mermaiden: (Cozy)
This Wednesday being Samhain (Halloween for all those crazy kids who don't wear pentacles and "Goddess Loves Me" shirts), I'm priestessing the FIRST EVER Samhain ritual at our Unitarian Universalist church. I orchestrated a Yule ritual there, and a very short and sweet Mabon ritual before our First! Annual! Mabon potluck, but they were both Pagan lite, in the sense that these were introductions to Pagan rituals for the congregation. This Wednesday will be the first ever COMPLETE Pagan ritual, which everyone seems to be super excited about. <3 This is what I wrote-up for our church newsletter:

Open Samhain Ritual -- The Beloved Dead
It was believed by ancient peoples--and still is by modern Pagans--that Samhain (Halloween) is the day of the year when the veil between worlds is thinned, and our loved ones who have passed on come to visit us again. Come and take part in a ritual that honors those loved ones who have gone before you, hallowing out a time and space in your life for magic. This will be a full Pagan ritual, including circle casting, Goddess invocation and a meditation. Please bring an image or trinket that reminds you of the loved one you miss most.

Samhain, I believe, is one of the most perfect Sabbats for non-Pagans to get super involved with. Everyone has a person or pet who has gone beyond, who they miss, and everyone understands the idea of honoring those who have gone before us. About a half hour before the ritual, I'm going to explain all of the building blocks of ritual--why we do it, and why we do each piece of the ritual itself. There are several people in the congregation who have been wanting to become Pagan, and several who are just open-minded awesome people, who want to be involved in meaningful rituals, so it's a very varied group. I'm so excited that people are so enthusiastic about this, and have a couple of surprises and magical ideas so that everyone carries something away from this, hopefully.

Jenn and I are both so blessed in the fact that our pastor, Lee, is so impassioned on how he backs up everything we want to do in the church. He *wanted* more Pagan involvement, and has asked me to do these things, when I showed interest in priestessing there. Everyone is so interested and supportive of our ideas, and backs us 110%. Sometimes, it makes me a little misty-eyed when I talk about our church family, and how deeply entrenched they are in our lives and hearts. We're more blessed than I could articulate. <3

So yes! Samhain! Open ritual! Lots of candles and cider and drums and magic! I can't wait. <3


I don't cook very much during the summer months because of how SATANICALLY HOT our house gets when it's hot outside. :D But cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, when I actually have five minutes in which to do it. And cooking in CROCK POTS is my FAVORITE. <3 I just whipped up a vegan pot pie in our slow cooker. SORCERY. Crock pots were invented by All of the Gods at the annual God Consortium one day, because they were like: HUMANS. THEY NEED SOMETHING AWESOME IN THEIR LIVES. And lo, verily, the crock pot was BORN. I know lots of people think crock pots are for old ladies with blue hair, but it is ALSO for YOUNGER LADIES with PINK AND PURPLE HAIR and everyone else, too.

C'mon folks. LET'S BRING CROCK POTS BACK. Like SEXY. But with more CARBOHYDRATES, surely. I will even give you my secret, super-duper crock pot recipe for my SORCERY Pot Pie:

Music:: "Saltarello" from Music from the Time of the Crusades
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
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 -- Dani)
The Fable Tribe Halloween update is tonight! The witching hour of 8 PM (EST) draws ever closer, and the veils have parted--you can now see the update preview at our Flickr!

Haunting hair flowers, Victorian Halloween Glamourkins (and Crystal Glamourkins!), and Samhain Blessing Bowls for your magical workings this Hallow's Eve (or to decorate your home with sacred intention this October). ♥

The ENTIRE UPDATE will go live when the clock strikes eight! ♥

See the update preview at our Flickr!

Music:: Mannheim Steamroller -- Halloween
Mood:: 'busy' busy
mermaiden: (Faerie)
The Fable Tribe update is live in the shop! This time around we debuted several new, shiny things, including Glamourkins made out of little wooden books, Invocation Blessing Bowls (of which there is only one left! [I'm so, so glad you guys loved them! <3]) and Fairy Wish Houses!

This is the update that's going to make the Fairie Festival possible for us and vanquish some pesky, unexpected bills, so any spreading of the word is extremely appreciated, and earns you magical, internet hugs! Possibly from unicorns! I'll see if they're willing to hug people. XD <333333333333
Mood:: 'good' good
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: (Fairy circle)
Just a reminder that the Fable Tribe's update will be beginning in a few hours! Hopefully around four or five-ish. We have several surprises in store--stay tuned for magic! <3
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
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:  waveborn)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 08:47pm on 01/01/2012 under ,
We are at the cabin on the lakeshore with Pete and Katie and Gareth, on our writing retreat. Being so close to the water, even if it isn't salt, is so soothing to me. I spent a large portion of today, in between blissful bouts of writing, at the water's edge, walking on the rocks, watching the waves roll in.

A storm has descended along with the dark. The wind roars around the little cabin, the trees move to and fro, and it is magic. A little while ago, even though it was pitch black outside, I had to take a walk, to taste the rain, to watch the whitecaps roll. It was one of the most bewitching things I have ever been witness to, and I was humbled, spelled and in awe of it.

So far out, the waves began, tossing and shaking and jubilant, roaring, roaring. They crashed closer and closer until they hit the rocks beneath the escarpment, and then again and again and again, relentless. The wind roared about me, the clouds raced, and the entire earth seemed to be speaking, not words, but a sparking jubilation.

I took a walk along the little dirt road beside the escarpment, digging my hands into my pockets. The trees roared here louder than the water, a gigantic sigh. The power of the wind, of the water, the branches made me feel so small, and yet so vibrant. Here I was, walking along these paths, wrapped in my own thoughts and stories, and the tempest raged about me, exultant and powerful and primal. The waves and rain merged together, and the magic spun and grew.

Somewhere, the stars swing, quiet and bright. But tonight, the earth is alive in revelry, and all beings and elements raise their voices in celebration of a new year born.
Mood:: 'indescribable' indescribable
mermaiden: (Love:  Hearts)
It's dark out. The sun trips across the sky for only a few hours every day. The earth doesn't know what it wants to do, is half cold, half warm, thoroughly confused. It is past the Solstice, and yet we have not had snow. I hear the reports that in 1889 in Buffalo, they didn't get any snow in December, too. I wonder if they worried about the end of the world, if 1900 would bring about Armageddon, or if they were just really grateful that they didn't have to put on eighteen layers of coats and mufflers to go pee.

On the Winter Solstice, I performed my first ever Unitarian service. More people came to that service than the last three combined, curious to see what I was capable of...and they said they loved it. They warmed my heart with their joy for it, they made me feel like I had done what was needed, and they affirmed that little push in my heart that's been pushing for months. I'll...tell you about it later. <3

Afterward, we were taken out to dinner, we gave Bill his present...he shed and wiped away a single tear, and his voice shook when he thanked us. I cried when he gave us our present--my voice shook, too. Sometimes, the earth turns and magnificent things happen, and you meet the people you were meant to. And you can never predict exactly when that will be, or how long you have with them. So you're simply grateful.

I keep thinking about the people who changed my life, and the people I love. 'Tis the season for it. I keep thinking about my little goddess daughter, sending her love and light every day. I keep thinking about the women and men and boys and girls that fill my heart, and it is full, so full it might burst, and I really don't have words to convey the gratitude for the card with the sparkling glitter and heartfelt message, and the little package I retrieved from the mailbox on the worst day of the year that reminded me that I was loved, or how my wife wrapped me so close and tight beneath the Solstice tree, and how my kid sister gave me something I've been wanting since I was fourteen years old, her eyes twinkling, and how I got a phone call because "I was thinking about you, and I love you." Even in the season of darkness, of cold, of gestation and waiting and sleep, we remember one another, we reach out with warm hands to hold one another in the cold, dying light.

That's family. That's love. That's the holidays.

I'm so filled with gratitude, it's hard to articulate here. There are little things I'm grateful for: with the money we got from the holidays, and my royalties, I was able to pay off a little credit card. We haven't been able to make any headway on the cards in about nine or so months, and it was fucking exhilarating to write that check. (Normal people don't get this excited about paying off a credit card, I'm sure. ;D) We have a long way to go, but I feel hopeful about it again. My depression is--knock on every piece of wood in the world--gone. We are closing Glamourkin in a few days, and the coming creation that has been held secret is ready to burst through the doors, and Jenn and I are so filled with excitement and plans and lists and lists that we don't know how we're going to contain it until opening day. We've been to so many UU services these past few weeks, multiple services a week, but we still managed to--in the middle of Pennsylvania on the drive back up to NY on Christmas day--find one at a Pittsburgh church, randomly, and go. The pastor was so funny--he read one of my favorite stories, "The Gift of the Magi," and the sermon made me cry. <3 No matter where you are or who you are or when you go, any UU church welcomes you, a stranger, with smiling people, huge hugs, talk and coffee. It's one of the most comforting things in the world, knowing that. (And my hobby of visiting different UU churches when we travel grows by one more, putting us at...twelve, I think? I want to start a blog about it. ;D *laughing*)

The year opens up, a bright shining star of possibility. And we wait, hearts warm, hands clasped...together. <3


Below is the Winter Solstice Ceremony that I wrote for the Pullman Church--I'm sharing it here so people can read it if they wish (or, heck, you could do the meditation part, if the spirit moved you). <3 It is "Pagan lite," as this was the first service that ever introduced Pagan concepts to the church--as the months progress, I will be introducing more and more Pagan ideas, rituals, concepts to the congregation.

Lee (our pastor), Laura (my kid sister, who graciously sang for us <3) and Jenn all had parts, which I've included below.

I hope you enjoy. <3

image by uberfischer

The Winter Solstice Ceremony at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, 2011~ )
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
mermaiden: (Bandyloo)

A bright, blessed Mabon morning has spread before us--a wild, untamed day of vibrancy and brilliance, leaves unfurling, and autumn descending, Persephone descending. Hail and welcome, beloved Autumn. <3 <3 <3

Today, we are applying for our marriage license. I was a little nervous that they won't give us one (they don't have to if it's against their religion), and we'll have to find another county to go to (I have activist courage about eleventy billion things regarding GLBT rights, but when it comes to my OWN WEDDING, I just want it to be all positive, all happiness--that's not such a hard-to-grant wish for most people, but for gay weddings, it is. I hate that.). Last night, I sat very still, eyes closed, and imagined them smiling when they heard the news we were getting married--getting the same reaction as all of the straight couples who go in for their licenses. I thought of all of the people who fought so very hard for us to even get to this point, and I stopped being nervous. If they treat us terribly, we'll leave, we'll talk about it, it won't stop us from getting married because nothing can stop us from getting married. That thought alone revived the great joy in my heart.

A week from today, we are getting married--legally married. We are four Glamourkins away from the completion of Operation Sparkle Wedding, we are seven days away from legal marriage, something no one can ever touch, no one can ever destroy. We'll be "official," "worth-full" in the eyes of a society that did not think this in June. I've never given a flying flip what society thinks about me, but now we're protected, we have our rights--we're safe.

Mabon is all about gratitude. Every day, I'm thankful for so very many things, but this time, the list is so much greater.

- People from all over the country are flying and driving and sparkling in to celebrate our marriage. They are taking time out of their busy lives to uphold us in love. Many more wish they could be there, will be there in spirit. We dwell in a veritable house of love, a mansion of love, a beautiful dwelling of heart and love--I could not be more grateful for you.

- We are getting legally married, a hard won, hard fought for privilege. So few of our community have this precious should not be this precious, but it is, and I'm so, so grateful for it.

- Every day, every hour, every moment, I fall more in love with Jenn in my life. She is my soul mate, the celestial body to my satellite, my morning and my star rise. I love her with all that I am, every day I fall deeper into that love, I can not believe that I am blessed enough to marry her again.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, this day, I am sending you love. This is the autumn of the year, this is the resplendence of the world, this is one week from a marriage.

Oh, bliss, bliss, bliss. <333333333333333333333
Mood:: 'joyous' joyous


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