Carmin & Azzerac have created "Lodestone & Lady's Mantle", a Witchcraft & Occult Supply Store, founded on the principles of organic ingredients, ethical gem stones, and handcrafted goods, with an emphasis on Artists and the discriminating customer.
A winter that seems to stretch back to the depths of your memories; the world held in thrall by the cruel glittering hand, that squeezes the land and needles your bones.
Imbolc is one of my favorite Sabbats. At times like this, I know how the ancients believed that summer wouldn't come if specific rituals were neglected. I love the pregnant pause before Spring, the dichotomy of fire and ice; the defiance with which we light a blazing glory of bonfires and candles.
The light has grown since the Winter Solstice, but it is almost imperceptible here in the Rockies, where the first signs of Spring still feel a long way off.
Blessings to you and yours on this Feast of Light!
No one warned me that you could 'loose it' composing & editing podcasts!
Ac here, and I'm just coming off the first leg of editing instalment #1 of "Vox Lapis: The Voice of The Stone", an irregularly-scheduled 'thingy' we've decided to branch-out into, for the site. Maybe this wasn't such a grand Idea?
I spent many a year behind a microphone, but I never guessed how different it would be from just opening my mouth on the air. Just think of me, trying to say something meaningful AND watch my language!
...so I gave up! Not the podcast: That's going, as planned. I gave up watching my tounge! ...or holding it.
I tried to "Play Nice", really I did! I think I tried TOO hard. Something snapped, and the frog-prince turned back into a pumpkin, on a scarecrow, in a field of straw, to be spun into gold, as he scares the crap out of the Ravens, the Moonshadows, the Silverhawks, and all of the other "White-Lighter", Addicted-To-"Charmed", Fluffy-Bunnies in Purple Veloure! (Was that too many metaphores?)
Race against the sun to get good pictures (the light dies at 3pm). Edit, crop, size, and hopefully put them in the right folder. Write a short piece about each new item, write the code, get it placed properly, make payment buttons, fumble with the new organizing system, shout at least three incomprehensible swear words, have a cigarette. Realize that you are 10 minutes behind schedule with the upload. Mutter eighteen expletives, some of which are only known in certain remote bits of Australia.To wombats. Do the upload. Check it on the B machine, only to realize that the stone pictures came out broken. Scream. Wish for the liquor fairy. Re-upload all the pictures. Realize that the new herbs that were set in place for a future installment are there, but no one can have them. Fearful of being branded an herb-tease, you make new buttons. Re-upload. Double and triple check, still with the vague paranoia that you have forgotten something. Growl. "Where's that damn liquor fairy?!"
Urm, yeah. That's me and web design. The monthly specials are all in place. There is a prosperity and luck theme this month, with Algiers Fast Luck Oil, Green Calcite, Organic Peppermint, and the perennial favorite, kyphi incense. Just because you guys * lurv* it ;) Excellent for chasing away winter doldrums.
Tomorrow, more of the same. The new year brought with it a windfall of beautiful, drool-worthy new stones and crystals, all ethically harvested and mined, like the rest of the collection, and it should be up by tomorrow evening.
Class will be held on Tuesday night, and now that the end of winter is in sight (fingers crossed), the "Power-Walks: Magic in the Great Outdoors" class will begin again. Hoping for mid-March. Heck, hoping that more local Pagans actually want to get outside this year. <----Broad hint.
Back in high school, my art teacher took us into the gallery and taught a simple way to move into a controlled Alpha state. It was his way of teaching that the mind did not need drugs in order to be creative, surrealistic, or think in abstract ways. That drugs were, in fact, a crutch and a hobble to creativity. That lesson has stuck with me for many a year. Our dear friend Randolph dug up an interesting article from the Boston Globe, on using mental techniques to overcome pain, create vivid visualizations, and quickly enter dream states. Hacking the brain, so to speak. Or at least reverse-engineering it.
So we're right in the middle of doing a rebuild on the site. When we first put it together, there weren't too many products to worry about. Now... well, it's a different story. The main counter takes too long to load, and apparently, everything is too big. I got a tongue lashing from one of the top web marketers in the biz. Ah, well, that's what happens when someone as nearsighted as me designs a website :P It's a bit of a daunting task, like fixing up an old Victorian. Where do you start?
So I have temporarily retreated into the peace and safety of crafting. I spent the week whipping up a bunch of fresh candle colors, and am busily making seven knobs in every color of the rainbow. It always annoyed me that the only colors available on the market for specialty spell candles were black, white, green, and red. C'mon! There is something to be said for retrofitting correspondences to your intent, but enough is enough!
There is also a fresh batch of egg candles, just in time for Imbolc, and new crystal candles, Road Opener Oil (a.k.a AbreCamino), but they haven't been added to the main shop just yet. Until the shop is properly organized, I've put them on Etsy to see how people respond. Etsy has been a fun experience. I never sold on the horror that is Ebay (thank the gods!), and it's nice to have a sense of community with others that are hand crafting.
In other news, a friend here in town that had purchased a bottle of Algiers Fast Luck from us ran over shortly after he applied it to tell us that a $15,000 contract had landed in his lap, out of the blue. How's that for a bad ass condition oil?!
The monthly specials are going to be switched over tomorrow morning, and Algiers will definitely be on the list. It isn't one of our more expensive oils, but everyone could use a bit of luck right now! There is usually at least one stone, an oil, and an herb to the monthly special, but I am a bit stumped right now. Any thoughts on what you might like?
The new year is unfurling beautifully, and we are madly sketching up ideas for the coming months. Stuff for our beloved Kitchen Witches. Bath Salts. More Pagan and Wiccan focused items. I know we are pretty heavy on the Hoodoo formulas right now, and that is totally my fault ;) I love making them and they work.
Ah well, the experiments rage on. Have a great day!
Amazing how surreal little bits of beauty creep in during the dark months. The squirrel in the pictures above is nicknamed Skitter, and she has memorized my days off.
Its very disconcerting to step onto the porch, in the early morning light, a cup of coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other, and get chased in circles by a very sweet, kinda jacked up squirrel. Her ear has a rip, she walks with a wee limp, and lately has looked way too skinny. Definitely not diseased, but the winter has been kinda tough up here. The summer was short, and not much grew.
I'm not much of a "feed the animals" person. In fact, I consider most people who are to be complete dumb asses. We live in bear country. It isn't a great idea to leave food on the front porch, ya know?
But Skitter... I like her. She used to watch me work in the garden this past summer. It's a strange feeling to be studied so deeply by that tiny little ball of moxie.
Have a great night, hope to see you on the 'morrow!