mermaiden: (Goddess)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 12:02pm on 14/10/2012 under , , , , , ,
One of my very first tattoos was the word "Storyteller" on my wrist.  It was a deeply empowering thing for me to print upon my skin, in ink, exactly who and what I was, and a reminder for those dark nights of the soul (EVERY WRITER HAS THEM), that we never lose who we really are.  Out of all of my tattoos, this is still one of my favorites, even though it's one of my smallest, and one of my first.

Since the very beginning, though, it was the start of a much larger piece.  Every inch of my body has metaphors and meanings going on in my tattoos and my tattoo plans.  My right arm is, simply, my Storyteller arm (makes sense, right?  My right hand holds the pen).  This is the arm that has the half fairy tale tattoo sleeve on it.  I wanted the lower half sleeve to also reflect stories, but to go back to the root of them.  Not necessarily specific stories, but why and how they're written.  It's, arguably, one of the parts of my body I see the most--a perfect place for constant reminders of some of the most important parts of my life.

So, in my original plans for my forearm, I knew that I wanted a quill--the tip of it connecting, or almost connecting to the curlicue on the "Storyteller" tattoo, as if it just "wrote" that word upon my skin.  I wanted a very specific quill.  I'm Pagan, and I believe that, somehow and some way, all of my stories come from the Goddess.  I've built my entire life on loving Her and listening to all of the stories in my heart.  I'm also a lesbian, and that "colors" (HAH, A PUN) everything I do.  Maddie and I have been talking about both getting quill tattoos this past Yule, she presented me with my favorite tattoo parlor's gift certificate (ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN EVER GET MISS SARAH), and, yesterday, it HAPPENED.  <3

So I give you my Goddess of Writing quill tattoo.  The picture was taken a few minutes after the tattoo was finished, so IT'S STILL A LITTLE MESSY, and it's hard to see the rainbow She makes, because my arm is all GAH WHY DO YOU DO THESE THINGS TO US PRECIOUS (ie, enflamed).  She covers my entire forearm--the beginning of my bottom sleeve.

THERE IS A LOT OF SYMBOLISM GOING ON.  LET ME 'SPLAIN.  NO, IS TOO MUCH.  LET ME SUM UP:  the rainbow for lesbian stories, the peacock feather as a symbol of the Goddess, the repeating hearts as adoration of Her and love in general.  The dancing and playful posture of the Goddess as joy in the craft of writing.

Mood:: 'okay' okay
mermaiden: (Salem: Hocus Pocus -- Binx)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 11:56am on 11/10/2012 under , , , , ,
My Pentacle, on the Mother Tree in Salem, MA. <3

This past week, we celebrated our first year (and fifth!) wedding anniversary by journeying to New England. That handful of days, the moments of pure, intense magic and the riot of blazing colors nature gave us, in abundance, was a gift I'll cherish my entire life. It was the first time visiting New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont (that I remember--I went to these places when I was a year old, and less, but obviously that's not been kept in my brain ;D), and after a lifelong OBSESSION with them, getting to actually go was a dream come true.

Old Bennington Cemetery in Vermont.

We returned to peak leaves in New York state, everything, for the past eight days, has been a treasure in my eyes. When I blink, I see rich colors, when I dream, I dream of palaces built of trees crowned with gold. My favorite season has unfolded itself in a savoring, beautiful explosion of sacred moments, and I've simply been soaking them up as each new one presents itself to me.

I'm going to post more in detail about everything--I have to go finish wirewrapping the Glamourkins for tomorrow's update--but I just wanted to share my many mixed emotions. I feel loved and held and homesick and sad and happy and just...indescribable, really.

Maddie's Yule gift to me last year was a tattoo that we both had spoken of getting for years and years. A quill. It's taken this long for all of our schedules to come together, but we're finally getting them this Saturday. I've had the design idea in my head forever, and yesterday, after we got home in the wee hours of the morning, I sent everything to my tattoo artist. This morning, I received the sketch and stared at the laptop screen, breathless. My heart stopped beating.

All of my stories come from Her, so I needed the Goddess in the quill. And She's there in ways I never could have imagined. Just like in my life. Just like in my heart.

And, on Saturday in the magic season, She comes out--again--upon my skin forever.
Mood:: 'indescribable' indescribable
mermaiden: (Vita)
Jenn and I are so pleased to unveil the latest the Fable Tribe update to you! We have several new, shiny things in this update, including Invocation Blessing Bowls, Fairy Wish Houses and a new type of Glamourkins, made out of tiny wooden books! <3

You can see what's upcoming at our Flickr, and you can follow along our Etsy shop! <3

mermaiden: (Journey)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 11:18pm on 04/04/2012 under , , , ,
I meditate and do a small ritual every night. It's so soothing to pad my feet to the Temple Room, shut the door in the quiet of the dark, light my candles, choose my incense, ground and center and Open the Door to magic. I write every day--A Lot. The ritual replenishes me in a bone-deep, soul-deep dimension. I could never keep up the pace I do if I didn't have time, each day, at that proverbial well, replenishing my creativity, feeding the sparks, making time for the ushering in of magic in the form of Goddess, of Universe, of Faerie.

First, the hour begins in the dark. I listen to the shush of insects outside, or--if it's cold--my own breath and heartbeat, a primal rhythm. I plug in the fairy lights, suspended in generous loops around the ceiling, and suddenly everything changes. There is an expectant hush to the air as I light the candles lining the room, saving those on the altars for last.

On the main altar, the candles are lit: one for the Goddess, one for Creativity (in any form She chooses), one for the Goddess Mary (which Jenn gave me for Yule~ <3), representing compassion and love. I choose the incense with care. What am I thinking about tonight? What's in my heart, what's on my mind? Am I happy, or worried, content or wondering, peaceful or expectant? The incense is lit, waved in the air in the shape of a star (if I close my eyes, I still see the brilliant outline), placed in its holder.

On my Brigid altar, the candles are lit: three of a vibrant red for the Poet, the Healer and the Smithy. The final, tiny stub of sacred candle (blessed and consecrated) is lit to invoke Her.

"I had a good day," I tell Her with a smile. "Thank You for the sunshine, for the way Link leans on me when he's happy, for the jokes Jenn said that made me laugh for ten minutes, completely unable to breathe..." I pause and laugh and place my hands over my heart, breathing out long and low as I thank the Goddess for a stream of lovely little moments I was blessed with.

The Temple Room contains a never-ending circle of invocation, so I don't need to cast it, but some nights I do, just to replenish its hold. After the circle is cast, after the gratitude is done, I turn on the classical music, sit in my favorite meditation pose and...listen.

Meditation is, perhaps, my oldest magical tool. When I close my eyes and dive deeper, into still waters, there is such a sense of peace. The Universe is a chalice of light, of possibility and magic and brilliance, and all else fades away as I go deeper.

Sometimes, I meditate for ten minutes. Sometimes an hour or longer. I get story ideas, I go fantastical, magical places...I sit in the presence of the Holy of the World. I am humbled and awed by beauty, reminded of things I humanly forget, am connected once more to all that is. We are all, always, connected to one another, but it's a conscious reminder of the web of life.

Sometimes, I sit with the messages of the meditations for a long time. I'll make an offering of gratitude, in the form of more incense, or a special candle or a piece of dried fruit, placed in my offering bowl. The Faerie denizens of our house and land love this new bowl, in particular, that a friend gave me--an antique bowl, blue as the sky and translucent, and I often give them shiny crystals to play with in it.

Tarot and Oracle cards are usually pulled out, then, though it depends on the day on which of my beloved decks I use. Lately, I've been using the Froud Faerie Oracle. I am passionate about this deck--the fae are strong and vibrant and so helpful and kind, though very blunt (aren't they always?).

"Yes, I know," I sigh and wink up at the heavens as I pull a card reminding me to take time to myself. "That's what I'm doing right now," I tell the Universe with a laugh, and then I pull another, and breathe out, hushed, because it's a reminder again of how connected I am to All That Is, and I know that, but's just lovely to be reminded that you are loved. There are tears.

I thank the faeries, I thank the directions, I thank the elements, and then I talk to the Goddess. "I'm hopeful about tomorrow...I'm releasing a novella," I tell Her, even though she probably already knows. "I'm so excited," I say, and breathe out. "Do You want to tell me something?" And then I shuffle the cards, getting ready to pull one, and I don't get that chance, because one falls into my lap.

This is the card of yes-ness, of the world going right, of your hard work blossoming into something unspeakably beautiful.

Physical work, emotional work, mental work, all tied up together in a single, simple message of yes-ness from the Universe, of an embrace from my Divine Mother...of a moment of you're doing all right, kid.

And I blow out all the candles but one and I watch the incense burn down to a single flame, listening to my heart beat and feeling whole.
Mood:: 'calm' calm
mermaiden: (Me:  Hymn to the Goddess)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 04:52pm on 30/08/2011 under , ,
One of my favorites. At the beginning of autumn, the sun golden and delicious and full, the bees singing of that sweet witchery, it felt good to share. <3

The murmur of a bee
A witchcraft yieldeth me.
If any ask me why,
'Twere easier to die
Than tell.

The red upon the hill
Taketh away my will;
If anybody sneer,
Take care, for god is here,
That's all.

The breaking of the day
Addeth to my degree;
If any ask me how,
Artist, who drew me so,
Must tell!

~Emily Dickinson
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
mermaiden: (Me:  Witch Dancing)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 02:38pm on 22/08/2011 under , , , , ,
For those who have been around a few years, you might remember that I've had a few Pagan non-fiction pieces published here and there under the pen name Eevie Keys. I've always used that name for my non-fiction stuff because it made the most sense to me--I like the separation, and think it's easier for readers to find what they're looking for if they're not wading through books that might not be relevant to their interests. (I'm sure Pagan folks could really care less about my fictional and magical beasties, and YA readers might not give two figs about lesbian witchcraft.) I'd always intended to continue using my pen name when I went on to publish non-fiction books. I also have been very open from the start that I'm Sarah, but I'm also Eevie--I like things simple, and hiding pen names is a tad silly, I think. SO, I'm getting a LITTLE CLOSER to releasing my non-fiction books, and thought it a good time to band everything together, all neat and tidy!

I've created Oh, Sweet Witchery! to be a web site for all of my non-fiction work, and a Twitter feed under "eeviekeys" to tie it all together. And, sometime this winter, I will be releasing the following three books:

This, which is the one I'm most excited about, has been something I've been working on for almost two years, now. *JOY*

And two more for the less lesbian inclined! )
Mood:: 'good' good
mermaiden: (Unicorn)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:03pm on 21/06/2011 under , , , , ,
I know I ALWAYS SAY each of the Sabbats is my favorite, but I'm going to do it again! :D Midsummer/Litha is one of my favorite Sabbats. <3 It's so filled with joy, the ultimate time of plenty, the gardens burgeoning with life, the herald of a time of no cold, no snow, the opposite of winter. Perhaps, having lived in western New York for most of my life, I'm more highly tuned to the farthest point away from treacherous ice and snows as possible. Perhaps because it's the Sabbat closest to my birthday, and I associate such happy times and joyous moments with my birthday that it all turns into this great big package of sparkling days. Whatever it is, I love these days and celebrations with all of my heart.


I hope your Litha is beautiful and bright, and if you aren't of a Pagan-ish persuasion, that your Midsummer is filled with happy moments and bright, golden afternoons and fresh strawberries and iced tea and all of the comforts summer brings~ <3

Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

~ from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"~ <3
Mood:: 'grateful' grateful
mermaiden: (Me:  Witch Dancing)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 11:29am on 20/06/2011 under , , , , ,
This morning, I made my way out to our Forest Temple to give my daily offering of love to the Goddess (in this case, a freshly plucked daisy). The sunlight filtered through the pine trees, the birds were jubilant in song, and my heart was full. I'd walked along the edge of our garden, checked on the courageous plants, ever growing, fast growing, mind boggling in their ascent toward the heavens, and the fullness of new leaf. I've been gardening since I was a very little girl, but I will never lose the fascination and euphoria achieved when something you've tended from seed pokes its way through the earth, alive, well, growing. It's one of the most humbling, magical experiences you can have. Our garden is so big, and it sprawls, and it's filled with this sense of accomplishment--like, we did this, we did this together. Soon, we'll be eating fresh vegetables again, and that will be the most empowering thing that can happen. Having gone through a winter living very poorly, knowing that fresh greenery is so close reminds you of how precious the spring and summer are, how golden, how beautiful.

I entered the Forest Temple, and pressed my daisy to the offering column, and brushed my fingers along the base of the Goddess' statue. She was dew sprinkled and shone fiercely in the new light of the day. I said my familiar litany and prayer, and asked Her for my daily blessing: "may I have a good day," I grinned, and rose, feeling so light, so happy. I turned to go, and happened to glance down at my foot.

There was a tiny, perfect strawberry plant--bearing a tiny, perfect, sun-ripened-and-warm strawberry.

So, growing up, some of my happiest memories are laying in the meadow, plucking fresh, wild strawberries and sharing them with my Collie, Luke, laughing and happy in a golden spring-almost-summer afternoon. Strawberries to me are ease, plenty, joy, goodness, happy-golden-moments you hold to your heart forever. They are magic, pure and simple.

I plucked the strawberry, curtsied to the earth, the heavens, the sky, and ate it up. A tiny shock of red and juice and sweetness, that first strawberry of our summer. An offering from the Goddess, back to me.

So far, it has been a very good day~ <3
Mood:: 'happy' happy
mermaiden: (*  I dare you)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:42am on 14/06/2011 under ,
Sunday afternoon was rainy and cold and perfect for drinking copious amounts of tea and sitting together, snuggled with several kitties and puppies under crocheted blankets on the loveseat.

I'd stayed up until two thirty that morning, finishing my novella, Sugar Moon. Its release day is a week from today (EXCITEMENT!), and I was all basking in the glow of creating something I was extraordinarily happy with. Jenn and I were talking about the non-fiction book I'm currently working on, too (really, you probably know what it might entail, but--for right now--I want to keep it a bit of a secret until I get closer to finishing it~ Totally superstitious, I know! <3), and I was like, wouldn't it be great if we could do something extraordinary with the concept, beyond making it a book, almost making it...real...and Jenn's eyes flashed this brilliant, bright blue, and she said an idea that made both of our hearts leap--a Glamourkin idea.

When Jenn and I came up with Glamourkin, it was a very organic process. We said a few things back and forth, and suddenly, she said: "wouldn't it be great if we took old fairy tale books and made collaged pendants out of the illustrations?" It was instantaneous. We stared at each other, those years ago, our eyes wide, and we knew that the divine had come into our midst and touched us, and we knew we had to do it.

The idea on Sunday was a Glamourkin idea, not about Glamourkin, but given in the exact same way. One of those pivotal moments of life where everything is right and perfect, and you know exactly what you have to do to get where you should go, and you feel that everything is as it should be, and you will always accomplish what you're meant to, and that the Goddess believes in you.

Which is the most humbling, extraordinary thing in the entire world.

We stared at each other for a long moment, and then I started laughing, and we started furiously scribbling notes and coming up with timelines and figuring out the logistics of this really effing huge project, and we were like giddy kids being delivered to the Greatest Playground Ever Created, and we couldn't write fast enough, and when it was all done, we stared at our notes and at each other, and we knew something holy had happened, and we didn't know what to do with it, and we were so grateful we sat in silence, and we threaded our fingers together, and we just were.

In the beginning of August, something is coming. Something extraordinary, something that I hope will touch you.

(And holy shit, I hope we can pull this off. SO MUCH NEEDS TO HAPPEN BETWEEN NOW AND THEN. Wish us luck? <3)

I wanted you to be the first to know. <3
Mood:: 'excited' excited
mermaiden: (Ritual)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:27pm on 11/05/2011 under , , , , , ,
Jenn and I have been working around the clock for weeks to get The Dark Wife done in time. I really haven't had a second to sit down and wonder: will this work? What if no one buys it? What if people hate it? Those barbwire thoughts are on the outskirts of the fire, and they don't come for me, because I haven't been paying attention. But when I drop exhausted into bed, they circle like wolves, and I close my eyes, and I do the only thing that makes them go away:

I pray.

And everything stops. And, peacefully, I go to sleep.

I was talking to Jen ([ profile] wldhrsjen3) the other night, and I was so tired and overwhelmed, and my laptop was open on my lap, and I was staring at everything that still needed to done, and my Jenn had stayed up until seven o'clock IN THE MORNING that day to edit, and she slept three hours, and then was back at it again, and I opened my mouth to say as much to Jen, and all of this stuff started coming out that I didn't even realize I was saying until it was over, and I cried with Jen, and it was better, and I felt such great peace and love, and I wanted to put it all down somewhere so if I ever find myself doubting again, I can remind myself. And I wanted to share.

Through every step of the journey, the Goddess has been there. Through every moment of awesomeness or heartache, She has given me peace and strength and courage I did not know was even possible. Even when I'm exhausted past the point of help, all I have to do is ask Her for a little more strength just to finish it, and I receive it in spades. When something technical goes wrong, and I cry from frustration, I ask for a solution, and--magically--it appears.

The Goddess asked me to tell this story. She asked me to write this book, exactly how it is written, She asked me to tell the story, and She asked me to self publish it. She asked me to give it away for free, and She asked me to trust Her that we would always have enough. She asked me to be tenacious and resilient, courageous and constant, and for everything She asked of me, I have done my absolute best to follow through and uphold it. All of my actions have been a prayer of love to Her, and all of the doors that have opened up, all of the moments where everything went perfect and right and exactly how they should have, have been the humbling and beautiful moments where I felt Her clearly say: "yes, keep going, I love you, thank you."

The Goddess gave me this story. And whether it touches one person or a million people, I trust that everything has happened exactly as it should have, that we have done everything that should have been done, that the world spun and went on exactly as it must.

I am filled with such faith and trust and deep, abiding hope and joy, and every time I am too tired or I wonder if it's worth it, or I wonder if no one will ever read my stories, and everything we have done and worked for and striven for is for absolutely nothing...

I feel a hand on my shoulder, and an overwhelming sense of love and an embrace stronger than I can name.

And I write and I edit and I format and I sleep and I eat and I pray.

And, every single day, the Goddess gives me exactly what I need to do the impossible.

Six days from today, I push my little book out into the great waters of the world. A single candle, a single spark, divinely given and spun.

And I trust it will do everything it's meant to. Everything I am is a prayer of gratitude and love.

I trust You.
Mood:: 'still' still


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