's finest products: Snake Oil.  Sores, swelling, muscle pain, and arthritis are no match for this salve!  Extracts of wild crafted, New Mexican herbs are blended with shea butter, olive oil,  New Mexican beeswax, and essential oils to create a topical analgesic that also aids in sleep!  Our secret proprietary blend of herbs is sure to be unique way to combat the stresses of everyday wear and tear on your body!  

Yes, and to the back, you see those bottles.  They're spells.  One to protect you from the Evil Eye, and another to aid you in honoring and contacting your ancestors.  A very good thing to do this time of year, as we approach the thinning of the veil!  

As we approach the equinox, I celebrate Official Intergalactic Witch Doctor Appreciation Season.  It normally begins around Sept 15 and ends by November 15.  I have a LOT of events and rituals coming up.  The witchiest time of year has come upon us and the magik is everywhere.  

I will be posting some special tips, stories, magik, etc for the next 2 months.  I invite you to join me again this year, like last year in writing and reading posts on ancsetors, the dead, the undead, grey magik, underworld magiks, totems, crafting with dead organic materials, herbalism, potion-making and all the creepiest, darkest, and witchiest thoughts you have.  Celebrate the ones who have gone before, who have worked magik for aeons, who have ancient knowledge.  This is the time to use divination, oracles, and scry.  To descend like Inanna, or Persephone, and gain what had been hidden.  

Official Intergalactic Witch Doctor Appreciation Season
This holiday, begun in 2009, stretches from Sept 13 through November 15th. It seeks to thank, honor, remember, and uplift all the shamans, artists, witch doctors, and natural and mystical healers who have ever been with us.  It is traditionally celebrated by the exchange of leather goods, handcrafted body products, feathered art, shell and bone fragments and taxidermied animals.  OIWDAS celebrates life and death as one and encourages participants to celebrate the various cultural experiences that occur within its time frame : Halloween, Samhain, La Festa dell Ombra, Dia de Los Muertos, the transit of the Sun into Scorpio and more.