Generational Fuckery

My grandmother fucked around with the same ley lines that I did.

There is a place on the old west side of Colorado Springs where the air feels old and slow, and everything outside the area seems dull and muffled, as if on the other side of a window. I used to think this weird energy was produced by the cemetery there, but it is not. Ley lines intersect there, and this is why the weird shit happens.

My great-great grandmother lived a block from the cemetery and she spoke with the dead. They would rock in her wooden rocking chair at night and roll plates across the floor. Other family members feared her for it, and they still whisper about it four generations later.

I do not know if this interest skipped my great grandmother or not. As a child we went to see her once a week, but I spent my visits there outside, feeling, even at the time, that I was absorbing the air’s weird vibrations. My great grandmother died before my adulthood, and I never asked her things I should have.

Just yesterday, my mother told me that my grandmother had mentioned, in passing, the ley lines that cross by the house where she grew up. The fact that my grandma even has any idea what a ley line is blows my mind, not to mention that she knows exactly where they are. Even more importantly, she and her friend, Rosie, fucked around with their energy.

If we skip to about ten years ago, not knowing any of this, my dumb ass insisted that my boyfriend and I rent a place near “this weird old cemetery.” I waited months for a place to open up, and we moved into a duplex about two blocks away from this same cemetery. As I mentioned before, I thought the bizarre energy of the area came from the cemetery. Like any self-respecting human being would, I spent my time there fucking around with this energy.

There were shadow people here. There were ghosts. I had strangely prophetic dreams. Here, I learned to channel the land. I learned how to truly listen. I met a young man who had been 17 when he’d died in 1911 who couldn’t remember his name, but he suggested that I pick up the fallen sticks from the tree right next to his grave that had been recently hit by lightning.

My boyfriend and I got married and, when I found out I was pregnant some time later, we moved. It had been my idea, but I still cried for a month.

Two years ago, I took my kids to this cemetery under the pretense of making grave rubbings. My daughter, however, did not make any. Instead, she sat on top of some of the grave markers and just stared at the sky. Absorbing.

Recently, she’s started asking me when we’re going to go back to the cemetery. She was four when we went and she still has a very vivid memory of it at six and wants to return.

Meanwhile, the ley lines at the cemetery roll their eyes. Jesus Christ, another one of these bitches.

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Crochet Bookmark Pattern

Oh look, I’m here with another pattern-that’s-not-a-pattern because the instructions I write are always wish-washy.

This time it’s for a bookmark, because I like reading and I like crocheting and this little project serves two hobbies at once. (I also like beads and fringe.)

Also, something is wrong with me and I like to have a bookmark that matches the book (especially if it’s a book I love).

**This pattern is written in American English and is free on purpose. If you want to sell what you’ve made from this pattern go for it, but don’t try to sell the goddamn pattern.**

Alright. What you’ll need:

🌿 crochet thread

🌿 a tiny crochet hook (mine’s 2.75mm)

🌿 scissors

🌿 a few beads (optional)

🌿 a needle that will fit through your beads

This stitch is easily adjustable. Your starting chain just has to be a multiple of 3 +2. I chained 11 (3×3 and +2).

1. Chain 3 more (these ch3’s count as a DC here and throughout) and DC in the fifth ch from the hook. DC in each ch across. (10 DC plus the beginning ch3)

2. Ch3 and turn. Skip 2 stitches (the one your ch3 is taking up and one more), then DC, ch1, DC in the next stitch. *skip 2 st, DC, ch1, DC in the same stitch* Repeat until you have one stitch and the previous row’s turning chain left. Skip the stitch and DC in the top of the turning chain.

3. Ch3 and turn. Put 3 DC’s in each chain space from the previous row, and end with a DC in the turning chain.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length, ending with a final Row 3. I kept going until I had ten rows of the V stitch.

Ch1 and turn your work horizontally. You’ll be crocheting down the side. Stick two loose sc’s in the edge of each row.

This gives it a nice edge. When you get the end of this side, ch3 (to “turn the corner” and crochet evenly across the bottom. Ch3 and sc up the other side, ch3 and sc across the top. Ch3 to turn the final corner and slip stitch to your first sc. Finish off and weave in ends.

You can stop here if you want. You can block it or starch it. I won’t because I’m lazy as fuck.

Personally, I like to have something poking out the top of the book. Hence I do the beads and tassle.

Cut a piece of your thread about two feet long. (You won’t use this much really, but you want extra.)

Using your crochet hook or your needle, put the thread through the middle two sc’s at the top of your bookmark. Like this:

Thread both the loose ends onto your needle. Your thread needs to be doubled up. Thread your beads on and push them down toward the bookmark.

Tie a knot down close to the last bead, but make sure it’s loose enough that your beads have room to lay over.

Now for the tassle.

Find something to wrap thread around that’s about the same size you want your tassle. A bottle, your phone, your hand, it doesn’t matter. Wrap it 50 times.

(I’m using a little sewing needle case.) Cut the thread and snip all the way through one side of your 50 wraps. This leaves you with 50 pieces of thread that are roughly the same size.

Knot your tassle strips together with the two pieces of thread you’ve got your beads on.

Tie it tightly right in the middle. Then fold your tassle pieces in half.

Using the threads you tied the bundle of tassle pieces together to the bookmark, knot them hard around all of the tassle pieces. This forms your tassle.

You can do this as carefully or as shittily as you want. As you can see, I’ve demonstrated doing this shittily.

Attach your needle onto your two long threads and tuck them down through the knot so they become part of the tassle.

Trim your tassle nice and even. Or don’t. Um…then I guess use your bookmark.

Or, you know, make another in a different color to match a different book.

Star Stitch Tarot Mat

Free crochet pattern, bitches!

This one is for a tarot reading mat, but more power to you if you want to make something bigger like an altar cloth.

This mat is made with the star stitch and features fringe to avoid having to weave in goddamn ends.

This is a great stash-buster because of the striped rows. For the blue and purple mat pictured above, I used all Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. (Mostly because it’s cheap, it’s everywhere, and it comes in an assload of colors.) But for the sample in this tutorial, I’m stash-busting. Which means my yarns are a bit different sizes and I’m probably going to regret it later.

Anyway, here’s what you need:

🐖 at least two different colors of worsted weight yarn

🐖 an H hook

🐖 scissors

🐖 fucking patience

To begin: chain 61. (You can really use any odd number of chains here.)

For my next trick, I will try to explain something to you that’s difficult to explain and I’m also shit at explaining things.

The star stitch is kind of like a cluster stitch. Or a decrease. It requires you to pick up six loops on your hook, then yarn over and pull through all of them.

So at the end of your chain, you have one loop on your hook, right?

That’s one. Now, skipping the very first chain next to your hook (the loop currently on your hook counts as the one you pulled from this first chain), pull up a loop in the next five chains.

You should now have six loops on your hook. If your work doesn’t look like this, you’ve fucked up.

Now, yarn over and pull through all six of these loops.

Chain one LOOSELY to “close” the star.

If you make this chain tight, I promise you’re going to be sad later.

Here comes the bullshit part: you’re about to start pulling up loops for your next star. The first loop is already on your hook. Pull one loop through the loose chain you just did to “close” your star.

The third loop is going to be pulled up from the last “ray” of your completed star.

The fourth loop comes from the chain that last ray of your completed star went in.

It’s almost like this is a pain in the ass or something.

The last two of your six loops come from the next two chains.

Now yarn over and pull through all six loops, then chain 1 LOOSELY to close this star.

It should look something like this.

Continue creating stars across your chain until you have one chain left, then HDC in that last chain. (Make sure you’ve loosely chained 1 to close your last star.) You should have a whole row of half stars.

To begin row 2, chain 2 and turn.

Place two HDC’s in the LOOSE chains you made in the previous row.

Here are two HDC’s in the first chain space and the hook is pointing to the next chain two HDC’s will go.

Finish the row with an HDC in the top of the very first star you made.

Your first color change has arrived. You can either finish off your first color and attach the next color with a slip stitch, or you can pull the new color through the final yarn-over of the last HDC. I’m doing the latter.

When you cut your first color yarn, leave a reasonable tail that will become part of the fringe.

With your new color, LOOSELY chain 3 and turn.

Just like the first star in the first row, the loop on your hook counts as the loop from the first chain, so pull up a loop from the other two chains, and one from the next three HDC’s.

Yarn over and draw through all six loops and chain one loosely foe your first star. The rest of this row is just making stars the same way you did in row one. HDC in the last stitch.

Chain two, turn, and HDC twice in the chain of each star in the row below.

The star stitch is a two-row repeat. Continue the star-stitch, changing colors every two rows, until it’s the size you want. I did 18 rows (9 rows of stars).

Energetically Cleansing Animal Parts

Yesterday, I picked up a small animal hide from a second-hand shop. It was sitting on a scratched-up end table in the furniture area, and it had a hideous cowboy boot lamp sitting on top of it. After flinging aside the lamp, purchasing it, and bringing it home, I began to work on clearing it, and that’s when it occurred to me that I do a lot of energetic cleansing of things that were once living creatures.

Anyway, I decided to do a little blog post about how I cleanse animal parts in the off chance that it might help someone else.

(When I was ten and eleven, my mother and grandmother loved to spend hours strolling through antique stores, and I would scour each booth for skins. Whenever I found one, I was afraid the rabbits had died in horrible ways, and I wanted to comfort them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was listening to them, and energetically cleansing them. I had invented an entire days-long process to transition the animal skins from trauma to my bedroom. For this reason, my current process still has some weird steps that I feel like I have to do.)

Anyway.

Here’s my skin. I suspect it’s a small rabbit skin, because it’s the same color as the millions of rabbits that populate the area, but it’s coarseness makes me unsure.

The first, and probably the most important step, is to listen to whatever shit you’ve picked up. And it’s not just one listen, you have to listen the whole time.

At the store, I asked the cashier to bag it separately so it didn’t touch other things.

When I got home, I didn’t put it straight on my altar. Practically, it might be disgusting. Depending on what it is and where you got it, an animal part might have bugs, rotting flesh, mold, all sorts of gross shit. Physically clean it a bit if it needs it. Beat out dust, brush off dirt, you know.

Energetically, I like to give pieces like this some time to acclimate to its new environment. Some pieces feel like they need more time than others for this.

Last summer, when I found most of an elk carcass that was pretty much just bones with terrifying teeth marks, I piled that shit in a laundry basket and left it outside in the sun for weeks. Its death was no doubt horrific, and I felt like it needed to calm down. The rabbit skin, however, has already been placed on my altar only a few hours after I got it. It feels almost domesticated, as if the pelt itself is used to being inside a house and it knows how it should behave when sitting on a table.

Once it’s been placed somewhere special, it may just want to sit there, unperturbed. If not, may the cleansing commence.

I wish I had something cooler to report that I did for this skin, but all I did was placed some little obsidian shards around the edges. It’s what I felt like I should do.

For larger pieces, I generally place cleansing items on top of it. Obsidian, selenite, clear quartz, you know. The raw-er the better as far as crystals.

For smaller pieces, like vertebrae, I usually like to incorporate the piece into a cleansing grid. My advice to you here is to give the piece a prominent position, but do not make it the sole generator.

Here’s an example of my grid for an elk vertabra.

Aside from just cleansing, gridding a piece can be a great time to program it. Although I despise the word “programming” in witchcraft. Especially for animal parts. This is a collaboration and I’ve showed it how I’d like it to help me. It may not wish to help me in this way.

With the pictured grid, I sort of gave this bone instructions. It’s my “Lense of Truth,” (yes, like on fucking Zelda). It has clear quartz, amethyst, and sodalite (because I like to torture myself).

However, if your piece feels particularly vicious, save the “programming” for a later time.

For my rabbit skin, I’m going to let it sit on my altar with the obsidian shards overnight.

At risk of making myself sound like a lunatic, you have to “listen” to your piece at each step. You might feel like your piece requires more or less than what I’m doing. Also, always consider your source, and this source is questionable at best.

Okay, it’s the next morning and I’m back at this damn rabbit skin. Today, I’m going to waft this fucker through some smoke.

I chose to use palo santo for the rabbit skin.

I pretty much always use smoke to clear and cleanse these kinds of things, because water and fire don’t mix well with a lot of shit. Animal parts are irreplacable, and I’m not willing to risk scorches or water damage.

This is another important time to listen to your piece. Does it have a fearful or frightened energy? If so, it probably needs more time. Set it back up with some obsidian or selenite. If it feels uncooperative, that’s probably just the energy of your piece. Good luck, bitch.

That being said, there’s a fine line between having an animal part that’s cleansed versus having an animal part that may as well be substituted for a blank sheet of printer paper. It should still feel like it’s retained its animalness. This is an ally, not a tool.

If you feel you’ve over-cleansed your piece, leave it alone for a while. Like a moon cycle at least. A season maybe. This is not a place you want to end up, and under-cleansing is preferable to over-cleansing.

Having held and “felt” and “listened to” your piece, it might be ready now. If you skipped giving your piece a job description (or “programming”) earlier, and you want to, do that now.

My rabbit skin is ready.

Close the cleansing period with a bell or chime or drum or tambourine or some shit. This is like sealing it from energies coming in or going out.

Lastly, try out your piece.

You may discover that it has different ideas than what you’ve asked it to do, in which case you’d best shut up, sit down, and listen, because it’s got a lesson for you. You may also discover that it’s more than happy to assist you in the way you’ve asked.

So anyway.

That’s how I cleanse my animal pieces.

Now, I get to start over on these pieces of deerskin leather I was gifted…

Ooh, Yeah, Baby, Touch My Decks

Hi.

Sometimes I get a tarot deck and I don’t cleanse it.

Additionally,

I have a couple of decks that I haven’t cleansed that no one else is allowed to touch either.

If I acquire a deck that’s been physically touched by its creator, I don’t cleanse it. At all. This is because I’m a goddamn creep. This is also because I’m like an opportunistic scavenger and I like to weirdly retain their energy in the cards. Um, which I suppose still falls under the “being a goddamn creep” category.

I have a deck that came straight to me from its printing company, but I have something else that I know its creator touched, so that item is used in every reading I do with that deck.

I have a deck that came with a pin that I know the creator of both touched, so it accompanies my readings.

I have a deck that I’m not sure if the creator touched or not, but I do know that he had to have touched the thank-you note slipped inside the guidebook, so this piece of folded-up printer paper joins me in my readings with this deck.

I have a deck that was hand-cut by its creator, so I know she touched every single card, making it super-duper-extra magickal. I made a bag for this deck and touched the deck to it to transfer the energy so the bag would be good enough for the deck.

Do I have a problem?

Yes.

But the real problem is if anyone starts to reach out a hand toward my Paradoxical Trionfi della Luna that was sigNED AND TOUCHED BY PATRICK FUCKING VALENZA HIMSELF WITH HIS OWN GODDAMN HANDS.

The Tarot Restless Review

“It is by the first sword that each universe is brought into being, and all the numberless stars are scattered across the expanse in their shimmering spirals.” (Restless Meditations guidebook, by Winslow Dumaine)

The Tarot Restless, by Winslow Dumaine, is like walking into your first appointment with a new psychologist and finding that it’s Osiris. He already knows the things you’ve done, the things you’ve thought, and the things that have happened to you. He also knows roughly how much they weigh, but he didn’t bring his scale and anyway, he’s not here to judge you. Yet. He’s here to watch you to judge yourself.

This deck is the Judgement card shattered into 78 pieces, and The Tower card that refuses to be ignored for the possibility of The Star coming next.

The Tarot Restless spends its days trying to help humans sort through their suffering. Suffering needs to be learned from, not shoved in a closet and ignored.

As fantastic as the cards are, the guidebook is my very favorite part. You know I love stories, guys, and each card has its own little short story. But all of the short stories are linked by the curse of infertility and immortality laid upon the people of this alternate universe.

It pains me to classify this as a “not for everyone” deck, because everyone does need it, many people just don’t think they do.

The Tarot Restless defies the traditional Rider-Waite system, leaving the reader to treat it more as an oracle deck. Here are a few of the majors:

This is an emotionally heavy deck. I, personally, wouldn’t use it to read for someone besides myself. And that has nothing to do with the artwork and everything to do with the deeply personal nature of how this deck conducts its business.

Not to say that it doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Energetically, it seems to be a veey focused yet weirdly balanced deck. It doesn’t skew masculine or feminine, and there are numerous fantastical beasts throughout a people-populated deck.

You know I never really have shit to say about cardstock unless I’m bitching. The size is…regular? It’s got a glossy finish and the edges are silver. The box (pictured up there a ways with the severed finger) is nice and sturdy, although I do believe that the box’s art has been slightly changed from what I have.

This deck contains some of my favorite shit: offensive art, short stories, and shadow work.

As scary as this deck might seem, the scariest part is that it forces you to look inside yourself.

Do you need this deck?

Yes.

Get it right here: http://www.winslowdumaine.com/shop/

Rota Tarot Review

I’m finally getting my review of the Rota Tarot up, mainly because it feels weirdly familiar like I’ve had it forever. I forget it’s not part of me or some shit. This is my travel deck and I take it most places with me which, shittily, makes it one of my most used and least photographed decks. For that I apologize.

The Rota Tarot, by Soror Tzadkiel, is a unique blend of several different approaches to the tarot. From Golden Dawn to the Qabalistic Tarot, there is a shit-ton of stuff to unpack from each card. This is a deck made by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

Even despite the expanse if its inspiration and teachings, this is a cheerful and approachable little deck. Well, I say “little” because I have the mini version.

There’s also a more standard-sized version, but I love this one’s size.

This is one of those decks that can be as easy or difficult to use as you choose to make it.

The illustrations are simple, but manage to convey an ass-load of symbolism.

(Also, The Magician is Ronan Lynch creating Cabeswater and nothing will ever convince me otherwise.)

I would recommend this deck to everyone. The titles at the base of each card make it beginner-friendly, but a more experienced reader could dig into these cards for years on end and still find new things.

Don’t let the pip-style minors scare you. Like I said: titles.

Do you need this deck?

Yes.

Grab The Rota Tarot on Etsy.