My patron deities- Lakshmi (Earth)

Lakshmi came to me at the same time that her sister, Sarasvati, did.  She is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, luck, and family.  To me, she has always been the Queen of Pentacles, and all the groundedness and abundance that embodies.

She’s often portrayed seated or standing in a lotus, hovering over a river which flows as wealth flows, with coins dripping from one hand while the other hand is raised.  She is usually surrounded by elephants, (her son is Ganesha), though she is also associated with owls.

Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, I can’t find the legend anywhere now, but I read at one point that the sisters Lakshmi and Sarasvati were bitter rivals for the attention of the god Vishnu.  Lakshmi won him in the end, and Sarasvati was married to Brahma.  The legend then went on to say that because of their rivalry, and continued jealousy of each other, they cannot be in the same place at the same time.

Sarasvati is the Goddess of knowledge, music, poetry, and she’s always represented creativity in general to me.  So, for that reason, we have the starving artist/scholar model.  You can have wealth with no creativity or deep knowledge, or you can be a creative person or a scholar, but wealth will always flee you.

That legend spoke to me, and still speaks to me, and so I try to honor both Goddesses.  It’s always been my dream to be able to make a living as an artist, writer, or other creative type, but I always end up settling for a boring, mundane job to pay the bills.  I’m a practical goat.  But the hope is still there.  Perhaps my work on Ravenson Reagents will help me to achieve that balance.

I’ve always had a strange relationship with money.  In my family, money either came with strings or judgment or control attached.  When I was a kid, and then later in college, I learned not to rely on anyone else for money as I worked 2 or 3 jobs to get myself through school.  Then, when I graduated, I felt like it was all worth it when I got my first serious job.  I made a lot of money.  5X what I make now.  But I was also miserable.  My creativity was dying, I was angry all the time, and the stress was overwhelming.   The things I had to do for that money, and the compromises to my personal ethics just ate away at me until I couldnt’ stand it anymore.

After a series of layoffs, I have taken less and less pay, but each time I do, I end up with more personal freedom and feeling more myself.  Right now, at age 39, I’m in a job that hurts me physically, but otherwise isn’t that terrible.  I have ‘regulars’ that I genuinely care about, and I also like the people I work with.  However, again, it’s crushing me physically and financially.  So this obviously isn’t the answer either.

In the back of my mind, I know that there’s a way to make a living that doesn’t require so much compromise on either side, but I feel like I just keep missing it.  Other people seem to get it.  They seem to understand how to survive while staying true to themselves in a way that I’ve never really figured out.

That’s why one of my most common spells/rituals is the ubiquitous abundance/prosperity spell.  I have so many green satin bags filled with stones, herbs, parchment, and oils stashed around this house that I shudder to think what someone would say if they excavated the ruins in a thousand years.  In fact, I often wonder how much money I’ve spend on prosperity spells.

As with other spellwork, your outcome depends heavily on your willingness to put the work in as and after you’ve sent the energy out into the universe.  And I do work.  I work and work and work, but it seems like there’s an essential tidbit that I’m missing.  Some important piece of knowledge that would make it all work out for me and for my family.

The important thing is that I keep trying.  And I keep honoring Lakshmi.

India, Princely States. Arcot (Arkat). Muhamma...

India, Princely States. Arcot (Arkat). Muhammad Ali. 1751-1795. ::AV Pagoda (11mm, 3.38 g, 3h). Arkat mint. :Three Swamis standing :Arabic ‘ain in granulated field :::KM 14; MWI -; Mitchiner, South India II, 988 (under Umdatu al-Umara, 1795-1801). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She’s also the Goddess of spiritual wealth and of family wealth.  Those I have in abundance, and I’m incredibly grateful.

I enjoyed putting together a Lakshmi playlist on Spotify, but a lot of the hymns began sounding alike after a while.  So I also added in some abundance meditations.   I also have a Lakshmi Pinterest board where I’ve collected images that remind me of her.

Her holy festival is Diwali (aka Deepavali), which is celebrated in the New Moon between mid October and mid November.  It’s a festival of lights, reminiscent of Yule or Imbolc, where candles are prominent, and are displayed in windows during the long, dark night.

Diwali, Trafalgar Square

Diwali, Trafalgar Square (Photo credit: Paul Carvill)

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Samhain Altar

Samhain altar

Samhain altar

This is it! The only thing we have left to add is letters. I’m going to write a letter to my dad, and Bear and J might write letters to their loved ones as well. I’ll place them on the altar (behind everything), and then we’ll burn them on Samhain.

The incense also turned out really well. The patchouli didn’t come out as strong as I thought, but the cypress is DELICIOUS. It’s definitely worth making again. 🙂

Pain and Tiwaz

Good news: I found my runes while looking through my old herb collection!
Bad news:  All of my herbs are waaaayyy too old and stale to use for anything.  They all smell like dust.

Good news: I found a great supplier who sells the herbs I need cheap on Ebay!
Bad news: I spent my last $20 getting some things I needed for a Samhain incense.  Should have been more responsible.

Bad news: Spent last night in the ER.  😦  Have been having some serious back pain, which escalated in a major way last night.  I was also having trouble breathing.  I was scared that I was having a heart attack.  Everyone else is doing it, I thought it was my turn.  😦
Good news:  They Xrayed my chest, and heart and lungs look good!  Also got an ultrasound, and my gallbladder and liver look good as well.  I was really nervous about 3 of those 4 things in particular.  My heart, for obvious reasons, my lungs because of all the lung cancer in my family, and my liver because that’s where the majority of the pain is centered.

Bad news: Still no idea where the pain is coming from then.  It’s mostly centered around my right rib cage, but my entire back is pretty fucked up as well.  I’m a little worried it might be something chronic.
Good news:  I pocketed a vial of my own blood that was just sitting there when I was released.  It’s going on the Samhain altar.

Good news: I’m making a Samhain altar.
Bad news: I don’t know where all my stuff is so I’m having to buy more.  I really should organize one day.

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This pain thing really has me in a weird headspace.  I’m kind of feeling like this is my karmic lesson for this lifecycle.  My great skill is endurance.  I endure pain and stress.  It’s pretty much the thing that I’m best at.

I’ve had chronic pain from my hip for most of my life.  I had a hip replacement and a hysterectomy when I was 31, and that alleviated most of my pain.  It was such a huge, welcome relief.  I hardly knew what to do with myself for those years that I felt good.

But it’s creeping back up on me.  Part of it is that I have a somewhat physical job.  I could handle it if it wasn’t for my hip, and the way my body/skeletal/muscular system was twisted (straightened, actually, but I was so used to being twisted from my bad hip that the straightening fucked everything up).  I sometimes feel OK, just a slight ache, and sometimes I feel like I’m being stabbed.  There also isn’t a single morning that I wake up where I’m not in pain.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, but it goes a long way to robbing me of any joie de vivre I might otherwise be able to summon in the morning.

I’m just..  Tired.  Very, very tired.  All I want to do is sleep and hide from pain.  There isn’t a great way to do that and make a living.  If I move around too much (like at work), I hurt.  If I sit around here at the house, I hurt.  I can take ibuprofen and feel somewhat better, but if I took the dosage I need as often as I need it, my stomach would be a bleeding mess.  I’m going to switch to Naproxen and see if that doesn’t do the trick.

So, I just keep doing what I have to do.  I have to work to pay bills, etc.

Why am I bringing this up here, on my writing blog?  Because it’s yet another excuse for why I haven’t been writing.  You would think that writing would be just the thing to get me through all of this, but I find that I don’t have joy for much these days, except for Bear.  I’m going to try to power through, but it just is what it is.

Also, reading back at previous entries, I’m noticing a trend.  I come here to make excuses for why I’m not writing.  Maybe if I was a bit easier on myself, the stress wouldn’t compound like it does.  Because I’m 100% sure the stress is just making things worse.

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Anyways, enough whining.

As I was digging through my herbs, I found my runes!  I have been looking for them ever since I moved to this house, and I was SO happy to find them.  However, the paper I’d printed with the meanings wasn’t there.  That’s fine, I’ll make a new one.

Today I pulled Tiwaz.

Tiwaz

Tiwaz

According to this website;

Tiwaz:    This is the Rune of faith, truth, trust, loyalty and devotion, summed up by the old word “troth.”  You can expect justice, especially if you base your actions on well thought out plans.  The path to enlightenment may lead through self-sacrifice.  If you have dark corners, clean them out now.    If you need help to cleanse the corners, seek an expert.  Only then can the harvest ripen.  If you evidence “troth,” you can expect it in return.  This Rune may signify a scientist, philosopher or scholar.

Hopefully soon, I’ll dig out my tarot cards as well.

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I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately.  If you’d like to see my favorites, check me out over there at http://www.youtube.com/user/AmieRavenson

One of the things that really strikes me about some of these videos is the materialism of Wiccans and Pagans.  We do like to have our specific herbs/candles/oils/etc.  I’m guilty of this myself.  However, I definitely believe that you should be able to build an altar in your mind, and do a ritual with nothing more than your imagination.

I may make a video on that topic.  It’s one of those ‘maybe someday’ projects.  Along with a description of the difference between Wiccans and Pagans and why I don’t tend to call myself Wiccan.  *shrug*